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Old 07-27-2012, 11:52 PM   #31
sraff OP
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San Luis Potosi



I'm booking the room and I have my moto parked on this street when I remember, check on parking. Ask the girl at the counter, and she starts with directions, I say el mapa. She grabs a map and starts drawing, but the bell boy, who's in his 70's and weighs maybe 135, motions for me to bring it in the lobby. I look it over and come to the conclusion I can't ride it up the steps, maybe you guys on dirt bikes do this, but not me. Then the old guy motions to carry it in, I can't see that happening. So he walks off down the street and motions to follow him. The picture just misses the corner to the left. He goes to the corner and waves again, so i follow, the parking structure is right behind me, the entrance is about 75' around the corner. This picture was taken a few days later.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:07 AM   #32
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San Luis Potosi

7/14 Day 20
Was up early today, I wanted to look for a cheaper room. Went to get my moto and the guy in the parking structure starts trying to talk with me. We're doing fairly well, I ask him about something cheaper and he rattles off 4-5 names within a couple blocks. He points 1 out just up the street, so I move to hotel anahuac, $21 and the room is better and they have their own parking lot. Get my bike, hit a bank for more pesos, do a little bit of riding around but it looks easier to walk, so the bikes parked at the hotel
Now, in Tampico I just couldn't find my comfort zone, San Luis Potosi is the complete opposite. I'm totally at ease here, parks every few blocks and the people seem friendly. Last night the streets were packed with people out walking, window shopping, just hanging out. The weather is perfect, highs around 80f, lows in the 55-60 range.
After I get my gear up to my room, I grab the camera and take a walk. There's a park across from last nights parking spot, so I'll start there. On one side of the park is the Museo Frederico Silva, from there I can see a bell tower for another church. Looks cool, about halfway there I come out into a square with it's own church. Now I'm the first to admit, I know nothing about art or design. I read the different names of design and couldn't tell you one from the other. but it don't take a degree to know there's something special about them.
The square i stumbled across has the Teatro de la Paz, Museo de Mascara which displays masks from the indigenous people of the area, and a church that is mind blowing. The amount of detail, when you think of the equipment available to them when it was built. Some of these places actually took a lifetime to build. To think an architect could see his project started, knowing he won't be alive to see it finished. sorry, got a little caught up there.
There was a festival going on so getting good pictures was tough, not that i'm capable of taking one.
I walked to the next church, 2-3 blocks further, it had a plaque that gave some history of the city. Founded in 1599. Everywhere you look there's something to check out, I'm going to love this place

sraff screwed with this post 07-28-2012 at 02:25 AM
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:40 AM   #33
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San Luis Potosi



I just couldn't see getting this into the hotel lobby by trying to carry it up the steps, I should have tried to ride it in.
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Old 07-28-2012, 01:57 AM   #34
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San Luis Potosi



This would happen every night in pdl carmen
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:04 AM   #35
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San Luis Potosi



What an atmosphere to party in, thats the mask museum to the left, and I believe I'm in front of the catholic university between the church and the theater. Pretty Cool
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:13 AM   #36
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San Luis Potosi

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Old 07-28-2012, 02:15 AM   #37
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San Luis Potosi

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Old 07-28-2012, 02:20 AM   #38
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San Luis Potosi

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Old 07-28-2012, 02:22 AM   #39
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San Luis Potosi

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Old 07-28-2012, 05:05 AM   #40
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Laugh sotano de las golodrinas

I'd heard about a place nearby that is a BIG hole with a bunch of birds that come out of it each morning. That's the basic translation. I was told it's in San Luis Potosi, which heretoforth shall be referred to as slp,( sounds kinda legal, huh) but slp is also the name of the state I'm in. It aint clickin. Its only a few hours away but won't come up on the gps. Talk to several people about it but can't get the name of the city it's at. This has all the makings of a wild goose chase or worse, but every person I mention it to agrees " muy hermoso". If it's so pretty, why can't they tell me how to get there. Finally the girl that works at the hotel draws me a map with aprox. km's on it, and says " no problema", tourist busses go there, but when you get to the end of the mapa you must ask a local for the rest of the way. Maybe 2hours. I figure WTH if it's only a couple hours, even if I can't find it, I'll be back for lunch. so on the night of the 15th, I pulled the panniers off.
7/16 Day 22
I was up and rolling by 7:15, I knew most of the route, I was retracing my trail back towards Tampico. I had to go to hiway 85 and turn right and go 40 km's and i would be close. The problem is that i'm going back over the slowest part of the ride here. It's after 10 by the time I turn south on 85 but it's flat and smooth running so I start pushing. Caught myself over 80mph a couple times, running empty the bikes taking topes better so I'm blowing by lines of traffic in towns. Just before I hit 40 km's I hit a check point and of course they stop me, cops and army. They want my paperwork, open the trunk which is empty, so get to close that right back up, cop hands me my paperwork so I ask him about soltana de gobrinas. I'd never seen it in writing, that's what I was hearing, get the blank stare. I'm thinking NOT now, please understand this one phrase, I repeat it. No luck, come on everybody's supposed to know this place. Roll down 85 for 5 more miles, pull into a tienda, buy a fresca and ask, si 3 km's back the way I came from Aquismon. Cool i'd just passed that town, I'll be there in 2minutes. Stop at the cluster of buildings and ask again, she points up the road, 5km's mas o menos. Ride 2 miles and start looking for any thing,go to 6 miles and sure dont see any place a tourist bus would pull into, pull into a restaurant, 10 km's back the way I came from.I ride back to the cluster of buildings, ask a young girl at the store, blank stare. Walk next door to a hotel, si she points me further down 85, 5 km's. As i'm walking back to my bike, a guy pulls into the party store, I ask him but point down 85 and say 5 km's "si a la derecha". OK now we're getting somewhere, 5 km's that way on the right. COOL......NOT COOL get there and nothing, ride an extra mile and a half. Here's a fruit stand, 2 of them confer and point back up 85 si aquismon. By now it's after noon, so i say F it and ride 3 1/2 hours back to slp. Got back to the hotel around 4, had dinner and hung out at the park.
Now I know I made tons of mistakes but the biggest one was letting a bad 45 minutes ruin a great day of riding. I jumped on the computer when i got in from the park, brought up google maps and immediately spotted one. the cluster of buildings I thought was Aquismon, wasn't. Aquismon is 8 miles off 85.
Now this brings me to incorrect directions from locals, I dont know if they hear something different than I'm saying or what. Only 50% of the help would have been right. All i can say is, if you're going to depend on directions from locals, be fluent in the language. ( you'll find out why I say this in a few days)

sraff screwed with this post 07-28-2012 at 03:25 PM
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:02 PM   #41
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Talking San Luis Potosi

7/17 Day 23
Sometimes I get something locked in my head and refuse to see the obvious, next time I'll have some cheese with my whine.
I think I've mentioned earlier, I LOVE SLP. It is so laid back and friendly, has so much to offer. The architecture alone, can keep you busy for days. It is so unlike the other cities I've been in to this point, it has a very european spin to it. I have NEVER in my life seen a 17 year old put his elbow out for grandma to hold while walking down the street. It's countless here, if you see a young man with grandma, she's holding his arm.
The 1st morning I was here, I thought it was an entire city of lesbians, not that I'd complain. All the girls walk the street arm in arm, arms around the others waist, or holding hands.
For God's sake, there's even an organ grinder strolling around,too bad his monkey isn't real.
You have the little girl playing the accordian with the cup in front of her.
Don't get me wrong, I've walked into neighborhoods and did the " hmmm, this probably isn't a good idea" and got back to an area I knew ASAP.
I got in the habit of going to the park each day around noon, buy 6 or 8, 3 peso tacos and a pop for 9. $2.00- $2.50 for lunch and just people watch.
There was the group of older guys that would meet every day, they weren't into helping me with my spanish
The shoe shine guys, 10 pesos to shine your boots. As soon as they got paid, they'd close up and go spend it.
Then there's the car wash guys, one end of the park has maybe 8 parking spots, but they're reserved for car washing. The car wash guys have buckets blocking their space, if you want to park, you have to pay for a wash
OK I'm not going to beat this horse to death. IF, you ever find yourself in central Mexico, check out SLP, you will not regret it.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:31 PM   #42
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short cut to sotano de las golondrinas

Somewhere along the line, I was reading a mexico rr and a guy that goes by oyster from the Mexico - Now or never thread http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=806946 had just been to sotano de las golondrinas so I sent a PM asking for a little help and he came thru big time. Until now, the internet hasn't been the best connection; example; one night it took 5 attempts to get a PM to oyster. I'm NOT a computer geek, mostly it's just a video game for me, 2 weeks ago if you talked to me about cut, copy and paste, I'd explain how I did it in kindergarden, 50 YEARS AGO! So, oyster sent me gps#'s and some other info for the sotano , he also mentions another place worth visiting that's in the same area, las pozas, with that I decide to try again. Comparing google maps to my gps and I think I can do this.
7/24 Day 30
I'm up and moving at 5:30, loaded and rolling by 6:15. For now I have xilitla, home of las pozas, programmed into the gps. I'm not sure what I want to hit first, figure I'll just let it happen.
My gps was taking me by a different route than anyone had suggested but it hasn't let me down yet, it's taking me to the west of the sotano. Everyone else suggested coming in from the east, it hasn't let me down yet!
About 2-1/2 hours into the ride, I'm getting to the point that I have to make a decision, las pozas or sotano. I pull in for gas and the 2 attendants are checking out the bike, laughing about the panniers, they ask a few questions, I try to answer and then "a donde vas". I was leaning towards xilitla but didn't know how to pronounce it, so sotano came out instead. At that the kid pumping my gas went into hyperdrive, so i had to give him, " no hablo espanol" which had no effect but the other guy starts talking to me very slowly and I pick up the words for hiway, very good, to sotano. I'd been thru this a week ago so I just blew it off, a few seconds more and a young girl gets involved telling me es muy hermoso. I can't say no to a girl so i bite, "donde", and the kid that pumped my gas just about knocks me down to show me. He points to a mountain and goes into hyperdrive, and I'll be damned,I can see a road cut across the face of the mountain. After a few minutes of Q&A, I enter gps#'s for sotano, and I'll be double damned, it shows the road now and that's my route to sotano. But it didn't show this road when I had xilitla entered, hmmm. Time to mindlessly follow the gps. Do a u-turn, run back up the road 3 miles and turn right into a little pueblo, the road thru town is rough but we'll see. Come to the far end of town and WTF, I'm in a construction zone and it's a bad one. I can see for maybe amile up the side of the mountain and it's torn up all the way. the right lane is closed, filled with sand and stone from gravel trains dumping their loads. I stop at the first guys I see and ask how far and get "5 km's no mas". I can do a couple miles of this, so I start up the hill. It's f'ing nasty, soft sand mixed with broken concrete or asphalt and climbing hard. As I would pass more workers ,they didn't try to hide it, they'd burst out laughing and joking with each other.And then there it is, brand spanking new asphalt with stonewall safety barriers, THIS IS SAWEET!!! Another few miles and the hill climb is over, pop it in 5th and enjoy the ride.
At some point I notice the gps is getting confused, it won't stop recalculating and then when it would stop it would show me as off road, but it never said "do a legal u-turn and....", so I keep rolling. I'm enjoying this so much, even if I do have to turn around, I wanna see all this roads got to show me. This was brand new roadway, not a resurface, the only surface, cut thru virgen area. Gps says 28km and I'm there, I'm way ahead of schedule. Just cruising along at 50mph loving life. Passed 3 vehicles in 28km
BUT all good things must end, my gps is wigging out on me. I've reached the point where it's telling me to do a u-turn, spin around and then figure it out. It wants me to park the bike and walk the last little bit,5 miles, through the mountains, SURE. Another u-turn and we'll see where this takes us. Maybe 2 more miles and I come to about 6 buildings and topes to stop a tank and then the bad news, I can see the other end "of town" 50 yards ahead, and there's no pavement. I ride thru town hoping it turned, nope. I can see a set of truck tracks in the dirt, so hmmm. Look over my shoulder and see an old man stepped out of his house to see the big goings on. " yo pienso estoy perdido" (I think I'm lost), he starts laughing, so with a point towards the dirt I " a sotano?" and get a si 5-6 km. I thank him and roll off into the mud AND check my milage. At first it wasn't horrible, a v star in mud is never good but I'm making it. Then come to a steep downhill and like a dumbass get after the brakes. They do nothing, actually they make things worse, so I let it bounce towards the bottom. This entire area is rock with a little dirt mixed in. Roll on throttle as I near the bottom to make it up the far side. A few of these and I'm actually starting to have fun with it, if I just had some good dirt tires Kicking the ass end around going up a 45% grade on rock and dirt with a 700 lb bike wasn't on my to do list. Playing the street tires, trying to balance traction and forward motion, I come over a hill, right into a dozen goats which thankfully part like the red sea for me and here's 2 guys on horses. By the time I got stopped they were hysterical. I'm sure they expected a quad or dirt bike (by the way, I have one of those bikes you can hear a mile away) I ask how much farther and get " un poquito mas". And sure enough, a couple more hills and I pop out to a view of a valley that went on for miles. And right below me is a little town with pavement. Nothing for a dirt bike but I'm happy with myself.
Stop to ask the 1st person I see, yep 5 km up the pavement, 5 minutes later and I'm sitting in the parking area for sotano de las golondrinas.
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Old 07-28-2012, 06:41 PM   #43
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short cut to sotano de las golondrinas



You can see, I've attracted a "small" group of followers

sraff screwed with this post 08-05-2012 at 02:15 PM
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Old 07-28-2012, 07:58 PM   #44
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I'm in. I'm liking your style.
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #45
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Lookin good!

That V-Star is starting to look like a real adventure bike. Ride on.
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