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Old 01-09-2013, 10:57 PM   #35
Joined: Dec 2009
Oddometer: 24
We finally make Xilitla!

Yesterday, we learn of the United States Presidential election results via an email from a friend. Jubilation runs through the democrats on the trip. It makes the international page in Cuidad Valles. The paper was saved for later attempts to read it.

I’m sure Peter wishes Charlie’s last ride report was accurate. Maybe the coffee spilled on their notes. We had a different start to our day.

Note the cable locks between the bikes. Craig’s bike was taken on a copper canyon trip, and he very luckily found it stashed across a river hiding in a thicket by following the tire tracks in the dirt. He’ll never make that mistake again. They are locked every night no matter where we are.

Dean begins the day by playing us a tune. With his Bellflower spoke tool that is. As he patiently waited for his group to be loaded, spoke checking was his pastime of choice tapping on each spoke and listening for the produced tone. I was curious as I had never seen it done, and more riders gathered, like he was the pied piper of spokes. Craig’s bike had a few “flat” spots and Dean was right on it, bringing him back into tune. Peter wasn’t so lucky. His flat spot turned out to be a flat front tire on his tubeless GS. Hmmmm…. Where? Why? How lucky to discover it before we were all loaded and heading down the busy streets.

I love how these guys sort out the problem and choose the best solution. Dean has brought along a little air pump that connects to the battery and brings the tire up to pressure. It will be rechecked when we return from breakfast in the hotel that was included in our room costs. Not your average US continental breakfast. It was a sit down breakfast served hot, with real coffee and a clean space.

They calculate how much air has been lost during the time we have eaten. It’s determined it is probably a slow leak. Soapy water located the tiny air passage. A thorn from the bushes from Peter’s adventures at the mural? Who knows? Plugging it seems extreme and a potential for further problems. The Beasty group waves goodbye to Charlie, Dean, Susan and Bob. The old father hen will have a reduced stress day.

We set out to find some tire “fix a flat” and there is success at this well stocked Kawasaki shop. A small can is all we need. Betty, Craig and I all have tubed tires, and extra tubes along. And most importantly Craig, our expert tire changer. The product is successful and Peter never adds air again.

I pop into the bank to change $200 into Pesos. They take a copy of my passport for exchanging that small of an amount of cash. Really? The cash machines will be the choice in the future.

Wells Fargo encouraged us to open a “travel account”, free for 90 days. Fraud is high in Mexico they warn me, and card readers pick up the card info, even on bank ATM machines. They suggest putting some money into the new travel account, for which they give me an ATM card right away. I can transfer money via the internet into that account whenever I need more funding in it. My regular accounts couldn’t be compromised and my risks limited. Something to think about if you are headed to Mexico. We used no credit cards on this trip. Credit cards and debit cards just aren’t used where we are traveling.

Here are a few local bikes:


The Postal carrier

Used Microwave anyone?

Streets of Valles

Craig, Peter, Betty and I head towards Xilita. Charlie planned our trip, and we did very little research on what he had planned. Each day was a surprise. Today would be an extra special one. On 85, we dropped into a stunning valley. The vegetation turned lush and large and the mountains erupt in front of us. This roadside stand sucked us right in. Where did all this beauty come from” we all asked. Peter discovered one stand selling coconut water. They started with a whole coconut and as Peter described how after a bit of machetti styled work, the carver still had all his fingers. The juice was served in a plastic bag with a straw sticking out of it.

The remainder of the road into Xilitla was a great ride. Winding high, we could see a long way over the mountain tops. A very tight uphill right handed u-turn was the entrance to Xilitla. I’m an interior house painter by trade, so I notice everything that needs paint. I can’t imagine how they paint the very tall buildings as you approach Xilitla. Look up to the right, you will see what I mean. And they are seldom boring beige. Dark Blues, yellows and golds…

I will admit to being an A+ personality type. Pulling into Xilitla was sensory overload for me. The strong police force seen everywhere in Xilitla directed traffic towards the square. The kids were just leaving school, and we were heading right through a sea of people, street vendors, colors and textures. Wow. I can already see why the boys stayed here two nights.

It takes a bit of searching, and finally a discussion with an English speaking townsman that we find San Ignacia hotel and our traveling buddies. This is definitely the place to stay! Gated parking below the rooms and a fabulous private rooftop. The proprietor prohibits alcohol consumption, there are signs everywhere reminding you. But the rooftop became our second home. The views were spectacular. Just watch your step around the rebar for the “future expansion” you see everywhere in Mexico.

We all head out to a late lunch to a restaurant recommended our motel. The patio overlooking their backyard was delightful and the food delicious. Peter is starting to catch on that Susan has a nack for ordering exceptionally good looking and tasty meals. Susan and Bob have traveled Mexico many times before.

$697.00 for 8 of us for delicious food in a great spot or $7.25 each.

The local pizza delivery

Craig and I wander off the check out the church in town for its architecture. We are in Mexico just after the day of the dead. Memorials can be seen everywhere, staying up for most of the month of November. The bright orange marigolds have a very strong smell. A young man sweeping in the church offers to take us up to the roof top. It’s quite the adventure. Craig was getting a little to close to the edge for my comfort. The wooden roof long ago stopped keeping the interior of the church dry. The arched cement roof was very old, but in great shape. We tipped him for his tour "for the church"

The dead's favorite things. These stay up for the month of November, and can be seen outside peoples homes, in restaurants etc.

Craig and I don’t score the rooms with the best views of the mountains. Peter and Betty do but are in for a long night combining very poor mattresses, chickens and dogs and cold showers. Bring earplugs.


wanderc2c screwed with this post 01-10-2013 at 07:51 AM
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