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Old 12-31-2013, 08:11 AM   #46
bastchild OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mka View Post
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brilliant writing........!!!
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amazing pictures............!!!
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fantastic places....!!
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well done you two, looking forward to more. you two prove the theory on how to live in the here and the now !
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keep her lit !
thanks man, i like your "spins, trips, rants..." on-going trip report in europa. looks awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Baja_Bound View Post
You have the first ride report that that I have requested my wife read and we are enjoying it immensely, especially the photos. She is petrified of me wanting to travel to Mexico, and I am trying to show her not to believe everything she sees on the news. Thanks for sharing!
man, that means a lot to us -- thanks. my feelings echo acejones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShimrMoon View Post
What a fantastic report! Nice choice of bike for the region as well. I've always wanted to do a ride for weeks on end in that area but haven't gotten around to it. One question and one observation.

Traveling in that area of the world, I've heard that non natives such as yourself have been victims of robbery and worse. Did you ever feel threatened or uncomfortable?

The observation is that of your luggage. It appears that you drilled and mounted the lids of the Pelican cases instead of the other way around. In other words, it looks like you mounted them backwards...

Great read and thanks for sharing! especially your lovely wife. You're a brave man to post pics of her on ADV!!!
we have never felt in danger or threatened at all, but on our first day in Mexico, we decided to stay in Monterrey because we had read on google news that in Torreon, large town a couple hours further west, a police station had been taken over by a gang, so we bypassed that area and went south on a different road. after that we never thought about drugs or crime again. the folks we have met have been friendly, both in the country and in the cities.
with regards to my homemade cases, i did not mount them like caribou cases on purpose. i don't want to scratch up a floor with the rack mounts when they are open in a hotel or at home -- it made more sense to me. we wlll see if the hinges hold up or not.
thanks for reading!
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:18 PM   #47
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omg! the food, THE FOOD! i'm pretty sure i've put on 5lbs reading your report..

question: what online tools do you use for hotel bookings down there?


edit: and i almost forgot, Happy New Year!
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TAT-2013: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=913898
SoCal_NoDak-2012: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=829203

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Old 01-01-2014, 04:05 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintagespeed View Post
omg! the food, THE FOOD! i'm pretty sure i've put on 5lbs reading your report..

question: what online tools do you use for hotel bookings down there?


edit: and i almost forgot, Happy New Year!
the food is so awesome! i still salivate thinking about the fish tacos and aguachile.
we have been using hotels.com for most of the bookings. every 10 bookings you get a free stay for the average price of your rooms. so it is essentially 10% discount. not bad if the price is the same as other websites. we have used booking.com a couple times when hotels.com came up with zilch, but booking.com didn't take our money, and we still had to pay in cash at the door. no big deal. i now prefer hotels.com because i can use a credit card and not worry about the exchange rate, and avoid haggling over the price with the desk clerk. we have a credit card that doesn't charge for foreign transactions (any airline card from chase). i am sure there are even better values not on the web but i don't want to spend an hour riding from place to place finding the cheapest deal if i don't have to. it's easier on the internet.
happy new year!
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Old 01-01-2014, 04:09 PM   #49
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Day 20 to Gulfport, MS 0 miles on the bike

Time to return home again. We walked around the hotel grounds and watched morning beachgoers find their chairs in the sun, wishing we could be doing the same.
Merry Christmas

We checked out and took a cab (80 pesos) to the airport. The wife had an Oxxo hotdog for breakfast. We bought some snacks at the Oxxo at the airport parking lot -- a nice convenient way to avoid high airport food prices.
ADV hotdoggin!

It was a fast check in through security. What a contrast to transfers at Houston. But it was 3 days before Christmas, which I had only realized that day. How did that happen? Well, I don’t buy gifts for Christmas so the holidays are less stressful. Flights were delayed but we made it back home in the rainy 50 F weather. What happened to my beach time? Where did Mexico go? Man, I wish there was an Oxxo in Mississippi.
transition time


We head back to the bike Jan 26th! My brother is coming to visit in a week and then the following week we go to Salt Lake City for some skiing.

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Old 02-01-2014, 09:51 AM   #50
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Still waiting for an update and hope you made it back alright.

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Old 02-02-2014, 11:04 PM   #51
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Day 21 back to Puerto Vallarta 0 miles on bike

Tired of getting blasted by artic weather and below freezing temps on the gulf coast, we headed back to the bike we had left in the good hands of padalinskie, fellow ADVrider and former president of a Denver motorcycling club. We were greeted by warm weather in the 70's and took the local bus back to our hotel for 7.50 pesos each instead of the 300 peso taxi ride we had taken to the airport last month. Just exited the airport to the left of the arrivals terminal and the bus stop is right there, past all the salivating taxi drivers and touts.


This time we booked a place closer to centro, at the north end of the malecon -- Hotel Portonovo. We used the gps to find the hotel. It is a block from the beach and the malecon and has a rooftop heated pool, a/c, wifi for $50.




We had arrived at noon, but padalinskie was at the playa for the day, so we walked the malecon and picked up some food.








The wife had some ceviche on tostitos with a large jamaica for 50 pesos.




I spied some massive pismo clams 3 for 100 pesos. In Baja we used to dig for pismo clams in the surf at San Quentin and they were just as big. The clams were great.



We headed back to the hotel and bought some El Jimador tequila and Fresca for poolside drinks.



Padalinskie texted that he would be home soon, and his condo was about 1.25 miles away, so we started hoofing it there. Padalinskie was busy so he wouldn't be able to ride with us tomorrow. We thanked him for watching over our bike and hoped to meet up later on down the road. He even bungeed our ghetto bedsheet bike cover so that it would not blow away. Thanks, Ed!
We went back to the hotel and I had to lube the chain and re-stick the laminar lip. When I had applied the adhesive, it was 45 F and it was supposed to cure in 70 F weather. Of course, when it warmed up, the adhesive started coming undone.


We went up to the poolside for sunset drinks.



Later we walked the malecon, and it was busy.












We walked to the end and back and ended up at Sea Monkeys but their kitchen was closed. Margaritas are only $1.





We ended up having tacos which were okay just a couple doors from our hotel.





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Old 02-03-2014, 09:03 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bastchild View Post
...


....We went back to the hotel and I had to lube the chain and re-stick the laminar lip...
is THAT what the kids are calling it these days??



cool update!
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TAT-2013: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=913898
SoCal_NoDak-2012: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=829203
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:41 AM   #53
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Day 22 to La Manzanilla 138 miles


It would be a short day, 3 hours riding to get to La Manzanilla, the bay just north of Barra de Navidad. It had been recommended by Canadians we spoke to in Barra last month. The road out of Puerto Vallarta along the bay was beautiful but after that, the road stays inland, away from the water.



There was some road construction and sand and dirt had blown across it in short stretches. The road is mostly in good condition.



We pulled off to check out La Tenacatita, just north of La Manzanilla, but the security guards on the beautiful beach told us there were no facilities there. It would have been great to camp at, but we did not have any gear with us.



La Manzanilla has a nice beach and many beachside restaurants. There are only a few small hotels but none online. We stopped at the beach and had a beer and spicy aguachile. Everyone else was dining next door but we wanted to stay in sight of the bike.






We cruised the strip to find a place to stay. One place (the better of the two) was full, and the other place was available for 400 pesos/night. It was clean and basic and had secure parking in its courtyard. You would think a bike in a small beach town like this would be safe but a tourist told us that last week a BMW bike was stolen overnight parked in the street.


The room had a/c and hot water. I think there is wifi there but we didn't know and didn't ask for the password. When we checked out the next day one of the guests said he had the password.




We bought some totopos (corn chips) and ice and went back to the beach. We used the bedsheet/bike cover as a beach towel.


The beach was great. Got drunk on tequila and fresca. Had some food at the restaurant next to the place we ate at for lunch. Prices were much much better. Fish tacos were huge. Pedro's is the name. Sunset was great.








The largest fish piece in a taco I have ever had and only 15 pesos!


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Old 02-06-2014, 09:06 PM   #54
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Day 23 to Guanajuato 418 miles on bike

day 23 la manzanilla to guanajuato

We had a long day ahead of us and hoped to get out by 8am but we had gone to bed around 9pm last night and as expected, I woke up at 1:30am and had been up until 6:30am. We were lucky to hit the road by 9:15am.
Leaving Hotel Michel
Leaving Hotel Michel
Leaving Hotel Michel


Guard dog
guard dog
Leaving Hotel Michel


Last month we had taken the bus from Guadalajara to Barra de Navidad and gotten nauseated both ways. The GPS wanted to take us on that road, but I wanted to slab it on the cuota, so we headed south to La Manzanillo and head up towards Colima on the cuota. It was worth it and just as fast and no butt-clenching from trying to pass trucks and buses.
As passed the volcano over Colima, the wife wondered if it was still active. Moments later, there was a burp of ash out of its caldera. What appeared to be a snowcapped peak was actually all ash.
Colima volcano
riding to guanajuato


The wife needs to eat either breakfast or lunch so we stopped around 12:30 at Atoyac and circled around looking for a restaurant.
Lunch in Atoyac


We didn’t find any so stopped at the town square/Mercado and had some comida.
Lunch in Atoyac


The wife had a torta de Puerco (pork) and I had caldo de pollo (chicken soup).
pork torta
chicken soup


The chicken soup was awesome. I was having a bit of a stomach problem from the day before so it did me good.
Lunch in Atoyac
Lunch in Atoyac


We ended up getting routed away from the ring road around Guadalajara and into the city proper during traffic time. That was about 40 minutes wasted and finally made it on our way out of town. We made the same mistake at Irapuato and went through the downtown instead of the highway to get to the otherside. No matter, the sun was setting, and although we said we wouldn’t ride at night, it was dusk when we arrived in Guanajuato.
sunsetting


Guanajuato was a silver mining town nestled between hills with much of its traffic routed through tunnels underneath.
The pink lines are of the underground tunnels
map of guanajuato
Guanajuato


We spent another hour trying to find a hotel with secure parking and getting rerouted through the tunnels before finding Hacienda de Cobos near the entrance of the tunnels. It was 674 pesos but no heating a/c and wifi was only in the lobby. No matter, I was knackered and so was the wife.
Hacienda de Cobos
Hacienda de Cobos
Hacienda de Cobos


Guanajuato exceeded our expectations. There were beautifully-lit churches and buildings and quaint squares. It is a university town so there are loads of young people walking around. They have roving groups of musicians in the jardin square. We got married on a motorcycle trip from San Diego to Cabo three years ago, and since it was the day before our anniversary, we decided to splurge on dinner in the square listening to music.
Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato
Guanajuato





We had one of those tasting menus with wine pairings. I wasn’t feeling great from stomach troubles and the food was a little too fancy to my liking, so I can’t say it was better than street tacos, but it was fun and the wife was happy too. Six wine pairings seems like a lot compared to drinking El Jimador and Fresca. Not sure why.
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Casa Valadez
Guanajuato
Guanajuato
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:48 PM   #55
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Day 24 to San Miguel de Allende 52 miles on bike



The next morning we spent exploring the narrow alleys in Guanajuato and the mercado.







We had a great smoothie in the market for 20 pesos.



We met some guys at our hotel who were headed back across the northern border after having spent a few months in Central America surfing. They gave us some tips on other beaches to visit and tips on the border crossings and dealing with corrupt police. In the afternoon we headed off toward San Miguel de Allende, only 90 minutes away. We first stopped to take photos at the panoramic road above Guanajuato.
27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">










San Miguel de Allende is supposed to be full of expats with real estate prices comparable to San Francisco. It has a clean old town but with high real estate prices it drives out local businesses and hence the locals. Not sure how sustainable this is. We booked a room with secure parking at Hotel San Borja B&B. It is a beautiful place but there were no other guests. It is only a couple blocks from the main square. It comes with wifi and breakfast at a restaurant close by. 700 pesos.







We headed out to see the town. It has a nice square and church.






We ate at the mercado. We had a plate of chile rellanos and pork in red sauce for 35pesos each.




We bought some fruit and some of the best totopos (chips) and salsa (spicy) so far on the trip. The busiest place in town was Hank's New Orleans Oyster bar. wth? As far as I know there is no Hank's Oyster Bar in New Orleans?



We had a quiet nice walking around and watching breakdancers in the town gazebo. Guanajuato seemed more interesting and fun.






27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">






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Old 02-08-2014, 11:47 PM   #56
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This is a great read.
It's nice to see you're being honest with your likes and dislikes.

Subscribed for more.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:21 AM   #57
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sweet! i lived 6 months in Guanajuato in the summer & 6 months in Sayulita in the winter.

you might want to check into Sjoerd's hotel book and save a ton on hotels.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/member.php?u=81786

there are some gem smaller towns you guys are passing by.
check out chapala & the hot springs at san juan cosala, plus mazamitla on the south side.

over in the GTO area don't miss bernal and riding la huasteca & xilitla
if you 2 are into hiking adventures, don't miss the puente de dios
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=21987524
if will be by far one of the sweetest natural areas you come across.

if you are still in SMA don't miss soaking at la gruta hot springs
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:17 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by SMC View Post
This is a great read.
It's nice to see you're being honest with your likes and dislikes.

Subscribed for more.
thanks! everyone looks for something different. we just like walking around, taking photos, and eating street foods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eakins View Post
sweet! i lived 6 months in Guanajuato in the summer & 6 months in Sayulita in the winter.

you might want to check into Sjoerd's hotel book and save a ton on hotels.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/member.php?u=81786

there are some gem smaller towns you guys are passing by.
check out chapala & the hot springs at san juan cosala, plus mazamitla on the south side.

over in the GTO area don't miss bernal and riding la huasteca & xilitla
if you 2 are into hiking adventures, don't miss the puente de dios
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...php?p=21987524
if will be by far one of the sweetest natural areas you come across.

if you are still in SMA don't miss soaking at la gruta hot springs
you are lucky to lived in both GTO and sayulita! we are further south now but thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 02-09-2014, 07:34 PM   #59
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Day 25 to Queretaro 80 miles on bike

day 25 san miguel to queretaro

It was chilly in the morning, 37 F according to the internets. We had a nice free breakfast at La Cocina courtesy of our B&B and headed out of town towards Queretaro.
La Cocina
chilequiles
La Cocina
Scrambled eggs and chorizo
La Cocina

It would be another short riding day, but since it was so cold, we bundled up for the 1 hour ride.



Riding a bit close to the wall. The gps took us on a short cut to the highway out of town.
leaving San Miguel
Pretty aqueduct in Queretaro
Aqueduct Queretaro

We didn't have a place booked in Queretaro (in fact except for the first night in Puerto Vallarta, we didn’t book any hotels this time and just showed up after finding some places on the internet), and had just bought a round trip flight that morning for the following day out of Queretaro back home. We needed a place with secure parking that would allow us to store the bike for a week. Plan B was to leave the bike at the airport. We started off the day heading towards the airport, but I missed a turn and ended up going in the wrong direction past the town, so we ended up going to centro instead. After asking around at a hotel, we realized all the hotels in the centro area use public parking lots and wouldn't allow us to store our bike without a fee. We could just pay to keep our bikes there but then we would have to take a taxi to and from the airport and centro. We decided to go to the airport to check out how secure the parking was.
The airport is 30 minutes away from centro out in the middle of nowhere. It is quite new but small. I spoke with the parking attendant and he confirmed that there was someone there 24hours and the bike would be safe. It was 139pesos/day.
That settled, we headed back to town and looked at a couple more places and finally settled on Hostal Galerie for 490 pesos with wifi. We had secure parking inside the gates. It was nice and the place was funky but we didn't meet any travelers and they had no hot water, despite our complaining. They said you had to turn the hot water faucet on for 3 minutes then wait 3 minutes then turn it on again. None of this worked and we just gave up. I ended up taking a cold shower. I would give this place a thumbs down for the lack of hot water. Boo! Fortunately we had showered in the afternoon when we were hot from the riding around in traffic.
Hostal Galerie
Hostal Galerie
Hostal Galerie
Hostal Galerie

Queretaro was much more interesting than San Miguel. It actually has locals living there. There were free musical performances being held in 3 of the squares we went to from early evening until 9 pm. It was great. It is much more interesting to see locals milling about enjoying the evening paseo.
Queretaro
Queretaro
Queretaro
Checking out the free wifi in Mexico squares and parks
Queretaro

Manually ringing the bells. How’s your hearing after that?
Queretaro
Queretaro
Queretaro
dinner

We had some tacos and bistek on our anniversary. It cost 53 pesos. It was great.
Torta al pastor 18 pesos
dinner
Bistek 35 pesos
dinner
Queretaro
Queretaro
27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">

We went to a convenience store and bought some cheap tequila (Brendain) and mixed it with grapefruit soda. It was a poorer man's El Jimador and Fresca – yet cost only a dollar less.
mixing tequila and grapefruit soda
Happy anniversary!
Queretaro
We sat in an alley listening to music from a bar drinking our tequila grapefruit drink. Fun!
Queretaro
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Old 02-10-2014, 06:54 AM   #60
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From Melaque/Barra de Navidad is better to take the road to La Huerta - Autlan - Cocula - Guadalajara. Quite more interesting than Cuota highway. There are a lot of beautiful places in the middle like Villa Purificacion, Casimiro Castillo, Union de Tula, etc.. and the food you can find and enjoy in those small spots.

That road is twistie starting in Melaque until almost Autlan.

Autlan is actually the small town were Carlos Santana was born.



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