Heading south... hopefully all the way...

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by jrzyguy, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. kitesurfer

    kitesurfer Long timer

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    unfortunately, i found your rr via a link from your mechanical issues. then i went back to the front. love the story and the pics. i'm taking nnotes for my trip. thanks for sharing.
  2. rockymountainoyster

    rockymountainoyster Been here awhile

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    Hey Jim,
    Glad that you got to La Mesa Grande, hands down the best coffee and Pan Chocolat in town, both of which together cost only 3 pesos more than grande latte alone at the corporate coffee store and as you found the internet connection is good. I am glad that you are back on the road. You must be in DF by now. I hope that goes well. Amazing place! I hope that we can catch up on the road when I return from Chile. Don´t miss the shrine to La Virgin de Guadalupe, Zocalo and Bosque Chapultepec. The David Siquieros mural on the first floor of Castello Chapultepec is not to be missed and there are a number of other art treasures. Going up to the top of the Latin American Tower is worth the price of admission to grasp the scale of DF. It is across kitty corner from the Bellas Artes. The Anthropology Museum was closed the Monday I was there but it is one of the world greats.

    David
  3. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Enjoy your trip planning...my father told me that planning is half the fun...I think he had something there! Other riders helped me with their RR's...glad to pass it on!
  4. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Cruised into the Centro Historico, right to the plaza in Dolores Hidalgo. And again, there is so much going on there!

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    I was going to get a shine...

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    but I got lost in conversation with my new best friend!

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    This statue, in the middle of the plaza, is Miguel Hidalgo, the parish priest credited with starting the Mexican Revolution in 1810.

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    This street musician is singing the blues...I love seeing colorful characters. He couldn't sing or play worth a darn, but I gave him an "A" for trying!
  5. rockymountainoyster

    rockymountainoyster Been here awhile

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    Great photos Jim. What a face the man in shoeshine chair has. I will have to get to DH next time. Can´t wait to see and hear your impressions of DF.

    Carry on!

    David
  6. RW66

    RW66 Been here awhile

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    If you decide to accept the challenge of DF......I recomend you have lunch on the terrazza of the Grand Hotel Ciudad de Mexico....it is on the corner of the Zocolo. The ceiling of the hotel is all stained glass.....on the next street over, about a block and a half down from the Zocolo is a little restaurant pub that has a whole in the ceiling where Panco Villa left by shooting off his gun. I wish I could remember the name.....if you are interested maybe some of the locals could point you in the right direction.
    Keep posting the great pictures!
  7. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Thanks Dave. I'm a few days behind with my report, but I can tell you that Mexico City made a strong impression!
  8. StmbtDave

    StmbtDave AKA Invisible Dave

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    The air? :rofl
  9. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

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    I hope to be home in Ajijic, Jalisco around the first of Feb. If you are near, feel free to give me a call. I will ride with you to our Pueblos Majico Mazamitla y Tapalpa.
  10. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    To Dave W and Dave O,

    Ah, the Mexico City question. I was going to cover this topic chronologically in my report, but now will work just as well.

    My experience riding and navigating in Mexico City could be likened to entering the Bermuda Triangle. I have never been in similar situation where all of my acquired skills with direction finding, GPS reading, and map use were worth absolutely zero. The traffic is heavy, but the riding wasn't a problem. The roads are so complex, with numerous options for the correct turn, that it is like throwing dice. It took me 4 to 5 hours to get out of the city and onto 95 heading to Taxco. During that time, I have no idea where I was or where I was going...and I was moving at all times. I have seldom been in a situation where I didn't know which way was north...the sun still comes up in the east and that didn't help. It was a new and incredibly disorienting experience...and I'm not going back unless I'm with someone that knows where they're going...period.
  11. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Each city I've visited had a distinguishing feature or quality. In Guanajuato, the tunnel system that routes traffic below the city was beyond what I anticipated. When you arrive, just park whatever you rode or drove...and then walk the city.

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    The Jardin de la Union is the main plaza and the area is filled with activity.

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    The trees surrounding the Jardin are Indian laurels and are manicured, allowing just enough head room!

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    Some locals are picking up breakfast from a vendor who set up in an alley.

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    This is Raquel, with the city behind her. Requel hosted Julie (my lady friend) during her language class in Guanajuato a few years ago. One of my missions in Mexico was to meet Raquel and to deliver gifts from Julie. Finding Raquel's home was a challenge. It is way up a steep alley...it tested this old mans endurance, but I made it. It was special to leave CA knowing that Raquel was the one and only person in Mexico that I had to seek out and find...and to have it work out...nice!

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    The teatro Juarez is at the southeast corner of the Jardin.

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    The extravagance didn't stop at the exterior.

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    This is the lobby's glass block ceiling, which also functions as the floor of the gathering room above. I wish I had seen it at night when it's lit from both above and below.

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    Mercado Hidalgo is the heart of local shopping.

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    The buildings on both sides were once the homes of wealthy mine owners.
  12. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    When I returned after my morning explorations, these children were performing for their classmates and parents in the plaza below my hostel. They were terrific...even though I couldn't understand a word, I could sense the emotion in their voices and actions. A surprise encounter like this one is what I love most about this trip.

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    When I was packing my bike to leave a group of students crowded around me, asking questions about me and my travels. They couldn't have been nicer or more curious...now I know what it feels like to be a celebrity :)
  13. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Before heading down to Mexico City, Matt told me to stop on the way for strawberries and cream...a roadside treat!

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    There are just some places where my lack of Spanish isn't a problem...this was one!

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    The owner showed me how he kept the cream in a plastic bag on ice in a bucket. He then carefully spread the cream around the inside of the cup and layered his masterpiece of strawberries and cream...the final touch was to sprinkle sugar on top! It was almost too much of a good thing...I said almost!
  14. OILIEOLLIE

    OILIEOLLIE Road Warrior

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    Hey Jersey,
    Man am I envious. :D Looks like you are building the trip of a lifetime. I agree; 1/2 the fun is planning the trip, 1/2 is reminiscing for years after you finish, and the other 1/2 is riding it.
    Glad you got the thumper up and runnin again. It'll take you to the bottom of the trip now and on home. I caught up on the blogs today - pics are fabulous. Ride to arrive.

    "Patience and perseverence have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish." :clap
    John Quincy Adams, 6th President

    Jimbo
  15. adventurebound9517

    adventurebound9517 Been here awhile

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    Are you traveling without the use of Spanish? I want to do a trip like yours but was concerned about not being adle to speek Spanish.
  16. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    The night I reached Mexico City, I stayed in the Motel & Suites motel. This is a type of motel I don't believe exists in the U.S., but is common in larger Mexican Cities. There is no exterior or lobby door from which you enter your room. Instead, you drive into your private garage and then enter your room through a connecting door. In your room you will typically find a tooth brush & paste, mouthwash, and flip flops for your feet...items that suggest you arrived without toiletries. And when you turn on the TV, it is often set to a porn station. By now you may have guessed that these motels are used by those with a very specific need...yes, it's the need to have sex discreetly. Most commonly, their customers are either having an affair or are still living at home and can't use their bedrooms for this purpose. So there you have it...there is a need, and then there is an enterprising business person that meets the demand...and so there is the Morel & Suites.
  17. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Another example of resourcefulness...a carriage pulled by a 125cc moto to taxi passengers.
  18. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Jimbo, I like your fractions...they add up nicely! Smiling a lot. Jim
  19. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Matt and Uti (Matt's brother-in-law) need another day before we ride to Oaxaca. So I'm riding over to Taxco to do some shopping today. If you didn't catch my Mexico City navigation experience, it's at the bottom of page 10.

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    These pics are of the road (Cuota vs. libre) from 95 into Taxco. Riding it, I found myself in that "zone" that motorcycle riders experience when everything in the universe seems right. The weather was sunny...the temperature perfect...the traffic nonexistant...the sweepers, sweet...and I was feeling good! While every road is its own entity, I find that I often make connections to another road or place that seems similar. And on the road to Taxco, I was reminded of the Cherohola Skyway, a National Scenic Byway that connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, to Robbinsville, North Carolina. One beautiful road! When I catch myself drifting off in thought like this, I remind myself to "be here now"!
  20. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Taxco is known for its high quality silver jewelry. That's all I'm sharing!

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    The road into town.

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    Where Guanajuato has steep walkway alleys, Taxco has equally steep streets for cars and motos. It's difficult to show the pitch in a photo...so you need to take my word for it...they're steep. When I rode up my first extreme slope, I was so thankful to be on my small, light DR...but even then I needed to carry more speed than cars for the rpm's needed...so you better have some room too. I could only imagine what it's like when the surface is wet.

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    Views from my hotel, Hotel mi Casita, which was a block from the zocalo (plaza).

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    The builders didn't waste space.

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    The plaza, where so much is always happening.

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    A view across the plaza in the opposite direction.

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    The older style VW's remain a popular vehicle...these are all taxis.

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    The alleys around the plaza are lined with shops. I enjoyed wandering around while viewing the architecture.

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    As always, a cathedral (Santa Prisca) is overlooking the plaza. I couldn't help wondering if the scaffolding used during the building of the belfries was O.S.H.A. approved.

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    A shot back at Tasco as I was leaving on the libre (free) road.