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Old 11-21-2008, 12:18 PM   #16
tricepilot OP
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It seems the GS is always pointed to Mexico. I live only about 2 miles from I-35 and I-35 takes me straight to Laredo in a little more than 2 hours.



Those bright yellow bags are from Ortleib. This was the first trip that I've used them. Now, my heated vest, jacket, shoes, bike cover go in there and this leaves plenty of room in the panniers for stuff that needs to be locked away. The Orliebs are waterproof, easy to open and close, and attached securely to the bike with 2-each pull straps through loops on top of the panniers. Ortlieb bags get a big...



Also for the first time on a motorcycle trip, I took along the SPOT messanger, which worked flawlessly all over Mexico.



The lithium batteries lasted the two weeks, and probably would have lasted longer if I was on a longer trip. My family and pals were able to log onto the SPOT website and track my travel in real time. This thing flew out of the cradle and slid down the road when I low-sided the bike (story forthcoming). I didn't turn it back on until Puerto Vallarta, and it worked like always. I love the SPOT, and so does my wife, so it gets a big...



Almost literally at the other end of I-35 in Laredo is this place:



This was the jumping off place on a Friday night. It is literally on the river in Laredo, right between the bridges, and has excellent secure parking under the hotel, a bunch of courtyards and pools, and a good restaurant. However, I wouldn't eat at the restaurant the next time, because it would be more fun and very easy to walk across to Nuevo Laredo and try a restaurant there.

A regular Motley Crue of BMW riders met in the morning for breakfast, including these two characters:



Big Jim has over 60 trips into Mexico and is a guide for Motodiscovery.

Hank is a BMW mechanic and was taking some of his shop customers on a loop into Mexico to include the Mexico rally at Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. Why not go along? So I did.

It was Hank who wrenched my GSA back into riding condition in a parking lot in Puerto Vallarta after the crash. His skills and my tools, duct tape, zip ties saved the trip.

By the way, when Big Jim isn't riding Mexico, he's the back up center for the San Antonio Spurs.

Jim has a GSA like mine, but with a different set of bags...



Saturday morning we crossed at Nuevo Laredo (no drug cartels, no shootouts, no bad karma of any kind) and crossed.



Here is a major...



THE COLOMBIA BRIDGE.

See that green arrow? Cross in the city TO Mexico all you want, the lines are in the other direction. When you LEAVE Mexico, follow the red arrow at the Colombia bridge. The time it takes to cruise over there pays you back because there was NOBODY there when I left Mexico two weeks later.

I don't think it is a needed diversion going into Mexico, but you'll love it leaving there. I think I'd still be in line if I crossed back into the U.S. in town.

PENS AND READING GLASSES.

When you arrive at the Aduana, you have to fill out your visa form. There are no pens to be found and everybody didn't know what to do, except wait for the one guy who brought his pen. Then, suddenly veteran Mexico guy Big Jim produces this baggie with like 20 pens, and we all felt good like the ShamWow! guy. Reading glasses - DAMHIK.

ONLINE BANJERCITO.

I was the only guy in the group who went online and got the vehicle permit that way. Easy as pie. Everbody else had to stand in the Permiso line which str etched all the way to Brownsville. Do yourself a favor amigo and do it all with your computer. In 3 days FedEx will be standing at your door with your permit.

DON'T PUT THE PERMIT ON THE MOTORCYCLE WINDSHIELD.

It can get swiped or damaged but the more salient point is that you won't need it but typically once, at the 20 mile or inland checkpoint, or when asked, and you can just pull it out of your file and put it back.


Aftter the gang got their paperwork squared away, we were off to Santiago to tour and spend the night at Cola de Caballo - tail of the horse.




We drove straight through Monterrey and cruised into Santiago via MX 85 without any problems. Well, there was one problem...



Just before Monterrey, following a bunch of trucks, a sample of one of the above flew out from a truck in the left hand lane. Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right and here I amj, stuck in the middle of the left hand lane with nowhere to go. Hank was ahead of Taylor who was ahead of me. Hank hits it dead on.

I see what hank has done and my brain computes that I have nowhere to go (joker to the right of me was a semi) and no time to hit the ABS, and I remember something from skills school about hitting things in the highway dead on, accelerate, stand on the pegs (or was it sit down...hmmmmm). Anyway, before my brain can hit the *send* button with what it wants me to do, I hit it dead on. The impact sent the tire, which was surprisingly like cement, up into my left foot. If it was not for the heavy-duty leather boots I had on, I'm not sure my foot would have fared well at all.

I look in the mirror and *BAM* Taylor hits it dead on as well. He squirrels a bit while keeping control of the bike - an excellent job.

We pulled over to inspect damage and have lunch, and we find Taylor's brake lever bent back towards the rear of his bike:



What do you do with a bent brake lever your first hour into Mexico?

Me: Can you ride it like that?

Taylor: Maybe there is some where around here I can buy a replacement.

Hank: If you find a new lever it will be a piece of cake to swap out.

Big Jim: Here, let me bend it back into position using my left foot. Done.


Ah, with that out of the way we piled into the parking lot of the Hotel Cola de Caballo in the vicinity of Santiago to cheer our decision to spend of Time of Useful Consciousness on Earth riding Mexico and not walking a mall somewhere in North Dakota.

It didn't take Patrick too long to find a friendly local sweetie and get aquainted in front of Horse Tail Falls...



Only kidding that's not Patrick

But it was a couple who, like of lot of people in the area, make it to the falls because like so many things in Mexico, its just, well, special down there.



This ride report is entitled Vaquero after all, so it is appropriate to include my subject above in this staged photo below. She is holding Wallace the Bear for this photo opportunity. More about Wallace later.



The falls are about a ten minute walk through the forrest from the hotel. There are vendors, some small buildings selling food, and horses and carts to rent. The falls are symbolic of a horse's tail and thus so named.



You can eat fresh fruit anywhere in Mexico if you just look...



Davis is happy to be alive and shows it at the base of the falls...



Cola d. Caballo money shot...



A very peaceful setting



A pair of caballos await their vaqueros:



While another caballo pulls along some interested in going in style...



Ever since I was a kid, I loved these wooded trail-type spots...



Meanwhile back at the hotel, Mariela waited patiently for everybody to check in..



And we started to figure out who had done what to their bikes in the farkle department. You know how that goes, eventually everybody examines everyone's motorcycle to see what farkle to order as soon as you get back home. That's Patrick, who shipped his motorcycle to Iran and rode all over that country. He recently finished a photo exhibit on that trip at the Blue Star Arts Complex in San Antonio. Like myself, he also has a KLR.



Taylor's bike below, the one that hit the tire alligator and bent back the brake lever...



Chuck's Bumble Bee...



Hanks's bike, with like, 12,000,000 miles on it. Hank as you remember also hit the tire tread in the road. The bike could have broken into a million pieces and Hank would fix it with chewing gum while watching a movie.

Alabama Ralph's bike, the most senior bike on the trip...



When you got tired of talking about motorcycles, you could go jump off a cliff....



A real cliff



C'mon, you can do it!

OK, let's let this guy do it...



And while his feet are tied and he's hanging upside down....



We'll take a picture of his girlfriend:

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Old 11-21-2008, 12:57 PM   #17
bigdon
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Old 11-21-2008, 03:46 PM   #18
tricepilot OP
El Gran Payaso
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andres A
Carta Blanca ,Yea the right choice, if some day, across the border on Reynosa, send us a pm, Bienvenido Amigo.
Andres

Quote:
Originally Posted by SgtNapalm
Looks like another good one tpilot, my monitor almost exploded with that Full Spectrum of Candy colors, nice shots.
I gotta move to texas so I can be closer to the border.
If you like color, just wait until this gets to San Miguel de Allende!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdon
N
Don





Here is a tune that I played on my Ipod down there. I didn't know about Linda Ronstadt's connection until I ran across this, bought the CD, and read the label contents. Check out the notes she holds in The Cicada:








La Cigarra - The Cicada
Ya no me cantes cigarra
Que acabe tu sonsonete
Que tu canto aqui en el alma
Como un punal se me mete
Sabiendo que cuando cantas
Pregonando vas tu muerte.

Don't sing to me anymore, cicada
Let your singsong end
For your song, here in the soul
Stabs me like a dagger
Knowing that when you sing
You are proclaiming that you are
going to your death

Marinero marinero
Dime si es verdad que sabes
Porque distinguir no puedo
Si en el fondo de los mares
Hay otro color mas negro
Que el color de mis pesares.

Sailor, sailor
Tell me if it is true that you know
Because I cannot distinguish
If in the depth of the seas
There is another color blacker
Than the color of my sorrows.

Un palomito al volar
Que llevaba el pecho herido
Ya casi para llorar
Me dijo muy afligido.
Ya me canso de buscar
Un amor correspondido.

A little dove upon flying
Bearing a wounded breast
Was about to cry
And told me very afflicted
I'm tired of searching for
A mutual love.

Bajo la sombra de un arbol
Y al compas de mi guitarra
Canto alegre este huapango
Porque la vida se acaba
Y quiero morir cantando
Como muere la cigarra

Under the shade of a tree
And to the beat of my guitar
I sing this "huapango" happily
Because my life is ending
And I want to die singing
Like the cicada dies
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Old 11-21-2008, 08:49 PM   #19
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Excellent so far !

Excellent report !!
post more pics


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Old 11-22-2008, 07:58 PM   #20
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We're waiting

Keep it coming! Don't spare any details.
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Old 11-23-2008, 04:52 PM   #21
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Galeana to Linares to Matehuala to San Luis Potosi

This was the schedule of the trip:

Edit: This is the October 2008 calendar



The two weeks were sandwiched around the BMW Rally in Guadalajara/Puerto Vallarta.

Weeks before the trip, I had planned to leave the BMW rally and bee-line for Galeana to ride the MexTrek rally.

Several things ended up changing these plans:

(1) On the "Beyond Epic" ride to Junction Texas with the Two Wheeled Texans gang, I test-rode Richard's KLR 650. Two days before leaving on this trip, I bought my own.

(2) Several of the riders on this trip started talking about pushing farther south from Puerto Vallarta. Since I now had a KLR for the riding around Galeana and hadn't been south of P.V., I began to decide to go on from P.V. with a few other riders.

(3) Crashing near Mascota sealed the deal. I was in too much pain/discomfort to ride back to Galeana to do any serious off-road riding.

Patrick says its time to leave Santiago..



Big Jim agrees..



Davis..



The idea was to ride through Linares and through the back country to Matehuala, and then figure out a route to San Luis Potosi.

Since we were so close to Galeana and I had been working on the MexTrek trip, I steared the Motley Crue to Galeana for a brief recon...









Guarding the entrance to Galeana...





Guarding the entrance to one of two hotels in town...





Hank takes twice as many photos as I do, and I take a LOT..



After checking out Galeana, we blasted south through the backcountry through Doctor Arroyo, and had lunch in Matehuala. Matehuala would be an overnight stop on the way back.



Thrown in jail for refusing to pay a mordida...



Those Ortlieb bags, I cannot recommend them enough...



We got into San Luis Potosi, and went to get someting to eat.

After dinner, I found the centro and took this shot inside the cathedral...



Hard to believe, but inside shots like this I take without a flash, using a Canon Digital Elph set on manual. The top of the church in actual conditions was rather dark, but playing around with the settings I was able to bring out the colors. Love that camera - and it survived the crash that was to come, riding it out inside my jacket pocket!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arte
Excellent report !!
post more pics
Arte
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodanja
We're waiting

Keep it coming! Don't spare any details.
More pics and details coming, guys. Especially San Miguel. We'll be doing color saturation bombing of Smugmug...

Meanwhile, while in Matehuala we were just a stones-throw from Real de Catorce.

Here is a tune from the movie filmed in that town, just for fun...



&ampnbsp
&ampnbsp

tricepilot screwed with this post 11-23-2008 at 06:40 PM
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:05 PM   #22
GB
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Thanks for the update with gorgeous pics!! Gotta get me down to Mexico
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:29 PM   #23
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Nice pics and reports, hey Vaquero you are the American, more Mexican, Right?, and my seven years old son. Maximiliano think you are the singer on the El Mexicano song he say, dad tell to Vaquero "He is a good singer".

Saludos, and ride safe
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Andres A screwed with this post 11-24-2008 at 06:04 AM
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:50 PM   #24
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Safe travels guys! Glad you get off did not ruin your trip!

On your way back through Matehuala you might consider a side trip up to Real De Catorce if you have time and energy left. A neat little town with a fascinating history. Real is not far from Matehuala. I spent a month there making a movie in the 90's. Nice places to stay and good food too.

Lots of good dirt roads heading out of Real going to Hell and gone from there, if you've a mind to do a bit of exploring.

suerte!
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Thanks for the update with gorgeous pics!! Gotta get me down to Mexico

Set a date, and I'll escort you. And I promise to bring you back. TricePilot can come, too. He's good with maps.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:29 PM   #26
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Dolores Hildalgo

Just before landing in San Miguel de Allende, we popped into Dolores Hildalgo, a beautiful little town sandwiched between S.M.A. and Guanajuato.

While 'Juato and S.M.A. are classics (and crawling with expats/tourists), D.H. is not so much on the radar.

However, no run into Mexico, if you are near this town, is complete without stopping there. It's the birthplace of the revolution.

Big Jim in front of the cathedral in Hildalgo. I think this composition makes Jim even taller looking than his already celestial height...



Did I mention the weather? It didn't rain a single day the two weeks in Mexico. Second consecutive October Mexico trip that this has happened...



The Rat Pack:



Are you in the mood for a little ice cream? What flavor do you like? We even have octopus, if you name is Andrew Zimmern from the Food Channel...



Aw c'mon, take a bite...



Here...we'll make it easy...



Hint: this is NOT vanilla:



Sugar candies may be more your bag...







It was getting close to November 2, dia de los muertos...



It was easy to find a cozy courtyard restaurant...



The most expensive bottle of fruit of the agave in Hildalgo, maybe in Mexico...



Probably not, but it is a nice bottle

Taking photos of classic motorcycles is almost an instant reaction:



I'm not Catholic, but I'm captivated by the architecture and beauty of churches in colonial Mexico...


















I had a little brunch back at that hotel after touring the cathedral. Excellent coffee and, of course, more delicious fruit - can't get enough of fruit in Mexico.

NOTE: I eat the fruit all over Mexico. I also drink the water - many times unfiltered and often with ice. Not sure what you've been told, but I've never been sick from the food or water in Mexico.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Thanks for the update with gorgeous pics!! Gotta get me down to Mexico
Leo and I are going to come up there, tie you up, and force you to go. Best times to go are February and October. Sorry about your work schedule

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andres A
Nice pics and reports, hey Vaquero you are the American, more Mexican, Right?
With all the time I'm spending down there, that's how I feel!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Django Loco
Safe travels guys! Glad you get off did not ruin your trip!
I'll talk about the crash when this report gets to the transition between Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. It didn't ruin the trip per se, but I was one hurting puppy, with a (technically) broken ankle, wrenched knee, wrenched back, and some other associated maladies. As for the moto, lots of duct tape and zip ties, plus lots of metal thrown away...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobby
Set a date, and I'll escort you. And I promise to bring you back. TricePilot can come, too. He's good with maps.
That's the way to trick GB, Leo. Let's lull him to sleep and make him think he's in control of our kidnapping-to-plan.

GB - if you don't come with us, we'll send a cartel to get you.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:15 PM   #27
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Preview of Coming Attractions

The following short film is but a miniscule preview of the accident near Mascota, east of Puerto Vallarta, and is brought to you by Johnson and Johnson, makers of most of the medical supplies used during the aftermath.

Accident Simulation Video:



&ampampnbsp








For tomorrow: San Miguel de Allende in full color
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:09 PM   #28
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:12 PM   #29
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This is an excellent RR and wonderful pictures too. Now I must ask do you have a link to the site for the "online Banjercito"? of maybe I missed something.

You see I will find myself with some free time come the end of January and think this would be a great way to warm up.

Keep it coming please
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:46 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idahosam
This is an excellent RR and wonderful pictures too. Now I must ask do you have a link to the site for the "online Banjercito"? of maybe I missed something.

You see I will find myself with some free time come the end of January and think this would be a great way to warm up.

Keep it coming please

Google banjercito vehicle permit


or something... thats what i did...
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