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Old 02-11-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
Trialsbikeadam OP
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South TX to Tampico, MX is this route safe?

Hoping to do a run to Tampico from south TX this summer for the beaches. Heard a lot of bad stuff about the stretches of road between tx and Tampico. Mainly road blocks. Has anyone gone that way recently? or know the current situation? It'll be the "prettier half" and myself on two US plated bikes. Also if anyone has been in Tampico recently are the "shakedowns"/bribes by the police still happening? or really as bad as they say? Thanks for any advice you may offer up Adam and Kim

Here's the route we plan to run: Early morning border crossing and straight there. https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=U...0&sz=7&t=m&z=7
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Old 02-11-2013, 01:41 PM   #2
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The State Department Travel Advisory below, from the web page below

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...w/tw_5815.html


doesn't make it sound like it would be the best choice for a destination.
Of course some people will chime in and tell you the warnings are inaccurate
or exaggerated, but are they willing to put their own lives on the line and rescue you
if it gets ugly ? Unless they are, their assurances that it is safe don't mean anything.






"Tamaulipas: Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tampico are major cities/travel destinations in Tamaulipas -see map to identify their exact locations: You should defer non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas. All USG employees are prohibited from personal travel on Tamaulipas highways outside of Matamoros, Reynosa and Nuevo Laredo due to the risks posed by armed robbery and carjacking. USG employees may not frequent casinos and adult entertainment establishments within these cities; and in Matamoros are subject to a midnight to 6 a.m. curfew. Nuevo Laredo has seen an increase in the number of grenade attacks within the past year, particularly against night clubs within city limits. In June 2012, a small car bomb exploded in front of the Nuevo Laredo city hall. Both Matamoros and Ciudad Victoria have experienced grenade attacks in the past year. All travelers should be aware of the risks posed by armed robbery and carjacking on state highways throughout Tamaulipas, particularly on highways and roads outside of urban areas along the northern border. Traveling outside of cities after dark is particularly dangerous. In August 2012 an American family was forced off the road, resulting in one death and several injuries, in an apparent robbery attempt soon after crossing the bridge from Texas into Nuevo Laredo. While no highway routes through Tamaulipas are considered safe, many of the crimes reported to the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros have taken place along the Matamoros-Tampico highway, particularly around San Fernando and the area north of Tampico."



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It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 02-11-2013 at 02:05 PM
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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Thanks! I had found the state departments warning, and you're right, reading it doesn't inspire confidence lol. If that is truely how it is I won't want to travel there :( but it seems as riders are regularly heading into Mexico. So can it really be that bad? Hopefully somebody can firm up the marsh, that is trying to decipher media/government hype from real danger, for a very green mexico traveler
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Trialsbikeadam View Post
Thanks! I had found the state departments warning, and you're right, reading it doesn't inspire confidence lol. If that is truely how it is I won't want to travel there :( but it seems as riders are regularly heading into Mexico. So can it really be that bad? Hopefully somebody can firm up the marsh, that is trying to decipher media/government hype from real danger, for a very green mexico traveler


On the other hand, you could ride down there and have no problems and have
a great time. Anything is possible. I guess I prefer to go places where I won't be
likely to be seen as "money on legs" ( this is what some of the kidnappers call
American tourists ).


Personally, I'd be more inclined to go by myself because with my riding
experience and the very fast dirt bike I would take on the ride, I could very likely
outrun idiots who were trying to detain me. But the very serious responsibility
for the safety of someone else in addition to myself would change the picture,
for me. I guess at a minimum I'd want my traveling companion to be fully
aware of the possibilities before embarking on such a trip.


If you go, be safe !


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Old 02-11-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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Yes taking the "Little Lady" Does add a bit more responsibilty and risk to the trip sadly. But she's dying to ride across a border! This is why we're asking early, no plans made yet, Just an idea bouncing around I posted roughly the same question on another site we use "couchsurfing" and got a reply from someone local in Tampico. Although i'm pretty sure they're not adventure motorcyclist (again sadly) and may or may not be right on the route problems we'll face, Hopefully they have a decent grip on what their town is like.

Here's what I just got back from them:
Hello! I'm from Tampico, my recommendation (about the route) is to go out very early heading to tampico and only to travel during the day, and about Tampico, in general is a very quiet and safe city and of course with a beautiful beach. Travel by motorcycle around Tampico is safe, and about the police asking for money, it depends, you never know, it would be just probably when you are entering from Altamira to Tampico because sometimes they are kind of checking who is comming from abroad, that might be or not possible but as I say you never know. I hope this info can be helpful for you, if you have any other question just let me know, saludos!!
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Trialsbikeadam View Post
Here's what I just got back from them:
Hello! I'm from Tampico, my recommendation (about the route) is to go out very early heading to tampico and only to travel during the day, and about Tampico, in general is a very quiet and safe city and of course with a beautiful beach. Travel by motorcycle around Tampico is safe, and about the police asking for money, it depends, you never know, it would be just probably when you are entering from Altamira to Tampico because sometimes they are kind of checking who is comming from abroad, that might be or not possible but as I say you never know. I hope this info can be helpful for you, if you have any other question just let me know, saludos!!

Sounds like you are looking more for reasons to go than you are looking for
a realistic assessment of risk. The local says traveling around Tampico is
safe, but the local doesn't say anything about the trip from the border, except
to travel only during the daylight hours. I'd want more info than that before
setting off, myself. Did you catch the part in the State Department statement
about grenades ? I've done a fair bit of traveling but I cannot say I have ever
been in the vicinity of a grenade attack and that's just fine with me.


I don't have anything more to offer except that I hope you have safe travels.


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Old 02-11-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Yeah, I am hoping to get more positive reviews of people who have been there than negative. Obviously I'd rather have it be safe, with too much bad media hype, then have it be unsafe and not take the trip :( Hopefully some folks who have made the ride recently will chime in and put this baby to bed. I've got time, trips not till June, earliest
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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You should post this on the "Is Mexico Safe" thread. That's where the answers are.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:43 PM   #9
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You should post this on the "Is Mexico Safe" thread. That's where the answers are.
I had wanted to read through that but at 900 pages man it's a novel
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #10
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The final decision is yours

The law has cleaned up a lot of issues in that area the last couple of years.....
If you decide to go do as mentioned before...travel daylight hrs only....I would recomend you try to stay moving.....don't make long stops along the way...if you stop for gas or to eat make quick stops. If I was traveling that road I would not stop in San Fernando....I would keep moving.....
The training I have had down here from the pros is to stop when every there is a road block.....dont try to run......you can replace every thing you have with you but your life, that said......be wise about what you carry with you......however you are the one that has to make that decission......
It is a lot of fun ridding down here.....no one can tell you that you will be safe......a lot of things are happening down here, but if you are not involved with the bad things that are happening your chances are slim that anything will happen to you.
When you travel here you can do some things to stack the cards in our favor....
Travel only in daylight hours
Stay out of night clubs and bars....
When you are traveling....try to stay moving.....no long stops if the rout is questionable
Stop at all road blocks...don't try to run....you can replace everything but our life...
You are the one that needs to make the final decission....travel safe and enjoy
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Trialsbikeadam View Post
I had wanted to read through that but at 900 pages man it's a novel
Unfortunately, about 890 pages of it is just BS, and although there is some very good info there, most of the time when info about any bad happenings is posted the typical response is that US cities can be dangerous too - not sure how that's helpful.

I like traveling in Mexico and will be heading back to Baja with my wife in about a week. But, I wouldn't take my wife to the area you're talking about, not sure I'd go there without her either. I think this line from your first post should anwer your question "Heard a lot of bad stuff about the stretches of road between tx and Tampico." I'm sure you can find a few people to tell you it will be ok (they should be chiming in soon, and I'm sure they won't like what I've said), but does that mean everything else you heard isn't true?

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Cheers,

Dean
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:18 PM   #12
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@ Kobukan & RW66 Thanks for your responses on your experiences in the area. It seems to be a universal theme to only, only, only ride during daylight hours there. The roads that direction do seem that they may be a bit more treacherous than others (maybe the next thread will be "what's a better mexico destination" lol) The always stop at the road blocks tip is a good one! Stuff is just, stuff and can be replaced! The ole' lady tagging along does add some worry as she's looking to me to be safe and plan a safe trip. I guess my thoughts now are, will we make it? Probably. Is it more likely than not something bad will happen? Probably not. Would we be taking a bit more of a risk than we should? Maybe lol. Guess we'll wait and hope some more people chime in with their experiences and make the final call. It's looking about 50/50 right now and that might not be the vacation we're looking for, at least this time around
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:03 PM   #13
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You do know that you don't have to read the whole IMS thread. Just post the question there.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:24 PM   #14
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Well now, we've had the US Gov State department's posting here.
So that posting must be true and vaild, eh?
Right?
Or not?
How well and/or far do you trust the people who make these types of statements?

Do you have a brain - one that is actually yours?

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Old 02-11-2013, 07:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lone Rider View Post
Well now, we've had the US Gov State department's posting here.
So that posting must be true and vaild, eh?
Right?
Or not?
How well and/or far do you trust the people who make these types of statements?

Do you have a brain - one that is actually yours?

Yeah never been one to put toooo much faith in old government rules and regs It's still another straw pilled on this heavy camels back though. I received a really insightful PM from a guy who says that for the extra half day of riding south Tuxpan area is much much better. Beaches, food, etc... Looks like we will be safe once we arrive at a destination, it's just the traveling there part we'll have to weigh out.
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