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Old 01-26-2013, 12:27 AM   #736
motoged
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Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
Hi, we use TripAdvisor a lot when deciding where to stay and this place popped up as being quite nice:

http://www.casachikita.com/ .
Thanks....Tripadvisor and Google maps....
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:04 PM   #737
Turkeycreek
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Gene, your reports get better each time.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:06 AM   #738
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Updated from http://www.RideDOT.com/rtw/68.html




In 1943, a fissure opened up in a cornfield just outside of Uruapan. The farmer and his wife watched as ash and stones erupted from a small hole in the ground. A week later, that fissure grew up to be a volcano measuring 5 stories high and after a year it was over 1,000 feet tall! During this time, the volcano continued spewing lava and ash, covering the field and burying two neighbouring villages, Paricutin (which the volcano was named after) and San Juan.



We wanted to see this volcano first-hand, so we rode about 15 minutes outside of Uruapan and stopped for lunch in Nuevo San Juan. The inhabitants of old San Juan had plenty of time to evacuate their homes and they relocated their town further away from the volcano and named it Nuevo San Juan. After lunch, we rode further uphill to where the farmer's field used to be. The road crumbled away to a dirt path through a very scenic forest.


"Excuse me!" Neda beeps her horn... nothing.
"Con permisso?"... ah, that did the trick - Spanish-speaking cows...



The trail gets smaller and disappears into the forest


Trail becomes a field of fine volcanic ash

The ash is like sand, which is our sworn nemesis! Our big, heavy bikes with smooth, street tires leave deep gouges in the soft surface. As Neda tries to accelerate out of the dark ash, her rear tire leaves a smokey ash-cloud in the air that hangs in the air behind her until my bike cuts through it. Instead of paddling our way through all of this, we decide to park the bikes and hike 30 minutes to the farmer's field.


From across the field, the volcano appears in the distance, rising 1,400 feet in the air


Although we are assured by many people that the volcano is dormant, we're a bit taken aback
when hot, smelly gases still rise from the fissures in the ground!



For once, I'm not responsible for the smell behind me...


Scrabbling up the very steep summit of the volcano, we take different paths
because whoever's ahead leaves a small landslide of babyhead volcanic rocks



We reach the top, and bask in the... uh, sulfuric gases


Looking into the crater of the Paricutin Volcano


There's an awful lot of heat and activity here for a "dormant" volcano...


Hiking around the rim of the volcano


In the very far distance, my zoom lense captures what remains of old San Juan

Old San Juan lies almost completely covered in lava from the Paricutin Volcano. From the peak, we can see the direction and the shape of the lava flow. The only thing standing in San Juan is the top of the the church. It's too far to hike today, as it's taken us 2 hours to get from the bike to the summit, and the sun is starting to hang low in the sky.


Getting ready to descend


Spectacular views from the top of Paricuctin



We take another way down the volcano, as it seems a bit more direct, although it's much more steeper. From the video above, we slid down as if we were on snowboards down a Double Black Diamond run - smoke still rising all around us! When we reached the bottom, we got a bit lost and spent almost an hour rummaging through thick foliage trying to find the path back to the field we came in from. We had less than an hour of sun left and I was starting to panic a bit, but thankfully Neda has the tracking skills of a woman in a shoe store on Boxing Day and we made it out into the field as the sun was beginning to set.

Just another 30 minutes to get back to the bike and then a ride through the forest in the dark. Not looking forward to that.


And then, salvation!

Castullo and his brother were also visiting the volcano, and they managed to drive through the ash and park a lot closer than we did. When they saw us walking though the ash field, they offered us a ride in the back of their pickup truck. We had seen tons of Mexicans riding in the back of pickup trucks in our travels, and now we were doing the exact same thing as the locals! So awesome! We were giggling like kids and taking lots of shakey pictures all the way back on the bumpy ride to the bikes, and the two brothers were shaking their heads and laughing at us from inside the truck. :)


We thanked Castullo for the ride and then negotiated the rest of the ash field


I couldn't put my kickstand down to help, so I had to ride past Neda, park and come back to pick her bike up.
It was getting dark very fast...


We did manage to get back to Uruapan safely, and it was only after a couple of days of rest from our long hike that we felt ready to venture out to the other side of Paricutin to try to find the remnants of the church in the lava.


Had lunch at Angahuan, the closest town to old San Juan


We were a bit worried about eating here, didn't seem that sanitary... but the food tasted good


We rented a couple of horses and descended down the steep path strewn with volcanic rock


There it is, the remains of the church in old San Juan


This was the only building remaining in the entire town


There are shanties set up just outside the ruins and it looks like people still worship at the church
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lightcycle screwed with this post 01-29-2013 at 09:49 AM
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:00 AM   #739
kitesurfer
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thanks for the volcano/lava pics. i've not seen this area any any rr's untill now. another spot for my preplanning map.
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:35 AM   #740
attaboy
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Talking

It's Monday morning at the office, a tasty coffee in my hand and reading my weekly update of this fantastic RR once again...
This "dormant" volcano story will inspire me for the day!!

Your pictures are great. this is the adventure of a lifetime... until the next one

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Old 01-28-2013, 06:23 AM   #741
deersSlayer
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I love this RR!
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:52 AM   #742
Dekatria
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Powerful pics, those of the church. Amazing stuff
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:22 AM   #743
pceire32
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Great photos, thank you for including us on your journey.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:34 AM   #744
Mo-Tarded
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Wow.... Just wow ! Again and again !
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:32 AM   #745
ANT1
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Brilliant report!

And congratulation for the quality of your pictures... the compositions are always great!
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:51 PM   #746
Pongo
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That is adventure!
Well done and great RR
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:46 PM   #747
Scootard
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Originally Posted by lightcycle View Post
Next time you find yourself on a scree field, also known as a talus slope keep in mind that it will only ever repose to between 30-45 degrees. I have always found the easiest (and fastest) method of descent is to keep both feet together, then jump, and turn in midair just as though turning while skiiing a steep slope.

This method invariably results in speed, excellent control and an adrenalin boost that will leave you grinning for hours. Try it , you'll like it. Lovin' the RR
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #748
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Next time you find yourself on a scree field, also known as a talus slope keep in mind that it will only ever repose to between 30-45 degrees. I have always found the easiest (and fastest) method of descent is to keep both feet together, then jump, and turn in midair just as though turning while skiiing a steep slope.
"Scree Field"! You learn something new everyday!

Not sure about the hopping down a steep slope of loose stones, though. Seems like a good way to start an avalanche?
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:17 AM   #749
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Originally Posted by kitesurfer View Post
thanks for the volcano/lava pics. i've not seen this area any any rr's untill now.
All credit has to go to Neda. She's been planning all the stops and routes ever since we crossed south of the border.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:39 AM   #750
Two Moto Kiwis
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Location: Wanaka, New Zealand, Currently RTWing
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All credit has to go to Neda. She's been planning all the stops and routes ever since we crossed south of the border.
We are heading that way now guys, a must see for us.

Hope all is well, we are in Manzanillo today heading across tomorrow.

Love to you both, Andi & Ellen
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