Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Transitos and Topes

I had my first (and only, I hope) run in with a Transito (Local Traffic Police).  As I pulled into the town of Panuco (just SW of Tampico)  I was motioned to pull over by a young man in uniform.  He asked for my license and I reluctantly gave it to him.  He kept pointing at my TVIP and I just kept saying "Lo siento, hablo un poco de espanol.  Soy turisto".  He gave up on that and stared at my licence.  I think he told me that my license was not valid for motorcycles.  I pointed to the M on the license and said "Moto".  He then started pointing to my speedometer and saying something.  I began giving him an English lesson.  "Si!  Speed-o-meter, tach-o-meter, o-do-meter".  He then became interested in my SPOT.  I told him it was for "satellito".  He then seem to get bored with me and let me go on my way.

As I was riding something did not feel right.  I looked back and my top case was dangling from the back of the bike!  A tope had busted my mounting bracket.  A tope (toh-pay) is best described as a speed bump on steroids.  Some of them are up to six inches high.

Luckily I had some of straps that BMW uses to strap down motorcycles for transatlantic shipping and I was able to use those to strap the top case back onto the bike.

 knew there was a BMW dealer in Veracruz so I made for there.  It was Sunday and I was not going to be able to Veracruz that night so I found a cheap hotel in Palma Sola.  Palma Sola is a wide spot in the road that is mainly small restaurants and vulkas (tire repair).  The hotel cost me $15.

The toilet did not have a seat.

But it did have a pool and an outdoor gym!

The next morning (thank goodness dealers are open here on Mondays)  I made it to the BMW dealer in Boca del Rio.

They did not have the part but the person I spoke with said he could have it welded and I could pick it up at 10:00AM the next day.  Sounded good to me!  I had to find a hotel for the night and found one about a mile from the dealer.  What a hotel.  I think it was formerly one of the infamous "Love Motels"  These are private motels with rooms for you and your mistress/girlfriend.  The parking spots have curtains you can draw so no one can see your car and figure out you are there.  These rooms usually rent in 3 to 5 hour increments.  When I saw my room I was amazed!  It had a mirror on the ceiling, bidet, and jacuzzi for two.

The next morning I woke up early and rode to the beach to check my maps and wait for the dealership to open.

I went to the dealer and the part had been welded and I was on my way buy 11:00AM.  The day's ride was more of the same.  Topes, check points, heat.  It was kind of cool riding through the pineapple fields.

I made it to Coatzacoalcos and found a hotel near the beach. 

I was feeling down (heat) and decided to cancel the trip to Central America.  After checking my maps I saw that I was so close to Belize and Guatemala that I would hate myself if I did not visit them.  I think I am just going to recoup today here and throw my plans out the window.  Flexibility is going to be the name of the game from here.

Hasta luego!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

it seems like all your Spanish lessons have already paid for themselves! great pictures too! watch out for those pesky topes and stay safe!