Breakfast was early as we had a long trip in the van to get back to El Paso TX. Don & Chris had volunteered to ride back as space on the trailer was somewhat limited.
We said our goodbys to Alphonso who was headed back to the coast and dropped off Ivan in town at the bus stop so he could get back to Creel.
I cannot possibly thank Ivan enough for being our curtural and historical guide on this trip. Skip, the founder of MotoDiscovery
was hearing about Ivan for a number of years and it was a major feather in Skip's hat to bring Ivan onto MotoDiscovery's team for this trip. Ivan's enthusiasm was infectious and kept everyone's spirits high throughout the trip. His open & honest discussions on the good & bad of Mexico were very refreshing from the bland discussions you hear on other tours. He worked very hard to make sure everyone had the opportunity to take home some of the flavour and true culture of the area and this would not have been near the same tour without him. I am in his debt for a number of great memories I have from this trip.
With Shelly & Scott pulling the bike trailer, Don & Chris following and Barak driving the van with the rest of us in the sweep position we headed north.
We bypassed the "shotcut" and drove through the outshirts of Chihauhau which has modernized with the influx of the auto industry moving into the area...
The bikes needed gas so we stopped about an hour south of the border and grabbed some quesadillas. I had a chicken curry quesadilla that while messy was one of my favorite lunches of the trip...
We finally arrived at the border and had to get our bike import permits cancelled which required the offical taking a photograph of the VIN number from each bike and comparing it to the permit to ensure everything matched before pounding a rubber stamp all over the paperwork...
Once the bikes were taken care of we had to go insde to have our tourist visas cancelled. It all went surprising smoothly until Paolo couldn't find the reciept for his tourist visa and the fact that he was travelling on an Italian passport even though he has lived in Canada for 30 years just to add more confusion to the mess. I had visions of camping at the border for a few days to straighten this mess out but in the end it was only a half hour and the US Customs was a cake walk by comparison though the border patrol was amazed that we were still alive after 11 days in Mexico. I think they watch too much CNN.
We were back in El Paso and Skip flew in to meet us back at the restaurant for the wrap-up dinner. Everyone stayed the night in El Paso and said our final good-bys as everyone started back to their homes.
I like to thank Shelly for driving the support vehicle and riding sweep keeping watch over everyone and making sure everyone was properly fed and hydrated while we were on the road. Thanks to Barak for riding support and being our organizer, providing the riders' briefing every morning and ensuring everyone had some idea of where we were going. Thanks to "Chicon" Alphonso who led the group on the road and supplying the musical interlude at the Oso Lodge. Thanks to Donna the wonderpup for not peeing on my computer while riding in the support truck and thanks to Skip and the rest of the staff at MotoDiscovery
for allowing me to part of this tour.
Finally thanks to my other riding partners Scott, Chris, Russ, Joe & Don from the FJR Forum and Phil, Ken, Paolo & my roomie Pat for putting up with me and sharing in this great adventure.
That's it. I'm done though I will monitor this thread to defend / deny any of my actions, statements, half-truths, outright lies etc.
/ KTM DROOLS