Give up on planning - last-minute ride to Mexico

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by charlieS, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Hi everyone!

    I'm Charlie. Long time lurker, occasional buyer, and aspiring traveler.

    I've been planning numerous trips for the last 5+ years, and never actually did anything worth posting about.

    Last Thursday, my stress level at work at an all-time peak, I decided "screw it, I'm going on a trip."

    I'm now in Day 1 of "unplanned, just fucking go to Mexico for 2 weeks."

    Day 1 report, coming up.
    #1
  2. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    From: http://charlierides.com/travelogue/mexico-2013/day-1-trundling-along-way-too-fast/

    It’s 8pm. I’m sun burnt on my wrists, sore, and pooped.

    I wasn’t sure how far I’d go the first day. Ended up riding about 600 miles, mostly because I got annoyed toward the end.

    But I was annoyed much earlier – I-5 (enough said?). I headed East at Bakersfield… well, I don’t need to describe the route; look here: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0Vn4kA4MiPgNSYD52NgPjuVJDpUCSUlGW

    Once I got past Pasadena, the temperature — which I thought was already insane — decided it shouldn’t be below my body temperature any more. Nay, it should be 10 degrees warmer. I can’t wait to get farther south, into the jungle-y area, where it doesn’t get above 90˚.

    So I’m currently in a hotel in Westmorland, CA, about 60 miles from the border. Had a nice ribeye & veggies dinner, and I’m trying to drink a 1.5 litre water I paid $3 for.

    Here is the view (yay, a blurry cell phone picture!):
    [​IMG]

    Tomorrow, I should try to get to Hermosillo – even though it’s 450 miles away. AFTER THAT, I should be able to slow down — I’ll be on the coast, with lots of interesting things to see, and much better weather. We’ll see :)
    #2
  3. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    It will be hot. Hermosillo will likely top 110 tomorrow - again. Carry lots of agua
    #3
  4. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Yay! I have a 3-litre camel back, thankfully.
    #4
  5. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    And, for the record, Westmorland, CA, does not sell sunscreen.

    First, how do you describe sunscreen to a spanish speaker? Sol .. blocker. "nada sol *points at sunburn*" seemed to work.

    None of the 4 stores in town sells it. Apparently sunscreen isn't needed in one of the hottest places on earth :)
    #5
  6. Oldone

    Oldone One day at a time!

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    #6
  7. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    From Hermosillo consider heading east on Route 16 into the Sierra and towards Creel in Copper Canyon. Much cooler than heading down the coast to Mazatlan. From there you can stay in the higher altitudes and see Colonial Mexico.
    #7
  8. PhillipsMetal

    PhillipsMetal Been here awhile

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    I just got back from Creel and Hermosillo last week and MX 16 was a blast. Stayed in a cabin in Creel and slept with the door open and no AC. Wonderful weather. Great advice. Beautiful country, nice people and the mountain roads are incredible. Have a nice trip. :clap:clap:clap
    #8
  9. skierd

    skierd Wannabe Far-Rider

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    No plans are the best plans!

    :lurk
    #9
  10. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    :thumb
    I'm in.
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  11. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Keep it coming
    #11
  12. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    So much to consider (heading East on 16, that is).

    I shall eat, and ponder.

    (I'm in Hermosillo now!)
    #12
  13. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    It's schweady ball weather along the coast right now. You encountered the heat coming down through the desert. It does not get cooler, but it does get more humid along the coast.
    #13
  14. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Well, weather reports I'm reading are definitely below 107˚ :)
    Though, factoring in humidity, it probably doesn't feel any cooler.

    I can't decided what to do, so I'm thinking I'll hang out tomorrow in Hermosillo, take in the sights, and delay the decision.
    #14
  15. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Good choice. Have a few fermented beverages and see how it goes. Have fun whatever you do!
    #15
  16. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    If you have not left Hermosillo, take Mex 16 east . Great road. Stop at the waterfall at Basesechi just past the Chihuahua state line. 8,000 ft, pine forests
    #16
  17. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    I think the heat isn’t as bad now. Or I’m getting used to it.

    My ass and back, however, are quite sore. Today (#3) was only 300 miles, but included a policia detour 25+miles off Mex 15.

    Learnings #1: If you are ever faced with a detour, it can go a *long* way… but when local police are stationed at an intersection, that’s where you turn.

    Learnings #2: (ok, this isn’t new, but I needed more than one to make a list) if you see a sign like this, and are hungry; stop! Most delicious tacos I’ve had yet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Day 2, was a desert run down to Hermosillo. It wasn’t nearly as far as the first insane day, but the heat was brutal

    Day 3, I took my time getting to Los Mochis (300 miles), taking lots of detours. There wasn’t much to write home about, but it was great to see a some countryside and rural villages. Every time I stopped, some 20-something, speaking perfect English (and, it turns out, has lived in California before), would run over to ask about the bike. They are shocked to learn the displacement (1200cc), as most bikes in Mexico are less than 500.

    That reminds me,

    Learnings #3: not my own discovery–I read about it on advrider long ago–but if you have a choice to pay for the toll road, or take the free road: libre all the way! It’s slower, but so much better to take a rural road than a freeway. The turns are all marked, and as long as you know the name of the next major town, just follow the signs! If you’re dodging potholes so numerous and large, you start to think the dirt next to road looks better, you’re on the right track.

    I’m on a roll now:

    Learnings #4: GPS. Turn it the fuck off. OK, not off off. But don’t input your next destination – navigating via road signs isn’t that hard. There is something about that voice telling you “go here, 45 miles.. etc” that makes you keep riding when stopping is a much better idea. I think I stopped at least 10 times today.
    #17
  18. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    and to follow up on the previous dilemma: I decided to head South. I'll save Copper Canyon and colonial Mexico for the next trip, when the g/f can come :)
    #18
  19. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    And in terms of the motorcycle, it's running well, though the rear tire is showing some wear from the heat and rough roads. Today I added 1/3 quart of oil. And had to re-fasten my license plate - it was hanging on with just one screw (which was loose) after some extremely rough roads. Thankfully, some nice dude pointed this out, and tightened the wing nut for me (while I was digging through my tools to find some wire, which I used to tie off the other side).
    #19
  20. vicmitch

    vicmitch Been here awhile

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    Weather in nice and cool here in the southern highlsnd. I'm in Uruapan and it was about 75 during the day, Guadalajara about the same. i left the coast (San Blas) because I couldn't take the heat. I also vote for 16 east maybe to 24 south. Heading towrds Morelia tomorrow. I'll be following your report, maybe we'll meet on the road.

    Mitch

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=886176
    #20