11 Final thoughts on Cycle Touring in Mexico + Caye Caulker

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Some final thoughts on Mexico and a respite from pedaling on Caye Caulker for a few days… y muchas fotos.

A compilation of our final thoughts on Mexico:

1. Riding – Back roads aren’t always, or even usually, easier nor safer.

The highways and main roads have a lot of nice wide shoulders, and most drivers are quite considerate, with the exception of the giant passenger buses that whip around sharp curves at lightening speed. Don’t drive after dark. We didn’t try it, but that is apparently when about 90% or so of fatal accidents occur. Apparently drunk driving laws aren’t well enforced.

2. Mexico is loud.

Mexicans love fireworks (you’d think they invented them), loud music, and honking their horns (I know…thats a great generalization). When you mix in the Brightly colored paints, flashing lights, and shy yet beautiful smiles, you get a real sense of the spirit of the Mexican people.

3. Mexicans embrace life.

You can find a fiesta just about every day of the week, and then, there are the more official holidays and festivals, which seem to occur at least bi-weekly. Life isn’t about what you “do for a living”, its about celebrating life. There’s never too little time to stop and speak with an old friend, or even a stranger for that matter.

4. Mexico has some sanitation issues.

Too few trash receptacles, very limited recycling, and lots of people eating lots if convenience foods = road side trash dumps and littered beaches. The government should invest a little more in clean up efforts and a little less in the propaganda billboards that tell everyone what the government is doing for them.

5. Never assume that your “real life” skills won’t be needed while traveling.

You never know when you may be asked to catheterize a Serbian gentleman in a small Mexican town (with an 18french for that matter). In that vain, if you ever travel and happen to have prostate issues, let the person who is providing medical consultation know of said issues.

6. The dangers of traveling in Mexico are way over-inflated.

The people are curious but kind, and they will often go out of their ways to help a stranger. The only real sense of danger we experienced was while playing “roadside food stall roulette”.

7. Vegetarian bicyclists in Mexico probably die before making it very far…

either from starvation or a heart attack (Fritos and ChokiChockies can only get you so far). At least one vegetarian I know managed to survive eating meat from a stacked column of pig parts that had no doubt sat out in the hot Mexican sun for hours, without getting sick.

8. Learning Spanish is difficult.

Kids should be taught at a young age, and for those of us who aren’t so young, brush up on your charades.

9. Mountains are easier than flats in lots of ways.

Yes, there’s the hot poker burning sensation you often feel in your thighs, but a least there’s the hope that around the next corner there will be some sort of awesome down hill.

10. Despite the earlier generalizations, Mexico isn’t one place or one people.

The landscapes we’ve experienced include some of the most beautiful mountains I’ve ever seen, rolling, green farmland, rocky dry desert, and sandy white beaches. The people are mestizo, Spanish, Mayan, Zapotec, dark, light, beautiful, rosy cheeked, really itty bitty short, and just kind of standard short. Yes, most of the people are short.

11. When requesting a “care” package from home, leave out the prescription medications disguised in over-the-counter containers.

Apparently, Mexican customs officials aren’t really keen on that. (Thanks again for trying Mom).

Travel photo - Chile Relleno Mexico

The best Relleño in Mexico.

Travel photo - Torta

Torta in Chetumal… I already miss tortas.
Travel photo - Victoria
Also miss Victoria.

Travel photo - Limes Mexico

I think we ‘slaughtered’ a couple thousand limes in Mexico.

Travel photo - Bike in Mexico

Travel photo - Mexico

Little girl in Chetumal.

Bike touring Mexico - Surly Troll

Parking the Troll for some shopping.

Bike Touring Belize

Leaving Mexico: Customs > Dock > Ferry > Caulker!

A pedaling reprieve on Caye Caulker

It’s been 8 years since we last visited, but it’s awesome to be back in my home away from home…Caye Caulker.

Its just disgusting how fortunate we are, celebrating Logan’s 40th birthday in the same island paradise where we celebrated my 30th. This vacation from our “vacation” was made even sweeter with a visit from Alex and Catherine. It’s super “cool beans” that they were able to “get out of town” on such short notice.

I’m pretty sure, that with all the revelry and rum soaked beverages, that I’ve set myself back to pre-Sierra Madre condition. I’m not really looking forward to getting back in the saddle, especially with the warnings we’ve been given regarding the incredibly steep ascents we will face in Guatemala. It’s a good thing that the boys are down with checking out a few more remote snorkeling spots and some Belizean countryside before moving onward.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Met Alex and Catherine in Caye Caulker for an awesome respite from pedaling.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Our awesome snorkel guide, Carlos. First went on a tour with him 13 years ago.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Chicken drop at Bambooze.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Some cheeseball photography.

Pedaling Nowhere

Lordy, lordy.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker Bike

Rented this for Logan’s bday, but unfortunately it promptly lost a bottom bracket and we had to change plans.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Driving a pig. I think this guy does this every day.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Travel photo - Belize Zoo

Toucan at the Belize Zoo.

Travel photo - Belize Zoo

Puma at the zoo. Amazing how close you can get.

Travel photo - Belize Zoo

Travel photo - Belize Zoo

Travel photo - Belize Zoo

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Picture of a vid of me reeling in a fairly large barracuda.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Later that evening our catch was grilled at Rosie’s.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Alex and VA at Meldy’s. Best food on the island.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Jerked chicken from Meldy’s… mmmm!

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Alex after he got ahold of a habañero from the jar to the left. Sorry buddy, this pic is too funny not to post. I owe you one.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

There’s the culprit.

Travel photo - Caye Caulker

Catherine wrestling with a local baby.

Tags

  • http://www.facebook.com/loganwatts Logan Watts

    Footnote: At the Belize Zoo (really nice zoo by the way) you can get extremely close to the animals. Just to give you a sense of perspective, all of these shots were taken with a 35mm fixed lens — basically a hair more than a foot away from the puma, for example.

  • vic

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOnGhair! I was hoping you would blog on your actual bday so I could leave a comment, but a week later will have to do! I miss you guys. I’m happy you’re happy :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/loganwatts Logan Watts

    Thanks Vic!! Miss you guys… hope all is well.

  • John

    I thought that picture of Alex was him doing his best Gene Ween impression.

    Happy 5 Day Anniversary of Your Birthday, pal! You get the pears?

  • http://www.facebook.com/loganwatts Logan Watts

    Thanks! Yeah, mike thought that as well! D’ya get tha peahs?

  • http://www.facebook.com/ursula.jahara Ursula Jahara

    Well done, Ginny and Logan!!! Awesome trip!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/michele.ledo.7 Michele Ledo

    So jealous!! This trip looks amazing!!!!!!!!!

  • Pari

    Any advice on two ladies riding through Mexico? We are doing Mexico City to Panama starting March 20th ( coming up so soon!) We’ve been getting tons of concern from loved ones, especially about two ladies doing it alone. Any advice, tips or encouragement? Thanks!

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Use common sense. Stay around people and watch the drivers (they are more dangerous than anything hyped in the media). Also, talk to a lot of people about where to go and where not to go. But generally, if you stay out of the cities your safety shouldn’t be an issue. Mexic is full of very warm and friendly people… good luck and safe travels!

  • Patrick Red

    Can I ride with a road bicycle or does it have to be a mountain bicycle

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    It depends on the types of terrain you are interested in riding. If you prefer pavement and graded gravel, a road bike would be fine…

  • Guy Lonechild

    Two of us are considering Cancun, Mexico to Panama City in March. Maybe be on a similar trail? My friend has cycled across Canada and I have only done one province. Wish us luck!

  • Robert Schneider

    If you think a SWM (56) could tag along (bike, bag, tent) for what appears to be a 1-2 month journey, please feel free to drop me a line. robert steven schneider at robertsschneider@yahoo.com or 8312957631.

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