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Old 10-15-2013, 05:41 PM   #46
SOLOKLR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanPNW View Post
Glad you guys are enjoying it.

SOLOKLR - D2D is a rad time, when you have a minute you should blast me that pic if you can find it. Would be cool to have it.
I found it on my tablet. Pm me your email address and I'll send it out
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:44 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SOLOKLR View Post
I found it on my tablet. Pm me your email address and I'll send it out
Saweet, thanks. PM sent.
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Old 10-15-2013, 05:46 PM   #48
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Dogs

I think the dogs are Peruvian Hairless dogs. there are Mexican hairless, Xoloitzcuintle, but I think you saw the Peruvian dogs.

Ok, I will ask. Do you want to tell us about the cancer?
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:19 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by DyrWolf View Post
I think the dogs are Peruvian Hairless dogs. there are Mexican hairless, Xoloitzcuintle, but I think you saw the Peruvian dogs.

Ok, I will ask. Do you want to tell us about the cancer?
Innnnteresting, they are rad dogs. Can't get over that they don't have any hair though. Feel like it would be similar to petting a pig, just not as...porky.

Oh and I don't have cancer, just want to make sure that's clear (just in case that was what you were wondering). At least I hope I don't (?), I guess we never really know until we do. In either case though, the quote at the beginning of this ride report is from a very important guy that I met while on my last trip (Tanning A Ginger Tip to Tip). Here's a link to the post where I met him: 10. Little Chicken, Big Character

And here's the part that actually talks about him:

Quote:
As exciting as the characters of Chicken and the panti-cannon were, it was another traveler that captivated my interest the most. He was guy in his late 70's probably, traveling with his wife in an old pick-up with a camper on the back. He didn't seem like the RVing grandparents type though and at first I had him pegged as a local, or at least a local an Alaskan, he didn't seem like a tourist or a traveler in the same way that we were. He seemed at home here, or at least in this sort of traveling lifestyle. He had a fairly quiet demeanor and spent most of the initial evening time just sitting and enjoying other peoples conversation, sipping on his beers. He had a warm look on his face and a smirk-y grin, I got the impression that he seemed like a chill guy and one of those people that has stories under his belt, and that's why he's so quiet and content to just sit and enjoy listening to other people tell stories. Me being me I got to chatting with him and that was that. With some intrigued questioning and nudging of conversation he eventually over the course of a couple hours and several beers told me all about the things he had done throughout his life, his life story was by far the most varied and extensive history I had heard from any stranger before and I found him absolutely captivating. Sort of like when you get a bit older and you realize just how fucking cool your grandpa is and how it's fascinating hearing all the things they have experienced in their long life. Everything from winning the famous Omak Suicide Horse race, sailing in St. Marks, flying bush planes in Alaska, to getting bored and deciding to train to do the famous Iditarod sled dog race at the ripe and spry age of 63. When he decided to try and race the Iditarod he moved to Alaska, built a home himself to train out of in the boonies, and 3 years later successfully completed the Iditarod race (he broke his neck the 2nd year so it took him a bit to rehab before he could successfully race it to completion).

Through talking with him I also learned that his name was Jeanne. I also learned that he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer 2 years ago. He was very frank about his prognosis and outlook and he openly said that he would be surprised if he was still around in 2 years. He still had such a sense of calm about him when talking about this though, and his spirit was just as perky and happy as when he was talking about the other things that he had done in his life. I knew that I had to ask him more questions as it's rare that you meet someone like Jeanne. I asked him "For a guy that has done so much with your life already and always lived with a drive and passion for doing what you were interested in that moment and flying by the seat of your pants, is there anything that you know you really want to do before your time is up?"

He thought about the question pensively, but only for a moment, and then laughed and smiled with the same smile he had so easily brought forward throughout our long conversation, and said that "If there was anything left that I desired to do I'm sure that I would get out there and be doing it already!" (he was still actively traveling the world and flying his plane regularly) I drew from this that the thought of "What do I do now that I know I'm going to die soon" never really crossed his mind because he always did the things in life that he wanted to do, he never back burnered anything. Living his life up until this moment in that way allowed him to - now knowing that he doesn't have much time left - live out the last of his time in comfort about what he has and hasn't done because he always lived his life to the fullest.

In the morning I walked over to where him and his wife were camping and talked with him again over camp breakfast. Before we parted ways he said that after we had all gone to sleep he had thought more about my question that I had asked. He said that although he hadnít come up with anything that he has yet to do or wished he'd done differently, he wanted to explain that he did understand why I asked the question. He understood that I was asking the question from a place of interest being that I am young and (hopefully!) have a lot more living to do, and was seeking any wisdom from a man who had so obviously lived his life to its fullest.

He said that if he can impart any wisdom that he has learned through his his long list of life experiences, it is that:

Ē there is no point in spending your life doing things you donít want to do and that donít give you joy. You can make all the money in the world but you need to learn how to have fun. You MUST learn how to play. Since I was diagnosed with cancer 2-years ago I havenít had a single bad day. I simply donít have time for bad days, so I make every day a good day. Life is short and if you can get started with that mentality young, youíll do just fine.Ē

With that he ended our conversation and left me to digest. With his joyful attitude, piercingly insightful eyes backed by many years of a life well lived, he looked at his wife with a smile - who had been sitting next to him quietly sipping her coffee mug held with both hands for warmth, and said simply that they should head out and get going, saying "We have things, to go do."

If I had any question about finishing up my work in Seattle and heading South in the fall, Jeanne and his wise words sure stomped them out.
He'll probably never know, but he was pivetol in helping me answer some of the questions I had about my life at that time, what I wanted to do next, and how I wanted to do it. I tried for quite a while to find a way to get in contact with him again but was not successful. I would love to have had a chance to spend some more time with him, but unfortunately I fear this is not in the cards.

One of those people that you meet randomly, and only for a very brief moment, but that you never forget.
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:55 PM   #50
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Oh I missed one of these things " . Thats good news .
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:45 AM   #51
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update

sean, you out there, needing an update. please
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Old 10-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by DyrWolf View Post
Oh I missed one of these things " . Thats good news .
I had misread that as well, thank goodness. Enjoying the ride report, very inspiring--keep the posts coming!
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Old 10-18-2013, 06:14 PM   #53
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Sorry for the lack of posts, I lost my charger and had to find a new one. Updates coming soon
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:37 AM   #54
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16. Guadalajara - Getting Business Done

In the morning I awoke and found birds. Birds? Birds donít live far from land, we must be getting close.



My camera battery was low so I went to swap it with my spare and plug the dead one in to charge. Usually I have it somewhere in my pannier or tankbag. Nope, definitely not in either of those. Yep, definitely left both plugged in to the wall in the Cabo hostel. The cabo wabo haze strikes again.

Because I had no charger or spare battery, this meant the end of my picture taking. When the ferry arrived several hours later I said by to the Dutchies and we unloaded the ferry. I wanted to get to Guadalajara and the Erica and Michel (The Dutchies) where headed some place near Mazatlan for the beach. Guadalajara is about 5 hours east of Mazatlan via the toll roads (cost money but are faster). By dusk I was in town, booked into a hostel, and eating tacos on the street with my new friend Farah. Guadalajara is the second biggest city in Mexico and is very multifaceted in what it brings to the cultural table. For one, itís a historic city. It is full of big public squares, grand old spanish era buildings converted to museums, and lots of effigies to individuals involved in progressing Mexico forward. Itís also a lively place with lots of young and newly employed people which contributes greatly to itís overall feel as well as itís economic potential. In fact, a few years ago it was ranked as having the second strongest economic potential in all of North America and has been called ďthe city of the futureĒ. This has helped bring a large number of recent foreign investment deals (according to Wiki) making it a very attractive destination for people on the up-and-coming and on the grind. The city feels like itís bustling, hustling, and alight with activity. But this isnít New York and people are still really chill and approachable, we are afterall in Mexico remember.

What this meant for me was that I could scope some old architecture, shop for the electronics I need, and feel like Iím a young professional again while reading the paper in a public square and sipping on a chai-latte-macchiato-soy-nesquik-cafe (or whatever it is that the cool kids are drinking now). After a couple days of walking through the city I found the charger that I needed, or a compatible knock-off that would work. At this time the weather showed me what my friends were probably seeing back home and reminded me what rain looks like for the first time since I left Seattle.



I didnít get many pictures while my camera was out of commission, in fact, I got none (funny how that works). I also hate backtracking, so I refuse to go and take pictures of stuff that Iíve already gone to. Thus I only have a few photos to share.

Hereís my bike parked on the sidewalk outside the hostel.



Hereís a picture with some of the common architecture, also horses for bonus.



I spent a fair amount of time shooting the shit while grabbing food and drinks with other people at the hostel. This is a great way to practice my spanish and to get the lowdown on other places to check out in Mexico. I prefer to get my info through osmosis and some light internet research, I have yet to look at a lonely planet or other travel book. I like chatting with locals and other travelers about places they have been and what they liked. After I get a feel for what type of person they are I can then decide how I want to weigh the info they provided. Itís like reading 12 travel advice books rather than one, it may be slower but is more entertaining and engaging.



With all the youth the city is pretty hip and artsy, hereís some cool street art from the trendy Chapultepec area.





I had my camera battery for just a little bit before I left so this is all I have of Guadalajara. Farah, a girl I met my first night told me that I should definitely go check out a place called Guanajuato city. Sheís the first person to mention the place but I trust her taste. Iíll head there next. On the road again.






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Old 10-21-2013, 11:31 AM   #55
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17. Guanajuato - You Cheeky, Beautiful Place

After a couple hours of riding I made it to Guanajuato. I donít really have any expectations as I literally know nothing about it. All I know is that a friend recommended it and that thereís NO availability in the entire town this weekend. Something about a 3 week long festival? I could only find one place that had one night available. Make do with what you have.

Hello Guanajuato.



Alright Guanajuato, thatís a little bit of a grandiose entrance donít you think?



After entering the city I set out to find my hostel. I had my GPS but there is no normal city grid, so it took quite a while.

Lots of the streets are one way streets, and are small enough that you canít just bomb down them and squeeze by if a car comes. This one is on the larger side for example.



The city is made of hills and terraces so there is a pretty neat tunnel system. The tunnels are also really old. Busses, cars, walkers, etc all use it and there are lots of little entrances to them throughout the city for walkers. Pretty rad. The problem for someone who doesnít know them though (like me) is that they are elaborate enough to have stop signs in them and lots of options for turns etc. My GPS goes dead when I go into the tunnels, so I end up guessing which ways to go. I guess Iíll make a left here. I guess Iíll head up this tunnel, and down this one.



Most times I pop out in a totally different place than I thought I was going to. One wrong turn and the reroute adds 20 minutes to get you back to where you were fucked up just so you can give it another whirl. Sometimes I make the same mistake, sometimes I make a different one. Getting lost is a great way to see a place though, and this one just happens to be beautiful. These streets are very old and very interesting.









Eventually I found the hostel.



And found a spot down the street for my bike.



After I got settled I started to learn about the location I had found myself in for the day. Guanajuato is a colonial-era city. Back in the day it had mines that did very well and made the city have a very affluent upper class. These people wanted to be entertained and have things to throw their money at so the city developed a rich cultural art scene. Plays were performed in the plazas and artists flocked here to perform their crafts. Eventually a festival came about called Festival Internacional Cervantino (FIC), mix in a lot of federal support to bring in international artists and you have what it is today, a three week long extravaganza of international culture and arts. FIC is seen as the most important international festival (key word is international, there are many other great festivals that are not international in nature) in all of Latin America. In addition, there are only 3 other major events of this type in the world. Fun fact, among other big Latin American sponsors, good olí Microsoft in the US of A is also a sponsor.

Alright then, looks like I stumbled upon a good place to be. I just have a night so I left to go explore. Although it feels like a city because of all the activity and interesting things to do/see, I should really call it a town. It has all the culture of a big city, but is very condensed into a relatively small area and population. Walking is the perfect way to get around.



Today is just a Thursday and only the second week of the 3 week event. Even so, performers are everywhere and it feels like a Friday night in any other big city.





Everywhere you turn there are alleys that lead to other areas, and little hole-in-the-wall bars and restaurants. The entrances to these places can be very small and obscure, but once you step through the door they open up and can be huge inside, sometimes with several floors and many rooms. Here in these places you can find a whole other world of people and activity. I follow the noise and keep my head on a swivel for alleys to go down and check out.



The night goes on and I meet up with some locals and new friends from the hostel. We grab more drinks at a locals apartment, getting a feel for what it would be like to live here. Later we grab more food and then head to a club type place. Buildings are packed close together and everything is built up rather than out. Itís hard not feeling like you are still in the colonial era, besides the bass heavy electronica music of course. Really cool to party in architecture like this. Whether in the colonial era or the modern day, we are still doing the same thing, getting drunk, meeting other people, and dancing the night away.

Bars donít stop serving alcohol until around 3 or 4 in the morning here it seems. If the party is good and the drinks are flowing, theyíll keep selling them past that. I donít exactly remember what time we headed back, but the sun wasnít too far from rising. If this is on a Thursday, I wonder what Fridays and Saturdays are like? Although I just have the one night it was still a good one. Topped it off with some bomb food.



In the morning I woke up early to walk around more and see the town in the daylight. The girl that ran the hostel said she could show me the good spots to see the city from so we took my bike and went for a ride. Man is it helpful having a local guide for these roads. ďderecho aquiĒ, ďizquierda aquiĒ, etc, etc.

From a high vantage point I canít capture the place in one photo. Is it a town, or is it a city? I guess Iím not sure. Here it is in two photos from right to left though.





She had to get back to work so I dropped her off and set out to see more of the area.



Everything is colorful.



Being a cultural arts hub, itís a big city for art students, obviously, and there are several universities. Lots of young people.



Little corridors lead to places, all unknown. Itís impossible to see them all.







I met an older lady while walking around the steep streets. We chatted (still in broken spanish for me) and I walked with her as she went to the market. Really nice lady. She told me about the history of the town and what the different areas have. As we chatted she would constantly pause to greet other locals as they passed. An embrace with a kiss on the cheek was the most common. Everyone seems to know everyone here.



Eventually it was time for me to check out of the hostel and find a different place to go see. Maybe Iíll head SE to Queretaro, I heard it is also a pretty old town.



I brought the bike down the alley where my hostel is and parked it out front. My panniers are heavy and itís easier to load the bike when itís close. After finishing packing I came outside to leave and found a Honda 230 dirtbike parked near mine in the alley. A guy was standing next to my bike and we said hey and shot the shit for a few minutes. Said he had a KLR himself and just came to say hey. He asked how long I had been in town for, I said that everything is booked so unfortunately just the one night. He said thatís ridiculous and not enough time for Guanajuato. He said he grew up here and his parents have a place near town where he was staying for the weekend, I should just come stay there. Tomorrow he can show me around the area and show me the other side of Guanajuato that travelers donít normally see. The offroad riding side :-)

Deal. Meet Jose, his amigo Dano, and his pops who just so happens to be an ex-competitive enduro racer.



Tomorrow, time to hit the dirt.




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Old 10-21-2013, 01:35 PM   #56
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awesome, loving it!
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TAT-2013: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=913898
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:37 PM   #57
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loooking good Sean!!! good for you!!

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Old 10-22-2013, 03:39 PM   #58
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18. Riding Guanajuato

I spent the night at Jose’s parents beautiful home just outside of Guanajuato last night. Today I woke up to a delicious and traditional mexican breakfast prepared by Jose’s mom Laura. Our plan was to do some riding up in the hills around Guanajuato and get a feel for what the area has to offer in terms of dirt riding.

Taylor, Jose’s neighbor and childhood friend, showed up on his Honda 350 for the ride (he’s got about 15 bikes, mostly sweet classic road bikes. Also, if you are interested in some great quality riding boots, check out his families boot company Gasolina Boots, hand crafted here in Guanojuato). Jose’s dad hadn’t seen this one so he gave it a sit, he seemed pleased.



We took off and headed out of town, climbing higher and higher into the hills that encircle Guanajuato.



Once we climbed to the ridgeline we followed it into a small town and stopped for a bite.



The menu had Tostadas but they were only 20 pesos (about $1.50) so I figured I should order two. Definitely too much food. I love eating in Mexico.



Satisfaction



Just a mile or two down the road again we turned off and hit the dirt.



The riding was fun and the pace was good. The terrain varied quickly and widely. Some areas were full of green trees.



Some areas where much more open and scenic.





The bikes were happy and so was I.



Shit yeah, here comes the rain!



The shittier and more difficult the terrain the better, as far as I’m concerned.



It dumped rain for maybe an hour, and even hailed for a brief minute. We soaked it in and kept bombing. Eventually we came to what is normally a pretty dry creekbed.



All the rain had changed that though. Saweet, my first decent water crossing!



We walked it with a stick to see what the ground was like underneath. No big rocks just heavy silt, perfect. The water was about up to our knees so we cracked the throttles open and let em rip.



Bikes across. The locals waiting for the water to die down seemed impressed.



Taylors bike had lost some power so we stopped for a bit and let stuff dry out.





The sun came back out and you could see it baking the water right out of the hills again. Weather seems to change here pretty fast.



Taylor pulled the plugs, drained his carb, and had her running again lickety split.





We cracked the throttles again and burned back up in elevation towards the ridgelines.



Beautiful riding up here.



I see a telephone pole. We must be getting near town again.



Jose said this is the last highest point, from here it’s all elevation drop back down into Guanajuato. Having a blast.



Vanity shot.



A few more miles and we were winding our way back into town.



When we made it back to Jose’s house we were all both soaked and satisfied. I feel like this was the most fun day of dirt riding that I have had. I’m not sure exactly why though. If I look at it on paper it was a pretty straightforward afternoon ride through the hills. It doesn’t feel like a normal day though, I feel like I had an absolute blast. Maybe it was because we had a little bit of everything? Good twisty tarmac, good dirt, fun shitty weather at times, and problems to solve (getting lost, sucking water into a motor, etc). Maybe it’s the whole package of Guanajuato, the riding, and the people that is making it so good here. Or maybe, just maybe, Mexico is just starting to soak it’s way into my bones, and color everything slightly differently.

When we got back home Jose’s mom had cooked us up an amazing authentic mexican dinner. Thanks Laura! After dinner we shot the shit for a bit then rolled into Guanajuato to partake in the saturday night festivities. FIC was still going on so the place was packed. We found a little bar and knocked a few drinks back and laughed about the day. After a few rounds of mescal we decided it was best just to get a bottle (PS apparently I really like Mescal). Here the bottles are pretty cheap. It’s likely made and distributed locally as the bottle appears homemade and has no labeling of any kind. Once again, hard not to feel like you are in a colonial era pub. No way to know what it is until you drink it, but damn is it good stuff. Tastes like mildly spiced tequila.

The night went on and the drinks flowed. Eventually our bottle was done and it was time to head to a different place. Walking around the alleys and twisty streets there is a cacophony of smells from all the food stands that line the streets. With a head full of mescal, each stand is all but irresistible. We choose wisely and go with a Guanajuato staple. Apparently this lady can be found here every Friday - Sunday, without fail. All the food is cooked by her during the day and then brought down to the street in buckets. The types of meat and toppings are many and the combinations of the options are endless. We ate here twice before the night was done.



Well Guanajuato, tomorrow I am heading out. Not sure where yet, but the time has come. Thank you for the good riding, good food, good people, and good times.

Guanajuato, congratulations, you are doing it right.


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Old 10-23-2013, 06:29 AM   #59
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Loving this report! I'm headed to San Miguel de Allende for a 10 day stint over Christmas, can't wait to hit some of that action!

Safe travels and keep it coming!!
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:57 AM   #60
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Guanajuato is great. Love the report. My family rented a house there last december for 6 weeks. I would live there in a heart beat.

As far a navigating, getting lost is a fun way to explore. If you need to find your way, try hiring a cab to lead you to your destination. Only problem would be keeping up. Those cabbies in Guanajuato haul ASS!
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