ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-09-2012, 08:54 PM   #136
AnjinSan OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Bucharest
Oddometer: 232
The New World II.13 – Mexico, but not quite there yet!

@wegimex: hehe I am trying to get up to date with the story but it is so hard with all the nice riding and so many places to see. I end up writing in the night most of the times. So please excuse my mistakes...

Here it goes... the next episode:


Mexico, but not quite there yet: 20 September – 2 October


The morning finds us humming a famous Romanian songs that goes like “In Arizona I was born on horse saddle / From her arms my mother lost me when she was going to the salon” Well as you know, once you start the day with a song in your head… it is so hard to get rid of it.
Near Page we find an interesting message:
OK, so we might not have the money to own a million dollar view, but at least let’s see it. So we look around. Maybe is this one?
Oh I think this is not the view that the potential buyers are looking for. Let’s search some more…
That’s better. And look, already two owners of the million dollar view. Hmm does this mean that each of them gets only 500 000 dollars worth of view? Eah… we must be just jealous. So we prefer to move on and soon enough we are in Navajo reservation.
Well I do not know much about these reservations and how things work but for me something is very strange. Even the name, “Reservation” seems demeaning for me. Why free independent people would like to leave in a “reservation” with fences and barb wire and signs? And why would such places exist in the “most democratic country in the world”? And do these people really live better there? We just passed form one side to another but we so just a huge wasteland and small humble houses from place to place. Maybe further in the reservation things are better. Maybe…
And why there is a need to separate (segregate) people (be them indians or other nation) in the XXI century? That has such an old smell to it… What kind of life do they have in the desert there?We so no farm land, no crops groing (it was desert) a lot of litter and stray dogs. But all of the houses had TV dish. Let’s not forget about the important things in life, eh?
But again, forgive the ramblings of someone who doesn’t know all the details. I am sure the situation is much more complicated. We admire also the canyons created by the Little Colorado. Little little but he means business.
And because we’ve anjoyed so much the North Rim of the Great Canyon we decide to have run also for the South Rim. We go around the crowded areas and find a nice spot where we can admire the view in silence.
Our next target is Flagstaff and another piece of American history: Route 66. The legendary road, created at the beginning of XXst century used to unite Chicago with the extreme West in California. Now decommissioned with the introduction of the interstate system, the road is still a touristic attraction.
From Flagstaff we are dashing through the Arizona heat towards Phoenix where Julio,From Flagstaff we are dashing through the Arizona heat towards Phoenix where Julio, a fellow ADVrider, was waiting for us.

From Phoenix you almost can feel that the border is close. It is right there, across the desert. We start to get a little bit nervous about the crossing.
We spend one day preparing a bit. I change the oil and the oil filter, go and make some copies of our documents for the border formalities and so on. Time flies so fast that we don’t even get to see the downtown Phoenix. So the only “Phoenix picutres” are related to “interstate beauty”
But we are not sorry that we miss the crazy town traffic. Julio stays in such a nice place and we find everything that we need close by. And his garage is well equipped with tools. We have a blat staying with him and his family.
We say thank you to Kim, Antonio and Julio for all their generosity. Little that we knew how soon I would see them again.
We depart for Bisbee, a small border town (former mining town now artist and bohemian town). But on the road we first make detour to see a big open copper mine.
The site is really impressive. But one cannot help to wonder if it was worth it. If the big, sterile hole will ever be again just nature. Probably not
The site has a place for visitors, where you can see a wheel from the trucks used to haul the rocks. It is very big and very expensive. 20 000 dollars for a new tire. How’s that for economy?
Above all the technology and all the gained resources, what is left behind is just a wasted land. Nothing grows here.
It is impressive what humans can do and how destructive our race can be, if we are not careful. And last time I’ve checked we still one single place we can call “home”. Maybe we should find another planet. Soon…
In Bisbee we meet Adam and his wife Karen, them too friends from advrider. We quickly find a place for Gunnar in the garage near his 2 bikes a Moto Guzzi and a KTM LC4 which Adam is preparing for a trip up to Alaska.
As Bisbee is really close to the border Adam say that we might go this evening to Naco and get the paper work done so that next day we would just pass through. Excellent plan. let’s go.
We reach the border, leave the car on the American side, walk over to the Mexican side and basically we need to take care of two things:
1. get a visa for us
2. get a motorcycle permit that will allow us to drive through Mexico.
At point 1 we trye to convince the customs officer that there is an agreement between Romania and Mexico and we should not pay for our tourist visas. And since we are the very first Romanians that try to cross through Naco, the guy is really in a though spot. He tries to do some research but with no success. In the end we pay the visas as it was getting close to closing hour and we wanted to solve also point number 2.
We move to the next building where a very nice young lady smiles and she even knows some English. Oh, this will be easy I’m thinking. And it looks simple. I need to hand over the newly acquired visas vehicle registration, passport and driver’s license. OK, here you go. Hmm wait. Where is my driving license? I cannot find it in my wallet.
Ashamed, I gather my other documents and return home. On the road Adam and Karen try to cheer us up but we are really worried. How could we be so stupid to lose it? And where could it be? We search all our luggage without any success. I know where it is. We forgot it in the Staples copy center when we were doing the copies to cross into Mexico. Ironic, isn’t it?
I call next day the store and a wonder happens, the driver’s license was found by an employee and kept safe. I am so happy. Thank you so much sir, I will be right there to take it. Thank you!
Oh and when I say I’ll be right there… I mean 200 miles later right there. I was prepared for a long day riding on the highway. But that didn’t matter, what matter was that I could recuperate my license. And then… Adam says, you know I could come with you. And even better, we could drive the car so we can talk and spend the time more pleasantly. How incredible is that? Instead of having a rest on his Sunday, this friend prefers to spend his free day in a car with me, driving around to Phoenix and back. What else could I say? We end up having a typical American road trip with muzic, nice conersations, stops on the side of the highway to have burgers for lunch. It was fun.
We meet Julio who went in the store and took my license from there. So we get to see each other again one more time. That was nice. We return to Bisbee in good spirits stopping one more time to eat an American burger (on the road we determined that I didn’t had much luck at the border until now because last night I didn’t had a burger and my last meal in the U.S. had to be a burger…)
Oh and I forgot to mention, the trip was also awesome because we go to ride in this Yellow furry of speed:
Photo courtesy of Adam

Yellow Fiat 500 with red break calipers. It does not get much cooler than that.
We tried again to get the moto permit. But again we had no chance at Naco border crossing. For some reason they couldn’t verify my VIN into their computer data base. I was told that I should try at another border crossing. A bigger one.
So we return back home, still without all the papers for crossing the border but at least with all the needed documents, finding the girls in good spirit after they had a relaxing day in Bisbee.
We spend a peaceful evening at Adam’s talking and making plans and the next day we leave wishing them “che te vaya bien”.

We turn our bike Eastwards heading for Douglas. In the morning cold air, our thoughts are already in Mexico. We hope that this time customs formalities will finally be OK and we will be as well, in Mexico.
Next time we will find out how difficult was the border crossing on our third try and how were our first days in Mexico. Stay tuned!
__________________
We are exploring the New World
Track and like us on Facebook
AnjinSan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #137
Turkeycreek
Gringo Viejo
 
Turkeycreek's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
Oddometer: 855
Another great write up, thanks. (and Adam, we missed you over the weekend)
__________________
Mexico - Dream, Discover, Ride
Hotel Los Arcos, Northern Sonora's Motorcycle Haven
http://www.losarcossonora.com
Turkeycreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #138
JoeDuck
Kilroy was here
 
JoeDuck's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: North of Alcatraz
Oddometer: 924
Sorry, just started reading this, but is your name from the James Clavell novel Shogun? I seem to recall a certain Brit stuck in colonial Japan dealing with his Catholic adversaries the Portuguese.
__________________
Pics of whatever/where ever http://joee.smugmug.com
I used to be indecisive, now I'm not so sure.
JoeDuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2012, 10:05 PM   #139
AnjinSan OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Bucharest
Oddometer: 232
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeDuck View Post
Sorry, just started reading this, but is your name from the James Clavell novel Shogun? I seem to recall a certain Brit stuck in colonial Japan dealing with his Catholic adversaries the Portuguese.
JoeDuck, yes! You are right the nickname is coming from Shogun novel. I think you are just the second fellow advrider to notice this :)
He was a Brit pilot serving on a Dutch ship. Hehe... books from the childhood :)
__________________
We are exploring the New World
Track and like us on Facebook
AnjinSan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 10:23 AM   #140
Merlin III
Mean SOB
 
Merlin III's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Maine
Oddometer: 1,084
Just to set your mind at ease, American Indians have full citizenship rights and have the right to live anywhere they want within their particular economic constraints, just like the rest of us.
__________________
"I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure about anything." Richard Feynman, CalTech Scientist, Challenger Disaster Committee member.
Merlin III is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 11:20 AM   #141
cyberdos
True Story Bro
 
cyberdos's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Queen Creek, AZ
Oddometer: 23,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnjinSan View Post

From Phoenix you almost can feel that the border is close. It is right there, across the desert. We start to get a little bit nervous about the crossing.
We spend one day preparing a bit. I change the oil and the oil filter, go and make some copies of our documents for the border formalities and so on. Time flies so fast that we don’t even get to see the downtown Phoenix. So the only “Phoenix picutres” are related to “interstate beauty”
But we are not sorry that we miss the crazy town traffic. Julio stays in such a nice place and we find everything that we need close by. And his garage is well equipped with tools. We have a blat staying with him and his family.
We say thank you to Kim, Antonio and Julio for all their generosity.
It was great to have you guys spend a few days with us. I wish we could have done more to show you around but sometimes life gets in the way of one's plans and Phoenix is a huge place. I'm glad you guys were at least able to get the paperwork in order and wrench on the Strom.

I'll be following along through your journey and wishing you both the best. Safe travels.

__________________
...
Presione dos para español.
cyberdos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2012, 07:58 PM   #142
bisbonian
Studly Adventurer
 
bisbonian's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Bisbee, AZ & Banamichi, Sonora
Oddometer: 974
Connor gives this thread 6 thumbs up!



And here's a couple you might be familiar with:



Great to have you guys at the house and so happy that you were able to get across the border eventually!
__________________
My 2009 Alaska Adventure

bisbonian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2012, 10:18 PM   #143
AnjinSan OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Bucharest
Oddometer: 232
The New World III.1 – Bienvenidos a México!

A new chapter of our journey begins as we continue in the Latin part of the New World. Hope you will enjoy it!


------------------



Bienvenidos a México!: 1-3 Octomber
Route:
———————————————
The morning cool air is hiting my face but I am not closing my visor. We are heading for Douglas and I feel like before a big exam. You learned and you feel prepared to pass the exam. But still, the teacher is quite crazy so you never know. Well, we have all the documents we should be OK and pass. But still… “the teacher”…
Douglas, the last U.S. town in our journey. We stop to fill up with gas (bad idea since “on the other side” the gas is cheaper), we buy water, some stuff to eat… hehe, as if we were getting ready to go in the desert. OK, we are ready, where do we go?
For Mexico, make a right turn. Really, that simple? We say good bye to the United States. And say “Hello Mexico!”
We stop at the first customs checkpoint, where a young lady, in a too tight uniform (by my humble opinion) is asking us something in a very crisp but rushed Spanish. Ohhh I guess it is time to see if all those hours of Spanish audio books on Alaska Highway will pay of. “Perdon seniora, no entiendo Espaniol muy bien, puede repetir?”
OK, that’s better. You want to know if we have visas. Oh yeah we have them, from Naco. And why are we here then? Well because they told us that you might help us with a motorcycle permit. OK, I park the bike in the back parking lot, leave Andreea to guard the bike and go inside while praying that when I’ll be back I would still find both the bike and wife. Inside I find 3 offices. At the first one a customs officer is working. The other two are unattended as the two ladies assigned to them are busy watching a movie on a TV. I get in line at the only desk where somebody was doing something and smile. Great, already feels much more like home.
When my turn comes, I am out of luck again. The VIN number is not recognized here neither. “Problem!” Cual problem, no problem por favor! The guy is willing to help but doesn’t know what to do. So he goes for the jefe! The boss comes, has a look over the papers and says “fill up the VIN by hand and let them go”. Once we have the green light from the jefe, it is all downhill. I am out in no time with the permit and free to roam in Mexico!

Immediately we feel that the World has changed all around us. Houses lively colored but build in a certain disorder, as the architect intended to match the chaos on the streets.

Anything with a motor here is put to good use, no mater how old. And everything with a motor can carry people. No matter the safety measures.

The streets belong to everyone

From the septic Canada and United States, where everything has a place and and order, we are thrown in this big pot of passionate but dangerous living. Parts of this new movie we are in seem familiar from back home, but still, everything seems so new.

Adam told us that the road signs in Latin America are more or less for decorative purposes. Still, newbes as we are, we try to follow the speed limitation signs. Bad idea. Even dangerous idea as some trucks pass us in a swift and crazy manner. Imagine driving with 25 miles/h in a 25 miles/h zone and big trucks passing inches of you with 55 miles/h. We quickly adapt and follow the rule (and the speed) of the traffic.
Everything is different. After a long time, we travel with all our senses alert! The times when my passenger was sleeping in the back are long gone. Now, everybody with eyes on the road!

We take a short break for hydration and we notice the huge crickets that are all over the road. Oh, so these were the “things” that kept hitting us while moving.

God knows why they prefer the asphalt but the were everywhere.

And a lot of them where dying due to the traffic.

And where are dead things there are also vultures…

And these birds are very little respect or fear for humans and for cars. They take of at the very last moment and if one is not careful it might run into them.

We continue through mountain small villages. Before entering Mexico, a lot of people warned us about the potential dangers of some places especially near the borders.

We are positive thinking and optimist people. But we do not want to be foolish people so we decided to heed the warnings and stop as little as possible in the border areas. We do however observe very interesting details from the places we pass through.


Come lunch time and we turn out to be much as the vultures. The hunger wins over the fear and we decide to stop in a small restaurant. A nice old man greats us. OK, seems fine. We are happy!

We find out pretty fast that our Spanish is not yet sophisticated enough to… order anything else than tacos. The guy tries to explain what he has and since we didn’t understand much he does an amazing thing. He takes us both in the kitchen, and shows what is in the pots on the burner. Ha! Imagine that happening in the U.S. !

We order some stuff by pointing to different pots and then, while waiting for the food, we figure to go out and take a bottle of water from the motorcycle. When we came, we were the only ones there and we parked just in front of the restaurant. When I went out now I had a shock seeing a big army truck parked just near Gunnar.

Suddenly all the stories with drugs, drug gangs and the fight against them becomes very fresh in our minds. After we finish eating we leave wishing good luck to the soldiers.
The drugs and the drug cartels who produce, transport and distribute their product are a very real thing for these parts of the world. But the majority of the Mexicans are honest, hard-working and full of life people, who are trying to go on with their lives, navigating through these battles and struggling to keep a sense of normality. We hope to meet only these guys.
On the side of the road we see also a lot of horses. And it seems that here their are still used as a viable means of transportation.

We salute the other riders, with big smiles!

Our goal for the day was the small village of Banamichi, Sonora, where Tom was waiting for us. Tom is an American in love with Mexico and he decided to move with his wife here, building a hotel in the mountains. It was hard work but the place looks amazing as you will see later on. Reaching Banamichi is quite easy and the roads are by no means “secondary”. Still, Tom told us that we might have “three or four wet crossings”. Hmm I wonder what those might be?

Well, why to go through all the trouble of building a bridge when you could just let the water cross over the road? Luckily the monsoon season was over so most of the crossings were dry. But not all of them…

So we get the “chance” to get our feet wet.

We reach “Los Arcos” as the evening sets in.

The stop at Tom’s was exactly what we needed after a very intense first day in Mexico. The place is a oasis of peace and quiet and we liked it so much that we decided to stay one more day.

I get a haircut, Andreea gets a massage which proves to be a very professional one. She deserves it after 3 months on the motorcycle. We relax in the purest Latin meaning of the word.

Time goes by fast when you are not doing anything and soon we have to say good bye to Tom and Lynn.

Tom rides with us for a while to make sure that we are on the right path (in fact I think it was just a pretext to go out there and have some fun on the mountain roads, eh Tom?) Then we shake hands and we say good bye. See you somewhere, someday! Thanks for everything!
We had lots of conflicting thoughts before entering Mexico. Good friends, having the best of intentions and basing their worries on real facts, told us to think really well if we want to go there. And, especially once in Mexico, we totally understand the worries. The struggles between “good and evil” as well as between “evil and evil” are very real. In what measure they might affect a tourist visit and if it is worth the trip, this is to be decided by each and everyone who considers going.
We chose to dare and continue our journey. And we hope to stay safe and enjoy the wonderful things the Latin part of the New World has to offer.
Feliz viaje, dear traveler, where ever you might be!

Next time we are enjoying remote mountain roads but end up forced to stop unexpectedly. Stay tuned!
__________________
We are exploring the New World
Track and like us on Facebook
AnjinSan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 04:50 AM   #144
Merlin III
Mean SOB
 
Merlin III's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Maine
Oddometer: 1,084
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnjinSan View Post
Next time we are enjoying remote mountain roads but end up forced to stop unexpectedly. Stay tuned!
You tease!!! You should quit your real jobs (Oh wait!! You already did! ) and become professional writers,. I love the written content of your RR as well as the photographs. Please, don't make us wait too long for the next installment.
__________________
"I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure about anything." Richard Feynman, CalTech Scientist, Challenger Disaster Committee member.
Merlin III is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 08:18 AM   #145
Turkeycreek
Gringo Viejo
 
Turkeycreek's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
Oddometer: 855
Alex and Andreea, Hola de Banamichi.
The time you spent here at Hotel Los Arcos went much too fast and we are so glad to have met you both. The new Romanian flag will be here this week and I will fly it proudly with the others. You now know that Mexico is filled with good people who are will to show travelers kindness and help them when they can. ( Yes, there are some of the other kind here too.) It was difficult to turn the bike around in Ures; it was a bit of a pretext but it is not hard to get me to take a ride. But I get to follow along here with you two through your ride reports.

Abrazos de Tom y Lynn

__________________
Mexico - Dream, Discover, Ride
Hotel Los Arcos, Northern Sonora's Motorcycle Haven
http://www.losarcossonora.com
Turkeycreek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 08:56 AM   #146
ben2go
Moto Flunky
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Upstate SC USA
Oddometer: 3,065
Most excellent update.I have never been south of the US.I'm enjoying your ride report.
ben2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 11:15 AM   #147
Paddygfw
Adventurer
 
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Newfoundland
Oddometer: 75
Laugh


It must be my old age because I thought that your hair was red and longer
My wife and I took a 13 month motorcycle ride when we retired and she cut her hair short so it was easier to manage
Love the report
safe trip
Paddygfw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2012, 06:01 PM   #148
AnjinSan OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Bucharest
Oddometer: 232
@Tom, Lynn : you have a very nice place in Banamichi and for us, as first timers in Mexico, it was exactly what we needed to get accustomed with the different world. Based on my experience there, I would recommend anyone who wants to try Mexico to give you a shout. And there are so many excellent roads for motorcycling around (as I hope we will see in the next post :P)

@Ben: thank you for the encouragement. As for going South of the the border... I really thing that it should be a matter of personal preference... there are so many beautiful places in the U.S. and also North of the U.S. ... they are just different. So depends on what you are after...

@Paddygfw: yeah... Andreea cut her hear in Vancouver. It was somehow a shock for everybody (including her ) but if she was ever gona do it, that was the time. And I could dare to add that I am lucky enough to have wife who has the looks with long as well as short hair
__________________
We are exploring the New World
Track and like us on Facebook
AnjinSan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2012, 05:05 AM   #149
ben2go
Moto Flunky
 
ben2go's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Upstate SC USA
Oddometer: 3,065
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnjinSan View Post
@Tom, Lynn : you have a very nice place in Banamichi and for us, as first timers in Mexico, it was exactly what we needed to get accustomed with the different world. Based on my experience there, I would recommend anyone who wants to try Mexico to give you a shout. And there are so many excellent roads for motorcycling around (as I hope we will see in the next post :P)

@Ben: thank you for the encouragement. As for going South of the the border... I really thing that it should be a matter of personal preference... there are so many beautiful places in the U.S. and also North of the U.S. ... they are just different. So depends on what you are after...

@Paddygfw: yeah... Andreea cut her hear in Vancouver. It was somehow a shock for everybody (including her ) but if she was ever gona do it, that was the time. And I could dare to add that I am lucky enough to have wife who has the looks with long as well as short hair
You're welcome.Safe travels and happy trails.
ben2go is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 07:25 AM   #150
AnjinSan OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Bucharest
Oddometer: 232
The New World III.2 – Riding through Sierra Madre mountains

Riding through Sierra Madre mountains: 4-6 September
As after 2 days spent at Tom’s hotel in Banamichi, we were feeling relaxed and somehow more accustomed with the idea that we are in Mexico now, it was time to press on and start exploring. The first major destination was Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon) which, ironically, it is said to be bigger than the… “Grand Canyon”. But as that target was quite far away, we were planning to explore and enjoy the Northern part of Mexico in Sonora and Chiuhuahua.

Not to wide, not to much traveled by other cars and very winding, these rodes prove to be full of surprises. Of the first one we were warned by Tom. “be careful, the road has no bears”

Haha, no bears on the road. My my, but that is excellent. Of course, a joke made by a very persistent Mexican ( almost all the signs on route 20 were like this) based on the similarity between “SINUOSO” (winding) -> “SIN OSO” (without bear). Still, joking aside, the other part of the warning is very well founded: “extreme caution” was necessary as after almost every corner a new surprise was awaiting. Like turkey vultures flying out from the pavement in the very last minute.

Or the encounter with a veritable legend of our childhood: The Road Runner!

The real one might be small but he is as fast as the ones from the cartoons. Andreea just managed to take the above shot before he disappeared in the bushes. We smile in our helmets thinking that maybe we should also expect to see The Coyote setting a trap near by. But we see no one. Literally, we found ourselves surrounded by green and blue and no trace of humans around.


Strange feeling. The only prove that other humans have been here is the patch of tarmac and it’s yellow lines. But even the road is not in the best of conditions. First we see more and more stones on the drivable area.

The tarmac seems to fade away, and the road turning into a two track.

And on the side of the road, we see the marks of time, passing over that which was once alive.

We stop further away, near a gorge, from where our eyes can roam far away.

Around us is complete silence. It is hot. The feeling that we are very alone in a desolated place settles in. We are in Mexico, we are on a remote place in the mountains and we have no idea where the road will take us and where the evening will find us. Strangely enough, these thoughts do not trouble us. Rather they just make us very aware and we realize that this journey is really happening. This day is real!

I turn the key and Gunnar’s engine starts to hum, it’s sound like a redemption. We leave that place, leaving our thoughts behind. I feel Andreea in the back and I am glad that I’m not doing this trip alone. Sharing this with someone is so much better. The curves come one after the other and soon enough, we find the first sign of “civilization” afte a long time. And what a “sign”, a big semi-truck. On this road!!

I had no idea what was the driving doing with that big thing on such a bad and remote road. But sure enough it was quite hard to pass him. We manage with some help from the truck’s driver and we are “free” again.

And speaking of help, while back in the U.S. Adam told me that most of the mexican truck drivers are nice enough to let you know when you can pass them. “Oh they do the same in Romania” I tell Adam. “Really, in Romania the drivers signal left when you can pass them?” hmmm that doesn’t sound right. “No, they signal RIGHT when it is safe to pass”. Turn out, that the “system” in Mexico is totally inverted from the one in Europe.
Sure, one might wonder, how could you distinguish a left signal meaning “you can pass me” from a left signal meaning “I will pass something”. Well, you are right, it is not easy and it is confusing. But fear not, the Mexicans have came up with an efficient solution: most of the times, they do not signal when they want to pass. In this way you avoid the above confusion. Hmmm…
We leave behind the truck but we go in some traffic. A traffic of a different kind than the one from big city.

A sight very similar to what we were used to find on Romanian roads. So we are not very surprised. But on the other hand, we were not at all used to this:

In the small mountain village there were some games going on and horse racing. So everybody was coming out with what he had best in the… uhmm stables.

And the ones who were not racing were out for a relaxing ride with their girls.

We don’t stay too long in that place as we thought to cover some more ground. So, onwards on National Route 16 which connects Hermasillo to Chihuahua, we meet the real Mexican traffic. Lots of trucks crawling with 5 miles per hour uphill. And then… probably trying to recuperate downhill as they were speeding way too much and taking corners using both lanes of the road. That must bee the reason for this kind of signs:

For your security keep the right of the road. Yeah cool, I am trying to do that but it would be nice if the trucks would do the same. Otherwise, a pity as the roud would be such a nice ride. Way better scenery and curves than ruta 20 from earlier, and better pavement that allows some speed. But the incoming traffic does not allow much fun and demands great care. Just in a few days we had the opportunity to find out that what was happening on Ruta 16 was just “kid’s play”. Bat that is for another story. For now we make progress as god as possible.

And we are happy when we turn right out of Ruta 16 and take another mountain road that would get us to San Juanito and then Creel. This one is in very good condition, paved, no rocks and even better, no traffic. So we start to have fun. And then everything changes. I feel that something is wrong in the back so we stop only to discover a flat tire. Hmmm, and this time is in the middle of nowhere. I would better be able to fix this. I drive a little more trying to find at least a resemblance of flat and straight road so I will not be a hazard for the traffic. Take out the flat repair kit and… what I find in the wheel is not too positive news.

Ohooo that doesn’t look good. I was “hopping” for a nail but instead… a quite big piece of metal from some sort of gear was stuck in our tire. And the hole left behind is more like a knife cut. One patch string is not covering it. I am trying with two of them.

Patching as good as I can, starting the compressor and watching as the pressure needle is slowly moving to the 20 PSI area. I stop the air compressor and a dreaded “sssshhhh” sounds feels the space. The air is escaping from the tire. This is not good… In the mean time we stop a passing car and we ask the mexican where would be the nearest tire repair shop. Well San Juanito is the closest and it is some 30 miles away. He was just going up the mountain to take a phone call (there is no cell reception where we are) and offers to take Andreea with him, to make some calls and maybe find something. We agree to that and as was trying to repair the tire again, a troubling thought comes to mind: I just let Andreea leave with a mexican stranger, in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t even remembered the car’s license plate. Arghhh one problem is more than enough, I do not need other dark thoughts. I am sure the guy is OK and nothing else bad will happen. And indeed they return and the guy proves to be very nice and helpful. They couldn’t reach anybody in San Juanito, but he offers to put the bike in his truck and drive us to the town. Unfortunately this is not possible as the truck is too small (ah where are the huge American trucks when you need one?:) ) and also we couldn’t possible lift the bike in just 3 people.
So we say thank you to our nice Mexican friend and let him go take his phone calls. I just finished trying a new patch and this times there is no “sssssshhhh” sound. We quickly gather all our things and head for the town. We soon pass our Mexican friend who was on the phone and he waves us for good luck.

The miles are passing by so slowly and soon, much too soon, I feel again the back is smooshy. The tire is not holding air. We stop again and assess our situation. If I would not be able to fix the tire we will need a car to take us to the next town. We are prepared to stop the very next car that will pass by (as they are not so many anyway) and ask them to take Andreea to go in San Juanito. There she would try to find a ride for the bike and also, stay at a motel over night (as it was getting late) while I will stay with the bike and if no help would come in good time, I would camp on the side of the road. Not a very pleasant thought. In the mean time I have nothing else to do than try again to repair the tire.

A new try. With lots of hopes and prays we turn on the air compressor and again the needle is slowly crawling to 34 PSI. I stop the compressor and this time there is no “ssssshhhh”. The tire seems to hold. I doulbe check with whatter and there are no bubbles. Full of hopes we start our ride again. One eye on the road and one eye on the odometer which was much too slowly turning mile after mile. 20 miles left, 15 miles left. I stop to check the pressure and it reads 37 PSI. That means there is too little air in the tire to begin with (but I already knew that) but it also means that we are not dropping air. This is good. We continue and finally we reach San Juanito just as the last sun light was fading away for the day. It is too late to find a repair shop now. We just look for a motel with secure parking and internet to settle in before the night comes.
We write an update on advrider and there as well, a lot of friends come with very good advice, list of tire shops in Chihuahua and encouragements. We feel better as we don’t feel alone. Also I talk with some Mexicans who were staying at the same hotel and ask them about good Desponchadas that I could go to in the morning and they are so helpful as well. One of them takes me in his car and drives to the nearest one just to show me the way.
In the morning we split up. I am going to the tire repair shop trying to have a more permanent fix to the hole in the tire. And Andreea stays at the model and tries to find a suitable replacement tire in Chihuahua. And she is in for another excellent experience as when the owner of the model finds out about the problem not only he lets her use the phone with no charge, but he and his sun take turns making the calls themselves speaking in Spanish, helping Andreea communicating with the motorcycle shops.

In the mean time Cesar, an advrider from Chihuahua is doing the same from his home and also sends us a message that we could stay at him if we come to Chihuahua. Unfortunately it seems there is not even one single tire in our dimensions in Chihuahua. We would have to go there and wait for one to come.
In the mean time I manage to have a guy applying a patch from the interior of the tire. And he said to me that I could go on riding like this. Nevertheless, I feel a little bit uneasy as we do have a lot of weight on the bike.
I return at the model and talk with Andreea about what we should do next. Despite all the troubles in the last 24 hours we had in fact every reason to be optimistic and grateful. Yes we were stranded on some remote road in the mountains but then… the Mexican driver who stopped and tried to help, being able to reach San Juanito, all the friends who responded on AdvRider, Cesar from Chihuahua who was so nice to offer his home to us, the Mexican workers who took me with their car and showed me where the tire repair shop was, the motel owners helping Andreea with the phone calls, all of these were such clear examples of human goodness, and these is the feeling that we want and we chose to take away from this experience. Mexico proved to be harder then expected in our first days here. But we like it and we hope to be able to go on.

Next time we find out how the story of the flat tire will end and we meet a crazy guy in a crazy place. Stay tuned!
The map of the route covered by this story:
__________________
We are exploring the New World
Track and like us on Facebook
AnjinSan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 10:47 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014