Riding in Mexico

Thoughts about our ride through Mexico.As we have traveled the length of Mexico we have seen difference with the terrain, climate and the people. In the North or the “Frontier States” the concern for violence is more evident and the people a bit more reserved with us. We really noticed when we hit the State of Oaxaca that the towns were neater, the people friendlier and the Indigenous people more plentiful and interesting. Just our observations, but we had this discussion with two Australian brothers we met in San Cristobal. They had a very similar experience and view.

Infrastructure: It feels like we are back 40-60 years ago in the USA where out of the big cities the roads are dirt in the towns and villages. Not much plumbing.

Responsibility: again it feels like 30-40 years ago in the US, where people used to be responsible for themselves. If you ride in the back of an open Pick up and fall out, it’s Your issue, no one to sue. Same with riding with two-three- four people on a moped. We saw families together Dad, Mom small Child all riding no gear or helmets. We kept saying, not like this in the US. People are responsible for themselves. No money for safety gear, so you make due with what you have.

People: The people of Mexico have been wonderful. We had been warned so much about the dangers of the Cartels and Narco’s, so you are focused on this. But as you spend time, and you get to interact with the locals you begin to see it differently. The Mexicans have been friendly and helpful the whole trip. We kept to the off the road by 3PM, so we could relax and explore a bit.

Travelers: We have had time that we have not seen many other travelers, only met up with Lars and Harrietta for lunch (ADV couple riding to TDF). We have also met some other travelers from around the world in the Hostel we stayed in. It has been fun to share stories and experiences. Douglas from the UK was great to meet and talk with as we talked about the world, politics, religion etc.

Drivers: The truckers turn on their blinkers to let you know it is clear to pass. (of course we are cautious lest someone is coming the other way but so far they have been correct). The other drivers turn on flashers if they are driving slow, and they also move over to the right edge to let you pass. Some flash their headlight, some in greetings, others to tell us of an issue ahead on the road. Very interesting.

Roads. Lots of variables with Road conditions. You can have great road, then up comes a Tope (speedbump), potholes, really uneven pavement, gravel, Donkeys etc. Best to keep the speed down, and stay alert. We rode many great twisty roads through the mountains, awesome vista, and scenery. But not too many pull outs to get photos. We had many Military and Police checkpoints. Never had any issues, mostly just asked where we were going, couple times they asked for paperwork but mainly waved us through. At first they seem intimidating, but we got used to them, and they are just doing their jobs. We felt Safe the whole trip. Again we were cautious about not putting ourselves in anyplace that would be a problem.

Food: Mexican food is nothing like the US Mexican food. That is obvious. In the north there was not too much variety. Although, we got hooked on stopping at roadside Pollo Asada stands. Yummy! As we got further south we had excellent Seafood, and other varieties. Other than me being really sick once, we have done fine with all the food even from roadside food stands. Yummy.

As a quick summary: We had a good trip of our 7 weeks in Mexico. More Spanish on our part would have helped when asking questions, directions or just trying to interact. The heat and humidity in the pacific coast was a bit hard on us PNW riders, we enjoyed the mountains and the Yucatan for climate ☺

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