Friday, February 19, 2010

Heading Back - The Ride Through Guatemala and Mexico

Forces have conspired together to force me to act like a responsible adult. In particular there's one government entity that hasn't been pleased with my travels, plus, I've simply underestimated what the cost of a trip to South America would be. So, with a heavy heart, I turned the Spec Ops bike northward to Texas.

The road through and out of the jungle in northern Guatemala. I'm heading east toward the town of Naranja, where there's a brand new border crossing into Mexico. It's shown only on the 2010 Roji Guia maps.

This is kind of common in this region - that the jungle has been cleared in order to raise cattle. Of course this is sparking a lot of controversy and there are a lot of people who say raising cattle here will fail, too.



At the Mexico side of the Guatemalan and Mexican border. Brand new. They got angry at me for taking pictures

Past the border heading to Villahermosa:

I took the cuota caraterra all the way to Texas and managed to get from Guatemala to the Texas border in only two days. That probably cost me over $200US to do though.

Rising out of the foggy, wet jungle into the central highlands of central Mexico, heading for Mexico City:

This climb when on for a long time. It is an excellent, high-speed, twisty road.

This is the brand new Mexico City bypass. Once again, a great road found only on the 2010 version of the Roji Guia map (the 2009 version does show this road being constructed though). For the first time though, I broke out my electric jacket. It was cold the whole way to Texas. Anyway, you can pick it up at KM 195 just before Texmelucan and follow the signs to Queretaro.

I hit Quero two hours past dark, searching for a hotel. The hotels on the cuota are expensive! I kept searching, not knowing where I'm at. I'm tired and cold. Finally I find a motel that turns out to be an auto-hotel. $260p/night and they are great rooms. I swear, that's the only way to travel. Super clean, room service, a garage, big tv, etc. Did I mention relatively cheap?

Just before you get to Monterey, I took Hwy 31 to Linares. I did it to avoid paying any more toll, and that turned out to be fortunate. The scenary was unexpected and astonishing. Highly recommended. I didn't get all the pictures of this area I should have.

I made it to the Los Indios border in time, but I couldn't find my visitors pass. It turned out to be in my traveling pouch all along, but I just didn't see it. I checked myself out of Mexico no problem, but by the time I got done with this, the border had closed and I couldn't check my bike out. So... I took a room at the hotel at the border for the night. Quite possibly the most miserable room I've ever stayed in.

Well... that's all folks. I'm in Houston and this trip is over. From here I'll look for work, and if I have my way, I'll pick up where I left off next year.

BTW, thank you VERY much to all the folks that clicked the ads on my blog. It was worth over $200 and very much appreciated.

Last of the Photos from Tikal

Most of the pyramids have you climb these kind of stairs instead of the treacherous stone steps. The stone steps are narrow and steep. If you fall, you fall all the way to the bottom. This is better.

Yes, there are still more pyramids...

The view from the top of the pyramid:

This is about a 90 degree panorama:

There's no mistaking that you're in the jungle...

It was a long climb...

Another tiny pyramid

And finally, some creepy bugs doing the nasty. For scale, they are about 4 inches long.

Thus endeth the photo-journey through Tikal. I hope you enjoyed them.

Pyramids on Tikal

And then... something gigantus in the distance

No, it's only a little shrimpy pyramid, only twice as tall as I am

Since you're deep in the jungle, you don't really appreciate just how large this place is. I started to realize this when we came upon the courtyard. Here, we're in the center of things.

Imagine being King and looking down on all the peons below, wondering who's head you're going to lop off.

The structures that we've seen so far are actually built upon older ruins. At one time archeologist's were dicking around and the floor caved in under them. Instead of getting in trouble for grab-assing, they were honored for discovering new stuff. Here's a big face in the wall. Probably some important (and ugly) guy. I'll bet it scared the crap out of the grab-assers.

Another pre-ruin ruin.

More Photos Inside Tikal

Some unrestored blocks. To the left is a still as-of-yet unrecovered pyramid.

The gang in front of a hut covering some more blocks.

Another secret to be discovered one of these days. There are still many still-covered mounds, but it will take many more years to see what's all there.

And then...

I'm glad I brought my tripod

An apartment complex. The walls are thick enough to where I think the neighbors could play their stereo pretty loud and not bother anyone.