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Old 11-05-2012, 04:13 PM   #361
Pedro Navaja
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¡Gringo loco y más cabrón que nunca! Great ride report.


Don't park your bike so close to your tent. The wind shifts and honks up there and can blow over your bike, right on to your tent. I had my 250 get blown over in Coahuila.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:21 PM   #362
Tsotsie
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Great report so far!

Friendly people, noisy burros, half the dogs running on 3 legs and chicken crossing the streets - the sights and sounds of rural Mexico!
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:35 PM   #363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Was looking for a road south named 161 but never found it. Just lots of yucca and high desert scrub:


I knew you'd find a way to see R14 on the cheap. Good job!

You got me curious about finding MX161 (actually MX61 on the maps). dwj_Donnie and I rode this from just south of Galeana to Dr. Arroyo last July. Real pretty paved ride with forested hills and pastoral valleys. People in the small towns along the way seemed OK with us being there.

Anyway, looked it up on Google Maps street view. Shortly after leaving Galeana you reached this junction. MX61 is called MX2 on the sign but that is the route to Dr. Arroyo on MX61. You did better on MX57 anyway since you were chasing the sun down.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:01 AM   #364
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
I knew you'd find a way to see R14 on the cheap. Good job!

You got me curious about finding MX161 (actually MX61 on the maps). dwj_Donnie and I rode this from just south of Galeana to Dr. Arroyo last July. Real pretty paved ride with forested hills and pastoral valleys. People in the small towns along the way seemed OK with us being there.

Anyway, looked it up on Google Maps street view. Shortly after leaving Galeana you reached this junction. MX61 is called MX2 on the sign but that is the route to Dr. Arroyo on MX61. You did better on MX57 anyway since you were chasing the sun down.
Si Señor Schizz,

I passed by rta. 2 and kept going thinking I'd hit 161. By the time I hit 57 it was getting late anyway so time to jet on the free cuota down to the turnoff to Real14. Pero gracias por la informacion.

Suerte,
Juan
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:04 AM   #365
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Originally Posted by Pedro Navaja View Post
¡Gringo loco y más cabrón que nunca! Great ride report.


Don't park your bike so close to your tent. The wind shifts and honks up there and can blow over your bike, right on to your tent. I had my 250 get blown over in Coahuila.
Good advice Señor Pay-Ena. Glad you are enjoying the ride. Mexico es muy bueno pais!

Suerte,
Juan
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:52 AM   #366
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Another great day of riding in Mexico!

Yesterday afternoon I looked around Real de Catorce and suddenly realized the reason everyone was wearing sweatshirts and jackets is because its frickin' cold at 8000 feet in the Sierras in Noviembre. So I saddled up and headed out of town in the early afternoon heading down to warmer climes.

The nice thing about Mexico is if its too hot you can head to the mountains and if its too cold you can head down to the coast. So that's what I did. I highly recommend a visit to Real de 14 if you're in the area. Cool funky somewhat touristy but interesting place.

Dropping off the mountain into the high desert it warmed up nicely and I hit the 57 highway south from Matehuala until I came to the first left which headed through the mountains and desert heading towards the coastal foothills. Not much out here.

Beautiful red sunset lighting up the sky in the rearview mirrors, But really nothing out here to stop and take a picture of. Just lots of wide open spaces. I started looking for a place to camp at dusk and saw an open pit mine with piles of dirt right off the road so headed down a sideroad around behind the dirt piles that obscured the bike and tent from view and set up camp.

Nothing out here but the coyotes howling at the Milky Way. Really peaceful area. And much warmer. Although I still put on my 2 dollar Walmart knit cap and down jacket to sleep in. Here is where I camped last night this morning at sunrise:



And if you don't like the view from the top of the pit, you can ride down to the bottom up against the far wall and be hidden from the road. With the early morning fog I think the place has a nice alien invasion Craters of the Moon motif going. Probably not going to make the 2013 travel brochure though:



But a nice quiet place to sleep for the night. If you are following along on google earth, the GPS waypoint is:

N 22º 38.735'
W 99º 53.448'

The countryside around here sort of looks like it could be a movie set from "No Country for Old Men". Which is NOT a movie I suggest you watch if you plan on doing much solo camping in the Mexican desert. You also might be in trouble if you have an active imagination and hear clip-clopping noises in the middle of the night and wonder if Pancho Villas henchman are circling the tent to keel el pinche gringo. It was just wild donkeys looking for love in all the wrong places. And yes, there was plenty of hee-hawing at the moon going on last night. These wild donkeys are everywhere around here.

Up in Real de 14 I woke up around 3AM to the sound of sniffing with a huge animal shadow cast on the side of the tent by the moonlight. Turned out to be a stray dog sniffing around and not el oso grande.

Finally headed out into the desert fog of early morning and soon was up in the mountains looking back at where I camped in the foggy distance:



It never ceases to amaze me how you can be in the high desert in Mexico one minute:



And after fifty miles over the mountains be riding through bananas and sugarcane:



heading down twisting roads through tropical tree tunnels with streams cascading along the road:





Followed the sugar cane trucks into the small town of Naranjo:



and stopped where the truckers were stopping for breakfast here:



where the food was cheap and the waitresses were nice. Just dropped into the local internet place to send this postcard from the edge and then its off to see the waterfall the waitress was telling me I shouldn't miss. Might even make it to Xilitla tonight if I don't take a siesta.

Yesterday I spent 215 pesos on gas and food or $17.20.

Adios amigos,
Juan
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:11 PM   #367
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Loving all the constant updates with great pictures. I know it must almost be a chore to constantly update the RR so often.
Sounds and looks like you are really enjoying yourself and so am I, living vicariously thru you from 1000's of miles away.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:07 AM   #368
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Looking forward to seeing the Las Pozas pics, very nice part of Ole'Mexico.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:31 AM   #369
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I spent all afternoon yesterday wandering around the Rio Salto valley photographing waterfalls and getting lost in sugarcane fields. Really fun day and warm for a change.

From Naranjo I headed south out through the canefields 20 kilometers or so to a purported waterfall called Cascada Minas Viejas. I took the wrong izquierda (left turn) and headed down this road which is the sin correcto ruta (wrong road):



After getting whap, whap, whapped in the faceshield with cane leaves through the really narrow sections I finally ran into the Salto river where some workmen were fixing a bridge that a sugarcane truck had whacked out of shape. The foreman was a really nice guy and directed me to the correcto cane road. The water of the Salto river is muy claro (very clear) and that magical agua azul (azure blue water). This is a shot off the bridge they were working on:



So I finally found the right road that leads to the waterfall off in the distance at the base of those mountains:



It was a beautiful park and I was the only one there. There was an attendant at the top collecting a 15 peso entry. This is a shot up some of the many stone stairs that led down the hill to viewpoints and the waterfall and large pools at the bottom. That is Isodoro the attendant coming down way up there next to the stairs:



I asked Isodoro, "puedo dormir aqui" (can I sleep here) with my index finger pointing at my boots with a forceful downward motion as I was instructed by Throttlemeister. And he said no problema. ¿Cuanto cuesta ? (how much?) I asked. And he said, "trenta pesos". ( two and a half bucks). It was still early so I thought maybe I'll come back. It was a really tranquil place. Here is a shot of the waterfall from the bottom near the pools:



Its maybe 120 feet tall or so. This one is off the rickety bridge that allows you across the river to get up close and feel the full force of the wind and spray coming off the water as it pounds into the upper pool and creates misty rainbows:



No shots from the bottom looking up at the rainbow mist since no waterproof camera. But it was very soothing and energizing to hike over and stand with outstretched arms and feel the power of the water and the windy spray after a hot day of riding around lost in the canefields like a stoned pakalolo grower in Hawaii trying to remember where he planted his crop.

Isodoro told me of other waterfalls so I spent the afternoon wandering around the valley feeling the force of nature and the healing waterfall vibes. Here are some shots:








I headed back to Naranjo to upload these pics but the internet was out so I sat down and wrote the first part of this post and a nice fellow came up and started chatting with me and invited me down to his cantina for some grub. His wife fixed me up with a plate of frijoles:



He gave me a coke and wouldn't take any money for food and drinks. Es libre ( its on the house) Wow! is all I can say. Very kind man and it would be rude to turn down his hospitality. So I had him sign the gas tank and thought to myself I am gonna promote the hell out of this sponsor. Here is a pictura of Dario, mi amigo de Naranjo:



So if you're ever in Naranjo (nah-RON-ho) Dario's wife can cook some mean frijoles. Please stop by Tortilleria La Palma near the internet cafe and say hola to Dario for me. Super nice guy. He invited me back for desayuno (breakfast) but I decided against camping up at Isodoros waterfall for the night and taking advantage of his kindness.

If Mexico is dangerous I sure haven't experienced it. If riding around meeting nice people and thumping down killer backroads visiting remote wonderlands qualifies as dangerous, I'm all in!

It was getting late so I gassed up and headed south down an un-named two lane paved with potholes typical rural road towards Ciudad Valles. It was getting dark by the time I hit another tropical canyon waterfall park named Micos Salto with a sign pointing down the hill to a camping symbol. So I asked the kids at the top of the dirt road who were playing volleyball how far. Less than a kilometer. And I bounced down the rutted dirt road and arrived at dusk at a fantasy park with no one around. Manicured lawns, large empty restaurant, tiki torchs lighting up pathways to fantasy thatched cabins. Underwater lighted canal flowing down to a large thatched open air restaurant with mood lighting and music. Surreal. Hot water showers, bathrooms, and 80 pesos for tent camping the young girl in the restaurant told me. Sign me up!

So I pitched my tent in a large grassy area overlooking the Rio Salto flowing by down below and headed over to the restaurant where I am charging up my batteries and typing this listening to a 'Pink" album playing over the mood speakers up at the peak of the thatched roof. I can't figure this place out.

Same as earlier today when I signed the guest book at Isodoros Cascada Minas Viejas park. I was the only one that day. Maybe these field of dreams places are thinking build it and they will come. I forgot to get a GPS waypoint for the 30 peso a night spot, but it was really nice and tranquil vibe. It's not in Guia Roji but there is a town with the same name listed close by. I'll have to look on google earth when I get a chance and see if I can get a waypoint. Really nice camping spot if you're in the area.

This park I am currently camping at is located at:

N 22º 05.905'
W 99º 08.413'

Today I spent 351 pesos on food, gas, internet and lodging or $28.08

That's all for now.

Adios amigos,
Juanito
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:55 AM   #370
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twisted-hog View Post
Loving all the constant updates with great pictures. I know it must almost be a chore to constantly update the RR so often.
Sounds and looks like you are really enjoying yourself and so am I, living vicariously thru you from 1000's of miles away.
Hi twisted-hog,

It's no chore at all. These stories almost write themselves. Plus I have plenty of time every evening to write these up. I find it enjoyable. And for instance now I just rode into the biggest hotel in town in Ciudad Valles and am sitting in the courtyard here:



typing away using their free wifi. Rich Mexicans in business suits are getting in taxis but they don't bother gringos with laptops at these posh places. And I am a fast typer.

Plus people have been donating gas money from around the world so I owe it to them to write a kick-ass ride report. I will be reporting monthly donations as promised but it is over 1300.00 after three weeks. And before you say OMG! WTF! Where do I sign up! I'm just as surprised as anyone that you can ride around and send in tales and pictures and anyone will donate anything. And it's quite possible that the gas fund will dry up next month after I report in. I don't really care and am just reporting the facts in the hopes that others will do the same and get out and see the world. If this ride report inspires even just one person to take off into the sunset and achieve what they thought was impossible then I will consider it a huge success. I am just as curious as anyone to see how this ride turns out. I have never seen anyone report anything about crowd funded riding and this is the first time I tried it out of desperation to get to South America before I'm too old to ride. But if I'm able so are others. So I will document exactly what it takes to follow in my tire tracks in future episodes of As the World Turns.

Anyway glad to have you along. I used to e-mail these tales from the road back to myself for family and friends and it's no different sharing stories and pictures with a wider audience. The world needs more adventure moto-journalism so I can waste time reading ride reports when I'm in between rides and really not wanting to go to work.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:20 AM   #371
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If Mexico is dangerous I sure haven't experienced it. If riding around meeting nice people and thumping down killer backroads visiting remote wonderlands qualifies as dangerous, I'm all in!


I just haven't been able to convince my wife of this. Still enjoying your report, except for the jealousy part.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:37 AM   #372
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So I started today at a nice fantasy tropical wonderland. It was dark when I set up my tent last night but here it is in the early morning light in a grassy meadow:



The Salto river flows by down below:



and created a soothing background soundtrack. It is much warmer down at this elevation and I slept like a bambino last night. It turns out that a busload of rich Mexican touristas arrived around 9PM. That explains this place. They were quite a civil crew and had dinner and dancing in the restaurant and retired to the fantasy cabinas on the other side of this huge place.

Here is a shot of the stairs up to the Robinson Crusoe themed shower house:



Rows of showers and toilet rooms:



No one was up at 6AM when I went up and stood under the hot water for like an hour washing off the dust of the desert and canefields. Unlimited hot water showers are a luxury you won't find often on the roads less traveled. Ahhhhhhhh! Refreshing. There was even a bottle of Pantene ProV someone left so I borrowed a dab. My beard stubble is silky smooth and I smell like a million dollars.

This is the restaurant that served as my office for the morning:



And what you always are looking for when you camp to charge up the laptop and batteries:



A shot of the thatched cabins you can stay in if you like more creature comforts:



and the road to the place:



I packed up and left at first light so these morning pictures from a few hours ago are a little dim. It is off the beaten path and a little hard to find but well worth the $6.50 entry if you are riding in the area and need a nice place to camp. Or if life isn't going the way you had hoped you can always come down here and chill for under 200 a month. I guarantee this place will take your mind off your troubles.

More later…..

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:47 AM   #373
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Outstanding day, John. Just outstanding. What a find.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:24 AM   #374
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Excellent

Looks amazing John. How many miles have you been covering each day?

And did you jump in by those waterfalls? Looks like a gorgeous spot.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:38 AM   #375
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Ahhhh... A hot shower.

Gotta name on that resort JDowns? Please.

Sure like your style, traveling solo, no serious partying and interacting with the grass roots locals.

Enjoying both the pics & posts. Thanks.
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