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Old 11-04-2012, 08:33 PM   #76
RexBuck OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SR View Post
Hi RexBuck, I just found this thread. Great to see you are back on the road. We will be following right along. Subscribed!

Suerte!

SR
Hey SR - Good to hear from you. And, thanks for following along.

I almost came thru Durango again and was going to give you a holler. Decided to go the other direction to Real de Catorce instead. Next time.

Sure have been enjoying a lot of the mining history in many of these interior towns.

RexBuck
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:33 AM   #77
RexBuck OP
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Oct 29 – 30 San Miguel de Allende

Had heard so much about SMA and wanted to give it a little extra time. Plus it will be my birthday and I want to be somewhere with good internet so I can talk to family and friends.

Walked around SMA centro for a bit. Two things stood out: First, virtually everything is painted only yellow and red. No blues, pinks, greens. Of course some will postulate that I am colorblind or at least color-retarded. To which I respond – pshaw! Half a dozen colors works for me.



As an aside, this picture gives a good idea of the traffic in large towns - tends to be a little chaotic at time.

Second, there is a lot of real estate taken up in the core with churches – they almost seem to be on top of each other. Some are quite dramatic. This is the main Cathedral at night.



It is a beautiful city though with a rich heritage. Went to the house of Ignacio Allende next to the main Cathedral on the Jardin (that is what they call their Zocolo). It is now a museum chronicling the life and times of Allende. He is considered to be one of the main players in the start of the Revolution in 1810 when Mexico broke away from Spain. He was born in this house and later came to occupy it. As the town’s favorite son, they change the original name from San Miguel Grande to San Miguel de Allende.
Kind of a goofy looking dude, but I guess that was stylin in those days



Here he is looking a bit more masculine



The house seemed a bit Spartan with the family’s rooms upstairs and servants, stables and storage downstairs.



Found a little hole in the wall restaurant away from the centro for breakfast. The lady who owned the place had these great masks on a shelf – said her kids wore them in a June Fiesta / parade.




Flower stalls at the Jardin - as Day of the Dead approached, started to see more and more flowers for sale and ultimately big trucks loaded with flowers selling them as fast as they could unload them.






Hmmm, high heel aligator cowboy boots? Whatever!





How to properly level a 3 floor high scaffold






And, last but not least, a sign there must be Gringos or Beemers or both nearby




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Old 11-05-2012, 07:58 AM   #78
eSTes1300
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SMA - a Moroccan town

Quote:
Originally Posted by RexBuck View Post
Had heard so much about SMA and wanted to give it a little extra time. Plus it will be my birthday and I want to be somewhere with good internet so I can talk to family and friends.

Walked around SMA centro for a bit. Two things stood out: First, virtually everything is painted only yellow and red. No blues, pinks, greens. Of course some will postulate that I am colorblind or at least color-retarded. To which I respond – pshaw! Half a dozen colors works for me.



As an aside, this picture gives a good idea of the traffic in large towns - tends to be a little chaotic at time.

Second, there is a lot of real estate taken up in the core with churches – they almost seem to be on top of each other. Some are quite dramatic. This is the main Cathedral at night.



It is a beautiful city though with a rich heritage. Went to the house of Ignacio Allende next to the main Cathedral on the Jardin (that is what they call their Zocolo). It is now a museum chronicling the life and times of Allende. He is considered to be one of the main players in the start of the Revolution in 1810 when Mexico broke away from Spain. He was born in this house and later came to occupy it. As the town’s favorite son, they change the original name from San Miguel Grande to San Miguel de Allende.
Kind of a goofy looking dude, but I guess that was stylin in those days



Here he is looking a bit more masculine



The house seemed a bit Spartan with the family’s rooms upstairs and servants, stables and storage downstairs.



Found a little hole in the wall restaurant away from the centro for breakfast. The lady who owned the place had these great masks on a shelf – said her kids wore them in a June Fiesta / parade.




Flower stalls at the Jardin - as Day of the Dead approached, started to see more and more flowers for sale and ultimately big trucks loaded with flowers selling them as fast as they could unload them.






Hmmm, high heel aligator cowboy boots? Whatever!





How to properly level a 3 floor high scaffold






And, last but not least, a sign there must be Gringos or Beemers or both nearby



The Moors occupied much of Spain for ~ 750 years leaving behind their style of city construction. Go to the back streets of SMA, narrow, stone, flat roofed. You could be in Morocco, or some places in the Middle East. I like that look, it even is found in NM and southern CO. I'm planning a ride down to Mexico this winter on my Honda ST 1300. Too big? I could buy a Vstrom 650 for the effort.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:05 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by eSTes1300 View Post
The Moors occupied much of Spain for ~ 750 years leaving behind their style of city construction. Go to the back streets of SMA, narrow, stone, flat roofed. You could be in Morocco, or some places in the Middle East. I like that look, it even is found in NM and southern CO. I'm planning a ride down to Mexico this winter on my Honda ST 1300. Too big? I could buy a Vstrom 650 for the effort.
Yes that Spanish influence in the architecture is certainly prevalent throughout Mexico.

As for the ST 1300. Depends on where you want to go and what you want to do. If you stick to Cuotas, piece of cake, if you want to stay away from Cuotas then you will contend with a gazillion topes, probably a few potholes and the odd gravel bit. Either way, if you run into construction it can range from a nice gravel road to washboard to some loose gravel. You see all types of bikes down here. I rode my Harley down here a couple of years ago and, while it was fine and I really had no problems, with the topes and construction areas, I was wishing for a bit better suspension. Check over in the Trip Planning forum - there are lots of discussions about the optimal bike.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:45 PM   #80
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Oct 31 to Nov 2 Guanajuato

Short ride to Guanajuato via Dolores Hildago. Not much in Dolores that I bothered stopping for but it was the home of Father Hildago, the initial leader of the revolution.

Guanajuato is one wild town. I don’t think there is a straight street here – they curve around, go over each other, will be on different levels and frequently plunge into tunnels. I was expecting to have to hire a taxi at the edge of town to lead me to the hotel but, for the first time, the GPS didn’t get screwed up in a city and led me right to the hotel. Well, led me to the back gate which was one street above the street the entrance was on. To get to the right street go over a bridge, down a ramp, around a roundabout then under the bridge and arrive at the other side.

So, here I am checked into the hotel and walk back to the bike and a guy was standing there and we start yakking. He offers to show me around and while I want to tour around, I’m not sure what he wants to do. I’m thinking he’s trying to sell me something and while a tour isn’t out of the world, I’m not gushing. He finally pulls out his wallet and shows me ID cards from drivers liscences to pension cards to what I think is an insurance card for a BMW 650GS. Now it’s sinking into my thick skull – he wants to show me around town as a fellow bike rider. Cool (Bitchin, boss, rad – you pick)!
Agree for him to stop by the hotel in the morning on his bike and we can see the sights.

Mi Amigo Gerardo.



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Old 11-08-2012, 05:48 PM   #81
Jick Magger
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Rexbuck

I couldn't be happier for you. You've found a friend. Not that theres anything wrong with that but I am waiting to hear more of the lowdown about San Miguel de Allende? Is that all we are getting?
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Old 11-08-2012, 06:37 PM   #82
RexBuck OP
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Rexbuck

I couldn't be happier for you. You've found a friend. Not that theres anything wrong with that but I am waiting to hear more of the lowdown about San Miguel de Allende? Is that all we are getting?
Yah, I knew you'd be excited. Unfortunately, I left out the last line of that post. I have about 400 pictures and a bit of video of Guanajuato and I will do a few "theme-based" posts and try to keep them brief. Lot to see there - great place!

San Miguel de Allende . . . a lot of people really like this town as evidenced by the number of non-Mexicans living there. It is quite nice but, I guess it was one of those places I had built my expectations way up beyond reality. While it has a rich history, it felt more like going to Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas - great places but a bit touristy for me.

Sorry for lack of more photos but that was pretty well what I saw
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:21 AM   #83
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Oct 31 to Nov 2 The City - Rivers and Tunnels

As with many if not most cities in the interior, they appeared on the map as a result of rich deposits of silver and other metals. Guanajuato was no different. It’s kind of cramped into this valley and was originally built with a river running through it. As it grew, they built a tunnel under the city to contain the river but I suspect it didn’t work that well keeping folks dry because they eventually just diverted the river.

Now, there wasn’t water flowing regularly but people had built their toilets over the channel and it got a little, shall we say, stinky. You can see the type of structure they would have had – these may well have contained teh original toilets.









So, somewhere along the line they decided to create a big annual City Fiesta on July 2 when they would release a bunch of water from this dam which would "flush" the old river bed, making everything fresh as a daisy.









Being they were a bunch of underground tunnel building miner types anyhow, they dug a few more tunnels for drainage, etc and eventually when technology improved that they didn’t need those tunnels for that purpose anymore, decided to use them for transportation. That was so successful; they continued digging tunnels to the system in place today. Once they could convince people to stop crapping in the river, they could turn that into a road also. But, always ones for a good Fiesta, the Guanajuatoians continue the July 2nd tradition today and still release a bunch of water down the street.


The tunnels are a very slick (cool) system that moves traffic out of the narrow streets of the downtown.














One of the tunnel openings with a hotel built over it




A video riding back to my hotel. This shortcut saved about 10 minutes or so by not having to go through the congested downtown. These videos are a huge pain in the ass to produce but I’ll try to do some more video of in towns later.





Of course, the video I really wanted of me following Gerardo through the downtown streets and alleys didn’t happen because the idiot video camera operator didn’t start the camera properly. I’m going to have to fire that useless bastard.

Here is a pic of the main drag at its widest part – it actually has two lanes here. The only thing missing from the picture are the endless buses.


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Old 11-11-2012, 11:00 AM   #84
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Oct 31 to Nov 2 Mexican History

Whether it wanted to or not, not too many years after that famous Italian explorer (Christoforo Colombo or, as the Spanish liked to call him Cristóbol Colón) showed up on the shores of an island not too far away, Mexico became an important part of the Spanish empire supplying among other things, huge quantities of silver and gold.


After almost 300 years, the Spanish became more demanding and sent a new head honcho over to try and extract a bit more from the country by imposing new and higher taxes. He also clipped the wings of the church who owned huge assets including loans given on the never never plan to help start farms and businesses. The government took these loans over and started to demand they be paid back and thus was born the first government inflicted loan crisis.



This all set the Mexican natives and those of Spanish background but born in Mexico into a tizzy and like other countries at the time subjected to European dominance, they wanted out. Long storey short, Father Hildago and Ignacio Allende put together a plan to revolt. They figured that with Napoleon invading Spain, maybe they could sneak under the radar and pull off the revolt before the Spanish figured out what was going on.



However, they had a Benedict Arnold in their midst who gave up the plans to the Spaniards and forced them to start the revolt before they were ready. While they had some early successes, Hildago and Allende weren’t very good at playing hide n seek as kids and were quickly captured and executed. The war raged on for another 11 years before Mexico was victorious and finally tossed out the Spanish.


One of the battles was in Guanajuato at the Alhóndiga where natives armed with stones, slings and machetes were fighting a well-armed bunch of Spanish hiding there. This mural depicts the hero carrying a flat stones on his back to protect him from the Spanish bullets so he could burn down one of the doors. Pretty clever






Here is tourist trying to smile standing in front of the Alhóndiga





When Father Hildago, Allende and a couple of other players were captured and executed, their noggins were placed in these kind of bird cage enclosures and each hung from one corner of the Alhóndiga





Given it was a day to celebrate dead people, students from the local University were doing a lot of artwork around town. A couple of the pics they drew on the floor inside the Alhóndiga were of Hildago and Allende in their “birdcages.”









They even had a metal detector at the entrance to the Alhóndiga. I'm standing there with my camera and about 6 pounds of change in my pocket and the guard waves me through. Machine beeps, I stick my arms out and he turns to the next person. I guess their rules are that they have to have a metal detector . . . and when it beeps, the guard says to himself (in Spanish of course) yup, that guy has a bunch of metal on him. I thought it was hilarious after I realized I wouldn't get a cavity search for making the stupid machine beep.





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Old 11-11-2012, 03:09 PM   #85
acejones
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The problem I had in Guanajuato was the poor signage on those tunnel streets. They put the sign so close to the off tunnel that by the time you see it, you are past it. Frustrating.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:13 PM   #86
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The problem I had in Guanajuato was the poor signage on those tunnel streets. They put the sign so close to the off tunnel that by the time you see it, you are past it. Frustrating.
That's when it helps having a guide or, use the GPS and skip the tunnels (PITA)
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:44 PM   #87
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Oct 31 to Nov 2 Mining

Visited a couple of the old mines. Not a lot to see as they were mostly underground. The original mines before a little technology was introduced had the natives squeezed into tight spaces, little shoring and digging by candle light. Here are a couple of painting depicting their techniques then. Pretty rough life.










Looking across the city at one of the early mines – the structure that looks like a fort





At the fort, here is the top of the shaft going down some 1700 feet. When you think about it, that is a long way down.





There were a series of these circular walls that were used to process the ore hauled out of the mine. I’m suspecting they had some sort of donkey powered grinder where the donkeys walked in circles pulling on a big lever turning a grinding mechanism. Same as they grind down the heart of agave plants for Mezcal /Tequila.





Over at another mine which remained in production with the introduction of some 20th century technology – some of the turn of the century compressors





Some idiot playing miner (don't get a lot of pics of myself so have to seize the opportunity)






Active mining continues in the area.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:37 PM   #88
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Great to see RexBuck rides again. Great pictures and videos. Thanks for posting up. Enjoying the ride along and the history lessons. Only drinking that one brand of beer. I drool over the food pictures.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:44 AM   #89
RexBuck OP
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Great to see RexBuck rides again. Great pictures and videos. Thanks for posting up. Enjoying the ride along and the history lessons. Only drinking that one brand of beer. I drool over the food pictures.
Thanks for joining in again Sunday. And, thanks for the compliments.

As far as beer, I prefer the darker beers: Negro Modelo, Indio, Leon, etc but am quite satisfied with lighter beers. The odd time I've been known to have a bit of Mezcal or Tequila which also can be delightful. I try to avoid mixing them up to make things like Margaritas as I get kinda goofy with those things.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:41 AM   #90
Redhed
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Hey Rex
Passed through those tunnels about a month ago. You describe them as "slick" as in neat, and that they are. They are also damded slick as in slippery if there is any water down there. Really enjoying your report. You are going the extra mile with an effective history lesson and good pics. Aren't we glad to not be in the Okanagan about now??? Ride Safely.
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