Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 4/5 San Antonio to Dilley, Texas

RobT:  Two "daze" in Dilley (Pop. 2800).  Hank the motorcycle shop owner was kind enough to offer Rob and me a couch and some floor space to sleep for the last last two nights.  We were waiting on motorcycle parts to be flown in. For me, it was a throttle lock, as the one I have is questionable.  Also getting a new battery for me, even though it is only 2 years old, it has given me problems on the trip so far.  Also decided on brake pads.  RobC is getting a ton of work done, some of which were little things that Hank noticed which potentially would have been a show stopper, such as, the oil radiator guard was put in backwards which, through the course of vibrations, could have damaged the radiator. He replaced questionable brake lines, new front tire, flexible turn signals, the final drive was looked at and re-torqued and 2 bearings replaced, the exhaust re-fitted, new fog light and an "air" horn installed.  Apparently, the loud horn is a must on mountain passes where the corners are blind as are the drivers.

 Hank on the right.

Hank's shop.  Used to be an old gas station.  Best BMW service in the south ...

Inside of Hank's shop.

Siesta time .....

... K, no comments on the boots!

Had some breakfast tacos this morning .... your typical eggs and bacon, but in a taco.  Very good!  Last night we drove to the next town, Pearsall, 14 miles away for supper.   I had a chicken-fried steak at a buffet style place that looked like a shrine to John Wayne. Rob C and Hank tried to explain to me what I had ordered ..... still don’t know what the hell chicken-fried steak means.  During the course of dinner, Hank showed us pictures of his travels, gave us pointers on must-see sites and advice on border crossings.  One such piece was for the Mexican border.  We are to tell the customs that we are destination is a particular city, any city and not that we are travelling through the country.  Reason?  They issue an 8-day permit for traveling through and a 180 day permit if you destination is within Mexico.  The latter option will give us more time.  We were also told to stay clear of the country of El Salvador, as the border crossing is absolutely brutal, not to mention big gang problems in the cities.  Hank also pointed out some must see Mayan ruins ...

You motorheads will appreciate Hank's bike.  Ya, the odometer reads 462,396 ...... MILES! Original motor, just regular maintenance.

 RobC checkin out what's left to do. Where is my tank??

First thing Hank said when we rolled into town was, "You guys have WAY too much crap!"  Well .... after talking at length with Hank about the pros and cons on camping and the extra weight and his experiences, we decided to expell a pile of kit, all the camping gear, guide books, water jerry can (can use 2 litre bottles along the way and they can pack anywhere).  One of the major reasons for the trip was to become part of the culture and you can't do that at camp sites.  Also, motels/hotels are dirt cheap from what Hank says and you get to leave the bike and go into town for dinner and a few beers, something you can't do camping, unless you want to leave all your stuff unattended.  Soooo, all the expensive gear is on the way home to Rob C's place and in case we change our mind, Gaby can send it all back in a box before we head to Africa.  :)

Hank has been a wealth of information and advice, not to mention extremely hospitable.  His link ...... 
Tomorrow ...... MEXICO!


  1. Man, those are some significant repairs and changes. I personally couldn't give up the option of camping. But I see where you're coming from. Too bad you couldn't hold on the minimum for camping. Hotel, motel, hostels, etc. can get old too. I think for your Africa part you might want to get'em back.

  2. You're right,Mark. It was a hard blow to let go of the private room under the sky, but the load was just too cumbersome and too inconvenient for Central and South America, where cabins and hotel rooms can be very cheap, plus it will get us more among the people and out where the eating facilities are located. Border crossings--and we will have many--are a pain with all that gear.

  3. At the same time....with Robbie, one should never underestimate the convenience of a having a place to shower. ;)

  4. Thanks for contributing your important time to post such an interesting & useful collection.It would be knowledgeable & resources are always of great need to everyone. Please keep continue sharing.

    second hand range rover in kent & used bmw kent