About Us

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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

April 23, 2012

On the Road Again

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It was funny when the lady asked if she could hold Deya’s hand. Deya just looked around and said with a little confusion, “Okay?” We had been spotted on TV; the news cast had covered the three states in the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba. Of course, when we got stopped by the military and a large group formed because a few of them recognised us from the news report we realized that it might not be cool to be known. Regardless we made it to Merida with only a few more hand holding attempts.

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A friend in Cuba said that the country starts to play with your mind a bit. We noticed the feeling that we were being followed or somehow monitored. And even after arriving in Mexico we still have this odd feeling. For example, we have tried to email several of our friends in Cuba knowing that they would reply and in the first few days here they did. Now, however we are blocked and get no responses from anyone in Cuba. Odd? Just a trick of my mind or something else? That’s the mind game that our friend was talking about. Hopefully if anyone in Cuba reads this they can pass along that we’ve been trying to stay in touch without any luck. Funny…sort of…..Maybe it’s because we referred to our voyage as being rescued from Cuba. The fact is we didn’t have a way to leave that we could figure out simply and yet look at me trying to explain as though the secret squirrels are outside my door…lol..

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Merida is a beautiful city, a large city and the Mayan force here is obvious and interesting. The area is fantastic despite the intense heat and we’ve already visited pyramids, ruins, cenotes and beaches. Food is great in this neck of the woods and the people are genuinely helpful and concerned. Crime rate is very low here and people know it and like it that way. Drivers could be better but they are not bad by any stretch, relatively speaking. There are a lot of parks and activities happening year round here, the municipal and state government seem to take care of their community and the people demonstrate pride. Merida, the Mayans, were the last group to be conquered by the Spanish and leaders throughout the history in this area made efforts to support and promote these important people.

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Once we arrived at our friends’ place and settled in the first order of business was to fix the front fork slider that ‘El Chino’ had nicely welded up for me. The weld had held, thank goodness, but I had found a wobble. We headed to the local BMW dealer and asked if we could borrow their shop to do our repairs. The young mechanic there had little experience and only knew how to replace a full shock not how to take one apart. This would be a first for both of us. Eventually we got it done and what a relief. As I understand that these inverted forks are complicated I had built a healthy monster in my head about what I would find. Fortunately, I found it as simple as or physically easier than changing a tyre. I have to add though, having screwed up tyre changes you still need to pay careful attention to what you are doing.

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We have enjoyed some time here and toured the city thoroughly, checking out events, researching factories and finally buying a home near the city centre. The property isn’t liveable but Deya and I like projects so it fits our needs and we should have it fixed up by next February.

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Right now we are planning our route back to Canada, time is plentiful yet there is not enough of it to do most of the things we wish we could. The remainder of this month will be touring the peninsula and hopefully researching some more factories as well as hanging out with cool people in this beautiful place.

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April 04, 2012

Arriving in Mexico

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I first want to thank the team at Trans-Caribe for their stoic effort and support of our return to the mother land. Not only did they help us but they fed us too! Trans-Caribe is the company that runs the ferry service between Cozumel and the mainland. Special thanks to Engineer Chami for being the champion, Captain Fidel for clearing up the details, Captain Teran with his crew and Engineer Roberto for sticking with us, recognizing our difficult situation and treating us like paisanos.

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Like us, the crew had arrived in Cuba for maintenance and was intending to stay one month, five months later we had rallied together and departed by the end of March. It was a 40 hour cruise at about 8 knots, the weather was fantastic. Leaving the port in Havana, with its black-diesel looking waters and arriving in Cozumel with its aqua blue sea was a remarkable sight. What a relief, I just about jumped straight in.

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We cleared Immigration then met the Customs agent; he told us we had 5 days to get to Cancun to report to Banjercito, which handles the permits for entry. It all seemed simple enough. We figured since it is only one day travel to get from Cozumel to Cancun we would spend the day on the island and I’m glad we did. After departing the vessel and heading into town we headed to the local newspaper. Deya was keen to say something to publically thank the company for helping us leave Cuba. To her chagrin the newspaper/radio/TV reporters showed up with a barrage of unrehearsed questions.

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Mentally Deya was not ready for that and it was a flurry of activity. I thought it was fun because I don’t speak Spanish fluently, but it is easy to see how media can get you off guard and the statements you make sometimes come out far different than you intend. For example, “We rent our property” turns into “We rent one of our homes”, this examples works with people’s internal belief that we must have vast resources and lofty homes just lying around versus one tiny rental income amounting to a very tight budget indeed. Of course seeing that in print might make you think every dirt bag in the country is going to try to capitalize on our traveling around by ourselves to extort or otherwise profit from our misfortune. It’s possible I guess, but not probable.

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Our stay in Cozumel found us at the end of the island road in Beach House Hostel. This is where we met some fantastic characters with which we instantly became acquainted. While waiting to park our bikes in the garage of this lovely hostel Gee and Richard came out to great us. These local fellows had us over for beer faster than I can crash and we instantly started to get a feel for life in Cozumel. We would end up spending the day with Gee and his family, touring the island and chatting, meeting Rudy (a former national moto racing champion) and his wife, it was a good time and really set the tone for coming back to Mexico. P3280218

The following day we had to head out to get to Banjercito near Cancun to get our permits. This would end up taking two days, some frustration and a bit of muscle due to people not using their heads, but at the end of it all we would benefit. While the initial border style dilemma ensued because of our ‘unique’ way of arriving, a gentleman named Fernando approached Deya after she mentioned that we couldn’t mindlessly ride back and forth to Cozumel (about 100 kilometres) because my fork is broken. Fernando came out and offered to help us out.

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We ended up making more good friends; of course Fernando has several bikes and clearly loves to ride. He knew where to go and we had El Chino (Moto shop owner) put an appropriate weld over the crack in my fork intending to make sure I make it to Merida some 350 kilometres West. We decided to skip the directness of the toll road because it’s really expensive and take the free road; Fernando would ride out to show us how to get there. Of course it always seems tricky to find the free road as everything routes to the really expensive toll roads.

The ride was long and hot, but the route was very pleasant. I kept checking that the weld was not fracturing and everything seemed okay, except for a slight wobble. I stopped to put the bike on the centre stand and check the front tyre for wobble. It wobbled, I believe it is a bearing that is shot but I won’t be sure until I take it off. It could have something to due with the broken piece but I doubt it. Either way we’ll be hanging out at our friends in Merida until it is fixed before heading back towards Canada.
So far, the Yucatan peninsula is pretty fantastic and I’m really glad to be here.