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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by The Walrus, Mar 20, 2013.
In, Late as usual.
Tarde como normale
At this stage of the ride, the thought occurs that it's going to wind down....and I get that deja vu feeling all over again......suddenly, everything is sharp and focused. Don't get too used to this, you are headed back to your version of the real world. But not just yet..........
Uh oh......some pavement again.....and some more local dancers........
It's not much further and we're in Alamos, the square and the mission.
Civilization with a Film Festival for entertainment...
For the first time, the party agrees to split up for rooms, just on opposite sides of the square. I'm going to let Doug and Gregg tell you about the hacienda we resided in. The film we watched was pretty gritty, makes you wonder about where Mexico is heading. Alamos is a wonderful town and the shrimp cocktails were outstanding. It really is true now, we're out of the woods, back on pavement and tomorrow we'll head north towards the border.....
The next morning we have coffee and b'fast on the square at Burt and Mike's place. The he/she with flaming red hair that walked by was a bit of a surprise after the traditional communities we had been in but nobody on the street seemed to mind. The view was great and the b'fast was filling.....
We saddled up, rode out but stopped for Gregg pesos along the way.....such enthusiasm........
Our destination for the day is Guaymas, where we hope to score another fresh seafood dinner....too late for me, I'm already packing a few extra kilos since the start of the trip......:dg
While stopping for a photo of this Boca Frente (correct me if I got it wrong), the Pemex police stopped to check us out. Just 5 loco gringo motocyclistas taking a pee and a photo of the unusual rock formation.....no worries, a hand shake and they were gone.
We roll around the bay and on the northern side of town find a hotel with a Tecate store and Seafood Restaurant just next door.... Nice view across the road......
I got the (surprise) Camarones combination plate.......
Looks like a well contented group.....eh?
The next morning at checkout, Doug and I get ripped off by the hotel gal. She took an extra 250P for key and remote deposits but wrote the receipt for 100P and that's what Doug got back. She covered her tracks quite well with the paperwork, we got stiffed......oh well, live and learn, I'll watch those deposits much more closely now. It's sadly another sign that we're out of the woods and back into "civilization"......:huh
We still have some miles to complete, we'll spend the night in the border town of Sonoyta. Burt plans to turn in our TVIP's for credit before we leave Mexico. Unfortunately, they've changed the site to turn them in and we learn later in the day that we'll need to ride to San Louis Rio Colorado to accomplish the task. So we hunker down in Sonoyta for hotel and dinner. Gregg manages a getoff at the hotel similar to Mikes first one. The concrete disintegrates under him and fortunately he didn't get injured..........maybe I'm not the only one who gained weight..........
Around the corner at Lupitas (?) dinner is served.......
We're joined by a Canadian couple who spend several months each year traveling through Mexico in their Vanagon Camper Special. They were great company with interesting tales.
The final day of the ride...........
Mixed emotions for sure.....we came, we saw, we conquered......well, not really......we did enjoy and survive.....
Thumping the pavement is now a bit of a chore......the construction isn't as bad as we were led to believe and the border comes into view sooner in the morning than I expected.......
I had to stop and take a photo with Ronald Reagan's words echoing in my ears..........
Mr Gorbachev......tear down this wall.......
Political rant completed......
We turn in our paperwork, get receipts (buy some tequila) and head across the border.....
harcus will recognize this spot....on the other side.......
And Burts place seemed like a stonethrow away......
Don't mess with me.....I'm feeling pretty good.........
Which brings us full circle.......sometimes the best ending is really just another beginning..... Gracias Mi Amigos........
If you get the opportunity to ride with any of these guys.....take it......because...........as told to me by Booker T.........Time is Tight..........
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Great report.. Almost as good as being there, well
Doug looks like the WR was a good choice. You looked a little cleaner on this go around.
Then in Copper Canyon 2012
I am glad you guys are back ok! I made the trip in January but we stayed out of Sinaloa. The police chief in Alamos said stay out of there! So we went in and out thru Chinipas from Alamos both ways. Great pictures!!
Loved your report!! thanks for sharing,
We have plans to go next year to las barrancas for our first time. What month you guys think is the best of the year, talking about the weather. . .
The canyons were spectacular
I'm no expert and weather patterns can change, but I've been there twice in March and weather was excellent. In fact, much later in the year and it is probably too hot. Fall might be rainy and some of those roads would be difficult to terrifying if muddy and wet
Largest mine I've ever seen, where is the EPA?
Wow, we coaxed your first post! We were recommended to avoid one town which we did (wasn't planning on going there anyways). I saw nothing that would deter me from taking the route we took again. Just got to be smart and aware of your surroundings as with anywhere you travel. Everybody was happy/amused to see 5 gringos on bikes and more friendly and curious than most places you go in the USA.
El Tanque, with some locals, and Ken cracking up, I've got something on my damn lens
Cool, thanks for the advise, march 2014!
Fingerprint.......but you'll get used to that lens position......
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Chinipas didn't seem quite as affluent as it did last year. SUV's weren't as new and shiney. There was a big raid by the Military and Fed's a couple weeks after we passed through last year. They timed the raid with a big horse race that a lot of the kingpins were apparently attending. Maybe that changed things, maybe not. Improvements and construction were occuring at the landing strip as we passed by this morning looking for the 'new' bridge.
It took a couple or three tries to find the bridge but we did eventually. No signs, trails going in different directions and hard to stay on the main track. You will find it maybe a 1/2 mile up from the landing strip. I had studied google satellite photos before the trip just to pinpoint the bridge and network of trails that would point us torwards Alamos and still had a little difficulty. I think the locals just drive across the river and don't mess with the nice new concrete bridge.
Dining at the convience store before heading out to find the bridge
IMGP2525.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
There is the bridge. You have to get on a road a little above the river, do not follow the river bottom. The place where you catch this road is back near the landing strip.
IMGP2526.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
This road is all regraded since last year also. Still some chunky stuff, but the main differnce today is the polvo (dust/silt). Only a few inches thick but it covers some ruts and other obstacles. Momentum is your friend, don't fight it. Mike and I had to sit for about 5 minutes after a truck went past us going the other direction. Is was like zero visibilty fog and just hung in the air. It looked like a wave of water being pushed by the front wheels as he went by us.
IMGP2529.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
No good pictures of the polvo zone
IMGP2530.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
It was a pretty good climb up again. No coffee this morning in town so we stopped at the top and took a break. And Mike demonstrated how to roll big rocks down the mountain.
IMGP2531.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
We passed the little hill that beat me last year and it was almost unrecognizable. The grade had been flattened and the polvo was gone. I could not appease myself and conquer the little bastard. The dynamite did what I couldn't. Again, no photo as I had passed the spot before thinking to stop.
IMGP2533.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Looks like a set from an old western movie, but this is the real thing
IMGP2535.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
These guys have strict standards and Kens dancing audition did not win him a spot on the dance crew. It was at this stop something looked different on my bike. Oh ya, my Rotopax isn't there. Funny joke guys, now give it back! Oh, you don't have it? I guess some Mexican is going to have a Rotopax full of gas with a couple RocStraps attached to it. Hope he can figure out how to use the CARB/EPA/Child Proof spout better than I could.
IMGP2539.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Last year we blasted through Alamos without slowing down. It looked like a cool tourist town with some things to see. This year we will spend the night here.
IMGP2540.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Mike finds a cheap hotel on the central square that seems to be good so we all get our bikes up the steps (not easy for most of us, Mike just rode right up). We looked in the room (yuck) and found out there was a shared bathroom (yuck yuck) and Ken Gregg and myself decided to look elsewhere. I think Mike's room had a bath, but not all the rooms. Its the blue building and I think it was $350 pesos, about $15 USD each.
IMGP2542.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Ken found this women at an art store and she offered us a room for I think $550 pesos, about $24 each. The $9 premium was worth it! 300 year old hacienda that encompassed 1/2 a city block. We had a portion of that which included a small pool, courtyard, roof top terrace overlooking the mission and city, kitchen and library, 2 bathrooms (bigger than my master bedroom at home), computer room with 2 computer but no internet working, fireplaces in all the rooms, clean, nice linens and beds. Can't say enough about this place. Turns out the owners are out of town and I think this lady took it upon herself to rent the rooms. The key she gave us for the padlock on our door turned out to be the wrong key and all our gear was locked inside. Mike and Ken got the lock open while we waited for her to get the handyman. I think the handyman might have busted her for doing this. He looked a little shocked to see Moto's parked in the fancy surroundings!
IMGP2544.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2545.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2546.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2548.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2550.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2554.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2556.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2559.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2560.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2567.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
The arcade out front (no signs for hotel)
IMGP2569.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Hanging out at the lower square watching the locals and the locals watching us
IMGP2571.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2572.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2574.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Another view from our hotel
IMGP2579.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Part of the kitchen and the sitting room
IMGP2583.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Partial view of bathroom with hand blown glass windows
IMGP2586.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2588.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
The International Film Festival. Gregg Ken and myself would come back later and catch a short film and a feature, pretty dark movies, I liked it, I think Ken said something to the effect of 'a total waste of time'..hehehe. The short was called 'El Llanto del Charal' and the feature was 'Mas Amaneceres'. All free, just walk in and sit down. The film festival in Santa Barbara costs a little more!
IMGP2590.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
IMGP2589.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
I guess the key has the name of the hotel on it....nice patina to the door.
IMGP2595.JPG by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
I think Mike and Burt had gone to bed by now??? Music and a band started playing in the square, guys on stilts dancing around, things were just picking up about the time we finally went to bed. All this happening right outside Mike and Burts hotel and they heard nothing
Link to Video, Can't seem to embed Flickr video http://www.flickr.com/photos/ddmcginnis/8577165958/
Alamos was the first town we saw other north american tourists, besides the seven guys on bikes, since we left El Fuerte.
One more elevation plot. 70 miles with an average moving speed of 17mph, 4 hours of moving time.
chinipas to alamos by DDMcGinnis, on Flickr
Something in the air that makes people smile there...
haha, and its not the smell of sardines!