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Old 02-10-2014, 09:18 AM   #61
vintagespeed
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another great installment! this salsa pic has my tastebuds swimming. good stuff.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:04 PM   #62
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is THAT what the kids are calling it these days??



cool update!
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Originally Posted by Charmin View Post


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.



yes but we were looking for speed and not trailing behind buses. my coworker claimed to be from autlan and described big parties with carlos santana. not sure how true this was.

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another great installment! this salsa pic has my tastebuds swimming. good stuff.
oh man, those salsa and chips were awesome.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:14 PM   #63
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Day 26 to Gulfport, MS 22 miles on bike

day 26 queretaro to airport

We headed out around 8:30 and changed in the parking lot at the airport and rearranged our gear. We kept one box on the bike. We parked next to the attendant's box. Hopefully it will be there in a couple days when we come back.

changing and repacking
changing and repacking
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Old 02-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #64
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Day 27 to Angangueo 118 miles on bike



We were supposed to fly out of Gulfport, but there was another storm in the Midwest, and Super Bowl fans were trapped in New Jersey, so our flight was canceled 12 hours before departure and rescheduled for more than a day, so the wife called and found us a flight out of New Orleans at 6:45am. The crew had arrived late and required rest and would not be leaving until 8:45am but we were told to show up and be ready to fly at 6:45am. Well, that meant a 3 am wake up, and I worked late so we only slept two hours. Fun.


But we were scheduled to make it to Queretaro 1:30pm which was two hours later than we expected but enough time to make it to a hotel.

Of course, the bike was still there in one piece.

We were headed to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere near El Rosario, about a 4 hour ride away. It was a fun ride climbing in elevation with breezy plains. A few pot holes surprised us and occasional unmarked topes.


Heading into Angangueo, the village below El Rosario, my rear brake failed. Maybe I had been using it too much. This had happened once before in a similar situation, higher altitude, and lots of brake use, but then resolved some time. I had to downshift to slow down and rely on the front brake as we coasted into town. Not a great feeling in this steep town.


We stayed at Hotel Don Gambino for 550 pesos. Hot water and wifi and secure parking. It is on the downhill part of town. The restaurant was closed for dinner and we were the only guests. The folks there are nice and the place looks newer and cleaner than the other hotels in town. And the hot water is hot -- the low that night was going to be 37 F. No central heating or cooling.





We walked up to town to find some food. We asked at a restaurant which was closing and at a small shop. They pointed up the hill. We found a stand frying up tacos which were greasy but good at 8 pesos. We had 2 each.



We found the town square and there were a couple stands there and a restaurant.




We had a couple more tacos there and some potato chips.
I love their fresh potato crisps in Mexico. They are like kettle chips.


Elevation was high and we could feel it. Tomorrow would be a little higher at the butterfly sanctuary.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:10 AM   #65
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Great concept, ride report and photography! It must be fantastic to share this travel with your wife.




All the Best,

.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:34 AM   #66
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Great concept, ride report and photography! It must be fantastic to share this travel with your wife.




All the Best,

.
thanks, i enjoyed your peru and costa rica reports too! i agree i am lucky to be able to do this with my wife!
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:20 AM   #67
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Hey guys Sheldon and Ewa here we have only just recently spent 3 months in Mexico riding two up so enjoying your ride report, im not sure where you are right now but if you are anywhere north of Mexico City by an hour or two drop into Tolantongo you will love it. Maybe our paths might cross along the way somewhere till then ride safe.


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Old 02-12-2014, 11:56 AM   #68
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Hey guys Sheldon and Ewa here we have only just recently spent 3 months in Mexico riding two up so enjoying your ride report, im not sure where you are right now but if you are anywhere north of Mexico City by an hour or two drop into Tolantongo you will love it. Maybe our paths might cross along the way somewhere till then ride safe.
wow, cool. your blog looks great. looking forward to running into you two.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:19 PM   #69
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Day 28 to Mexico City 123 miles on bike

day 28 to mexico city

It was remarkably warm under the wool blankets during the night. We had some breakfast at the hotel. The granola, papaya and honey was great.
Breakfast at Don Gambino
Breakfast at Don Gambino
Breakfast at Don Gambino
riding to Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
riding to Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario

It was a bit expensive at 180 pesos for the 2 of us, but they let us check out late, after our return from the butterflies. They told us of a faster way to El Rosario up the hill, rather than through Ocampo, like the guidebook says. This saved us 30 minutes each way. We just had to find the correct turn up the hill.
In one of the villages, they had a rope across and asked for 30 peso fee to enter. Sure, whatever. They didn't have enough change so they kept a little extra.
The view up top was gorgeous. The weather was great.
At the butterfly sanctuary, a kid ran up and asked to watch our bike. Actually there were about six kids milling about the parking lot. There were a couple big overlanding vehicles from Germany. We asked the one kid to watch our bike, and headed up the mountain.
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario

Tickets are 45 pesos for the park and you have a guide accompany you up and down. He also explains some stuff about the Monarch Butterfly. You can look it up on the internet. They are pretty amazing. They migrate from Canada to various areas in Mexico. It takes 4 generations to return to Mexico every year and the generation that winters in Mexico lives a few months rather than a few weeks. Some sources say the butterflies return to the same tree, but I am not sure how they could confirm that if it is a different generation of butterfly. And I am not sure how a different generation of life can migrate back to the same area it has never been to. Wierd.
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario

It takes about 45 minutes to hike to the butterfly grove. The butterflies mostly cling to a few pine trees and the boughs actually bend due to the weight of the butterflies. Who would think they could weigh enough to do that? When the clouds parted the butterflies fly around but when it becomes overcast they land on the trees or ground. It is amazing to watch. You can actually hear the wings batting of hundreds of butterflies. We hung out there about 45 minutes and headed back down. It is cool to see if you ever get the chance. It is as cool as seeing the whales up close in Baja.
Those dark clumps in the trees are the butterflies on tree branches
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
They are here to mate?
Monarch Butterfly Biosphere at El Rosario
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27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">

We headed back down to check out and hit the road for Mexico City after 2pm.
Riding back down to Angangueo
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Mexico City -- what can I say? I was expecting bad traffic and scenes of "Man on Fire". Well, the road we happened to take took us on a busy road through nice expensive gated homes and the Zona Rosa with tall glass buildings and high end hotels. Even traffic was busy but certainly not anything to be afraid of or avoid.
Mexico City

We didn't book a room, but had a few places to check out. We headed to Hostal Suites DF not far from the Zona Rosa and a few blocks from the Belle Artes museum. They had private rooms and there was curbside parking at their front door. We had a room for 500 pesos. It was clean and ensuite, but their wifi blows. It only works on the first floor and even then it is too slow to even do anything useful.
Hostal Suites DF
Hostal Suites DF
Hostal Suites DF

We wandered out and walked to the Zocalo and had some food at La Mascota cantina.
Mexico City
Zocalo
La Mascota Cantina

We saw this place on No Reservations. You order a drink and you get a tapa.
La Mascota

Corona was 45 pesos. We had 2 each and we ordered 2 different plates.
La Mascota Cantina
La Mascota Cantina
La Mascota Cantina

I thought the servings would be small. The pork they brought was like a kilo of meat. I couldn't finish it. Good value!
La Mascota Cantina
Yes that’s cow’s stomach
La Mascota Cantina

The only wierd thing was at the end, when I left the tip, 15%, the guy who brought the coronas wouldn't share it with the guy who brought the food. I wasn't about to tip twice. If they can figure it out and they work with each other, that's their problem. Is that mean? No. Am I supposed to tip the bartender and the cook too? I worked as a busboy before (granted it wasn’t in Mexico) -- I only got tips from the wait staff. Anyways, it was a wierd ending to otherwise a nice experience in the cantina.
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Old 02-13-2014, 10:50 PM   #70
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Day 29 to Teotihuacan and back to Mexico City 62 miles on bike

day 29 to teotihuacan

We enjoyed some free breakfast in the morning and I skyped into a work meeting for 2 hours.
Free breakfast at Hostal Suites DF
skyped into a work meeting for 2 hours

We headed out to Teotihuacan to see the pyramids and ruins. I can't tell you much about them but they are pretty cool to see and they are at even higher elevation than Mexico City, so we were huffing and puffing our way to the top. There are a few other unexposed temples in the surrounds I suspect. If you want to know about the Pyramid of the Sun and Moon (post-civilization names) then GTS (Google that s**t).
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan

Back in town, we stopped and ate at Coox Hanal, a restaurant recommended by a bartender we met in New Orleans. It serves food from the Yucatan. The lime soup is awesome but the tacos were so-so.
Coox Hanal
Coox Hanal
Coox Hanal
This is their wet pork taco which honestly is not that inspiring. This is what they were known for when they were just a taco stand. Meh.
Coox Hanal

The wife had some studying to do so we headed back to the hostal. We met Gus the night before and he had some interesting stories to tell. He was living in the hostal for a week until his apartment was ready to be moved in to. He had recently returned to Mexico after being abroad for 10 years. He had a falling out with his parents when he was 17 because they wanted him to be doctor, and he got a visa and entered the US legally and worked blue collar jobs for a couple years before finishing high school and attended the University of North Carolina (paying international student tuition), and then went to Australia and got his MBA and then applied for permanent residency there but was told he would have to leave the country. We told him we were headed to Zipolite but he warned us not to, because of the drug cartels in the Michoacan and local militias. With the news of Harry Devert, his warnings had weight. But we had heard good things from other travelers in the past couple weeks too. We shall see.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:17 AM   #71
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too cool, awesome pics! is that a ground beaver?

gonna be in NOLA few weeks end of April, if you get a chance i'd love some info on stays/eats.
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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 02-15-2014, 10:33 PM   #72
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Day 30 to Oaxaca 288 miles on bike

day 30 to oaxaca

In the middle of the night, someone broke of one of the nonfunctioning aux lights on my lower mudguard. Oh well. That's what I get for parking curbside.
We had a late start heading out of Mexico City. The wife felt nauseated in the middle of the night and slept in a bit. She had some spicy nacho and jalapeno Doritos and Brendain's with Fresca without taking some Zantac. She woke me up in the middle of the night to ask where the anti-puking medicine was. I found a pill and then rolled back to sleep. We had pushed the twin beds together in the dorm room which is interesting.
It was Saturday and traffic was not so bad.
Saturday morning light traffic Mexico City

As soon we climbed out of Mexico CIty, we saw pine trees and the weather was cooler. I asked the wife if she was cold, and she said yes, but there wasn't a good spot to pull over to add more clothes, and before we knew it we were back down the otherside of the mountain in the warmth. To our right, we saw what I am guessing was Iztaccihuatl, the second highest peak in Mexico with a another volcano, Popocatepetl spewing ash into the sky.
Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl

We took the cuota down to Oaxaca and met some Mexico City bikers on their way to Oaxaca at a Pemex. They were on 2 road kings, a tenere, and a tiger. We tried to keep up but they were hauling butt. I asked them what hotel they would be staying at but their hadn't decided yet. At the same gas station we met a couple from Oregon who were driving down in 6 days to Oaxaca. They lived there for three years and went back to Oregon to raise money for their church. The dude told me he was trailering the minivan behind his pickup truck but had tied up the drive shaft and later found it was missing! That would be crazy behind them and seeing a drive shaft rolling on the highway! We had some of the best riding we've ever had climbing up the mountains with wide sweepers and cliffs all around. The road condition was fantastic with clear sighting for any potholes. Even the wife was having a blast. As we were 30 minutes from Oaxaca, we finally passed the motorcycle group from the Pemex cooling off in the shade. The hare and the tortoise.
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27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000">
Mex 135 D to Oaxaca
Mex 135 D to Oaxaca
Mex 135 D to Oaxaca

trying to find the hotel
Looking for hotel

Oaxaca, at first glance, is not that impressive. It was 82 F and we had to shed some clothing. I first stopped at AutoZone but they didn't have any motorcycle chain lube. We went to Hotel Cantera Real a few blocks from the Zocala. It was $53 on hotels.com but only 550 pesos ($42) when we showed up. So much for hotels.com guaranteeing the lowest price. We stopped pre-booking hotels since Puerto Vallarta and playing it by ear. We shall see if we keep it up. The hotel Cantera Real is clean, super fast wifi, with underground parking, and has hot water. Fantastic!
Hotel Cantera Real
Hotel Cantera Real
Hotel Cantera Real
Hotel Cantera Real

We went out to explore the town
Oaxaca
Oaxaca
zocalo
zocalo
cathedral
Martial Arts demonstration
Chess by 2 people against many

We found the mercado on 20th November street and had some awesome carne asada. There is a smokey lane at the mercado with loads of grills and vendors selling the same thing.
Carne asada hall
Carne asada hall

A lady handed me a tray with onions and peppers and told me to go find a griller. I found one and asked for a mix plate of thin steak, pork, and chorizo. A lady grilled up the meats and vegetables.
Carne asada hall

We sat at a table and ordered drinks. The lady brought our grilled food to us, and the lady who gave us the plate with onions and peppers took the vegetables and sliced them up and added lime and offered us some condiments.
Carne asada hall

The food was fantastic. The bill: 70 pesos for meats, 10 pesos for 5 tortillas, 26 pesos for 2 sodas, 40 pesos for onions, peppers, and side of guacamole and side of pico de gallo. Not too shabby.
Carne asada hall
Carne asada hall

We also found some mango enchilada (dried mangos with sugar salt and chili) and some garlic and pepper peanuts to snack on.
Mango enchilada
Fried peanuts and garlic
snacks

We bought some creme mezcal from one of the stores that let you taste the different flavors. I like kahlua and Irish cream but this was a little too thick. It would make a great mixer for a white Russian. It is about 14% alcohol. BTW if you mix it with Fresca, it separates with floating curds on top. Yum!
Creme de Mezcal tasting
Creme de Mezcal tasting
Creme de Mezcal tasting

The Zocalo is awesome in Oaxaca. It was Saturday and there were buskers and families and vendors. It felt like the whole town was milling about enjoying the evening, so we did too. Oaxaca didn't look like much when we arrived, but it is awesome for people watching in the Zocala and for the mercado.
Zocala
Zocala
Zocala
Zocala
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Old 02-16-2014, 01:35 AM   #73
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Love it


Thanks for sharing it. I love the RR and the pictures.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:29 AM   #74
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Just got caught up again with your RR. Great update!

Thanks
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Old 02-16-2014, 05:49 PM   #75
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just subscribed to your ride report. Your report is awesome. Keep up the good work.
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