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Old 02-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by newtomex View Post
my wife and I are planning on going to San diego and ride the cost the fist of April. We also wanted to spend the day in mexico just to say we have been there on a bike. We were going to Tijuana probably just to shope and eat. I feel it is safe enough. do you here anything. I have driven car in before and just parked at a parking garage. do you feel that is safe enough for my bike. any suggestions?
I'm new to San Diego and dtop1 has years of experience in the area. That said, in my short time in San Diego I've ridden to Ensenada for lunch several times. It's probably further south than you might want, and the return through TJ will be a serious crash course in lane splitting. Best to take dtop1's advice.
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:21 PM   #47
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Day 6 - sayulita to guadalajara

I rode out of Sayulita after breakfast and on to Puerto Vallarta, in search of a camera shop. The 20 mile ride south was a pleasant, clean the cobwebs out and wake up kind of ride. Once into PV, I searched thoroughly and came up empty. I've come to the realization that phones and point and shoot cameras must be killing the DSLR market... at least in Mexico. So I headed east and into the hills... the road was exactly what motorcycles were made for... miles of twisting road, as it climbed into the mountains.

These 2 shots are taken from the same vantage point, the first looking west and the next facing east.




Miles from a town, this young man, along with his teammates in the truck, was running along carrying a torch. I imagine it was a fund raiser, and for that effort, they deserve to raise a bunch.


Continuing east I reached San Sabastian Del Oeste, a sleeply little town in the hills. This is a tequila distillery just outside San Sabastian, where they actually make the tasty beverage.





A short distance down the road, I reached the town and stopped for a cool drink. The shop owner and his friend, were sitting quietly while looking out onto the road... where absolutely nothing was happening. It was pleasant to sit with them (in silence) and to imagine what their lives are like, living is this beautifully quiet place.



As I continued east, but before dropping down out of the mountains, I passed these two Mexicans on the bicycle tour.



I made it as far as Guadalajara before running out of daylight. I have 2 prospects in the city for my camera repair... we'll see.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:09 PM   #48
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Go get em Jim - Have fun and enjoy the weather for us...
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:20 PM   #49
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Go get em Jim - Have fun and enjoy the weather for us...
darmahman, thank you for the encouragement... I will do my best!
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Old 02-12-2014, 10:20 PM   #50
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Day 7 - Guadalajara

Garmin extended a huge kindness to me before I left. I expressed my disappointment with the MX map I previously purchased... so they allowed me to download all new North America Mapping. And it has been a major improvement. This morning I entered the camera store intersection in my GPS... and it flawlessly guided me to the crossroads. But exactly where was Laboratorios Julio? These 2 moto Police took me the final 1/2 block.

The good news is they could fix my camera, but the bad news is it wouldn't be ready until 6 PM. So today was spent in Guadalajara.

I first checked into a new hotel, Casa Vilasanta, about a 1/2 mile from the camera shop.


And an interior shot. My experience with Lonely Planet recommendations has generally been good... and this was as well.


I walked my neighborhood and the Centro Histórico for hours. The weather was sunny with typical Guadalajara temps... comfortably warm days and cool nights... very nice! I enjoyed the slower pace today, did a lot of people watching, and was able to get a feel for the city.

When dinner time rolled around, I walked another 12 blocks to Birriería las Nueve Esquinas. The place is very welcoming, with large entrances, and friendly staff. Known for its birria, meat steamed in its own juices, I ordered a pork dish... and it was fabulous!


I liked the kitchen, open to the dinning area.


On my way back to Casa Vilasanta, I took a loop back though the Centro Histórico to see it at night. Many of the buildings are impressive.




In the morning, I plan to ride south to the Lago de Chapala area.
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:08 AM   #51
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New to Mexico

Your trip looks beautiful. I would love to do something like that some day. As I have been thinking about my trip I have have thought I would skip Tijuanna and we would take the 87 mile ride from San Dieago to Ensenada. I looks like a beautiful ride. From your trip and what I have been reading it looks like as safe or safer than riding in the U.S.A.? It will only be myself and my wife on one bike. Do most places take a credit card? Do you carry much money? Thanks for responding back. I don't want to distract from your trip but apprecate the input.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:37 PM   #52
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another possibility

Combine the two suggestions. It has been a few years since I made the trip but - heading in to Mexico in Tijuana, about 7AM was not too bad I am not sure how late is still not too bad. I think it took us about 30 minutes to do the border stuff 5 or 6 years ago, we were heading far enough south that we needed the full boat for paperwork. I believe to Ensenada and back is next to nothing??
Head straight to the coast and travel to Ensenada. It takes a while to get out of the clutter but overall not a bad trip.
Lunch in Ensenada.
Then head to Tecate through the hills. This was a nice enough ride 5 or 6 years ago, some wineries along the way.
Then from Tecate head back to San Diego on the route that was suggested.
I am pretty sure this would be a decent day ride.
In my somewhat limited experience credit cards work, but, I used ATMs to get local cash and mostly used cash.
The folks from the area might have a different, and more informed, opinion.

And, I'm subscribed along with an interesting read there are great photos.



Quote:
Originally Posted by newtomex View Post
my wife and I are planning on going to San diego and ride the cost the fist of April. We also wanted to spend the day in mexico just to say we have been there on a bike. We were going to Tijuana probably just to shope and eat. I feel it is safe enough. do you here anything. I have driven car in before and just parked at a parking garage. do you feel that is safe enough for my bike. any suggestions?
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:10 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newtomex View Post
Your trip looks beautiful. I would love to do something like that some day. As I have been thinking about my trip I have have thought I would skip Tijuanna and we would take the 87 mile ride from San Dieago to Ensenada. I looks like a beautiful ride. From your trip and what I have been reading it looks like as safe or safer than riding in the U.S.A.? It will only be myself and my wife on one bike. Do most places take a credit card? Do you carry much money? Thanks for responding back. I don't want to distract from your trip but apprecate the input.
A section of the toll road to Ensenada collapsed in a storm a couple of weeks ago. There is a detour east at La Misión into the hills along the old highway. When there's no traffic it's a great moto road but now it is filled with the cars and trucks that used to take the toll road and adds from a half to a full hour to the ride depending on traffic.
Most of the places you'd go in Ensenada would take a credit card though most gas stations won't. Anything farther south is generally cash-only except for higher-end hotels and restaurants. Dan
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:30 PM   #54
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I'm jealous as hell. Don't be surprised if the Mexican military seizes your camo'd DR for their "official use!"
I know this was a light hearted comment, but it reminds me of a something that happened to me when I lived in the Yucatan.

I was buying an old Jeep CJ-7 that had been painted in desert camo and when I was checking it out before I paid for it I could see some parts underneath that had been painted jungle camo. So I asked the owner what the story was. He said that when he had first painted it jungle camo and was driving around, he was stopped by the military and they basically asked/told him that he needed to repaint it ASAP because it looked a little too much like an official military vehicle for them and it would be better for everyone if he changed it. So he did.

Anyway, hope you have a great trip. If you need a room or hot shower, we have a guest room here in Metepec, just outside Mexico City. Just send me a PM a few days ahead of time. Cheers!
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:25 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by pax maac View Post
I know this was a light hearted comment, but it reminds me of a something that happened to me when I lived in the Yucatan.

I was buying an old Jeep CJ-7 that had been painted in desert camo and when I was checking it out before I paid for it I could see some parts underneath that had been painted jungle camo. So I asked the owner what the story was. He said that when he had first painted it jungle camo and was driving around, he was stopped by the military and they basically asked/told him that he needed to repaint it ASAP because it looked a little too much like an official military vehicle for them and it would be better for everyone if he changed it. So he did.

Anyway, hope you have a great trip. If you need a room or hot shower, we have a guest room here in Metepec, just outside Mexico City. Just send me a PM a few days ahead of time. Cheers!
I'm Mexico City now, staying with a friend (Matt) I traveled with in MX last year. But thank you so much for your offer. Under different circumstances, I would gladly have accepted. I plan to head south on Monday, the 17th, but if anything changes I will get in touch.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:13 AM   #56
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Day 8 - guadalajara to tapalpa

I left Guadalajara first thing, heading south to Lago de Chapala. In the town of Chapala I stopped for breakfast at a place on the plaza.


As I rolled out of town, I couldn't leave without a shot of the Lago.


Continuing on to Topalpa, I made a pit stop where I met these two girls, who were quite curious about my moto travels. Jenifer (left) who worked at the OXXO and had spent 7 years in L.A. schools, interpreted for Fatima. I couldn't have stayed long enough for them.


The final 20 miles of road into Tapala climbed and was a blast to ride. At the town's entrance, there are beautiful stone walls on each side of the road, oriented for approaching and departing vehicles.


As the Lonely Planet accurately describes the town, "A labyrinth of adobe walls, red-tiled roofs and cobblestoned streets surround two impressive 16th-century churches." Tapala has a great feel to it, relaxed and friendly. My photos don't do it justice.












Jose Luis called to me as I was walking by and insisted upon buying me a beer. For a hour or so he shared tales about Tapalpa's history.



Another "small world experience" happened when Mike (left) and a friend walked by... I had met Mike a few days ago in our hotel in Guadalajara. He owns a ranch just outside town, where he grows a numbers of fruits and vegetables. Connecting with people brightens every day!

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Old 02-16-2014, 09:51 AM   #57
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Great ride report! I'm particularly happy to read that the Belmar is still open in Mazatlán. Over the years I stayed there many times. The location is tops and the atmosphere is far better than up on the Costa Dorada (?) where many tourists hang out.
Enjoy your adventure and be safe.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:03 AM   #58
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Great ride report! I'm particularly happy to read that the Belmar is still open in Mazatlán. Over the years I stayed there many times. The location is tops and the atmosphere is far better than up on the Costa Dorada (?) where many tourists hang out.
Enjoy your adventure and be safe.
Good to hear from another Belmar guest, Tripletreat! Thanks for the good wishes.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:21 AM   #59
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Quick video of Matt & Jim riding through Mexico City yesterday afternoon

We took a quick ride out to Teotihuacan yesterday and passed through the heart of the city on the way back to Matt's place.

Here's what that looked like:

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Old 02-16-2014, 12:16 PM   #60
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Day 9 - Tapalpa to Mexico City (D.F.) And Day 10 in el D.F.

I was up early and on the road to Mexico City to meet my friend, Matt and his wife, Natalia. Because of the immense challenge in navigating Mexico City, Matt had emailed me directions to a place where we would meet. Matt would then lead us back to their place. Only one problem... no Internet to access email. So I did my best and once I got into the city I called Matt to come rescue me.

Matt instructed me to wait at a Pemex station on the other side of the divided road where I sat. The Pemex might as well have been on another planet. So I luckily flagged down another rider and he gladly lead me to the station... I never would have reached it on my own. This is Rodrigo on his badass KTM Adventure. Mission accomplished... I was so relieved to have reached my destination!


The view southwest from Matt and Natalia's place.


Matt and his Yamaha 660 Tenere. I want one so bad! We had just ridden all the way through Mexico City on a Saturday morning (not too bad) to reach the Pyramids at Teotihuacán. Here are some pics.
















Before leaving, we had a late lunch... just wanted you to know that the U.S. hasn't cornered the market on tire art!
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