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Old 12-16-2013, 04:12 AM   #76
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Yesterday and Today

I did some more work with Google Streetview, in view of the comment on Fresnillo. Here are more “whatever happened to” comparisons, pairs of photos, 1981 vs today, thanks to Google Streetview. It was a challenge to work out the geographic coordinates of eight more places I visited 32 years ago just from the visual clues, but it was an addictive puzzle once started.

Santa Rosalia Ferry

The gravel, cactus, and pickups have been replaced by asphalt and sedans.


Cine Diana movie theater at Aquiles Serdan and Calle 19 closed and was replaced by a bank. Las Mil Tortas is still in business but has moved a block down the street.

Pantalones Norteno (“Primary And Secondary School Uniforms” and “The Finest Pants In The Region”) is still there next to the Mercado Municipal, but the Ferreteria Nueva hardware store that was next to it has been replaced by a second-hand shop.

Elota Junction

The junction has a better sign and the highway has been upgraded.


The Mercado Pino Suarez public market seems much the same, including the juice bar on the corner, but the other shops have changed, and the Hotel Teresa in the background is gone.

Puerto Vallarta

At the corner of Juarez and Libertad, the planted saplings have grown into small trees. The corner still has a tourist shop and the street has been paved.


The area around the Mercado Hidalgo market has a different feel to it (why hide such a lovely building behind a tall hedge?) but the market hall - over 100 years old - is still the same.


A subdivision is visible near the Plaza de Toros Alejandra bull ring. It seems to be more remote in the old photo.

Thanks for viewing, and all the positive comments. It made the work worthwhile.

For a modern tropical ride, please see my other post:

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Old 12-16-2013, 03:30 PM   #77
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Awesome pictures! Love stuff like this. This picture belongs in the cool trucks thread. Anybody know what that ford is? Granddaddy to the ford expedition.
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Old 12-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #78
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Wow, Mexico was just as ugly 30 years ago as it is today. I guess being a kid I just didn't noticed how ugly it was...

I really can't understand why some Americans want to travel here.
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Old 12-16-2013, 06:24 PM   #79
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Hats off Falang, trip down to memory lane. I noticed you did not have much luggage (which is the way to go in my book but I still carry more than I need lol) with space in your backseat and ready for a back rider...
Thank you for sharing history and showing how it was (curious how you made the old awesome pictures clear).
ride life Adventurously, try local food...always a noob...
96 Suzuki DR650, Gen1 FZ1 touring set-up
Used to play with Elsinore 250MT, DT125, 650gs, shadow, magna, gpz, 50cc scooter...
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:43 AM   #80
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I'll bite on the ugly idea. Yes Mexico has more than it's share of litter,straight pipes into streams & buildings that would look better were they painted, too many utility wires and so on. My wife is always bothered by the trash lying about. I see it too but it doesn't keep me from the many good aspects of Mexico & it's people.
They are actually starting to pick up the trash down there last few years!
Guess who picks up the trash in my KY home? One guess is all you get!
Main diffs I see over time are roads & signs and some buildings & of course in touristy areas like Play del Carmen where the influx of money has changed things in a huge way-not all for the better IMO. Wasn't it 1974 when Mexican govmt. started the Cancun thing? Not much there before then. I can remember standing in line as recently as late 1980's to use THE! phone in Playa. Now they have big macs & traffic jams...
watch out what you wish for huh...
"If I had my life to live over,I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up.I'd be sillier than this trip, take fewer things seriously, I would take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges, at age 85

kantuckid screwed with this post 12-17-2013 at 04:03 PM
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:58 AM   #81
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not a lot of change in over 30 years.
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Old 12-17-2013, 04:32 PM   #82
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When I returned to Mexico and went much farther a few years later on the same bike we didn't camp so we carried much less stuff: everything for two people fitted inside the two Krauser panniers and the English tankbag, nothing was tied on the back. Unless I am camping, I travel the same way today.
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Old 12-18-2013, 03:59 AM   #83
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amazing work with google earth vs 1981
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:20 AM   #84
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Great write-up Falang! Brings back many old memories.

When I went back up to BC this last summer, I met a few folks from this site. I didn't see Phil this time as he had moved, have you been in touch with him? I sent him a card but got nothing in return.

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Old 12-18-2013, 10:15 AM   #85
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The border guard at Juarez was very friendly:

So awesome seeing "vintage" reports. Film still has a magic that digital can't capture.
I love the border guard; looks like he belongs on the bike—or in a commercial.
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Old 12-18-2013, 10:50 AM   #86
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Exceptional report! Amazing to see how things were before I was even born I envy you having experienced the times before we have become dependent on cell phones and the internet.

Very cool comparison pictures!
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #87
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You're right, the guard could fit right in that commercial! I feel a bit guilty when I look at that photo. He posed for me because he wanted me to mail him a copy of the photo when I got home. Pre-digital, color photos were more special than they are now. He wrote his address on a slip of paper and put it in my passport, but I lost the paper and never sent him the photo. 33 years of guilt. So if anyone will be passing through Juarez immigration northbound and wants to try passing on the photo, please PM me your email address and I'll email you the full-resolution scan for printing. This guy must be 70 by now and must have retired but perhaps the existing officers would recognize him.

Sorry, Pokie, the last time I was in touch with Phil was 2008. I don't know his new address.

Travel will never be the same as before cellphones, internet, GPS, and Streetview. "The Death of Distance" was published back in 1997. It is so much easier, safer and predictable to travel now--and that's a good thing of course--but most of the exotic mystery is gone. You know exactly what to expect and exactly where before you get there, and while you are there your friends back home know exactly where you are. No waiting for you to return after a month of disappearance and for you to take your films to the lab for developing so that you can bore them with your slide projector and regale them with stories of situations and places totally foreign to their experience. Hanoi has more public WiFi than the USA now; you can Skype for free with your smartphone while you walk most downtown streets.

Except out in the bush of course, and that's what the dual-purpose bikes are for.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:03 PM   #88
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Thanks for posting this up. It's really very cool to see the "now" vs "then" comparison shots.
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Old 12-18-2013, 11:51 PM   #89
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Thanks its a very nice raport !!
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Old 12-19-2013, 06:03 PM   #90
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I was able to find a few more locations of old photos. Here they are:

Microondas Los Angeles (a microwave relay station in the Baja) in 1981:

And in 2013 - still there. You can drive across the Baja on Google Streetview now.

University of Guadalajara, with the 1970s-era cars parked in front:

And in 2013. Today it's just the same of course, except that the parking lot has been given over to pedestrians.

Guanajuato Av. Juarez, with the Mercado Hidalgo in the background (which is how I was able to figure out where this picture was taken):

And in 2013:

It looks run down today and it looked so charming before. All the old businesses are gone, including the tortilla factory where I shot the lady tortilla maker.
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