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 11-07-2012, 12:32 PM   #376
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strave19 View Post
Looks amazing John. How many miles have you been covering each day?

And did you jump in by those waterfalls? Looks like a gorgeous spot.
Hi Sam,

I just felt the cooling breeze of the spray blasting off the base of the falls. There were some fantastic swimming holes though. That first park had a rope swing and rickety cantilevered high dive platform that looked pretty iffy. It was too big to photograph. You just have to go there. Great place to kick back and spend some time if I wasn't heading to South America.

It's not going anywhere. It will be there when you pass through. Delightful spot for any future ADVrider in the area.

As far as miles per day, not that many. I think I've ridden 4,000 miles in the last three weeks. No 1000 mile days that's for sure. Thumping around on backroads is more fun than piling up miles I am finding. And gas isn't cheap down here anymore. Almost 11 pesos a liter as opposed to 6-7 two years ago. Gas is cheaper in Tulsa than down here.

Best,
John Downs
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 11-07-2012 at 12:53 PM
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 12:37 PM   #377
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
Ahhhh... A hot shower.

Gotta name on that resort JDowns? Please.

Sure like your style, traveling solo, no serious partying and interacting with the grass roots locals.

Enjoying both the pics & posts. Thanks.
This ride's for you OldPete. The name started with Huasteca something or other. I got in late and left early. But if you copy those GPS numbers into the search box at maps.google.com it will take you to the spot and you can zoom in to get a better idea where it is for your future travels.

Really nice spot. Who says camping in Mexico is dangerous? I'm not seeing it. And you save beaucoup bucks on lodging expense. 200 pesos or so seems to be rock bottom for cheap hotels in Mexico anymore. It's not like it used to be.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 01:45 PM   #378
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
So I headed south from Ciudad Valles towards the Sierra Gorda. Loosely translated that means big freaking mountains. And they jump out at you when you first round the bend and see them looming in the mist thrusting straight up into the sky:



Smelled something good and made a U-turn for some grilled chicken:



The lady hacked up half a chicken with a meat cleaver and put it on a plate with some tortillas and a coke for 50 pesos:



Kept me going all day.

I rode to Xilitla (hill-eet-la) to check out Edward James fantasy sculpture garden Las Pozas. Instead of making the turn down the gravel road I continued on up the way to see what was up the winding road. His residence is up there as it turns out. Nobody was home. I parked on the terrace next to the fantasy pool leading up to the tower at the main entrance:



The A team of masons worked on his house. The B and C team were down at the main sculpture garden.

Nice artistic stonework on the terrace. I've done this japanese style mixing river rock with field stone and it's harder than it looks to get aesthetically pleasing:



The A team definitely worked on this curved staircase leading up to his front door:



Fantasy butterfly folly near the front door:



Main entry to his house in the lower tower. By the fantasy japanese bamboo art nouveau style I would say this was done in the twenties or thirties. I will have to check wikipedia and see when this place was built though:



Side view of the entry tower with nice wrought iron fantasy gothic art nouveau window done by the same guy who did the front door. Nice work:



Nobody was home so I walked back down and rode back to the actual gardens you are supposed to visit for money. I'm uploading the pictures here in beautiful downtown Xilitla and will be back in a moment for a professional stonemason's guide to Las Pozas.

More later....

Best,
John Downs
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 11-07-2012 at 03:26 PM
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 03:18 PM   #379
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
So I went down to La Poza fantasy garden and paid the 50 peso (4 dollar) entry fee. This is a shot from the parking area looking up 50 feet at the fantasy stairway to heaven wrapping around the large column at the top. You can't see it too well from way down here but that cantilevered column is two stories high:



When you go in the entrance you can take the blue pill and head right towards the sculpture garden through this fantasy japanesish style portal:



or the red pill and head to the left towards the waterfall garden area that ends up here:



This is the view down several stories to the bottom of the waterfall pool area from over a stone wall at the base of the upper waterfall. It is quite difficult to capture the scale of this place in pictures. You really have to see it in person:



This wall at the top was done by the B team and wasn't quite stout enough and started to lean. So the designer came up with the fantasy flying butress idea to hold it up with reinforced concrete similar to what happened in medeivel gothic cathedrals when the thin walls got too high and started to move outward. I am theorizing here but dollars to donuts that is what happened. Still the final design looks cool no matter what caused it. Very creative:



Same with this nice wall done by the B team down lower. The owner said make it 20 feet high. Ayy carumba she is leeeening. We feex for Señor James with fantasy concrete emmas. Si, que bueno!



The A team came down from Señor Jaime's house and put in this fantasy portal. Nice work.



This place is closing and it's getting late. Time to head up the kickass rta. 120 with nothing but curves up into the Sierra Gorda and camp somewhere off the road. I'll be back later whenever there is internet to finish up with La Poza pics.

Adios amigos,
El gordo from Sierra Gorda
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 11-07-2012 at 03:29 PM
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 03:29 PM   #380
Stuffyyff
Adventurer
 
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Nové Město
Oddometer: 93
250cc in much of the world is a big bike. I've seen mom, dad, and three kids on a 125cc many times. Looking forward to a cool trip.
Stuffyyff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 04:21 PM   #381
rtwpaul
out riding...
 
rtwpaul's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: round the world
Oddometer: 1,793
john check your email...i sent you an idea on a very cool route/ road i found near where you are by mistake a few weeks back that wasn't on my maps or GPS
rtwpaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2012, 04:48 PM   #382
RayAlazzurra
Stuck in the Eighties
 
Joined: Sep 2006
Location: St. Louis, Mo, USA
Oddometer: 226
Living on the bike

This ride report just gets better every day. I have thought about living on a motorcycle for over twenty years, so it is very interesting to read about your solution. My wife also had the idea to live on her bike before we got married. Her plan was to work odd jobs such as waitress at various casinos, and then move on. I had planned on saving money, traveling very frugally, and working the occasional job. Your story about doing the tile work in Costa Rica last trip was cool. The internet should make it possible for a skilled person like you to line up a few jobs along the planned route.

The donation support seems to be going well. I was a sucker for travel books long before I had a bike. I've bought "Travels with Charley", "Blue Highways", and "Walk Across America". Your ride report is a better bargain than most books--I get to interact with the author and ask questions--what a deal. Perhaps a better analogy is that your ride report is worth the equivalent of three years subscription to Motorcycle Roadrunner.

My only suggestion is that if you get bored or have a slow day you could add some background to the story. How did you first get interested in motorcycle travel? What events in your life brought you to this situation? Why you find Mexico, and Central America interesting is already clear from your writing and photography.

Muchas Gracias.
RayAlazzurra is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 06:50 AM   #383
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
Stone masony is like handwriting. Every mason's work is slightly different like a signature. It was interesting walking through Las Pozas fantasy garden all day yesterday looking at the handwriting on the wall. It told an interesting story. You can trip out here for hours. Well worth the visit.

I have worked for people like Mr. James with unlimited budgets and active imaginations. These projects take on a life of their own. Some people turn 60ish and have a huge pile of money and a lot of time on their hands and active creative imaginations. It usually starts out small with a folly or two, then friends come over and ooh and ahh and a designer friend says oh wouldn't it be cool if you built this and that and before long you have Hearst Castle. Or in this case Las Pozas garden. And these obsessive projects don't usually stop until the money runs out or the owner dies. I have worked on two fantasy garden projects for people who are now bankrupt. Obsessions die hard.

My guess is the far stone arched entry into the lost world was done by a classically trained stone mason possibly from England brought over by Señor James. We'll call him Stuart. Same guy that did the circular window. His work is all in the lower section of the garden and I expect he got fed up and went home early on:



This looks like the spot where Stuart quit and the C team finished up over to the left:



After Stuart left nobody knew how to do stone arches. Here further up in the garden Jose did a nice job of rustic stonework on the left while his cousin Pablo with the drinking problem wasn't having as much success over on the right. When they got up eight feet they called the fantasy concrete sculpture boys over to build a form with reinforced concrete for the arch, stripped the form after a couple hours and embedded small stones. Somebody else finished the top.



It still is aesthetically pleasing to the untrained eye and will look better with time in another 100 years when more moss is growing on it.

The reinforced concrete boys were the artists on the job. Really nice sculptural work. This area almost has a gothic cathedral medeivel feel to it:



The lacy fretwork of some areas is so different than the lower area where the muy macho boys were building massive columns to the sky:



I have worked for wealthy gay men and they are drawn to tall erect garden art. I'm just reporting the facts and have no idea of Mr. James proclivity nor do I care:







Some areas of the garden have a Machu Pichu lost world feel:





And others are pure lost world Shangrila:










__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 11-08-2012 at 07:06 AM
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 06:57 AM   #384
tricepilot
El Gran Payaso
 
tricepilot's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2006
Location: San Antonio
Oddometer: 8,301
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
This looks like the spot where Stuart quit and the C team finished up over to the left:
Actually that section is the "after the mid-day mescal bender" zone
tricepilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 07:21 AM   #385
Throttlemeister
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Okie near Muskogee
Oddometer: 3,613
Very nice Juan

Bet the water was a little chilly for swimming. Very nice place to walk around early before the tourist buses show up.
__________________
www.throttlemeister.net
Throttlemeister is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #386
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
QUOTE=tricepilot;19998375]Actually that section is the "after the mid-day mescal bender" zone[/QUOTE]

One does wonder what the inspiration was for some of the work at Las Pozas.
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 10:22 AM   #387
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
Very nice Juan

Bet the water was a little chilly for swimming. Very nice place to walk around early before the tourist buses show up.
I didn't check the water actually. It was definitely a trippy place and I enjoyed wandering around there.

It's like the Grand Canyon though in that you really have to go there. Photographs only give a hint of the total picture.
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 11:01 AM   #388
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
john check your email...i sent you an idea on a very cool route/ road i found near where you are by mistake a few weeks back that wasn't on my maps or GPS
Hi rtwpaul,

Thanks!

Best,
John Downs
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 11:05 AM   #389
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayAlazzurra View Post
This ride report just gets better every day. I have thought about living on a motorcycle for over twenty years, so it is very interesting to read about your solution. My wife also had the idea to live on her bike before we got married. Her plan was to work odd jobs such as waitress at various casinos, and then move on. I had planned on saving money, traveling very frugally, and working the occasional job. Your story about doing the tile work in Costa Rica last trip was cool. The internet should make it possible for a skilled person like you to line up a few jobs along the planned route.

The donation support seems to be going well. I was a sucker for travel books long before I had a bike. I've bought "Travels with Charley", "Blue Highways", and "Walk Across America". Your ride report is a better bargain than most books--I get to interact with the author and ask questions--what a deal. Perhaps a better analogy is that your ride report is worth the equivalent of three years subscription to Motorcycle Roadrunner.

My only suggestion is that if you get bored or have a slow day you could add some background to the story. How did you first get interested in motorcycle travel? What events in your life brought you to this situation? Why you find Mexico, and Central America interesting is already clear from your writing and photography.

Muchas Gracias.
Hi RayA,

I started out bicycle touring in my teens. Rode to Canada and back with friends, then there was hitchhiking to Mexico before college. My Mom didn't want me buying a motorcycle, so the natural progression to motorcycles was when I was on my own. At first it was economical transportation. The slippery slope to moto-hobo came later.

Best,
John Downs
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076
JDowns is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 11:14 AM   #390
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
Joined: Mar 2005
Location: Bassett, NE
Oddometer: 2,619
I took a crap ton of pictures at Las Pozas yesterday and it took a while to upload them to Smugmug down in the town square in Xilitla. I won't bore you with more pics. Well okay, maybe just one more climbing the upper winding staircase to the top looking straight down 50 or 60 feet to the Sherpa below. You better not suffer from vertigo if you want the killer shots at this hacienda:



Anyway, plenty more shots free for the looking over at smugmug. In fact they're free for the taking as are these stories. Anyone can use them for anything. A moto magazine editor emailed and wanted me to write a story. I told him he was free to lift anything here and edit it to his hearts content. Moto Magazine folks need all the help they can get.

It was dark by the time I headed up Rt. 120 towards Jalpan. Stealth camping is best done at sunset when you can see. Fortunately an F-150 passed me who was cooking through the corners. And on 120 it's nothing but corners for 100 miles. That boy could drive. Used him as a cow catcher all the way to Jalpan and got gas at the Pemex and asked about camping. Shoulder shrugs is all I got. So I headed back up the road and saw a sign pointing to a waterfall with a symbol for a picnic table heading up a dirt road into the mountains. I can sleep on picnic tables. Sounded good to me.

The dirt road climbed quickly with steep hairpins a few miles to a wide parking spot where I stopped and shut off the motor. Total darkness. I couldn't see my hands until my eyes adjusted. After a few minutes a flashlight came bobbing up the road and it was an old man with a walking stick walking home late at night. I asked him if it was okay to camp here and he said "¿Porque No?" (why not?).

So I set up the tent in the dark with the sound of waterfalls in the distance. Very peaceful place up in the middle of the Sierra Gorda at:

N 21º 10.174'
W 99º 33.476'

Just off Rt. 120 past Jalpan maybe 20 kilometers. Here's what it looked like at sunrise this morning:



And the road up:



and the waterfall stream in the valley below:



I was up with the sun and rode several miles up the road to see where it went until I decided to head back to Jalpan and see about some breakfast.

This is Rt. 120 at sunrise winding through the Sierra Gorda mountains:





Those little dots up on the side of the mountain are houses with roads. So plenty of fun backroads to explore around here. None of them are on my maps so it looks like an afternoon of getting lost in the mountains:

Yesterday I spent 285 pesos or $22.80 on food, gas, park fees.

More later….

Kindest regards,
John Downs
__________________
South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=831076

JDowns screwed with this post 11-09-2012 at 02:50 AM
JDowns is offline   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 07:06 AM.


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