Mainland Mexico via Baja

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by miguelito, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,299
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Crossing with stormy seas!! I hope there is video. Take some dramamine if you are at all sensitive to motion sickness. It is a small ferry.
    #21
  2. jeaggerfairy

    jeaggerfairy lost in transit

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    87
    Location:
    burlington ont canada
    Looks as though Mexico is the spot to be in at the moment, this is the third report i have followed down to that fair land and i'm ejoying every one. Looks like a beautiful place to be compared to the ice and snow of Canada at the moment. Have a great time on your trip and thanks for letting us tag along.
    #22
  3. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Gotta agree with you on that Scorp. I'm looking forward to it!

    Well, now that you mention it... I've sailed enough to know that I do get seasick mate. I haven't eaten anything since about 2 this afternoon. I even took a picture. We'll see if I recognize any of it on its way back out of the old digestive tract. LOL.

    [​IMG]



    And I will try to remember to shoot some video. Maybe it will help distract me from my misery. :1drink

    And jaeggerfairy, Mexico is awesome this time of year. Start planning for next year now!
    #23
  4. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    The Santa Rosalia ferry turned out to be quite the clown show, though my sense of humor was strained by the time it was over. We were told to be at the docks at midnight on Tuesday, (to catch the ferry that was scheduled to leave at 9 AM Tuesday), for a 1 AM departure Wednesday. The ferry arrived sometime after 2 AM. There were a couple of semi-trailers parking everyone on the trailer in, so we waited another two hours for the trucks to arrive and remove the trailers from the ferry. Eventually we got out of port around 5:15 AM.

    Pretty smooth sailing, (No, I didn't lose that lunch. Although it had been long enough since I had eaten, I wouldn't have lost much anyway!).

    When we got to Guaymas, I found that I was the only vehicle that had been parked in by a tandem semi-trailer. They told me the truck to move it would be here in an hour and a half. I was kinda pissed, as there was plenty of room on that ferry to have parked my bike somewhere else. Just lucky I guess. :lol3

    I watched the other passengers and cars get checked out by the drug sniffing doggies while I waited for the truck and pondered the inequities of life. :norton

    Eventually the truck showed up and I was on my way to San Carlos.<object height="340" width="560">
    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/0g2xwXd6plM&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="340" width="560"></object>
    #24
  5. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    I remember being thrilled when I arrived in San Carlos last year, probably largely due to its&#8217; scenic splendor as well as being my first real stop after having crossed the border. After having spent the last couple of weeks in Baja/Mulege, I can see some downsides to it as well. First off, it&#8217;s kinda expensive. I&#8217;m staying in the Hotel Fiesta Real, as I did last year. It&#8217;s a beautiful spot on the beach with clean rooms.



    A couple of shots from the terrace of my room at the Fiesta Real.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    It also happens to cost twice what I was paying in Santa Rosalia at El Morro, and it&#8217;s a comparable room with a view. Only the Fiesta Real still doesn&#8217;t have internet in its rooms, but in the lobby only. *sigh*

    <o:p> </o:p>
    So I head down to the bar to get a bite to eat and a cerveza. The menu is tasty here as I recall, but I&#8217;m put off by the cost of the food. I end up ordering a so-so Caesar salad for 60 pesos. And a beer for 29 pesos. In case you haven&#8217;t been following along too closely, that&#8217;s a lot of money for what they&#8217;re delivering. Usually I can get a full meal for 60 to 120 pesos. My cheapest beer so far has been Tico&#8217;s bar out at La Bufadora south of Ensenada for 10 pesos. Up until today, the highest I&#8217;ve paid was 25 pesos for a beer. Nevermind. I&#8217;m tired and the view is great, so I order another and watch the sunset.



    <o:p> The view from the Fiesta Real's bar.</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p>
    </o:p>


    Then head out to dinner at Charlie&#8217;s Rock. It&#8217;s a scenic little restaurant built on a rock outcropping along the malecon in town.



    [​IMG]


    I order the fish tacos for 75 pesos. Again, I&#8217;m disappointed. Probably I&#8217;m spoiled by the fish tacos I&#8217;ve been having at Danny&#8217;s Asadero , and the pescado al mojo de ajo at Scott&#8217;s El Cadil in Mulege. Such is life.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I head home to the Fiesta Real, stopping off for a 6-pack, when a thunderstorm cuts loose, and I&#8217;m donning my rain jacket. I watched the President&#8217;s State of the Union address on my computer in the lobby, as the TV in the room seems to be some kind of motel PPV set up where I can watch as many porn movies, (at $12 each), as I want, but getting a news channel is a tad more problematic. The Prez seemed to hit all his notes on cue. We&#8217;ll see how it all turns out.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The next day I cruise into Guaymas and have lunch in a downtown restaurante. Three chicken enchiladas, salad, and beans + coke for 60 pesos. There was a moto shop next door, so I had Chano, the mechanic adjust my chain while I was eating. It was kinda expensive, (50 pesos or about $3.90), then again, it was dead easy, so I don&#8217;t mind helping a Mexican mechanic out.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There are thunderheads building again. I leave for Alamos on Saturday. Mundobravo is trying to get here to San Carlos tomorrow, but due to weather when leaving New Mexico, was not sure he&#8217;ll make it. We&#8217;ll either meet here tomorrow night, or on the road, or in Alamos the next day. Hopefully, he&#8217;s having a safe and fun, (if wet), ride.
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #25
  6. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,299
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    So you had a smooth crossing. When I crossed the boat moved enough that I had to hold onto something, all the time.

    Take a walking tour in Old Alamos. Facing the big church...to the right is a raised walkway with a long row of arches. Under the walkway are offices. Here was a nice older gentleman who lead walking tours. It was well worth the 100 pesos.

    I stayed on the edge of town for about $20 US. a bit low end, but secure parking.
    #26
  7. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Dang, I wish I had talked to you sooner. The Silver Festival is going on in Alamos next week and I had trouble booking rooms for Mundobravo and I because of it, and they were over $50 each/night. Last year I stayed with Jorge at La Posada de Don Andres, for a reduced rent of $32/night since I stayed a week. I liked that place, but it was booked up. For future reference, if you remember the name or location of the place you stayed, let me know, and I'll check it out next trip.
    #27
  8. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    I'm off for Alamos this morning. Feeling kinda put off by San Carlos this time just because it's such a tourist town. I suppose that's inevitable for a beach town so close to the US border. It's been expensive. Room costs $65/night. I checked around and there's not much available for a cheaper rate. Food is more expensive, and not quite as tasty as some of the great meals I was getting out on the peninsula. AND beers cost 29-30 pesos just about anywhere you eat other than Rosa's where they're 25 pesos. Oh well.

    Some more pics of San Carlos:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,416
    Location:
    Sometimes in Hillsburrito
    Good start to what promises to be a great trip. Just make those pictures a bit larger, so we can enjoy Mexico in full size, eh? :deal

    Are you running Distanzias? Looked like it in one of the pics, is the rear a 150/70 or OE size? :ear


    Gustavo
    #29
  10. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,299
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    I forget the name but here is a pic. It was on the main road entering town.

    [​IMG]





    This is where the tour guide came from. See the doors, just above the car hoods.

    [​IMG]

    A plaza is to the left of the bike and the church is ahead and to the left.

    I really liked Alamos. It was quiet when I was there in 06. I stayed a couple days.

    I was looking for an Alamos sticker, but since I don't speak Spanish I had some trouble trying to convey my desires. I kept being sent to auto repair stores and tire repair places. It finally dawned on me...my version of sticker must have been coming out "tube patch". :rofl



    Keep up the report and pics. I did a fair amount of Sonora last time, but plan to go further south of Alamos next time I go to Mexico.
    #30
  11. soulduck

    soulduck RJB

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3
    Location:
    Utah
    Miguel, looks like a great trip. I'll get back and read more closely with a map in hand. Great pictures too. I'll be following. Lulu S
    #31
  12. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Crazy-busy with work in Alamos. I'll update soon with more details. Meantime, here are some pics of the trip since I last posted.

    My cohorts ran into "inclement weather leaving NM and had to spend an extra day on the road. I timed my departure from San Carlos, hoping to run into Mundobravo & Gemma on the ride south from San Carlos to Ciudad Obregon. About an hour into the day's ride I spied a familiar BMW moto on the side of the road at a chicken barbecue.
    Mundo's doing the "chicken dance" at the chicken shack where they had just eaten before I arrived.

    [​IMG]

    La Puerta Roja, the B & B we're staying in in Alamos.

    [​IMG]

    First course of one of the gourmet breakfasts they serve.

    [​IMG]

    Street scenes from Alamos.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    More soon.
    #32
  13. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Gustavo: Yes they are Distanzias. 160/70. I've been uploading my pics to Photobucket.com, and they get saved in the size format you see here. I'll have to look into changing account settings there.

    The tourist: Thanks for the pic of the hotel. It's on my radar for next time.

    Soulduck/Lulu: Thanks mate. I'll be here for at least a couple of months, so check back and let me know how I'm doing.
    #33
  14. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Well, this is the second year I've returned to Alamos, so I guess I must like the town. Last year I was befriended by two ex-pats ho happen to own the best two bar/restaurants in town and they've been entertaining me to my full satisfaction again this year. If you get to town you've got to stop into El Tesoro for one of Jose Luis's most excellent margaritas, and if you can afford it, you should treat yourself to dinner at Charisma. Joseph, the chef will astound you with a culinary treat here in a little backwater of the Sonoran Desert. We spent 5 days at La Puerta Roja, a wonderful bed and breakfast, where Teri, the owner will blow you away with gourmet breakfasts of multiple courses. This visit is a mix for me. I'm working on shooting video for a pilot of a program I hope to pitch to a cable TV channel while savoring the town and all that I loved about it the first time around. My friends at El Tesoro/Charisma have comped the rooms for me and my compadres, Gemma, and Mundo so we're staying gratis now that our lease has expired at La Puerta Roja.

    The town is the first capital of Sonora and Chihuahua. It was a mining center during the 18th century when gold was discovered here, and it became a major center of commerce. The Homes are architecturally significant. It is generally beautiful here. The bars however close early if there's no one drinking this particular night, so if you decide to leave the one you're in for another, you might want to consider the move before implementing it.

    This a really beautiful, albeit quiet town.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Rained all day today. Of course we decided we needed to go for a ride on our bikes. We were riding through 200 yard long "puddles" that were as deep as 12 inches. Who needs to plan for drainage when you live in a desert?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First course at the Puerta Roja Inn...

    [​IMG]

    Second course at la Puerta Roja Inn...

    [​IMG]
    #34
  15. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Mundo and Gemma left for New Mexico yesterday morning, so I'm on my own again. Alamos is a beautiful little town, and I'm psyched to being treated to a free room at El Tesoro. My friends are treating me well with a killer steak dinner last night at their restaurant "Charisma". I'll try to get a travel article published in a US newspaper about the town in exchange for the hospitality we've received here. I'm thinking of blowing off returning to Mulege. I was offered the casita there for another $100 for February, and I'll spend almost $400 taking the ferry back and forth. So, I'm thinking I'll stay here to watch the super bowl tomorrow and head down the west coast on Monday.

    The pool at my new digs, El Tesoro.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The courtyard at El Tesoro

    [​IMG]
    The kissing alley in Alamos

    [​IMG]

    Typical street scene outside "the chocolate palace", the house on the left where the heiress to the Mars Candy Company lived at least some of the time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There's a very unique ecosystem around here...

    [​IMG]

    but it's threatened by buldozers clearing the land for grazing.

    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Mundo and Miguel scheduled a break in the videotaping on the one day it poured down rain here in the Sonoran Desert. We had planned on riding out the ‘Ruta Sierra Y Mar’ to Maciaca, but when we got our first look at the mud, we dropped back and punted, by re-routing back the pavement to Navajoa, which was underwater. Literally 200 yard long puddles, 10” deep, one after another. Then we rode the long way around to Masiaca and rode in a bit on the dirt portion before turning around and doing it again. We stopped at a little tiendita for a snack of galletas, cheetos, and coke. How do you say “Cheetos” in Spanish?
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> <object height="340" width="560">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3PCaXyabtDc&hl=es_ES&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="340" width="560"></object></o:p>
    Narco-War tour, Pt.1
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Well, all the gringos have been telling me how some very bad men live out San Bernardo way, and that it’s best not to go out that way. I know some of you serious dirt riders have undoubtedly been through that town having crossed the Sierra Madres via that route. On one of my last days in Alamos I ran into Steve, a Brit with an aging Honda DL-360 who assured me that San Bernardo was cool, and beautiful to boot, so I delayed my departure date and the two of us rode out that way. But only after Steve’s kickstand had fallen off, and he replaced his spark plug. All is good! The ride was fun and beautiful. Steve took me for a little side trip off the main road to check out the river and the swimming hole he uses.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <object height="340" width="560">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/wmqNVijUf9E&hl=es_ES&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="340" width="560"></object>

    We passed numerous caballeros and their herds, and they all waved to us when we passed by. When we got to San Bernardo we shared a quart of Pacifico Clara on the square. The guy at the cervezeria was very friendly and talked about the area and its history, (mostly ranching and mining). There’s a recently opened hotel there on the plaza for anyone coming over the pass too late to go on to Alamos BTW. When we were ready to depart, I noticed my rear tire was low and could hear an audible hissing from it. Fortunately there was a Llanteria a couple of doors down. I offered to let him fix it, but he said he didn’t have the right plugs, so I pulled out my tire repair kit and worked its magic with those black gooey strings, and we were on our way.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The next day, the tire hadn’t lost any pressure so I rode off on the dirt road to Masiaca, but decided to check the pressure regularly hereafter.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]

    Back to the highway, I soon decided to detour to El Fuerte, then took some back roads to Orinaca and Sinaloa del Leyva, then to Bamoa.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sinaloa de Leyva is another colonial town, but not so "fixed-up" as Alamos. I saw a homeless person, fairly young, passed out on a porch. Didn't take a picture of her though...

    [​IMG]


    I spent the night in Culiacan, a town I’d always bypassed previously, as it looks pretty industrial. I decided to ride into el centro, to see what the town was really like and it was dark by the time I found the downtown, (no easy feat if you’re relying on the road signs). I checked int the Luxo-rific Hotel San Marcos for about $65/night. In Culiacan that gets you bell hops dressed in spiffy green and white uniforms who will carry your bags to your room, and make sure the TV is working, and tune it to the only English speaking channel, (might have been the Home Shopping Network), and adjust the volume to an annoyingly loud level. I was glad I stopped in el centro, and found a nice outdoor restaurant with some attractive women at the next table and proceeded to drink beer and eat.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    When I left Culiacan it was raining, but it cleared up almost immediately. (Yay!) Decided to hammer down the cuota, (the toll road), to Mazatlan, (The Ocean City, NJ of Mexico’s West coast). Got into town early and checked into a room, (this one was only $24/night, but because of the weekend crowd expected for Lent the price was going to double tomorrow).

    [​IMG]

    I checked for a replacement tire for my rear wheel, and nothing was available that I could find, so with the room rate doubling I left for Tepic on the cuota. I saw some pretty destitute dwellings on the ride south. I had seen a migrant labor camp the previous day, but hadn't stopped to get a photo. It strikes me that while Caesar Chavez improved the lot of migrant workers in the US, there is still plenty of room for improvement in Mexico. I wonder if the workers were from points south, such as Guatemala, seeking to improve their lives by moving further north, towards the US.

    [​IMG]

    The blue agave farms were beautiful.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Soon, I realized I’d spent about $35 dollars in tolls to go about 120 Km, so I jumped off at Rosamorada.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Along the way south I decided to detour to San Blas. Highly recommend this excursion if you’re in the area. There are lots of nice twisties on the ride down out of the mountains, and there was little traffic when I did it. I’m spending the night here in San Blas, which looks like a pretty cool little town. I splurged again on a $65/night room at the lovely Hotel Hacienda Flamingos, which for that price should include a bottle or two of water, but they don’t. They did bring a pitcher of filtered water to the room however, and the mini-fridg is stocked with cerveza, which has allowed me to take the time to write this before heading out to check out the town. Being the cheap bastard that I am, I’ll restock the bar before I leave tomorrow with cans of Modelo Especial that cost about 2/5 of what the mini-bar cost is.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Went out on the town for dinner, and my feelings are mixed. The place I ate, (The San Blas Social Club), was great and the food was good, and I ended up having an extended conversation with the cook, an American ex-pat. I went down to the bar and found a scene that seems to repeat itself wherever Americans congregate here in Mexico. I find the general gestalt, insular, as they wait to see if perhaps you’re someone they should cultivate or not. Perhaps to wait to see if you're just a tourist who'll disappear tomorrow. If I were living in a little town in Mexico with only a couple of hundred ex-pats living in it, I'd be talking to anybody who pulled into town, I'm afraid. Maybe I'm just not cut out for the expat life. Either that, or these people are all wanted for crimes back in the states, and are just laying low. While there are things about the town I appreciate, the general scene I was witness to tonight, makes me want to flee to the interior, where perhaps fewer gringos have congregated. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow morning. Will I check in to El Hotel Bucanero, which costs about ¼ of tonight’s room, or move on to another town? Stay tuned…
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #36
  17. 50X50

    50X50 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Santa Cruz USA
    I can't wait for the next installment..you're crushin' it!
    #37
  18. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The next day
    <o:p> backtracked a couple of miles to the little hill town of Libertad, where I saw a woman carrying her groceries home on a platter balanced on her head.</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>La Libertad.</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    Rode out the long way around and joined the highway, (carretera), at Zacaluapan. Once on the highway, I saw a sign for &#8216;Chacala&#8221;, a beach town I last visited in 1998 with the woman I was then falling in love with, and would soon become my wife, before going on to break my heart. Maybe it was the masochist in me, but I decided to ride the 9 Km to the beach to see how it had changed in the interim. Like my ex and I, Chacala had weathered some storms, and had moved on from where it had been when last I saw it. The town was choc-a-bloc with little hotels and many new vacation homes dotted the hillside. It looked like most of the town had been sold or was for sale. Say-La-Vee&#8230;
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    San Francisco

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Chacala
    </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Sayulita. Well, I didn&#8217;t really want to hit another gringo town, but I&#8217;ve been hearing about this place for years, so I had to at least stop by and check it out. It&#8217;s the kind of scene you might expect from a town that has been getting good press, and has fallen into the narcoleptic belief in its&#8217; own press clippings. Don&#8217;t get me wrong. There are many things to like about the town. It&#8217;s setting for one thing. Nestled on beautiful hills next to the sea, with a break that surfers like for one. Besides that it has all those trim and fit young and old surfer body types, so the girl watching ain&#8217;t bad either.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>View from my room at La Casona hotel, Sayulita.</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    There&#8217;s a studied coolness that can cross over into a sort of self-conscious narcissism that bothers me the most. I saw the worst of it in the business owners, many of whom I thought outright rude, (gringo and Mexicano alike). Others undoubtedly have access to better ganga than I, so their superiority may actually be something to strive for. Maybe they&#8217;re pissed that their cool little town has been invaded by all the usual suspects trying to catch a wave or the groove of a once-cool town that may have jumped the shark in it&#8217;s embrace of it&#8217;s new found fame.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Sayulita surf scene.
    </o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    Nonetheless it&#8217;s got a cool music scene, I heard accomplished jazz, reggae, and funk artists in the two nights I spent here.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It&#8217;s expensive. 30 pesos for a beer in a bar is not unusual, and I&#8217;m still trying to match the taste and value of the fish tacos at Danny&#8217;s Asadero in Mulege.
    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>
    Sayulita street scene.
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    I spent my first night at La Casona just off the main drag once you get to the heart of town, and the girls who run the place were helpful, fun, and cute. The rooms were great but at $75 US I would have expected as much. Of course the next morning after a night of carousing, I was awoken waaay to early by the obligatory Mexican truck equipped with loudspeakers announcing some good or service I had zero interest in. Pillow over head, and I got back to sleep very quickly. They served a continental breakfast of granola, yogurt, fruit and coffee that had me reminiscing about the gourmet breakfasts at La Puerta Roja in Alamos.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The next day I moved just a half block toward the beach to the rustic little orange hotel, where the daily rate dropped to 400 oesos or about $32 US. It&#8217;s nothing fancy but the breaking surf is just outside my window, so that&#8217;s a big plus, and it&#8217;s less than half the price of La Casona. I&#8217;ll see how I feel tomorrow as to whether I have to escape to a town that hopefully will be at least 50% Mexicanos. Puerto Vallarta is just down the road, but I may just cruise on by.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p>The orange hotel economico.</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    It was nice to just cruise on by PV. I&#8217;d been here 11 years ago and didn&#8217;t feel a need to repeat the experience. I did however stop at Wal-Mart to buy a new headlamp as the strap attachment on mine had broken a couple of days previously. Note: for those of you who haven&#8217;t traveled the cheap hotel circuit in Mexico, you&#8217;re likely to have only one bulb in the center of the ceiling, so if you like to read, or write in bed, as I do, it would behoove you to bring a headlamp even if you don&#8217;t intend to camp.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    A few klicks south of town, and the road started some nice twisting and turning, and the traffic thinned out. It was a great day&#8217;s ride with very little traffic that wasn&#8217;t easily passed. Towards the end of the day, I pulled into an obscure little beach town thinking this might be a &#8220;real&#8221; Mexican beach town. The first thing I saw was Anglos bicycling around town, and when I stopped to inquire about rooms, there were more anglos, and the rooms were 700 pesos a night (WTF?). So I rode on.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Typical view during the day's ride</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    Eventually I pulled into the little beach town of La Manzanita, (or it could have been La Manzanilla). Either way, I was tired and checked into Michel&#8217;s Hotel, which was owned by a native family, and cost 350 pesos/night. I went on a pub crawl around this gringo town that was wiped out by a tsunami in1998, but has been totally rebuilt. It&#8217;s a nice little town, but again, Muchos gringos.
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    What I&#8217;m starting to realize is that this trip is spending a lot of my time in beach towns, and the corollary is that gringos love the beach. One of the locals at dinner tonight told me about a colonial town, Comala, up in the mountains about 50 km, so I may ride up there tomorrow.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The following day
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Rode up to Comala on the &#8216;Libre&#8217;, (non-toll road). It was a nice ride. I stopped and ate lunch in Colima, which seems like a nice town. Then I rode into Comala, and had a couple of cervezas on the square. I wish I hadn&#8217;t eaten all ready. The waiter brought me a plate of enchiladas with my beer, which I told him I didn&#8217;t order. It turns out that this restaurant offers free food with your drinks, (which are over priced, but still a good deal if you&#8217;re hungry). The guys at the next table were chowing down on multiple courses, so if you&#8217;re in the area, DON&#8217;T EAT BEFORE YOU ARRIVE IN COMALA!
    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>
    snow capped peaks on the volcano above Comala!


    [​IMG]
    The road back to Manzanillo
    <o:p></o:p>
    I decided to burn some miles and pondered going up to Guadalajara and Lake Chapala before heading south, but in the end decided to go back to the coast and head south from Tecoman. I&#8217;d been warned to fill up my tank before leaving Tecoman, and the advice is sound. The ride south from there is a road biker&#8217;s dream: nothing but twisties and sweeping turns for the next 200 km. It was only about 2:30, so I figured I had time to make the next bigger town before dark, but I&#8217;d made that estimate long before I realized I&#8217;d be making the trip mostly in second, third, and fourth gears.



    There&#8217;s a pattern and rhythm to it. As I move inexorably southward, I climb as I move out around the points, then descend as I round the point, with a brief glimpse of a speco view to the south, then cross a bridge or two, and begin swerving my way back up to the next point. Michoacan&#8217;s shoreline is Mexico&#8217;s lost coastline. Too far from most cities and airports to be frequented and developed like the towns I&#8217;ve been seeing so far on the ride south, there are miles of unspoiled coastal bays and craggy promontories here for those fortunate enough to pass this way.
    <o:p> </o:p>[​IMG]
    Pushing it about as hard as I wanted to is taking me about 9 minutes to go 10 km, or an average of about 42 mph. I think I just got lucky with the trucks, because I never even came up on one in this whole section. I saw goats, dogs, and burros on the roadside along the way, and am convinced I don&#8217;t want to ride this road after dark. So I&#8217;m pushing it. And it&#8217;s killing me. Cause the views are gorgeous! And there are cool little villages I&#8217;m speeding by that I know I would like to stop and chat with some locals and share a beer, but I keep keepin&#8217; on even though I know I&#8217;m not gonna make it before dark.
    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>


    [​IMG]
    typical view today


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    <o:p></o:p>
    Then eventually this little town appears in the distance where I spy the only Pemex station since Tecoman and it&#8217;s open, so I pull in as the last light of the day is fading and fill up. The pump girl tells me there are a couple of hotels &#8220;economico&#8221; in town. So I head into town and find a room at the Hotel Yuriritzi for 350 pesos a night.



    [​IMG]
    The Hotel Your-a-Ritzi


    [​IMG]
    Dancing Dog's sculpture along the ride.


    I can tell you straight up, that you may in fact be a &#8220;ritzi&#8221;, but the hotel is not. Still, it&#8217;s clean, and even though they stuck the gringo in room 13 with no hot water, I don&#8217;t care. I&#8217;m showered, and I had a great camarones al mojo de ajo dinner at Adeles, where she had to send her daughter across the plaza to get a couple of beers for this tired gringo boy. I don&#8217;t even know the name of this town, but I like it, and I&#8217;ll find out tomorrow. That&#8217;s all for now.
    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>


    [​IMG]

    <o:p></o:p>The town with the Pemex and the Hotel Yuraritzi, is Calla de Campos, (I think).

    <o:p></o:p>
    Next day
    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>
    Abandoned Pemex with a view in Zihuateneho.


    [​IMG]
    Zihuateneho. I liked this town, and probably should have spent a night just to check it out.


    [​IMG]
    San Miguelito. :)



    <o:p></o:p>
    Long day today. Made it to the legendary Acapulco. Haven&#8217;t seen any cliff divers so far. I did find a nice little motel on the way into town with overhead fans, no AC, and a pool. Nice little setting, and the room was only 250 pesos.



    [​IMG]
    The $20/night hotel a few miles from downtown Acapulco.


    Got up and tried to find my way to a moto shop to find a new tire as the rear tire is losing pressure more rapidly now, and I&#8217;ve logged almost 5000 miles on it, the wear strips are showing, and it&#8217;s time to replace it. Navigating around Acapulco is a bit of a crap shoot, but, I finally made it to a Yamaha dealer who not only had the right size tire, he had a Avon Distanzia to match the one I was replacing, so I&#8217;m pleased. They also changed the oil, and adjusted the chain, so all is good.
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    I&#8217;m tired of riding, so I wanted to find a place to spend a couple of days to relax. The first place I stopped at on the way south out of town charged about $300 us a night, so I rode back into town, so I could walk where I wanted during my layover. I found a more modest place near the beach for about $47/night with AC, which is starting to seem more of a desirable thing as I move south. I was totally drenched in sweat within a few minutes of leaving the motel this morning. I spent the afternoon and evening in a bar/restaurant which has wifi, and caught up on correspondence. I&#8217;m going to spend at least another night here before heading south to Oaxaca.
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #38
  19. refokus

    refokus Just Learning

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,748
    Location:
    North Phoenix
    Looks like you are having a great ride. I am along for the ride on my couch. :lol3
    #39
  20. 50X50

    50X50 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    186
    Location:
    Santa Cruz USA
    <o:p></o:p>:clap Love the report...keep'm coming.
    <o:p></o:p>
    #40