Is Mexico Safe?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Arte, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Bato

    Bato Been here awhile

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  2. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    MikeMike, registration is in full swing for the BMW rally in your town

    From what I'm told by Big Jim here locally, looks like a split deal with some activities/hotel stop in Tuxpan

    I haven't taken a look at the itinerary but it would be interesting to see what they offer for ride destinations from the Veracruz (state) banquet table.
  3. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

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  4. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    They are offering...not much. I have no idea why they insist upon the same lame and boring rides. It is going to be split between Tajin and Boca Del Rio. Same old same old and nothing of interest. They could have headquarted the thing in Cordoba and put it right smack in the middle of excellent riding. I offered tohelp them with routing, though I and about half the former members don't belong to the Veracruz chapter anymore. Even the route to Tajin is lame. I sure as hell will be saving my money and anyone who comes and wants to see what is really here, I will offer to guide them on sny ride they want. There is one good coastal route here and that is south to Catemaco via Monte Pio. There are more than 20 good mountain rides here that match or surpass the Jimmy ride. Probably fewer than 5 of the local club members have been on these rides or even know they exist. That pretty much sums things up. It frustrates me to no end when they insist upon trotting out the same tired old crappy rides when I have time and time again posted pictures and routing that really shows the magic that is here.
    Honestly, it could give a guy Tourette's when they plan rides that have you looking at the back of a semi instead of a landscape at 10,000ft. Anyone who attends that rally and thinks they have ridden Veracruz is fooling themselves. A rubber chicken or fish dinner, some folkloric dancing, and boring introductions while having ridden the lamest roads is not my idea of fun.
    There, wow, do I suddenly feel so much better!
    I am also not alone in my opinion.
    If they ever do a ride worth mentioning, I will let you know. Meanwhile, people are going to come away with the usual piss poor idea of what the state has to offer.
    That is a real shame!
    You guys could plan a better ride and you don't even live here. I think you get the picture.
  5. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Funny! :lol3

    I stumbled on Tuxpan a few years ago and thought it was just a really lovely nautical city, the kind of place that I will return to some day. But that's part of that equation where some people don't appreciate ships and such - I'd run into that all the time in Florida. Some people just love that ride down to Key West and others think it's boring as hell, what with all the water and history and such. :wink:
  6. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Be glad it's that way

    You wouldn't want hundreds of rally bikes stomping the best bits anyway :freaky

    I'm glad for the rally injecting some $$$ in the local economy, but that's about it
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    The history on the coast is interesting but they won't be going there. As far as I know they have no event planned in La Villa Rica de la Veracruz where you can walk to the spot on the beach where Cortes ordered a few of the ships dismantled and/or burned. Nor a ride up to the lookout from the Totonac cemetery where the locals first saw Cortes arrive. Nor will they visit La Antigua which was the first municipality in North America.

    They won't be taking the coastal backroute through the Volcan de San Martin biosphere forest.

    Will they be taking you to a geothermal field at over 9,000ft where electricity is produced? Or maybe to one of the least known yet historically significant set of ruins that was the epicenter of the "ball game" in meso-America? Nope. Uu uh.

    How about a ride to the town where the H1N1 flu virus supposedly began and where a little boy, patient zero, was located? No.

    The Zongolica?! No.
    Rio Blanco and the significant site of labor unrest in the early 20th century? The buildings are still there. Nope, no ride for you!

    This is simply the tip of the iceberg.

    How about the back road to Perote from Xalapa that has just been recently paved to a very high standard and is, in short, "chingon"? Nope.

    We have not even started to mention the area that Arte and Andres call "Greenland" and the newly paved route from the Actopan junction to Alta Lucero.
  8. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Yes, Trice, but the truth is the money into the local economy is largely a myth. The Hotel is a chain hotel owned locally by a very wealthy family.
    Tajin will benefit, but they already have a much larger event there every year.
    Accessories will be sold by the local dealer who now refuses to let their staff even touch a part that was bought some place else other than the dealership. It is their "policy". Other accessories will be sold by outside vendors coming in from Puebla or Mexico City.
    Not much is going to filter down to the local "Mom and Pop" businesses.

    You could take that $3,000 peso inscription and use it for 3 nights at a local hotel at a preferred rate, plus have money left over to cover all your food and bar tab. I don't think the $3,000 peso entry gets you much more than a banquet or two and some trinkets in a grab bag.

    To me, it is a damn shame that the state of Veracruz, with so much to offer in very, very good riding, ends up with this sort of event.

    I would guess that well over half of the attendees have already visited Tajin, have ridden the coast highway, and have stayed at a Fiesta Americana hotel. The beach behind the Fiesta American here is one of the most polluted on the coast and if you wade out you'll find enough sea urchins to convince you to wear an old pair of tennis shoes or reef shoes. I would also guess that fewer than maybe 3% of the attendees could even find some of the routes we ride here regularly, on a decent map. And that would be a guess that errs on the generous side.

    If you really want to see an event that puts money directly into the local economy, take a long hard look at the La Esperanza Rally Ruta del Cafe of Andres and Arte. This year they have it planned at a local hotel that you know, a good spot on a really clean and remote beach, a real coastal Veracruz experience. Good food purchased and prepared locally and not according to a chain hotel menu. The money goes to a terrific local cause with a clearly visible benefit to the community that will be felt, literally, for generations.
    Now THAT is the kind of event that is my plate of mole and cup of tea...ok...coffee!
    Seriously, anyone from Texas who wants to come south and visit Veracruz should skip the national BMW rally and attend the Rally Ruta del Cafe. They don't have to do the off road part, there is more than enough very, very good riding like the route up the Misantla highway from Vega del Atorre via Colipa and El Nueve that Schizz and Donnie did with me to Naolinco, or Plan de las Hayas to Alto Lucero to Naolinco or Actopan. It is also a very easy and close ride to the great and challenging route up from Tlapacoyan to either Teziutlan or Altotonga (or both!).

    If you really want to see your money go straight into local businesses and a very good local cause, skip the national BMW rally and attend the Rally Ruta del Cafe.
    Now THAT'S Veracruz!:deal
    Word.
    Dawg.:freaky

    The Rally Ruta del Cafe deserves a good plug, because it was planned and developed and a success (last year was the first annual and it was a really fun event, an old school "run what ya brung and hope ya brung enough" happening. The local ladies preparing good, fresh, delicious local food for breakfast and lunch, all you can eat (and you can eat a lot from the kitchens in La Esperanza, trust me!), a post-event bar set up on the main street complete with blenders whirring away and coolers of ice cold beer. The absolute best coffee you will ever have the pleasure to experience. With an ambiance of fun, families out for a good time, kids, dogs, chickens, goats, even a camel in a field. Now that is a rally.
    Listening to people BS about how much they spent on their last farkle, or if and when Gucci will offer panniers is not for me.
    Swapping jokes with a good bunch of guys from Tamaulipas, sharing ride plans and bench racing and laughing and having a good time, to me, is what motorcycling is all about.
    More Mondo Enduro than a Placio del Hierro catalog.
  9. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    In about 5 weeks I'll be injecting my $$$ into the local economy of the high Sierra between Durango and Mazatlán.

    Oh, wait, there's nothing there but forest and trails :rofl:rofl:rofl
  10. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    We haven't had that spirit here for a long, long time.:clap

    Some of us have been riding the routes here that beg to be ridden, that Durango shindig is exactly what I am talking about when it comes to how much fun you can have outside a planned, packaged, big box, national rally.

    Tell your buddy Jim to come down and do the La Esperanza deal and bring some friends. I can give them routing that will keep them happy and busy if they prefer to ride by themselves, or I'll show them if they want.

    Dammit, Trice! You got me a riled up and it's Saturday and I have to work!
    Argggghhhh!

    Seriously, spread the word up there in the Rio Gringolandia Valley and tell people to head down for a better event, and that is the Rally Ruta del Cafe.
  11. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    :lol3

    I have been kicking around buying a Triumph Explorer and slapping BMW stickers on it. You may have pushed me in that direction. :evil

    Your comments about Cortez and the flu origin are right up my alley. Interesting stuff.

    Recently I ran across a listing of the RV campgrounds along the Costa Esmerelda. There were once a ton of them, but of the few Mexican RV parks that I have a little experience with I could tell that the list was sadly outdated. With that said I can see an exploratory ride in my future to check out a bunch of RV parks in that area and then make some decisions about moving a travel trailer down there in a few years.

    One issue is that there simply doesn't seem to be electrical power available at Mexican parks for all the accessories and air conditioning that gringos insist on and I am trying to find a workaround.

    Mike (or anyone else), if you know anything about RVs and Mexican electrical stuff I'd be interested in getting some input.
  12. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Big Jim is a rally guy and loves everything about them.

    At his biker breakfast, he was wearing his shirt from last's year's event in Uruapan.

    I believe his wife is flying into Veracruz to join him.

    Everybody's favorite flavor or color is often different.
  13. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Is the Rally Ruta del Cafe an Arte and Andres production? :huh

    Is there a schedule for this year's event, or a website, or is it all just informal?
  14. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Campgrounds died out due to development of land and the years of bad image that the state has suffered with the narco violence idea being punted around by RV people. RV people are a different breed of tourist but sadly, some regions of Mexico have not learned how to bring them in.
    There are very few Mexican RV people, they are 99% gringo. No local market means tough times in some areas.

    Electricity in Mexico is sold at a price depending on how the area is designated. There is no one set fee for electricity. Our home bill is literally 20 times more expensive than my wife's office practice bill. It is insane, but that is the way it is. If you live in a normal suburb, you subsidize the electrical bills of other people. End of story. You have to have the CFE (federal electrical commission) put a meter on the connection and they bill you. Don't expect stellar service unless you happen to have a $1,000 pesos or so you can slide to the guy who is going to do the hook up.
    And that is the cheap end. A lot of people run an illegal wire connection and you can see posts with about 100 of these taps hooked in.

    You'll always find a place to park an RV, but it might not always be what you want or have thought of.
  15. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Tell him to come down and I'll buy him a real rally shirt that he can be proud to wear that says "La Esperanza" on it.

    If he thinks he's going to like the route the locals have prepared for the national rally, he is going to move here and be in total nirvana the first time he rides the "Sierra Secreta" route (you guys don't know this one)!:clap Once he gets a taste of the "Jimmy ride" with the Dave's Leg and da Bum's rush extensions, he'll be walking around in tight circles and chanting!:eek1
  16. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Not going to happen because rallys are his thing
  17. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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  18. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I ran across several RV parks along the Costa Esmerelda; according to that map that I saw there are (or were) a ton more.

    I saw one or two US-style travel trailers when I was there but mostly what they had were bunches of young couples with kids who were tent camping. At one place where I stopped in the swimming pool was standing room only!

    There are also supposed to be some places around Monterrey (resort hotel with some RV hookups) and Victoria. I have spoken to one of the places in Victoria and they were taken over by a strict Christian religious group for use by their missionaries and while I was told that I was welcome I could see potential issues ;)

    San Carlos, Alamos, and Mazatlan had big gringo RV communities back when I first got seriously interested, almost 15 years ago. I know that some of that still exists.

    Anyway, the #1 issue is that basically none of the Mexican RV parks have standard US-style 50amp hookups. Very few have 30amp hookups. And I have been warned repeatedly about testing any 30amp hookup first because they are easily confused with another type of appliance plug and that causes disastrous results.

    The vast majority of the hookups that I see in Mexico are the standard household 120volt connections and that doesn't go very far, especially since there is a trend in the USA towards all-electric usage and reducing dependence on propane for cooking and heating.

    A lot of RVers used to generate their own power but since the Perkins diesel in my old motorhome burned about 1.5 gallons an hour a rethink is in order.

    I noticed that Honda is pushing some new generation gasoline generators that wire two smaller units together for extra power when you need it and I thought that was pretty clever. That way you only run one unit at non-peak times.

    Anyway ... I have kicked around everything from building my own modular structure that I could put along the coast of Mexico somewhere to buying a huge toy hauler trailer to buying a smallish toy hauler that would be closer to camping. The only thing that I know right now is that whatever I take traveling in a year or two is likely to be quite different from what I use in the oil patch or as my primary residence.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
  19. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Those kids you refer to are in their thirties now
  20. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Used to be you would see a lot of trailers and RVs in convoys here. But that was then and this is now. The beach front lot at Mocambo used to be full.
    Those days are gone.
    A little Honda generator can be serviced locally, they've got them in stock and sell them at the Honda dealers here.