Author Topic: Turning 60 in Mexico, ME to Oaxaca Part 3 (Final)  (Read 505 times)

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Offline GeoffreyH

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Turning 60 in Mexico, ME to Oaxaca Part 3 (Final)
« on: May 14, 2018, 12:31:53 pm »
This is the last of the ride report.  I hope those of you who've read it enjoyed it.  I am sorry about the photos, I'll work on it. 

16 November 2017
Today I turned 60.  There is so much and so little to say about it.  So much because if I look back on my past there is too much to see, to remember, to  evaluate and to reflect upon.  The is so little because right now there is only me, sitting in a cafe in Oaxaca drinking strong coffee and just being.  The date is just a date  There is little change and there is immense change.  I do  not feel a great deal of difference in me from when I was young.  However, there is a change that comes with experience, my experience, that forces change.  The simple fact that I am alive at 60 is indication that I  must have figured something out along the way.  There have been so many times when I should not have made it implies that I must have learned.  I must have figured things out.

I  haven't written since I got to Oaxaca.  What a trip  down that was!  As usual I got turned around.  I finally got on the right road, the road to Cordoba.  It was amazing, the kind of road one thinks about when one decides to motorcycle through Mexico.  It was filled with hairpin turns, steep inclines, tricky situations and absolute beauty.  It flowed down through valleys where there were fields of sugarcane.  Then it twisted up again into the mountains where there were  citrus groves.  I passed through small villages all with the similar one street, speed bumps and vendors hawking "carnes".  More carnes than I have ever seen.  Small, rather grubby mechanic shops always caught my eye being always on the vigil for places to bring the bike if something went wrong.   The road continued south as it wrapped itself around  Mount Orizaba, an extinct (I think) volcano. It is enormous and snow capped.  As I passed along the route it would appear out of a corner framed by lush green tropical vegetation.  The view never stopped to impress.  After a long haul of twisting and turning I broke out and found the highway.  Toll roads are the only ones where you can actually make time.  There are no speed bumps.  It is not outrageously expensive so in my case it it the way to go.  I left Mount Orizaba to my back and decided that I could make Oaxaca that day.  I  arrived at the hostel at dusk.  The ride on the highway was as intense as the ride from Coatepec.  It wound through mountains of dessert like flora.  Long slender cactus grew out of the steep banks of the perilous looking inclines of the mountains.  It was cool in the mountains.  The bike loved it.  I took the turns easily and flew along for the first time in days.  I had the opportunity to finally dump the bike.  I wanted to take picture so I pulled off and for the first time forgot to put the kickstand all the way down.  The bike started falling and I had to let it go.  In a fit of frustration I picked the thing up, I don't know how.  In so doing I pulled a muscle.  It still hurts 4 days later.

The hostel (Azul Cielo) was a bit hard to find but I did it.   What a great place. A central courtyard, combined with overhanging patios, a great staff, wonderful breakfasts and some of the most interesting people I've met in a while.  To name a few there was Rees a  young guy from England, Annabelle and her boyfriend from France, Wes from New Zealand and my new friends Terra and Kendra two women travelling together.  These people are so free spirited it amazes me.  It makes me realize that I am not alone in my desire to travel.  They are energetic and love life and live it to the most in their own ways.  The most fascinating is Richard a blue haired hippie from the states who tells only dirty jokes, needs new teeth and has more bizarre experiences that 100 people who do not live life to the fullest.  I speak French, Spanish and English at will now.  I love it.

Today the staff at the hostel brought me a small birthday cake.  They are so wonderful!. I forgot to mention that they let me keep my bike in the main hostel entrance way!

Today I visited the museum of culture which is housed in the ancient monastery of Santo Dominico.  The foundation of the Dominican order.  It is the most impressive monastery I have seen with the exception of Mont St. Michel. It is enormous!  Hallway after hallway of rooms exhibiting the influence of Spain and the Catholic Church in the new world.

The Monastery of Santo Dominico

I asked , Mario who works at the hostel, to buy some beer and hard stuff for the party.  I said get some coke (for mixers) to which his eyes widened. I quickly replied coca cola to which he became instantly relieved.  I think they find it interesting that I don't drink.

Tomorrow I will rest up in preparation for the return north.  As sad as I am to not be continuing on to Guatemala I know it is the right choice.  If I get home soon I can get the house ready for the summer and do this again.

Grasshoppers for sale...I ate two!

11/25/17 In the air over Florida. 
Headed home to Maine.  I left Maya with my brother.  I am sad without her.  The bike has been my constant companion for a month now.  I have spent so much time working on her, preparing her and then riding her for so many miles that  it is hard not to be without her.  I think  the word is anthropomorphization or something.  Where one turns something inanimate into something sentient.  Like the volleyball character of Wilson with Tom Hanks when he plays a castaway.  I became one with the bike.  I know her and she seems to know me.. I wonder if having the speedometer broken was some kind of message.  I use the tach and kept an eye on the fuel gauge and the temp gauge.  We just rode and rode. together.  Anyway she's safe with my brother, Alex, till I can come get her in the spring.

I returned from Oaxaca to Sarasota in six days.  Made 1000 miles from Shreveport, Louisiana  to Sarasota in two days. Thus ends severe money hemorrhaging. I can get home and start working on the new plans.  Including getting back to teaching.  It appears that there may be a job opening up in Ellsworth. 

I haven't made an entry for while  Not since Oaxaca.  It was amazing when I found the "cuota" or toll highways.  I can honestly say that had I recognized the road along the coast would be so bad I would have gone a different route.  Had I taken the cuota down I could have made Guatemala.  It was the misery of the constant topes, the sprawling  Mexican cities, and rough stays in the early phase of the trip that finished me early.  If I do it again and I just may I will do the cuota to Oaxaca it saves wear and tear on bike and rider.

I'm conflicted about the trip.  I am glad I made the decision to return and pissed off that I didn't keep going.  There is so much good in living like I did for the last month.  Each day was special.  Each moment precious.

I think about the Ashram and finally learning that I have the ability to meditate.  I am wondering why I haven't  wanted to eat meat since being at the ashram.  I think about the people I met at the hostel.  Richard the 74 year old vagabond hippie from California.  His bawdy songs and his zest for life.  Kendra and Terra two wonderfully spirited women who were so much fun to talk with.  AnnaBelle from France.  The Quebecoise girl who sang so beautifully.  Debbie, from Australia who just travels  After her husband died she's just travels.  She had great insight about relationships.

Now that the trip is over I am going to plan the next one.  First I've got to get the bike home.  Then it'll be up to Newfoundland and Anse aux Meadows.  After that it will be Morocco. 

There is no doubt I have learned from the trip but the lessons are more or less what I already knew.  I love my adventures but often wish I could share the experience with another person.  I wasn't lonely I was just lacking companionship if that makes any sense at all.

Geoffrey Huppe
Penobscot, Maine
January 2018

Offline Rusty

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Re: Turning 60 in Mexico, ME to Oaxaca Part 3 (Final)
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 01:15:22 pm »
Great story and adventure Geoffrey! I read through your other posts that you placed on this topic and I am very impressed. Hope you get your house done and started your teaching job. Are you ready for your next adventure? Friends of mine and myself have talked about a trip to Mexico soon and from reading your trip and Greenie's we will need to plan one in the future. I live in Southern California and Mexico is just an hour and half away. Probably do a Baja trip first! Thank you for your story though I would sure love to see pictures too!

 :motonoises:   :motonoises:   :great:

Offline funsize

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Re: Turning 60 in Mexico, ME to Oaxaca Part 3 (Final)
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 01:07:31 pm »
Great adventure.  Loved it.