Living 2 Lives: one on an F650 and the other in the real world

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bastchild, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    You tell yourself you will make the trip happen but you need to do this or that. You give yourself a couple years, then a couple more, then your wife realizes it might never happen, and she tells you to get off your butt and make it happen. So you like your job and the schedule and you try to make it work. You tell your company it’s time to find a replacement for you. Maybe by next summer. Meanwhile, you happen to get two weeks off and you plan to fly to the Philippines and laze on the beach. Typhoon Haiyan happens. You cancel your flights. Your wife tells to you to start the trip now.
    And so it begins. Living two lives: one on an F650 and the other in the real world. By “real world” I mean the working world. That’s right we’re going to travel and work and fly back an forth to our bike. The wife says, “Work is just what you do between rides.” I don’t know where she gets this stuff but I sure am lucky.
    The wife a few years ago with our friend Coco. That’s me on the far left.
    [​IMG]Group shot by bastchild, on Flickr
    This is me on the bike about the embark on a cross-country trip after buying the bike 5 months before and getting my license 3 months before.
    [​IMG]Rolling out by bastchild, on Flickr
    Adding last minute farkles on the 2003 F650gs:
    Enduristan Sandstorm 2 tank bag
    Extra large tool tubes
    Another old milk crate
    Laminar lip
    [​IMG]adding last minutes farkles by bastchild, on Flickr
    And this is how she looks now.
    [​IMG]the ride by bastchild, on Flickr
    So we live in Mississippi’s gulf coast and it’s Thanksgiving Day and I have 14 days off but a cold front has moved in and the high is in the low 50’s and the low is in the mid 30’s and what do we do? I finish packing the bike and the wife says to head for New Orleans, only 90 minutes away for the evening. It’s 3:45pm and it gets dark at 5pm. It’s cold and we leave. Happy turkey day! We are so on the fly that we don’t even take a departing shot or record the mileage on the odometer. Before we know it, we’re pulling in front of the Queen and Crescent Hotel in the CBD a couple blocks from the French Quarter and Domenica'’s our go-to pizza place (happened to be ranked as one of the top Italian restaurants in the States by USA Today, but who cares, right?). My fingers and frozen, and I need to warm up but the room is good and we just booked it a couple hours ago on hotels.com and they have secure (locked gate) parking ($32 for cars, and bargained it down to half price, and then they didn'’t even charge me in the morning!)
    [​IMG]secure parking, bargained to half price by bastchild, on Flickr
    [​IMG]queen and crescent in cbd nola by bastchild, on Flickr
    This was as close as we got to cranberry sauce
    [​IMG]cranberry with flaky bread by bastchild, on Flickr
    Proscuitto pizza with arugula and roasted cauliflower with whipped feta. Sounds funky but it is the bomb.
    [​IMG]Thanksgiving dinner at Domenica's by bastchild, on Flickr
    Domenica’s is attached to the Roosevelt and it was spruced up for the holiday season. And our motorcycle jacket liners really didn’t make us stand out amongst the other clientele.
    [​IMG]Roosevelt Hotel Christmas lights by bastchild, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Roosevelt Hotel Christmas lights by bastchild, on Flickr
    After dinner went to see how busy Bourbon Street was. Verdict: steady business on Thanksgiving. We stopped at Lafitte’s Blacksmith and met a couple from Houston and ended up hanging out and enjoying music at Fritzel’s our favorite jazz bar.
    [​IMG]Andy and Sharon by bastchild, on Flickr
    [​IMG]Fritzel's Jazz Band by bastchild, on Flickr
    #1
  2. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011
    Oddometer:
    523
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Looking forward to future updates. Indeed a very understanding wife!

    Later
    John
    #2
  3. voyagerrider

    voyagerrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    116
    Location:
    Burleson, Texas
    Subscribed, this should be a interesting trip.
    #3
  4. CaptnSlo

    CaptnSlo Derelicte

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,577
    Location:
    VA
    :lurk
    #4
  5. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
  6. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    Day 3 begins with Denny’s breakfast and hitting the road to Reynosa border.
    [​IMG]Denny's breakfast by bastchild, on Flickr


    Denny’s breakfasts put me to sleep. I had a burger.
    [​IMG]Denny's breakfast by bastchild, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Denny's breakfast by bastchild, on Flickr


    Temps hit 77F! We shed thermals and rejoice!
    [​IMG]Warm! by bastchild, on Flickr


    Went to Super 8 in Hidalgo, on the Reynosa border. Online was $80 and the desk wanted to charge $90. We whipped out the phone and charged it online. I know the websites get a commission and the deskclerk has no authority to discount the rate, but it seems to me ridiculous. This happens everyday for the next few days. Hidalgo, btw, looks like Mexico with the taco stands in a dirt or limerock parking lot. We loved it! But we had Subways instead because the wife wanted gringo food one last time.
    [​IMG]Super 8 Hidalgo by bastchild, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Super 8 Hidalgo by bastchild, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Subway's for dinner by bastchild, on Flickr

    Fin day 3
    #6
  7. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    The next morning we made the quick 10 minute drive to the Hidalgo-Reynosa border. I had ordered the Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit and received it a couple weeks ago via DHL. I highly recommend this to anyone who can. I googled it. Our target was modest: negotiate the border, get cash, make it to Monterrey, only 3 hours away.

    The border crossing.
    [​IMG]Hidalgo-Reynosa border crossing by bastchild, on Flickr

    Just keep going straight instead of stopping at the parking lot at the right just over the bridge ($3 bridge toll, too). The town is on the right but if you keep going straight with the exiting traffic directly on your left you will make it to a large parking lot and building for getting visas, paying the bank, and getting your TVIP you should have gotten online. They even have a dude you can pay for copies there. We made the mistake of stopping and asking the pedestrian customs area and they had a helper walk us with our bike gear to the building. Very nice, but when I asked if we could just ride our bikes, he said, better for exercise. Halfway there, he said he wanted a tip, maybe something for a coffee. Thanks, buddy! Anyways, no harm no foul. He wanted to help fill out our visa forms but I just gave him 12pesos and he left. Paid 295pesos for each visa and walked back to the bikes a sweaty mess. Sure beats freezing!

    Paying for visas. Wow, no line.
    [​IMG]paying for visas by bastchild, on Flickr

    Heading to Monterrey on the libre road because we are too cheap to pay the toll road.
    [​IMG]taking the libre road 40 by bastchild, on Flickr

    Wife’'s selfie. She doesn'’t do this normally, but does it count if it isn'’t for faceb**k?
    [​IMG]taking the libre road 40 by bastchild, on Flickr

    This is what she stares at sometimes. I forget how boring it must be for pillions.
    [​IMG]Christine's view by bastchild, on Flickr

    And other times she says, “"Pull over, the luggage is falling off."” My homemade Pelican case luggage needed some loctite which I had brought for this purpose. I had forseen this happening.
    [​IMG]luggage falling over by bastchild, on Flickr

    Quickfix. I had brought the necessary washers and loctite.
    [​IMG]quick fix by bastchild, on Flickr

    We made it to smoggy Monterrey around 2:30 pm. I had checked out iStay Hotel which was around $50 online and stopped there. I asked the desk clerk how much for doble and he says 800pesos. I say it was cheaper online, and he shrugs. So I go back to the curbside and what do you know? They have unsecure wifi for their restaurant. Awesome. Booked via the internet and went back to the front this time and said I just booked it. He looked at me and said it would take an hour for them to receive it. What? Well, we had to put the bike somewhere so the security guard was kind enough to let us park it under the their camera. We took our stuff off the bike that we needed and prepared to have lunch somewhere. Wife decides to ask the deskminion to check to see if the reservation was there, and sure enough, it was! Imagine that! The iStay is the right price and has secure parking in the downtown area near all the action so I recommend it for your stay.

    [​IMG]secure parking under camera by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]iStay hotel Monterrey by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]iStay hotel Monterrey by bastchild, on Flickr

    In the crowded pedestrian zone, dressed ballroom dancers invited others to dance with them.
    [​IMG]monterrey zona rosa by bastchild, on Flickr

    Cool architecture. Monterrey has some interesting buildings. It is the third largest city in Mexico, with over 3 million people, but according to a guidebook I read it has the highest per capita income. It shows. This is not the Mexico we know from our Baja trips. It is great. It is definitely worth a stop to check out. Did I mention we live in Mississippi on the gulf coast?
    [​IMG]cool architecture by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Holiday stuff by bastchild, on Flickr

    They had an iceskating rink set up.
    [​IMG]ice skating! by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]swingout doors like a Lamborghini by bastchild, on Flickr

    The guidebook recommended cabrito, roasted baby goat. And it recommended El Rey del Cabrito. So we went. It is good. But we are more street tacos in Ensenada type of people.
    [​IMG]El Rey del Cabrito by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]El Rey del Cabrito by bastchild, on Flickr

    “Why does your husband make that face all the time?” “That’s just how he looks.”
    [​IMG]El Rey del Cabrito by bastchild, on Flickr

    It’s because there are goofy decorations that make no sense here.
    [​IMG]El Rey del Cabrito by bastchild, on Flickr

    We got the mixed plate. Half beef and half goat. I hope it comes from 2 separate animals and not la chupacabre. It was good but not nearly the size of the other patron’s goat only plates.
    [​IMG]El Rey del Cabrito by bastchild, on Flickr

    The table next to us had a mountain of beef to share and each had a plate of goat.
    [​IMG]they got the big platter! by bastchild, on Flickr

    They do make a tasty margarita! Congratulatory drink for beating the cold and making to Mexico!
    [​IMG]great margarita! by bastchild, on Flickr

    After dinner we strolled about in the Barrio Antigua. Not much happening but reminds me of old colonial towns like Merida and Antigua. The Zona Rosa is definitely where the business is thriving.
    [​IMG]Barrio Antiguo by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Barrio Antigua by bastchild, on Flickr

    More cool architecture near the museums.
    [​IMG]cool architecture by bastchild, on Flickr
    Free entry to three of their museums tonight. We took advantage and used the restrooms.
    [​IMG]cool architecture by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]cool architecture by bastchild, on Flickr

    The wife was not full off our goat-tastic meal and wanted some antojitos so we went here for some tostadas. It was bland, I am sorry to say. I post for your future avoidance.
    [​IMG]Restaurant Mi Tierra by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tostadas by bastchild, on Flickr

    Monterrey is worth a stopover. There, I'’ve said it.

    Day 4 fin
    #7
  8. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    We had decided to head towards Mazatlan but not being iron butters yet we figured we would stop somewhere before Durango. Well, the night before we had decided on Zacatecas, but had read Lonestar’s report on Real de Catorce. I was hesitant because of our heavy weight, compressed suspension on a lowered bike, and the risk of rattling off other non-loctited bolts. But in the morning I announced we would head to Real, 18-mile cobblestone road be d*mned! Besides it was 5 hours away.
    Morning ride out of Monterrey.
    [​IMG]riding out of Monterrey by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]riding out of Monterrey by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]riding out of Monterrey by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]riding a cement road by bastchild, on Flickr

    Truck lunch stop. Great places to stop for meals are where other long haulers stop. It was cafeteria style and tasty and good value.
    [​IMG]Lunch break by bastchild, on Flickr

    This is pork in red sauce is unbelievable. It isn'’t mole. It is barbacoa and remains one of the tastiest meals we had on the trip.
    [​IMG]barbacoa puerco 80p by bastchild, on Flickr

    This was all right.
    [​IMG]beef and vegetables 70pesos by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Lunch break by bastchild, on Flickr

    Goats and other animals grazing by the highway. This is why you don’t drive at night!
    [​IMG]goats by bastchild, on Flickr

    The wife is telling me how she feels about me not being able to understand her through our comm system.
    [​IMG]riding highway 57D by bastchild, on Flickr

    She is so pleased she was able to turn around and get a bottle of Pepsi from the milk crate.
    [​IMG]Drinking Pepsi by bastchild, on Flickr

    We filled up before Real de Catorce and I tightened up the sagging tool tubes to keep them off the chain guard and rear brake. I had anticipated this happening. I bought 24” zip ties for less than $2 at Harbor Freight. Love that place.
    [​IMG]Tightening the tool tubes by bastchild, on Flickr

    Real de Catorce is at around 9000 ft and there is an 18-mile polished slipper cobblestone road to get there. Lonestar described it great in his ride report.
    [​IMG]Road to Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    And this is on a lowered bike with low seat.
    [​IMG]Road to Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    There is a 1.5-mile tunnel to Real. You, the tourist, have to pay 20 pesos, my friend.
    [​IMG]Tunnel to Real by bastchild, on Flickr

    More cobblestoned road but now with hills, yikes!
    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    I didn'’t want to hit the hills, but I had to make a loop. The wife got off first. She has realistic expectations at my skills on polished cobblestones and hills. I ended up parking on the flat, and walking up hill to El Real Hotel.
    [​IMG]parking by bastchild, on Flickr

    Yep, same story as the last two nights. $50 online price. Went to the door and she wanted $90. I went back to the bike and hitched a ride on the free-wifi express gravy train and booked it online. Went back in and she gave me the price if we would pay cash. Why do we have to do this dance, if you’re going to give me my price in the end?
    [​IMG]El Real hotel by bastchild, on Flickr

    The owner was “discovered” and used for the movie “The Mexican” which was filmed in Real de Catorce. He has since been used as an extra in other films.
    [​IMG]El Real hotel by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]El Real hotel by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]El Real hotel by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]El Real hotel by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]El Real hotel by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    I came down that hill?
    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    Real de Catorce is really a pilgrimage site for its church. It was also a silver mining town with a population of up to 40,000 but it only has 1500 now.
    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    Hey, I can see my bike from here!
    [​IMG]parking by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Victoria beer by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Victoria beer by bastchild, on Flickr

    It is probably not socially acceptable to be drinking in public like this.
    [​IMG]Victoria beer by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    A parade of sorts that you see in Latin America.
    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    Dinnertime, in Real de Catorce when there are no tourists is a bit limited. But we wanted cheap local eats and this place looked inviting.
    [​IMG]Dinner time by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    Chicharron gordita. That is, greasy pig skin. Yum!
    [​IMG]Gorditas by bastchild, on Flickr

    Real at night.
    [​IMG]Real de Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    Real de Catorce is an interesting place. Lonestar’'s ride report made us want to come here and I’m glad we did. But after a night it was good to go. The tile floor in our room was freezing!
    Day 5 fin
    #8
  9. Blader54

    Blader54 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,465
    In! I'm guessing you guys are going to stash the bike at some point, fly home and work until your next vacation and then go back and continue the ride? Interesting. Congrats on finding a way to make your ride happen sooner rather than way later! Looking forward to the next episode!
    #9
  10. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    This is Lonestar's awesome ride report on Real de Catorce.


    It is amazing how heavy wool blankets can keep you warm. The tile floor was still popsicle-like in the morning, and the church bell klanged away waking the town up. There were not too many cars starting up but we heard the rattle of loose windows panes on house doors being open and shut. We got loaded up and left a little before 9am after the wife had her morning coffee at the Cafe Azul nextdoor. I just went back down the same oneway cobblestone road I had come on. It was the wrong direction, but there was no other automotive traffic this early.

    [​IMG]Leaving Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Leaving Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Leaving Catorce by bastchild, on Flickr

    No incidences riding out on to the main road. I averaged around 23mph out of there so it took about an hour. I did notice that the back milkcrate was a little noisier than usual but maybe that was because I was going faster. More on that later.

    Had lunch here right before a couple buses pulled up. Another good value meal for 60pesos each. On second thought, are we getting ripped off?
    [​IMG]Truck stop lunch stop by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Truck stop lunch stop by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Truck stop lunch stop by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Truck stop lunch stop by bastchild, on Flickr

    After the requisite hour lunch we made it Zacatecas around 2pm. It shouldn't be taking us this long to ride, should it? Well, take a couple hours away and it seems okay I guess.

    Zacatecas -- what can I say? Another silver mining town, but much larger and richer than Real. Apparently at one time it supplied a fifth of Spain's silver. There are enough grand churches to show it too. Built between two hills, it has European look with baroque architecture and evening lighting to accent it, and nice squares, but also an old Mexico look with stucco walls and flat roofs. We loved it. Why this place isn't over run with tourists is beyond us. In fact, except for the Spanish-speaking backpacker girls we saw in Real, we haven't seen any other foreign tourists at all, as far as we could tell, anyways. It is nice having the whole place to ourselves.

    We booked a room at the Hotel Mision Argento in the middle of Zacatecas, and not too far from the highway. It had secure parking, free breakfast, and was $50/night. The wife wants to stay in hostels and we can, but I like secure parking and good value and if a private room ensuite in a hostel is $40, I don't mind spending $10 more for a better value. We did walk by the Hostal Villa Colonial and it was dead. We liked Zacatecas so much (as well as the hotel) we stayed for two nights. The wife had some homework to submit for online classes, and I wanted to do some blogging (flicker and advrider) and bike maintenance.

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Hotel Mision Argento by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Hotel Mision Argento by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Hotel Mision Argento by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Hotel Mision Argento by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    love the street food in Mexico
    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    the Wife finds some spicy mango candy that she has been craving
    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    ate here for antojitos. we had some tacos which were good but not fantastic.
    [​IMG]La cabana by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]La cabana by bastchild, on Flickr

    gorditas con leche for the wife
    [​IMG]Sweet gorditas by bastchild, on Flickr

    We decided to stay a second day and went to bed after the karoeke bar outside our window shut down around 1am.

    day 6 fin
    #10
  11. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    A not so early wake up just so the wife can have her breakfast -- a surprisingly nice breakfast of fresh fruits and egg/quesadilla station, and hot food a la mexicana like chilaquilas which were soft and not very good. :(
    [​IMG]hotel breakfast buffet by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]hotel breakfast buffet by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]hotel breakfast buffet by bastchild, on Flickr

    We went to visit Eden, an old silver mine in town (80 pesos entry).
    [​IMG]Eden mine tour by bastchild, on Flickr

    You enter at one end at the base of the hill and take a short train ride and see a museum of some geodes and crystals from all over the world, then embark on a walking tour with a guide. We had an English-speaking guide all to ourselves.
    Megalodon tooth?
    [​IMG]Eden mine tour by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Eden mine tour by bastchild, on Flickr

    fossilized crawdad
    [​IMG]Eden mine tour by bastchild, on Flickr

    crystals and geodes under uv light
    [​IMG]Eden mine tour by bastchild, on Flickr

    our guide called these small bats but they looked to be at least a foot long.
    [​IMG]bats by bastchild, on Flickr

    silver vein
    [​IMG]silver by bastchild, on Flickr

    a vein of gold. the guide said that in a couple years it would be bigger. is this true? does the gold slowly flow like sap from a tree? lost in translation...
    [​IMG]gold by bastchild, on Flickr

    the mine filled up with water and the water goes down another 200 meters according to the guide.
    [​IMG]Eden mine tour by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Eden mine tour by bastchild, on Flickr

    there was, not surprisingly, a chapel in the mine and there were creepy drawings by kids. is it to thank the saint for taking care of their lost parent? i am not sure.
    [​IMG]creepy kid drawings by bastchild, on Flickr

    there was supposed to be a face in the blue light. it is Roque, a miner who had died. if you don't see his face, he may visit you at night. do you see it? it is interesting to see superstition and cultural beliefs as a foreigner. then you take that same perspective toward yourself and see we are all different flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robbins.
    [​IMG]La Roque ghost face by bastchild, on Flickr

    At the end of the tour we had the option to exit the way we came or take an elevator to an exit at the top of one of the hills. We took the elevator and took the cable car (40 pesos each) across Zacatecas to the other hill and walked back down.
    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Cable car ride by bastchild, on Flickr


    [​IMG]Cable car ride by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    The wife then did homework all day and I made an appointment with Carmen motors in Guadalajara to install Hyperpro front springs and rear shock that I had been carrying all this way. I had no idea it would be an extra 25-30lbs in the cases! I also wanted to check the tire pressures, oil, and tighten loose bolts. As it turns out, on of the rear rack bolts came loose on the ride down from Real. It was the same bolt I lost on a dirt road in Baja searching for cave paintings a few years ago that I also did not loctite. Serves me right. The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent looking for a hardware shop (ferreteria, incidentally not where ferrets can be found, but rather iron works) for a tire gauge (mine exploded on testing the tire pressure), and extra bolts. What a pain to find a place without an address and only a name. Tornillo Loco was all I knew and it was close to the KFC on the main boulevard in a general direction para via. Which boulevard, I did not know. Eventually I found it with only 10 minutes before closing. I didn't finish all my tasks until 8pm. The wife was hungry and places were closing.

    our hotel lobby had a nice firepit!
    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    We thought we had found some good value street food, which turned out to be disgusting. But we did get to listen to some street music clown show act with the audience playing karoeke while we ate.
    tendon tostada? i love tendon. i love tostada. this was terrible.
    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    We tried to find some other food to eat and ended up eating, McD. Embarrassing.

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Zacatecas by bastchild, on Flickr

    Zacatecas is great. Beautiful city. No tourists. Just watchout for the tendon tostada. Tomorrow Durango!
    #11
    Bunnyscoots likes this.
  12. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    yes, that's the plan. but it will be almost every other week of flying back and forth. it will be expensive but flights are actually cheaper when booking roundtrip from mexico strangely. the same aeromexico/delta flight was almost four times the price on the US website than on the Spain website for expedia -- wierd!
    #12
  13. Baja_Bound

    Baja_Bound Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    48
    Location:
    Texas
    I would love to do a trip like this, but am always concerned with the language barrier. How is you and your wife's Spanish and how much do you feel someone should know for this type of trip?
    #13
  14. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    The wife took a couple years of high school Spanish and knows zilch. I took 5 years of French but have traveled enough to use a mix of Latin-based words. I don't think you need to know much. Just 10-20 basic words other than the numbers which I think I learned from Maria on Sesame Street. The folks we have met have been exceedingly helpful and understanding, from the street vendors, restauranteurs, random person in the street. More so, there is usually someone who does speak English who is willing to help. I think the basics from the language section of a Lonely Planet book are all you need. Donde es sta? Cuando ora? Cuanto cuesta? Que es? will get you far as will mucho gracias, disculpe, lo siento. (where is, what time, how much, what is..., thank you very much, excuse me, sorry)
    Don't let the language hinder you. For me it is part of the fun. Once you forget being embarrassed like in standing up in class, it gets easier. Go to Baja, it is magical.
    #14
  15. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    [​IMG]day 8 zacateca to guadalajara by bastchild, on Flickr

    The day started well until the wife noticed liquid on her right boot. It was coolant. But I couldn'’t see a leak or hiss and the bike was running fine. I had filled up the coolant level before leaving on the trip so maybe it was just overflow. Hmm…15 minutes later the temperature warning light came on as we were passing through a sizeable town, Frensillo, on the way to Durango. I pulled over at an Oxxo. Of course, it was sunny and warm. And there was no shade for me to park at. No matter. I took off the left faux tank panel and the coolant level was still full and there was no sign of leak.
    [​IMG]Bike troubles by bastchild, on Flickr

    I figured it may be the water pump, which I had ordered from A&S before leaving but they did not ship because one item was on backorder. I, in fact, had received email confirmation from Fedex that it had been delivered, to our home in Mississippi, yesterday, while we were in Zacatecas – awesome.
    The closest BMW Motorrad according to their website was in Guadalajara, 5 hours south of us, in the opposite direction.
    [​IMG]Bike troubles by bastchild, on Flickr

    Should we stay the night and troubleshoot on advrider.com or the chaingang? Should we ride back slowly to Zacatecas and rent a truck or van one-way to Guadalajara? Should we hire someone to take us? We had three offers from passerbys and ended up taking a Chevy pickup truck and the bike down to Guadalajara.
    [​IMG]Bike troubles by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bike troubles by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Bike troubles by bastchild, on Flickr

    It cost a pretty penny but it was a 5 hour drive one-way and they would have to drive back. The driver, Jorge, was the son of the owner of a towing company. He couldn’t be more than 21. He brought his friend Jose along too. We drove straight, no stops. The wife and I watched a movie on the tablet and dozed in the heat (no a/c).
    [​IMG]Bike troubles by bastchild, on Flickr

    Like a big wet dog stuck in the truck bed, wanting to be let in the cab to be with us. That’s what I see anyways.
    [​IMG]Bike troubles by bastchild, on Flickr

    The wife had traded her motopants for some yoga pants but I still had my motopants on. Is this advriding? Is this like crossing a stream in a bongo in Sibirsky? No, to both. This was the easy way out but we were time short and didn’'t want to spend a few days here, troubleshooting and having someone mail us the part only to find out it wasn'’t the problem. More on that later.
    Five hours later, we were dropped off at the Hotel Portobelo in the Centro of Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city. My brother, Kevin, via texting on the wife’'s non-internetting phone, reserved a room here for $45. Well spent, it was the nicest hotel we’ve been in thus far. And a nice place to stay after a disappointing day. Thank you, Kevin.
    [​IMG]Bike troubles by bastchild, on Flickr

    The hotel is great, with secure parking, and right outside the entrance to the metro and a few blocks from the Cathedral.
    [​IMG]Hotel Portobello by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Hotel Portobello by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Hotel Portobello by bastchild, on Flickr

    We washed up and explored the town at night and went to listen to norteno music at a dance bar trying to drown out the sound of defeat.
    [​IMG]Super Tortas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Super Tortas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Super Tortas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Super Tortas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Super Tortas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Guadalajara at night by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Guadalajara at night by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Guadalajara at night by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Guadalajara at night by bastchild, on Flickr

    The wife’s first bike was a Lifan 150 scooter. She still misses it. She would rather take this bike.
    [​IMG]Lifan 150 by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Italika by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]nice crash bars by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]stopped here for drinks and dancing by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]stopped here for drinks and dancing by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]stopped here for drinks and dancing by bastchild, on Flickr

    Day8 fin
    #15
  16. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    We booked another night at the hotel before leaving in the morning for Carmen Motors, one of two BMW dealers in town. Their address didn’t work in our GPS and the lady on the phone told us a cross street but then to ask directions when we got there. About one hundred u-turns later, we ended up there. It is on av patria across from Walmart megaplex. It can be found at these GPS coordinates: N20.70587 x W103.41293 or search for these coordinates in Google Maps:+20° 42' 21.132",-103° 24' 46.548
    [​IMG]Carmen Motors by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Carmen Motors by bastchild, on Flickr

    You can get a free latte while you wait! In fact they have a snack bar there.
    [​IMG]Carmen Motors by bastchild, on Flickr

    At Carmen, the mechanic inspected the bike and found a bulging radiator hose on the right side and indicated that was the source of the leak. I asked them to replace my shocks with the Hyperpro suspension I had brought (man, those are heavy!) and replace the water pump. After 20 minutes the receptionist came back to tell me they didn'’t have the hose today but could get it Monday. Today was Friday. What to do? We decided to leave the bike there and be backpackers for a few days. They asked if we needed a taxi. We took the bus. The bus stop is just right outside their door. Number 25 came immediately, and that, and 6 pesos each, was what we needed to take us to the metro station on Camacho, where we took the metro 3 stops down to Juarez, our stop.
    To make a day of it, we walked around Guadalajara.
    [​IMG]English pasties by bastchild, on Flickr

    Taste as good and flaky as the real thing.
    [​IMG]English pasties by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Guadalajara by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Spicy fruit by bastchild, on Flickr

    The wife loves the chili lime salt flavor on fruit.
    [​IMG]Spicy fruit by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Guadalajara by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Guadalajara by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Guadalajara by bastchild, on Flickr

    We stopped by the IYHA hostel downtown, which was empty but they had no private rooms available. There was a demonstration going on so the riot police were out in full force, and not so subtle photogs identifying the main agitators. Police state.
    [​IMG]motorbike cop bikes by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Riot police by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Riot police by bastchild, on Flickr

    We had some food. We found a large mercado for tacos (Mercado Corona).
    [​IMG]Mercado corona by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Mercado corona by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Mercado corona by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]cactus fruit? by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Mercado corona by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]cute chihuahuas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]cute chihuahuas by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]honda wave by bastchild, on Flickr

    We chose three busy taco counters and had samples at each. This place was 3 people deep to the counter.
    [​IMG]tacos taste challenge by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]tortilla machine by bastchild, on Flickr

    Raw pastor meat
    [​IMG]Mercado corona by bastchild, on Flickr

    An hour later a nice cooked layer
    [​IMG]looks better now! by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]not horchata? by bastchild, on Flickr

    I liked these the best. They reminded me of Tijuana tacos. They were 2 for 13 pesos
    [​IMG]tacos by bastchild, on Flickr

    [​IMG]this guy is fast by bastchild, on Flickr

    These had the best texture with the onions. 6 for 24 pesos
    [​IMG]more tacos by bastchild, on Flickr

    These were next door with pig snouts under glass. They were a big fattier than I like but still 6 for 24 pesos.
    [​IMG]tacos by bastchild, on Flickr

    Another lifan
    [​IMG]battle scooter! by bastchild, on Flickr

    I like the headlamps
    [​IMG]battle scooter! by bastchild, on Flickr

    There is a larger mercado (Libertad) which we will visit at a later time. We will be in an out of Guadalajara as we had booked a flight back home in a week. The wife bought a hat to cover her helmet hair.
    The plan now is to hit the beach and leave some gear at the hotel.
    Day 9 fin
    #16
  17. Rutabaga

    Rutabaga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    737
    Location:
    Southeast Lower Carolina
    Thanks for the great read. And pics. The ride and fly concept adapted to your style and needs. Looking forward to the continuation of the trip.
    #17
  18. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    thanks. we'll see how it pans out. we are trying to make it work. it has been too easy to delay the trip and before you know it, it never happens.
    #18
  19. xxguitarist

    xxguitarist Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    southwest CT
    Great read, cool views, even though I couldn't stomach some of that food!
    #19
  20. T

    T --------------

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,404
    Location:
    DE
    You take good trip pictures....
    #20