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Old 12-31-2012, 12:05 PM   #646
eakins
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after you've fully explored the Puerto Vallarta/Yelapa/Sayulita/Chacala/San Pancho/San Sebastion region,
the road (200) heads inland and up over the mtns vrs following the coast.
at the top is the town of El Tuito (one of the homes to the infamous Raicilla drink http://www.tequilamescal.com/raicilla.htm). you'll notice you're up in the pines, vrs the costal palms, as the road climbs so much.

El Tuito is well worth a stop off the hiway and more importantly is the turn off area to Cabo Corrientes https://www.vallartaonline.com/infor...PlacetoEscape/ Like the Lost Coast in California, most riders miss this area by staying on 200. Places of note not to miss are: playa miato/mayto & tehuamixtle. they are close together and there is lodging to spend a day or 2 as you have beautiful & empty beaches all to yourself.
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eakins screwed with this post 12-31-2012 at 12:11 PM
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:51 PM   #647
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I've never thought of Mexico as being divided up into states, but like the US and Canada, Mexico has 31 states and 1 federal district. Right now, we've crossed over by ferry into our 3rd state, Sinaloa, after riding through Baja California and Baja California Sur. In Los Mochis, we waited till noon for Rick to finish his motorcycle service and then we all rode together southwards along the coast towards Mazatlan. It's about a 6 hour ride including a break for a late lunch.

Not knowing any better, we were routed to the toll road, which has a great speed limit of 110 km/h, but it was very expensive! We estimate that we paid the same in tolls that we did in gasoline. Note for the future, stay off the Cuota (toll) roads!


Cruising the Malecon in Mazatlan

In Mazatlan, Rick showed us to one of his favorite hotels right on the Malecon. It was relatively cheap since it's off-season and it seemed like we were one of the only occupants in the hotel. Rick took off to spend the night at his friends place and we would meet up a couple of times later in the city for a bite to eat.


Beach on the Malecon

Mazatlan is very much a beach town, but unlike the more well-known seaside resorts like Cancun, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta, there are more local vacationers and less foreign tourists here. We like that a lot. We got to practice our Spanish with everyone. Man, I really need the practice...


Normally I'm pretty good at seeing where things are headed, but...


ooookey...


We stuffed ourselves with shrimp and seafood. I think this is the biggest meal we've had in Mexico!


After lunch, I felt like this guy...


Colourful parasails punctuate the sand, sea and sky


Sea and sky blend together as birds give chase to the sailboats


Pelicans dive-bomb the waves - the waters are filled with fish!


We tried some Cuban food for a change

Here I'm having a dish called Ropa Vieja, literally translated means "Old Clothes". It's a popular dish in Cuba and it's made of shredded steak in a tomato sauce, some plantains and rice. Although the owner spoke fluent English, Neda made me talk to him in Spanish. From the look on his face, I think I may have ordered "moldy laundry"...


This is the Gringo Tourist section. Everything is done up pretty, but it's way overpriced


This senorita was celebrating her 15th birthday, these are the guys in the party, the rest of the girls were in the nightclub

Plaza Machado is one of the oldest places in Mazatlan, lots of architecture influenced by the French and Spanish. It's recently been restored by local businesses to attract tourist $$$. Very pretty area to stroll through, but it felt a bit sterile, so we didn't stay too long.


Walking around old Mazatlan

The steets around old Mazatlan have been closed to traffic, I think this happens every evening on the weekends. There are tons of people walking the street. We felt much more at home in this environment, with street vendors offering everything from tacos to toys, shoes and clothing and stages set up at every intersection playing live music, dancers and DJs. Amazing!!!


The streets are crowded with locals enjoying their weekend!


Indoor market where the locals shop


Now *THAT'S* what I'm talking about! Keep it coming...


Open air concert in the closed off steets outside of old Mazatlan


Dancers strutting their stuff


Pre-Christmas nuptials


Christmas-time outside the Catedral de la Immaculada Concepcion. How appropriate!

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lightcycle screwed with this post 01-29-2013 at 09:38 AM
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:31 PM   #648
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Happy New Year and Best Wishes for wonderful experiences in 2013.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:38 PM   #649
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Happy New Year you 2 canucks.
Best wishes and good luck in 2013. Sorry, dosmil trece.
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Old 12-31-2012, 08:01 PM   #650
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Happy New Year from Port Credit!

Awesome RR... been following since day 1.
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Old 12-31-2012, 10:04 PM   #651
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Great photos, Ride safe and have a great New Year.

Mazatlan is a great little town. I have been going here since 1986.
Take the little ferry across to Stone Island.

Try a slice of Guava Pie at "Panama" amazing ! Panama has several locations in Mazatlan, one near the cathedral, one in the "Golden Zone".

Different from a lot of other Mexican Beach towns Mazatlan is not just a tourist city but a working town, with a coffee factory, a brewery, it's own commercial fishing fleet and many other industries. This takes the focus off the tourist since the economy is not solely dependent on tourism.
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Old 01-01-2013, 04:56 AM   #652
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Hey Guys!

I have been keeping up with your travels on here...just got back to the US and headed back to Nicaragua in a month for 6 weeks. You guys are stopping through many places that I went through as well, and I have have been reliving my own trip in my mind while reading this. Except your pictures are much better than mine.

Can't wait to read about your further adventures - and Happy New Year!

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Old 01-01-2013, 09:58 AM   #653
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Thanks for all the well wishes, guys. Neda and I really appreciate it! Happy New Year to everyone!

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Try a slice of Guava Pie at "Panama" amazing ! Panama has several locations in Mazatlan, one near the cathedral, one in the "Golden Zone".
Funny you mentioned that! Rick, our traveling companion from Mexico City, took us out to a Panama one afternoon, the one at the "Golden Zone" as you mentioned. Great food and amazing desserts as well. We've gained a lot of weight the last month ever since crossing the border, the food is delicious.

Our New Year's resolution is to do more grocery shopping and home cooking - try to fit in those riding pants again!

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headed back to Nicaragua in a month for 6 weeks
Cool, keep in touch, we'll have a better idea of where we're going to be as the date gets closer!
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:10 AM   #654
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Still hooked

You've nailed it. Great photography, taut writing, wrapped up in a great structure. The way you start each series, with the route, sets our minds for what is coming.

I'll go out on a limb and humbly make some suggestions. At the top, where you post the map, if possible, could you include the miles for the stretch? It would give us a sense for the ride. You could perhaps also include a brief descriptor i.e. 'mostly flat', or 'initially hilly transitioning to flat plains', etc.

Thanks for taking the time, I know it takes a lot of effort to create a good RR that looks good and reads well. Unlike some which become tedious, yours is very well done.

Saludos y que sigan teniendo un buen viaje!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 02:04 PM   #655
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sweet pictures of old town. having driven that stretch several times you infact did make a smart move on taking the cuota road vrs the extremely slow & bumpy road through Culiacan. After you leave Maz to the south the cuota road is worth the $ again imo as there is not much to see in this part of northern Mex. the toll road is fast and smooth concrete so you make time to get to San Blas/Chacala/Sayulita. make sure to gas up right before hit the road as this section towards Tepic for some reason has no gas along the way. You'll get off the San Blas exit and head down to the coast. you'll be done with toll roads along the coast.

that is unless you are going to take the Espinazo Del Diablo (considered the best paved road in mexico. it's mex 40. there is a new toll road alternative that is not quit open yet called 40D. guess you figured out the D version of the road is the toll) to Durango for the night and then back to Maz for the night again or SR alternative paved route http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=603538 SR lives in Durango, so you could hook up with him, and could provide you the alternative paved route back to the coast from Durango. It's a newly paved road and he says even better the the Espinazo. this road leaves Durango and comes out at Ruiz not far from the turn down to San Blas so you can avoid all toll roads.

yep most gringos don't know Mexico's full name is the United Mexican States or The United States of Mexico
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:38 PM   #656
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As a very , very motion sick prone person, I know the solution . Before any boat ride, take a Gravol one hour before , and one as the boat leaves the dock. Getting seasick will ruin your day. For a lot of people, taking it only as the boat leaves can be too late.
As a life long boater who get's sea sick try taking Garvol the day before and the day of your boat trip. Three shots of cognac straight down works the best.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:43 AM   #657
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i love it.

Wow ! great pic. great trip.great R.R. thanks to share.

Happy new years.

I prepare this kind of trip for august 2016. quebec to calgary,calgary to alaska, alaska to sud california, california to east coast, east coast to N.Y. and N.Y. to home.i got 12 weeks to do this.

Your R.R. make me dream.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:49 PM   #658
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Just Sayin'

You guys seem like the nicest people currently engaged in a ride report here on ADV. Not sure what it is beyond the great photos and narrative, but every installment draws me more and more into your ride.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:05 AM   #659
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The Road of 3000 Curves.

When we met Phil and Jayne at the ferry dock in La Paz a week earlier, they mentioned that they were planning on riding this road when they crossed into the mainland. 3000 curves? How could we pass this up?

Rick had to leave Mazatlan earlier than us, something about getting back to Mexico City and going back to wo... going back to wor... nope, can't say it. Anyway, that left us by ourselves again, heading towards the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. This meant that we were going to leave our sun-drenched beach haven for colder climates, so we had to mentally prepare ourselves for this. The Alaskan winter had scarred Neda deeply and she curses bitterly anytime she's forced to put on her jacket liner: "I thought I was done with this stupid thing!"


Stuck behind a couple of trucks, time to snap a picture!

I found out that another thing Neda curses at are the Cuota (toll) roads in Mexico. They are really expensive. Everytime we see a sign saying "Cuota", I hear a string of expletives over the intercom. So we go looking for the sign for the "Libres" roads. In this case, Carretera 40 Libres leaving Mazatlan *is* the Road of 3000 Curves, and the villainous Cuota road threatens to spoil all motorcyclists fun by smoothing the twists and turns by all manner of technology: bridges and holes through mountains.


Twisty heaven!

The pavement is smooth, but the air gets colder as we slowly ascend the mountains. Every once in a while, the bushes along the side clear and we're treated to a magnificent view of the green valleys below us. Traffic is light in the middle of this weekday, but we still manage to get stuck behind a couple of trucks and have to wait for a straightaway to pass them. I'm amazed at how brazenly these large vehicles cross the median when apexing blind turns. Surprised there aren't more accidents!

There is a sign about 1/2 way through the road reading, "Espinoza Del Diablo": the "Devil's Backbone", a very apt nickname for this piece of asphalt!


A different kind of hazard on the Road of 3000 Curves

Along the way, soldiers and army vehicles have occupied all of the tiny villages. Part of the reason they are building the high-speed Cuota road through the mountains is to make it easier to mobilize troops to combat the drug traffickers who have a stronghold in this region. The soldiers barely take notice of us, and those that do give us a thumbs up on our rides.

We're told it takes between 6-8 hours to make the journey between Mazatlan and Durango. We do it in 5, with an hour break for lunch... :)


Riding through the streets of Durango

The city of Durango is the capital of the state of Durango, and is the most modern city we've visited in Mexico so far. We've opted to stay here for a few days because we don't want to travel during the holidays. Also, we've planned an entire Christmas day of Skype sessions with our family and friends back home, and we take the time to scope out a hotel with fast Internet.

Being on the road for this long is a curious affair. In some ways, we are closer to our family and friends, because we are making more of an effort to keep in touch, without the excuses of work. So far TelCel's mobile Internet infrastructure has been quite extensive and impressive, outclassing any provider in the US and Canada. Not sure what we're going to do once we've travelled past this luxury.


Our favorite place just around the corner from our hotel for cheap eats
Chilaquiles for me and a gordita for Neda


We find a nice hotel right downtown and for the next few days venture out enough into the strip to become very familiar with all the local eateries. On Christmas Day, we treat ourselves to a Chinese buffet, which is I think our first non-Mexican meal in Mexico. The restaurant is staffed by two Chinese women, I think the three of us represented the entire Asian population in the state of Durango! They seemed just as amused as I was to see a brotha! :)


Frolicking in the fountain. During the day, temperatures were beautiful, but dropped quickly in the evenings and early mornings


Fountains and churches - two mainstays in Mexico architecture


There's always someone carrying around some musical instrument in Mexico!




Neda wrestles the camera away from me...


Catedral Basilica de Durango at night

There is a markedly increased police presence in Durango compared to all other places we've been to thus far. I'm not sure if it's because this is a larger city or because it's the holiday season, but police cars and uniformed officers vigilantly patrol the downtown streets. The plaza at night is continuously lit by the Christmas ornamentation and the flashing blue and red lights of the police car permanently parked in front of the Basilica.


Feliz Navidad from Durango!
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:54 AM   #660
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WeazyBuddha View Post
I'll go out on a limb and humbly make some suggestions. At the top, where you post the map, if possible, could you include the miles for the stretch? It would give us a sense for the ride. You could perhaps also include a brief descriptor i.e. 'mostly flat', or 'initially hilly transitioning to flat plains', etc.
Thanks for the suggestion Weazy! I've been a bit remiss in posting up the motorcycling aspect of this leg of the trip, instead I've been captivated with the people and all the culture around us. I included a bit more detail about the Devil's Backbone, fantastic riding road!

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you infact did make a smart move on taking the cuota road vrs the extremely slow & bumpy road through Culiacan.
Thanks for all the info, the Cuota roads are very fast, but since we're in no rush, I think we're going to save our pesos and just take normal roads. I can't believe how expensive they are!

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As a life long boater who get's sea sick try taking Garvol the day before and the day of your boat trip. Three shots of cognac straight down works the best.
LOL, I don't believe you, but it doesn't mean I'm not going to have fun trying your suggestion the next time we're on a long ferry ride!
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