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 02-02-2012, 01:12 PM   #31
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Day 9 Ė Jan 26

Rode a total of 25km today.

Got to the ferry terminal a bit early Ė it is actually a pretty ride out to the terminal at Pichilingue. Didnít know what to expect, so gave myself some extra time. Originally planned to get my tickets and then find something to eat. Didnít quite work out that way.

For those who may be traveling by this ferry for the first time, here is the process. Upon arrival at the terminal, you immediately go through customs & immigration. Customs is like travelling from another country to Mexico. Apparantly you donít need the TVIP for your vehicle in Baja but I do think you need to have obtained your Tourist card before you get as far south as La Paz. I knew I was going to need both so had them in hand. You can apparently get them at the Migraciůn office at the terminal. They will check everything thoroughly including verifying the bikeís VIN to the TVIP.

I didnt affix my TVIP sticker to the winds'hield like they want you to and the customs guy got a bit upset about it and was ready to stick it on. I told him I was worried about it getting stolen as my windscreen disconnects real easy (which it does) and told him the guy at the border said I didnít have to have it on (well, I kind of made that up) and he finally relented and handed it back. If you donít turn that sticker back in when you leave, I suspect you arenít going to get your $400 bond back and therefor donít want to leave the thing where it can grow legs easily.

Then went to buy my tickets at the booth just inside Customs. Young girl was slow, wound up charging me the prices for the trip to Mazatlan which is about 270p more. I kept asking her if that was the right price and she finally figured out her error and refunded cash after already processing the higher amount on my Visa. Got around to the terminal (could have bought my ticket there also), went looking for food, found a tienda upstairs and they had some dodgy looking ham and cheese sandwiches on Bimbo bread Ė which I had along with some cookies and a coffee. So much for lunch.
Ferry terminal


Here is what I will do differently if I go on this ferry again: Buy the tickets online (I think you can pay for and pick up your tickets at an Oxxo), eat before I show up at the terminal, then, show up at the terminal about an hour and a half or two hours before sailing. In fact as I mentioned, I would have cut my previous day short at Ciudad Constitution and then ridden into La Paz the morning I was sailing Ė since I really didnít take any time to see La Paz.

This ferry is deceptively massive, in essence a truck ferry that can take some passenger vehicles. There are 4 vehicle decks, three of which were for trucks and cargo and were packed and the vehicle deck could probably hold 100 cars but there were only 20 or so. They had me park my bike next to a steel rail, handed me a rope. Left it on the sidestand and tied the left side of the bike to the rail Ė very secure. They actually load and unload from the same end so, trucks (and cars) at some point have to turn around on the ferry Ė seems to work well. When you ride on, the passenger vehicle deck is #2 so you ride down in the bowels of the ship to get to the deck Ė quite an experience compared to the BC and Washington ferries I am used to.


This guy was releasing one of the massive lines tying one corner of the ferry to an anchor buoy and then starts driving the boat alongside the ferry for quite awhile. Couldn't figure out what he was up to.


Then this guy hops off the ferry, acting like Mr Big Shot. I guess they use a pilot in and out of La Paz . . . you'd think the Captain would learn how to manuver after doing this run a gazillion times. Guess it keeps the pilots union happy.


Ferry ride was about 7 hours long. One thing I hadnít counted on is that they provide a meal as part of the cost of the ticket Ė it was pretty good. I did not get a cabin and just wandered around between the bar which is comfortable but a bit noisy, the cafeteria which is available after most people have eaten and then outside on the decks. My favorite was the top deck at the back where there are a couple of benches to sit on or just sit on the deck. Great place to relax, watched the Baja recede, watched the sunset, watched the stars and had a snooze. If I was on this boat for a night passage, I think I would just throw my sleeping bag on the deck - it would be great.

Didnít get off the ferry until about 10 pm and had no desire to ride into Los Mochis for a room in the dark. Knew there was a hotel in Topolobampo, found that and got a room. Pretty average but I could park right next to my door and they had internet.


Oxxo across the street and went to get a beer but they cut off sales at 10PM Ė grrrr! Can get a brewed coffee early in the morning though.
RexBuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2012, 01:19 PM   #32
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja Ho View Post
Thanks for the road pics past San Javier. Will be crossing there on my loop from Cabo in a week or so. Did that road in 06 a few weeks after a storm passed through and yes there were at least twelve creek crossings and you could not tell on some of them where the road continud on the other side, also we came out on Mex1 about twenty miles East from Ciudad Insurgentes, some silt down there. Thanks for posting.
Thanks for following along Baja Ho. I came out about 15 miles north of Ciudad Insurgentes on Hwy 53. There is also apparently a route that starts north of San Javier and heads north to connect with Hwy 53. Someone told me that he had heard that road was impassable right now - didn't confirm it. Otherwise, that road south and west of San Javier is dry and quite enjoyable (with the exception of that last chunk). Have a good trip and ride safe.
RexBuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 07:25 AM   #33
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Day 10 - Jan 27

Had a short ride up to El Fuerte today. Arrived in the late morning to a very bustling town, busloads of students on class fieldtrips and some (mostly Mexican) tourists.
Parked the bike and went looking for a hotel. Wanted to be downtown this year. Went to four, at three the desks were either closed or not manned so, chose the Hotel la Choza. Right across from the zůcalo Ė reduced the rate to 714p Ė most expensive room so far and the worst WiFi. Pretty decent place, nice courtyard, nice vaulted ceiling room.
Front of the hotel blends into the traditional look around the zůcalo


Courtyard of the hotel


They must have saved this room just for me




Wandered around downtown, sat in the square and watched people while eating some churro Ė basicly a long rope of dough is curled around in boiling oil then cut up into pieces and dipped in cinnamon sugar. Hmmmm!






Mexican's many times like to use vivid colors for their buildings


Went up to the ďfortĒ museum Ė there was originally a fort built here around 1600 (hence the name El Fuerte) but they donít know where it actually was and the museum is a replica. The Spanish were generally not well received by the natives so the fort helped keep them from getting hacked up in the night by the locals.



Beautiful cactus in front of "the fort"


Downtown area from the top of the fort


Spent some time in the afternoon in the lobby of the hotel with my friend Negra Modelo trying to get some of this report caught up.

This is the second time Iíve stayed in El Fuerte and it is a very clean, friendly and well looked after town. Towns with a good tourist attraction can be this way. When I was leaving last year I really wanted to spend a bit more time poking around - glad I did come back.

Got chewed up by some sort of bug while here Ė little bastard no-seeums were drawing blood on my arms during the day and the next day my legs were a itchy mess. I'll save your eyes the horrors of looking at my body parts and just stick to this description.
RexBuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 10:41 AM   #34
GoinPostal
Gnarly Adventurer
 
GoinPostal's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Sonoma, CA
Oddometer: 384
Enjoying your RR. We are crossing the border on Wednesday headed for Copper Canyon and south, (down to Puerto Vallarta) then back up to Mazatlan to cross doing your trip in reverse. How much did the Ferry trip cost? Where did you land in Mexico? We were thinking about Mazatlan, but we are not really set in our plans at this time. Do you know the website for the Ferry tickets? We got our TVIP and Visa online already, God I hate lines and immigration. Keep safe and maybe we'll see you along the way!
__________________
Charter Member 'Group of Fools'
Group Of Fools Mexico Adventure 2012
Dust 2 Dawson 2012
Group of Fools Central America Adventure 2013
2012 Triple Black GSA
GoinPostal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 11:19 AM   #35
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoinPostal View Post
Enjoying your RR. We are crossing the border on Wednesday headed for Copper Canyon and south, (down to Puerto Vallarta) then back up to Mazatlan to cross doing your trip in reverse. How much did the Ferry trip cost? Where did you land in Mexico? We were thinking about Mazatlan, but we are not really set in our plans at this time. Do you know the website for the Ferry tickets? We got our TVIP and Visa online already, God I hate lines and immigration. Keep safe and maybe we'll see you along the way!
Thanks for following along Goin. Here is the ferries website http://www.bajaferries.com/ I found it a bit confusing but if you perserveer you can figure it out. I think I paid a total of about 1700p for my bike and myself but I went to Topolobampo which is a shorter and less expensive trip than to Mazatlan. Unless you want to explore the area up around Los Mochis, I think I'd opt for the Mazatlan trip.

Did not know you could get your Visa online - make sure you in fact have your Tourist Card - you don't want to be caught way down in Mexico without it. I thought you could only get your Tourist Card in person - but maybe not. If you are crossing at Soynita/Lukeville, the Migracion/Banjarcito is about 25km past the border.

Have a great trip and ride safe.
RexBuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 11:38 AM   #36
GoinPostal
Gnarly Adventurer
 
GoinPostal's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Sonoma, CA
Oddometer: 384
Thanks for that Info, we'll be watching your RR to see if we may cross paths
__________________
Charter Member 'Group of Fools'
Group Of Fools Mexico Adventure 2012
Dust 2 Dawson 2012
Group of Fools Central America Adventure 2013
2012 Triple Black GSA
GoinPostal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 01:22 PM   #37
PatdeLery
Adventurer
 
PatdeLery's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: World and around
Oddometer: 30
Just found your report ,very interesting to read ,my wife and I are coming from Del Rio Texas across the desert and are now in Durango heading to Mazatlan tomorrow for about a week maybe we wil see you for a beer?Pat and Chris
PatdeLery is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 01:34 PM   #38
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatdeLery View Post
Just found your report ,very interesting to read ,my wife and I are coming from Del Rio Texas across the desert and are now in Durango heading to Mazatlan tomorrow for about a week maybe we wil see you for a beer?Pat and Chris
Glad you found it and found it interesting Pat. Thanks for following.

You are going to love your ride tomorrow - I did that road 3 times last year on my Harley.

I am trying to get this report caught up. Am currently in Guayabitos playing tourist - will be leaving Monday, likely south. Let me know if you are planning on heading south and we may well cross paths.

Have fun tomorrow and ride safe.
RexBuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #39
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Day 11 - Jan 28

Day 11 - Jan 28
Wanted to get on the road a little earlier than usual as Garmin was telling me I had about 5 hours to do a little more than 100km to Alamos. Figured it would be a beat up road and I would be sweating a lot, so get at it before the sun takes over.

Gassed up, refilled the Rotopax and headed out. Quick comment about the Rotopax. This is that red 1 gallon flat gas can you will see in some of my pics mounted on the back luggage rack under the gray bag. With only a 16 litre tank (gives me 325 to 350 km - 200 to 225 mile range), the Rotopax gives me another 50 miles (80 KM). Have not really needed it but have used it once. The thing I like is it gives me peace of mind. On the road from San Felipe to Bahia de LA, I was able to just squeak into the Pemex in Bahia but had I not had the spare gas, I probably would have bought some crappy barrel gas on Hwy 1 to make sure I would make it. Later coming into La Paz, I knew I would need gas soon but when I passed a Pemex, the GPS showed another Pemex 15 km up the road. Needless to say when I arrived there it was closed – replaced by the one 15 km ago. Used my spare gas to get me into La Paz without having to go back 15 km. I know, when you have a chance to get gas or take a pee, do so. You’d think I’d learn.

Rough pavement out of El Fuerte then turn off to some gravel, past the Miguel Hidalgo Dam.

Construction site at the dam. Mexican water truck - sorry crappy video but I thought it was a great way to solve a problem.



Gravel road pretty good all the way – not much elevation change. Lots of small ranches along the way – farmers seem to love herding cattle along the roads. Main mode of transportation seems to be the little 150 or 200cc bikes you see all over the place. Got off track a couple of times which added some miles to the ride but that was ok. Including the detours and some other messing around, was about 4 hours.

I didn’t take any pics along the way but did have my GoPro on for about 3 hours. Here is a highly distilled portion of that. I’m trying to focus on a couple of small towns the road passes through to you an idea what rural Mexico is like. It’s quite different than the tourist towns. Couple of shots of cattle. These scenes were quite frequent. This is my first video attempt – took a lot of time figuring out the mechanics and then actually sorting through 3 hours was mind numbing.





This guy was just going home

Road got a little more interesting for a while and then dumped me in the back door of Alamos ready to look for a room. Not so fast there Sparky! The place was a madhouse with the entire inner town blocked off to traffic by the local police. Turns out this weekend is part of a big cultural festival and the hotels are pretty well booked up solid.

Checked about 10 or 12 places and would just get a slow head shake – at least they didn’t laugh at me. Quite a number of the hotels were quite nice places and in fact, have not seen as many late model Mercedes, BMWs and Cadillacs with Mexican plates in the total time I have been in Mexico. When you see a bunch of these parked out front, you figure that that hotel may well be slightly out of the price range a travelling biker is looking for. Checked anyhow – no dice.

Found one place that had a room for 300p – it had hot water . . . got a blank look when I asked if they had Wi-Fi and I probably would have taken it but no parking – that’s a no go. It was, ummm somewhat rustic. So, hung around for a bit, had a couple of tacos and moved on to Navojoa for the night.

Sorry, no pics as I forgot my camera when I went wandering. Had left my bike in a pretty open area but it was still vulnerable to sticky fingers so, didn’t want to linger too long. No problems.

Stayed at the Sicomoro Hotel in Navojoa which I’ve been at before and has a decent room.

RexBuck screwed with this post 02-05-2012 at 07:54 AM
RexBuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 08:17 AM   #40
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Day 12 - Jan 29

Left Navojoa with no definite plans on where to stop today. Had a route planned out but as soon as I was out of the city I saw a Libre sign and headed off. It wasnít really a Libre but more just not on the Cuota. This is great farming country that reminds me a lot of California. Lots of variety: Field crops, cotton, grains, vegetables, vine & tree fruits and so on. I love looking at this stuff. And, they are big, very productive farms.

So, Iím standing on the side of the road to take some pictures and this guy pulls up to see if everything is ok. Speaks pretty good English so start chatting. Turns out Javier rides an 1100 GS, is the Presidente of the local Sanuaro Moto Club and has travelled all over the western states and into Canada. In his spare time he is a farmer and head of a large Co-op in the area. Super nice guy. Gives me a hat from his club then gives me a beer holder Ė the only other place Iíve seen these is in Australia and the Aussies call them stubbie holders. Very passionate about farming and very passionate about motorcycles. A great guy. Thanks Javier.

Javier's hat


Carried on wandering around. Cruising down a long straight stretch (well that is dumb Ė everything in this area are long straight stretches) and I notice a pickup parked on the side of the road a long ways away. As I get closer, I realize it is black and white of the State Police. Ah crap! Iím only going about 100kph but I know the speed limits are all less than that. As I approach this cop starts walking across the road. This is a large cop, along the lines of Jackie Gleason in Smokey and the Bandit. Even had the same sunglasses. Anyhow he waves me to stop and now Iím going to get my first experience with a Mexican shakedown. He walks over, gives me a hearty Buenos Dias, sticks out his hand, I shake it, he says itís a beautiful day and then says ďgo.Ē Iím saying to myslef WTF just happened there? Guess another member of the local welcoming committee. Iím having a great day that just gets better.


Starting to head back down the highway and am thinking will just pack it in early in Los Mochis. Came acrosss the side road I had originally planned that would take me through a bunch more farmland. This was great. I meandered around these fields for miles following the main irrigation ditch Ė man they take good advantage of the irrigation water here. This went on for a couple of hours Ė really didnít see anyone else out here except in a couple of small towns I went through.




Many crossings over side channels


Came around one corner and there was a tractor with a tank trailer parked in the road. As I approached I noticed this guy laying on the road under it in the shade having a siesta. Raises his head up and waves. I didít think it appropriate stopping for a pic so youíll have to formulate that image in your mind.

Eventually my route took me out of the farm land and headed me across some, shall we say, less improved land. The GPS was now really screwed up and there was no roads on the route it wanted me to take. So, I just stuck to roads that seemed to somewhat parallel the GPSís purple line and it worked out fine. After quite awhile the road started to deteriorate a lot which reminded me of the many roads I have found at home like that. You know, the ones on the map but eventually just stop.


After about 30 km of this stuff, I finally hit a paved road and its quite nice whipping along this at a decent speed Ė all of a sudden Šround a corner and it drops off and I realize Iím scooting down this concrete slab which is the side of a giant water crossing . . . with no water in it but it is at least a kilometer wide and the base is chunky concrete. Apparently the river must back up enough to the dyke on my left that is holding the lake in and youíd have a water trek.

It seems this dam arraingement is the source most, if not all the irrigation water I saw in the hundreds of miles of ditches and canals. Impressive operation.


Waiting for a train?


Decided not to stay in San Blas (not the seaside tourist town) nearby and headed down to Los Mochis which wasnít far away - more farming along the way




Staying at the Hotel Las Fuentes on the main drag into town. Decent place, secure parking and OK WiFi. Iím happy. Crappy restaraunt though. Go across the street to the Oxxo to buy a couple of beers . . . no, no, beer sales stop at 4:00
RexBuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 10:35 AM   #41
Jick Magger
Exile on Main Street
 
Jick Magger's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Okanagan Valley BC, Canada/Scottsdale, Arizona
Oddometer: 811
Day 12 - Jan 29
"Left Navojoa with no definite plans on where to stop today. Had a route planned out but as soon as I was out of the city I saw a Libre sign and headed off. It wasnít really a Libre but more just not on the Cuota. This is great farming country that reminds me a lot of California. Lots of variety: Field crops, cotton, grains, vegetables, vine & tree fruits and so on. I love looking at this stuff. And, they are big, very productive farms.

So, Iím standing on the side of the road to take some pictures and this guy pulls up to see if everything is ok. Speaks pretty good English so start chatting. Turns out Javier rides an 1100 GS, is the Presidente of the local Sanuaro Moto Club and has travelled all over the western states and into Canada. In his spare time he is a farmer and head of a large Co-op in the area. Super nice guy. Gives me a hat from his club then gives me a beer holder Ė the only other place Iíve seen these is in Australia and the Aussies call them stubbie holders. Very passionate about farming and very passionate about motorcycles. A great guy. Thanks Javier".


Yea Steve you wanna be real careful of all that danger in Mexico....random people giving you gifts at the side of the road...once they have you loaded down with presents rendering you immobile is when they will strike.....Be careful out there
__________________
"Blessed are the Cheesemakers"


RIde Report http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...t=Rolling+jick
Jick Magger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 11:03 AM   #42
danceswithcages
Gnarly Adventurer
 
danceswithcages's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Missoula Montucky
Oddometer: 254
Hi Steve!
I'm really enjoying your RR. Cool video. It's been many years since I've been to Mexico. Maybe next winter...
Quite often I find myself in a Mexican restaurant here, downing fish tacos and Negra Modelo, too.
Makes it feel a bit warmer. Keep on keepin' on.
__________________
Gotta keep rollin'
Gotta keep ridin'
Keep searchin' 'til I find what's right
danceswithcages is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 12:52 PM   #43
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jick Magger View Post

Yea Steve you wanna be real careful of all that danger in Mexico....random people giving you gifts at the side of the road...once they have you loaded down with presents rendering you immobile is when they will strike.....Be careful out there
It is hell down here . . . just don't know where to turn . . . gifts, great food, great beer, etc . . . I'm doomed!
RexBuck is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 05:31 PM   #44
Ol Man
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: Apple Valley, Calif
Oddometer: 217
RexBuck, as a Geezer myself, I am enjoying your report. Nice job. As much as many people are concerned about traveling in Mexico, the ride reports on AdvRider do not seem to indicate any individual problems. It seems that most of the problems are between the drug cartels. There are reports of some incidents with travelers, but heck, you can find those in the US.
Ol Man is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #45
RexBuck OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Oddometer: 997
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol Man View Post
RexBuck, as a Geezer myself, I am enjoying your report. Nice job. As much as many people are concerned about traveling in Mexico, the ride reports on AdvRider do not seem to indicate any individual problems. It seems that most of the problems are between the drug cartels. There are reports of some incidents with travelers, but heck, you can find those in the US.
Hey Ol Man, thanks for the kind comments and thanks for following along.

Well, I have not experienced any problems while down here.

I think there is no question there are some bad things happening down here. Certainly most of the stuff that gets sensationalized seems to be drug related. Then there are the reports of tourists being attacked, held up and killed. Again, many times when you sort through the background of those incidents, you find some "strange" stuff. Some tourists will be affected by some violence but attacks against tourists generally and against bikers specificly don't seem to be dramaticly worse than in the US, Canada or many other first world countries. In fact, if you compare statistics, many US cities are more dangerous than most of Mexico. So, I agree with you - use some common sense when down here and you should be fine.

If you are interested in more on this subject, there is a huge thread over Trip Planning/Americas called "Is Mexico Safe" - there is some great information and discussion there.
RexBuck is online now   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 11:42 PM.


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