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Old 12-15-2010, 12:35 PM   #1
cwc OP
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Cuatro Abuelos y un Pata de Perro Visitan Algunas Ciudades Coloniales Mexicanas

When we announced this trip we heard many variations of "Why would you go to Mexico".

Here is one reason.



I have wanted to visit some colonial cites in Mexico for a long time. With a little arm twisting I got Tury and Dean (the Pata de Perro) to join me and later we added Hector and Arturo. We had some interest from other Minnesotans, but one by one they had to drop out. The schedule was adjusted several times. By the time we left we had settled on going for 3 weeks at the end of November.

My plan was to ride down to Texas with Dean since his trailer easily handles two bikes and then ship my bike and fly home. Dean is staying south for the winter. Unfortunately at the last minute I was unable to work out the details with the shipper so the day before we were to leave I dug out the Luxovan so I would be able to get the bike home. A call to Throttlemeister in OK secured a place to leave the van and sleeping space for our first night out.

Since we planned to ride on mostly paved roads I took my DR650 as did Dean and Tury. I had a little flurry of activity getting the IMS tank, side cases and top case mounted and making up a modified “sweet cheeks” seat.

The seat modification was a huge success. The seat went from marginally bearable for trips of less than 100 miles to pretty decent for all day riding. While not exactly a Russell Daylong saddle it was far better than ANY stock motorcycle seat that I have used.


The lightly modified DR.


We originally planned to go to Xilitla but we got some info about instability in the area so decided to go somewhere else. Of course the information turned out to be entirely bogus. Oh well, now we have an excuse to go back and try again.

Here is where we actually went.



Fortunately Dean took notes each day and we both took photos so we are able to make this report. Dean took many photos but deleted all but 981 of them. I took three. My contribution will be to get Dean's notes posted here and to make the occasional snide remark.

Deans notes will be this color.

Mine will be this color.

I'll explain the title and introduce people and bikes as we go along.
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cwc screwed with this post 12-15-2010 at 05:36 PM
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:26 PM   #2
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Getting to Texas

7 November Sunday 2010

Charlie and I leave rural Mankato, MN with our 2 Suzuki DR 650s in a 7 by 12 foot trailer being pulled by my Toyota. Charlie is following in his Chevy van as at the end of our central Mexico motorcycle trip he will be returning to Minnesota, and I will stay in the sunbelt for the winter. We push a strong head wind on our way to our overnight in Pryor OK. In Pryor we meet John Martin a dual sport rider who is putting us up for the night. John himself is finishing up on getting his BMW 650 single ready for a lengthy South American adventure.


Annette came down to see us off. She was wishing her F650GS was in the trailer too. Unfortunately, the people she works for can't survive without her so she'll stay home and work.


The bike in Deans spiffy trailer.


Throttlemeister and cwc sit around The Center for Dual Sport Preparation and contemplate our respective trips.


8 November Monday 2010

Charlie leaves his Chevy van at Johns place and rides the rest of the way to Ingram TX with me in the Toyota. At the end of our motorcycle ride, he will continue north on his DR 650 to Pryor OK where he will load up his motorcycle in his van and then return to Minnesota. We motor south to Ingram where we will spend tonight at friends Marv and Betty’s, where we will leave the Toyota and trailer. We arrive early enough to unload the bikes and get some final packing done so we can get a decent start tomorrow morning on our way to Del Rio TX with the bikes.


Our first sampling of Texas gourmet food.


Unloading at our modest accomdations for the night.


Our hosts Marv and Betty.



This would be the "Dog of the Day" if he was a dog. Dean will be in charge of this guy when we return in three weeks.

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cwc screwed with this post 12-15-2010 at 07:09 PM
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:50 PM   #3
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un tocayo!

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Old 12-15-2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arte View Post
un tocayo!
Indeed. So far it has only been used as a description of Dean, but it could progress to a nickname.
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Old 12-15-2010, 03:36 PM   #5
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Old 12-15-2010, 05:35 PM   #6
cwc OP
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Getting to Mexico

9 November Tuesday 2010

We leave Ingram around mid morning on the DRs and ride south through Texas Hill Country on our way to Del Rio, TX, where we get a room at the Western Motel, for $45US. We cross over into Ciudad Acuna where we get our tourist permit, vehicle permit and some pesos, all went smoothly, and we come back to Del Rio to get some supper and spend the night. Today we traveled 192 miles in strong head winds and 70+ degree temperatures.

A guy on a HD stopped and asked if we needed help. We told him that we were looking for an economical motel and he led us to the Western. It was ok, not good, but ok, so we took it so we could get on with crossing the border to do our paperwork.


Betty thought we needed a "before" picture, so here it is. Why can't those guys stand up straight. That's Dean on the right.

This is a good spot for a little info about Dean. He spent many years as a tour leader of groups as diverse as college students and senior citizens and locations from Canada to Austrailia and New Zealand. He's a good guy to travel with. Always prepared, always ready to go and never a whiner. I keep telling him he should lead motorcycle tours and he keeps telling me that he is retired.


Sign at an overlook in the Texas Hill Country. We had our Safety Third faces on, so rode WFO anyway. I blame Hayduke for that.
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cwc screwed with this post 12-15-2010 at 05:49 PM
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:36 PM   #7
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(From one of the Minnesotans who had to drop out) I'm looking forward to the rest of the RR.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:04 PM   #8
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Alright Charlie! Remember with digital cameras you don't have to buy film, so it's essentially free to take pics. Looking forward to this report!
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Old 12-15-2010, 08:27 PM   #9
cwc OP
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Into Mexico

10 November Wednesday 2010

Heavily bleached sheets lead to a poor nights sleep and a sore throat in the morning.
Crossed into Mexico at 8AM. And all went smoothly. The inland permit check point was 69 miles south of the border, there too all went smooth and all smiles. We continue on to Parras for the night, much of the way is flat and open country of scrub desert and Joshua Trees, and some Ocotillo. South of Monclova a good size industrial city, was a little mountain range with a nice sweeping pass through it, a small yet pleasant interruption to the flat open desert terrain. We had lunch at a road side stand, where a small black Chihuahua with the steroid ears kept watch over us and our crumbs. The sleepy village of Hipólito with its 3 bell towers beside the town square was a pleasant little rest stop. We arrived in Parras a picturesque bustling town of 44,000 people, as the uniformed school kids were making their way home and hanging out with class mates. Many of the students were eating from cut open corn chip bags which had been drowned in an ever increasing assortment of condiments, as street vendors “compete“ for the new and best taste in doctored up corn chips. As we parked in front of the Hostel del Farol to check on a room, the motorcycles and “moto-gringos” caught the attention of many of the students some of whom gave greetings in English, finally getting a chance to put their lessons to practical use.

The Hostel del Farol has a pleasant and picturesque courtyard, and the same can be said for the staff. The large room with full size bath and high ceiling was well appointed and cost 685 pesos, or about $55US per night.


Finally, the dog of the day.


At our lunch stop tomorrows beans were soaking and the dog of the day was protecting them from the guy below.





The road south of Acuña.


Not every roadside business on Mexico Route 57 is successful and that's pretty convenient if you need a building to get behind for any reason.

This is Deans well farkled DR. He told me that after he got the Safari tank he could go 408 miles before hitting reserve. I assume he discovered this AFTER he installed the Corbin seat.


The bell towers of Hipólito with a nice shaded plaza.


The street in front of our hotel.





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Old 12-16-2010, 09:37 AM   #10
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Parras

11 November Thursday 2010

A morning walk around the downtown area of Parras was enjoyable. After lunch from a street vendor we took the motorcycles north to the San Lorenzo Hacienda and visited the winery located on an attractive estate. The guided half hour tour was enjoyable, seeing the many halls of huge wooden casks for ageing, the old and modern wine presses, the Cognac distillers, and the tasting room, was all pleasant time spent out of the hot afternoon sun. This winery dates back to 1597, one of, it not the first in North America.

On the way back to Parras we stopped and photographed the large Dickies work clothes factory, and got petrol at the Pemex. 87 octane sold for $2.70US per gallon, about the same as in the states. The DR gave 58.8 miles per gallon, as always a thrifty machine.


Dog of the day.


Just kidding. Here is the dog of the day.


We visited this mini museum of "Monos" which are life size caricatures of public figures. I'm still not sure exactly what it was all about.


One example of a mono.


We hoped to NOT meet the owner of these levis.


We started to ride up to this church, but discovered that we were on a sidewalk. Since it was really hot now we decided to enjoy it from a distance then rode out of town to the south to explore some dirt roads. Soon enough we returned to town to continue our tour.


Winery tour pics



What is this for?










I wanted to stop here and see if I could get a deal on work clothes, but soon realized that I didn't want to carry them for 3 weeks.
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Old 12-16-2010, 12:47 PM   #11
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To Galeana

12 November Friday 2010

Today we traveled from Parras to Galeana 265 miles of beautiful and varied terrain of wide open valley floors, mountains, open desert, and agricultural lands, the roads were as varied as well. The road leaving Parras was potholed and rough passing a number of small villages, with no services except for the ever present beer sign always within sight of the highway. We stopped for a late morning snack in General Cepeda Coahuila.

Near Saltillo we passed huge and modern Freightliner truck and Dodge Pickup factories. We had to do a few miles on the Cuota or Toll road, but WWCP magic got us a deal on the toll. We left the cuota and rode into the mountains on nice two lane tar, but soon it was apparent that the BIG RAIN of this fall had devastating effects. In the low areas the road now consisted of nothing more than river bed rocks connecting sections of the road that had not been washed away. Along the mountain sides, many places one of the two lanes had fallen away and in some areas both lanes were gone and new dirt detours were cut into the face of the mountain. Very steep grades, and extra sharp switchbacks presented us with miles of First and Second gear travel. We got into Galeana around 5PM, John Martin from Pryor OK pulled up right before supper. We had an enjoyable meal together and John used the third bed in our room. Hotel Jardin Colonial is on the corner of the town square, lots of traffic noise, loud music and cars.

We were originally going to wait at Parras for the two Arturos and Hector to arrive, but decided to press on to Galeana in search of excitement so we left a message for them and took off.


The slightly bedraggled dog of the day.


We took the yellow road over to General Cepeda. It was mostly potholes with occasional bits of contiguous pavement. I was thinking "Guys on Wings and cruisers are not going to like this road". In fact, when we got to Galeana we asked the hotel manager to text a warning to Tury.


Eventually we got to the cuota where they wanted 34 pesos each to go about 6 miles. I asked for a discount and the boss was summoned. At length we settled on 20 pesos each.
Me in my pidgin Spanish "Do I pay the attendant?"
Boss "No, pay me and don't drive over these sensors."


The yellow track is our full route for the day. The last half of the road between Hwy. 57 and Hwy. 85 and all of Rt. 31 used to be nice twisty paved roads. They are a little more dual sporty now. The following pictures are representative of the conditions.












We were pretty happy about the road I guess.


Our acommodations in Galeana. You park on the sidewalk and the policia watch your bike.


Just as we were ready for supper the Throttlemeister arrived. In the dark. Via a gravel road.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:59 AM   #12
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Three More Abuelos Show Up

13 November Saturday 2010

John Martin headed out early on his schedule to catch the boat out of Panama. Charlie and I made a day trip to the mountain village of Rayones. The 20 mile mostly one lane dirt road through the mountains and rolling terrain to Rayones was an enjoyable ride past several small settlements, and some nice natural geological features. A tarantula spider caught my attention as he crossed the road. In Rayones we had a good lunch at Mama Grandes Restaurant, and looked at a well kept hotel, that should work well if needed at 400 pesos, less than $40US. When we got back to Galeana, Arturo, Hector, and Guelito were just arriving at the Hotel Jardin, after they settled in we went to supper. We stayed in the restaurant/bar till late to watch the championship boxing match between Philipino Pacman Pasqua VS Mexican Margarito. Pacman won but Margarito toughed out the beating for all 12 rounds, it was painful to watch. A noisy night on the town square called for ear plugs.


The Dog of the Day controls a whole intersection from his second floor command post.

In the morning we took a walking tour of Galeana and checked out the menu for the day.









Then we went to Rayones with numerous stops along the way.


First major stop was Puente de Dios (God's Bridge) about 5 miles north of Galeana. Apparently He built several of these in the eastern mountains. There is a nice little overlook and some picnic facilities at this one.


One of Deans friends.




Dean carries supplies for kids. In this case each got a car.



Lunch place in Rayones. We saw an ad back on the road so gave it a try.


The food and service were good and it was nicely decorated.






When we returned to Galeana the remaining three abuelos had just arrived.



Left to Right we have Hector, Arturo and Arturo. Having tocayos in the group was not a problem as Arturo #1 is known as Guelito and Arturo #2 is Tury from here at ADV. Hector is on the Goldwing, Guelito is in his RoadStar cruiser and Tury rode his DR650. Tomorrow Hector will get the Adventurer award for riding his wing off a 6" drop in a construction detour.

I probably should have explained this earlier, but abuelo is Spanish for grandfather. The Pata de Perro is Dean. See Arte's page for an explanation of Pata de Perro http://patadeperro1.blogspot.com/



This is Francisco. He is very friendly and quite the salesman. We had him do our boots.
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DR350 It'll get you there
But then so will my DR650

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cwc screwed with this post 12-18-2010 at 04:30 AM
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Old 12-17-2010, 06:37 PM   #13
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Old 12-18-2010, 07:02 AM   #14
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Cool adventure

I never thought to ask for a discount at a toll road
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Cool adventure

I never thought to ask for a discount at a toll road
Well, it was ~US$5 to go 7 miles. That seemed like a lot to me.

You never know what you can get unless you ask.
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