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Old 12-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #196
Rey & Vann
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Joined: Sep 2009
Location: So Cal Inland Empire for now
Oddometer: 184
Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
Phew , after much wrangling with the computer and after a number of failed attempts I made it onto the ADVrider site.Then some more struggles and a few days later I managed to navigate this far. Now hoping it all doesn't evaporate before my eyes again!To the point.
I have been getting some feedback lately that my name and mention of my guide book has been coming from the ADVrider site.
In short it is much as Django Loco describes so I will just add some detail. I have been travelling around Mexico for 30 years and Central America after the civil wars ended in Nicaragua and El Salvador .All the while I have spent my nights in small , economical,tidy ,family owned inns in all manner of places in all corners of the countries. A number of years ago I decided to compile a list of many such inns in a planned guide and since then I have revisited those hotels I selected in an effort to bring pricing and details up to the latest date.I have also been checking hotels in intersting places just to collect such data. The list includes hotels in Mexico and all over Central America. Places which are regular small towns as well as the famous tourist destinations and famous archaeological sites. Hotels I choose are economically priced nice sevicable places with secure parking for a motorcycle or car, a fan, toilet and shower.In many cases they have air conditioning and TV, or it is available at a small added fee They are nothing to be ashamed of and in many cases they are quite fancy ,the equal of any chain motel in the US even at their low price.Ratings you might say range from 3 star to stardust to starlight. In some cases the motel was selected because I needed a place and it was the only place in town, or it was an irresistable location and price .Or it might in the odd case be an emergency choice to get off the road in bad weather or before nightfall ,which then proved to be a surprisingly good choice worthy of recommending.
I never travel with any detailed plan of route or overnights.Never make reservations. I Look for the least costly place if there are a number to pick from and then decide and I have never been disappointed .I also carry a tent and light sleeping bag for those cases where I might not find a hotel and I have only used it once as such an emergency measure in 30 years, although I do camp occasionally. If one is prepared to camp outdoors then what should prevent one from camping indoors? We are not all milionaires travelling with a chase vehicle to carry our fancy duds . If one must have fancy hotels with all manner of luxury this book is not of interest, you can find plenty of $70 to $700 per night hotels with no effort- but you can forget about the back corners of these countries.
My book is a simple affair, 14cm X 22cm, black and white on bond paper, a very easy fit in any tankbag .

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Since writing the above I have been costantly collecting more hotel locations on repeat trips and I have reworked al the data for a new 2012 version of my guide which is now ready and available.
The width X length size of book remains the same but it has grown in volume so much that I decided to split it into two parts , Part I dealing exclusively with Mexico and Part II contains all the essential introductory information and the hotels across all of Central America.Weight has gone up accordingly .
The number of pages has more than doubled to 292 and the number of hotels also has tripled.There are now listings with directions to 1028 hotels in 466 towns across Mexico and 431 hotels in 218 towns in the seven countries of Central America.. These hotels start in the border towns along the USA side and extend to Yaviza ,Panama at the end of the pavement and start of the Darien Gap.

The two will be sold together as a unit for $XX.XX to any address in Canada and the continental USA . This INCLUDES cost of postage and handling. .
Postage to other continents is considerably higher which makes sales there unattractive. However if you are planning a trip through Mexico and CA starting from the USA end it may be worthwhile to consider finding a contact address in the USA where you could have it sent so that you can pick it up after arriving in the USA. For instance a relative or a new friends's home, , a hotel or motorcycle shop where you have reservations for a room or bike service.

If you would like a copy you may send a US dollar or CDN dollar cashable cheque, postal money order is okay too but costs more than a bank cheque.
Moneygram ( available at many independent retail points, at WalMart,at Canada Post outlets ) or WESTERN UNION transfers are a third option but be warned , it was pointed out to me that these forms of payment are very secure but they are also very expensive relative to the small amount of money involved. A Moneygram from the USA will cost you $15 on top of what I charge to recover my costs !

Make your cheque payable to
Sjoerd Bakker
733161 Pick Line
RR 3 Norwich
Ontario N0J 1P0

The book is available only in this paper format. I have no computer nor computer skills beyond this style of posting, e-mail and web surfing.
No electronic on-line payment is possible (This may change in light of the recent knowledge gained about the cost of things like Moneygram ) .
Please do NOT send cash in the mail, risk of pilferage exists.
Send a cheque or MONEYGRAM or an international money order or WESTERN UNION (similar process to MONEYGRAM )transfer.
For MONEYGRAM you go to the place where they are sold and give them the name and address of the intended recipient(me ) and pay the $XX.XX plus a BIG service fee. They then isssue a file number for that payment. When you write your order letter for the books to me you MUST include that MONEYGRAM File number and your return address in clear unmistakable printing. The book will be mailed out the day after I receive your request and at te post office I just need to show the File number you provided and my identification to collect the payment.
I prefer such a paper book form over electronics because it is so transportable, no batteries required and it has immediate and random access when one is on the road.
In the book all towns with hotels are listed in alphabetic order per country .In the front of the Part I Mexico book I include a schematic index of towns listed in sequence as they appear along the highways and divided into various highway routes and regions. This makes it, I think, a fairly simple task to decide which routes one is interested in for a trip and then to highlight those potential hotel places on your map.
Obviously I make no claim to have every hotel in every location, but it will give a user the option of picking and choosing and at least of being sure there may be a hotel within range when heading to an unknown- to -him destination. It gives peace of mind , less stuff to worry about.This can be of particular importance to a first-time traveller to Mexico with limited Spanish language skill. As travel experience progresses and the Spanish improves the new traveller can apply the methods outlined in the book to strike out on his own to investigate other hotels. The hotels listed will in most cases place the traveller in the center of town and in the vicinity of a range of other hotels which can be investigated if you wish.
For each location I include the name of the town, the state(in Mexico) , the highway numbers which connect it, a brief description of any especially important facts about it or nearby sites and possible alerts as to unexpected local features,scarcity of gas situations, long or tedious distances ( i.e tedious really often means slow going wonderfully curvy ,steep,scenic,mountainous or all of these!) to next possible hotel site. Hotels are listed by name and an example of recent price, room appointments,food availability if needed, and its location in town with an address. In many cases a small basic sketch map provides more help in finding it.
I spent a few hundred dollars in printing fees and am not even tallying the countless hours of ,collecting, compiling and typing the data, so I am just aiming above the break-even point.
If you need more info just e-mail me at the hotmail address
ADVrider contact file pm s are risky because I may not check them for weeks and weeks if I am away travelling..
And finally a word on leaving adequate time for mail delivery. It takes about a week to 10 days for regular mail to travel across Canada and the USA, Therefor if you want the handbooks please order well before the time that you want to start off. Please, avoid deciding you want one a week before departure date and then try to get a rush delivery by courier ( which gets way expensive if you get my attention in time and I am still around the homestead and not in Mexico that is)
Buen viaje.

Just so you all know, I'm the reason for the warning about MoneyGram and the fees... I spent a total of $37.50 USD for the 23.00 book (prices at the time of my purchase).

Sucker, you may think, but time is money, and the MoneyGram thing only took me about 10 minutes and saved me between 12 and 20 dollars in fuel, depending on what I drove, so still a good deal.

I don't have the book yet, but Sjoerd and I have been emailing back and forth quite a bit, and between discussions with him and the endorsement of his book by John Downs (JDowns) , I decided to order a second book for my bro in SoCal who is as excited to get it as I am.

It'll be until next year before I get to use my copy, but yeah, I'm the guy that will lay in bed, next to my hot wife and read the books...

I'll let you all know what I think of it!


************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** **

I received my book in short order, I think it only too 6 days or so, and a couple of days later, received the second copy. And yes, I have laid in bed and read it, not so much the individual listings, but Sjoerd puts a ton of other useful info into the books about licensing, paperwork, insurance, border crossings, etc., that I'm finding incredibly useful.

If you intend on going South of the border into Mex and CA, I think this set of booklets would prove invaluable before you even set off on your trip. It's laid out really well, and with all the detail on locations, I don't think a person would have any difficulty finding a nice, reasonably priced and secure place to stay!

As for the effort Sjoerd made to put this booklet set together, what a job, and well done at that!
Matador. Guerrero, Casador y Pescador.
GPNF Overnight on a Sherpa

Rey & Vann screwed with this post 12-20-2012 at 06:07 PM Reason: Added more info
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