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Old 02-14-2012, 03:26 PM   #91
Jick Magger
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Steve

Looks like you are running out of your favourite brand. Heading to Sayulita next month with Cobi and my youngest daughter. Seems like a done deal as of today. They are going to fly of course and i will retrieve my bike from Phoenix and ride to Sayulita to meet them. It seems you are familiar with Guayabitos. How do you compare it to Sayulito or Bucerias if indeed you are familiar with those towns? Keep in mind the accomodations expected from the girls will be a little more demanding than road trip pads. I will be working on a route. It will be my first time riding in Mexico. Enjoying following along here..keep posting. "Senor....Step away from the fridge"....
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:12 PM   #92
RexBuck OP
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I retired a couple of months ago. For most of my career the plan was to retire to Mexico. Unfortunately, the last few years I received the weekly Homeland security briefings about Mexico. Needless to say, I can't bring myself to take the chance of traveling there. I've been bent and I know it. Keeping up on your adventure makes me want to head south though...
Hey Migolito thanks for following.

Everybody has to make their own decision on whether to come down here or not. You have to do what's right for you. In my case, I looked at the media reports and government warnings and weighed them against experiences of people who have been down here and my own experiences down here. I came to the conclusion that one group are generally people who have not travelled in Mexico and are simply regurgitating sensationalized news (including the government) and the other group have been there.

Hell, Homeland Security had a do not travel warning to Canada for a while (may still be there) because of the Vancouver riots after the Stanley Cup. Think about it, Canada is populated by people that fall all over themselves to be nice and Homeland Security says you may be in danger. Sheesh!

Mexican cities like American cities, Canadian cities and cities around the world have places you probably shouldn't hang out at night. Rural areas less so.

Sorry to blather on but look for experiential evidence from people who spend time down here and weigh that with the other opinions you receive. Maybe sometime you'll feel like just coming down here and hanging out for a while and get a taste of the country, keep your eyes open and then make your own decision based on your own experiences.
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:19 PM   #93
RexBuck OP
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Originally Posted by Jick Magger View Post
Steve

Looks like you are running out of your favourite brand. Heading to Sayulita next month with Cobi and my youngest daughter. Seems like a done deal as of today. They are going to fly of course and i will retrieve my bike from Phoenix and ride to Sayulita to meet them. It seems you are familiar with Guayabitos. How do you compare it to Sayulito or Bucerias if indeed you are familiar with those towns? Keep in mind the accomodations expected from the girls will be a little more demanding than road trip pads. I will be working on a route. It will be my first time riding in Mexico. Enjoying following along here..keep posting. "Senor....Step away from the fridge"....
Hey BJ, you guys are going to love it. Sayulita has a little more of an international flavour because it apparently is a destination surf spot - so, lots of surfers.

I've never stayed in Sayulita but it is a nice town and Im guessing there are some decent hotels. There are a couple in Guayabitos and I know Bucerias has a bunch.

That is basicly the trip I did last year so, if you'd like some more input, PM me and I'll outline what I did last year, the best border crossing, etc.
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #94
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Day 25 - Feb 11

What a great day! Had decided to detour around Acapulco for a number of reasons. There is a pretty logical route that takes probably an extra couple hours. But, looking at the map figured a bigger detour would be better than just a run of the mill detour. So, this has turned into a two and a half day detour.

Heading out of Pie trying to avoid getting wacked by insane drivers – guess everybody was late for work – that thought alone made me calmer. Made my way north on Mex200 then up 95 Libre to Chilpancingo. What a great morning – not a lot of traffic, great road, curves as we gain altitude heading into the Sierra Madres. Just cruising on the sweepers. Start getting into the mountains and they are fantastic – I’m enjoying it immensely.

Start to see some mountains


Now the plan is to turn right in Chilpancingo and head over to Tlapa de Comonfort for the night. Sounds simple, right.

So, I’m going to talk about my GPS, Virginia. I named it after that girl in Elementary School who just irritated the crap out of you but you had to listen to her because she was smarter than you. Everybody has somebody like that in their past and mine was Virginia. You can almost hear a little attitude in the her voice when I make a wrong turn – “Off course –recalculate? (Idiot!)” So, anyhow, Virginia knew where we needed to go bet she decides to take a short-cut – bless her heart, get us through the city faster.

Well the first right she wanted me to take didn’t exist – I persevered knowing that she was smarter than me and on the next shot she’d get it right. She sent me in the right direction but once we worked our way almost to Hwy 93, no dice – no road. OK, now I’m getting a tad bit miffed. I’ll take things in my own hands – head back down to the Highway and figure it out from there. Look at the big picture and see I have to go about another 5 km to get the actual turnoff for Hwy 93. So, jumped on the 95 and headed towards the rendezvous with 93. Bad move. I’m on the highway – should be on the Lateral (I’ll explain those later) so, have to drive way past the turn off. Virginia sends me on another wild romp on some residential roads to get me back to 93. Finally get through that and, magicly appears the turnoff for 93.

Now I want to explain something here. We are in the mountains. Chilpancingo is a pretty good sized town and they long ago ran out of space on the valley floor a long time ago so, a lot of it is built on the side of cliffs mountains. So far, driving around these roads in this town makes driving around San Francisco seem like you are in Kansas. These things are steep!

So now I’m home free. Right? Not so fast. First all of a sudden there are about three truckloads of State Police running around, a couple of motocops and a couple of cops on foot with their hands on their guns – I’m thinking I don’t want to be in this space at this time – moved out of that block quickly. So, I’m good to go. Whoops. They’ve ripped up the road and there’s a detour. OK, detour up this glorified ally – now where? Well follow some cars, collectivos, etc. I’m working my way in the right direction but some of these streets are even steeper. At one point I’m stopped on this berm across an intersection trying to figure out if I should go left or right – one collectivo pulls up from the left right in front of me wanting to go down the road I’m on and another pulls up on the right, right in front of me wanting to go down the road I’m on. I’m facing downhill so, I’m not backing up. Guess this is what you call a Mexican standoff. So I finally pull forward enough for the guy on the right to go down the road I’m on – the dick on the left still won’t back up so, I’ll work my way around and go left on his left. Sheesh! Turned out to be the wrong way anyhow.

Finally found my way to 93 and the world was once again in order. Great road – nice and curvy but a lot of traffic so just took my time. After a while the traffic thinned out and I was able to get by some pokey trucks and buses and cars and pickups. A great ride from there. Nice road, great scenery as we fluctuated between 5000 feet and 7000 feet. At the higher levels the temps dropped to down around 17deg C (low 60’s F) which has sure been a lot different than the last couple of weeks.







This lady cooked me breakfast at one of the great roadside restaraunts






Some of the switchbacks down to Tlapa


Road got a little rattier as I progressed – potholes of various sizes, dips, bumps and a couple of places where the road had slipped off. Just a great ride!

Got into Tlapa de Comonfort which is a decent sized town. and after wandering around for a while and figuring out which one way street I need to get to point A, found Hotel Villa Celeste. It turned out to be great - nice room, great courtyard, secure parking and WiFi – 500p – less than $40.



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Old 02-15-2012, 01:17 PM   #95
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Rex, maybe I missed it, what are you using on your GPS for maps? GPSTravelMaps.com maybe?

BTW, your explanation regarding making the decision to travel into Mexico is spot on, no one has said it better.

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Old 02-15-2012, 01:39 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
rex, maybe i missed it, what are you using on your gps for maps? Gpstravelmaps.com maybe?

Btw, your explanation regarding making the decision to travel into mexico is spot on, no one has said it better.

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Old 02-15-2012, 03:07 PM   #97
RexBuck OP
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Originally Posted by Sleddog View Post
Rex, maybe I missed it, what are you using on your GPS for maps? GPSTravelMaps.com maybe?

BTW, your explanation regarding making the decision to travel into Mexico is spot on, no one has said it better.

Sleddog
BiciMapas on a Zumo 660.

Works pretty good about 98% of the time. As with any GPS mapset, recent changes are not reflected. Roads are something the government likes to spend money on so there are changes.

Routing in towns and cities is the diciest – the one way streets wrack havoc with its planned route. Have to really keep an eye out for going down one ways the wrong way.Then its trying to figure out the combination of one way streets to get to your destination.

When it just isn't getting the routing right, zoom out, find where you want to be and work your way towards that - see some interesting neighborhoods that way.

They have started beefing up their POI database (hotels, restaraunts, gas stations) with mixed success. Hotels bat about 50% on being where they say they are, Pemexs are usually pretty good but they miss the odd one.

I probably rely on the GPS too much but when it is working right, it makes getting around so much easier. Turns onto another road are not always well signed so, the GPS is great that way. It does get quirky sometimes as I've mentioned but I like having it on board.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:27 PM   #98
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Running BiciMapas on a Zumo 665 I found that using street addresses is kinda hit-and-miss but the intersection function has yet to fail to give effective turn-by-turn directions.
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:47 AM   #99
Pete_Tallahassee
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Enjoying your report. I will be that area as I head toward Oaxaca in mid March.
Question : Have you seen motels in the 250 peso range? I'm trying to keep cost per day under US $50. or even less. How much is a typical meal costing you?
Anytime you can mention prices it would be appreciated.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:41 AM   #100
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Originally Posted by Pete_Tallahassee View Post
Enjoying your report. I will be that area as I head toward Oaxaca in mid March.
Question : Have you seen motels in the 250 peso range? I'm trying to keep cost per day under US $50. or even less. How much is a typical meal costing you?
Anytime you can mention prices it would be appreciated.
Pete, thanks for following along.

The hotel prices will vary from town to town. Those off the beaten track will be easier to find less expensive accomodation. Many times hostels will provide decent rates for a place to sleep. I think averaging under 250p is very doable.

Food is all over the map. Breakfast at roadside joints are usually between 40p and 60p - depending on what you have. Dinners can range from 30 or 40p for a bunch of street tacos to over 100p at a sit-down restaraunt with a couple of beers.

Watch where you spend your money and it won't be a problem.

If you carry (and use) camping gear, will make that objective even easier.
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Old 02-16-2012, 07:17 PM   #101
motowest
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Thanks for more pictures and future destinations!
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Old 02-18-2012, 02:03 PM   #102
RexBuck OP
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Day 26 - Feb 12

Wow! What a day. Seem to be saying that a lot. Went about 160 km in 7 ˝ hours – and the first 40 k and last 30 k were pavement.

Wasn’t sure what to expect. Some maps said no road there and others looked like a super highway. It was a bit more towards the no road end of the spectrum.

Here is where I went









Not unusual to see little landslides like this - everybody just drives around until they get around to fixing them - based on the number I saw, fixing is not a priority.



Turned off Hwy 93 a few km north of Tlapa. Road was decent – rough pavement interspersed with potholes. Not a few, a few hundred feet at a time– not rough road, pavement with tons of potholes . . . of all sizes – sometimes, potholes with a bit of pavement. So, you can’t be very aggressive on the good pavement parts because you come around a corner to a whole herd of potholes or, to really make you pay attention, there are potholes on the other side of the road and Juan in his taxi is coming down your side of the road in the corner to avoid them. After a couple of those, I might even get religion.

Anyhow, a great road to start the day. Deposits me in Tlalixtaquilla – it’s Sunday and pretty quiet. Stop at a little two table restaurant – lady cooks me up some eggs with sausage, beans, tortillas and some sweet, warm beverage (I’m not exactly sure what this is called but it might be Café la Pluma).



Head out of town following “the plan” and all of a sudden the road turns nasty. (Ummm, seeing a pattern here?) Follow it briefly through a creek and a nasty, really rutted, steep rock road – get to the top and don’t see any change. Figure if it’s going to be like this I’d better look at some alternatives. Virginia is not happy. Started scolding me. Tried another road for awhile but started to agree with Virginia so, went back into town. Finally found the town square after many turn arounds and back and forths – they like one way streets here and on steep grades, many streets don’t go all the way through.

Got my Guia Roji out and sat on a step trying to figure out what to do. Nice guy comes over – doesn’t speak English but we get by. Points me in the right direction to get on the road Virginia wanted me on to begin with – about 2 blocks below where she originally had me going. Says the road is bueno . . . that is Mexican slang for “doable” . . . which it was.

Road varies between decent dirt road and short rocky inclines. Next stop Santa Cruz de Bravo (the first town name in this area I could pronounce right off the bat) and on to Santiago Yucuyachi connected by paved roads. Then ingloriously deposited back on dirt out of Yucuyachi.



The good dirt road



Same spot - other direction


Start seeing these massive cacti


Some more mauntains - my photography skills are massively lacking as I'm loosing a huge amount of depth and perspective in these types of shots




Somewhere past Yucuyachi I’m going through this town, following “the plan” past a whole group of guys doing something, whip up this hill and the road stops. (Pardon the lesser quality of this next series of pics but I just figured out how to grab stills off my GoPro videos)


Frickin steep rocky and rutted and not going anywhere out of this town. Turn around - slowly. Now have about a dozen guys down the road standing in the road watching me.


Pull up and try to explain to my now 12 or so audience where I want to go when I don’t even know the name of the next town. Finally a young guy in the back asks if I speak English as I’m dragging out my Guia Roji. Figure where I need to go.


Instead of going to the top of the hill I turned around on, turn right . . . oh, there’s a road there. I thought that dump truck was parked in a driveway. Oh yah, and they all agreed the road was bueno, hmmm. The guy in the striped shirt was the english speaker.



Anyhow, this group were the local men of this little community building a house for another family. Sunday project. Kind of the way rural communities used to do things back in the early part of last century in North America. Offered dinner – I didn’t have the feeling this road they were sending me on was a freeway and I didn’t want to be out in the tulies dodging cows, burrows and goats in the dark so I really reluctantly declined. Tough though – I would have liked to have stayed. Not staying is one of my regrets of this trip.

Everytime somebody tells me a road will be “no problem” or, “doable” or “bueno”, I know I’m in for some work. Same this time. Many places with steep, big gullies down the road, embedded rock, loose rock – I was bagged in the first 5 km. Up and down big valleys a number of times. It was a workout but spectacular. Had a couple of heart stoppers but bulldozed through. Being between 5000 and 7000 feet altitude all day probably didn’t help this abused body much either.

Finally came to a view of Nieves Ixpantepec across the valley – really pretty. Arrived into town and back to pavement, of sorts. 5 km to Hwy 15 that eventually joins Hwy 125.


While I had originally thought I would make it through to Pinotepa Nacional on Hwy 200 by the end of this day and Virginia said I would be there before dark, I have learned that her predicted time of arrival on these roads is off by hours.

Santiago Juxtlahuaca is the next town of size. Looks like they have 8 or 10 hotels. Check out one, they want 200p but no secure parking. Walked across the street and get a room with good WiFi, secure parking, hot water for 130p . . . that is $10. A new record! Now, I’ll be the first to admit the ambiance in this place is probably not what many would call top drawer, it’s a bit noisy and the room doesn’t have a window. But it’ll work just fine tonight.





I’m downtown right next to the market – most stores closed since it is Sunday. Lot of families out. I think I am the only non-Mexican in town. I don’t think they have a big tourist trade here.

Had some outstanding Tacos al Pastor at a street stand in the market. Obviously a popular place in town. The lady was grinding tacos out non-stop the whole time I was there. Choice of four meats plus you get an onion or two and some peppers. Some people were getting to-go orders of 20-30 tacos.





I’m finding these areas that are off the beaten track to be fascinating. The people are reserved but friendly and when I needed a hand, they immediately offered. In this area, the people are much more traditional and native clothing is seen fairly often. Asked some of the ladies in the market if I could take their picture but was usually declined. I understand in some of the native cultures they believe a photograph captures their soul. Maybe true here or, maybe they just don’t like their pictures taken.
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:40 PM   #103
motowest
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Mexico

Certainly can't complain about the cost of things there -- the price of gasoline is rising almost daily here (almost $4.00/gallon today). Hotel for $10? Add a zero to that for here!

How do I sign-up for this Mexico adventure?

p.s. That ice cream bar was clever, indeed.
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:24 PM   #104
going south
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RexBuck: I am writhing all this down, you are traveling through all the little places that I just love to see!

And your SPEED 160 KM in 7.5 hours.... you are almost down to where I cruise at... LOL.... better to stop and smell the taco carts that way.... took me a long time to learn to go that slow....BTW.....

Keep up the good ride report.....
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Old 02-19-2012, 05:01 PM   #105
RexBuck OP
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Originally Posted by motowest View Post
Certainly can't complain about the cost of things there -- the price of gasoline is rising almost daily here (almost $4.00/gallon today). Hotel for $10? Add a zero to that for here!

How do I sign-up for this Mexico adventure?

p.s. That ice cream bar was clever, indeed.
Things are generally less expensive here except around the tourist destinations - prices and atmosphere become more North Americanized. My median hotel cost has probably been around 400p - might be a bit higher with Mrs RexBuck now down here for a few weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by going south View Post
RexBuck: I am writhing all this down, you are traveling through all the little places that I just love to see!

And your SPEED 160 KM in 7.5 hours.... you are almost down to where I cruise at... LOL.... better to stop and smell the taco carts that way.... took me a long time to learn to go that slow....BTW.....

Keep up the good ride report.....
LOL - I've really tried to slow down - I'm not a fast rider to begin with but on gravel, by myself, out in the boonies and with a fully loaded bike, a lot of go-slow. Tried to shorten the days also - gives some time to soak up your destination.
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