Mainland Mexico via Baja

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

  1. The Toecutter

    The Toecutter Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Stone Canyon, CO
    Great report, great pictures
    #41
  2. MikeinSA

    MikeinSA Long timer

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    San Antonio, TX
    :clap This is a great ride report. Your narrative is excellent! Thanks for taking the time to post. I'm probably heading down that way in the fall. I appreciate you listing hotel prices - it's going to make life easier.
    #42
  3. kta

    kta Been here awhile

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    Antigua, Guatemala
    must . get . back . to . mexico!

    Great photos. I can never get enough.
    #43
  4. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
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    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Thanks to all for reading and commenting. MikeinSA, regarding those hotel prices, It's often worth trying to negotiate the price, although the bigger tourist towns it doesn't work as well as other places. Also it can be worth just asking if they have a different room that's less expensive. The natural inclination of hotel operators the world over, is to put you in the most expensive room they have.

    <link rel="File-List" href="file://localhost/Users/michaeljones/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/msoclip/0/clip_filelist.xml"> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves>false</w:TrackMoves> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:punctuationKerning/> <w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridHorizontalSpacing> <w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing>18 pt</w:DrawingGridVerticalSpacing> <w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayHorizontalDrawingGridEvery> <w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery>0</w:DisplayVerticalDrawingGridEvery> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:DontAutofitConstrainedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> </w:Compatibility> </w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" LatentStyleCount="276"> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Cambria; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 0 0 0 1 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-fareast-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> Well, after two rest days in Acapulco, I set out for Puerto Escondido on the Oaxacan coast. Started off with tons of topes, and I’ve gotten better at spotting them, but still miss them occasionally. I hit one at speed today, and had my front suspension bottom out. Ouch! Later the road opened up a lot more, and had some nice twists and turns. The ride today, while near the coast, moved a tad inland. Oaxaca has a good feel to it. The people here are beautiful. I’ve heard skin color described as “coffee colored” which I think describes the indios complexion here perfectly.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Got into Puerto Escondido with lots of daylight to spare and I found a great room for $25 a night at a place operated by Manfred and Anjelique, on Ave. Benito Juarez. Then I went for my first ocean swim since I’ve been here, and it was perfect. The beach near my hotel is very secluded from town, though still crowded, and much less turbulent than Playa Zicatela in town, famous for it’s big wave surfing.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    But my room was only available for one night so I moved across the street to a kick-ass 2 BR apartment for about $45/night. The value you get for your money here is good. I paid more for my room in Acapulco, which was a one-room dump in comparison to the rooms I’ve stayed in here. Tomorrow I move into a little casita I’ve rented for the month. It looks pretty beautiful, and I paid a little more than I wanted, but it’s sweet. And it comes with internet service.

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

    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>with secure parking for the bike.</o:p>
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    Nice little architectural detail at the base of the Portal posts.
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    It’s pretty hot here. You can tell by the way people cluster in the shady spots…
    <o:p> [​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    To give you an idea of just how good the music scene is here, here's a 2 minute video I made of an Italian band that's gigging here this winter. Unfortunately I don't remember their name, (which was the name of the lead guitarist).


    <object height="340" width="560">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/hS1DgeNMwvg&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="340" width="560"></object>



    Catfish Keith is playing some gigs around town right now, so I'll probably check him out this weekend.

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    I'm really digging the town, but I haven’t taken many pictures here yet. I’ll post some soon.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #44
  5. mundobravo

    mundobravo Long timer

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    new mexico
    where are you ? liven on P.E. time ?
    #45
  6. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    "Livin' on PE time"... yup. Very mellow scene here. Great mix of people, both Mexicanos and Nortenos. I'm pretty much in total relaxation mode. Enjoying having my own pad to hang out in, and explore the area. I may turn into a jellyfish if I stay here too long. Here's a gratuitous Puerto Escondido surf video for anyone who came here looking for mo, bettah pics of my trip. (I'll get around to posting some soon, if only my schedule weren't so full :rofl)

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    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KQ_S30Th1BI&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="340" width="560"></object>
    #46
  7. Velocipede

    Velocipede Been here awhile

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    Kingston Ontario Canada
    Miguelito,I'm really enjoying your RR.I've just recently got back to Ontario after a couple of months in Baja and covered much of the the route you took,even stayed in some of the same motels you did.Your ability to sniff out good lodgings is way better than mine though as I usually ended up paying far too much for less than satisfactory accommodations.I found Baja could be quite expensive.Next winter its going to be the Copper Canyon and then further down the west coast where I'll probably be roughly on the route you are taking now.Thanks for taking us along,great info.
    John
    #47
  8. soulduck

    soulduck RJB

    Joined:
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    Utah
    Miguelito, you have morphed. Next thing you know you'll have opposeable thumbs. I'm enjoying your trip too and waiting for those pictures.
    I get lost easy. Do you use paper maps, GPS, what? Any suggestions.
    #48
  9. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    Kansas City, MISSOURI
    :super Nice report.
    #49
  10. OK.

    OK. Con Queso

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2009
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    Location:
    Durango, CO
    Thanks for taking the time to post this!

    I stayed at the bright orange place in the left of your picture (I don't recall the name of it), but it was great. Thanks again!

    #50
  11. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Thanks John. I found Baja a little more expensive than the mainland also, but I still miss the food at El Cadil, and Danny's asadero in Mulege. One of the things I've realized this trip is that the higher priced rooms seem to be in the beach towns, but even there you can find some bargains if you check around. One of the things I try to do is negotiate lower rates for longer stays, so I can usually save money that way. This approach is harder to make work in the tourist towns, but isn't impossible. A lot of Mexico's tourist trade is slow this year with the economy in the state it's in. This year, I'm making stays in one place of up to a month, so it actually becomes quite affordable to have a really nice place for a fraction of what the day-rate would add up to.

    Soulduck, not sure if I'm getting opposable thumbs or webbed feet at this point. I do love the ocean temperature here. :lol3 I use maps. I can see the advantage of a gps, esp when navigating in a city, (where street signs and route markers virtually disappear too often), but can also see a huge disadvantage if your gps breaks or is lost, or stolen. I recommend as most here do the Guia Roji maps. The other ones they sell in Borders Books are OK in a pinch, but I've seen more than one place that while not in the wrong position on the map, had the orientation of roads kinda f@#ked up.
    #51
  12. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Ok. Had a long break there. I've just been laying low in Puerto Escondido, enjoying having a place of my own. After almost a three weeks of living in motels and eating out, it becomes a real pleasure to have a place to sleep, cook, and eat. And I've been doing just that. Oh... and drinking lots of beer as well. There are a couple of cats that seem to live here. They've moved in with me anyway. I've also got a number of geckos who live here, occasionally popping their heads out from behind the sofa to see what I'm up to.

    [​IMG]

    I'm in a quiet little corner of town called Rinconada, which is right beside Playa Carazillo, a beautiful little horseshoe bay without the big waves common across town at Playa Zicatela. It's much more pleasant to swim here than in the big surf, IMO.
    Carizalillo Beach
    [​IMG]

    I can walk from here to downtown and taxis to Zicatela cost about $2.50

    View from the taqueria I eat at often in downtown P.E.
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    The Puerto en Puerto Escondido
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    I took a little ride north of town toward Oaxaca, on a road that would be an awesome moto road, if the pavement were in better shape. Endless twists and turns, but due to roughness, you couldn't really push it much.

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    Then I took an excursion on a dirt road to the hamlet of Reforma. I didn't take any pics there. It's just a little mountain town. People seemed friendly enough.

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    It was a long dusty climb, on a road that looked like it got washed out regularly.

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    On the way back to town I stoppped at a horticultural exhibit operated by a local University. They had these unusual trees called "cabeza del toro" or Bulls head trees, so named for obvious reasons.

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    A few days later I rode south of town and went for a swim on one of the miles of empty beaches here in Oaxaca.

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    It's friggin hot here now. :1drink Once you go out in the sun, your T-shirt is soaked in sweat within 10 minutes and you're ready for a shower or a swim. I can't imagine what it would be like in the summertime. I'm starting to look forward to getting a little higher in elevation just to cool things off a bit. When my month's lease is up, I'll probably head south along the coast for another day or so, and then head up toward Ciudad Oaxaca. That's about it for now. Cheers!
    #52
  13. gasandasphalt

    gasandasphalt Been here awhile

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    S/W New Mexico
    Howdy Miguel,

    Sounds like the way to see a new place is do as you are doing, stay for a month or more...

    Enjoying your report and photos a bunch, keep it up..:1drink
    #53
  14. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
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    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Well, after three and a half weeks here on the Oaxacan coast, I’ve rediscovered something I all ready knew, but I suppose I felt I needed to test my hypothesis anyway. There are “Beach people”, and there are the rest of us. I’m tired of the heat and humidity and ready to head up into the mountains to cool off a bit and hopefully shake the humidity to some extent. Most of the days here are spent in the shade, often sipping a cool drink, and praying for a breeze. It’s just too damn hot to go out for any length of time. I was born with a fully functioning set of sweat glands, and I find myself usually saturated in sweat within 10 minutes out in the sun. There’s a kind of sticky, smelly gestalt to the life in places like this, that I just can’t seem to wrap my head around. Instead, I find myself pausing in front of the open freezer door as I get ice cubes and savoring 10 seconds of some semblance of relief.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It’s not terribly better in the evenings unless you’re sitting still. The minute you exert any calories moving from one spot to another, the same stickiness pervades your being in a way that tries to claim you as one of its own. It’s only the knowledge that a day’s ride away is a 5K ft elevation gain, a consequent drop in temperature, and presumably some relief, that doesn't have me feeling trapped in a humidity bubble.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It’s interesting getting the feel of different towns down here and the variations in native and ex-pat cultures. Puerto Escondido has a large population of ex-pats, snow birds, and surfers hanging around, but it’s still a small pond. I’m again reminded of what life was like in high school, surrounded by the same 300 people every day. The result seems to be a cultural morph into a kind of island culture. Where the inhabitants, cut off from the larger world, have evolved arcane social quirks as their familiarity with each other increases, and the social customs of the world “out there” fade into a pot and alcohol fueled murk. As I said, it’s all very interesting. Still, it’s been a pleasant town, with lots to see and do and eat. Next time, I’ll come in the dead of winter rather than the shoulder season.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    My biggest issue I’ve had so far is trying to find a map. I intended to buy one of the area when I got down here, (mine ran out about 50 miles north of here). I haven’t found one yet, so I may be writing down directions from googlemaps and using that to navigate for a while. Go ahead and laugh you gps geeks. If I had a map, I’d be more inclined to ride down the coast and up to San Cristobal, but as it stands, the simpler thing would be to ride to Ciudad Oaxaca and purchase a map there. These little things, that would be so easily accomplished in the US at any filling station are the things that makes traveling abroad, and in Mexico in this case, a bit more of an adventure than you might have predicted. So it goes.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Meanwhile, I’ve got a cat or a opposum walking on my palm-thatched roof, and the gecko who lives behind my sofa is becoming bolder as he begins to realize after cohabiting for the last month that I’m not out to get him. I think he’s kind of cute actually.


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    The view from the check-out line at the Super Che, (supermarket), here in P.E.


    [​IMG]


    That's what I call a supermarket with a view. Sorry, but I've not been taking many photos lately, so that's all for now.

    <!--EndFragment-->
    #54
  15. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    G & A - Thanks for commenting man. It's nice to know someone's following along, even though I understand this report is not your typical 'on the road' kind of adventure most come here to share. Cheers amigo!
    #55
  16. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    I walked around town with my camera today and took some pics of P.E. and here are some of them.

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    Some of the sweet surf that makes this town famous for the surfing set.

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    The strip on Zicatela Beach

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    Surf art.

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    Another cabana, another afternoon beer. :freaky

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    The edge of the playa principal

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    The playa principal

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    Nice mermaid.

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    Playa principal

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    The harbor at playa principal. Something tells me this might not be a great place to lay over in a storm. I could see those waves wrapping around the breakwater and wiping a lot of boats out.
    #56
  17. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    Ojai, Ca
    Keep it up, what is your bike? Looks good.
    #57
  18. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
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    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Greg, it's a Kawasaki Versys. Like the name implies, it's a really versatile bike, and pretty near perfect in size and capabilities for touring Mexico, IMO.
    #58
  19. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
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    Location:
    Vancouver's North Shore, B.C.
    How much did you pay for the place in PE for a month? Was it easy to find a place for a month ?

    Thanks Blair. :D
    #59
  20. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
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    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Hi Blair. I spent $750 US for a months rental on this place which is basically a one bedroom, very pleasant casita in a quiet, upscale section of town. I was looking at Craigslist last night for places for rent in Ciudad Oaxaca and San Cristobal and saw some similar prices for 2 and 3 BR houses. A lot of the snowbirds are clearing out of here about now, and some surfers are replacing them as the waves improve a bit here in the spring. The "downturn" in the economy has hit Mexico's tourism industry in general as well, and fewer Americans and Europeans are coming here. Sooo... I think the chances of finding a place here for a reasonable price are excellent. I found this place simply by asking the owners of the hotel I spent my first night here if they knew anybody with an apt. or house for rent. They turned me on to three different options within a block of their place ranging from about $350 to $800/month.
    #60