ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-23-2008, 11:44 PM   #181
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlinBeaverton
I know you are down in MX living the dream but you forgot that there are a bunch of FFs waiting for you next installment. Your last effort was pretty much a kick in the slats.

Enjoy you ride but don't forget that there are a bunch of guys riding your shoulder.
Sorry... I know, bad blogger!

I promise a real update soon. It's been a busy month! I have pictures of San Miguel de Allende, Real de Catorce, four-wheeling in a rented Nissan Altima, friends coming to visit from Australia and the US, bad karaoke singing (fortunately no audio), lots of partying with beautiful women, and me falling in love

Jeff
__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2008, 11:57 PM   #182
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Tales of Guanajuato

I will try to catch up the last month and a half in the next couple entries.

I met Guille a couple days after arriving in Guanajuato, and we quickly took an interest in each other. It has subsequently developed into something more serious



Guille has a lot of hot friends. Sonia paired up with Gavin. She doesn't speak English, so Gavin's Spanish is getting *rapidly* better.



Christian is a friend of Gavin's from Melbourne. He came to Mexico for a month, joining us for most of that time in Guanajuato. He and Laura clicked:



From here on out it was like a monthlong triple date. This kind of thing is apparently not unusual in Guanajuato; it's a fairly cosmopolitan city with a major university, but it's nevertheless a small town and everyone knows everyone else. The locals (guys and girls alike) frequently date extranjeros.

Here are some random pictures of us having fun!

Guille and I at Bar Ocho (it's funny if you say it fast and understand spanish):



We found an Irish pub. Guiness, for strength!









The Callejon del Beso is the narrowest street in Guanajuato - narrow enough to kiss across the balconies.



Random pics of Guille and me:





We went out for karaoke. You can see what Gavin's singing in the full size image.



Guille's mom!



I feel like I haven't been posting enough food porn. Here's some:





__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja

stickfigure screwed with this post 06-15-2008 at 05:18 PM
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2008, 12:03 AM   #183
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Causing Trouble

This is the part where you start to hate me. I will let the pictures explain.



















Remember Raul from Zacatecas? He lives in the DF but he came to visit us in Guanajuato! Here he's flirting with a new Canadian friend, Audrey.



My old roommate Scott and his friend Lilah came to visit for a few days too:





This is Sara (a friend if Guille's visiting from Pittsburgh) and Gustavo (Guille's roommate):







This is Pollo. He graduated with a law degree but teaches salsa instead, because dancing is simply more fun:







This picture pretty much captures the essence of our stay in Guanajuato:





Drunken antics with statues:





"The morning after":



The reason I don't have many pictures of scenery in Guanajuato is that I was too busy taking pictures of the "wildlife".
__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2008, 10:03 PM   #184
Loud Al
.
 
Loud Al's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Forest Grove, OR
Oddometer: 3,873
Thanks for the update, looks like everything is coming up Aces for you.
__________________
A Quick Trip to Big Sur


Allan
Loud Al is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2008, 03:44 PM   #185
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Real de Catorce

Gavin and I rented a car and took Sonia and Guille on a weekend trip to Real de Catorce, an old mining ghost town that is slowly becoming a tourist destination. Unfortunately Christian took a week trip to the Yucatan and Laura had to work. Raul was planning to join us but had to rush back to Mexico City at the last minute.

We left late Friday, spending the night in San Luis Potosí. The state of San Luis Potosí seems to be entirely jungle or desert with nothing inbetween. The capitol city is nice, with giant lush green plazas.







There are two roads into Real de Catorce. One is the "back way", which turned out to be a 4x4 road. Nothing that a Nissan Altima can't handle, right? Please don't tell the rental company.









Between the deteriorating road and the looming rain, we finally turned around and took the traditional route in. Gavin and I must come back with motorcycles.

The entrance to Real de Catorce goes through a one-lane tunnel at least a mile long:





We found a cute hotel, ate delicious food, and settled in for the rainy evening.





Sunday morning we hiked to the "ghost town" above Real de Catorce proper, where most of the mining occurred.























Amazingly, the only damage to the car happened after we got back to Guanajuato. I parked the car on a steep dirt slope for the night, and some joker moved a large rock just under the bumper. I backed up pretty far before realizing the nasty sounds were more than just the rough terrain:



Hurray for damage wavers
__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2008, 02:52 PM   #186
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Ding!

Remember what I said about riding up stairs?



Oops. Recent KTM rims (on post-2003 640s, 950s, and 990s) are notoriously soft and prone to denting. I had a half-dozen significant dents already from the ride across Baja, but this one is big enough that I'm finally worried.

This dent happened with full street pressure. The problem is that my gearing is too tall; I can't creep up stairs without stalling the bike, so I had to hit the stairs with a little speed. As I write this, my motorcycle is in Mexico City receiving a new 15-tooth front sprocket (down from 16). Hopefully I will now be able to loft the frontend a little with the throttle. They're also fixing the rim - the tires have tubes so the risk of slipping the bead is minimal, but I'd like to be able to drop to 18psi without wondering if it will hold.
__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2008, 09:35 PM   #187
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Mexico City Never Gets Old

It came time to leave Guanajuato and head back to Mexico City to meet Christian, who was flying back from Yucatan. Gavin and I didn't want to leave Sonia and Guille...

...so we bought them motorcycle gear and took them with us





Laura got a ride in a car and brought Gavin's luggage. I rode with all my gear, plus Guille, plus her backpack, once again reminding me that a 640Adv is far too small to ride 2-up for any distance. I either need a 990 or a girlfriend with her own motorcycle

Reunited, it was back to triple-date mode! We stayed in the Zona Rosa but ate most of our meals in La Condesa, where there are hundreds of upscale restaurants. The food in Mexico City is great. Not terribly cheap, but great nevertheless. There is plenty of decent-to-good wine available, too - but it costs.

I finally found good sushi! This place in the Zona Rosa was pretty good, even by San Francisco standards:



A random picture from a nice dinner:



The food at that restaurant wasn't particularly notable, but this was the view:



Raul joined us!



We spent a night in a bar in the Zona Rosa listening to Mario, a friend of Guille and Laura, play trova. He was quite good.



Random shot of Gavin and Sonia:



While we sitting at this bar in the Zona Rosa (the gay district, btw), three rednecks from Florida tried to - I couldn't believe this - gaybash us. They sat down next to our group and started calling us "gay" in a way that indicated they thought this was some sort of clever insult. Why they chose four fairly well-built guys and their girlfriends for this activity I have no idea, but they were clearly looking to have their asses handed to them. They left before it escalated beyond verbal sparring.



This was the funniest store I saw in Mexico City:



A picture of us at the end of the weekend, when Laura was getting a ride back to Guanajuato. Christian got on a plane to return to Australia a couple days later...



... but not before we went to Lucha Libre! Sadly, they wouldn't let me take a camera inside so I have no pictures except outside:



I dropped by bike off at Motoaltavista for some repair work (sprocket change, fix the front rim, flush the hydraulic clutch, oil change). Unfortunately the shop has a backlog and as I write this (three weeks later) I still don't have it back. This is causing me some distress because the bike's visa expires in exactly ten days. However, it means I had a fair amount of time to explore Mexico City.

A beer hall!



...with this, a wheat beer brewed in Mexico! Yes, despite the fact that the label looks German.



We went looking for karaoke late one night. Everything was closed. This was a neat looking place, though:



Troublemakers:



We found a Mardi-Gras-themed bar called Bar Zydeco:



And next to it is an Irish pub. We drank Guiness and made some new friends. This guy (we were told) was a famous soccer star:





This is the *best* torta in Mexico City. Actually this is half of the best torta in Mexico City. You don't want to see the other half. It comes from a little stand at the San Antonio metro station (near the Motoaltavista shop).



I've now spent about a month in Mexico City, if you were to add up the days. I'm starting to feel like a local. I know how to get around on foot and by metro and even by vehicle. I have a set of favorite restaurants and know where to go to find the cool obscure shops. I know where most of the colonias are and I've even decyphered many of the labyrinthine freeway intersections. I like this place. It's crazy big and relatively expensive and traffic sucks, but I would enjoy living here. There's great food, fun people, a cab ride across town costs a couple bucks, and the list of things to do on a weekend is staggering.
__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2008, 09:50 PM   #188
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Xochimilco Never Gets Old

We spent an afternoon at Xochimilco. I took a boat ride back in March with the Tultepec crew, but this time we left from a different harbor closer to the center of town. There was a lot more traffic!





Many of the boats were vendors selling beer or food.







We passed by several nurseries, including a few that were on boats:



Some boats had mariachi bands; they would tie up to your boat and sing.



The whole place is a huge party!







Speaking of party, it was Christian's birthday... time for mariachi!





The boat stopped at a market so we could browse around a little. The girls bought "atrapanovios", basically a chinese-fingertrap with a leash. They worked



They apparently have other uses too:



By the way, don't bother taking the metro to Xochimilco. It takes far, far too long. A cab ride from downtown is 20 minutes and costs the equivalent of about $13 USD.
__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja

stickfigure screwed with this post 06-15-2008 at 05:19 PM
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2008, 09:58 PM   #189
Loud Al
.
 
Loud Al's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2005
Location: Forest Grove, OR
Oddometer: 3,873
__________________
A Quick Trip to Big Sur


Allan
Loud Al is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2008, 07:16 PM   #190
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Even More Mexico City

Some more random pics from Mexico City.

A room in Casa De La Condesa, which is actually in Colonia Roma. Very nice place. At $90/night, one of the most expensive places I've stayed in Mexico:



A view off the balcony while it was raining:



A bookstore right around the corner:



A seafood sandwitch:



Obligitory pictures of sushi:





Beware ordering a dirty martini in Mexico, unless you like them *really* filthy:



Big michelada:



Pastel!



Clothes shopping:



"Horsing around":



If you remember, Raul met Audrey in Guanajuato. She came back to the DF before returning to Canada, so we went out for a beer. There are lots of restaurants on rooftops around the zócalo.





Raul and I went out and found a rotating restaurant/bar on top of the World Trade Center. Great dessert, mediocre drinks. They serve a ruso blanco without Kahlua. Gross!

__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2008, 11:53 AM   #191
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Refacciones

I picked up a new accessory for my motorcycle at a bike store in Mexico City:

__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2008, 12:51 PM   #192
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Waiting Doesn't Suck

The wait for my motorcycle dragged on, so Gavin and I took a bus back to Guanajuato to spend another week with Guille and Sonia

First we went to León for a going-away party Guille's mother, sister, and niece are moving to Toronto.

Sister, brother, mom, Guille, brother:



Including the boyfriends and girlfriend:



A bunch of us went out to a surprisingly cool nightclub in León:







Damn this girl is hot!



Guille and Pamela trying on the boyfriends' glasses:



Maybe this is why Gavin is so pale:



Yes, I'm a dork. She loves me anyways.

__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2008, 01:33 PM   #193
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Is it soup yet?

Back in Guanajuato, it started raining, SERIOUSLY RAINING! I originally expected this trip to last six months, which would have returned me to San Francisco just as Central America's rainy season began. Ooops! It has started and I haven't left Mexico yet. I may need knobbier tires.

Heavy rainstorms in high deserts are beautiful. Lightning, thunder, and floods! Of course I had to go out and play in it... and take pictures.









The tunnels were flooded. That's actually a whirlpool over a drain in this picture:







Guille and I walked out to La Presa ("the dam"). There are actually quite a few dams in Guanajuato but this one is a pretty neighborhood with some good restaurants.







A before/after picture of Guille's backyard:





What else to do on a rainy day? Make tinga!



Guille and her roommate, Gustavo:



Here's some other food porn from Guanajuato. Enmoladas and a chili relleno from Mexico Lindo y Sabroso, a restaurant in La Presa:



This is a Guanajuato-style cecina from the same restaurant. Cecina is a bit like beef jerky, normally, but this version is super-thin and deep fried:



A couple dishes from el Rincón de Los Milagros, probably the nicest restaurant in Guanajuato. It's in the San Javier district, up the hill a ways. Fish in an unusual garlic sauce:



The best dish in Guanajuato: Pork in a sweet, savory sauce strongly reminiscent of blackberry jam.

__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2008, 07:53 PM   #194
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Veracruz

At long last, my bike was ready. Our departure from Mexico City left me about 7 days remaining on my bike's 180-day visa - a leisurely pace but not a lot of extra time to deal with "things going wrong". Also, it's starting to rain a lot all over Mexico - especially in the southeast.

Departing Mexico City. We stayed the last couple nights at the Hostel Zona Rosa, which is the only place in el DF that is cheap, cute, and well located. They have big suites for groups, the owners are really cool, there is a bar downstairs, and you can safely park motorcycles in the alley. I'm sure I'll be back. It's at the end of this dead-end alley (on Hamburgo near Amberes), nearly dead center of the Zona Rosa. You may remember this place as where Mario, the trova-singing-friend of Guille and Laura plays every Saturday night:



We took the route to Puebla up and over the pass near Popocatépetl, where that ecotourist villa I've stayed at a couple times is. El Popo was covered with clouds and snow this time:



The road is paved up the west side from Amecameca and dirt down the east side to Cholula. Unfortuantely Gavin discovered that his rear brake was nonfunctional. It wasn't terribly technical but downhill on moist dirt with no rear brakes was no fun for him.



We were showered on a few times up the mountain (brrrr) but it stayed fairly dry until we got to Puebla, where the deluge started... and kept going on and off until we got to Veracruz. I wish I had more pictures of the massive flooded streets in Puebla:



In retrospect, the detour over Popo was a mistake; even racing along the quotas (about $25 usd from Puebla to Veracruz) we still arrived after dark. It turns out Gavin's rear tail light stopped working and he doesn't have a non-tinted helmet visor. Doh! We separated so that Gavin could ride faster; dropping a tooth on my front sprocket reduced my comfortable highway cruising speed to about 80mph.

The state of Veracruz is gorgeous. The road from Puebla rises up into giant mountains covered with lush green foliage. There's a good reason why - driving down the mountains, we were rained on - and entertained by the most spectacular lightning storm I've ever seen outside of Utah. Even after it stopped raining the lightning flashes illuminated the distant sky every twenty seconds.

It's hot in Veracruz. Humid, sticky, and (in motorcycle gear) almost unbearably hot. This is a radical change from freezing rainy 3700-meter Popo where my heated vest and goretex jacket liner were both retrieved from the bottom of my panniers. The discovery process went like this:

[Our protagonist stops for gas, after dark, shortly before the city of Veracruz]
"Damn, it's hot and humid here! I'm sweating!"
"Geez, there are bazillions of flies here. They must be drawn to the lights of the Pemex station."
[Stops, starts filling tank, takes off jacket]
"Ouch!"
[Looks down at arm, where a half-dozen mosquitos are slurping away through my baselayer]
[Looks up, squints slightly at the millions of swarming flying creatures]
[Screams, sets new record at putting armored jacket back on]
"Bite me through that, assholes!"

Some of those mosquitos were the size of small bees. I suspect that if I had the misfortune of falling asleep in that environment (or even getting a little bit drowsy) they could have sucked me bone dry in ten minutes.

Fortunately the city of Veracruz was pretty much devoid of mosquitos. Unfortunately it seemed devoid of culture and nightlife too. Granted, it was a Tuesday night. We stayed in a cheap hotel near the zócalo and entertained ourselves at dinner by watching the hookers across the street ply their trade. Fortuantely they all went into a different hotel than the one we were staying at. Incidentally, this is the first place in Mexico I've stayed where prostitution was so overt. I saw it driving by a few parts of Mexico City but it was on the fringes; in Veracruz the girls stand on the corners of the centro. Oddly enough, this didn't make the city feel as seedy as I would have expected... maybe because everyone was smiling.

Veracruz is cold-shower land. Hot water is not necessary in hotels, nor is it even appreciated. I spent a big part of every sweaty, humid day dreaming about how nice it will be take a shower under cold (or what passes for cold) water. To preserve sanity, three are necessary: once in the morning, once immediately after doffing m/c gear at a hotel, and once before night.

For some reason I didn't take any pictures. Just this one, of a ship unloading something with scoops:



I can't say that I was impressed by Veracruz, but one night is not an adequate measure.

__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-30-2008, 12:25 PM   #195
stickfigure OP
Fiendish Fluoridator
 
stickfigure's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Please don't call it 'Frisco
Oddometer: 510
Coatzacoalcos

The coastal route from Veracruz to Coatzacoalcos was one of the most pleasant and relaxing parts of this trip.



Note to other travelers: Take that little coastal loop between Saltabarranca and Catemaco. There is a super-cute little beach town called Montepío with restaurants and a few hotels that I'm hoping to return to someday.

Here's some shots from the route:







This was the perfect place to have lunch, in a tiny pueblo with maybe 10 houses. The ocean is maybe 100 yards away. I'm obsessed with this type of tree; it looks like a giant fern with red flowers:



Part of the route took us through a biosphere reserve area:





Gavin's bike actually ran out of gas sometime along this stretch, but I donated some from my kamel... I mean KTM. I have pretty close to exactly twice the range.

This was a bad week for the Multistrada. At one point we had to take an, uh, unconventional entrance to a cuota. Entrances and exits to cuotas are pretty tightly controlled so you can't evade the toll booths. Both the Bicimapas (in my Zumo) and the Garmin Mexico Maps (in Gavin's Zumo) tend to assume that any intersection of two roads is, in fact, an intersection. Nope.

While we pondered the unfortunate directions, we watched a local motorcyclist drive down a narrow foot path, through a fence, across opposing traffic, across the median, and off in the direction we wanted to go. Why the hell not?



"Hey, what the hell?"



"I'm stuck!"



The bottom of the engine scraped the burm and crushed the plug for the sidestand killswitch cable. Switching out of neutral immediately kills the engine. This is high on the list of why a Multistrada makes a difficult adventure bike - this exact same thing happened crossing a tree on Usal Road about a year ago. The solution was the same - I cut the plug off and spliced the wires together permanently. This is something that should probably never be fixed.

Finally, crossing over the median:



Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of the stupidly steep, narrow single-track up the side of that overpass where I nearly pitched my KTM over. Adventure!

Coatzacoalcos is nothing special, which is somewhat surprising because it's in a good location. I believe the city is most famous for shipping, a huge petrochemical complex, and birthing Salma Hayek. It has long, long beaches along the coast but they're kinda grungy, and there are quite a few clubs and bars but almost no hotels. It's certainly not a tourist destination for extranjeros.
__________________
San Francisco to Panama and back... eventually?
How I Nearly Killed My Friends In Baja

stickfigure screwed with this post 06-30-2008 at 12:41 PM
stickfigure is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 11:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014