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Old 04-04-2010, 06:00 PM   #76
miguelito OP
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Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antontrax
Fantastic ride between San Cristobal and Palenque eh?

Thanks for the food shots too, There ain't no place outside of Mexico that can do Mexican food properly! I miss it!
San Cristobal to pelenque was awesome except for what I thought were an awful lot of topes, and most of them unmarked, so it was hard to get into a riding groove the way I did on the Tlacoltopan to Oaxaca ride, (which had almost no topes in 150 km). As to the food, by definition, you're right, although New Mexico gives the Mexican's a good run for their money in the cocina.
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Old 04-07-2010, 03:50 PM   #77
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A summary of my recommendations for hotel and dining in and around Oaxaca

Food_ Hotel Parador de San Miguel, Ave. Independencia 503, just a block and a half from the zocalo.

Food- Coming into town from the north, take the turnoff gor San Jacinto and a half a block on the left is La Flor de Istmo, Camino San Jacinto esq, Ferrocarril #109

Hotel – Hotel del Arbol, Ave. Independencia

















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Old 04-07-2010, 04:03 PM   #78
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Oaxaca to Cuernavaca

The ride to Cuernavaca was a mix of great scenery with twisting roads and a smattering of cuotas. Even the cuota coming into Cuernavaca was beautiful. I passed another ADV rider on a green KLR going the opposite direction and we saluted each other. I couldn’t tell as we were in the middle of some excellent twisties when we passed, but it might have been Chad, a Canadian with whom I’ve crossed paths in Mulege, and once again on the West coast of the mainland. I always have a pang when I see riders going the opposite direction, which is when and where I’ve seen most of them, wishing we could sit for a few minutes and share stories and places we’ve been.



Some views along the way.



















I made a quick detour into the picture postcard town of Tepoztlan. Sorry, no pics of that, but if you’re in the area, you should swing by to check it out. Everything around southern Mexico is even more beautiful than usual with the blue-purple flowering St. Lucia trees scattered throughout the landscape.





Entering Cuernavaca from the north is a journey of descent, as the road plunges down and down towards el centro. I pulled into the first hotel I saw wirh a garage, and found their nightly rate almost $300 US, so I kept riding down toward the zocalo. I was having a hard time finding hotels in the crush of afternoon traffic, and eventually pulled into another hotel garage and found their rooms to still be expensive, but the heat and the ride were getting to me, and I coughed up 1300 pesos, (discounted from 1950 pesos) for what turned out to be a lovely air conditioned room next to the courtyard and pool. It was very nice and maybe the quietest room I've had in any Mexican city.


The 1300 peso room.



Watch your step when you leave and enter your room.




Apparently the extra 1000 pesos buys the tchotchkas on the walls and horizontal surfaces.



Random composition.



I walked down to the zocalo, and eventually stopped into a little bar for a cerveza, and shortly thereafter a gringo looking dude walked in and muttered something in English, adding, “You look like a gringo, anyway”. To which I replied, “So do you”. Ha! We shared a couple of beers and then parted ways after dinner on the edge of the zocalo.



View from the bar where John and I met.




Sidewalk repairs in Cuernavaca






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Old 04-08-2010, 06:38 AM   #79
atk_nut
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Awsome r&r!
Looks like you are doing a similar rout as us but we didn't have as much time.The mountains are just as beautiful as the coast and it was where we cooled off our sun burns.We had alot of fun getting soccer balls,blowing them up with our tire fixin stuff and having a game with the local kids.I played goalie while my kids did the running.Ask for instructions on the spin top.It's hard but everyone knows it and it will make you new friends.There are alot of hot springs and caves in the mountains that aren't in that stupid Lonely Planet book.Ask around.Also,watch out for that oil.It'll make the bike hard to start in the morning,especially around Durango.It must be easier knowing spanish there.We only knew a few words and it was hard at times.Don't forget hwy 40!! It's a must!
Wishing we were there still
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:41 PM   #80
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Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atk_nut
Awsome r&r!
Looks like you are doing a similar rout as us but we didn't have as much time.The mountains are just as beautiful as the coast and it was where we cooled off our sun burns. There are alot of hot springs and caves in the mountains that aren't in that stupid Lonely Planet book.Ask around.Also,watch out for that oil.It'll make the bike hard to start in the morning,especially around Durango.It must be easier knowing spanish there.We only knew a few words and it was hard at times.Don't forget hwy 40!! It's a must!
Wishing we were there still
atk_nut family
I'm digging the mountains atk_nut. The heat down on the coasts was getting to me. I just had my oil changed again, because of the viscosity issue up here at higher elevations. I rode rt. 40 last year and enjoyed it. I just rode a smaller route between Ciudad Hidalgo and Morelia which was perhaps my favorite road here in Mexico. It was only 80 km, but it was 80 km of perfectly cambered curves, and no diminishing radius curves at that along the mountain ridge and the climb up and down. Plus, no traffic at all! Awesome ride!
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:22 PM   #81
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We'll keep that in mind as it's next years ride.Enjoy the mountains...our sun burns did.Let us know about the weather down there as next year we will be in early spring.Try the coffee outside of Mexico city.It's a blend of coffee and spices.The best coffee we ever had.
shiny side up
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #82
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As to the weather, it's definitely warm with my non-mesh riding jacket on when you're bogged down in traffic. It's like this every year, in that you need a heavy jacket to get down here, and then once you're here you need a mesh jacket. I almost brought mine thinking I'd ship the heavy jacket home, but, but... well... I didn't. So I'm sweltering a bit in the cities, but it's way better than it was down on the coast. BTW, I found the west coast hotter than the east. Not sure if that is because of the rain they get there, or whether it was a little variation during the week or so I was on the east coast at sea level.
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:26 PM   #83
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Cuernavaca to Morelia

The ride started out with an excellent ride over the mountains from Tres Marias to Atlacomulco. This was a ride on twisties through tall, cool. Sunlight-speckled forests. As I descended the west side of the continental divide, the terrain reminded me of riding through a summer’s day in the Rocky Mountains. No pics from that section. Lots of scenic towns on the way.









I made a quick detour off the cuota to this little town.













Then I had to circumnavigate the traffic around Toluca before beginning a cuota marathon enroute to Morelia. Eventually I tired of the cuotas and jumped off at Maravatio and made a quick stop at the town plaza which was bounded by a lovely canopy of shade trees.













Then I headed south to Ciudad Hidalgo, but didn’t stop, heading East toward Morelia on the libre. This may be my favorite section of road to ride in Mexico. It’s about 80 km of perfectly cambered twisties, and no weird, changing radius curves. You’re riding along the mountaintop for a good stretch before beginning the descent to the valley below.











Watch out for drywall nails and dead animals when you pull over to take pictures




Outstanding views on this section from Ciudad Hidalgo to Morelia






View up the street from the hotel to the plaza






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Old 04-09-2010, 10:38 PM   #84
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Morelia, Michoacan

Swooping along the ridge of the Sierra Madres, I'm in the zone, smiling and inwardly applauding the civil engineers who so perfectly cambered the tilt of this mountain road as I flick the bike from left to right and back to left, over and over, for 80 km sans any other traffic to speak of. Riding into the city from the mountain pass to the East, my route parallels a 250+ year old stone aqueduct that casts some welcome shade in the afternoon sun. I arrive in el centro of this Mexican town and find its stone architecture beautiful and impressive.





It can be hard finding hotels while riding in Mexican cities, due to the colonial architecture, which presents a featureless facade to the street with only doors and a windows to break up the visual plane of an entire city block. My concentration is also distracted by the frenzy of cars and motorbikes weaving between lanes during rush hour here in the center of town.



Street scene





Mexican hoteliers generally don't put flashing neon signs out front like their American counterparts, but often paint an unobtrusive sign or affix a small plaque near the door announcing their service instead. So I park and begin trekking the town on foot in search of affordable lodging. The first place I spy looks lovely but the nightly tariff of over $200 US, forces me along the boulevards in search of more economical digs. Eventually I find a cute little hotel in a centuries old building a few blocks from the plaza. They offer clean, windowless rooms for about $22US, and several deluxe rooms with windows, ($33US), which face the street, a beautiful church, and a park. I opt for a window room in spite of the extra cost and what I know will mean more street noise.


The church across the street from the Hotel del Carmen





This city has a reputation for drug-related violence, but you wouldn't know it by observing what I've seen. It's a spectacularly beautiful town, with a colonial heritage and a cosmopolitan blend of people. Sidewalk cafes abound, and a mix of young and old, urbane Mexicanos surround me as I join a amiable late afternoon crowd to read my Kindle and enjoy a cerveza following the day's long ride. Two young men playing chess at a neighboring table finish their game and ask me about my electronic book, and we launch into a discussion of its properties, then move on to books and authors we've enjoyed, and eventually segue into a meandering discussion of the nature of being.









Our conversation is one in which before we've scratched the surface of the topic at hand, I'm in over my head due to my tenuous command of the Spanish language. Nonetheless, it's interesting and rewarding to try to construct complex sentences, so less mundane than the solitary traveler's norm, which generally consists of ascertaining how much a hotel room costs, or explaining what one wants to eat for dinner. Thankfully one of them spent 5 years in London, and speaks passable English, so when we broach the more arcane metaphysics he becomes the de facto translator between his friend and myself. Our exchange is as intense as the conversations and laughter surrounding us are light-hearted.

Jose is a Toreador of the bullring, a man of action, and Catolico. He believes in God, thinks the divine being is often unhappy with his creation, and is not always a benevolent god. Geraldo is cerebral, an agnostic musician studying physics at a local university, and is of a Jewish family here in a country that is overwhelmingly Catholic. He's engaged but is concerned that once married, he'll see the door close permanently on his musical career. Both men are in their twenties and count fewer than half the years of my own life.

When Geraldo asks me where I'm staying, I tell them the name of the quaint little stone hotel a few blocks away. They look at each other and laugh, telling me that the hotel is famous for its hookers. Geraldo warns me that if I'm inclined to partake of this particular vice I should beware, as not all of the hookers are of the female persuasion, and that particular fact might not be readily apparent until one gets up close and personal with them. I laugh, and ponder my seemingly inherent ability to inject myself into interesting situations.

When Jose checks the time, we are all surprised to find that we've been talking for almost 4 hours. Good company can be hard to find, and I offer my thanks for the serendipity of these new friendships. As we bid each other goodnight we make plans to meet again tomorrow evening to continue the discussion.






It's good to have some stories to tell, so when I return to the hotel and the park fronting the church, I'm vaguely disappointed to find it devoid of hookers and transvestites, but am somewhat consoled by the presence of a small street performance group and their audience along the promenade.


A subsequent evening was spent with an unusually nervous manager from Mexico's financial sector. During that evening's conversation he told me that Che Guevara was an icon for him in his life as well as in his thinking about finances and monetary policy. Surprised by this admission, I commented as to how rare I thought such a predilection might be for those working in the financial sector in the US. We then segued into a discussion of Che, Latin-America, emerging economies, and the importance these economies will have on the economic and political direction the world will take in the near future. I wondered afterward if his nervous tics could be manifestations of some cognitive dissonance between his job and his socialist philosophy, or if alternatively they might be from his obvious need to cheat on his wife while traveling for business.





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Old 04-18-2010, 08:26 AM   #85
dwj - Donnie
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Hi!

Enjoying your ride! How long will you be traveling?

Donnie
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:41 AM   #86
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Location: San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwj - Donnie
Hi!

Enjoying your ride! How long will you be traveling?

Donnie
Glad to have you along Donnie. I enjoyed following your travels this year as well. I'm not entirely sure how long I'll be down here. I have no time constraints, so the only thing I know for sure is that my visa/vehicle permit expires on June 15, so I can confidently predict my exit from Mexico by then.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:57 AM   #87
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I left Morelia and planned on stopping in Patzcuaro, which my friends in Alamos had told me last year was a beautiful town and area. I came into town from a nice ride on the libre and followed the town's signs to El Centro, but only found a pretty funky little town. I decided to ride on to Uruapan, but stopped for lunch near the lake, where my waiter told me that I had been misled by one sign, and pointed me back in the real direction of town. Man, I'm happy I stopped for lunch and got the right beta, 'cause this is a very beautiful town, and the nights are literally cool.

I stopped at the "Our Pick", midrange hotel from Lonely Planet, and found their prices almost 1-1/2 times what lonely Planet listed. Seems like being featured in Lonely Planet is kinda like the kiss of death for a place if you're a traveler looking for good deals. So I walked down the street, and stopped into what should have been a hotel with a price similar to the first stop. My first question to the proprietess, was if they had parking for my moto, and she said that they didn't. I asked how much the rooms were anyway, and she replied 200 pesos, or about $18 US. That was less than 1/2 the price listed in Lonely Planet for the Hotel San Alejandro, so I figured I'd rent a space in a garage downtown, which allowed me to ride into the plaza for dinner each night, park the bike, and then walk the 3 blocks back to the hotel. Crazily enough the parking cost 70 peso's for overnight parking, and 120 if you left the moto in 24 hours. So I guess what I'm trying to say here is the Hotel San Alejandro is a kick ass hotel, clean, nice terrace, and I got cut a hell of a good deal.









If you come to Patzcuaro, and feel like a steak, I had the best steak since entering Mexico at the Argentinian steakhouse, called "Mistonga" which is just off the main plaza.

I rode a circumnavigation of the lake one day, stopping in most of the small towns surrounding it. I'm running out of power on my laptop, and will come back to add more here later.

miguelito screwed with this post 04-28-2010 at 02:21 PM
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:16 AM   #88
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A friend has followed Steve's books in many places and when finding the prices higher has tried saying that he plans to write Rick and get the information updated in the next edition. He says that the price often drops right down. They don't want to lose the endorsement.
I am following your trip and enjoying your great write-ups and pictures.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:39 PM   #89
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miguelito
I left Morelia and planned on stopping in Patzcuaro, which my friends in Alamos had told me last year was a beautiful town and area. I came into town from a nice ride on the libre and followed the town's signs to El Centro, but only found a pretty funky little town. I decided to ride on to Uruapan, but stopped for lunch near the lake, where my waiter told me that I had been misled by one sign, and pointed me back in the real direction of town. Man, I'm happy I stopped for lunch and got the right beta, 'cause this is a very beautiful town, and the nights are literally cool.

I stopped at the "Our Pick", midrange hotel from Lonely Planet, and found their prices almost 1-1/2 times what lonely Planet listed. Seems like being featured in Lonely Planet is kinda like the kiss of death for a place if you're a traveler looking for good deals. So I walked down the street, and stopped into what should have been a hotel with a price similar to the first stop. My first question to the proprietess, was if they had parking for my moto, and she said that they didn't. I asked how much the rooms were anyway, and she replied 200 pesos, or about $18 US. That was less than 1/2 the price listed in Lonely Planet for the Hotel San Alejandro, so I figured I'd rent a space in a garage downtown, which allowed me to ride into the plaza for dinner each night, park the bike, and then walk the 3 blocks back to the hotel. Crazily enough the parking cost 70 peso's for overnight parking, and 120 if you left the moto in 24 hours. So I guess what I'm trying to say here is the Hotel San Alejandro is a kick ass hotel, clean, nice terrace, and I got cut a hell of a good deal.









I rode a circumnavigation of the lake one day, stopping in most of the small towns surrounding it. I'm running out of power on my laptop, and will come back to add more here later.
Miguelito,

I'm in Zamora just about 100kms north from Patzcuaro. The road is great, rode it past Sunday, ifyou decide to come down this way give me a call. dialing from Mexico 01 351 131 0818 dialing from Zamora 1310818. The MOTOFIESTA begins tomorrow in Morelia, don't miss it you will have a lot of fun.
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:38 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by abogado68
Miguelito,

I'm in Zamora just about 100kms north from Patzcuaro. The road is great, rode it past Sunday, ifyou decide to come down this way give me a call. dialing from Mexico 01 351 131 0818 dialing from Zamora 1310818. The MOTOFIESTA begins tomorrow in Morelia, don't miss it you will have a lot of fun.
Hola amigo! I'm now in San Miguel de Allende, so I think I'll miss you. As much of a gringo town as this is, I've met some good peeps, and think I'll stay here for a while. I'm thinking of renting an apartment for a month or so, so if you come over this way, PM me and I'll give you the contact coordinates, and the first two cervezas are on me. ;)
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