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.