Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Peter the Girl

(Oaxaca, MX - San Cristobal, MX)

We finally named our motorcycle and this is how it happened.
We were in Oaxaca, a beautiful city of ancient greenish stone churches, museums, art galleries and markets. Women in brightly woven dresses, children selling beads and bracelets, international travelers, and many crisscrossing one-way streets. We wandered for hours, taking photo after photo of the long lovely streets and narrow sidewalks. Wide wooden doorways opened onto gorgeous interior courtyards, cafes had open window seats set just feet above the sidewalk, and we enjoyed our first light rain of the trip.
In our hostel, La Casa Azul, we took hot showers to warm up after walking around town, and went about preparing for more street-cruising to find dinner. We chatted about our Beautiful Sweet Girl and threw out a few more potential names (a near daily exercise) and Adam suggested we call her something ridiculous, like "Peter." I said, "But we've been referring to her as a girl for months now. Isn't it a girl?"
"Yeah, Peter the Girl, because she's a girl, but she's got balls you see." He replied.
Who can argue with that logic? And so it happened that our lovely little KLR 650, will now be referred to as, "Peter the Girl."

Now some mildly entertaining tidbits from the last few days...
As we rode out of Oaxaca, the sky was filled with incredible clouds rolling and tossing in impressively high velocity winds. The same winds which we had to ride through for about 6 hours that day. Adam was laughing, which I've learned is his "holy crap!" reaction while riding, as our heads in their bobble-head-like helmets were just blasted again and again. For hours... and hours.
I eventually got used to it, and Adam promised we weren't even close to going off the road (hard to believe) and enjoyed the changing light as the sun began to set and thunderous looking rain clouds loomed ahead. We were sprinkled a bit, but nothing too bad, and finally found our way into Cintalapa, Chiapas, where we found a great hotel on the very edge of the Plaza Central. We ate dinner downstairs and headed to bed soon after to watch 21 Grams with Spanish subtitles (we've been so spoiled!). Carnaval was in full swing over the weekend, but we seemed to miss all the big excitement.
We were up early (ish) and found a little market with our favourite La La strawberry yogurt and vanilla sweet-cake muffins. Then we hit the road and enjoyed another 7,000 foot mountain-crossing through Indigenous lands where the women carry huge stacks of sticks AND a baby, and hike the mountain trails practically barefoot in the cold weather.

We're now closing in on our second (and last) day here in San Cristobal de Las Casas, visiting two more friends from Orcas Island, Cy and Julie Fraser, who are staying in a beautiful little house near the Plaza and have been very hospitable letting us park the bike here and use their internet. They recommended a great tour through the local indigenous towns of Zinacantan and Chamula which we did this morning. The people here have some very peculiar traditions, and we were told some wild stories from the area. (A bunch of drunk guys killing chickens in the main church may sound crazy to some of us, but they do it on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Chamula). To elaborate, Healers use the chickens to absorb bad spirits, then kill them and bury them. The drinking is just for fun.

Tomorrow we're off to Palenque to explore the ruins and the waterfalls of Agua Azul, but tonight we're going to meet our new Bavarian friends at Bar la Revolucion for a few more cervezas. (Let me know if you're starting to see a trend here :-)

Hope everyone is well and thanks for all the comments.

1) Indigenous Zinacantan girl in traditional garb
2) Roaming the streets of San Cristobal
3) With our gracious hosts, Cy and Julie
4) On the streets of Oaxaca
5) Sunset approaching Cintalapa
6) Beautiful entrance into Tehuanatapec
7) 10,000 miles and running strong
8) Grace always makes the coolest friends
9) Look how stoked this guy is
10) The cemetery at Chimula. White crosses for children, Green for young adults, Black for the old
11) Cafe Las Cuiles in Oaxaca was great
12) The walking street of San Cristobal


  1. Ah, peter was the name of my first love. Yup kindergarten all the way through 6th grade. Memories...

  2. You're making me so homesick for my youthful trip thru the same area. You're doing a great job! Thanks for writing as often as you do. Much love...

  3. All sounds incredible, thanks for the details and great photos. I can't believe I missed your call, bummer. Thinking of you both,

  4. My friend Billye and i were eating rice and black beans in a palapa 'restuarant' at Tikal in Guatemala and in walked 2 peopole that Pt Townsend that Anne and I knew. I enjoy hearing about all the folks you are meeting from home. Its a small hemisphere! Riding with you, albeit on a padded seat....

  5. Apparently its a little known fact that the folks from Orcas Island actually live throughout Mexico during the winter months. =) Although it does make sense! It's crazy how many people that you have met up with from your hometown. I think that so far Oaxaca sounds like one of the places I would love to visit. Culturally vibrant, with cute little cafes and shops. I can tell that you are both having so much fun together. Keep up the blog. We are all enjoying it so much.