USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize

Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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Re: USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize

Post by chrisschafer » Sat Apr 01, 2017 8:46 pm

Hi just did most of what you doing now we crossed border in the baja Dec 1, did baja took ferry across to mainland, I agree with you that the Mexican people for the most part are very friendly and helpful. I too hate the topes. A nice laid back area just east of Puerto Escondido is called Zipolite, lots of naturalist around. Hostel right on the beach

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Re: USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize

Post by diverobin » Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:25 am

That's good to hear. I was a disappointed that we didn't see more bikers, and most of those we met were Mexicans, but then Mexico is so big that it has to be quite a coincidence to come across someone else.
I want to travel through Baja too...another trip I guess.
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Re: USA, Mexico, Guatemala and Belize

Post by Old Wing Man » Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:00 am

Wife and I lived in Coatzacoalcos for about 8 months and did visit several places including Tuxtla Gutierrez which is above the cloud line and cold. Wife only packed me shorts and thin shirts so I had to find a market to buy some clothing to wear. The market was very interesting as were the Mayan ruins with all the "peddlers". I did depart with a few Pesos for mementos of the place.

As for gang violence, it does exist and is a very serious problem. The drug gangs killed the entire police force in a small town while we were there, killed the police chief in Coatzacoalcos. He was out with his young daughter who managed to escape.

The common folks are very friendly and helpful, so it would be highly unlikely that one would get caught up in the drug wars down there but it does happen. There is always the possibility of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We never worried too much about it while there, we just kept vigilant and stayed away from the low life parts of towns.

There are some lovely places there and it is a shame that the government cant control the violence, graft and drug lords. If they would and could, then promote tourism, it would be very good for the country.

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USA, Mexico, Guatemalaand Belize Part 10.

Post by diverobin » Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:17 am

Some of you may have wondered why I never finished my story of our trip. I have felt guilty about not completing the tale, but events overtook me. It is only now, with time and space that I feel ready to relate what happened.

In the last instalment we arrived at Puerto Escondido. What I had not mentioned was that while in the Yucatan, Katja had told me that she was leaving me for a guy (English) who we had met in the hostel Bella in Belize. I knew they got on well but I wasn't expecting that! 
I took it on the chin (what else can you do?) and we agreed on a plan. We would ride to Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast, where we had already arranged to stay at a lodge. As it happened, the owner there had previously expressed an interest in buying Katja's bike if it was for sale. So she would sell him her bike, then fly to join this other guy back in Guatemala where he was going next,  and I would carry on back to the states alone.

It was a long way still to Puerto Escondido, and on the way I had a puncture in Goldie's rear tyre. A small piece of wire, which hole I plugged easily. We were at the side of a fairly busy road in a howling wind near the biggest wind farm I've ever seen. No problem I thought, just pump her up and away we go. At which point my pump broke. Not sure what, but it wouldn't push any air. I tried for over an hour to fix it, to no avail. Eventually I bit the bullet and rode along very slowly, hoping to find help. As luck would have it, 3km further on was a gas station, where I was able to inflate the tyre, which seemed to be fine.
That night we stayed in a resort town and the following morning I located an Auto zone store, where I bought a new pump.
Later that day we arrived at the lodge in Puerto Escondido. Peaceful, and it was good to have a couple of days rest. The owner did indeed buy Katja's bike, but it was all a bit weird because I knew that soon I would be on the road alone. After so many miles together it was always going to be strange.

Leaving to start my solo ride
Leaving to start my solo ride

The day dawned. I loaded Goldie...a bit lighter because I had been carrying some of Katja's stuff up until now. The farewell was brief. We had said all that we needed to before this. We knew we would keep in touch anyway. I rode away, through the town and onto the long road north. The first thing that struck me was that I no longer had to keep looking in my rear view to check Katja was still there. There was a mixed blessing in that.

I did a mix of hotel, air bnb and camping on the trip. I stayed one night in a seedy looking 'No tell Motel' but it felt secure enough, had Internet and was quiet. Apart from that it was the only affordable option in that town.

I stayed just outside Acapulco in an Airbnb with an English couple. I was dreading the ride through the city so I started early the next morning, but it was a lot easier than I expected. It was here that I really started to see the US influence, in fact at times it looked exactly like an American city.

Outside Acapulco
Outside Acapulco

I camped at a site on the beach near La Manzanilla, very busy with locals, and I was warned about mosquitos at dusk. The place emptied before dusk until what had been a mad circus became totally solent,  just me and a couple of staff. And the mosquitoes descended. Like an invasion. I hurriedly retreated to my tent and hid. Later they disappeared,  and I had a good nights sleep.

I had a long ride to Puerto Valletta,  a lovely road but very twisty and hilly for long stretches, hard work on a Goldwing,  and I arrived at my modern, clean Air bnb pretty tired out. I did have a walk though, and found another smart, very American looking city.

After two more days I arrived in Mazatlan, the jumping off point for the ferry to Baja. I had considered going up that way, but I'm glad I didn't,  as you'll see.

The next day I reached Culiacan, a very Mexican but modern city. This is drug cartel territory, so when a Mexican guy started talking to me, on hearing that I was English in a supermarket,  I was a bit wary. But he said he'd lived in southern England and seemed cool, and kedn to talk. He turned out to be a good guy, and showed me the next day (a day off the road) around the cemetery where there are massive mausoleums, built by the families of drugs guys, killed in feuds. Some of these structures are huge, costing hundreds of thousands of US dollars.

Culiacan mausoleums
Culiacan mausoleums

Next day I headed for Navojoa. Halfway there, suddenly, Goldie started to run really badly. At first I though fuel. So I filled up but it made no difference. I realised she was running on only two cylinders! Nothing for it but to struggle on to the bigger city. Just outside Navojoa I ran out of fuel, having done only 100mm on a tankful. I still don't understand how that happens,  while running on half an engine. I managed to pull off the very busy road at some construction, and some kind guys in a pick up saw my plight. They went away, then after ten minutes came back with a water bottle of petrol. They refused payment, and drove off.  A wonderful gesture, it got me to the next fuel station.
The next day I located a bike dealer and went there for help. They only dealt with small bikes, but the young mechanic knew his stuff. He quickly identified the problem as one of the cdi units. The whole rest of the day was spent waiting for a guy to go to the next city and bring one back. About 5.30 he appeared and it was fitted. Success. The whole experience cost about 25 dollars. After a second night in that town, I was away again, headed for Hermosillo.

Wouldn't you know it, about halfway, I noticed that the amp meter was dropping. Not daring to stop I kept the revs up and made it to a hotel in the city. Actually, another No tell Motel. This one was brand new though, and absolutely beautiful.  For 20 dollars a night I got a huge room with private parking behind my own electric garage door.
Next day I located Honda Moto Fuerza in the city on google maps. After a lot of sweat and cursing (have you tried pushing a Goldwing up an incline and then trying to bump start it. Failing a couple of times, by the way.

Well, I managed to finally get going, and keep her going until I found the shop. Amazing, it's a proper bike shop...big bikes, I even found an old Goldwing in the back!
The owner spoke good English and I can't praise or thank him and his guys enough. They were on the case straight away, even though I turned up unannounced. They thought at first it was the stator that had failed. I groaned ... engine out, weeks waiting for the new part from the US. But then the tried a cannibalised rectifier from a quad, and hey presto, it worked!

Mechanic at Honda Moto Fuerza
Mechanic at Honda Moto Fuerza

Meanwhile I had been talking to the shop owner. Turned out he was keen to buy Goldie. My plan was that I would get back to the states, then sell Goldie to fund my return to Europe (yes, I was that broke). Selling here would save me a lot of time and hassle, and probably net me as much cash anyway. It was agreed that I would ride to the border and officially export Goldie out of Mexico,  then hand her over to the shop owners import agent, to properly import her back in, and then deliver her to the shop.  This agent handles bikes and parts for the shop all the time.

I spent another night in my Motel, then the next day, knowing it would be my last ride on Goldie, I headed for the border. Of course Goldie ran beautifully, and was a delight the whole way. The deal was done, and the agent dropped me at the border crossing. Two hours later I was in an Airbnb in Tucson looking for a flight back to Germany

It felt awful leaving my Goldie behind. I wish I could have kept her and restored her, but at least I know she went to someone who can care for her better than I could, and who meant to keep her as his own ride.

I was back in Germany last year, and am now in England. I am the happy owner of a Honda Transalp 600 V, made in 1988, a lovely bike, better suited to this area. I will never forget my Goldie though, and still enjoy reading the Goldwing Docs  newsletter.
Katja and I are still friends, though it didn't work out for her with that guy and she's now seeing someone else. That's ok, I wish her well. I'm single, and have a job at Dominos Pizza, mainly deliveries, on a Honda Vision 110 scooter. How the mighty fall! But actually it's a blast!
Thanks for reading.


Last view of Goldie
Last view of Goldie

If you reach the age of fifty years and you have not yet grown up, you don't have to. :lol:

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Re: USA, Mexico, Guatemalaand Belize Part 10.

Post by AZgl1800 » Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:08 am

Enjoyed your ride report Rob...

Life does meat out it changes and sometimes we don't like the way they went, but we have to adjust and move on.

I'm sure that Goldie is going to have a nice life now, and be well maintained.

Things for you will be looking up, there is always "another skirt" so beware :lol:


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