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Old 01-05-2008, 09:19 PM   #1
Gustavo OP
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Por la Libre - New Year's in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

It is the night. My body's weak.
I'm on the run. No time to sleep.
I've got to ride.

Ride like the wind to be free again.
And I got such a long way to go.
To make it to the border of Mexico.
So I'll ride like the wind.

I was born the son of a lawless man.
Always spoke my mind with a gun in my hand.
Lived nine lives
gunned down ten.
Gonna ride like the wind.

And I got such a long way to go.
To make it to the border of Mexico.
So I'll ride like the wind.
Ride like the wind.
Ride like the wind.

Accused and tried and told to hang
I was no where in sight
when the church bells rang.
Never was the kind to do as I was told.
Gonna ride like the wind before I get old.

It is the night. My body's weak.
I'm on the run. No time to sleep.
I've got to ride.
Ride like the wind to be free again.

And I got such a long way to go.
To make it to the border of Mexico.
So I'll ride like the wind.
Ride like the wind.

And I got such a long way to go.
To make it to the border of Mexico.
So I'll ride like the wind.
Gonna run like the wind.

- Christopher Cross









Gustavo
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:20 PM   #2
Gustavo OP
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Las Cruces to Chihuahua

Funny how different trips get different music going in your head.
It was Saturday afternoon, traffic was getting heavy near the
border and Christopher Cross popped into my head and wouldn't let
go for the rest of the trip.

Friday couldn't come soon enough. It was the weekend before X-Mas,
and I really needed a vacation. US Airways got us to El Paso without
any delays which was great considering storms were wrecking havoc on
air travel further east. I went to pick up the V-Strom, it started
on the first crank. After almost two months, it started as if I had
just parked it there yesterday.




Spent the day visiting family as well as most of the next morning.
Around noon my wife left in the truck, I was still busy, I was going
to catch up on the road to have a late lunch in Villa Ahumada. As
I was heading for the border, the paisano traffic was heavy, every
body headed to Mexico for the holidays.




As I was getting near the Santa Teresa border crossing traffic suddenly
came to a halt. We were still 3-4 miles away from the actual border. This
isn't good. I meant not good for the wife, I had no problem splitting my
way to the front of the line. On the way I ran into them, still waiting
in line. It seems the Santa Teresa/San Jeronimo crossing has been
"discovered". I have been using this border crossing since it opened
and I can't remember this kind of traffic ever, even on the Saturday
just before X-Mas. The two lane road narrows into a single lane just
as you reach the border, and the lack of signs indicating where to
park and go to get your various permits makes people stop in the
middle of the road, wondering where they need to go, blocking traffic
and causing even more delays.




People were getting out of their cars and walking across the border
to start the permit process. Of course, they then wanted to return
back to their families in the waiting cars, only to run into some
Migra agents that didn't like people walking back and forth across
the border without going through the right side and having their
documents checked before they came back to the US. They had a hard
time stopping the sea of people walking back and forth.





It took them an hour after I had crossed to finally make it across
the border. Man, was I happy I got my permits on the trip in
October... Unfortunately, I didn't have a way to bypass the
traffic going south. All the roads go through Chihuahua and every
body was headed that way. The lines at the Villa Ahumada toll booth
were also 5 km long. Good thing I had the key to the house in
Chihuahua with me. I don't think I'm going to see the truck for a
few hours after I arrive there. It was getting late, and even
after lane splitting my way to the front of all traffic lines, it
was getting dark before I got to Chihuahua. I just couldn't help
myself, it just kept coming back...

It is the night. My body's weak.
I'm on the run. No time to sleep.
I've got to ride.
Ride like the wind to be free again.
And I got such a long way to go.
To make it to the border of Mexico.
So I'll ride like the wind.


Gustavo

Gustavo screwed with this post 01-05-2008 at 09:35 PM
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:26 PM   #3
GalacticGS
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This sounds good so far...
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Setting up of other roads, travel on in old accustomed ways."
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:07 PM   #4
tricepilot
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Bob
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:23 PM   #5
Gustavo OP
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Roberto, I almost fell out of the chair (again) when I saw that picture.




I doubt this report will be anywhere near as good as the one you just posted.
My reports - Yours -

Are you interested in moonlighting writing my trip reports?


El Rey Gustavo
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:20 PM   #6
larryboy
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:16 PM   #7
Gustavo OP
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Chihuahua to Durango

After X-Mas I took the wife and kids to the train station, where
they were going to ride the CHEPE to the coast (it's considered one
of the most scenic train rides on the continent. I have taken it
before, it is indeed a beautiful ride, but I am not patient enough
for the ~16 hour ride to Los Mochis)

http://www.chepe.com.mx/ing_html/presentacion/presentacion.html










It was rather cold, so I wasn't in much of a hurry to leave. My
destination for the day was Durango, about 660 kms away the short
way. But I wasn't planning on taking the short route...

V-Strom ready to roll:



By 9 AM the sun was making it's presence felt, I geared up and
got on the road. The plan was to go explore a road that goes
through Santa Maria del Oro in Durango, there is a paved road that
continues to a couple of other small towns and then it's not clear
whether it's paved going on toward Guanacevi. There is only one
way to find out...

The sky was clear, the sun was shining and there was little
traffic at this time.

These guys never fail me, always parked in the same spot:



This is where it starts getting interesting:





Dangerous Curve (or pay attention, it's about to get really interesting):



Even when the road is straight, the rugged scenery keeps things interesting:




I'm not sure Mexican's invented the speed bump, but they have
certainly adopted the tope to become the most common speed control
device in existence. Every dinky little town has at least 5 topes
on the main road. If you are lucky, they give you some advance
warning. If not, it's marked as you get to it. If you are SOL,
it's not painted or posted, you usually figure out it's there just
as you are about to hit it...

Tope. HERE!:




Fast but interesting:




Someone forgot to shut the paint valve:





I got to the Villa Hidalgo intersection. There is an Army check
point there. I always get stopped but rarely searched. They
usually more interested in the bike than anything I may be trying
to smuggle, if I chat with them about the bike and traveling, they
don't make me open my bags. I asked them about the road to and
past Santa Maria del Oro. They said it wasn't good. I told them
I'd check it out anyway. They couldn't understand why would I
want to go there instead of staying on the main road to Durango.
It's hard to explain to someone who doesn't ride.

The road to Santa Maria del Oro - New road, no markings:




Cows crossing:





I got to SM del Oro and the road continued past the town as I
expected. I followed it past a couple of small towns to what I
think was San Bernardo (no signs anywhere).




A couple of blocks past the plaza the road ended. Where does
it continue? An older señor told me to make a right after the
plaza and go up hill. The road turns to dirt for about 5 km to
the main road, stay to the right at intersections. Seemed to
make sense, so up the hill I go.

It started in fairly good condition, nice ride through the
country:



Ten miles (!) later I got to this section, I thought this would
be close to the main road:




Five miles after the small town I got to this ranch:




I asked about the way to the main road. Go right at the intersection,
across a couple of arroyos, it's about 5 kms (can you see the pattern?)
to the main road. Five miles later I was here:




And no sign of the main road in sight. After about 20 miles, finally,
I see a road:




At least it looked paved from a distance:




Suddenly I get to a Y in the road. No signs. There is a Vulka,
the owner isn't there, but the kid says the road to Santiago
Papasquiaro is the one on the right. He says it's 2 hours from
here. I'm looking at my map, and I can't figure out where I'm at.
Obviously, not where I thought I was going... I should have pulled
the Guia Roji atlas, but I didn't. After 45 minutes I get to a marked
intersection. Now I know where I am at. And I really had no clue
before, because I was not on the road I thought I was. It turns
out the dirt road I took looped me back almost all the way to Santa
Maria del Oro. No wonder I had been on the road for much longer
than I expected. Maybe I need to break down and buy a GPS. No,
that would make these trips way too easy... I was starting to run
low on gas. My estimate from the map was that Santiago was 60 kms
away. But 60 kms came and went and I didn't get there. The road
was twisty and pavement wasn't that great, so I wasn't making
good progress either. As I was coming into Tepehuanes I was very
happy to see the green Pemex sign.

Vaqueros in Tepehuanes:




It was getting dark, I got on it to make Durango before I ran out
of daylight. I didn't make it. This is starting to become a habit,
riding into Durango at night. If you asked Tony or Brian, they'll
tell you that is not a good habit to have. It's usually not
recommended to ride in Mexico at night. The roads are not always
properly marked (forget reflectors, simple painted center and shoulder
markings would be nice), the burros, cows and horses you see during
daylight are still there, only impossible to see until it's way too
late if they decide to cross the road. Do as I say, not as I do...

It is the night. My body's weak.
I'm on the run. No time to sleep.
I've got to ride.
Ride like the wind to be free again.
And I got such a long way to go.
To make it to the border of Mexico.
So I'll ride like the wind.

Gustavo
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:42 PM   #8
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What's this? You're riding into Durango in the dark again?

And now you're a king, as well? What have I been missing?
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Old 01-06-2008, 10:55 PM   #9
Gustavo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remarksman
What's this? You're riding into Durango in the dark again?

And now you're a king, as well? What have I been missing?
It all happened while you were sitting there in the dark during that pre-Xmas storm...


BTW, I'm 2 out of 2 for riding into Durango in the dark this trip...


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Old 01-06-2008, 11:00 PM   #10
ppuga
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Hey Gustavo! Nice to read you again! It was a shame I couldn't make to Puerto Vallarta, but I'm having fun with your post, so please keep going!





Saludos, nos vemos en MotoAventuras!
Feliz Año!
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Old 01-07-2008, 06:27 AM   #11
GB
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Thanks Gustavo for a fantastic report!!

any more??

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Old 01-07-2008, 08:25 AM   #12
Gustavo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Thanks Gustavo for a fantastic report!!

any more??


Thanks GB.

Yes, there is more, coming up shortly.


Gustavo
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:42 AM   #13
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:47 AM   #14
Gustavo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ppuga
Hey Gustavo! Nice to read you again! It was a shame I couldn't make to Puerto Vallarta, but I'm having fun with your post, so please keep going!

Pablo! Me fallaste, pense que te animarias a llegar a lo del Doc para año nuevo... (si, es para que te de remordimiento y sentimientos de culpabilidad... )

Ni modo, queda pendiente para la proxima reunion.


Saludos,

Gustavo
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:41 PM   #15
ppuga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustavo
Pablo! Me fallaste, pense que te animarias a llegar a lo del Doc para año nuevo... (si, es para que te de remordimiento y sentimientos de culpabilidad... )

Ni modo, queda pendiente para la proxima reunion.


Saludos,

Gustavo
Si ni me digas... Me quede con muchas ganas de lanzarme.

Un abrazo!
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