Atlanta to Belize and Back: Mission Accomplished Part II
Atlanta to Belize and Back: Mission Accomplished Part II
The Rally was scheduled for the 2nd to the 4th of February and during that time, we took in as many sights as we possibly could. Our plan was to stay a few days past as Roy and Esther had a lot of places and people for us to see. 3 February found us in Belize City where we parked and locked our bikes in a relative of Roy's driveway where he had a fence to secure them. From there we caught a ferry to one of the islands named Caye Caulker. It cost us about $14 dollars American for a round trip ticket as the exchange rate for Belize dollars was 2 to 1. This island was very beautiful and reminded me of Key West except on this island, no cars are permitted. Take your shoes and shirt off, get a coconut, put some rum in it and take it from there. We ran into a few people we had met on the road down and ended up staying overnight. The hotels were not expensive. We were able to secure a room for about $75 that slept everybody, to include the Hammock on the balcony.
Caye Caulker Island
We returned Sunday to Belize City and Monday we drove about 75 miles west to the Myan Ruins adjacent to Guatemala. Those Howling Monkeys scared the crap out of me, I think. I heard them while in the gift shop and asked the lady who worked there what that noise was. When she told me what they were, I volunteered to remain in the gift shop cause she looked nervous. We had to ride the bikes onto a small hand cranked ferry to get across a small river to access the site. It was awesome!
Hand Cranked Ferry to the Myan Ruins
We departed Belize Tuesday afternoon and were on the way to the border at about 1400 hrs in anticipation of the time needed to process paperwork to get out of the country. Belize charges you a $15 fee to depart their wonderful country and that's in American. Everywhere you go, you pay a small fee to use the bathroom. In Mexico it's normally $5 peso's. At the border in Belize, it was $1 Belize or $.50 US. Easy enough day, we drove to Chetumal, 134 miles north and found a hotel for the night, hoping to get an early start and get some miles in the next day. Wednesday morning we got up bright and early and rolled out at 0700 hrs bidding Johnny and Gloria goodbye. They were gonna head toward Mexico City while we were gonna take Hwy 180 back up north. After driving 114 miles, we were stopped by Mexican soldiers doing a roadside check. They asked us where we were going in Spanish. We didn't understand but kept saying Veracruz. They started shaking their head and pointing in the direction we just drove. Then it dawned on us. We were half way to Cancun before we realized we were riding in the wrong direction.
We turned around, drove back through all those speed bumps, potholes and other assorted obstacles and continued on finally making it to Villherhermosa for the night. So far, so good. Thursday, we made it to Cosamaloapan Veracruz and bedded down for the night. Friday, 10 February found us up and ready to roll at about 0700 hrs. Got on the road, paid the $91 peso's toll and headed out. The Goldwing made it 3-4 miles and started acting up, then it stopped. My alternator decided it didn't want to play anymore. We looked around and nobody out there but us and the traffic coming by. 15-20 minutes later, a flatbed showed up and we loaded the bike on. The driver indicated that I had to ride on the bike while it was being towed. In front of the Harley people? Really? He took us back to the toll booth area and a young man who was a mechanic and his buddy tied a rope to the front end of the engine guards of the Goldwing and pulled me to their little town of Cosamaloapan about 2 miles away. I was near panic mode saying, " I hope it's not the alternator, please let it be the battery". Well, it was the alternator. Once this was determined, they pulled me from their shop to what we called the backside of town to a shop that rebuilds alternators. We tore the bike down enough to get to the alternator, took it out and replaced two worn brushes, put it back in and it didn't give us the 14 volts we wanted. Took it out again, noticed a broken wire, most likely from jumping speed bumps, soldiered it back together and we were in business. Get this, folks! They charged me $400 peso's. I gave them $500. By 1600 hrs that day, I was back in business. We went to our hotel, cleaned up, had dinner and a few beers and slept
Saturday, 11 February we were able to get in 424 miles and ended up in Tampico in the dark looking for a hotel. We found ourselves downtown lost and confused. There was a fair of some sorts going on near the river so we pulled over and while Roy went back to ask a question at an information booth, I plugged my Garmin in to see if it would work and low and behold, it did. I pulled up an hotel in the direction that we wanted to go and we were off. We found a Holiday Inn 2.8 miles from our current location and went for it.
Sunday, 12 February, we made it to the US border in Los Indios and wanted to get out permits cancelled but the office was closed and we were told to come back tomorrow. Oh, well. What can you do? Monday morning, we were there 45 minutes before they opened and Roy and I couldn't find our permits but they were gracious and allowed us to purchase new ones to be cancelled for $28. I made another observation. The same guys who couldn't speak English too well when we crossed over 2.5 weeks ago spoke it a lot better when we returned. I told Roy I think they were probably taking English classes every night that we were gone in order to serve us better when we got back. Very professional of them. We made it back to the ATL safely 2 days later.
After Action Review: Murphy's Law prevailed. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did! Everything we took down there, we had to fix, repair or rebuild at some time or another. We met some wonderful people the entire time and normally stopped and found food at some roadside restaurant along the way. Finding hotels is too easy. Bring plenty of peso's. If my bike ever breaks down again, if I'm not in Mexico, I'm gonna push it across the border. We're already talking about going back next year with one exception. Toll roads and major highways only. I can still hear Esob in the rear hollering, "This is not a dirt bike! It's a precision riding machine" and me replying, 'Well, it's a precision riding machine on a dirt road now".
P.S. Mexico and Belize are not for the faint of heart.
GWRRA No. 248356
GA Chapter B2
93 Harley FLHTP
02 Black GL1800
Double Darksider #666, "The Chosen One"
Rear: Bridgestone Driveguard (40 PSI), 195/55RF16, 3 ozs Dyna Beads
Front: Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 (36 PSI), 130/70/18, 2 ozs Dyna Beads
Last edited by goldwing2500; 02-23-2017 at 09:51 PM.