Mexico 2016

Nayarit Mexico 

We arrived in Nayarit Mexico in March, perfect weather not to hot. We were told it can be incredibly warm there. It was our first sighting of paradise in my book. Such scenery, beautiful ocean views and so many different little animals scurried over to the tent and visited us. We stayed at a hotel/campground Hotel Paraiso Miramar absolutely fabulous. First place we camped in Mexico was so amazing. Highly recommended!!! This particular Hotel also had a 100 year old tree that over looked the ocean..

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Such a great place to birdwatch and of course iguanas too!

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The locals there were so generous and kind. Rich befriended a local and he taught Rich how to climb a coconut tree and also what to look for in ripe coconuts.

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Nayarit is famous for all the crocodiles or cocodrilos, we definitely saw a few of them..

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Beautiful beaches to ride and fall on.. Las Glorious was one of our favorites..

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Beautiful churches too!! A photographer’s dream.

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Morelia Michoacan 

I really enjoyed Morelia, this particular city was so full of history.. The town was founded in 1541 so you can imagine my excitement to see the architecture from this era. The small cobblestone roads and the magnificent churches did not disappoint, not to mention a beautiful town square… Such a lovely and friendly town, I highly recommend this place to everyone!!

The Town Square

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Angangueo Michoacan 

After leaving Morelia we headed high up in the mountains to Angangueo, the city of the Mariposas.. We stayed with a wonderful couple, who brought us hot tea and cookies every night. He was also our guide for the butterfly reserve.. IMG_0378 IMG_0453 IMG_0380DSC07012

There were so many butterflies wrapped in the nest of each other’s warm bodies. We were a little late in the year so it was a bit chilly which is not conducive to the migration period of these magnificent beings. In fact, they would climb up my chest and inch their way towards the warmth of my mouth as you can see in these pictures.. What a fantastic experience, we actually preferred seeing them in this state of stillness because it was so much easier to photograph them.

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The next day we planned on leaving, however mother nature had something else in mind for us. A winter storm blew through the next 2 days. We had NO heat in the room and had some serious cuddle time for the next few days..

Richard was a little cold! IMG_0447 IMG_0489 IMG_0486 IMG_0448

After leaving the high cold mountains of Angangueo we headed towards the State of Mexico.

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It was so big and filled with so many people. As usual, we did get a little lost due to our trusty Garmin devil machine. So we ended up in the midst of traffic, complete and utter locked up cars, buses and us for 5 hours. Needless to say when we reached free range we left Mexico City in our rear view mirror. We wanted to see much more of The City but feared taking on the traffic again.. So we decided to head to the closest city past Mexico City, San Martin de las Piramides.

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This was also close to Teoithuacan, a ruin site both Rich and I were excited to see..

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What a beautiful peaceful place this was.. Great people who were so fun and such heritage..

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Plus they both really loved our bikes.. Alejandro and his partner Nea came and talked to us and shared a few wonderful stories with us about his heritage as a Aztec dancer…

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What a fabulous ruin site so open with a great layout and the ruins to climb were sooooooo big with soooooo many stairs…  So many little secret places to explore just really a neat experience..

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Puebla, Puebla

There is not enough I can say about Puebla, the architecture, ruins, and scenery is a complete package..

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The Ruins … Piramide De Cholula

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Puebla also had a beautiful Church above a ruin site in which you traveled underground to climb up to the Church….

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We were lucky enough to be on the grounds the same day as a celebration for life was taking place. DSC_7893 DSC_7892 DSC07245

The colors from the ceremonial dress was fantastic and the ceremonial dancing was mesmerizing..

Rich and I felt so blessed to be apart of this celebration..

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Another wonderful part of Puebla we discovered by accident was the Wild Animal Park.. SOO many animals and the park was open so you could actually walk up to some of the animals.. It was really neat… We rode in a Safari bus through the closed area of the Park..

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We really enjoyed Puebla there was so much to do with incredible cultural experiences and breath taking scenery.. I highly recommend visiting the state of Puebla..

Veracruz

After leaving Puebla we headed towards Casitas Veracruz and our first stop was Coco-Loco’s the coolest hotel/campground right on the beach.. Martin was our host and made our stay excellent.. IMG_1269 IMG_1257He also makes the best pizza we have eaten… IMG_1019Soooo Good! Martin’s place was so scenic and had many awesome qualities to many to even list…IMG_1003 IMG_1004 IMG_1007 IMG_1013 IMG_1015 IMG_1066Go see Martin at Coco Loco’s and have a blast!!!

After leaving Casitas and saying “see you later’ to our wonderful new friend Martine we headed towards the state of Veracruz. Big city big lights is what I Rich and I were reminded of here. SO many people so much scenery, we were only there one day but we see so much in that one day.. IMG_1296 IMG_1303 IMG_1284 IMG_1287 IMG_1286 IMG_1289  IMG_1506 IMG_1505IMG_1297IMG_1295IMG_1294IMG_1290IMG_1281IMG_1280The ships were massive and so many of them..The town square was alive and magic. Full of music and laughter. The children ran around playing with various shiny toys, the vendors were yelling about what they had to sell, and the musicians played and played. Rich and I really don’t like big cities, however, this one was pretty fun..

After leaving Veracruz, VER.. We headed towards Catemaco. What a lovely little town, I highly recommend it. We stayed at a little hotel overlooking the grand Laguna Catemaco. Laguna Catemaco is the third largest lake in Mexico, with hundreds a magnificent road that circles the lake. IMG_1342 IMG_1311 IMG_1310 IMG_1328 IMG_1322 DSC07314 DSC07303We stayed for 4 days, and wanted to stay longer. Senior Chagalapoli and his wife Lina were so hospitable and on a daily basis taught us spanish. Lina was like Mom to me and took very good care of us. They had a delicious restaurant from which they never wanted to take any money when we are there. IMG_1320  IMG_1472 IMG_1470 IMG_1469 IMG_1308 (1) DSC07377 DSC07361 DSC07359Funny story though, the reason why we call him Senior Chagalapoli is because neither Rich or I could pronounce his first name. He makes his own wine and the wine is made from Chagalapoli a berry that you can only find in Catemaco. YUMMM !! So Rich began calling him Senior Chagalapoli and he really enjoyed it. DSCN2637They had 2 grandchildren one 5 the other 14, wonderful kids and so friendly. The little befriended Rich and the older one and I got along great. We to them were silly gringos trying to speak spanish, they laughed at us a lot it was such a wonderful atmosphere. IMG_1473 IMG_1474Another exciting place we visited while in Catemaco was an experience Rich will treasure forever, the Santa Clara cigar factory in Tuxla. Where we learned about the making of cigars from A-Z.. IMG_1419 IMG_1418 IMG_1415 IMG_1413 IMG_1410 IMG_1409Fun for all…

Last but not least we visited the Monkey Island, the ride there was breathtaking, as usual we rode 2up so I can take pictures After arriving there we saw beautiful wild macaws, adventurous monkey’s, and amazing scenery while on the lake..IMG_1396 IMG_1395 IMG_1352 IMG_1347 DSC07326 IMG_1348 IMG_1353.   DSC07378 DSC07373 DSC07369 DSC07329 IMG_1353DSC07399IMG_1407IMG_1386IMG_1385IMG_1388IMG_1378DSC_8105DSC_8086DSC_8148DSC_8021So many different things to see, old artifacts attached to ancient stories.. We had a really sweet guide between his broken english and our broken spanish we had a really great time.. IMG_1382 IMG_1375 IMG_1374 IMG_1372 IMG_1369 IMG_1368IMG_1365IMG_1366A very cool experience. We enjoyed Veracruz so much and there were so many different experiences and such amazing people..

After we left Veracruz we headed towards Chiapes, what I learn will be favorite place EVER!

Chiapes 

Leaving Veracruz was a bit emotional because we had made such amazing friends. As we rode into Chiapes we noticed the weather had changed dramatically OMG the humidity was like a block wall we rode through. Rich and I were a bit concerned with this change. The scenery changed also, we had ridden into our first jungle like environment. So many trees and lush landscape with wild beautiful birds, monkeys and huge iguanas, (Rich was in heaven) We no longer thought about the humidity. We were so amazed by what we were seeing.

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IMG_1492 IMG_1502We arrived in Palenque.. WOW what an amazing place, most of people here were not from Spanish descent they were Mayan and learning about the culture here was so educational. I booked the hotel for 4 days, there was lots to see here. After a long cool soak and a evening of Iguana watching we were both exhausted.DSC07410 DSC_8124 (1) DSC_8126 DSC_8123The next day we headed to the Palenque Ruins which was just down the street from the hotel.  IMG_1509 IMG_1514 IMG_1555 DSC07424 IMG_1538 IMG_1536 IMG_1528DSC_7996This was probably the most preserved ruin site we had seen yet. It was so hot tho so we didn’t stay for too long. The next day we woke up to a friend in the room. IMG_1584He was just welcoming us to Palenque. Our next stop was agua azul, we had no idea what we were about to see.. IMG_1639 IMG_1632 IMG_1622 IMG_1617 IMG_1614 IMG_1611 DSC_8162The water was the brightest color of aqua I had ever witnessed in my life. The water was so clear you could see for miles and the falls were mesmerizing. We stayed and played in the water for a bit it was so refreshing. The next day we we headed to a much more seclusive ruin site, with hiking and dense jungle to wonder through. This would be our first experience of howler monkeys. IMG_1590 IMG_1592 DSC07446 IMG_1597 DSC07448 DSC07454DSC07450DSC07445IMG_1596DSC07449DSC07452DSC07459DSC07458We also met a fellow traveler from Oregon, he was staying in Palenque for 4 months to study this dense jungle. DSC07462The last day we went to Misol-ha which had a 120 foot drop cascades.. DSC_8278 DSC_8289 DSC_8309 DSC_8314IMG_1893IMG_1838

After 3 glorious days in Palenque we decided it was time to head out. I highly recommend Palenque to anyone it is magnificent and full of adventure and so much to do!!

Quintana Roo 

Next we headed to Quintana Roo, our first stop was Chetumel this was an incredibly friendly place with gorgeous views. We stayed at Hotel & Suites Arges.img_2246 img_2245 It was above a big casino. Walking distance from the pier. img_2248We stayed for a few nights due to some TLC needed on my PIAA  cracked mounting bracket. Rich worked on it in the parking lot and the construction workers there become very interested in what he was doing. We had already talked to them when we were parking, the bikes bring a lot of attention usually. Very nice guys asked us the usual questions and there is always the WOW factor when I take my helmet off.. OMG it’s a muchacha..LOL Cracks me up every time. We have people always saying where are you GUYS going so fun I take off my helmet.. Anyway, the workers came over to see if they could help, Rich explained to them what he was doing in his best charades and spanglish. Once they finally understood what he was talking about they immediately said OHH you need to weld, here give it to me I will weld here for you. SO they welded a L shape bracket for Rich in the parking lot. Now we must find a hardware store for that SCREW..LOL That’s always fun. Needless to say with a lot of help Rich finished the job.img_2242

We headed into town for some dinner and sightseeing.. img_1943img_1949 img_1922 img_1948The center of town by  the malecon  had a massive clock tower where all the locals went to serve food and gather. We had tacos, of course.. Then walked around for a bit. The town of Chetumal has a very interesting history with Belize. Chetumal was minutes from Belize, right across the bay was where Belize was located. img_1956img_1957

img_1955Chetumal is the capital of Quintana Roo was officially founded by the military, in 1898, who had the mission of protecting the borders finally (after more than 50 years of disagreements) accorded by the governments of Mexico and Great Britain. img_1942img_1924

The last day there we went to all the ruin sites nearby and the lagoon of 7 colors. dsc07581 dsc07579 dsc07578 DSC07578 DSC07579 DSC07580 Just breathtaking!

Again these were all Mayan Ruins.img_1975 dsc_8359 dsc_8382 dsc_8389 img_2069img_1997dsc07587img_1984dsc07586img_1968

We always ride 2UP when sightseeing so I can take pictures. These were all kind of small but completely deserted, which was really exceptional because we venture and not get in trouble and we saw our first Howler Monkey. dsc07628 dsc07618 dsc07615 dsc07612and some breathtaking birds.  dsc_8427 img_2106 dsc07601 dsc07603

dsc07583 dsc07582 img_1961What img_2066a great day!

We stopped for some delicious dinner then headed back to the hotel to pack up the bikes. img_1933 img_1930 img_2068 Chetumal was one of my favorites, I highly recommend stopping by and checking it out.

Onto Tulum which turned out to be an amazing place, we stayed outside of Tulum due to booking issues. Tulum is very touristy and the cost was a bit high for us. We found a little hotel about 17 miles from town. img_2115The hotel was very friendly and let me use their washer to wash our things, the humidity and heat was definitely leaving a generous odor. Also, they let us use their refrigerator. What else could I ask for air conditioner free washing a fridge oh wait of course a baby to play with..img_2143This little girl became my buddy, even came in the room with us.. The family left for a few days asked if I could keep an eye on the baby, I gladly excepted. img_2071 img_2072 img_2148 img_2162

The one reason we came to Tulum was to see the famous ruins on the water, Temple of the God dsc_8505

When we arrived we were definitely not disappointed, in fact we were thrilled IGUANAS huge and so many.

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Of course we had to go for a swim, I mean look at the water just calling our name. img_2098 img_2099 img_2100This however, would be the day a wave tried to drown me, pummeled me to the bottom and ripped my adored Maui Jim’s off my face. Very very sad day, my own fault should not have had them on in the water. Still all in all a great day.

The next and final day in Tulum we went out to breakfast at the coolest little place with the BEST food. We met the owner and she was such a sweetheart. img_2075 img_2074img_2164We really enjoyed Tulum! There was so much more to there, snorkeling and much more being the Riviera Maya with plenty to do we just didn’t have the money and honestly it was really expensive.

Our last stop before heading to Guatemala was Playa Del Carmen. I booked an apartment for a week so we could refill our supplies, relax, and try to find some replacement sunglasses, prescription. The Apartment was so cool. img_2171 img_2169 img_2165A real live kitchen!

Playa Del Carmen was one of the most westernized community in Mexico we had ever seen. Not really our style but had all the amenities we needed and we got a really good deal on the apartment so it was all good. You could not beat the scenery. img_2197 img_2196 img_2195 img_2200 img_2210 img_2211 img_2198 img_2199 Expensive hotels everywhereimg_2201 img_2220 img_2211 img_2209 img_2199

After we gathered our supplies we backtracked for 2 days because we decided to go to Guatemala. img_2241img_2253img_2254We ended up at a little border town very close to Guatemalaimg_2293 img_2294 dsc07722 img_2310 img_2298 img_2300. Welcome to Guatemala.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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