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Old 10-31-2007, 09:26 AM   #211
With the Redhead on Back!
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Originally Posted by strikingviking
You guys got me so inspired that I'll likely follow your path back into Central America for the winter. Just waiting on clearance now...
Hello Tom and Heidi,

You guys better take off soon or you will be leading a group!

Your report is also inspiring me to clean up the airhead and heading south!

Hope you are enjoying every minute!

"I am in California, but my brain spends 90% of it's time in South America"

Over 27,000 miles in South America -- which is NOT enough!

Here is a link to the South American Ride Report...

Trip Index Page.... If you are interested in one spot in South America, you can click on this link and go directly to your point of interest.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:36 PM   #212
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Talking Happy Halloween from Zihuatanejo!

Digiamo: Thanks man and For Sure :)

Bike4ever: Yeah! When Heidi read the first paragraph of your post she said “It sounds like this guy really knows you!” I said "Yeah, this is Dave" and for sure you do…. Sounds like you have a great ride planned next summer. Fill me in on more details.

tricepilot: Hey! bummer we missed ya. How was the ride to Durango? I hear that road is a heck of a ride.

Originally Posted by strikingviking
Hola mis amigos. Donde estas? You guys got me so inspired that I'll likely follow your path back into Central America for the winter. Just waiting on clearance now...
Hola amigo! Justo ahora llegamos en Zihuatanejo. What a sweet spot and what a great ride to get here.
Way cool, I’m sure everyone knew you couldn’t stay away from Central America for too long. Oh Yeah, Striking Viking rides again! I’ll Never forget That clip on the 48-Hours show.

Originally Posted by BlaSTr
Great RR CaveBiker.
I work in the marine industry delivering all manner of boats all over the world. I am continually amazed that in the yacht business, like adventure riding or bike riding in general, how often, in the most remote places, I meet others with similar interests, those on a similar mission, those I've read about and idolized, and found that 99.9% of the folks in the world are friendly, giving, funny, and generous to a fault. Snip:
So true. This world is filled with such super people

Flyingavanti: For sure! Get on that airhead and head south! We will be looking for ya…


Happy Halloween from Zihuatanejo!

Report to follow……
Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:26 AM   #213
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Thumb Back on the road

A couple motorcycle repairs before leaving Mazatlan:

Our new rubber foot peg got ripped when the bike fell over on the ferry ride over to Mazatlan. We are carrying Goop and JB Weld glue so it’s time to use it. Goop is great stuff and seems to have worked well on the foot peg.

The new windshield we put on seems a little wobbly. The screws are tight but the posts still wiggle around. I think a little dap of JB Weld epoxy glue should remedy that.

San Blas:
We hit the road early out of Mazatlan and are heading for San Blas, a small fishing village that has become a surfer destination. We thought this was going to be a short ride but it seemed to take forever, the going was real slow. We arrived in San Blas around 1:00 PM

There are no hotels on the beach here so we rented this small cabana, $18.00 / night and it’s right on the beach.

Inside the cabana:


We paid for 3 nights here because we didn’t want to chance finding a vacancy in Puerto Vallarta, our next destination, on a Saturday night. Good enough reason for us (ha, ha)

The food was good, the beer was cold and there were a lot of surfers around partying. Having a little too much fun the first night we crashed early and didn’t bother putting on any bug dope. Big mistake, we got eaten alive by mosquitoes and no-see-ums and didn’t do anything about it until morning. We had bites all over and were itching like crazy. San Blas is famous for mosquitoes and now we know why.

We saw a few guys drag something down to the beach and it looked like they were burying it. Heidi and I always like to come up with theories about what people are doing and why. This was a mystery.

It seemed a lot of others were curious also and went to check out what was going on. We finally realized they were filling sand bags and hauling them out to the surf at a marked spot. We think they were making an artificial point-break for the surfing competition happening tomorrow.

Later a truck came down to the beach and set up this tent and tower for the surfing competition.

San Blas:
This police truck picked up a pile of kids from the school and hauled them away. We suspected some type of field trip or something. What a great use of, I’m sure, a normally idle vehicle and police force.




Barra De Navidad:

Taking off from San Blas we were on the road by 7:30 AM, our earliest start since we entered Mexico. We were planning on a short ride to Puerto Vallarta today and hoped to find an inexpensive place to stay on the beach outside of town. We got to Puerto Vallarta super early but couldn’t find any place along the coast in out price range. It was early so we decided to continue on and shoot for Barra De Navidad, a pretty little tourist village on the Pacific coast.

Puerto Vallarta to Barra De Navidad was a heck of a ride. The scenery went from palm trees to pine trees to some type of large flowering tree. While riding along we would suddenly hear loud buzzing sounds, like swarms of crickets or something. It was weird. The road is super twisty, hilly and shaded with sections of huge pot holes. The pot holes were far enough apart to avoid if I could see them but in the dark shaded areas it was impossible to tell a pot hole from a dark shadow. Still we were lucky and only hit a couple of small holes, the big ones would have hurt for sure.

Waiting for some on-coming local traffic to pass.

9 hours later we made it into Barra De Navadad, around 4:30 PM. We were toast. The first hotel we tried was full, and this was a Sunday. We were glad we stayed an extra day in San Blas and didn’t try to travel and find a place on a Saturday. The next hotel we tried had vacancies and was a lot cheaper, $23 / night. We spent 3 nights in Barra De Navidad two years ago so we only stayed for one night this time. This is a very friendly and fun place to visit but we were looking forward to spending more time at places we haven’t been to before.

Barra De Navadad

It seemed weird not spending anytime in Barra De Navadad but we were anxious to push further south.

Before entering Mexico I planned on buying a 19 inch inner tube for emergencies, like if we get a flat and can’t stop the leak with a plug. I forgot to get one in Yuma AZ and have been planning on getting one in Mexico. I spent a good part of a day looking for a tube in Mazatlan but no luck. I will not leave Mexico without carrying a tube. Every town we travel through Heidi and I look for a motorcycle shop. We tool through the center of Manzanillo with the sole intent of finding a tube. This is a big city with confusing traffic but just before the end of town we see a large modern Honda motorcycle shop. I tell the guy at the parts counter what I want “Quiere camara de aire por moto. 19-100/90” He nods with assurance and heads back to the parts room. I give a huge silent cheer.

Oh Yeah!

We chewed up a lot of time in Manzanillo looking for a tube and getting lost. The next good destination, Playa Azul, is a long drive with not much in between. We decided to look for a hotel early in the day at Tecoman, a non-tourist Mexican town with a lively atmosphere and friendly feel. We find a nice place, Hotel Plaza.

Good food all around, cocktails in hand, pool at our feet and emergency inner tube in our backpack . Live is good…..

We hit the road early. We are shooting for Playa Azul today. I remember reading something about this place in the guide book we left at home.

We got super lost trying to get out of Tecoman. Arriving at our hotel we thought we never left the main highway. After zigzagging around some one-way, stone embedded residential streets we finally see what looks like a highway. After a few miles of nothing but palm trees we turn back to town and look for a gas station. I wanted a full tank because the map didn’t show much for the next 150 miles south. We had to go all the way past our hotel to find gas. After, we get back on the highway we ride through the palm tree groves again. About 8 miles later we hit a little beach village. When we reach the village and the Pacific coast the road turns right and heads back north. Crap, this is the opposite direction we need to be heading. Heidi and I are getting tense. She’s trying to read road signs and bark out which way we should go or not go. Heidi is getting mad because I’m having trouble hearing her, plus I have completely different ideas about which way we should go. After about 2 dozen topes (speed bumps) in a 1 km stretch, the road dead ends. Heidi yells out “You need to look at a map!” At this point I had to agree. OK, we are hosed, we shouldn’t be at the coast at all and need to head back to Tecoman, again, and find the correct highway south. When we get back to town I see a group of policemen at a small station. I stop, take off my helmet and one guy says “Como estas?” (How are you doing) I say “No muy bien” (Not very good) we are all smiling. I ask for directions to highway 200 south. The policemen were very helpful, using hand gestures saying “derecho, izquierda, derecha” (straight, left then right) This helped a ton. When we were on what we thought was the correct road I pull over one last time to look at the map. A guy walks up to us and offers help. He confirms that we are on the correct road for where we are trying to go. Sweeeet! People in Mexico have been so nice to us it’s sometimes overwhelming.

We hit a military check point and for the first time we get inspected. We open the panniers and a couple guys do a very minimal search through our stuff. The guys were friendly and asked a few questions about our bike and what we are up to. I thank them for helping keep the highways safe for us. Heidi said I was a little off with my Spanish but they got the gist and smiled.

The road from Tecoman to Playa Azul is in good shape and is a bikers dream with constant twists and turns. The landscape is getting much more tropical now and has a jungle feel. The growth along side the road is dense right up to and sometimes reaching onto the roadway. At times the trees arch over the entire road and give the feeling like we are riding through a dark tunnel. This is cool….

Getting close to playa Azul we start seeing some beautiful costal scenery.

Playa Azul was beautiful and I wish I stopped to take some photos. It was like a scene out of some fantasy dream. We rode through town and several miles out of town along the coast looking for the right hotel. We never found one. All the hotels were off the beach and didn’t look inviting and I didn’t like the parking security either. Heidi and I discuss our options. I think I remember what I read about this town in the guide book now. Years ago the Mexican government designated several spots for tourist development and this was one of them, but it never took off. I think the reason was because of the extreme surf break here. Anyway we decided to push on to a town not far away, Puerto de Lazaro Cardenas.

Puerto de Lazaro Cardenas is a large bustling city. We were driving through heavy rush hour traffic and it was getting a little tense. A lot of one way streets and even the two way streets looked like one way streets, everyone parking on both sides of the street pointing in the same direction, opposite the direction we were traveling. We see several large hotels in the middle of town but none with a court yard for parking. All the parking was underground under the hotel. This would be fine if we were planning on staying here for a couple days but we didn’t want to unload all the stuff from the bike just for one short night. Bummer, because the downtown was busting with activity and looked like it would be a lot of fun to explore on foot.

Driving into town I saw a drive in auto hotel (sexo hotel) Heidi says “We aren’t staying there” I say “These places are perfect for us and have a private garage attached to the rooms” She gives in.

We pull into the compound and drive right into a garage stall attached to the room. The room had a king size bed, huge 6 foot by 10 foot mirrors in front and behind the bed, a big TV with a large variety of channels (if ya know what I mean) And the room comes with two complimentary bottles of beer. The place also has room service with a dumb waiter window.

We order food and some more beer and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Hang on! This one is not done yet…..
Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.

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Old 11-01-2007, 05:23 PM   #214
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Awesome photos Tom. Sounds like you and Heidi are having a blast.

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Old 11-01-2007, 08:34 PM   #215
Mucha distancia
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This trip is just getting started

Mucho mas por favor !
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Old 11-02-2007, 06:54 PM   #216
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Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
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Old 11-02-2007, 07:47 PM   #217
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Thanks for letting us ride along!

Look forward to your reports, especially since our riding is done here at home.

Weather here has been good for the last week, 50's but will cool down into the lower 30's for next with some light snow.

Ride On!
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:49 AM   #218
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Thumb Zihuatanejo:

We tool into Ixtapa and ride up and down the hotel zone. It became obvious right away that this is all way out of our price range, all inclusive resorts in huge compounds and all on the beach. -> Plan B.

A twin city to Ixtapa is Zihuatanejo, an older and more Mexican tourist town. We’ve heard good things about Zihuatanejo from an owner of a hotel we met in Todos Santos. Riding into Zihuatanejo we soon found ourselves lost on some narrow and steep stone studded residential street. The road was going nowhere, we turn around. This was Halloween day and we see this kid standing in the back of a pickup truck.

What a great photo! Sometimes it pays off to get lost.

We cruise straight through Zihuatanejo centrol zone and to the beach area on the south side. We get all the way to the end of the beach where I stop the bike and have a talk with Heidi. A nice guy walks up to us and tells about the hotels close by and the prices, how great is that. We pull into the second hotel from the end because it looked like it had the best parking.

I roll in and look closer at the parking. The owner, Fidel greets us right away and shows us a room. I say “?Tiene habitacion cerca de estacionamiento para de moto? (Do you have a room close to where I can park the motorcycle?) He shows us the first room and says I can park the bike practically right next to the window. While I’m moving the bike Fidel shows Heidi a photo on his camera phone of his Honda Gold Wing with a nice flame paint job. While registering for the room Fidel explains to me about a moto fiesta (motorcycle rally) he goes to that’s about 600 km from here. He says it goes on for about a week and he has a good time there. Wow, what a score. The room is right on the beach and Fidel treats us like VIP’s. If anyplace can be called a paradise this is it. The price was close to our high end, $45 / night, but we just had to sigh up for three nights. We could have stayed here for months.

Check it out, Hotel Casa del Mar. Recommended…… Hotel Ecologico

The hotel has a great restaurant with service on the beach or at your room and the food is fantastic.

View from the room.

There is a stream that runs right through the hotel. Some local crocodiles hang out here. The hotel restaurant is called cocodrilos, this is why!

Heidi and I go for a marathon walk along the beach and into town. Enjoy……

A big bluff has to be climbed before heading into town and to beach centro.

Zihuatanejo beach centro

Dozens of tables selling the catch of the day.

Zihuatanejo centrol zone has endless shops and tons of stuff to buy.

A lot of good places to eat also…..

Back at the hotel we kick back in a beach chair and enjoy the scene.

What a great day!
Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.

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Old 11-06-2007, 07:54 AM   #219
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Eek Day of the Dead - November 2 nd.

This is a big day in Mexico. The idea is to remember your dead loved ones and spend some time with them. A lot of people were buying candles and flowers for decorating the cemetery. Families go to and hang out in the cemetery at night with food to eat and offer to the dead. You see skeletons with smiling faces along with skulls made of chocolate or sugar for sale everywhere.

Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.

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Old 11-06-2007, 07:59 AM   #220
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Talking Next we shoot for Acapulco

Next we shoot for Acapulco, just a short ride south along the Pacific coast. The roads start out twisty with high dense foliage right up to and sometimes sticking out onto the roadway. About 50 miles later the road straightens out at times with more open fields, a few tractors, pigs and burros on the road. In route I see a small taco stand along the road that looked friendly and decide to stop for a bite.

Heidi and I try so hard to speak proper Spanish but at times I really fumble it up. For some reason we always are treated so well at places like this. Here we had four or five people all taking turns waiting on us and trying to communicate, a few words of English here and there but mostly Spanish. Heidi is getting much more comfortable speaking Spanish and is, I think, really good at it. Anyway, the owner, Jose, is super friendly and proceeds to tell all about what it is like to live and work in Mexico and in the US. Jose skipped across the border to the US several years ago and worked in Chicago for three and a half years. He explains with emotion what it was like to be stopped by the police in Chicago and how well they treated him. Jose came back to Mexico with a nice pickup truck and enough money to start this small business, employing his son and four of his friends. Jose explains how in Mexico you can earn enough money to eat a few tacos a day, cloth yourself but nothing more. This is a big part of why we like traveling in Mexico and stopping at places off the beaten path. What a group of beautiful and kindhearted people. We feel very blessed to have met them.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:02 AM   #221
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Eek Acapulco:

To say Acapulco is like Mazatlan on steroids would be an understatement. There was what seemed like billions of people everywhere, on the streets, bobbing in the water and on the roads. This is not our kind of scene. We look at a map and see a stretch of highway south of Acapulco running along the coast. We think that there will be more low key hotels there. We ride through town and are just glad to make it out of there alive and in one piece.

Acapulco is beautiful though. We were disappointed to miss out seeing the cliff divers but safety is more important to us then seeing some tourist attraction. We are out of here……

Well, the stretch of highway where we were hoping to find a hotel had nothing. We continue south hoping to find something in a city further on. This is rural Mexico here, pigs, chickens, farm fields and coconut fields. It’s getting late and we are both starting to get a little concerned. It’s dark by 6:30 PM now and We Will Not drive in the dark. I am fully prepared to ask a farmer along the road if they can put us up for the night. I’m practicing Spanish phrases in my head to ask for help. I did this my first motorcycle trip into Mexico back in 02’ and it was a wonderful experience. I have full confidence we will be helped out if we need it.

Finally around 5:30 PM, 30 minutes before I start begging for help, we pull into a small town, San Marcos. This is a cross road town for two highways and it had several hotels. Yes, we are set. We ride back and forth through town and pick a hotel that looked the friendliest for motorcycle parking. We pull in and see a couple of adventure motorcycles. Heidi says “These are the same bikes we saw at that hotel in Tecoman” We both recognized the weird looking plates.

Unreal, out pop Matthias and Manuela from East Germany ( ). Just like us, they both quit there jobs to do this ride. What a nice couple. We enjoy a long conversation about our ride, our life philosophy and what it is like to live where we are from. It is just unbelievable how two couples that live half way around the globe from each other can be so alike in the way they think and live, AND we just happen to bump into them in a small, rural town in Mexico, both on our rides of a life time. This experience feels like some kind of cosmic event. All of a sudden fireworks start exploding in the sky from across the street. We can see them from where we are sitting. I brace myself for what may happen next (uhh aww, uhh aww) :)

Have a dream, live it. Set a goal, achieve it.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:28 AM   #222
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Hi Tom & Heidi,

Great photos! Mexico seems to get more scenic the further south you guys get.

Ride Safe,
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:40 PM   #223
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A friend at work told me about this thread and I thought, riding to South America on a Sportster? Geez, that sounds like a not so thrilling adventure.

What a great ride report! I just read it from beginning to page 15 and can barely focus on the keyboard to type this. Man, two years is an "Epic Ride" (my co-worker's dream is to go on an "Epic Ride"). As I'm sitting in my cozy den, I can't imagine being away from home that long, but like a lot of us, I'll sure as heck live/ride it vicariously through you guys.

Thanks for sharing your story and have a safe trip.
'05 Ducati Multistrada 1000DS
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:29 AM   #224
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Dispelling a few myths

Hi Cave Persons!

Man, this thread is good. I have a short attention span and usually start to read a thread, get bored and move on, but this one has me gripped.

I'm trying to get the wife to read it now. She doesn't like bikes...doesn't trust them, (or my riding ability as a noob ) but she loves to travel. Once she reads this I'm sure she will be inspired!

You are dispelling a myth I have cultivated from various other sources (can't even remember where now...) that Mexico is a dangerous place full of bandits or conmen out to make a quick buck from hapless tourists. Looking at these photo's it looks like paradise to me now, both the scenery and the people you have met along the way. How many other ADV riders is it possible to accidently meet in a few weeks?!! .

I'm so inspired that I smiled at work today!. It doesn't happen very often, so rarely in fact that someone took a photo...
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Keep these reports have me and no doubt many more hanging on your every word.

Stay loose and live free...
If everything seems to be coming your way you are riding on the wrong side of the road..
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Old 11-07-2007, 11:50 AM   #225
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This RR just keeps getting better.
I can't wait for the next installment.
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