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 Mitch!

    I'll be in Mazatlan tomorrow (June 17). I'll either be there 2 days, and then Puerto Vallarta for a few days (I know someone who is visiting there), OR I'll be heading for Guadalajara on Tuesday. Hard to say at this point (leaning toward getting further inland).

    -Charlie
    #21
  2. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Hey Charlie,

    You might want to try for a town called San Blas if you are heading South. Mazatlan is like an aging beauty queen. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty still good about Mazatlan, but since most of the Cruise Ships stopped calling, she had let herself go a bit. If you have never been to Mazatlan before then you might not notice, so your view may not be tinted by her former glory.

    San Blas, on the other hand, is a Gringo hang out a little further South, and will get you on some nice two lane black top. This is not a Gringo town like Puerto Vallerta with high rise ocean view condos. It has a much grittier feel. The Gringo's are mostly exiles from the great frenzy up North types, not the condo on the beach crowd. And the back roads South from San Blas are quite fun.

    But whatever you choose, you will have an opportunity to have fun.
    #22
  3. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Interesting! Well, I'm in Mazatlan now (and I've never been here before). It seems great so far :D
    #23
  4. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    How hot was the ride from Hermosillo? Did you take the libre again? Where do you think will you head from Mazatlan?
    #24
  5. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    The heat wasn't too bad - I left Hermosillo early in the morning. Yes, I took every libre opportunity to Los Mochis.

    The next day, Los Mochis to Mazatlan, I took libre half way, and the final dash from Culiacan I took the cuota (which was a mistake.. nothing to see at ALL). It was 90-96˚ the whole way. Not bad :)

    I also realized I had my seat adjusted incorrectly, so I was rolling forward slightly. After raising the front, I was much more comfortable!

    I'll be here in Mazatlan today and tomorrow, then Puerto Vallarta (sigh, I promised someone I'd visit).

    THEN! Then, I make my way to Oaxaca.
    #25
  6. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    #26
  7. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Thanks Blind Warrior - I have actually not been paying attention to any weather :)

    This means I definitely want to take the south/westerly route to Oaxaca, not the quick "around mexico city" route.
    #27
  8. ahwarm

    ahwarm Adventurer

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    A little late now but 8 miles from Westmoreland is a town called Brawley and it has plenty more options then Westmoreland. Did you eat at the Town Pump? (I think it's called). I've traveled through that town 100 times on my way to Glamis and have never eaten there.

    Love the RR so far. Keep it up!

    Andy
    #28
  9. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Hi, ahwarm :)

    I did eat at Town Pump. Which, is funny, because in Montana there's a gas station named Town Pump.. anyway..

    It's fairly decent, and better than I was expecting. But not great.
    I splurged on the local ribeye (Brandt ranch?). It wasn't aged, so there was a lot of fat. The flavor was good, but that could have been due to the copious amounts of pepper they coated it with :)

    The most disappointing part, is that they brought it out nearly sizzling, and juice was all over the plate. Textbook "how not to serve steak." It was tasty, but I suspect I would have been happier with the burger.
    #29
  10. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    :lurk Intresting so far. Obviously not your first trip in Mexico...
    Good to hear your planning is limited.... but it sounds to me as if you really do have a plan already as you mention having a meeting-up to get to in PV.
    A thought though, you say you are doing "two weeks " in Mexico but time window that could bite you if you do really go all the way to Oaxaca ,the city and state.By the time you get done your PV visit the first week will be used up.Going all the way to OAX would leave you no time to make a comfortable leisurely ride back north to your (awaiting? ) job. There are more than enough roads on shorter routings to keep you amused for the duration and certainly if you make a point of stopping more than ONLY ten times in a day.
    Maybe take PV as the turnaround point and pick up a bunch of neat roads through interior Mexico northward.
    For instance PV to San Sebastian and Mascota and Ameca to Guadalajara and Mex 23 north to Fresnillo . Lots of scenic stuff inthe hills there.
    Or at most carry on south on Mex 2oo to Manzanillo and there take the roads inland to Minatitlan , Colima and wander around the back roads at foot of Volcan Nevado de Colima , then libres up to Guadalajara etc etc .
    Up north you can do the loop from Hidalgo del Parral to Guachochi, Creel, side trip to view Copper Canyon vistas , then north to the US border .
    #30
  11. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Sjoerd,

    It *is* my first trip to Mexico :) My first trip with more than 4 days of riding, in fact.

    You're right though - the PV meetup is a plan. But I wasn't 100% sure I was doing it, until I was in Los Mochis. This has turned into a 4-star hangout in beach towns, which is what I didn't want.

    Anyway, you're very right about Oaxaca. If I venture that far south, I'll be riding quite non-leisurely back home.

    Perhaps copper canyon is still in reach. I'm quite liking the idea of venturing inland and making my way, slowly, up North.
    #31
  12. 71tr

    71tr Been here awhile

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    Brilliant tag line. :clap
    #32
  13. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    I'll do pictures and a proper write-up soon.. but I'm super excited right now, and must tell you guys:

    Rode from Mazatlan to San Blas. The road to San Blas was excellent, but the road south toward PV is even better! Mex 74 - before you hit 200... winds its way through the hills, to the beach, back up into the hills.. and tons of "20 mph" sweepers... on smooth-as-ass blacktop. To top it off, the climate is changing from desert/grasslands, to tropical jungle. It's a beautiful area :)
    #33
  14. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Where will you head after PV? Mex 200 along the coast is a nice ride. Maybe to Lazaro Cardenas and then head inland to Urupan? I wish it were me dealing with these decisions.
    #34
  15. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Haven't decided yet. Leaving tomorrow morning.. either a bit south, and perhaps Uruapan, or cut straight over to Guadalajara and head North from there...
    #35
  16. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    The use of the word "chilling" is definitely a stretch.

    Day 4 was travel to Mazatlan, and I arrived just after 1pm.

    Day 6, I traveled to Puerto Vallarta (PV) and arrived around 5pm. And tomorrow I'm heading toward Guadalajara, but will cut north just prior to avoid running through the large city.

    So, pictures.

    Note: sorry, two images don't work - I think because the URLs contain '..' (stupid faux-security settings on the forum..). You can view the original blog post here:
    http://charlierides.com/news/days-4-7-chilling-in-not-mexico/
    Or more photos here:
    http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013

    I stayed at the Ramada hotel in Mazatlan, and it was nice (but of course touristy). Strangely, it was mostly Mexican tourists! I did meet a nice pair of couples from Veracruz on k1300-something BMWs, just starting a trip to Alaska. Best of luck to them!

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-M65WQv5/0/O/Just%20arrived%20in%20Mazatlan.%20I%20think%20I%27ll%20stay%20here%20for%20a%20few%20days...%20%28I%27m%20off%20to%20jump%20in%20the%20ocean%20now%21%29.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    The beach was quite nice, and I even took a waverunner ride for 30 minutes :)

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-Tmq29Wx/0/L/They%20just%20want%20a%20hug%21-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    The town itself, though, is a bit depressed. The entire area along the beach is filled with still-open shops, containing sole sad-faced owners sitting at the doors. Half-built buildings litter the entire beach line..

    But hey, you can still bury a girl and give her sand boobies:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-gzbpX7T/0/L/IMG_5305-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    Also, the market in the city center is WONDERFUL:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-StZqMGP/0/L/IMG_5319-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    &nbsp;

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-Bv8DSBL/0/L/The%20smell%20of%20freshly%20butchered%20meat%20in%20a%20market..%20mmm.%20%28no%2C%20really%29-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-sCGmwx2/0/L/IMG_5323-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-JJx6FL4/0/L/IMG_5321-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-RNPL9Nd/0/L/IMG_5325-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    Also, birds (white-winged doves, in this case) like to nest in bananas:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-P9zhSq5/0/XL/%22Just%20going%20to%20go%20ahead%20and%20use%20these%20bananas%20as%20a%20nest.%22%20I%20swear%2C%20I%27m%20not%20stalking%20this%20bird.%20Sorry%20for%20the%20sun..%20I%20couldn%27t%20get%20a%20better%20angle%20-%20but%20you%20can%20see%20the%20baby%20if%20you%20look%20closely.-XL.jpg" width="800" height="599" />

    And there are great sunsets, to test your tripod and long-exposure skills:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-LCfphMG/0/L/Another%20neat%20one%20from%20the%20beach%20%3A%29-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-fQ5qPRd/0/L/See%20the%20ghost%3F-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    &nbsp;

    And on to the important part: the road south, to San Blas, and then on to PV. Amazing blacktop with tons of twisties:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-wDckHrQ/0/L/IMG_5394-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    And it's basically THE point where Mexico transitions from arid desert/grasslands to full-on jungle:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-SG7f2LL/0/L/IMG_5392-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    San Blas is an amazing little town! I can see why so many gringos live there:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-JKsRW4t/0/L/IMG_5395-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-kPR32j6/0/L/IMG_5400-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    More lovely jungly lands, from the seat:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-WG6q7vP/0/L/IMG_5396-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    And apparently, I could have hopped the little-known SF-PV wormhole to get here!:

    <img class="aligncenter" alt="" src="http://pictures.schluting.com/MotoRides/Mexico-2013/i-nxvSP39/0/L/Wait%2C%20what%3F-L.jpg" width="800" height="600" />

    &nbsp;

    I don't really have many pictures from PV - a few cell phone pics that are fun, but this is already really long.

    Tomorrow: into the highlands and away from this heat!

    &nbsp;
    #36
  17. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    I'm in Parral now (cute town), heading to Creel tomorrow to stay there for a few days.

    I'm wondering, has anyone ever taken Mex 20 West from Parral, to get to Creel?

    It definitely turns to dirt - anyone know if it's a decent enough road?
    #37
  18. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto

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    Mex 20 is the route to take to get to Creel. Its one of the best motorbike roads around. When you leave Creel ride West to san Juanito, turn left to Basaseachic and then pick up Mex 16 West. Suerte, JIm

    Google maps is googled up. The below is correct; Chih 24 to Chih 23 to Creel. Great ride.
    #38
  19. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Charlie,
    I assume you are in Hidalo de Parral. If so, do you mean Mex 24 running West out of Parral? If this is the case, there is a right turn you need to make about 27 miles outside of Parral onto Chi 23 which will take you up to Creel. It is paved the whole way and is a fun ride especially when you turn off Mex 24.
    #39
  20. charlieS

    charlieS Adventurer

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    Yep, Hidalo de Parral; Thanks BW. For some reason, both the paper map and google maps led me to believe it was a gravel road.
    #40