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Old 01-08-2013, 07:18 PM   #88
0theories OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Eugene, OR
Oddometer: 299
01/04/2013 Twisties to the East.

As I regularly mine JDowns' (the super sherpa guy here on adv) ride reports for interesting bits, I learned that one of his favorite roads in Mexico is (or was maybe) Rt. 37 heading north out of Playa Azul (which he took accidentally). I thought it would be a good idea to ride up it a ways and then back down a toll road and make a semi-loop day out of it, ending up somewhere near Zahuatanejo.

View hunting.

The road is indeed really fun, even though we didn't take it as far north as John. It wound and curved its way over the mountains and we were soon in the high desert. It's pretty amazing how much the climate changes over such a short distance. I think it has a lot to do with elevation (adiabatic cooling and all that).

The desert.

We rode through the parched, arid landscape until we reached the little village of Las Cañas where we stopped to get coffee before taking the on-ramp to Mex 14D, heading back to the coast.

Randy and some cactus.

Mex 14D is like a super highway, all down hill with everyone driving at very high speeds. It was there that I reached the limitations of the KLR. I was passing a bus and only took her up to 117 Kph when I experienced extreme front end wobble. It was so bad I thought I was going to go down! I rapidly slowed to a reasonable 105, but the damage was done. I lost confidence in the KLR. The rest of the ride on Mex 14D was nerve wracking as I was constantly watching my speed and not passing vehicles I would normally blow by. I guess it's a pretty common problem and can be caused by a) poorly setup suspension b) too much weight in the rear c) the front fender? I'm not sure where the problem lies as any of these could be true, but the bottom line is I have a speed limit of 110 Kph from here on out (which may be a good thing, but doesn't feel like it).

Super highway.

I get scared so Randy takes the lead.

After getting back to Rt. 200, we cruised along at a comfortable pace before reaching the Hotel Alamar along the side of the road (near Los Achotes) which suited our needs. Even more so as it had a pool and the owner reduced the price from one we were originally not willing to pay. The pool was a blessing as the heat was becoming unbearable and the street food stand down the road was full of entertainment as we tried to have a conversation with some young Mexican women who had way too many kids for their age.

Home sweet home (for the night).
Enthusiastically skeptical...
KLR650, WR250x

Oregon to Panama RR (Guatemala actually...)
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