Saturday, 29 September 2012

Day 84: Tehuantpec to Tuxtla

Sorry everyone
Did a big post and it disappeared. Don't know where. Will try again tomorrow.

Morning all. It is now Sunday 30 September. I won't try to repeat all that I lost yesterday. Suffice to say that we had a great ride. I had an interesting moment on encountering an unmarked, unsigned speed hump in the middle of a motorway. I was a bit dozy I guess and went over it at about 100 klicks. I had time to get up on the pegs and that was about it. Ebony flew a little but no harm seems to have been done. I was pleased that my Vario topbox stayed on because they have a reputation for not doing so.

Along the ride north from Arriaga we had the most wonderful mountain pass with more hairpin bends than you can shake a stick at! A bit of a grind into town with stop-start traffic but we found our hotel easily enough. City driving in Mexico is a bit hair raising to be honest.

A beer and a vino tinto and that was it.

Shirley arrives tonight so we will be a team of four once again.

Today's run: 322kms
Cumulative: 23,200kms
Tipovers: 3


Friday, 28 September 2012

Day 83: Oaxaca to Tehuantpec, Mexico

Greetings all
First of all, many thanks to Scotty for letting me known that he is reading this blog. Thanks mate, you're a good bastard. I hope your adventure on the GSA is fantastic. It's funny when you check on blogger and see that 1,456 people read your blog and then you realise that most of them were based in Russia and you wonder what's going on.

After our difficulties in getting into Oaxaca we decided to forgo the excellent included breakfast at the Hotel Francia and get on the road at 7.30am. First we had to get out bikes out of the internal courtyard, through the lobby and out onto the street.

The boys at the pub loved it. So did Kiwi.

Then it was so simple! Straight up 25 November Street and right onto Mex190 and we were away. It was still a bit of a grind as we worked our way through the lights and out of town but it was so much easier than when we arrived.

We stopped for breakfast at Tiacolula de Matamourous (try saying that after a mescal or three) at a roadside cafe with a most interesting chef. She had lived in Sacramento and spoke good English although she told us that she didn't like it much.

I asked for eggs with chorizo and got this.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting but, apart from the beans, it was very nice.

We then headed off down the road and stopped for a break at the side of the road. To be honest, I was feeling sleepy. We stopped by a valley with these amazing cactus forests.


And a raging river down below.

And a maize planting at the river's edge.

We have seen a lot of these memorials to people killed on the roads. These were interesting I thought.

Way up above these birds were floating on the thermals.

We then carried on this lovely mountain pass - so many lovely twisties! It was great. We were feeling mellow and there was not too much traffic so we just cruised along.

By about 130 we rolled in to Tehuantpec. We went to the Centro first but then realised that the hotels were back out on the main road. So we checked into this flash pub called the Calle. It's ok. Unfortunately the pool is closed for maintenance. That was a shame because we would have loved a swim. Not terribly hot - about 35C but quite humid.

I had a shower and did some washing and went for a walk. I spotted this critter on a palm trunk. An iguana I think. He wasn't too pleased about being spotted... (He prefers stripes?)

and went scooting off across the grass... (I love the way they run!)

and up another tree.

Isn't he lovely!

Down in the garden there was this tree that was laden (I think) with breadfruit.

This pub is renowned for its murals. Here's why. (these are at Reception.)

Pretty kewl huh?

And that is about our day. Lots of chat today with Shirley as she gets organised to meet us on Sunday night. Funnily enough, I'm really looking forward to it!

Today's run: 250km of narrow winding road
Cumulative: 22,878kms
Tip overs: 3

Location:Tehuantpec, Mexico

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Day 82: a rest day in Oaxaca, Oaxaca

Hello everybody
(Is there anybody out there?)
It was a rest day in Oaxaca today which as you will know is a big city in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. If you want to know more about it, have a look on Wikipedia here:,_Oaxaca
It is a very politically active city as you may have gathered from my blog yesterday.
We sprung out of bed at about 8am this morning and breakfasted at the hotel. I had practised saying, "En desayuno esta includio?" meaning "is breakfast included? (in the tariff) and was rewarded by a blast of very fast and almost incomprehensible espanol. As Dick pointed out, I should take this as a compliment! Obviously the waiter thought I was fluent. And it was an excellent breakfast too, cooked there right in front of my very eyes. :-)
I wanted to do some maintenance today. Firstly on Ebony and secondly on my face. The girls had spent the night tucked up nice and safe in the hotel lobby.

Very cosy but we had to put them back out in the street. Bother. I then went walking to find some oil. if you look at a map,of Oaxaca, you will see that the Centro Historico is set out in a rigid grid pattern so it was a matter of "three blocks that way, turn right then seven blocks. Which is exactly what it was. I was surprised by how much oil Ebony took. I added nearly 500mls, the result I guess of all that slow hot inner city driving.
I then went off to look for a barber. First I wandered past the butchery section of town.

Some more popular than others?

It also took me past the spices sector.

When I found a barber I asked him to give me a beard trim just like his! Kewl huh. (I am much more handsomer than him though.)

I wasn't too sure about the poultry though.

And some were already finding it a long hot day.

and not everyone liked having their photo taken?

I then walked up to the square where there were the most amazing array of things on sale:

Hats anyone?

I sat and had a coffee and watched the hammock seller at work. He was trying hard.


Even a Rastafarian trying to put the world to rights.

Anyone for spice?

Meanwhile the political rally was beginning to heat up. Again it was about opposition to proposed labour law reforms.

The crowd were more middle class than the one yesterday. Teachers and civil servants I would guess.

Also something about political prisoners?

It was all quite exciting with lots of chanting and cheering and everyone feeling quite jovial.

And now for some motorbike shots! This is a Yamaha Vulcan 900. Not sure it would be my choice but de nada.

and this must be the new three-seater Chineeouk.

I had a siesta then because it started to rain. Then then fireworks started so I thought I would wake up and go visit the botanical gardens. They were closed.

But along the way I went past.....
People,sheltering their goods from the rain.

A very passionate couple practising reef knots with their tongues.

Yet another church.

A school

And a stadium.

As I came back from the prematurely closed botanical garden I came across this flag lowering ceremony in the square. People being very patriotic with hands across their chests. First the children.

Then the army and airforce.

With the dignatories on the stage out of the rain.
It was about then that the opera began. As the national anthems were being played and sung we could hear chants of protest coming down the road.

Past the army truck

and into the square.

I would estimate between 3-4,000 in the march, and as you can see all pretty relaxed.
And so that was about it for the day. Dick finished his board meeting at six so we had a beer and then went out for a lovely dinner in a balcony restaurant overlooking the square. I had lamb and a glass of red wine. Perfecto!
Today's run: 0kms
Cumulative: 22,628kms
Tipovers. 3

Location:Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico.