Friday, August 20, 2010

Welcome to Toques On Moto

Ripping up Deals Gap on the way home through North Carolina, (
Navigating the pot holes from Manaus to Boa Vista in Brasil on my way out of the Amazon.
Hundreds of crabs on the beach where I was swimming in a sand dune park called Lencois in Northern Easten Brasil.
The Torres in Chile at 630am from the far side of the lake.
Llama's grazing the plains on our way to Uyuni, Bolivia.
Heading to Igazu Falls up Ruta 14 in Argentina from Buenas Aires.
I finally made it to the End of the World after 3.5 months on March 1st 2010.
Julie and I standing on the Salt Flats in Uyuni, Bolivia.
El Calafate, in Argentina after visiting the Moreno Glacier where I pitched my tent in a field for the night.
A Guanaco atop a hill as I was passing through the Torres del Payne National Park in Chile.
Just south of Santiago, Chile, these group of young fellows were totally stoked to get their picture taken on their day at the beach.
Just off the PanAmerica in Peru just south of Lima, Julie and I pulled off into the desert for some adventure. Over confident in the traction we almost burried ourselves in the sand a considerable distance from the road, but, luckily we walked the bike and pushed hard until we got onto firmer ground.
Young kids we met in Guatemala just north east of Lago Atitlan who lived up on a mountain side and who were also expert kite fliers.
Julie and I getting a shot together as we just crossed into Guatemala from Belize.
Mexico, visiting Palenque a beautifully restored ruin site.

Welcome to Toquesonmoto,

Here you are welcome to browse through 8.5 months of motorcycle adventure over 61,000km through the eastern states of the USA, Central America and South America through 17 countries and 38 border crossings. For the initial 3 months and 20,000km Julie was my trusty co-pilot and navigator who read and researched the path to follow. I was solely responsible for handling the machine and bike maintenance. The adventure was so interesting and stimulating that although we were together 24 hours a day for 90 days we only quarreled once because Julie was too hot in the baking 43 degree C desert. She couldn't decide whether or not she wanted a day-old plastic wrapped cheese sandwich at the gas station or get back on the bike and head to an air conditioned restaurant further down the road which meant being subjected to the baking hot and dry wind. It was a sad day on February 14th 2010 when Julie had to leave me in Santiago, Chile. I was now alone, scared, but determined to continue on, to fulfill a dream, and ride onward to the End of the World. It took me a further 5.5 months to circumnavigate South America where I worked on a sheep farm in Argentina, I learned Portugese in Brazil, learned to SCUBA dive in Colombia & contracted Dengue Fever, Got held at gun point and had a machette held over me by a masked Bandito in Guatemala, and sailed through the waters of the San Blas Islands along the Darrien Gap with a nutty professor from Italy in Panamanian waters. We did our best to detail the entire trip from our opinion and point of view so read along and enjoy the trip through our eyes and experiences.

All the best, and happy riding,

Julie and Greg.

Copy Right. 2009-2011, Toquesonmoto, All rights Reserved.

Ride Reflection

Julie, my co-pilot, looking after the BBQ, all the more reason to be home.
Pretty but poisonous, A couple of mushrooms found out in the Fundy National Forest.
In contrast to the white fruiting bodies above, here we see a bright red fun-guy, "Fungus" among the bryophytes better known as sphagnum moss.
The Cocagne river nearby to where I live, In the scene you see the old bridge pillar.
The fields out in Bouctouche New Brunswick.

It has now been slightly over a month since I have been home and I feel that I'm just now settling into the groove again.... or rut, however you chose to view the "work, eat, sleep routine".

Since arriving at home I have sort of become a bit of a recluse creature rarely wandering far from my house and not speaking to very many people. On the way home from a little motorcycle ride the other day I noticed the next door neighbor unpacking his car with a bunch of fly fishing rods and equipment. I pulled over to chat and we both realized we'd been living next to one another for 4 years and have never met. I don't have a cell phone, nor am I a member of face page, so, he can't text me, which I guess means we'll never hang out.

As I am "" at the end of the trip, I have not been partaking in a lot of adventurous activities other than cycling, and hiking in order to whip my aching body back into shape. In total the entire trip ended up being 61,230 km over 245 days, 17 countries, and 38 border crossings which gobbled up all but 2 pages in my passport and my entire life saving plus a little more. As for the bike the following numbers speak for themselves.

I used:
7 rear tires
4 front tires
3 sets of chain and sprockets (I'm still running the 3rd set)
1 fork seal and wiper
1 arc welder (SMAW) to fix my rack
1 tube of 5 minute epoxy
1 tube of silicon
1 tube of Shoe goo
1 package of JB Weld
haywire for odd fixes
10 cans of chain lube 20 bucks a can $200 bones
1 dismantle of my rear shock for maintenance
1 hose clamp to replace the old corroded one on rad hose.
2 rear tubes to repair the 2 flat tires I had in the rear
4 spark plugs
1 valve shim
12 oil changes (30 litres)
90 litres of oil total (because KLR's burn oil) roughly $800 dollars worth!
4575 litres of gasoline at roughly 80 cents a litre $3700 dollars
various nuts and bolts that I robbed from my kit from time to time 6mm metric NF
1 tent lost to bandito
1 thermarest lost to bandito
1 walmart leatherman given as a gift
Roughly 15-150 dollars a day depending on what you do ie. swing in a hammock or SCUBA dive.

In the 5 times that I took the bike out for a spin after returning home the following things have happened:

I blew a headlight bulb
Speedometer cable broke
Ram mount for GPS broke

So I guess I should add these to the list of required spares that I needed to replace. Its funny that the bike waited until I got home for the GPS mount and the Speedo cable to break as those two parts are simply unavailable in most places in the world outside of the US or Canada.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homeward Bound, New Brunswick, Canada.

Mt. Katahdin, Maine's highest Mountain and terminus of the Appalachian Trail, looming ahead of the setting sun. (Named by the Penobscot Indians meaning "The Greastest Mountain") . This scene was proof that I was just a few hundred Km from home and all the more reason to keep on keepin on!
The Boys at Dirt World helped me out by letting me change my oil at their shop. I wasn't going to bother with the oil change this close to home, but when I saw the small shop I knew they'd look after me.

Twin Oaks camp ground where I accidentily set up on the 33 dollar site rather than the 20 dollar site. Apparently I took advantage of the site with the electrical outlet...OOps! In the end the man let me off the hook...but at this point of the trip I really wasn't in the mood for argueing about cash because I had nothing left anyhow. He was cool about everything and probably suprised that I actually stopped into his ranger hut to plead my case rather than bolt outta there.

Along the Blue Ridge Skyway the mist and cold clouds blocked out the sun for most of the 150mile road and made the riding kind of sketchy. For several Km there were deer crossing at the "Deer Crossing" Signs...go figure?

In good ole Stuarts Draft I pulled into Shenandoah Acres Camp Ground and found a dry place all to myself. It was a quiet night with all the heavy rain that came down.

Rolling out of Virginia I happened to see a sign that suggested that all trucks were to take the I-88 if heading to the New England States. I quickly referenced the GPS and decided to go for it. Instantly the heavy traffic petered out and I was cruising along with the highway pretty much all to myself. Only an hour or so later the scenery of Up-State New York began to show its beauty. I was admiring the green, lush mountains in the setting sun when it occured to me that I should be finding a place to stay for the night. The gas gage was reading low...which means my trip odometer was reading 350km, so, I pulled into a gas station to fill up. Here I was told about Twin Oaks campground which turned out to be a lovely spot about 5 miles off the highway in a wooded area with camp sites around a lake teeming with fish and bull frogs. The campground was pretty much deserted and I plunked down the tent on a crowned portion of land so if the threat of rain became apparent I'd stay dry for a slight bit longer. My worries of rain were in vain however, and the sky cleared and offered a stunning view of the Milkyway and millions of bright stars. I felt the sandman come early and retreted to the tent for a solid 10 hour sleep interrupted occasionally by a belching "BUARR" from some proud bull frog out on the lake trying to impress the ladies.
Morning came and I decided that I'd be having a breakfast of soggy "Chicken Sub" that I saved from the prior afternoon. I figured that my cast iron digestive tract would make mince meat of the chicken. For a few hours at least, I thought I had beaten the odds......
It was getting on about 4:30 Pm when I crossed through New Hampshire from Vermont and roughly about 5 Pm when I got to Southern Maine and hit the home stretch on the I-95. I knew that I was about 7 hours from home and that I had already ridden 7 hours, but, the temptation of riding more that 1100km in one day and getting into Canada, was enough to make me want to meet one more challenge.....ride more than a 1000km.
The further I got north the more evident the freeze thaw action on the asphalt became. The road began to have bumps, cracks and repaired potholes.....but nothing compared to other countries. The sun was just setting as I got to a popular look out over Mt. Katahdin. I was the first one there that evening. As I was inspecting a squeek on the front wheel I noticed several cars pulling into the view point to watch the setting sun. I stopped for a moment and popped a shot ,but, I knew that sundown meant bugs on the visor and freezing cold temperatures. Already for the last hour I was shivering, but, being stubborn, not wanting to unpack and dig deep into the bags for the long ago packed away winter riding gear(.....geeze it is afterall July!) I just suffered and pushed through the discomfort.
I arrived at the Canadian border and I was greeted by a cheery young crossing guard that politely went through the Q&A and let me proceed to home. Pulling into Canadian highways was a breath of fresh air. There were no cars and only a few trucks to contend with and the only worry was running into a moose, deer, or bear on the road.
I managed to pull into Fredericton that night and beat on the door of a long time friend and motorcycle buddy who rode to Panama and back earlier this year. (
Peter got up with his gal Melissa who made me a fried egg sandwich before I essentially zonked out for the night after a solid 14 hour 1100Km ride. In the morning I was heading to my home to see Julie after a long 5 month time period of not seeing each other.

Ridge Riding Through The Carolina's, USA

The Gang that took me in for the night and treated me like familiy. I enjoyed the company and hospitality of these great folks and savored the food and local beer and local tonics which was shared with me. I'll never forget these people and hopefully we'll all hook up again in the future.
Riding at the back of the pack has the added advantage combining my two favorite things, riding motorcycles and watching motorcycles.

The mountain cabin tucked away in the Ash and Maple forest up in the Hills of North Carolina.

The famous Deals Gap, fun ride of 318 Turns, in 11 miles.

After making my way up from New Orleans and into Alabama for the night, I pitched my tent in a State Campground in one of their "remote areas". Here I ran into a young couple set up at a picnic table under the light of a coleman lantern playing a bit of scrabble. I introduced myself and proceeded toward the loaded motorcycle to unpack and set up my brand new tent that I picked up at a giant camping and outdoors store that sold everything under the sun related to the outdoors.

I set my tent up knowing that the rain clouds, (that I finally out ran were looming on the horizon evident by the flashing black clouds that were occluding the stars and from the occasional rumble of thunder from above) would be moving in soon. After fully pegging out the tent I hopped inside and listened to the deafening crickets and cicada's. They were so loud infact, that their noise eventually seemed like white noise and dissappeared completely from the mind. Finally the first heavy drops hit the tent at about 1am and boys...O...boys did it ever rain. The rain came down so hard that the pressure from the water drops forced their way through the fly and I was showered by a light mist from the exploded drops screened by the fly sheet.
In the morning I pulled out and pointed the motorcycle northward and began cutting a little more easterly following the suggestion of the fellows from Cycle Rider to ride the "Tail of the Dragon" Route 129 that goes across the border from Tennessee to North Carolina. Luckily the first gas station that I inquired about the Dragons Tail at, informed me that I took the correct turn off and that the road was 12 miles at the next intersection. Fate couldn't have served me better and so I rode along the twistiest most famous road in the east which boasted 318 curves in 11 miles. I rode to the end of the curves and stopped into Deals Gap for a break where I met Andrew who was riding his Aprilla and carried on a conversation about the good ole KLR 650.
I pulled a U-turn and planned to head further northward as it was still a few hours until dark. At an interesting looking intersection with new asphalt I spotted a group of 6 riders on sport bikes. I decided to stop and inquire about where the intersection might possibly lead me. Within roughly 3 minutes Jonathan (one of the fellows from the group) had me convinced that I needed to experience the best riding in the east and followed that up with an offer to hang out at the Mountain Cabin that the Group had rented. As crazy as it may sound I was on the edge of saying no because of the proximity to home and the light at the end of the tunnel, but, I came to my senses and agreed that I'd hangout, have some BBQ'd steaks, beer and a dry warm place to stay for the night among like minded fun people.
In the morning the decision had to be made whether or not to head out or stay yet another night with my new friends and explore more of the epic roads that NC has to offer. Alas, this time I felt the need to move on and accepted the fact that I'd probably kick myself later for passing on good times, good riding and good people....but after 8 months it was time to keep moving.
After saying goodbye to the whole gang I hit the road and headed through the Great Smokey Mountains riding through the twisty roads along side rivers and bumper to bumper traffic. Although the scenery was terrific, the traffic was too much for me and I had to hit the interstate once again. I finally pulled into some familiar territory in Virginia. I found some of the old roads that me and my buddies used to ride bicycles on once upon a time for training camps when we'd get a jump on the competition with some early spring miles while the weather was still too bad back home. I followed the roads until I encountered Shenandoah Acres. Here I ended up pitching my tent under a roof that covered a group picnic table area. I knew the black clouds would open up in due time and luckily I was under cover when the clouds finally burst. The water came down in sheets and the thunder in the valley was tremendous. I crawled into my tent just as the rain tapered off and fell asleep exhausted pondering my destination in the morning.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gawd bless Emerica

The fellas, Cycle rider San Antonio, Texas. I could'nt have found a better bunch of guys to help me out. Left to Right: Will, Murray, Skip, Brian, Bruce, Gary, & me.
The roads went from single lane where everyone shared the road to, everyone gets their own lane. The poor KLR had to work hard just to keep pace with the traffic that now goes above and beyond the top speed of the tired horse that I ride.

This is apparently the face of Lincoln, have a carefull look and you might pick him out.

I just had to stop for the Pronghorn, They are a beautiful antelope native to the grasslands.

Gary invited me to stay at his family's house for the night and he took me out for some genuine San Antonio BBQ eats. It was a great night and I was so happy to hangout, shoot some pool, as well as, shoot the breeze with my new friend from Cycle rider.

My final tire change of the trip. The fellows from Cycle Rider in San Antonio, Texas stored my highway tires for 8 months and then helped me remount them lickity split first thing in the morning at about 730am. Although all the work was done early, Will took me out for breakfast which fueled me for the big ride into New Orleans some 900km down the road through lightening storms and pouring rain until 10pm. Luckily Brasil conditioned me for such conditions and it was a piece of cake.

Somewhere under the rainbow was the destination of the day. Although the rainbows were beautiful I knew that they only indicated that I'd be putting on my rain gear momentarily.

The land of the brave, just one more border to cross making it my 36th border crossing. I was nervous, but, the border guard was really cool and professional and let me pass into Texas with no delay. Good bye Mexico, and the adventures within.

The last few hundred Km's before the USA border were through arid desert and the landscape was a diverse mix of flat lands, canyons, and sierras.

The Canyons were deep and huge and I wondered how they were formed. Not long afterward however, the rains came down heavy and explained everything.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

40 Casas, Batoplais, Mexico

I rode 2500km to get here and I think that my new friends Jesus and his son Diego made the whole trip worth it.

I wanted to get a picture of the beer can and in doing so accidentially dropped the beast again. Luckily a truck came along within minutes and the owner helped me lift the thing.

Looking into the abyss and tring not to fall in. I'm sure that it would be a few lung fulls of screaming before you'd settle down and enjoy the scenery

The road heading down into Batoplias was literally cut into the mountain side.

I found a great pull off to have a whiz at. Meanwhile I decided to take a picture of the kind of roads that I've been driving.

I was really looking forward to hiking into the 40 Casa's just out side of Madera. Arriving at the gate there was a small community of Cabins. I was flagged into someones yard just before the gates were opened into the site and invited to breakfast. Here I met Jesus and his son Diego. Jesus was a great outdoor cook and was up staying at the family cabin for a week with his son Diego.
After Breakfast I asked Jesus and Diego if they wanted to be my guide and they hoppe don their bicycles and lead me into the parking lot at the trail head. From here we descended into a deep gorge and then up the other side where we could have a first hand look at some of the restored 1300 yr old structures at the Curenta Casa's.

Jesus and Diego chillin in the shade after the 2km hike which was pretty much all down hill, across a small bridge, and then all up hill......repeat in reverse direction.

After the hike in Jesus offered me one last supper, and cooked up some Burritos that had mixed potato's, onion's, peppers, hamburger, and tomatoe's with authentic mexican spice and was deliciosos!

Lets look at that again...gettin hungry??

Just outside of Madera these log cabins were advertised as the Hostal on the lake. Stopped in and decided to stay the night and listen to the crickets.
As I was kinda in the middle of nowhere and overheard one of the two guys mentioning that my wallet was full of money after haggling over the price I slept with a knife open and ready this time.
I don't know if I'm paranoid now or just prepared?...Where is the fine line?

Kids at play in the valley leading into the town of Batoplias

The scenery and the mountain road into Batoplias was a dangerous a mix. Several times I looked down into the abyss below and noticed that my knees were litterally shaking enough to slap the tank.
The 60 km ride in was roughly 2 hours long and began with new asphalt which eventually became rough dirt road. I had to depressurize the tires to ensure adequate control along the road as there was alot of loose gravel and big rocks that were just waiting to take advantage of my spindly legs and arms in a struggle to take down the bike.

A Torro keeping a lazy eye on me as I photographed the valley, little did he know that he'd be the best shot of the bunch.

The last Bridge crossing before Batoplias. Along the road into this village there were numerous beer cans strewn all over the dirt road for about 30km. I had met the rowdy fellows at the top of the canyon and to say hello they decided that one of the ten guys piled into the back of the ford F 150 pick up would fire a couple of rounds off with his shot gun. Since the armed robbery I'm much more aware of my surroundings and upon entering the Canyon I was thinking to myself that this scene was unnervingly familiar. I read later that any traveller into this region should be weary as the military recently raized all the maurianna plants and thus crushed the economy in the valley. Subsequently kidnappings and hostage takings have been more common, however tourists are not commonly targeted.

Robert and Madalin from Sweden just starting out their ride south on a BMW GS 1200. Of all the places I'd meet someone it was here in Batoplias, in a gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon..... called the "Copper Canyon"

Old colorful buildings made up most of Batoplias' village.
As a matter of fact Batoplias was the second town after Mexico city to recieve electricity

Meandering the street at 7:00am. Due to a time change I could'nt figure out why all the places to eat were closed.

A Heron taking a rest in the mist just before night fall in a Mexican tourist town.

Ian (in Blue)and Alain with the bicycle. Ian is just starting out his ride south as well I met the both of them on ruta 200 heading north as they were heading south. Alain has been riding for a long time and once rode through NB which I was appauled to hear was the only place thus far in his travels that he was assulted by drivers who tossed garbage out windows at him. Come off it ... NB!

I've covered quite a bit of ground since my last post in Puerto Vallarta and I'm currently situated in Chihuahua.
Since Puerto Vallarta I began heading north and stopped into a once trendy tourist town that John Wayne and Jack Kerouac used to enjoy called Mazatlan. I strolled the historical old town and meandered my way through the deserted streets enjoying the colonial ambience, but alas, its rainy season and noone was out and everything was closed so I headed back to my hotel for a chilly nights sleep in the powerfully airconditioned room.

In the morning I headed inland for the first time in a long time and headed up ruta 45 to Durango which is touted to be Mexico's most scenic drive. Indeed it was scenic, with epic vista's and beautiful pine treed mountains. Today was the first time in ages that I smelled pine trees and it was a scent that let me know that I was getting closer to home and fly fishing.

The 300km ride to Durango was 6 hours in duration because of all the turns and twists that the road threw out. Intermittedly all day it was either sunny or raining so the going was slow and tough. The aird county side was experiencing rain for the first time in ages so I was happy to be there and yet again witness rain in the desert.
The road continued to be twisty after Durango heading through foothill like terrain among the prairies. At times the road dipped into deep rough and rocky valleys and then ascended into soft yellow glowing grasslands. I pulled over several times to get photographs and in doing so managed to pick up a nail in my rear tire. I noticed the bike was wobbling a bit in the corners and stopped to investigate. I have learned that if I think that there is a problem for some reason...there is a problem and I must stop and look. Alas, I spotted the leaking tire and the tiny bent nail embedded in the rubber. I pulled out a can of insta-flate and this got me to the next little town that had a hotel that had "Economical Hotel $100" painted on the side of the red brick building. I pulled in and asked the man with a moustache and cowboy hat about accomidations and indeed they had a room available. I checked in and confirmed the price. The guy blabbed on in bad english that, yes, the room was a hundred dollars. I corrected him that it was 100 pesos.....then he corrected me that it was 150 pesos...then I mentioned that there was a larger than life Picaso billboard on his building stating that it was 100 pesos. He repled that my room had two beds.....I repled that I was sleeping in one of the two beds. We quickly reached a stalemate. I was the only one who knew that I had a flat tire in the parking lot so I quickly pulled 120 pesos which he happily accepted and then offered his garage to me for bike parking so it worked out well for me in the end.
In the morning I rode over to a gas station to inflate the tire and managed to limp the bike over to a tire change place. It was 8:30am and I had to get some 60 year old man to help me. In the beginning he did'nt know what to do so I let him go at it for a little while before jumping in (30 seconds) and then just took over using all his tools and work place. I got him to help me! After watching all the other skilled tire changers in South America do their trade I feel that I'm getting good at it as well. The old fella had some tricks up his sleeve and together we had both my tires changed (the ones that I been carrying since Ushuaia and Buenas Aires) and a new tube in place to continue my journey to the Curenta Casa's in Madera.
I pulled into Hidlago del Parral and filled up with gas and decided to have some taco's at a local joint. Just then I saw a speeding 15 passenger Ford van with 7-8 masked men dressed in black with machine guns blast by with the doors open. Then another truck full of men and then another followed by a few police trucks. I finished up my meal and decided that I was heading outta town to the country after that.
I still had enough daylight to make it into Batoplias and I followed up a winding road that could have passed for some park in Alberta lined with pine tress and mountains. I began a descent down a hairy dirt road that just kept getting progressively more narrow and steep as the Km's clicked by. At some points I couldn't resist but to look down and in doing so I felt like I was gonna drive right over the edge and enjoy a solid 40 second free fall into the 1500meter deep canyon. The descent was so far, that the road was nearly 30km long using switchbacks and cutting along the mountain to descend 1.5 km vertically into the very warm river gorge.
I tried checking into the hotel that the guide book suggested called Monse's place in Batoplias but there was a Funeral going on in town and all the rooms were taken. The owner, Monse, suggested the next place over that was 150 pesos per night. I thought, "perfect this is going to be easy". I checked into the place next door and I was told that the room was 200 pesos. I informed the man that I was told by Monse that the rooms were 150 each. To that statement the owner simply repled that the price was increased as there was no more availabilty at Monses ..."take it or leave it"! These peope are so stupid because that comment confirmed that I was staying only one night and heading outta there in the morning rather than spending 2 days there to enjoy the town.....typical....." plan for today, not for the future".
It rained hard for about 2 hours that night and while eating dinner I met a couple named Robert and Madalin from Sweden who also arrived in this little village by motorcycle. They were just starting out on their trip so over a few beers we chatted late into the evening sharing stories and enjoying the company of similar minded individuals.
The road out of Batoplias in the morning was no problem at all and although I had to back track up the rough road it seemed like a new road in the opposite direction. Twice I nearly lost control but thanks to the knobby tire I put on the day before it gripped well and saved my bacon.
I was on my way to the Curenta Casas and pulled into Madera stopping briefly at a hotel that advertised tourist information. Upon entering the hotel I asked about the 40 casas and was given a pamphlet. I asked about a few minor details including hours and parking etc. The girl working the desk informed me that she'd never been and had no idea. I was astonished because I just rode 2500km to get there and only 43km down the road from her town were the ruins and she'd never been?
Anyhow I kept everying low profile and began seaching out accomidation for the night and happened upon some log cabins at a lake that were advertised as a "hostal" on a highway sign. The guy wanted 400 pesos a night and I got chatting and got him down to 350 and for the tranquillity of the place and the ambience of the log cabin it was well worth the price after sleeping in mosquito infested, cigarette burned pillow cases and plastic beds etc. It was so quiet that the silence was making me nervous. For 8 months I have had loud music, loud people, cars, motorcycles, slamming doors, A/C, Fans, birds, roosters, barking dogs, crying babies.....the list is endless which has been in my surroundings. Now there was silence and only my own thoughts to hear. As I was alone in a log cabin that was creeking in the wind and with the occasional bump in the night my mind started wandering. I began repeating the conversation between the men at the cabin office where by one of the fellows stated that my wallet was full of dinero. (Its unbelieveable how nosy...curious some of the people are that they'll peer right into your wallet so that you're looking at their scalp while you're pulling out a few bills to pay, or if I need to open up my motorcycle boxes how I get swarmed my curious onlookers positioning for a better vantage point) I actually prepared a open knife beside my bed for the night just so that I'd be ready for my midnight visitor. Call it paranoid or what ever but having a gun in your face and a machette touted at you for 5 minutes of your life and you'll look at things differently from then on.
In the morning I awoke and had the bike packed early. I rode up to the gate entrance to the 40 Casa's and noticed that it wasn't open yet....should have known better it was 5 minutes before 9:00 am silly me! It was then that I head someone whistling I looked around and finally saw a fellow in a red shirt motioning me to enter his yard. I decided to pull in and see what all the fuss was about and I was soon sitting at an outdoors table having an egg buritto and coffee as a kind gesture from Jesus and his son Diego. I told them about my plan to hike into the 40 Casas and asked if they would like to join me for the walk. After a short pause the father and son changed their clothes and hopped on their mountain bikes to lead me down a 2km dirt road to the trail head.
I parked the bike and followed the guys on a 2 km walk that was essentially 1km down and 1 km up to the Casas. The casas are dated to be roughly 1300yrs old. One piece of information I read was that the site had been in use from pre-ceramic to about 1340 when it was ramsacked and destroyed by a neighboring tribe as this spot was a great vantage point along an important trade route.
Anyhow the site was beautiful and I mentioned to Jesus that I'd love to live at that site today overlooking the green mountains and breathing the fresh pine scented air. He agreed and the three of us rested at the ruins for the better part of 45 minutes just taking it in.
After hiking back along the same route we finally made it back to Jesus' and Diegos summer cabin and had a feed of beef burrito's that Jesus prepared over the outdoor stove. The meal was delicious and a great meal to replenish some energy. Jesus offered me a place to stay for the night but I for some reason declined making up some excuse that I needed to get to Chihuahua. Looking back at the photos later that day I was saddened that I did'nt get to know these wonderful people better and that I opted to head off into a city and to a more impersonal environment.
Tomorrow I will push for the US border and hopefully enter with out too many problems.