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 01-04-2009, 09:40 AM   #16
motorradrudi
tourguide
 
motorradrudi's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Sonthofen, Germany
Oddometer: 350
Good luck to you, and have a lot of fun!

Best greatings
Rudi
motorradrudi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 05:42 PM   #17
H-Jay OP
Mo 2 C
 
H-Jay's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401
Crossing the Border and on to Tampico



Wednesday morning we crossed in to Mexico at Brownsville ...and officially started our Latin Trip. I was surprised by Brownsville and Matamors. I had expectations of two little sleezy towns full of dark alleys and questionable characters lurching at every intersection. What a surprise, both towns were relatively clean with thriving downtowns. Maybe we just missed the bad sections but across from our Hotel in Brownsville a new Lowes store was going up. Given the economy, that will probable be the last one build for a while. I thought Michigan had gone overboard building retail stores. Texas is just a big mess around Houston, with the same retail store clusters repeating every 5 to 10 miles. Anyway… back to the topic.





We didn’t bother with any of the online immigration registration or insurance before leaving home. It turned out to be unnecessary in Brownsville. We got our insurance from an office near the hotel. I got seven days of limited liability with a stated motorcycle value of $17k for a little over $50 USD. The lady at the office said she had been in the business a long time and they never had a claim for a stolen motorcycle so I was OK to pass up the comprehensive coverage.

Thursday morning we arrived at the boarder at around 8:00 AM to no lines. The worrying about crossing the boarder was far more severe than the actual event. Everyone was courteous and were more than willing to explain things. The process at immigrations was straight forward. We filled out the visa application and showed our passports to get our bodies in to the country. On advice from this site and others people we left the timing and destination vague…up to 7 days touring to Southern Mexico’s, maybe Chiapas State. I guess that gives you a more desirable tourist visa rather than the transmigration visa. Then we went to the next connecting office to import the motorcycles. We showed our titles, registrations and the all important credit card. They put $400 on the card and sent us across the hall for copies. After that we got a bunch of official looking documents and a little green laminated pass. The irony of getting a green card didn’t escape me. The official at the guard house took the green laminated pass and we were through. Total time in an out of the crossing was about 45 minutes all in the same building.



I did have one little problem that was my own doing. I had a color copy of my title in case I loss the original. I mistakenly gave the copy to the immigration officer. She immediately handed it back and said – not original need original. I thought it was the original and politely took exception. As I grabbed Chris’s title to show her what a Michigan title looks like, I realized mine did not look like …the original… so extra points for her.

Our next stop was an ATM for some Pesos and a convenient store for water on the way out of town. We discovered the first weakness of Garmin’s World Map and AAA paper maps.They showed 180 as the route to Tampico. Actually its 101 from Brownsville. Route 180 branches off 101 about 100 miles down the road. It also shows as a toll road but it is not. My Lonely Planet pdf had the route correct but of course I didn’t consult it till after the fact.





On the road we adjusted to using the one and a half lane highway. We quickly learned that staying closer to the ½ lane than the center of the full lane and to regularly check your rearview mirror. Those big shinny F150 pickup truck…or as some of them are labeled “Lobos” and Texas Edition Silverados have little patients getting around a moto.






A brief stop for some Tacos and a drink.



Back on the road with some perfect riding conditions..far site better'en Michigan in December... as we motor on to Tampico.

__________________
H-Jay

2007 BMW R1200GSA
1968 Norton Fastback
1969 Triumph Bonnie

South America Blog

Patagonia Bound Ride Report
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420453

Alaska Ride Report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250239
H-Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 06:00 PM   #18
Jacpod
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Jacpod's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2004
Location: Nashville
Oddometer: 283
Travel well. I signed up and will follow you closely anticipating a similar journey.

Jacpod
Jacpod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2009, 06:45 PM   #19
H-Jay OP
Mo 2 C
 
H-Jay's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401
To Veracruz



Well, its our first day in Mexico and New Years Eve, we made it to Tampico and checked in to a Best Western a little north of town. Hard to believe but the New Year is being brought in with gun fire just like at home. Didn’t they see the sign that said guns are illegal in Mexico?

The following day we headed to Veracruz. We found our way out of Tampico after a few wrong turns and a lot of tolls to pay. It is sort of like riding through Chicago with all the toll booth stops. Worse yet, it was foggy so I didn’t get a chance to enjoy the view from the tall bridge south of downtown.



Our required stop for lunch.






On the way down to Veracruz we briefly stopped at the Emerald Coast area to take in the interesting little Caribbean coastal towns.











I saw my first banana tree and maybe my first sugar cane field. Don’t laugh. It wasn’t till last year that I saw my first cotton field.



Banana Trees




The bananas bunches are inside the blue plastic protection bags...




Hear are some more pictures of the ride.








We got in to Veracruz just as it was getting dark. Veracruz’s downtown was pretty and the beaches we jammed with Christmas/ New Years day celebrations. They seem to really believe in the 12 days of Christmas here. The town must be a holiday destination for Mexican citizens. After getting turned a way from two hotels that were full, we found the Costa.





So when we found it had rooms, we jumped on it. It was about a block off the Gulf shore. It was a bit more than we wanted to pay at $75. We found 2 sparkling H-Ds parked under the hotel entrance canopy. We didn’t want to distract from their posing …so we immediately covered up our dirty motos.
__________________
H-Jay

2007 BMW R1200GSA
1968 Norton Fastback
1969 Triumph Bonnie

South America Blog

Patagonia Bound Ride Report
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420453

Alaska Ride Report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250239
H-Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 07:13 PM   #20
H-Jay OP
Mo 2 C
 
H-Jay's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401
The Road to Oaxaca (thats Wha-ha-ka)

Heading out of Veracruz was nothing special except more wrong turns and tolls.











I stumbled across 2 things that will help us in the future. One is that Garmin World Map does limited autoroute on my 60csx, despite its advertisings that it does not. When I make a town a waypoint and press go to it will indicate the direction to the major route and if you have departed the major route. It will not navigate the secondary streets like in city nav. It also seems Microsoft Live Map site http://maps.live.com gives decent secondary street turn by turn with mileage directions in Mexico. I have to write it down off the computer and put it on my tank bag but no big deal. I hope this will work the same in other countries to help navigate the maze.

Once we got to the mountains it got interesting. I imagine the best way to describe it would be like riding Deals Gap for 3-4 hours with elevation changes up to 9600 feet. Actually pictures can describe it better.





Big, small and pretty road hazzards were everywhere.














Never road thru a high Jungle before. We were at about 7000 ft



















... a pause in the road work.






__________________
H-Jay

2007 BMW R1200GSA
1968 Norton Fastback
1969 Triumph Bonnie

South America Blog

Patagonia Bound Ride Report
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420453

Alaska Ride Report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250239
H-Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 07:31 PM   #21
Nata Harli
The Accidental Tourista
 
Nata Harli's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
Oddometer: 2,536
Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Jay
We found our way out of fill in the blank after a few wrong turns ...
I'll bet you'll be repeating this sentence a lot on your trip.

__________________
Latin American Ride Reports link
5th Annual Latin American Rider's Rally

No, it's not a Harley , it's a BMW.
Nata Harli is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 08:49 PM   #22
bananaman
transcontimental
 
Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Madison, Wisconsin and/or Panama, Panama
Oddometer: 6,463
bananaman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2009, 09:30 PM   #23
McBike
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Durango/Ft. Worth for work
Oddometer: 205
Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Jay
We are already in Mexico and I now have time to start a trip report. I’m also going to try and keep this and a blog going. That is Chris on the right.



But first, starting from the beginning, what’s the plan? The plan is for two guys to head south right after Christmas, 2008 on a three month, or so, ride through Latin America. We will travel through Mexico, Central America and fly over the Darien Gap in to South America. In South America, we will continue south to Ushuaia, Argentina. From there we will turn north and go the 1900 miles up the east coast to Buenos Aires, Argentina. In Buenos Aires, I will take a little non-moto vacation with my wife, before flying the motorcycles and us home in time for an early spring in Michigan. All in, the trip should be about 15,000 miles. Along the way, we plan to visit the great sights, such as, Peru’s Machu Picchu ruins, the Bolivian Salt Flats and Argentina’s Lakes District. We will also travel some legendary roads like the Carretera Austral (Southern Highway) in Chile and the famous Ruta 40 through Argentina’s Patagonia region where BMW filmed their 2004 GS New Model Introduction publicity shots.

My friend Chris and I have identical 2007 R1200GSAs. It wasn’t planned for us to look like twins rolling down the highway. We had mutual friends but didn’t even know each other when we separately purchased our motorcycles from John Horner at BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan. For my preferences, the GS Adventure comes almost complete for these types of journeys. It’s a little heavy (subtle sarcasm) and tall but makes a decent compromise between on and off road handling for long distance traveling. I may have wished for a thumper after having to pick the pig up in Bolivia, but for now its great for knocking down miles. The Adventure and standard GS come with adequate off road protection. The exception is the need to add a little more protection to the headlight, radiator and cylinder heads. The latter got more protection from Adventure Design’s well thought out Engine Guard Extension bars. Additional lights, front and rear, were added to help others see us.







Packing was another time consuming logistical challenge. The strategy is to get everything in two lockable side cases and a tank bag. The rear top case will stay mostly empty so that the tank bag can get locked up during restaurant stops in sketchy areas. Here is the obigatory stuff spread out photo.



Before we left town we had a bit of a fun displaying our motos during a open house Christmas party hosted by John Horner at BMW Motorcycles of Southeast Michigan. I was amazed by the interest and the number of people that already knew about the trip.







We got out of Michigan on the Saturday after Christmas. We could not have asked for a better after Christmas present ….50 degree weather. The snow was still piled high on the side of the road but we had a clear path out of Michigan. After getting a nice send off from my family I cautiously rode an hour in thick fog to meet up with Chris. The big surprise for me was finding that 3 of our friends got up early Saturday and drove 40 miles to give Chris and I a send off.

We had 2 hard days riding to beat the bad weather. End of day 2 has us in Covington LA somewhere between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. We had been riding the last 4-5 hours in the rain and as dark ascended the rain picked up. Wanting to be around to see South America we decide it’s probably time to stop for the night. The next day we headed off to Houston. I have family to visit and dragged Chris along.

More later...

Good luck and have a great time on the trip. If time permits, could you list what you are carrying in your panniers. And, what brand are those orange waterproof bags. They look perfect for my Africa trip later this year.
McBike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 04:35 PM   #24
H-Jay OP
Mo 2 C
 
H-Jay's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nata Harli
I'll bet you'll be repeating this sentence a lot on your trip.

Spoken from a seasoned traveller. Today it only took us 42 miles to get 30 miles out of town. The day before was more like 50 to go 15.... progress.
__________________
H-Jay

2007 BMW R1200GSA
1968 Norton Fastback
1969 Triumph Bonnie

South America Blog

Patagonia Bound Ride Report
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420453

Alaska Ride Report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250239
H-Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 04:51 PM   #25
H-Jay OP
Mo 2 C
 
H-Jay's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by McBike
Good luck and have a great time on the trip. If time permits, could you list what you are carrying in your panniers. And, what brand are those orange waterproof bags. They look perfect for my Africa trip later this year.
Sure,

The bags are Seattle Sports. Here is an link for a description http://www.rei.com/product/722680 They are perfect for grab and go into the hotel. They also keep stuff dry when you go over the mountain pass and it rains inside your panniers.

I will dig out the pack list document. PM me you e-mail and I will send it.
__________________
H-Jay

2007 BMW R1200GSA
1968 Norton Fastback
1969 Triumph Bonnie

South America Blog

Patagonia Bound Ride Report
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420453

Alaska Ride Report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250239
H-Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 05:43 PM   #26
banjopete
broke, student, lurker
 
banjopete's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Edmonton for school, but North Vancouver is home
Oddometer: 186
looks like fun, how long was the planning period for the trip, three months seems like quite a break from it all

take care
banjopete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #27
Nata Harli
The Accidental Tourista
 
Nata Harli's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
Oddometer: 2,536
Quote:
Originally Posted by H-Jay
Spoken from a seasoned traveller. Today it only took us 42 miles to get 30 miles out of town. The day before was more like 50 to go 15.... progress.
I didn't discover this trick until too late but when you get near a town where the possibility of getting lost (any place over about 150 population in my case) look for a taxi or tuk tuk. Try and indicate to them where you want to end up and have them lead you through the town. They'll usually do it for a buck or two and it's well worth it.
__________________
Latin American Ride Reports link
5th Annual Latin American Rider's Rally

No, it's not a Harley , it's a BMW.
Nata Harli is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 06:45 PM   #28
pops66
n00b
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Oddometer: 9
:
pops66 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2009, 07:04 PM   #29
H-Jay OP
Mo 2 C
 
H-Jay's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Michiganland
Oddometer: 401
Oaxaca



We pulled in to Oaxaca just as it was turning dark and took the first Hotel that looked appealing. It was 3 blocks from the town’s plaza. We need to seriously get our daily cost down or we won’t get to TDF. The room cost us about $50 a night and had the all important wi fi. We were downright giddy about motoring over the curb, in to the hotel’s front door, passed the registration desk and parking in the dinning room/court yard.



After walking around the plaza that evening we confirmed our plans to take off a day from riding and enjoy some sightseeing. Little did we know it would be more than a day. Here are some of the first night pictures on and around the plaza.







The weather makes me forget it is the Christmas season here...long than the US version...until I see all of the decorations.



This is funny. The kids in this picture is enjoying snow from an aerosol can that her father sprayed over her head.






The next day we had breakfast on the Plaza and toured the “Centro” downtown area.











I'm really developing a interest in the varity of bananas here. They all taste great.



Chinese motos are taking over. 22k pesos is about $1700 USD.



Colorful happy stuff everywhere...





Well they probable aren't too happy.


and a little of the dark side .....






Back at the hotel I was trying to take a picture of the old switchboard phone system in the lobby but she kept jumping into the picture.



We had a great dinner. If we continue to pig out I will not be able to slip in to my riding gear. Chris told me that Caesar Salads were first invented, it that’s the word, in Mexico. So we decided to pay homage to Caesar. The restaurant waiters put on a first rate production making the salad, including the dressing from scratch, at table side. Check it out and the steak that followed.

Also had to do a little maintenance on my cheapo LED running lights. Seems moisture was interferring with a good ground.



That night Chris got a touch of the flu and upset stomach so we decided to stay in Oaxaca. Not a difficult decision.
__________________
H-Jay

2007 BMW R1200GSA
1968 Norton Fastback
1969 Triumph Bonnie

South America Blog

Patagonia Bound Ride Report
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=420453

Alaska Ride Report http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=250239
H-Jay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2009, 06:58 AM   #30
olderguy
n00b
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Oddometer: 2
Enjoying Your Trip

Enjoying your trip and postings. Have fun and stay safe. Jim Slater.
olderguy 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 05:23 PM.


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