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Old 11-09-2012, 05:43 PM   #406
JDowns OP
Sounds good, let's go!
 
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Originally Posted by BlazerRalph View Post
Great report, very educational to some of us posers.
Hi BlazerRalph,

Your time will come. I am just doing the research and development for your next long ride. I'm not doing anything you can't.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:30 AM   #407
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I was curious to find out about that canyon I visited yesterday afternoon and why it isn't more well known. So I looked it up on wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolantongo

Turns out it is privately owned and run by an ejido of locals which explains why it isn't a famous national park like it would be back in the U.S. And the canyon walls are 1500 feet tall that you drop down to the grottos and hot water pools. So less than half as deep as dropping from Creel to Batopilas in Copper Canyon. And yet standing at the bottom and looking up a sheer canyon face over a quarter mile tall covered with ferns and moss with hot waterfalls streaming down the base with the canyon walls glowing in the late afternoon golden hour is quite impressive.

With all the dirt roads zig-zagging in and out, it is a place I will surely come back and camp and explore later when I'm in the area again.

It is easy to remember. Sounds like tall and tango. Tall like the walls of the canyon. And tango like a couple of Buenos Aires tango street dancers with arms outstretched dancing cheek to cheek back and forth down the switchbacks. Probably best to ride down with tango music in the ear buds. da-dun-DUN-dun-dun, da-duh-da-duh-da-dun-DUN-dun-dun.

Its early morning and I'm waiting for the sunrise and the hotel to unlock the front gate so I can jet out of Iss-mih-KEEL-pon here in the state of Hildalgo and head over to the state of Veracruz next door and meet up with MikeMike.

Was hoping to visit El Tajin ruins which is where I was headed before I got sidetracked down a canyon, but that may be a bit much for today. Time will tell.

Adios amigos,
Juanito
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JDowns screwed with this post 11-10-2012 at 03:46 AM
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:52 AM   #408
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Good morning and good info Juanito.

Veracruz, the home of Son Jarocho musica. Peasant/farmer music that can even include a harp.
Add an O to my last name(Sir name) and I am Jarocho.
Used to have fun with this when working with my Mexican amigos in "the oil patch."

Somehow I get the feeling you too enjoyed The Red Green Show as much as most of us did. You be Red, I'll be Harold.



Best Regards,
OldPete
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:20 AM   #409
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Good morning and good info Juanito.

Veracruz, the home of Son Jarocho musica. Peasant/farmer music that can even include a harp.
Add an O to my last name(Sir name) and I am Jarocho.
Used to have fun with this when working with my Mexican amigos in "the oil patch."

Somehow I get the feeling you too enjoyed The Red Green Show as much as most of us did. You be Red, I'll be Harold.

Best Regards,
OldPete
Hi OldPete.

Ah yes. Red Green. And men remember, If the women riders don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy. Words to live by.

One interesting cave man navigation tool I have discovered this morning is maps.google.com will give you riding directions in Mexico. You can take screen shots of the directions and save them to your laptop to check later in the day when you're lost. So I entered the towns of Ixmiquilpan and Coatepec and found it is only 4 hours on the main roads. Of course, the roads they give don't look very interesting but this might be something to try if you're in a hurry and need a quick route from A to B down here. What this means for me this morning is that I can wander around all day on the backroads no problem and still get there by tonight.

But right now it is cold in the high desert and I think I'll wander around town and do some coffee drinking and people watching.

Suerte,
Juan
Red Green quote of the day: "I thought cheese-whiz was made from urine."
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:24 AM   #410
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I'll wander around town and do some coffee drinking and people watching.

Suerte,
Juan
One of my favorite Latin America past times.

Saludos desde Berlin!

Vin
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:34 AM   #411
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One of my favorite Latin America past times.

Saludos desde Berlin!

Vin
Berlin? Mit Fräulein Fredericke? Hallo sagen für mich!



Aufrichtig,
Johann
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:20 AM   #412
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Another shot of Tolantongo Canyon riding out late yesterday afternoon looking back as the shadows lengthened:



Spent the morning wandering around Ixmiquilpan, One thing I have found is that the national chain of convenience stores named OXXO (oh-so) have passable coffee although you have to buy a small milk if your like cafe con leche since the packets of creamer won't do:





Its better than the nescafe mixed with hot water that used to be the main coffee beverage on offer in Mexico in years past. Went across the street and sat in the early morning sun on a park bench in the main square and watched the people going to work. Bundled up in jackets some with gloves. Probably in the 40s or 50s so a bit nippy out this morning.

The pigeons were frolicking on a bronze statue of Diana in the main fountain:



This pied piper pigeon was disappointed I didn't have anything to feed him like some obvious regular mark that sits on this bench. He waddled away in disgust:



One nice thing about these rural towns off the gringo trail is that you can sit for hours and not be hassled by people wanting to sell you something or panhandle from the gringo. I haven't seen a gringo since the Euro backpacker I met on the Las Pozas stairway to heaven back in Xilitla.

Came back to the Hotel Plaza Izabel down the main tunnel that leads to the courtyard in back where the bike is parked:





to the upstairs main desk:



and lounge area that is my current office:



Very clean place with nice rooms for the equivalent of $21.60:



Better than average job on the custom marble sink and shower tile in the bathroom:



I would have used satin polyurethane on the custom doors and cabinets instead of gloss but thats just me. Anyway if you're passing through this is a nice place conveniently located a block off the main square at:

N 20º 29.121'
W 99º 13.111'

Its warmed up and I'm packed and out of here. More later….

Best,
John Downs
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:20 PM   #413
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I am just curious as to how many miles have you put on the Sherpa since leaving for SA? Also is the lower quality of fuel is hurting your mpg?

Later
John
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:54 PM   #414
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I am just curious as to how many miles have you put on the Sherpa since leaving for SA? Also is the lower quality of fuel is hurting your mpg?

Later
John
Hi John,

Since leaving Nebraska I've ridden about 4400 miles. Now has around 25,300 miles on the odo. Had 20,900 when I left.

Gas seems to be fine around here in Mexico even the gas I bought out of a jug in the high desert yesterday. Lower quality fuel down here is pretty much a thing of the past I think. The gas stations are all state run Pemex and the price is pretty much the same all over the country. So no need to search for a good price.

As far as fuel economy it seems to be about the same I think. I remember the last gas stop today buying 5.2 liters of gas at 99 miles on the trip meter for 55 pesos. If anyone knows how many miles per gallon that is I would like to know too. I'm not good at math and when you are buying liters of gas for pesos it is hard to know exactly, especially if you are used to dollars and miles per gallon.

But the gas in Guatemala is another story. We'll see what happens to fuel economy when I get there. And I hear Bolivia isn't much better if I make it that far. I will report back what I find.

Best,
John Downs
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:06 PM   #415
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Just found your ride report, look forward to meeting you tomorrow AM.
Saludos
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:11 PM   #416
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Just found your ride report, look forward to meeting you tomorrow AM.
Saludos
Hi Mike,

I'll be at the cafe near the church in downtown Coatepec at 8ish watching the world go by and drinking coffee as usual. Should be a nice day for riding around Estado de Veracruz tomorrow. Look forward to meeting you!

Suerte,
Juan
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:58 PM   #417
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I left Ixmiquilpan this morning and headed towards Veracruz. A lot of straight roads up on the altiplano. It was a challenge not getting directed into Mexico City. All roads seem to lead there when you get within 100 miles. Its like a death star black hole sucking all the cars in. It was all I could do to stay on the free roads. Several times it seemed like the only way forward was to jump on the cuota toll road. But I just kept wandering around on the minor roads until I saw a sign pointing to the next big town on the map.

It is smoggy up on the plateaus close to Mexico City. So a hazy day of straight roads stretching off in the distance means no pictures this afternoon. The closest I got to taking a picture was filtering through traffic behind a nice family in a large city along the way. Pop in front on the scooter with a 12 pack of toilet paper between his legs junior in between and his beautiful wife on the back with waist length dark hair flowing in the wind. That guy could ride. Really fun following such a handsome family flying through traffic. Twice I got my camera out at a stoplight to take their picture just as the light turned green and I had to quick stuff it in my pocket and whack the throttle to keep up with him. And then they turned off.

Oh wait, I also took one picture of a huge snow covered mountain but the snow was in the haze and the mountain is unseeable in the picture. It was dark by the time I dropped off the plateau into Veracruz State through the fog and clouds and light drizzle so no pics after sunset. Ah well. I made my way to Coatepec by turning at a likely looking road with no sign that just instinctively felt right. Stopped at a Pemex station to fill up for tomorrow and miraculously I was headed in the right general direction. Eventually saw an empty taxi with Coatepec on the trunk lid and following him to town. Stopped and paid a taxi driver 10 pesos to take me to a hotel with wifi which is where I am at now. Its a 300 peso room at the Hotel Monroy in the Centro district of Coatepec. Nice place. Sometimes when its raining and dark out you have to pay the big bucks. Anyway I'm meeting MikeMike tomorrow morning at 8 down the street at a cafe. I should have some interesting pics of backcountry Veracruz. It looked nice in the headlights coming down the mountain this evening.

I couldn't tell you how I got here or all the roads I took if my life depended on it. But it was nice to get here. It was cold up on the plateau. Pine trees and everyone wearing jackets meant I had to stop and take a GPS altitude reading to see if I was close yesterday when I thought that felt like 8000 feet. It takes the GPS quite a while to register elevation but it finally read 8700 feet. The road was that high or higher for quite a while. I had to stop and put my down jacket and long underwear on.

Today I spent 480 pesos or $38.40 on gas, food, and lodging.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:57 AM   #418
imeny
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Cheers from midle east Israel

Hi John,

I am reading your post, and I enjoy from your posts. I am planing to take a 5 month trip to South America, and planing to visit the Tolatongla thanks to you.
I want to donate you some cash , can you give me pls your paypal account ?

Meny
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:26 AM   #419
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Hi John,

I am reading your post, and I enjoy from your posts. I am planing to take a 5 month trip to South America, and planing to visit the Tolatongla thanks to you.
I want to donate you some cash , can you give me pls your paypal account ?

Meny
Hi Meny,

I think you will really like Tolantonga. It is a magical place.

There is a paypal donate button over on:

http://johnthomasdowns.blogspot.com/

If you are traveling through the U.S. as well as Mexico you are welcome to stay at my home. Glad you are enjoying the ride.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:07 AM   #420
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If you are traveling through the U.S. as well as Mexico you are welcome to stay at my home. Glad you are enjoying the ride.

Kindest regards,
John Downs


Thanks mate,
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