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Old 10-25-2007, 01:31 PM   #1
kennyanc OP
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Smiling faces and beautiful places - Viva Mexico!!


Dick and I had been planning this trip for some time. We wanted to explore some of the old colonial towns in central Mexico via the paved roads and then see a little more of Copper Canyon via the dirt. Dick went so far as to buy a new DR650 for the trip. When we crossed the border it had less than 800 miles on the clock. He said he wanted something a little more dirt worthy for the canyon but I think he just wanted something that would help him keep up with me in the dirt. I think he secretly has KLR envy but he would never admit it.

Bear with me because I took over 1000 pics on the trip and it may take a couple of weeks to get this report finished as I am still trying to get caught up at home. I promise not to post them all though.


Day 1, 9/29/2007

We met in Ft. Worth and headed for Presidio, TX where the ride would officially begin. Checked into the 3 Palms Inn and had a less than memorable dinner at El Patio. We cross the border en la manana.
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Old 10-25-2007, 01:37 PM   #2
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Day 2, 9/30/2007

We loaded up the bikes and headed for the border.


Dick did his usual song and dance at the border. Last year his license and passport said Richard but his bike registration said Dick. It took an hour and a half to get it sorted so they would let him through. This time he made sure to have his registration say Richard but alas his credit card said Dick. Same fiasco again. He finally produced the prior years receipt showing they had accepted the card before and was able to get it sorted out.


We stopped at a Casa de Cambio and got a few pesos and headed down Hwy 9, 18, or 67 depending on which map you are using. My 3 paper maps of that area all call it something different. And my Mexico Atlas Topo calls it Hwy 341. Whatever you want to call it, it goes to Camargo.

We headed into what looked to be some fairly serious but spotty thunderstorms. Our luck held out and we dodged them for the rest of the day.


A quick stop for gas in Jimenez and we turned west on Hwy 45 towards Hidalgo del Parral. It was still fairly early in the afternoon so we made a lttle detour to Valle de Allende. A very nice little town and well worth a visit if you are in the area.

There was a celebration in town (Ruta de Juarez 2007) to commemorate the visit of President Benito Juarez during the time of the French Intervention in Mexico. There was music, dancing, and historical reenactments.



Grabbed a couple tamales and a cold drink and relaxed for a while.



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Old 10-25-2007, 01:41 PM   #3
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Back on the main road and we were soon rolling into Hidalgo del Parral. I actually saw this monument at the entrance to town on Google Earth and had already decided to stop and get a photo if I could find a good place to stop. The middle of the road looked like as good a place as any.


Checked into the Hotel Turista and got unloaded.


Time for a little walkabout.




Dinner at Morelos – Pescado Frito


Later after Dick had turned in I went for another walk around town. I got about ¾ of a mile from the hotel and the thunderstorms from earlier in the day caught up with to me. The bottom fell out of the storm and I was caught under an awning for about half an hour. Water was running down the streets 12 to 14 inches deep. I snapped a few pics but they didn’t turn out too good.




It continued to rain off and on all thru the night but it was the last rain we would see on the trip.
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Old 10-25-2007, 03:38 PM   #4
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What is it about Parral? I was caught in some EPIC downpours there a couple of years ago.

I've been waiting for this one....
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:33 PM   #5
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Hi Kenny!

Keep those pic's coming.

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Old 10-25-2007, 05:39 PM   #6
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Day 3, 10/1/2007

We left Parral about 9:30 on our way to Durango. A few pics along Hwy 45.









We had decide to take an alternate route instead of Hwy 45 south all the way to Durango. We had ridden 45 from Durango to Parral on a previous trip and it was boring, boring, boring. Dtop1 had recommended the route through Santa Maria del Oro and Santiogo Papasquiaro

Stopped for lunch in Santa Maria, a surprisingly bustling little town. We rode down main street and stopped at a lttle toco/gordita stand and the food was excellent.


After asking some locals and finally finding our way out of town (the road actually turns to dirt for a mile or so and then the pavement starts again), we started getting into the good stuff.








Some of this road was pretty good but for he most part the pavement was shot. It would have been much better had it simply been a dirt/gravel road. The awesome scenery made it worth it though. After riding through most of it I finally stopped to get this picture. There were many places much worse than this with holes so deep it could bottom out your suspension if hit at much speed.
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:42 PM   #7
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Just before Cienega de Escobar we came upon several ranchers on horseback driving a herd of cattle down the middle of the road. Missed the pic though.
At Cienega de Escobar we took a left on Hwy 23.




More great scenery and rock formations on the road south toward Tepahuanes.


We topped a ridge after passing a couple of big logging trucks and before I realized what it was I passed this huge roadside monument. I have seen lots of monuments and memorials alongside the roads in Mexico but never something this big. The main doorway had to be 15-18 feet tall. This thing was huge with stairs going up the inside to upper levels. I couldn’t get stopped before I was already past it and by the time I found a place to pull over I was already half a mile down the road. I pulled in and snapped this pic.


By that time the 2 logging trucks were coming over the ridge behind it and I didn’t want to get stuck behind them again so I headed on down the road. In retrospect I wish I had gone back for a closer look. As I said before, this thing was huge. If I ever go back that way I will definitely stop.

More fantastic roads and scenery.


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Old 10-25-2007, 05:50 PM   #8
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With all the picture taking and gawking we didn’t get into Durango until about 7:00pm. What a cluster….we actually found the road we wanted but turned the wrong way on it for about a mile or so. When we pulled over and decided we need to be going the other direction we were headed directly into the setting sun. We couldn’t see sh*t and Dick almost got mashed by a crazy bus driver. We finally made it to el centro and found the Hotel Posada Santa Elena at 7:45. They don’t have parking on site but their lot is only about a half block away and it is locked at night. About 2-3 blocks to the square.


After a quick shower we were out for a walk around town.




Viva Mexico!





Lots of these Italika bikes in Mexico. This 200cc dual sport was about 1500 USD.



Some more of the local scenery.


We had dinner at a great local Brazilian restaurant. It was in the Hotel Pasado del San Jose. It was a buffet with 21 different cuts/types of meat. They brought it out to the table on skewers and carved it for you. Several of them were wrapped in BACON!! Let me tell you, pork wrapped in bacon is most excellent. I wussed out though, I could only try 19 of them and I was stuffed.


Off to bed, tomorrow we ride to Zacatecas.
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:33 PM   #9
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Well, Kenny is only telling part of the story.
When we came riding into Santa Maria del Oro you'd think we were aliens off a space ship. As thriving a town as it is, Santa Maria is isolated and probably doesn't see many gringos on motos. We were quite the attraction.

Kenny, soaking up the ambiance at a local eatery:







As for the road out of town tuning to dirt:
The directions we got were to head for the big barn, drive through the barn lot, around back of the barn, through a small field, and there is where the pavement begins.

The scenery was beautiful and the road was bad.
I've been to MX a half dozen times and I have never seen so many farm animals on the road in such a short time. In addition to the cattle herd Kenny mentioned, there were goats, donkeys, horses, and an occasional chicken.

No pictures of Hidalgo or Durango, as I took so many last year.
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:45 PM   #10
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After being gone for 3 weeks I have a little homework to take care of. Taking the little lady to Hot Springs, NC for the weekend to soak the miles away. I'll try to finish this next week.

Kenny
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:56 PM   #11
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Ken,

Please post ALL the pics....THOUSANDS is good
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:05 PM   #12
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Thanks for sharing your trip and the awesome pictures. Can't wait for more. Brings back many good memories.
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:41 AM   #13
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Excellent report and pics

Excellent report and pics
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:44 AM   #14
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Viva Mexico indeed!!! Beautiful... Thanks for the pics and report... more please...

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Old 10-27-2007, 07:32 AM   #15
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Great start Kenny! I missed getting smashed with ya this year at Creel . Have a nice weekend!
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