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…
Hopkins, Belize – The Funky Dodo
Zero kilometers ridden.
While Aaron and I had both planned
to move on today, a rest in this little hippie oasis that was The Funky Dodo
seemed to be the answer we both needed.
Ed must have thought so too as he moved from his hostel up the road to
join us at the Dodo.
It had been nice to sleep in a bit
and I was looking forward to a shower. As I joined the land of the living I
asked Christine how the showers were.
“Great, nice and warm” was her
She had apparently gotten the first
batch of water from the sun warmed tank.
I got the freezing cold water being dropped from the shower head as it
was pumped from the well. It wasn’t my first cold shower of the trip by any
means but it left me lots to rib Christine about as we walked up the street to
get a breakfast of liquid yogurt from the shop.
Once Ed got all checked in it was
time for a walk to the beach at the center of town. We took some photos before wander…
Chetumal, Mexico to Hopkins, Belize
274.9 Kilometers ridden.
I slept in too late again this morning and then fucked about
getting stuff done in the morning. I
managed to take my meds without eating anything and it seemed to turn my
stomach now that I have begun taking the mild anti-biotics I was prescribed as
anti-malarial tablets. I didn’t really
get checked out of the hotel until about noon and then once I had the bike
loaded I only went a few hundred meters up the road to stop at an Oxxo for a
yogurt, a zero calorie Mexican energy drink, and a ham and cheese croissant out
of the deli case. Not gourmet but enough
to calm my stomach within about 20 minutes of finishing and getting on the
The ride to the boarder with Belize was simple enough,
though I found I hadn’t managed to add the Central American maps to my GPS yet
so I was left with my phone as my only navigational aid.
The boarder itself wasn’t too bad as I tried to pull into
the first building and was told I…