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Old 11-06-2013, 10:39 AM   #16
SRR
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This is great, man! I'm impressed with your flat-out burn through the US to the border. Enjoy the rest of the ride, I'll be enviously watching from back in Brooklyn.
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:18 PM   #17
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Looks like a great trip Bob! Can't wait to see what's next. Brad
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telejojo View Post
What town is that with the landing strip? Nice................
Molongo
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:04 PM   #19
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DF to Oaxaca

Woke up excited about my great day in Mexico City and the reasonable day's ride ahead to Oaxaca. Another pretty good breakfast at the hotel, got all my shit together, and brought the panniers out to the small parking lot in the rear, where the Komanche was gnawing at the bit after having been ignored for an entire day.
As I was attaching the bags to the bike, the very friendly machine gun packing security guard from the rear parking lot, Francisco, came in and told me another guest at the hotel was excitedly checking out my bike and had left me a business card. Another ADVrider, a Brit living in Chile, wanted to get together for a beer. How great is that? Thousands of miles from home but the ADV rider family is everywhere. Too bad I was checking out.
Somehow I met his lovely wife as I was leaving, said sorry would have been great, and left him my own note with details, saying I would be back this way eventually. Good to know we have peeps all around the world.
Then I said bye to Francisco.





Francisco helped put things into perspective for me. He was a really friendly guy who spoke English pretty well, and he was really excited to speak English with somebody again. He had lived in Chicago for a few years (illegally) but had to come back. He has two kids in the states trying to make money.
The previous night, in my room, I was all over Facebook saying "fuck Williamsburg(Brooklyn)! Yo amo DF!" Francisco said he missed the states, that if he works 24 hours straight he makes about $13.
15 years ago I worked for a sailing school operating out of Jersey City. I washed boats, shuffled them around the marina, motored the occasional late-for-his-sailing-class wealthy student out to the boat, and shuffled sailboats down to Sanibel island FLA in the offseason. I made $10/hr. I swore I would never work for $10/hr again.
I bet Francisco would love to make $10/hr.


Made only one little wrong turn on my way out of the city and soon was on the big highway toward Puebla. This was like any highway at home. Fast with rest stops and tolls. It was a good morning making time in perfect weather. I saw a couple of miles-long backups on the DF-bound side and blessed my good fortune. I only had just under 300 miles to go.

Just before you get to Ciudad Mendoza, you take 135D to get to Oaxaca. It's a toll road south, but back to 2-lane. Soon this road became quite scenic and rural, with big western expanses that I have only seen in dreams.





























As it turns out two toll stops on this beautiful day of riding were complimentary of the teachers' union. They were taking over random highway toll plazas to protest the move to privatize teachers in Mexico. They were all very young, very nice, and only asked a donation to their cause.
People power.


Soon enough came the sign I had pushed so long and hard to get to. Overcoming fatigue, hunger, and other obstacles, I finally reached the agreed upon meeting place.





Now as long as I made it to the airport the following night, my wife would legally have no right to kill me.

I made it in to a nice little ivy-covered hotel with an off-street parking lot behind it (Hotel Maela on Constitucion). The pace was small but spotless. Very nice staff, small clean friendly restaurant in the front. But no beer.
Right. Shower, change, and out I go. Hell, it was only 5:30.

I was only a few blocks from the Oaxaca city Zocalo, so I went to check it out. Found a seat where I could do some people watching, and immersed myself in a cold beer, a mezcal, and some vittles.





I enjoyed my food and a few beverages, then while meandering home I found yet another Mexican microbrew bar to waste a few more pesos and sample some interesting brews. Ok, one last mezcal for the road. Switched on my internal gps and was at my hotel in minutes. Smiling.
Slept long, soundly.


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http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=931315
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akaDigger View Post
Molongo
Yes! Thanks AkaDigger. Telejojo, it's Molango, in Hidalgo, about 90k south of Huejutla de Reyes on 105.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:22 PM   #21
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Great reporting!
Can't wait to read more.
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Old 11-06-2013, 08:55 PM   #22
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Great action. I avoided D.F. for years until I decided I was a pussy for doing it and dived in; what a great city. Went to Opera Bar on first trip like you, looking for an old timey bar. Met my girlfriend in Oaxaca as well, brilliant I say. We even stayed at the Hotel Maella last time a bunch of us were there and like you really liked it. Go eat at Casa Oaxaca or the little pizza place across from the museum/cathedral (not the one on the zocalo). You'll love the ride down to P. Escondido. I would take Mex 175 down and Mex 131 back. Hotel Sante Fe is excellent but high; restaurant is excellent as well. Buen Viaje!
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:27 AM   #23
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Bravo!

The more I read, the more I find myself cheering a'la good 80's hip hip: "G Brooklyn! Go Brooklyn, Go Brooklyn!" And waving my hands in the air like I just don't care!

As an ex-pat New Yorker, I too miss the old NYC of my youth: who knew that the same streets where I could buy a cold six pack of tall-boys, a switchblade, porn, and fireworks just before getting mugged at 12 years old would now be entertaining my 4 year old with Minnie Mouse and some whacked out hello kitty!!!

Glad to see that DF delivered. Looking forward to more! Pics are great.
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Old 11-07-2013, 04:57 AM   #24
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Wow, pretty cool ride. I get all happy when I cross into Dutchess county, let alone any real border. Great story.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:09 AM   #25
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Aha nice report to read with morning coffee!
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:14 AM   #26
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Wish I were down there instead of Brooklyn.
Be careful on the way back - we're looking at possible snow late next week
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Old 11-07-2013, 12:04 PM   #27
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Excellent reporting, motoroberto!! I'm along for the ride.
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Old 11-07-2013, 07:34 PM   #28
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Oaxaca!

First morning in Oaxaca. What to do, what to do. Well, I needed more cash, so off to the atm. Beautiful weather again, sunny but not too hot. On the walk back to the hotel I was trying to figure out what to do with myself when I passed an open doorway to a bustling courtyard full of people having brunch. Hell, I'm hungry, in I go.
Most people are aware that Oaxaca is renowned for its food. That's one of the reasons I've wanted to come here for so long, I love to eat, and love good, proper Mexican food. My wife, a chef, was also excited about finally getting to go there. This place definitely delivered. Food porn alert:





Breakfast tacos in a mole sauce with charred chorizo. Even the sliced onions had a ton of flavor. The accompanying salsa that came with it (and was a standard at a few of the places I went to) was really delicious with a deep red color and layered flavors with subtle heat. Yum.


The city of Oaxaca is pretty easy to walk around in, it's a grid. I did some more exploring but had to return to the hotel to pack up, checkout was at noon. I had planned to switch over to a 'fancy' hotel (3x the money) to bring wifey back to after I got her from the airport. So pack up I did, and as I paid my bill, I decided to save cash and use my credit card, which was not in my wallet. Hmmmmm... no problem, use the debit card, must be in my pants pocket from last night. I'll look for it later.
Off to the 'fancy' hotel. No check-in till 3. Crap. Left the luggage there and parked out front, and was left to wander Oaxaca in my riding boots and open-fly riding pants for 3 hours. And now it was HOT.
Made it back over to the Zocalo, back to the same place I had been the night before. Different staff but still super nice. Got myself a cold beer and prepared for 2 1/2 hours of people watching. And stewing over my credit card. Where the hell is it? I just wanted to tear through my bags but they were waiting for me back at the hotel. Did I lose it last night? Did it fall out this morning at the atm? Is it in my pocket in my pannier? I would have completely lost my mind obsessing about it were it not for this lovely distraction:





These little bastards are delicious. Roasted in their skin with garlic and arbol chiles, salted and served with lime. Mexico is truly kicking our ass in the 'delicious free peanuts at the bar' category.
While shoving a ridiculous amount of these into my face, I went back to people watching. And I noticed for the first time on my trip that I was in a place visited by tourists. They probably were less than say 5%, but there was this couple probably from the states, and these four from Europe, and that retired couple over there. Giant cameras help give them away. Probably are many more at other times of the year, I was there in low season. As a matter of fact there were only a couple other people at the quite large restaurant. The majority of people in the Zocalo were Mexican families and couples, enjoying the day.
One factor of sitting next to the Zocalo you quickly become aware of is the constant stream of peddlers trying to sell you something. Handmade fabric, wooden carved bookmarks, bright colored trinkets of every description. I've never said "no gracias" so many times in a single day. It can get a little annoying, but then I felt bad for feeling annoyed, these are poor people and this is their living. I had to muster up extra courage for the hundred-and-fifty year old Indio lady with a handcarved birdbath that had all these little carved birds perched around the perimeter. A weight hung beneath it with a little string going up to each of the birds. As she gently swung the weight in a circle all the birds would each, one at a time, peck into the bowl and sit up again. It was fucking fascinating. I felt myself being mesmerized by her evil witchery. I summoned all of my courage and tore my eyes away. I stared into my peanuts.
"No gracias."

It was excruciating making 3 beers last 2 1/2 hours, but make 'em last I did, till it was time to check in. Got back to the hotel and they had me wait another half an hour to finish cleaning the room. Sigh. While at the Zocalo I had made up my mind to just go with the flow. Whenever I got into the room I'd look for the card. If it wasn't there, I'd look where I was last night. If not there, just call and cancel it.
Finally get into the room. The nice man shows me the features. OK, fine. Shows me the weird clunky double door locking procedure. OK great, Thank you. I tear through all my bags. No card.
OK. Shower, clean up. I'll go see if I can find it. Go to lock the door following a procedure similar to kickstarting and old BSA. From the outside, I push on the door. It pushes right in. I try 3 times, same result. Shit.
2 hours later and I'm on my 2nd manager and they're trying to still fix the door. A locksmith is on the way. I leave them to it and go search for the place I had a few drinks last night. Maybe I left my card there.
My wife can attest to the fact that I can generally find anyplace again once I've been there. Well, today the mojo was not working. Must be old age kicking in. I walked around for nearly 2 hours around the area where I thought I was the night before to no avail. I finally had to admit defeat, and head back to the hotel.
When I got back I raised the white flag and called to report my lost card. At least I didn't have to think about that anymore.
The locksmith and manager returned, and then the locksmith gave up. The manager was doing everything she could to assure me that they would be there all night to keep an eye on things and the front gate would be locked, etc. She was very nice and I know, shit happens. What's the likelihood of someone really making it past the gate and into my room? I'll just keep my valuables in the safe... oh wait, that's broken too. GAAAAAAAAAAAAA!Are you fucking kidding me?
Of course I'm too easygoing to flip out but holy shit, for the money of this place to have a broken door AND a broken safe AND no ac (which I don't really care about but what if my wife does and fuck it I'm on a roll)?
The nice manager lady could see the it's-been-a-long-fucking-day in my eyes and offered complimentary breakfast and a welcome mezcal for the wife and me. Well. I suppose that might make me feel slightly better.
I tried to forget the room fiasco and ran out for a quick bite then it was off to the airport to pick up a valuable little package.

Oaxaca airport looked like the opening ceremony wrapped up about 15 minutes before I got there. All gleaming white modernity, brand spanking new. And, it's only about 15 minutes from the center of town.
My wife's flight from Mexico City actually arrived a little early, and soon I saw her smiling face coming towards me. Gave her a big kiss and a squeeze, glad to have my partner in crime back. I wondered what was going through her head as a raced her back to the city, the nighttime sights and smells of Mexico fresh for her and all around.
I must have wondered a little too much because I briefly took off down a one-way street the wrong way and had to jump the curb onto a the sidestreet I meant to be on as 2 or 3 pairs of headlights were coming at us. This did not inspire confidence in wifey. Welcome to Mexico, Lizzy!

Back at the hotel I explained to my wife the bonus features of our room. She wasn't too worried about it but we both felt better after, well, after the mezcal; but also after the manager assured us we would have a different room the next day. OK, thanks. I can deal with that.
So we trusted our belongings to our room with the swinging doors and I took Lizzy out to the Zocalo, I wanted to show her the restaurant where I had spent most of my time, the one with the peanuts. It was getting late so we were just out for a couple beers and a couple bites.
As we approached the place I recognized one of my waitresses from the night before. She exhaled with an exasperated flailing of the arms and ran inside. She soon was running out again saying "Senor ROOsell! Senor ROOsell!" (my last name's Russell) "Su tarjeta credito!"
Holy shit. I had left it at the restaurant the first time I went there. AND, I sat in that very restaurant for over two hours that afternoon stressing about it's whereabouts. Not to mention the marching around for 2 hours looking for the invisible bar. All the time it was behind the desk of my favorite place. Had a good laugh with the wife over the next couple of beers. And mezcal.

Good night, Oaxaca.
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Brooklyn to Puerto Escondido, MX:
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=931315
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:02 PM   #29
GSAragazzi
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This trip is for sure going to be what cements your relationship. And you are right, everything is better with mezcal!
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:13 PM   #30
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You've got a great story and you're doing an awesome job telling it! More please!
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