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Old 07-10-2008, 05:26 PM   #31
kpick
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Location: Nor.Cal and LaPaz, Baja Sur
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Outback,
Glad to hear you are still up for the ride.
Here are a few tips that I used riding and living down here.

Make copies of everything, ID, Passport, registration and title to the bike.
I purchased Mexican Insurance online prior to leaving my house:
http://www.mexadventure.com/
You can pay on line and print it out right then and there. They also seem to have the best rates.

I spent four months riding down to Central American and always carried a dummy wallet.

Keep an expired drivers license, a couple of expired credit cards and $50 to $100
of cash in it.
The rest of the money is well hidden on me and the bike.
Also tape a spare key somewhere hidden on the bike as well.

My experience is that ALL boarder towns are shit boxes. Get 50 miles past and its a whole new ride.
In fact, grab the paper work and use an ATM for pesos then get the hell out on the road.

You will find the Mexican people amazingly friendly and helpful.
Keep a big smile, some humility and try the language (every really badly) and you will have a blast.

While on my trip I had no problems, nada, zero.

Im fact, I was pulled over twice. Once over doing 90MPH in a 40MPH zone and once riding the wrong way down a one way road. Both times I was let off with a warning.
That would NEVER happen here in California.

Keep an open mind and you will come back with a slightly enriched soul.
Travel well,
K
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Old 07-10-2008, 05:54 PM   #32
LaOutbackTrail OP
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Howdy Kpick,

Yeah... I had copies of all my stuff. I didnt want to get insurance before I got to the border because I didnt know how long it would take to get down there.... I had no schedule for this trip.... So, no need to pay for an extra day or have to wait an extra day. I didnt even think about the seguros stands being closed on Sunday.

Dummy wallet. I always carry a dummy wallet on bike trips or international trips. Although i only use about $20 bucks and a couple bucks in the local currency. I still have about $10 in Colones (Costa Rican Currency) from my first trip down there, and about $5 in cordobas (Nicaraguan currency) too.
I have a few of those "This is not a credit card" fake credit cards that they send in the mail.

Looks pretty real. I dont think they would be trying to go through the wallet when you give it to them....


I knew the process that i needed to do to cross... but was extremely confused especially when I had about 20 different guys wave me through.... the military guys with assault rifles were quite convincing when they wave me on with the guns.

I knew I messed up as soon as I crossed and was immediately faced with a town. I tell you I was scared slightly shitless... whenever I realized my mistake...

I have found that all the Latin American folks i've run across to be extremely helpful and friendly. Its the people that draws me to the countries as much as the climate and topography.

I learn more spanish almost every day.... I can speak nearly fluent spainglish and can get my point across quickly con las palabras that I know.

I am a generally open minded individual all together.... why else would I have traveled to Mexico? Or Costa Rica or Nicaragua? I hear more bad stuff coming from people who have absolutely no clue what they are talking about, and absolute encouragement from those who do know what the are talking about. I try to listen to the latter more often than the other.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:10 PM   #33
ChangoGS
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Wicked

A good place to enter Mexico is Piedras Negras Coah. Sometimes they check veh. entering right there at the bridge . Then its a quick ride thru town and approx. 25 -30 mile
ride into the interior until u reach the checkpoint . There one can get his or her permit/visa usually very quickly (non holiday season). Its further north on the border than Reynosa, Matamoros or Laredo.

Another crossing is Miguel Aleman Tamps. (across from Roma Tx. )
We crossed there last year on the way to Galeana .

Hey kpick , what about that Mex -Guate crossing or Guate to Honduras @ Florida . My favorite is Guatemala to El Salvador . Its the route i use from now on.

Have fun !!!!

ChangoGS screwed with this post 07-10-2008 at 07:35 PM
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:36 PM   #34
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My first motorcycle trip to Mexico I thought I was going to die. I only spent one night. I thought I was going to die. The second day, I slept till noon, then rode like I stole something, from Tampico to New Orleans. Something like 1500 miles in 31 hours- not on purpose, but because I was scared.

Next time it'll be a kazillion times easier.
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:11 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChangoGS
A good place to enter Mexico is Piedras Negras Coah. Sometimes they check veh. entering right there at the bridge . Then its a quick ride thru town and approx. 25 -30 mile
ride into the interior until u reach the checkpoint . There one can get his or her permit/visa usually very quickly (non holiday season). Its further north on the border than Reynosa, Matamoros or Laredo.

Another crossing is Miguel Aleman Tamps. (across from Roma Tx. )
We crossed there last year on the way to Galeana .

Hey kpick , what about that Mex -Guate crossing or Guate to Honduras @ Florida . My favorite is Guatemala to El Salvador . Its the route i use from now on.

Have fun !!!!
Yeah, I wanted to do the Los Ebanos crossing east of Mission, Tx. There is a hand drawn ferry there. But, was advised against it because it was sunday... I'm thinking about driving the car down there with the wife soon.... gets similar gas mileage as my bike.... and has AC....
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Old 07-11-2008, 08:13 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bananaman
My first motorcycle trip to Mexico I thought I was going to die. I only spent one night. I thought I was going to die. The second day, I slept till noon, then rode like I stole something, from Tampico to New Orleans. Something like 1500 miles in 31 hours- not on purpose, but because I was scared.

Next time it'll be a kazillion times easier.
Oh yeah it'll be easier. I was debating on whether I could afford to cross after the expenses the day before. I could have, but like I said, I'm buying my wife a bike this week, so...

We've got a plan for a fun ride next year.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:40 AM   #37
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[QUOTE=

By the way... the first rain shot where I am wearing the bandana... It works great until saturated, where then it becomes a Highspeed death trap torture device.... You cant breath through wet cloth! ..[/QUOTE]

Long ago before full face helmets I always kept an old silk handkerchief in my jacket pocket. You can still breathe through the silk when it gets wet.
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Old 07-11-2008, 11:48 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streeter
Long ago before full face helmets I always kept an old silk handkerchief in my jacket pocket. You can still breathe through the silk when it gets wet.
I finally figured out the dust masks that i brought along work great.
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Old 07-11-2008, 02:44 PM   #39
SgtNapalm
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Laugh

Nice R.R. Laotbktrl, that rain looks a little late in Texas to help the dried out corn stalks, I was in Victoria three weeks ago, everything south of there was almost dead dry.

My wife takes those "Sideways" pictures too.
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Old 07-11-2008, 05:55 PM   #40
amamurphy
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Great post, and I think typical of what a lot of people experience on their trips if they're willing to admit they can be boneheads. Probably a lot more helpful to us fellow boneheads than stories where everything goes well. Hell, I thought Mississippi in July was a good idea. My trans refused to downshift outside of Clarksdale, took me awhile but I figured out it would downshift if I kept constant pressure on lever as I decelerated. A series of Honda shops on the way home couldn't figure it out but by then I was pretty good at riding it that way. Point is that dealing with the unexpected along the way is kinda what makes traveling by motorcycle fun.

BTW, turns out there a ratchet mechanism on the end of the shift drum, a small spring that snaps it back had broken.
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:48 PM   #41
97Octane
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I dont understand...

Im going to try and not be tacky, but you've been planning this/a trip all the way to Panama for months and months. You solicited numerous businesses for "sponsorship" who donated goods and products, you asked for public donations of "Gas" money both on the forums and your own website with a link for the donation etc... Publicly funded vacation on your first rattle out of the box?

How on earth did you blow though your budget in just a few short days? If you dont have the cash, in my opinion you should never have even attempted the trip. You should always have enough reserves not only to get you where your going and back, but enough also to be able to buy a plane ticket home in case you find yourself without wheels. Medical... what if you had a medical problem?

All of the issues you encountered while across the border indicates to me that Mexico and Latin America is

A.) Not your cup of horchata
B.) Your no where near ready to undertake such an ambitious journey on your own.

Others can flame me if you like.. but just sayin.

My wife and I just got back from Guatemala (left from Houston) on the GS and had 2 + weeks of pure joy covering all of Mexico, and the majority of Guatemala solo. Fortune favors the bold.... and the prepared.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:21 PM   #42
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Cash donations from folks have been sent back. Product donations have been dealt with accordingly.

I had to cancel the Panama trip for several reasons. This one was a spur of the moment, last minute decision to take off... as in a week....

I have the money, just didnt want to double my budget. I was il-prepared yes, but I know what to do now.... Bold? I'd reckon so since I did try Mexico solo.

And, I'll try to avoid going at the end of an 8 month drought.

It was still fun even if I didnt get to do what I wanted to do. I plan to head back in October, when its a little bit cooler... and to give myself a break from school.

Where's the trip report from Guatemala? Did you and your wife recover from yall's little sickness that you picked up?
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:48 PM   #43
97Octane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaOutbackTrail
Cash donations from folks have been sent back. Product donations have been dealt with accordingly.

I had to cancel the Panama trip for several reasons. This one was a spur of the moment, last minute decision to take off... as in a week....

I have the money, just didnt want to double my budget. I was il-prepared yes, but I know what to do now.... Bold? I'd reckon so since I did try Mexico solo.

And, I'll try to avoid going at the end of an 8 month drought.

It was still fun even if I didnt get to do what I wanted to do. I plan to head back in October, when its a little bit cooler... and to give myself a break from school.

Where's the trip report from Guatemala? Did you and your wife recover from yall's little sickness that you picked up?
Good to hear man!

Sounds like you did the right thing... I had made a negative assumption on the donation part, and for that I apologize.

Yup... we both recovered from the illness, and the Guatemala trip was wonderful. Im not big on writing trip reports as of yet. I have countless HOURS of video however as I had a video camera mounted on the bike for most of the stuff. I have about 30 GB's of video feed I have to edit (daunting task).
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Old 07-12-2008, 04:35 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97Octane
Good to hear man!

Sounds like you did the right thing... I had made a negative assumption on the donation part, and for that I apologize.

Yup... we both recovered from the illness, and the Guatemala trip was wonderful. Im not big on writing trip reports as of yet. I have countless HOURS of video however as I had a video camera mounted on the bike for most of the stuff. I have about 30 GB's of video feed I have to edit (daunting task).
I got some decent vids of Hwy 87.... but having trouble getting a couple clips off the card...
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Old 07-12-2008, 06:51 PM   #45
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Oh, I forgot to mention that I did have the new bearings in my kit.

Since the mechanics had the bikes up on the lift, may as well have them deal with it!
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