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Old 12-21-2013, 09:14 AM   #1
PlznMySoul OP
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Location: Dirty South... FloRyda
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Pleasing my Soul in MEXICO .....

Well the journey or shall I say ADVENTURE has begun…..
Here I sit safe and warm in a nice cozy hotel in Linares, Mexico after a day of getting my feet wet with a few weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds to go. Each one passing with no return other than the memories…..good, bad and ugly. So before I get started, I have to say that I am far from being a writer and I suck at taking pictures however, this is my way of returning the wealth of knowledge gained from this site in preparation for this trip. I’m sure there’s nothing that I will write that has not been said or experienced already by someone on the forum however, maybe this will spark fond memories for some, give those who are on the edge the boost to either jump or move back 10 paces and go another route. Either way…here’s my way of PLEASING MY SOUL:

So allow me to rewind a few days : The plan was to pull out Thursday morning making it to Texas (Pharr) on Friday, cross Sat am. I was in Detroit for work prior to the trip. In Mon and home Wed afternoon leaving Thursday. In Detroit, Monday was cold, Tuesday was Colder and Tuesday night was FREEZING! By Tuesday evening, I ended up catching a beat down. Fever, cough, chills and everything else that comes with it, I had it. JUST GREAT….! This is what I need before my vacation. No way was I going to ride feeling that way. So I was on an instant cold remedy cure all day Tuesday. Wednesday came and I was still screwed up however, I could not tell if it was all the meds I was taking or maybe I just needed rest. 4hrs before my flight home to Tampa. I’m feeling “GOOD” in my head, it started snowing and I was ready to go. I will take the chance of my head feeling like it’s going to POP on the plane. If I’m needing rest, it’s rest I will get in my own house and not another night in Detroit. No need to bore you with the extreme measures of getting this cold out of me. OLD SCHOOL METHOD IN FULL FORCE. Honey, bourbon, tea, lemon, Vapor rub, sweats, socks, etc….If you can relate, you’re in my age group or older! (Smile)

I wake up Thursday feeling much better but needed to get the meds out of my system. So my Thursday departure moved to Friday. Another day of fluids, a good night’s rest and I’m READY to hit it!


My initial plan was to make it to Texas in 2 days. The adrenalin is pumping and I convince the “Mini G” to roll for 1000 miles before shutting her down. So we ride from Tampa to Houston nonstop making it in 20hrs. Friday… early evening. Saturday made for a small run to PHARR and crossing the border on Sunday am. IT WAS COLD IN TAMPA that morning and would get even colder riding to Texas. Good thing for heated gear.

THE DAY TO POP MY CHERRY IN MEXICO!
After some good food and rest, I get up early to get packed and in GAME MODE (Whatever the hell that is!). The typical rookie mentality when taking your first dip into anything new for the first time. I made contact with Arte and planned to meet after the bridge at 10am. OK..no problem. I will “Calculate” and work that timing into my departure time. You know, time for the line, luggage check, questions, copies, paper work etc. Well all that “Planning” was blown out the window. I leave the hotel at 8:30am and I’m on the other side of the bridge by 9:15am! Ummmmm…OK. That was waaaay too dayum easy! Paid the toll…check. Come up to Customs…check. Sit at gate for 3 – 5 mins while the buzzer goes non stop waiting for the gate to open. The place is pretty much deserted unless they are back there behind the smoked glass having coffee and laughing. Then a guy who appears to be a worker, pulls into the employee parking lot on a bike. Tells me to pull forward more, I do….still nothing. He goes inside and bam!.. GREEN LIGHT GATE OPENS and I’m onto the check point. With a BIG CHEESE EATING GRIN on my face, the fellas wave me through. Without hesitation, I go and go and go and kept going. OK… what’s wrong with THIS PICTURE? Yeah…. Before I knew it, I was in Mexico at the meeting point. OK..how in the hell did I miss the building to get checked in, etc? Well, I’m not heading back just yet. I will figure it out as I recall a few options within this “Zone”. So I use this time to get some pesos. While at the store, I see this young couple and ask if they would not mind giving my friend a call in which they had no issue doing. They called Arte informing him of my whereabouts. Arte and I hook up. I tell him about my “EZ PASS”….lmao and he jumps into action. Before any food is served, we take care of the paper work in Reynosa. It took less than 15 min total and I am now legal to ride into Mexico past the “Free Zone”. Enjoyed a good hour with Arte and breakfast. I can’t thank him enough for taking time out of his weekend to meet up with me for breakfast. THANK YOU ARTE!




So we say our farewells with some final words of wisdom from Arte and I’m off to Linares. The ride into Linares was interesting. It was a great introduction ride for mental and riding CALIBRATION in Mexico. You learn quick that US driving and rules of the road do not exist here. Honestly, following Arte for the few miles in Reynosa was the Calibration ride for road conditions. Talk about Pot holes and big drops in the middle of the road! Arte made it very clear that you MUST be on the lookout at all times. There are no warnings of a big drop or hole and that was obvious a few times while following him.



Reynosa to Linares:


I made it to Linares to find a good place for the night. A great "Learning curve ride to get into the groove. A good ride. No check points, just a few wrong turns but made it safe. For a first timer, that was a It was a good place right in Centro. They had a Holiday event that evening and I was in the mix of it all. Taking pictures, standing out like a sore thumb to the point where I was approached by two cops asking why I was taking pictures of them and the area? SAY WHAT???!!! Apparently, my FLASH and camera stood out in the park and they took note. After speaking to me (FAST) in Spanish, from the look on my face, they switched to English and figured…Hmmmm No threat. I responded with a big HELLO, smile and hand shake. Before you know it, we where saying happy holidays to each other and all was OK. So back to me taking pics. It was a bit chilly that night so I turned in early. Needless to say, my intent for an early and quite night did not happen as the BAND started playing 30 min later. Oh well… you win some and you lose some. Overall, today was a GREAT DAY and I just jammed with them from my room.



.....Any ideas on how to download pics a little more efficient? Uploading to photobucket is not very fast. I have more pics...
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:23 AM   #2
docwyte
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Really hard to read the black type font you're using...
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
PlznMySoul OP
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Lineras to Leon:
So I rise to the sound of businesses opening the gates. Folks walking and talking outside the hotel and it’s soon to be 8:30am. So I get up at a snails pace getting my things together. I finally get the bike packed and I’m ready to go. Then I hear this roar echoing from the streets and it’s no strange sound to my ears. That’s a HOG rolling! Sure enough turning the corner a pretty Softtail Harley with the guy dressed fully in leathers and HD all over. I gave him a big grin and thumbs up. He acknowledged as well as he rumbled down the street. Shortly afterwards, I depart to fill up with gas. At this point, the sun is out but it’s COLD …. 45 degrees. Yeah… a bit nippy and I figure out I'm heading through the mountains...ummmm COLDER. So I’m on my way. Going to ride through Galeana and head to Leon. So about 5 minutes into the ride, I see Mr. HARLEY in front of me. It looks as he sees me in the rear and slows down. I pull up to the light and he asks where I was heading. I told him Leon in which he tells me he is going that way and if I want, we can ride together…….Absolutely! The bikers code is strong everywhere. So we roll out and that horse rides. We go through a check point right before hitting the mountains. My first one. They wave him over, I slow down and pull in behind also. No need to keep rolling. I had nothing to hide and wanted to see how this works. I told them where I was going, the guys in from signaled that I was with the HD guy. We joke a bit, take a pic and they wish me well on my visit here. After a few hours of riding we stopped for food. Stopped at a nice restaurant. As we started the interview process from both sides, comes to find out, this guy is a cop. He was in Linares visiting friends and heading home. He spoke enough English and I me enough Spanish that we hit it off pretty darn good. So good that by the final gas stop/break, we exchanged emails, facebook, etc and he invited me to his home on my way to Oaxaca. Great guy that rides the hell out of that Harley. Too my surprise, when I arrived in Leon, he called via skype and emailed me checking to see if I arrived safe. SO LEON….well, if it was not for the time, I would have turned around and stayed in Guanajuato. Still not sure why I wanted to come there but oh well, I’m here. I did pick up a new lock to replace mine that seized u at the local HOME DEPOT (Smile).

Ride through Galeana was twisty, nippy, scenic, awesome and at times very foggy.







ALL in Vehicle appear to be OK. Just a little too fast and looks to have been a tire blow out.

My riding Amigo!
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #4
acejones
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What Docwyte said. Good pics but the font is really hard to read.
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Old 12-21-2013, 09:49 AM   #5
PlznMySoul OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docwyte View Post
Really hard to read the black type font you're using...
Yes.. for some reason I'm not able to go back into the first post to change the font. I'm actually cutting and pasting from notes kept on a word doc and I think that's causing me some of the post issues I'm experiencing but....I am figuring it out

I'm actually in Oaxaca now taking a few days to relax. Great rides over the past few day.

.....more to come and no more black font. :)
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
damasovi
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cool amigo and keep it up!! I have a feeling the best is still to come

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Old 12-21-2013, 10:58 AM   #7
tricepilot
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I just bought a ticket on this tour. I upgraded to beer and bacon sammiches too!

Let the story unfold.......
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #8
acejones
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Font is much better now ! Ride safe. We'll be watching.
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Old 12-22-2013, 08:04 AM   #9
PlznMySoul OP
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Leon to Maravatio de camp:
Well, this ride was what can I say WOW. I left on 110 to 43 to 120 and jumped on the 15 finishing my ride for the day in Maravatio. So let me just get all of these descriptions of the riding out of the way now… "WOW WOW simply WOW" and that’s been the theme thus far. The weather has been great, no issues with the bike and the adrenalin rush that comes with not knowing what’s coming…call me crazy but it’s just plain out FUN! I finally figured out the road system and how that works or at least I THINK I DO. As many have said in the past, riding through those downtowns will get you in circles if you don’t keep your eye open. I HAD my GPS to use for the city but depending on my maps. Good thing I used the maps more as my GPS decided to take a permanent nap! The internal battery needs to be replaced and it’s a Garmin item not sold in stores…Oh well.......> "Excitement level" elevated a notch.
So as I pull into the Maravatio de Camp centro seeking a hotel. Wanted to stay at the HOTEL CAMPO right there in heart of Centro but they had NO rooms available. This time of the year in Mexico is busy busy as many mentioned earlier. So out on the hunt I go. I take the chance to ask any Bonita policia “Donde es bueno Hotel?” with a big smile. Making sure no left over beans or tortilla on the teeth.
One recommended a hotel a few block down. So I work my way over there to check it out. I find the hotel, pull (Ride) into the lobby I thought “OK…HUGGY BEAR will come out with platform shoes and gold fish. Where is the Disco ball!?” Very colorful décor and pretty nice layout. So me and moto safe and sound for the night. She was parked right by the xmas tree for Santa’s helpers to watch. I ventured out in Centro that night grabbing a bite and some beer. Festive lights everywhere and the people are just friendly. Keeping my wits about me, I follow the rules and in before too late and before the liquid courage of others kick in. The only unsafe action on this day was me getting a BIG SMILE the second time around from the same female cop I asked for directions earlier and almost hitting the curb! Oh... and one more. Later that night a couple checked in and why did they put them close to me. Unsafe action = Me hearing the "howling" in the night as it echose. Me getting up to knock on the door saying....OK... I'm next!
Just a few randon shots:

A fellow rider in Leon who wanted to talk and show me his moto. Regardless of the language barrier...Motorcycle riders will always have a common language about bikes. He was a very MACHO type of guy and it showed.








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Old 12-22-2013, 08:38 AM   #10
PlznMySoul OP
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Maravatio to Toluca:
So I thought I would take Omar (My new found Amigo) up on his invite as he emailed me asking. Oh why the hell not, I’m on vacation and what better way to enjoy this wonderful culture! I mapped out a route that looked to be pretty straight forward 15 to 55 and planned for an early roll out. Made for a great ride through some nice small towns on the OLD 55. This is where I was not paying attention and went air born for the 1st and LAST time on an unmarked TOPE aka man made mini mountain WTF?!?!?! Good thing I was not going too fast. This day is marked as my TOPES DAY. I think I’ve seen every kind of tope, bump, rumble, hole, whatever you want to call or think of today. Great lesson learned and it actually forced me to take a slower approach to observe while cruising through the small towns.
Anyway, I pull into Toluca, contact Omar and an hour later, he’s here. I follow him to his house where he has lunch prepared for us. I meet his “Nanny”, see his baby girl and off we are to pick up his older daughter from school. Fast forward a bit…. He offered me to stay with he and his family but I insisted on checking into a hotel and did. Once checked in, off we go to his wife’s office where I was treated as the long lost family member. AMAZING! He told all of his immediate family and friends of my journey and how we met, etc. His wife goes to tell me that they are having a XMAS party tonight and I’m invited. OH!!?! Sounds good to me! I feel SOOOOOoooo UNSAFE HERE, I think I might just come back another time for more abuse. Let’s just say it was a loooooong night. Company party….CHEERS, Dance clubs…more CHEERS…. meeting more riders ….CHEERS. I was not driving so it made for a good night…CHEERS! … it was a LONG NIGHT!
NOTE: Unsafe situation for the day......> Never allow the daughter of the owner who's party you are a guess at FLIRT with you while daddy and uncles are present. My host was laughing at me as I kept diverting. Dance...Si! but my hands stay UP ON YOUR BACK... daddy is watching. Not sure if that nod and cheers is approval or " I'm watching you Gringo!"


My gracious host & family:




The GENTLEMAN who ensured I was enjoying my self during my stay. The owner of the company (Far right) wanted to go riding but could not until the weekend. He is interested in a duo sport and wanted to take a spin on the F650 while I ride his. He owns and ride a Ducati. That would have been fun!

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Old 12-23-2013, 10:23 PM   #11
PanamaJ
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El Rosario, Monarch Butterflys.

Hi, Funny to see that place you stayed in at Maravito. I was there not a week ago. Make an effort to go up to Ocampo and the Sanctuary for the Monarch butterflys. Definitely worth it. Mid day is the best and also when there is sunshine. There is a small hotel in Ocampo. I think the only one, just 2 blocks down from the park.
Also, FYI, when you cross on rte 190 from Juchitan to Arriga, if you are going down to Chiapas, heads up the first 30 miles out of Juchitan. The cross winds are violent, and strong. hence all the windmills. It is the narrowest point of Mexcio and the wind never stops.

Cheers
Happy riding.
Currently in San Cristbal de Las Casas. Worth a visit.
Headed to Panama.
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Old 12-24-2013, 05:27 AM   #12
Rutabaga
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Looks like you recuperated nicely and are doing well. Nice report.
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Old 12-24-2013, 12:34 PM   #13
PlznMySoul OP
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I'm a few days behind with my reports. I'm actually in ZIPOLITE BEACH right now (12/24) Going to use this time to catch up on my reports and post some pics. I left Oaxaca 2 days ago. Took MEX 131 to Zicatale for the evening. Then decided to take a sneak peak at Zipolite beach and was convinced I needed to stay a night. Very nice place thus far... more to come on that and the ride on 131.
Toluca to Izucar de Matamoros:
Up a bit late, head over to Omars house to say goodbye where breakfast was ready. We say our farewells and off I go. So prior to leaving we looked at the map where I was certain it would be a great ride. 55 pretty much all the way in with the major towns marked on my paper and map. RIGHT?? You veterans know better than that. It was not that easy! The MEX number I’m looking for does not exist! WTF…??? OK, so no problem. I know which direction I need to go and I will eventually get there. So I ride …ride and ride. Something does not seem correct as these towns are not listed in the direction I should be going on MY MAP. So I see the toll way. I whip over there and seek directions from the local POLICIA. They look at my map and ask me… Where did you get this map? Ummmmm… from the US. This map is very OLD. You cannot go this route to CUERNAVACA. You have to go down, around and up. OH?! Si… “Tiene pluma? Si…senor. Escribe direccions” . These guys send me on a route that left me speechless. Ixtapan de la Sal- Tonatico-Grutas de -Puente de Ixtla – Cuernavaca and from there I went towards Izucar. What a FANTASTIC link of roads and I sound like a broken record… WOW WOW WOW. Maybe I’m just easily impressed. NOPE! These roads are awesome. So on the home stretch to my final destination of the day right before leading into the (I did not know prior to) mountains, behind me I see headlights. These are BIG BIKE headlights. Then in a split second, I hear them… two guys on sport bikes with PIPES and full leathers……. 600’s or 750’s. They both give me the thumbs up and give me the signal of “let’s go…follow us”. Ummm errrrrr…. Oh yeah….I’m not on the HOG (Smile). The GS 650 can do this. So off we go and I have to admit it was a foolish decision for a split second until I realized, this is what it’s all about. The roads where in excellent condition, no traffic, plenty of light and a key observation……> these guys had on the right gear, obvious locals as they warned me well enough in advance of tight curves, etc . They where very SAFE riders. Heck… they even waiting for the OLD man at a “tope” when I got caught behind a little truck. The F650 did not do to bad after all. So I’m here in Izucar for the night. The hotel owner came out to look at my trusted steed. I have the BMW logos blacked out which gives it a very successful "Stealth" look. Initial parking was to the right behind a fence, when he noticed the BMW logo on the console near the key, he then pointed to parking behind a metal locked gate so you can't see it. OK..I will take that. Blacking out the logos at first sounded like a trivial thing to do however, it has been one of the best things keeping the "FLASH" low key. Yes.. I still stand out but the bike is a bit low key. The Pemex attendants always ask...what kind of bike. Then they see the little logo and comment...ahhhhh...BMW....mucho dinero amigo. Anyway...back to the pics.
A few pics from the days ride:






The unsafe action experienced today: Telling this young lady that I was going to Oaxaca. She wanted to go with me and looked as if she was going to hold me hostage .... .

BTW: I have my own personal reasons for liking MEXICO. I'm no longer below average HIEGHT here!
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
Dan Diego
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Good stuff, man! Keep it coming.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:55 PM   #15
PhillipsMetal
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Great thread! I may have missed it early on, but how did you pick your route south? I am planning on heading down the east coast in the next couple of months, then back up the west side, stopping to see a friend outside of Guaymas. Your route looks like a great ride. I just did not know if there was a method to choosing it.
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