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Old 10-02-2010, 07:53 PM   #61
betitolara OP
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Location: Salt Spring Is, British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimCz
Great report!

Would love to see some larger pics as the others have said.

Im interested in the way you have the pelican case set up at the front too? Never seen that done before.
It's a pelican 1300 with the Quick Lock SW-Motech system. It's for my Canon T2i Plus telephoto lens, iphone and wallet storage. Works like a charm

here a pic.... will try to find a better one tho:

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Old 10-02-2010, 09:32 PM   #62
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Day 20 (278km): Habla espanol?

It was nice waking up to the chill of the air conditioning at the good old Best Western. The best thing about american hotels is full american breakfast in the lobby. Surprisingly it didn't take a whole lot of time or effort to pack up all our stuff, considering that it looked like our stuff had exploded in the room. We bought 2 cooling vests they sold at Iron Horse and today we were going to try them out for the first time. How they work: you soak them in water and as the water evaporates from the vest it keeps you cool. I love science. After saying goodbye to my parents and purchasing some Mexican Auto insurance we were on the road.

Goodbye to Nina and Graham. From here and on is just Naomi and Me

We drove the interstate straight south to Nogales. Nothing too exciting was happening there. At the border there were these interesting speed bumps. They were metal domes arranged in a linear pattern. Not a problem when there is only one line of them, but a little tricky when there are several rows in an equilateral pattern. Also I got the red light at the border check station and the second one 21km from the border as well. So we got sniffed by the dog, and we had to empty our cases. Thankfully she only searched the easy access cases not the rok strapped bags. The weird thing was not having to go into Immigration at the border. We were free to roam Nogales. We didn't. Our main objective was to head due south.


We drove HWY 15 until the customs checkpoint 21km from the border. There we got our passports stamped and the appropriate paper work filled out for bringing our bikes into the country. Sounds smooth... well I guess it was smooth but it was also lengthy and very hot. It was probably an hour until we were done with everything and finally had a piece of pizza in the shade. A thunderstorm was also bearing down on us at this point, so we quickly got back on the road heading south.


Our first Pemex. They don't take credit cards. Boohh to Mexico!


Friendly Mexicanos on horses went by saying 'hola'


Taking a brief break to look at the map

The unfriendly weather ahead

It was nasty weather. You could see the lightning, quite impressive actually, as we were driving towards it. Luckily we only got rained on for a few seconds and before things got really ugly we exited to HWY 2 and headed west to the coast. There was no rain, but boy was it windy. The weather was still chasing us so we decided to stop at a nice, new looking hotel. It was a little out of the budget but it was getting late, the weather was getting worse and we felt like there will be plenty of time to stay in cheap places and start camping once we get deeper into Mexico and get a feel for things. We took the advice of Susan and Grant from horizons unlimited: some of the best hotels are the ones that you can get by the hour.


First hotel in Mexico


Camping for the night: an 'auto-hotel' as they call them here.

betitolara screwed with this post 02-15-2011 at 08:54 AM
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Old 10-03-2010, 07:45 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betitolara
It's a pelican 1300 with the Quick Lock SW-Motech system.

Great idea with the tankbox, works well doesn't it?
For more info on a similar tankbox and it's mounting system look here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...highlight=hprc


Nice looking 8GS's, and great story so far... you are all much more kind than I could have possibly been to the lady at the beginning...
Good luck in SA, I look forward to following your travels.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:08 PM   #64
gwedo
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great trip so far im realy enjoying your report and will fallow with you goodluck and enjoy
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:21 PM   #65
AZ_ADV_RIDER
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Sweet - especially like the yellow GS - I'll also be following your RR. Have a fun, great and safe trip!
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:54 AM   #66
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Colorful & High Class RR...!
Thank You Very Much For Sharing...
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:36 PM   #67
betitolara OP
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Day 21 (135km): 100 kilometers to nowhere

Today was a very difficult day, I guess that's why they call it an adventure not a vacation. We awoke in Altar in our nice little hotel. We got some breakfast at a corner store just up the street. The crickets had invaded the enclosed parking where our bikes slept for the night so it was a bit awkward packing the bikes. By the time we hit the road it was quite warm. The plan for the day was to go to Puerto Libertad and then follow the coastal route south.

The highway to Caborca was straight forward. We stopped for gas there and also to get directions for the road to Puerto Libertad. We found the road, or so we thought. Everything started out well but soon the road turned to gravel, and then sand. We came through a very small town where the sand was very deep. Alberto had a massive bail in the deep sand (he was leading). We were very lucky that he was okay, but the new locks dad gave us for our cases go damaged. Well those lasted about 1.5 days. All I saw was Alberto's bike bucking wildly and then he went flying and I saw a puff of sand/dust. When the sand cleared I could see his bike down and his case lying beside it. While he was fixing his case I noticed that the local traffic were avoiding the sand by taking the higher ground. We did the same once we got going.


Here's where the dirt road turned into sand
you can see how I lost control by looking at the tyre track in the sand


Repairs needed after the 60 km/h crash

The road was mostly hard packed but there were pockets of deeper sand and I had to pull of some surprising saves. It's weird riding such a heavy/big bike in sand. It goes all over the place and then somehow it straightens up. It's a very weird feeling. It would be much more fun to play in sand with the F8GS naked. Then we came into much deeper sand. First it was in pockets, and then it was just constant. By that time we had both dropped our bikes, and feeling a bit defeated, not to mention dehydrated, we had lunch in the shade. My case now had also broken off and my new lock became old news.


The little shade we could find was a blessing


The 'road' before turned into a sandy mess

It was a much needed break for lunch and more importantly water. We were facing some very deep sand. After regaining some of our strength we continued further but there was much more dropping of bikes. Luckily we saw our first car of the day and we asked them for directions. It turned out that we were on the wrong road and that the sand was going to get much worse. Okay that made the choice easy, we were heading back to Caborca. The only problem is that by this time we were exhausted, and now we had to go back through 1-2km of deep sand. By this point we had emptied the water from my rotopax into the camelbaks. The water was burning hot from the sun.


Battling the sand @ 36C is quite challenging


The sand we were driving in


This is where Alberto took a 30min nap because he couldn't pick up the bikes anymore


And this wasn't the worse of it!


Powering through the sand


Brummm brummm


Damn!


La Gringa needs no side-stand to stay up right


Hard to keep a straight line

We made it through the really deep stuff but not without dropping our bikes repeatedly (me more than others). We were past our breaking point, we were broken. Then a miracle happened. A family in 4X4s was coming back from a ranch they had visited for the weekend. First we met Marcelino and Emanuel in their Suzuki Samurai. They gave us cold water, which we were very appreciative of. Some of their other family members arrived and stopped to talk to us as well. They gave us some cold Gatorade and it was delicious. They offered to follow us in case we needed help picking up the bikes but also because it was getting late and they said it wasn't safe for us to be by ourselves. So off we went back to Caborca in the convoy. Thankfully neither of us dropped our bikes again. Marcelino and Emanuel escorted us to a very nice hotel in town. They were excellent and very helpful. We cannot say thank you enough to those guys and their family. Thank you Gilas guys.


Our new friends that helped us get back to Caborca


At the end of a hot day: a nice A/C'ed room


The Oasis hotel in Caborca is highly recommended


Funny how 3 hrs before we were about to die of heat-exhaustion in the desert
and now we were having an awesome room-service meal and enjoying a much needed A/C

The hotel is fantastic. Very modern, clean and new. We showered up and boy did it feel good. Today I found out what it feels like to have your eyes sting from sweat. Not a pretty picture. After we started to feel human again I ordered room service, which actually turned out pretty well considering my broken spanish. If you find yourself in Caborca, Sonora, Mexico and are looking for a bit of luxury go to the Oasis Hotel. It's right off the highway. It is out of the budget of most travelers but it would be worth 5 times as much in Canada so considering our weakened state we figured it's a bargain.

betitolara screwed with this post 02-15-2011 at 09:23 AM
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:42 PM   #68
betitolara OP
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Thanks ChiTown! Yeah the tankbox is really convenient and stays on its place after a fall (or many!)

I guess we were too 'Canadian' towards that carzy lady on Day 01 ...



BTW Naomi and I enjoy your photographs, thanks for sharing!
Alberto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiTown
Great idea with the tankbox, works well doesn't it?
For more info on a similar tankbox and it's mounting system look here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showt...highlight=hprc


Nice looking 8GS's, and great story so far... you are all much more kind than I could have possibly been to the lady at the beginning...
Good luck in SA, I look forward to following your travels.
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Old 10-04-2010, 01:47 PM   #69
betitolara OP
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Thanks for your interest

Gwedo, Mark, Iron tiger and everyone else following us: Thank You

We're having a relaxing day today... after suffering from heat-stroke / exhaustion yesterday on the (wrong) sand road @ 37 C (~99F)

It's all part of the adventure

Alberto.
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:06 PM   #70
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man, looks like a blast but you guys are layin' the bikes down quite a bit! lol
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Old 10-04-2010, 02:15 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betitolara
It's all part of the adventure


Just burn that into your mind, even the worst of situations while traveling is better than a good day at work....

Ride on and stop breaking stuff, you have a long ways to go!
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Old 10-04-2010, 07:00 PM   #72
Reload270
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Great RR!! Subscribed!! I'll be paying close attention to your journey as I am planning a similar trip on my KLR in the the near future. Safe Journey!!
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Old 10-04-2010, 08:53 PM   #73
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Thanks for the great RR. Looking forward to following along! Safe travels! Subscribed!
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #74
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Great RR

Highly enjoyed the Ride Report. Keep it up and safe travels as you keep heading south.
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Old 10-07-2010, 12:20 PM   #75
betitolara OP
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Money$hift
man, looks like a blast but you guys are layin' the bikes down quite a bit! lol
LOL... yeah we like pushing it to the limit. It's more fun this way and the bikes can take it.

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