• Friday , 15 December 2017
Stinky cats, breakdowns, and love motels

Stinky cats, breakdowns, and love motels

The olfactory equivalent of a claymore mine went off in our camp at San Miguel de Allende. A posse of feral cats prowled the camp area causing Ducati to go ape shit with blood lust as he tried in vain to attack each and every cat but to no avail. All dogs are required to be on a leash in the campground and the cats knew this. They would saunter by a foot or two out of range and smirk at the dog.

Shannon took pity on Ducati with his howls of frustration. She let the leash slip “oops, clumsy me”. Ducati gave immediate chase and put the fear of God into those cats. But payback from the feline team would be swift and brutal.

Under cover of darkness the feline team urinated stink spay on the bikes, the tent, the kitchen table with our dishes, and inside the tent on top of our gear tarp. They took particular interest in Ducati’s food bag. Each morning we would break out the soap and water to clean away the rancid smell of cat and every night they would do it again.

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The tent continues to be abused in Mexico by land and air.

Now over a week later we are camped near Oaxaca and the smell is almost gone. It is critical to get the kitty stink gone because on the way here the bikes continued to get sprayed by the cats in the towns where we stopped for the night. It has been an arms race of pee.

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende

The voltage regulator on Shannon’s motorcycle Zippy failed at 60mph on a freeway with skinny shoulders and lots of semi-trucks causing Zippy to backfire and stall fifty miles outside of San Miguel de Allende. We limped the bike off the freeway to the nearest city of Queretaro. The bike would work as long as the speed was less than twenty miles per hour, not good. After many hours of trouble-shooting and carburetor rebuilding one of the checks I made was battery charge voltage from the regulator, it was way off and I was overjoyed to have finally found the problem. I put in the used spare regulator that kinda works and was able to get Zippy back on the road at full speed.

Currently we have the new part ordered from the Oaxaca Suzuki dealer and it should be here early this week. Keeping my fingers crossed but not holding my breath.

Mexico City, with over twenty million people was something we chose to drive around using the suburbs to the north and east of the city. We drove as long as possible the day after the repair. As dusk settled we found ourselves in a scruffy little industrial town and the only accommodation was an “auto motel” which rented rooms in four-hour increments. It was relatively cheap at only 150 pesos for the night (about US$12) but the low price meant the room had no toilet seat, nasty carpeted floors that felt oily, mirrors on two walls (bookending the bed), and an industrial jar of green hand sanitizer with a pump dispenser on top. We had no idea for the purpose of the hand sanitizer. The motel also included parking underneath the room with a curtain to hide the vehicle from prying eyes! Amazingly we made it through the night by sleeping in our sleeping bags on top of the bed and Shannon never took her shoes off.

Our love motel! Cheap but not cheerful.

Our love motel! Cheap but not cheerful.

Leaving early after an uneventful nights’ sleep with no bed bugs or germs on our squeaky sanitized hands we quickly rode to Chulula to see and tour our first pyramid in Mexico. Mexico is friendly, warm, and beautiful and we are overjoyed to be here on motorcycles traveling at our own pace.

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View from the top of the pyramid in Chulula

View from the top of the pyramid in Cholula

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Our current location is Overlander Oasis, a small and friendly haven for overlanders. It is a great opportunity to meet other like-minded folks and share information about routes and roads. Oaxaca and Santa Maria el Tule has interesting street art as well as the world’s largest tree (in circumference of the trunk).

The Tule tree.

The Tule tree.

Evening in El Tule

Evening in El Tule

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