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Old 09-25-2013, 09:53 AM   #166
J_moto
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Originally Posted by DRRambler View Post
I am using a Garmin Montana. I have some free Mexico maps that are missing some roads but the main thing I use it for is to see where I am and use a paper map for more precise routing.

I changed to a Delorme InReach device because of its two-way texting capability. I'm liking it so far but I must say that it is really sensitive to cloud cover compared to my old spot but not enough to be an issue.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I have a Magellan explorist 610 and was planning to use it the same way. And I also decided on the Delorme. I've been delayed in leaving but will head out in the next couple of days from California and heading south for 3 months wherever that puts me and will be following your posts. Lots of great info and pics thanks
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:33 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by J_moto View Post
Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I have a Magellan explorist 610 and was planning to use it the same way. And I also decided on the Delorme. I've been delayed in leaving but will head out in the next couple of days from California and heading south for 3 months wherever that puts me and will be following your posts. Lots of great info and pics thanks
I have used the texting feature already at times when no wifi was available and I needed to get a message to my wife that all was well. It's worth it.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:34 PM   #168
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Day 32 Vaqueros and Pescadores

Day 32 Palenque to Frontera 247km

My source of all good things in Mexico said to take the road to La Libertad, so I did and Iím glad. The scenery wasnít extraordinary and it was only a 50km diversion from the main road but it was a great detour. It stands out mainly because it inspired me to take another very rural road for the rest of the day.





Un-maintained but very well used, the roads I traversed wound past large expanses of ranch land. The route revealed a side of the country I had not seen yet. Dozens of communities that rely on the land are spread out on the road. The condition of the road didnít match the apparent importance of it. Large lengths of pavement were overgrown reducing the width to one lane. Some parts had been washed away and two dirt tracks replaced the pavement.





The ranch land and Vaqueros gave way to low wetlands, fishing boats and river based communities. The road didnít start to improve until I approached Frontera. I wouldnít have wanted it any different. I brought a Dual-Sport bike for a reason.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:57 AM   #169
Sjoerd Bakker
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VIVA ZAPATA! Great road , eh
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:59 PM   #170
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VIVA ZAPATA! Great road , eh
Wonderful, thanks for your suggestion, I talked two other travellers into riding it too

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Old 09-27-2013, 04:36 AM   #171
grahamspc
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Wow...looks like a great detour.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:26 AM   #172
tricepilot
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Following along, nice report
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:04 AM   #173
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Wow...looks like a great detour.
indeed it was and I hope to find many more

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Following along, nice report
Thanks, I have read many of your posts re Mexico. The Oaxaca thread is great
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:09 PM   #174
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Day 33 Coastal Cruising

Day 33 Frontera to Campeche 305km

Completely out of character the Mexican weather decided to rain this morning. I waited for a small break and after a quick breakfast from a mobile taco vendor got the heck out of town. 15 minutes later I was stopped on the side of the road in the rain closing all my vents. 1 mile further on it stopped and I stayed dry the rest of the day.





Most of the ride shadowed the coast line as I moved north east. Cuidad del Carmen is on a narrow island connected via a long causeway that cost 35 pesos to cross. At the other end of the island another 18 pesos allowed passage to the mainland. This coast is all about oil. Many of the familiar oilfield names are here, Weatherford, Schlumberger, Grainger and Line-X to name a few. Other major American companies have a presence too, like Walmart, Burger King and Autozone. Iím told prices are inflated here due to the petroleum industry presence. I didnít stay long enough to find out.



It was a good days riding and I enjoyed the seaside view but man was it hot! High 30ís again today so finding a hotel with A/C was a priority. Sjoerd suggested the Hotel Campeche on the plaza and it didnít disappoint. The price, 330 pesos with A/C and very secure parking in the courtyard.



I set out to find a meal but first I needed stamps and a post office. The Gringo with bad Spanish skills had a tough time with this but eventually found what was required. During the adventure I saw a car catch on fire and the drama that ensued. The driver was one panicked dude.





Still hungry I kept walking around the streets. I turned a corner and there stood Paul and Asli, the couple I had met on the La Paz ferry. It was a very unexpected meeting for all of us and we had a chuckle about how random it was. They pointed out a restaurant and they joined me for a beer while I ate delicious enchiladas. After dinner we parted ways again as a storm loomed over the city. We expect to meet again sometime soon.

















Campeche is another great city that Iíd like to visit again.
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:17 PM   #175
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Day 34 Land of Ruins

Day 34 Campeche to Chetumal 385km


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I planned to make the trek to Chetumal in two days but decided to get there today. My departure from Campeche was early enough that I arrived at my planned overnight stop at 12:30. Chetumal is only 130km from there so I made the push to do the rest.





It was another great riding day on good roads most of the day. The temperature was brutally hot and the sun relentless. I actually wanted it to rain to give some relief. The entire day I kept seeing road signs indicating names of ruins I had never heard. The whole Yucutan seems to be littered with ancient sites. It might be fun to come back one day to do a ďruins tourĒ and return to all the cities in the area Iíd like to re-visit.





Too bad I killed about 229 of these guys today







I found Chetumal to be very modern and clean, obviously a popular tourist town. I scanned the businesses looking for a motorcycle shop as I made my way to the city center. I needed to buy a rear tire for Skelly and had been told there are at least two bike shops here. A motorcycle cop past me riding a DR650, a very good sign that a tire my size could be found here. I didnít see what I was looking for so the next priority was lodging.

The Oxtankah Hotel is two blocks from the place Iíll be storing Skelly for 10 days while in Belize. The website prices are $40-$45/night which is a touch rich for my budget but I thought it might be worth a try. For the price of 300 pesos ($25) per night Iím here for 4 nights.



The front desk was manned by Gilberto, a young man who was extremely helpful. I asked him if he had a map of Chetumal explaining I was looking for a moto shop to buy a tire. Gilberto who speaks only a few words of English replied no map but he could help using Google maps and the yellow pages. I wrote down the addresses and took note of the approximate locations but Gilberto was not satisfied with his efforts. He suggested he call a friend who drives a taxi to take me to the bike shops. I asked when? He replied in 10 minutes! Quickly, I wrote down my tire size and some possible brand/model options, and made sure I had my credit card. Lucio arrived and fifteen minutes later we were at a little shop that had all kinds of tires on racks. The girl at the desk started checking inventory and with the assistance of the manager found they had a Kenda 761 enduro tire in stock. The price was 2680 pesos, about $206 USD which was more or less what I expected even though it's expensive for this particular tire. What I did not expect was how easy it was. Lucio charged me 150 pesos and I gave him an extra 20 . Total tire price, about $220. After being dropped off I arranged with Lucio to pick me up Monday morning to take me to the Belize border.

Mitas E07 with 9300km and a new Kenda 761
I will be carrying the Kenda for awhile as the Mitas still has life in it yet



And the front E07




Why am I storing the bike in Chetumal?
The reason for this has to do with vehicle importation rules in Belize. If one enters Belize with a vehicle, one must also leave with said vehicle. In my case I will be leaving Belize briefly to visit the ruins of Tikal in Guatemala. Itís only for two days but enough to cause problems at the border if I donít have the bike. Belize does not want you to import a vehicle into the country so they mark the VIN into your passport. The solution is to leave the bike in Mexico while Iím on my vacation within a vacation. I found a nice person on the Belize forums who offered to store the bike for me in a secure spot. Hopefully itís the perfect solution. It must be noted that Mexico too has rules about vehicle importation but the VIN is not noted in your passport. The important thing to remember is you must pay a hefty deposit to Mexico customs when you bring a vehicle in. They will refund the deposit upon departure.

The next few days will be full of nothing but relaxation.
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:11 PM   #176
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Day 31 Diary Cam

A little late but video is tough to upload with less than fast internet.

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Old 09-28-2013, 01:24 PM   #177
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Day 35 Bike Maintenance Day

Day 35 Chetumal/Calderitas

I took a ride into town today to shop for a duffle bag or back pack. The Walmart had a few choices but in the end I decided to just use the top case from my bike for luggage while in Belize. I stopped at an Italian coffee shop for a cup of joe and a really tasty croissant sandwich.

A few shots of the hotel







I then spent a few hours tending to the bike. I cleaned the No Toil air filter and replaced the front sprocket. At close to 10,000km the sprocket looked pretty good but I brought two extras with me so I replaced it anyway for good measure. I made a quick inspection of the bike and all looks good.





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Old 09-28-2013, 04:52 PM   #178
Super Tenere
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Looking at your tire picture and think your old Mitas has more tread left then the new ones.

Jeff
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:00 PM   #179
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Looking at your tire picture and think your old Mitas has more tread left then the new ones.

Jeff
This rear Mitas may very well last to Colombia! I just want to have a back up for when the time comes.
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Old 09-28-2013, 07:18 PM   #180
kalahari-k
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Hi temperatures

It's exciting watching your progress down to central America. Regarding the really hot weather...have you done the wet t-shirt thing? You strip to the waist in the wash room, dunk your shirt in the basin, wring it out a bit, put it back on, hop on the bike and have amazing air conditioning for up to half an hour. It worked so we'll for me I bought one of those water absorbing vests......absorbs 5 pounds of water and slowly evaporates, cooling you down. That failed for me though, because the last few pounds accumulate around your waste, stay wet and don't evaporate, so then you have this soggy thing to deal with, not to mention the annoyance of that persistent wetness around your waist. I wonder about some convenient source of water on the bike to re-wet the shirt, or have a couple of wet ones in ziplock bags or something like that. It's heavenly while it's evaporating in hot weather.
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