A page for the ramblings of Zack Sherman, the lead wanderer at Expedition recovery. This blog will include my travelog as well as more concise and targeted written pieces. Reviews and how to's on topics of adventure motorcycle and overland travel will be forthcoming as well.
My anxiety kicked into high gear
last night as I started to think about crossing the boarder. It meant
that I slept terribly and woke up a bit behind the power curve.
I started out with four packets of
oatmeal and a cup of tea from the continental breakfast.
Knowing I was leaving the country
finally I went ahead and purchased my travel insurance and called Bank of
America to put the travel advisory on my card. It took me almost an hour,
three phone trees, and three people to sort out mistakes on the system that was
threatening to strand me without a card for several days. It finally got worked
out but delayed me so much I had to ask for late checkout.
As I went to leave a guy from
Romania was there and wanted to talk to me about the bike, my trip, and
Mexico. He was a really nice guy and wanted to help as much as he could.
Was really cool to start to get that traveler's vibe. He had been drinking
already though so I had to ride away up the street to program Google Maps or he
would have talked to me all day.
I went to get my
errands done and started out by going to the UPS store to try and ship off some
extra t-shirts, Cat's Mota tank top, and the rest of the extreme seal tape and
to try and get copies of my documents. UPS wanted more than 40 dollars to
ship it so I held off. I did get copies of my paperwork but couldn't find
the copies of my title I had made.
I ended up running
to a USPS outlet in a small shop that primarily spoke Spanish. I was able
to get the box shipped off and also made my first currency exchange off $100 US
into $1790 pesos.
I rode into town
to try and find some fuel, Mexican motorcycle insurance, and a way to get a
copy of my title.
A gas stop netted
me a terrible lunch at the attached Burger King while I worked on the phone to
get my surrogate sister, Michelle, to run over to the house and grab the title
After a few
attempts we were able to work out how to get a scanned copy sent to my e-mail.
While I waited I went up the road to purchase my Mexican insurance.
A stop by Office
Max netted me several high quality color copies to keep me covered for at least
the next couple border crossings.
It was getting
into early evening, I’m told the worst time to cross the border, but I knew I
needed to keep moving forward. I opted to cross anyway and find a hotel
on the Nuevo Laredo side of the bridge.
Taking bridge one,
I rode over the Rio Grande and into Mexico.
Bridge One spanning the Rio Grand just over my left shoulder
Unlike the US
Canada border, I knew I had to do paperwork and import on myself and the
motorcycle into the country. I began riding in the direction I thought was
correct and found that there was no real indication of what I needed to do or
where I needed to go. It was very quickly that I realized I had gone too far
and turned around.
Only a little bit
of charades with a member of the Mexican military got me into the right parking
lot where I parked next to a '79 KZ650B3. The rider came out and we chatted a
bit as I got my paperwork in order and he prepared and repacked his bike.
We chatted a bit
and based on my bike and gear he assumed I was a seasoned traveler. I
told him otherwise and got the info as to how to get me and the bike into the
country confirmed. He said it didn't take him long at all and was pretty
I went in and made
my first stop at immigration. It turns out I was supposed to have turned
in one of my forms when I left Mexico with Andrew and Corina in San Diego.
The border official was not pleased with me but still allowed me into the
country. A few more quick stops and some flexing of the credit card for
import taxes got me through and legal to ride in Mexico.
I shot some video
in the parking lot and then used my phone to book a cheap hotel for the night.
My newly mounted GPS directed me to the address, but took me to the wrong
place. I was glad to still have US cell service so that Google Maps could
direct me to the hotel safely.
I got checked in
to the City Express and was amazed at the place. It might have been a
cheap hotel by cost but certainly not by accommodations. It was a nice
place with small but clean rooms, friendly staff, and secure parking.
Dinner was going
to the taco shop across the street from the hotel and I got to play with my
mediocre Spanish to order a few tacos and a coke.
I used the rest of
the evening time to get more internet work done and organize files again so
that my devices would be clean moving forward into Mexico. With plans
made and a chat with Cat I went ahead and called it a night for my first sleep
12/16/16 San Ignacio, Belize. 106.6 kilometers ridden. Woke up and got in a quick bit of relaxing before
it was time to start getting ready to ride. Ed, Aaron, and I would be heading
out to Big Rock Falls and 1000 Foot Falls on the bikes. I got most of the prep
done and found out that Aaron had already eaten breakfast so I walked around to
the bar and restaurant combo we had been drinking at the night before. I got an
omelet with bacon, cheese and veggies and a side of "toast bread".
The toast bread was more like fry bread and was very good. I went back to the hotel and Ed had arrived. We
finished prepping the bikes but Ed and Aaron then want to go for a few things
so we ended up at a smoothie shop where the guys grabbed wraps and I had a
smoothie. Service took the usual forever I have come to expect in Belize but
the smoothie was good. We went and geared up before setting off from the hotel
Tropicool. The ride out was spectacular and full of both
twisty canyon type passes o…
12/17/16 San Ignacio, Bel. 108.5 kilometers ridden. Morning started off with a trip up the street for the cheap breakfast Christine had told me
about, it was a breakfast burrito and a large lime juice for the equivalent of about $2.50 US. The burrito was basic but tasty and the lime juice was a refreshing start to the day. After the beating the rough road gave the little C90, I went on a walkabout with Ed and Aaron to go get
the exhaust on Ninty fixed. It took most of the morning but we ended up getting some clues and finding a
Canadian welder who had emigrated to Belize. He did a great job TIG welding the exhaust and it came out looking better than new.
We managed to get a little twisted up on the route before walking across the low wooden bridge that had carried us into town. Along the way we wandered through a market with
lots of hand crafts and cheap Chinese products. I could tell I was in a more tourist oriented town than most I had stayed in so far. I wasn't interested in an…
12/18/16 San Ignacio, Belize to
Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. 19.6 kilometers ridden. I started out slowly
getting ready before taking a final shower in the small bathroom by my room.
The ability to get the water temperature to something other than arctic blast
or surface of the sun seems to be getting worse each day. We went out for
breakfast at a place called pops. It was the most western place I had been too
in weeks. It had vinyl diner booths in a deep red color that would be at home in any greasy spoon in the US. I ate a bacon and cheese omelet with pancakes but paid more for it
than I would have at a less Americanized place. We went back to our
hotel and Aaron, Ed, and I sat around exchanging digital files of our photos
and videos so we each had copies of everyone’s media from Belize. It took a
long time so as each of us finished we set off separately to be ready to leave.
I was the last one out at past 12:30 but when I got up to Ed's hostel he and
Aaron were both still there. W…