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Old 09-13-2013, 10:15 AM   #76
Umarth OP
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Cry Shit hit the fan!

Days: 60-61
Where: Batopilas, Chihuahua
When: august 18th

Been a long time since the last blog update. And to those who care; sorry about that, but after Batopilas and the events that occurred getting there, blogging has been very low on my list of priorities.

First off, let me reassure you: all six of us made it out of there alive, if the worse for wear. Brett is the luckiest by sporting only a slight graze on his hip, Bryce a severely bruised shoulder and knee and me, an ugly cut to the scalp! As for the bikes, they are in pretty bad shape, Big O being in the worse shape as he's bleeding oil badly.

The how and why make up this blog post. But I'm getting ahead of myself, so let me start this tale of woe from the beginning...

Sunday, august 18th, I got up late as it seems that that is how I now like to travel, scrounged around for some breakfast, added air to my front tire and eventually got around to asking the GPS to get me and Big O to Batopilas, which it obligingly did by laying down a course for us to follow.

After less than 15 minutes I knew this was not going to be as straight forward as I had expected. The GPS was sending us off into the jungle, on swamp ridden mud roads! Ever since the TCAT, I've developed an allergy for slimy or under water roads, when alone anyway.

So me and Big O looked for alternate routes that would get us to Batopilas without having to run the risk of drowning in rivers or disappearing in quicksand. After about an hour of scouting the trail roads around Guachochi, we came across four cowboys on horse back. I figured who better to ask and road right up to them. Yikes!

These dude where sporting huge pistols and semi automatic rifles! But by the time I noticed that (driving up I was too concentrated on the road which was quite technical) it would have looked real weird for me to just turn around (and offer them my back for target practice?).

With no choice but to plow on, I asked them (one of them with his hand firmly on his pistol) in very bad Spanish if the trail we where all on lead to Batopilas. One of them started talking fast and aggressively but I completely failed to understand his words. I replied with: porfavor, hable un mass despatio! Jo no comprendo espanol mui bien. To that, another one of the cowboys answered is bad English: why you go there? What your business?

Ah shit! I was remembering what the guy in Creel had said, that going to Batopilas, I might run across banditos and be suspected of smuggling weapons to rival groups of banditos. The area being a prime drug production zone. The Three Amigo's dude had told me to very quickly make it clear that I was simply a tourist wanting to see the beautifully canyons, which I very fucking promptly did: Jo soy tourista!!! When the meaning of my words sunk in, they gave a second look at all my gear and the bike and, luckily, came to the conclusion that I was just a crazy gringo. The English speeking cowboy started laughing and told me that the road didn't go to Batopilas and that even if it did, I should turn around unless I wanted to get shot. At least that's what I could make out of what he tried to say. On that nice note, he said a dios and they all left me there, somewhat shaken I must admit!

We did the only sensible thing to do: we turned around with the intention of abandoning the Batopilas idea. But I hate being scared off of something that I want to see and experience and thinking of what the 3 Amigos dude had said, I looked at the GPS again and noticed that there was a newly paved road that was heading in the general direction of Batopilas, and that road was not on the GPS. And the 3 Amigos had said that part of the road to Batopilas was paved. I decided to give it a try and see where the road lead. Worse case, I just admit defeat and turn around.

Turns out it was the road to Batopilas! It's paved for about 40kms, then turns into a dirt road. A segment of it is in the process of being paved, so expect the Batopilas adventure to be pretty tame is a few years. But luckily for me, at the moment it's after those first 40 clicks, it's pure dual sport territory!

Unfortunately, only an hour into it, I had to conclude that the wise thing to do was turn around: the patches on my front tire tube just where not holding and, idiot that I am, when I tried to used my spare tube, I punctured it 4 times while spooning the tire back onto the rim.



In the space of three hours and about 70 km, I took the front wheel off 4 times to refix the same holes! I remember hearing Gunnerbuck comment on how 4mm tubs where a bitch to patch and I also remember wanting to ask him to elaborate on that but never came around to it. Well, now I know: side road patches just don't f'k stick to them! I was actually pretty doubtful in my ability to get back into town. Both my tubs where punctured and both refused to hold the patches more than and hour. I would have cared a lot less had it been the rear wheel, but the front one? A washout happens real quick if the tire decided to let go of the rim. But anyway, that proved to be a non issue as I managed to limp back to Guachochi in one piece.

Back in town, the first thing I did was locate a store that sold tubes. Took a bit of asking but eventually got direction to a bicycle store that stocks motorcycle tubes to. Just as I was getting back on Big O, in parking lot of the bicycle store, this KLR comes in with two riders, a rear wheel on the rear rack and one of the riders holding a tube in one hand sporting a gazillion patches.

These where the two Kiwi's that the dude at 3 Amigos had mentioned having given them the same directions to Batopilas as he was giving me, namely: Brett and Bryce. Turns out, they got a flat some 80km from Guachochi on their way from Creel. We talked a bit and ended up at the same hotel that night. Had supper and decided that we would attempt Batopilas together the next day, but first picking up Brett's bike 80km away.

Morning come, coffee consumed, we "raced" like a bunch old men back halfway to creel for the retrieval of Brett's bike. Big O's front tire tube had given me false hopes in being able to hold it's breath yesterday but turns out it was still leaking, so as Brett changed his rear tube, I changed Big O's fron diaper... That done and Brett grinning like a school boy skipping school, from being once again mobile, we "raced" back to Guichochi. Race being very relative considering our rides: two KLR and one 640 with an improperly adjusted carb, at 8000 feet.

It was around 2 in the afternoon when we finally left the pavement and were officially on our way to Batopilas (me and Big O's 3rd f'n attempt!). And since this was Brett and Bryce's first time at off-roading, I took a few moments to give them the basic idea and the technics involved.

The first hour was great! The road was dry and just perfect to wet the kiwi's appetite for dual sporting. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans in mind for us and soon after, started dumping rain on us. So much so that the road/trail turned to slimy shit real fast.



Me and Big O where the first to go down, unexpectedly hitting a patch of slimy shit that was impossible to steer and/or break in. Wasn't too long before the Kiwi where also having trouble of their own. :)



Soon after that we came to the first of a handful of micro villages that lie between Guachochi and Batopilas. This village, 3 or 4 brick and mud houses, is split in half be a stream that was overflowing at the time (from all the rain) and like all new to dual sporting, the Kiwi's couldn't help themselves from crossing it a few times to have there pictures taken. Here is Brett happily getting wet...



Unfortunately for us, the time it took to take pictures is also the time it took for the local ass wipes to gather the gang and mosie on over to our neck of the woods. Just as I was asking this old timer, sitting on the front steps of his home, the confirmation that Batopilas was in the direction we believed it to be, 7 dudes come crashing our party in two big ass pick up trucks. And every single one of the buggers sporting either rifles or shot guns.

You know what? That kind of entrance tends to not go unnoticed nor leave you indifferent. Well, unless you just happen to be from New Zealand it would seem!

So these two pickup trucks howl up and stop right next to us poor buggers, blocking both advance and retreat, while the gorillas in the back of the trucks lower their guns onto our marry band of shit-out-of-luck tourists. My mind goes into "fuck you Jr" mode for the "I told you so" that I know I'm gonna get IF I manage to get my skinny ass out of here. While the kiwi's seem to be taking it like an every day occurrence. Bryce just leans up against the house wall while Brett looks all doe eyed at them and asks, all innocently, if they'd mind if gran'pa here were to take a picture of everyone AS A SOUVENIR!

WTF Bret!?!?!?! His only answer came in the form of one of the dudes jumping off the pickup truck, landing right in front of him and aiming a f'n cannon of a pistol an inch away from his face. In the mean time, an other dude got out of the truck and started talking, a lot, in Spanish and overdoing the testosterone bit to my taste. Brett wisely, in my terrified assessment of the situation, shut for F up and just waited to see where this was going.

El Heffe quickly caught on that his monologue was wasted on us and switched to English. He basically told us that this was Juárez Cartel territory and that they would not tolerate smugglers on there turf. That's when I did something doubly stupid: I took off my helmet, so that they could properly see my face and help with communications. Doubly for two reasons: (a) helmets offer great cranial protection and (b) leaves your hands free when on your head and not in your hands. That said, helmet off and I my hands, I stepped up to the talking dude and hardly had time to open my mouth before he clubbed me on the head with his pistol! Last time I went down on my knees that fast I was taking out the trash at a restaurant I worked at and hit my head on the cast iron hydraulic doodad that auto-closes the door. Must be a switch directly linking the skalp to the knees cause there is no delay: it gets hit, you go down! I also felt like I was bleeding but only found out an hour later just how big a cut my scalp was sporting.



Brett got the brilliant idea that it was time for him to intervene, brushed off the gun pointed at his head and kicked mister blah blah right in the chest! (I later learned that Brett's a black belt in Taekwondo). Not the best idea! While Blah Blah man was busy landing on his back, the dude who had had his gun in Brett's face fired at him!! Lucky-stupid-bastard was missed by the bullet! It tore off a layer or two of skin from his thigh but that's it!

That's when Bryce stepped up to the plate, cool as can be thank you very much, hands in the air and shouted for everyone to cool down! And miracle of miracles: no more shots where fired!! Given, a lot of angry shouting and gun waving was going on. He went on to say that we where not smugglers nor affiliated with any cartel or any drug related group, that we where just tourists passing through, on our way to Batopilas and that they where more than welcome to search our gear to see for themselves that we where not smuggling anything in.

Were I less insecure of my manhood and had my head not been buzzing so much, I would have kissed him right then and there cause his speech just defused the whole situation! They did search our bags and us, relieved us of all our cash in the process but ignored our other valuables! Shit, my camera alone is worth more than Big O so you can imagine just how disbelieving I was at that turn of events!!

Once the search was done, we where told to haul ass out of here before they changed their minds and buried us in the mountains! It goes without saying that we did just that and hauled ass!!

I'll admit that I've never been more scared in all of my life! Even the time in Thailand where I almost died in rapids did not come close to the shit that had just went down!! For the next hour we went as fast as we could, the going being rather thought, what with the rain turning the road to shit.

We eventually stopped and took stock of the situation. I had an ugly cut to the head, which had bled like a pig at the slaughter house but had now stopped, Brett's bullet graze was more painful if cleaner as it hardly bled but left a 1/4 inch by 3 inch strip of fat exposed, where the skin had been sheered off. I had a good first aid kit with me and it sure paid for itself then.

All gauzed up, we decided to head on to Batopilas, mainly because I could not find a way to get back to Goachochi without going back through that crazy ass village. We still had a good 4 hours of riding to do and it was getting late in the day. It was clear that we would not make it into town before the sun had set. Oh well...

The scenery going into Batopilas was so beautiful that it even managed to shake our fears away. We even started stopping and snapping pictures!



Here is Brett and Bryce posing for the camera.


And the bikes,



This next one looks like it was taken much later than it really was. We where in a really dense cloud and it was making it look like it was near dark.



The road was getting worse and worse and at one point proved to much for Brett's rear luggage rack; the vibrations managed to unscrew a few of the bolts that hold the rack and the top box onto the bike. One of those bolts was pretty big and we had nothing with us to use as replacement. Necessity being the mother of all inventions, I ended up carving a "bolt" from a dry peace of wood and zip-tying it in place. We where laughing pretty hard at the wishful thinking of that road side repair let me tell you! And you know what: the damn twig lasted all the way to Batopilas!!

While we where laughing, we heard what sounded like a truck. All laughing stopped! And sure enough, it sounded like one and was getting closer. Someone wisely proposed that we bugger off real quick and do our very best at NOT coming into contact with whoever was in that truck.

Took about 20 minutes for the truck to catch up. The road was just to slippery for these loaded bikes and for riders who had never been off road before today, to be able to outrun a four wheel drive vehicle.

Brett was up front, Bryce was following and me and Big O where closing the rear where the truck came into view. We pretty much all looked back at the same time to have a peek at the truck and I'm sure, had we had helmet microphones, we would have heard three simultaneous F words as we realized just who that truck was: the truck was one of the two from our near disastrous encounter...

There was no way I was stopping and signaled the Kiwi to not stop. Big mistake! The truck never bothered to slow down and just passed us. I was lucky and just had a scare looking at how close I was to going off the road and down the side of the mountain, Brett faired less well and went down but stayed on the road. Bryce on the other hand was not as lucky: the truck's side mirror hit his handle bar and he went down instantly. After toppling over, the bike did a 180 deg turn and hit a big rock that stopped it but not Bryce. He continued on off the side of the road! I almost dropped Big O, seeing that.

That bugger has no right to be so lucky cause he managed to find the one spot where there was somewhat of a ledge with shit to grab, anywhere else and he was a goner! He crawled back out of there, limping pretty good and nursing his shoulder.

We waited a bit, Bryce just relaxing and waiting to see if anything would start to really hurt, while Brett and I went over the KLR's to make sure they had sustained no injuries. We eventually got back on the bikes and yes, continued on to Batopilas but the mood was getting pretty dark and angry...

The rain came back with a vengeance, making the road very unpredictable at times. The worse moments was the last hour or so going down into the valley to Batopilas. In about an hour, you go down 6 or 7 thousands feet on extremely steep switchbacks that alternate between gravel and clay like mud. Most of the time, just pulling in the clutch and leaving the brakes alone was the only way that the bikes would stay upright, the roads being so slippery. But sometimes you could not do that as bends where to close and you just had to slowdown or else go over the cliff. On one such situation, it was now pitch dark, the road went from gripie gravel to slippery mud with no warning. I absolutely had to slowdown to be able to make the turn that was coming up so I used to back break. The only effect was to have the bike go side ways and towards the edge. As Big O is now sliding down the slope (but still standing up) I see what's coming: a bolder about a foot and a half across is gonna hit Big O right under the engine! Shit shit shit is what I'm thinking! But lo and behold! Big O just slid over it!! And we stopped just beside it in about a foot of slushy mud that had the consistency of chocolate pudding. And Still Vertical!! Brett came up and we where both disbelieving it!

We did a quick stop at one point to take a shitty picture of the sun set and of how wide the road was...





We eventually got into Batopilas at around 10pm! Let me tell you that we where VERY happy that the day was finally over!

But wait! The day could not end without a we bit more drama. After finding a hotel room and grub, I noticed that Big O was low on oil and checked him over. f'CK!!!! The steel braided oil line that feeds the stator has a hole in it and it's literally pissing oil! I'm surprised that there was any oil left in the bike and even more surprised that the engine was not starved of oil! And to make things worse: Battopilas sure as hell wont have anything to replace this. In his current state, Big O wont make it out of here on his own power...


Big O's take on all this drama

I call: Bullshit! What a load of horse manure! And if anyone of you reading this believed it, then you stand as proof: people believe what they want to believe!

Everyone we met going in and out of there, if a bit apprehensive at times, where very polite and quite helpful. As Mexicans have proven to be at every turn so far...

Ok, the pictures are true and so are the Kiwi's. Well, aside from the picture of the cut that is...

Karma's take on things

I guess it was a good thing that I was there, cause even if we had been warned a few times about potential bad encounters in this part of Chihuahua, I succeeded in keeping everyone safe and injury free...
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:49 AM   #77
enduro0125
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Holy shit.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #78
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Holy shit.
+ 1 ^

Karma indeed. Stay safe and avoid anymore bullet/pistol whip holes, K?
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:26 PM   #79
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Holy shit

Hi Jason. Your post really freaked me out. Be safe my friend you are scaring the shit out of me. I contacted all the other players and if you need something you ask. Don't be shy. Keep on going and for fucks sake stop getting pistol whipped and/or shot at!
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:46 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Motoriley View Post
Hi Jason. Your post really freaked me out. Be safe my friend you are scaring the shit out of me. I contacted all the other players and if you need something you ask. Don't be shy. Keep on going and for fucks sake stop getting pistol whipped and/or shot at!
I'm with Riley on this one. :eek.

Christ man - be careful!
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:13 AM   #81
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Nice

Well written man! I was about to call bullshit every time it should have gotten out of hand and then suddenly just didn't quite get there... But you are right, from comments here and elsewhere, people believe what they want to. Awesomely refreshing way to remind us all of that.

I'm buying you a beer if I ever get the chance.

Cheers,
Dan
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hat a great 40,000 mile adventure on the trusty F800GS. Looking forward to the next 40k.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:37 AM   #82
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Awesome

Looks like you got me buddy. I was preparing for a dinner party and never fully read the end of your post. The good news is that I had an amazing story to tell at the table. The bad news is that I was totally stressed out until I retread it this morning. The Players were fully mobilized and ready to move out and now are plotting against you!
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:08 AM   #83
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Hey Jason, when you get back let me help you plan a walking tour of Detroit. Lots of excitement and think of all the gas you'll save.

Seriously, glad you're okay. Stay that way!

signed: The fellow who likes your Windsor accent.
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:35 PM   #84
Umarth OP
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Wicked Dyslexia?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoriley View Post
Looks like you got me buddy. I was preparing for a dinner party and never fully read the end of your post. The good news is that I had an amazing story to tell at the table. The bad news is that I was totally stressed out until I retread it this morning. The Players were fully mobilized and ready to move out and now are plotting against you!
Yeah, was a bit confused when I read your previous post! Went back and re-read Big O's statement. Which confused me even more as it seemed rather clear.

But it nice to now that I got friends a can count on back home. I can still count on yall right?

As a side note, where are the videos Riley?? You getting behind again?
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:37 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by Hayate View Post
Well written man! I was about to call bullshit every time it should have gotten out of hand and then suddenly just didn't quite get there... But you are right, from comments here and elsewhere, people believe what they want to. Awesomely refreshing way to remind us all of that.

I'm buying you a beer if I ever get the chance.

Cheers,
Dan
You have no idea how many of my friends fell for it and where sure that it was all true! Really, people see what they whish to see!

As for the beer, any time mate! God knows I'll be looking for free beer when I get back from spending all my money...
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:41 PM   #86
Umarth OP
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This is why I don't ride a Harley!

Where: Batopilas to Choix, Chihuahua.
When: August 15th,
Days: 61

The morning after getting to Batopilas saw us take a break. Even if we had not been chassed by angry banditos, a day off seemed to be on everyone's mind, so we took one.



After breakfast, Bryce and Brett went out for an explorative walk of the village while I scratched my head for a solution to Big O's oil hemorrhaging.

At fist I'll admit that I was very pessimistic about my odd's of fixing Big O or at the very least finding a temporary fix that would last long enough to get us both out of this valley. I took out my tool box and all the spare parts and miscellaneous junk that composed my emergency repair kit, sat and stared long at both Big O and what I had to work with. And then I saw a solution! Ingredients: JB Weld (2 part epoxy), 1 foot of clear plastic tubing, SS bail wire and silicon tape! The plastic tubing's inner diameter was just shy of fitting the braided oil hose that was pissing oil.

I mixed some epoxy, lathered the section where the line was punctured, covered the epoxy with the clear tubing to help make the epoxy seal with no leaks, taped the tubing as I had to cut it open and tied everything up with the bail wire to be sure that nothing moved!



My hope was that the clear tubing would press the epoxy into the braided tube. I was expecting the epoxy to harden quickly but it ended up taking 4 hours! I mixed it 50/50 and it was a hot day, so don't know what to issue was. But it's all good! When I started up Big O, no leak! Nothing! Nada! Rien! Zip! Guess who was laughing like a mad scientist...

After that, I finally started to relax and enjoy the day by having a few beers and reading a bit, waiting for the kiwi's to come back from exploring.
Keeping me company all day at the hotel was this gentleman:



Brett asked if we could take a picture of him and was told that he was not allowed. But Brett couldn't help himself and snuck in a picture while the officer wasn't looking. Never did figure out if he was watching out for us or just watching us. He was at the hotel entrance when we woke up and left late that night...

I wont say who, but one of the kiwi's likes his weed and had been without for quite a while. One of the hopes of wandering the village was to find some. From what they told me, after there walk, is that they met this old man and somehow managed to convey that they would not mind over much if some weed was to cross path with them. The old man told them not to worry and that he'd come for a visit latter tonight.

Somewhere around 9pm, the old man wanders into our hotel and starts chatting with the interested Kiwi then leaves. What happened is the old man came with a zip lock bag FULL of weed and gave it for free! When ask how much he just said nothing!! The estimate was that the bag held an ounce of the smelly stuff! You can imagine the size of the grin that was adorning the face of one of the kiwi's!

The next morning, before leaving for Choix, we ran around town to find bolts to fix both Brett's and Bryce's luggage back onto their bikes. The bumps of the road getting into Batopilas definitely took there toll on there jerry rigged top boxes.

We left around noon, with only a hand sketched map of how to get to Choix. The GPS didn't have a clue as how to get there.

Here are a few pics of the day:













A few hours into the ride, Brett and Bryce both started loosing screws again! At one point, Brett had enough and taped the damn thing! I was about to burst a blood vessel from laughing so hard!



And here we see Bryce having a go at his top box again...



Brett ended up dumping the whole top box a few hours later and has been happy about doing so ever since. While Bryce, from what I here, is still struggling with his a month later in Guatemala...

Nearing Choix, the sun had set about an hour before and just as we where starting a steep decent, the sky went mad! A huge thunderstorm rolled in and gave us the biggest light show that I've yet to witness live! Unfortunately, no pictures... :(

Took 8-9 hours to get to Choix, the day was perfect for riding, if a tad hot, and the tracks where really fun to ride.

Big O's take on then day's events
What can I say! Some day's are pure bliss and this one was definitely one of them! The riding was perfect me and my two Kawasaki brothers and Dummy's fix held against all expectations...

Umarth screwed with this post 09-25-2013 at 02:41 PM
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:48 AM   #87
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Originally Posted by Umarth View Post
You have no idea how many of my friends fell for it and where sure that it was all true! Really, people see what they whish to see!
Hahaha. Good one, Jason. Silly me for taking what you wrote at face value. Who would have thought that my reaction to your tale of misfortune was an indication of my personal hang-ups?

I definitely see political office in your future. You, sir, have the "gift".

You bring an interesting twist to an old adage: How can you tell when Jason is telling the truth? His keyboard is still.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:55 PM   #88
Umarth OP
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Originally Posted by GrouchyGeezer View Post
Hahaha. Good one, Jason. Silly me for taking what you wrote at face value. Who would have thought that my reaction to your tale of misfortune was an indication of my personal hang-ups?

I definitely see political office in your future. You, sir, have the "gift".

You bring an interesting twist to an old adage: How can you tell when Jason is telling the truth? His keyboard is still.

Now now then, no cause for such slanderous accusations! Politics????
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Old 09-25-2013, 02:40 PM   #89
Umarth OP
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Fairwells...

Days: 62
Where: Choix, Mexico

It would be Brett's birthday in two days and he wanted to spend it on the side of the ocean in Mazatlan. Brett was for driving all the way there in one day, around 550km, but I was very dubious about that happening as I'd been on the coast a few days back and I knew what the riding would be like: incredibly hot and stupidly humid! Which tire's you out right quick and does not make for fun riding. So we decided to just hop on the bikes and attempt Mazatlan and just see how it went, possibly stopping in Culiacan, some 350km away.

Here's Brett driving his KLR like it's a 1000cc bike...



He was averaging 120kph. I've been keeping to 90kph for whole trip. Three reasons: (1) fuel consumption, (2) wear and tear of Big O's engine and tires (knobies don't last long at highway speeds) and (3) Big O vibrates so much at 5000rpm that after a few hours you think your bones are going to turn to dust.

Between El Fuerte and Culiacan the munchies hit us so we stopped in a town to hunt down a tacos street vendor which we promptly located. I'd be paying for that later... As we where leaving this town, stuck in a bit of traffic, me riding behind Brett, I see beside us a police pickup truck with 4-5 cops in the back, one of which of looking a Brett a lot, the cop eventually leans over to speak to his driver and the cherries turn on and the officer signals Brett to Move Over. Being a nice little team player, I stop also. I was wondering what bullshit was gonna be made up to get us to fork over some money: having heard all about police corruption in Latin America. Well guess what? The police officer had noticed that Brett's wallet was about to fall out of his jeans rear pocket and stopped him just to warn him!!! WTF!!! And just like that, the truck was off! Police in Canada would probably just smile wicked.ly and drive off without even thinking of intervening...

Must of been around 4-5pm when we hit Culiacan and we (namely Brett ;) ) briefly contemplate driving on to Mazatlan but the possibility of not making it and potentially not finding lodging along the way, prevailed and so we called it quits and hunted down a hotel room. We ran around the city for a good while trying to find hotels but where not having much success. That's where a GPS with a database of points of interest comes in real handy! You just ask it to show where all the hotels are in the map, and you go to any area that show a good density of them and work from there. Works like a charm every time! Well must times anyway, this being one of those times. We ended up finding one within minutes!

Nothing much to report on that evening but the night saw a lot of action. Funny, the room had two beds, I got one, the kiwi's shared the other one. Through out the night, I got up at least an hour to go to the can: severe case of Tourista thank you very much! Every time I got up, being supper careful not to wake anyone. Well turns out, no one woke no one: we all had it! Hahahaha. We came to the conclusion that it was the street vender in Culiacan that did us in... Bastard!

Of the three, I was worse off by far for some reason. So up early, the kiwi's where prepping for the short hop over to Mazatlan while I was seriously contemplating just staying here: judging the bed a convenient distance from the bathroom, which would not be the case on Big O. But then looking at where I needed to be by the end of then month and where I wanted to go visit, I simply could not afford a day off so nervously tagged along to Mazatlan.

We got there early and got room at a hotel overlooking the beach, just like Brett wanted! Here is birthday boy philosophizing on how he'd had worse b-days...



I regained consciousness the following morning. Not quite cured but feeling tins better and up to hopping back on Big O. The kiwi's would be staying an other day so we bade farewell and parted ways. They'll be going down to central America after, so who knows, might cross path with them again later on.

Big O's take on the days events
Oh ho! Something seems to be wrong with my front wheel! Hope the slave master doesn't throw a fit when he notices: but it's no longer a nice little circle...

As for my new friends, hope to meet up with the intrepid KLR twins again. Whishing you the best of luck with your mechanically challenged masters...

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Old 09-26-2013, 05:29 PM   #90
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Location: Tramping arround the world for a bit with Big O
Oddometer: 348
Hippie town

Day: 67
Where: Real de Catorce

The road:



Our next destination was Real de Catorce: a once a mining town, then a ghost town and now a semi-ghost town catering to hippies in search of spiritual enlightenment or some such crap. I noticed it on Google map and figured I would have some nice opportunities for pictures, the town being at 8-9000 feet and in a sort of valley.

There was no way we would get there in one hop so the first day ended in Durango. Nice mid-size town but didn't get to explore it much as la senorita Tourista was still courting me. At this point I was basically living off of Gatoraid and tea cookies, trying my best to starve the bitch.

The next day, we headed off for Real the Catorce. Was a long ride but uneventful as the road is pretty straight forward and paved. Only the last 12km are un-paved, as you climb some 6000 feet. The road was quite easy to go up, for Big O anyway. But I would not like to have to go down that road on a rainy day! The last 2 km or so are cobbled stones that have been worn smooth by the passing of 4x4's and donkeys and would be incredibly slippery when wet especially for a fully loaded bike.

Once there I started looking for a room and very quickly concluded that today's hippies are rich: the rooms where incredibly expensive! After finding one that was not so bad, I went off to take a few pictures of the place...







The following day, when I eventually felt safe being more than a stone's throw from the bathroom, I decided to try and capture some pics from higher up the maintain. The assent, some 1000 feet at a rather easy grade, almost proved to be to much for me. Stopping every 5-10 minutes for a break. Guess not eating for 3 days it not the best Trail Mix you can find! Hehehe.

A few pics from the trail up...







Overlooking the village, there stands the ruins of rather large stone building that use to be part of the mining operation





And that's it for Real de Catorce...

Big O's take on the day's events

There is one thing that's glaringly missing from Stupid's report: he was going to take his point-and-shoot along but discovered that he didn't have it anymore! Looks like he forgot it on the bed of the hotel in Durango!
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