Mainland Mexico via Baja

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

  1. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    That is to say I: saw some similar prices for 2 and 3 BR houses currently listed here in P.E.
    #61
  2. Holaday

    Holaday Man of Leisure

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    638
    Location:
    Vancouver's North Shore, B.C.
    Cool ! Thanks for the info. I don't see myself down there anytime soon but eventually I will get there. Enjoying your RR keep up the good work. :D
    #62
  3. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    I made a quick tour of Huatalco, saw mostly a bunch of luxury hotels and golf courses, and continued on my way to a quick stop in the industrial port town of Salinas Cruz, before heading up to Tehuantepec. Got a room for about $18/night at the Hotel Oasis, the first one you see as you enter el centro.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>The views around Zipolite</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Puerto Angel</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Salinas Cruz</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Street scene in Tehuantepic</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The courtyard of the Hotel Oasis</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>The plaza mercado after dark</o:p>


    [​IMG]


    Tacos for dinner


    [​IMG]

    What some of the tacos were made from. Is my dinner grinning or grimacing at me? The other tacos were squid. They were all very good.
    [​IMG]

    More to come...

    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #63
  4. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
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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--> In which the author rejects the advances of a gay man half his age, hangs out with Zapatistas, and speaks to a secondary school English class.



    <o:p></o:p>
    <!--EndFragment-->
    Having fled the coast, and heading for some cooler mountain climes, my first overnight is in Tehuantepec. It felt good to be somewhere where the joints weren’t crawling with elites + hipsters, be they Mexicans or Americans.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So I find myself in the company of the pool hall/cervezeria manager, Gil and we’re teaching each other drips and drabs of each other’s language.



    The pool hall
    [​IMG]


    He asks me if I’m hungry and invites me down the street to another place, which serves real food. It turns out it’s his Grandmother’s place, and he introduces me to Constanza as we pass her in the street. We join his aunt Jovina and his friend Jorge at their table and proceed to drink a lot of beer. Gil orders food, and although I’m not hungry, it’s very good. We enjoy a lively conversation, during which it becomes apparent that Gil is gay. He’s fondling of my knee at the table now, confirming his sexual orientation. I’m almost twice this kid’s age, I’m not gay, and I don’t know whether to be confused or flattered by his attention. I know one thing, and that is that no matter what his age, he’s just not doing it for me sexually. I’m thinking young Gilberto is gonna be disappointed tonight.



    Jorge, Jovina, and the lovelorn Gil.
    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    But we’ve had quite a lot of beer tonight, and as I turn from the urinal to return to our table, there’s Gil just inside the doorway of the bano. I smile and make to move past him, and he moves in front of me and plants a kiss. What do you say? I ended up deflecting the kiss, and giving him a hug, to hopefully let him know he’s OK, and not take the impending letdown too hard. I’m gonna try and let him down softly. Later when he returns to the table, I tell him privately, that I enjoy his company, but am not interested in anything more than a simple platonic friendship. He says that he understands. He calls for the bill from Vicky, an attractive Oaxaquena, who I’ve all ready had a flirtation with, much to Gil’s consternation. At the time of the flirtation, he felt compelled to ask me whether I liked her better than him. I told him then that having only just met both of them, it was hard to say. When she returns with the bill he is abusive to her, and I can see how it is for those in economic servitude to the elites even here in this decidedly un-touristy town as she stands silently by and takes his abuse.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I can also see that Gil might be kinda crushed by being rejected by an overweight man twice his age, but that’s his lot in life for this evening at least.:norton

    He suggests that we go back to the pool hall, and I agree to join them.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I’m put off when I’m informed that I’m expected to buy dinner and drinks for all four of us. You see a lot of this kind of scamming here in Mexico, but I can’t help but feel that Gilberto’s rejection by me has fueled this blatant manipulation. It’s not that bad, though, because the total bill amounts to about $29 US dollars, so I pull what cash I have from my pocket, (slight diversion into a travel tip here: I never bring all my money or wallet with me when I go out on the town in a place I’m unfamiliar with), which amounts to about $25, and toss it on the table, and hold my hands up saying that it’s all I have. Tia Jovina, launches right into an explanation as to how I can get more from the cash machine in town, which I assure her I can, even If I have no intention of doing so. I tell them I’ll return to my hotel for some money and then return to the pool hall.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Having retrieved about $40 dollars from my wallet back at the hotel, I take a circuitous route back to Gil’s Gramma’s place and go inside where I give Vicky a tip of 200 pesos, or about $16, and probably equivalent to as much as she might make in a day serving tables. She’s confused at first, as to whether I think I owe more than the 300 pesos I’ve all ready paid for all four of our meals and beers, but when I tell her it is just for her, she embraces me, (very cool, :D), and I bid her goodnight as I head up the street to the pool hall.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    When I enter, I’m grilled by Jovina and Gil as to why I returned to his gramma’s restaurant, but I only smiled and ordered a liter of beer for the table. I’m sure Gil will hear later how I returned and left a ridiculously generous tip for Vicky, and it kinda pleases me to think that it will piss him off as much as it pleased Vicky. Eventually Jovina says she’s leaving, but she needs some money to get something to eat first. I just stare at her. This chick has been chowing down, and drinking beer for the last two hours at my expense and I tell her, “No esta mi problema”. Disappointed, she eventually leaves and Gil asks if I want to shoot pool. I accede, and his barkeep racks the balls for us. He not good at game, but I end up setting him up on the last ball, and as he’s nowhere to be seen, I exit the pool hall and walk up to the plaza.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Eventually, I stop into a little cervezeria, and join a group of locals at the bar. They start out skeptical of me and what I’m doing here in their little town, but after a half hour I’ve gained four new friends. The talk turns to politics, and I’m told in a roundabout way that they are Zapatistas, the political and revolutionary group that essentially declared war on the state of Mexico in 1994, capturing 4 towns in Chiapas and the federal offices located in them before the Mexican government responded and re-established dominance. The group is primarily concerned with establishing rights and eliminating abuses done to indigenous Mexicans. They were particularly opposed to the establishment of NAFTA in the early 1990s which they saw as a policy which would further enslave los indios above and beyond their all ready impoverished conditions.



    When I wax eloquent, regardless of my broken Spanish, about the pedejo we recently replaced as our presidente, , my standing in this small band grows by leaps and bounds. Some of the local street art:
    [​IMG]





    Eventually Rudolfo, the owner of the bar wants to close up, so someone suggests that we adjourn to the pool hall around the corner. I just laugh and nod my assent, shaking my head as I consider the twists and turns this alcohol-fueled evening has taken.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    When we enter the pool hall, we’re served a liter of Corona Familiar, (a family sized bottle), and we pour drinks and toasts are made. At one point the waitress from Gramma’s place is outside and smiles and waves to the gringo. I feel good about making a point of tipping her after the abuse she took from Gil.



    Eventually Gil appears and informs me that I owe him another 190 pesos for the beers he bought and the pool game he suggested. I laughed and suggested that perhaps we needed the policia to sort out such a complicated matter. At that point I had three Zapatistas toasting me and endorsing my unwillingness to submit to another fleecing. So it goes. Gil retired to his corner, defeated in his amor and his mercenary tactics all in one evening. One of my new friends, suggested that I come to the secondary school where he teaches English the next day so his students might meet an Americano and answer some questions they might have about America and myself.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It was not easy, but I managed to drag myself out of bed and take a taxi to the escuela the following morning. I started by speaking to them in their native tongue, beginning as I often do by explaining that I spoke enough Spanish to appear to be kind of stupid. I continued by telling them that the world is beset with many difficulties right now, and that we need all the ideas we can muster in order to assure we arrive at the appropriate solutions. I talked about the economic power that the US wields in the world, and how English has become the de facto common language for our world. I said that as such it is important that they and other residents of non-English speaking countries learn to speak and read as much English as they can, not so that they can serve beers to American tourists such as myself, but so that their ideas might be heard by a larger audience, and so have more impact in a world hungry for new ideas.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Some of the students seemed to hear what it was I was saying and consider the possibilities, while others were more interested in my motorcycle, how fast it goes, and how much it cost. So it goes in our world this year of 2010, when America seems poised on the brink of turning a corner or falling further into the abyss of world opinion, which can be quite harsh once we leave the comfortable circles of our friends and peers back in the US. I think I did my best as an Ambassador of good will here on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> Some more street art I found in Southern Mexico with a less political twist:</o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #64
  5. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    It was so hot in the Tehuantepec area, I went for a ride in my shorts one day.

    I met this friendly old-timer and we had a nice chat by the side of the road.
    [​IMG]



    The ride might have worked out OK if I hadn't ridden back a dirt road to look at a lake where I had to ride a sandy patch.

    The lake:
    [​IMG]

    When I finally dumped, had my right foot wedged underneath the bike and my left calf on the motor. Ouch! We'll see how many weeks it takes for that one to heal. I'm not an ATGATT guy, but I don't think I'll ever ride on dirt again without some basic protection.
    Ouch, indeed!
    [​IMG]

    More shots from yhat day's ride...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #65
  6. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    <o:p></o:p>After two nights in Tehuantepec, I left for the mountain town of San Cristobal, Chiapas. Once I left the plains the ride was not only scenic but fun. I don&#8217;t know what riding the cuota to Tuxtla Guitterez is like, but I can highly recommend taking el Libre. There was no traffic to speak of and the scenery was fantastic.












    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    I stopped at the Wal-Mart in Tuxtla, as it is the one place I know down here where you can count on finding Guia Roji Maps of the Mexican highways, and I still lack a good one for Oaxaca and Chiapas. After picking one up, I left for San Cristobal, and took the cuota, which was beautiful as it quickly ascends to the mountain valley where San Cristobal resides.I can feel the temperature dropping as I ascend, and even in the afternoon heat, I can almost feel the hint of a chill as I stretch out mi moto&#8217;s wings a bit and cruise at 80mph for the first time in a long while.
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #66
  7. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Well this is a beautiful colonial mountain town, and there's enough chill in the air at night to wear a fleece sweater. :clap



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]






    I rode into town and was lucky to find a room for about $32/night at the Hotel de la Plaza del Santo Domingo, just across the street from a 400 year old church and a lively open market.



    The sidewalks are paved in stone and polished from untold years of human traffic. Be careful when it's wet. I stepped in a puddle once crossing the street and nearly fell on my ass when my wet shoe hit those slick stones.
    [​IMG]


    It’s Easter weekend though, and they don’t have a room available for Saturday and Sunday night, so I’ll either find another room or move on. I eventually found another room at a small hotel for only about $15/night, but after two days of constantly being approached by street vendors and kids begging, I wasn’t sure if I could afford to remain here much longer. I have a hard time not giving them all some money, even though I know it will do nothing long-term to improve their poverty. I merely hope it improves their day.



    [​IMG]

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

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    San Cristobal is surrounded by towns of poor Chiapanecos, and this ring is sometimes called the “Ring of Misery”. People are poor in this part of Mexico. Really poor. They are mostly indigenous Mexicanos.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]

    The Zapatistas captured 4 cities here in Chiapas in 1994, including San Cristobal, essentially declaring war on the Federal Government of Mexico, and professing their open opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement, (NAFTA), which they saw as a policy that would further enslave indigenous Mexicans, and lock economic control of the region into the exploitative hands of the rich, and powerful corporations. The movement has a strong component in support of women's rights. A lot of the street art here reflects the desire to organize a politically meaningful coalition to fight for their goals of economic well being for an oppressed minority. Perhaps one of the saddest events to occur during the ensuing conflict was the 1997 massacre of 45 pacifists belonging to the group Las Abejas, (The bees), who supported the aims if not the means of the Zapatista movement.



    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Their goals are primarily directed at ensuring the rights of all the various indigenous groups of Mexicans, but their political base is located mostly here in the southern part of Mexico where population pressures have been increasing as Guatemalans and other Central Americans trying to escape the overwhelming poverty of their homelands move north toward the US in search of economic opportunity.



    Some street art I saw in San Cristobal
    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    San cristobal seems to be pretty much an elite Mexican/gringo town, surrounded by indigenous Mexicans living in poverty. I’ve decided to move on to Pelenque after only two nights in this lovely town so full of economic contrasts as to be hard to comprehend.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #67
  8. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    <meta name="Title" content=""> <meta name="Keywords" content=""> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"> <meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 2008"> <meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 2008"> <link rel="File-List" href="file://localhost/Users/michaeljones/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/msoclip/0clip_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--> <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>When I got my moto out of the garage this morning, it kept stalling when I came to a stop, and I was worried about what could have possibly happened to it while just sitting for the last couple of days. I stopped on the edge of town to investigate, but found that it was now Ok. I thought about it a bit, and then recalled the oil change in Acapulco, where they used a “tropical weight” oil. This being the first morning they moto’s been started when there was an actual chill in the air, I figure it’s just the engine bogging down with the added viscosity in the cold morning air and ride out of town.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    It was a beautiful ride. If it hadn’t been for all the topes it would have been a near perfect ride on a motorcycle.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>


    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>



    <o:p></o:p>
    I made a stop for lunch at Aguas Azul, where I got hit by the old “double” entrance fee. You stop on the way down and pay a toll of 10 pesos and then get stopped further on and get hit with another entrance fee. I joked with the toll guy whether he was sure there wasn’t another caseta del cobro just up ahead. He assured me this was the last, and I parked my bike in the shade under a tree, and paid some of the local kids to keep an eye on it.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]

    This town had a sign outside the dirt road entering it, stating that you were now in the free and independent Zapatista territories.

    [​IMG]


    The indios along the road to pelenque, would build mud “topes” to slow traffic down so they could sell them whatever they had, be it hand woven clothing, or fresh fruit juices. It kind of freaked me out the first time I saw them also having a rope stretched out across the road, which they then raise up, like a barricade as I approached. In fact I think I actually shouted a curse at that first woman who used the technique as I was tooling along. I went on my way to Pelenque, where I made a wrong turn into el centro and found the clean Hotel Edzna for about $19/night.


    The plaza at Pelenque
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    <!--EndFragment-->
    #68
  9. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I walked to a local cervezeria around the corner from the hotel, and the locals were friendly and talkative. :freaky Unfortunately, they had fleas as well as beer, and my ankles were so bitten up after one beer, I had to &#8220;flee&#8221; the premises. One of the locals told me that the fleas like us lighter skinned people, as he was too scratching his ankles as we talked. Those with more indio blood didn&#8217;t seem to be affected by them.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I eventually rode around town and found the little touristy corner and had dinner and another couple of cervezas before turning in.


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    <o:p> </o:p>
    Well this is really why I came over here. I had heard these ruins were extensive and impressive and they are. There is no parking lot to speak of at the ruins themselves, so there are cars strung out along the twisting road for a half a mile before you actually reach the ruins. The beauty of a motorcycle is that you can almost always find a parking place, and I did, about 50 yards from the park&#8217;s entrance. There were numerous kids trying to get me to sign them up as a guide, but I felt like seeing the ruins without any talk. I&#8217;ll read up on them later for any background material I want. So I put my Ipod on repeat play, and fired up Neil Young&#8217;s &#8220;Cortez the Killer&#8221;, a song I&#8217;m continually drawn to both here and at home, but somehow it seems a perfect accoutrement to walking these amazing Mayan ruins.



    Here's the song, with a link in case the embed doesn't work, if you wanna get inside my head at the ruins of Pelenque, (if you want to complete the recreation of my experience, turn the heat in your house up to the max, put on a down coat, and wait till you're saturated in sweat:lol3):

    <o:p> </o:p>
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m4H77z3fJE

    <object height="385" width="480">


    <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_m4H77z3fJE&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" height="385" width="480"></object>
    <o:p></o:p><object height="385" width="480"></object><object height="385" width="480"></object>
    [​IMG]


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    <o:p> </o:p>
    From Wiki: &#8220;Unlike the Aztec and Inca Empires, there was no single Maya political center that, once overthrown, would hasten the end of collective resistance from the indigenous peoples. Instead, the conquistador forces needed to subdue the numerous independent Maya polities almost one by one, many of which kept up a fierce resistance.&#8221; I can&#8217;t help but think this may translate to at least some of the strength of the Zapatista movement in these parts as well.
    <!--EndFragment-->
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #69
  10. Ironwood

    Ironwood Friday Harbor, WA

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    887
    Las Ruinas are incredible. I had no idea they were so extensive or large. Very Cool indeed.

    Joe
    #70
  11. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    <o:p></o:p>I left Pelenque after a nightlong drizzle, the first real rain I&#8217;ve seen in the two and a half months I&#8217;ve spent in Mexico. The day was overcast and cool, so that was a welcome relief. The day was spent pretty much on the cuota, so the ride went fast, but was boring.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I&#8217;ve landed in the Spanish colonial port town of Tlacoltalpan along the banks of a river. It was an important port up into the late 19<sup>th</sup> century. Nowadays fishing and cane farming seem to be the areas main industries. It&#8217;s a beautiful town and I&#8217;m seemingly the only gringo in it at the moment.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    The zocalo.




    [​IMG]
    Near the zocalo.




    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    Pink & Blue.




    [​IMG]
    Twilight street scene.




    [​IMG]
    The end of the malecon.




    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    The zocalo.
    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Random bicycle shot.
    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Edificio montage.

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Iglesia on the plaza.

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    This is the most colorful town I've visited in Mexico.



    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Lovely portales.

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    I checked into the Hotel Reforma on the plaza. When I asked about internet access, the desk clerk put me in one of two tiny rooms nearest the lobby. The room does have internet access, but it&#8217;s really small. Barely room to walk around the bed, and you have to turn sideways to get into the bathroom. It&#8217;s basically a dump. I should have tried to negotiate a better rate than the 300 pesos they&#8217;re charging me. Say-la-vee. While the hotel is conveniently located, if you&#8217;re an early to bed type, you may want to check a few other hotels in town, because just across the street are 3 or 4 bars, with loud music, and a loquacious clientele that stays up relatively late. I decided to join the locals in their nightly festivities. :freaky

    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>Some scenes of the nightlife across the street from the Hotel Reforma
    </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

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

    <o:p></o:p>

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    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    The people here are friendly and interested in my travels in their country. It&#8217;s a cool little town, and one of my favorites on this trip. It&#8217;s been literally cooler her as well. Don&#8217;t know if there&#8217;s been a change in the weather or the nearness to the ocean is keeping it comfortable, but this is much more pleasant than any of the coastal or low lying areas I&#8217;ve visited so far.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>


    [​IMG]




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    [​IMG]





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






    [​IMG]






    I&#8217;ve eaten at a couple of the restaurants down on the malecon, where the breeze is nice and the views of the river are beautiful.
    <o:p> </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Fishermen tying up their boats at the day's end. That's El Mirador Restaurant in the background, (one of my favorites).

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]
    </o:p>
    The view from El Mirador.




    One day for lunch I had two crab tostadas, (about $3), and beef enchiladas, (about $1.50). Excellente!
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    The enchiladas.

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p>Unfortunately I scarfed one of the crab tostadas before I thought to take a picture. :D As a side note, last year I ran out of reading material pretty quickly, and I was finding it difficult to find English language books that I was interested in reading. One of the things I did differently this year was buy a Kindle electronic book to bring along, and it was a great decision. I've got about 50 books in this one little device that takes up less space than a single book. That single device has an English-Spanish dictionary, a Spanish-English dictionary, the Lonely Planet guide to Mexico, 501 Spanish Verbs, a magazine subscription, a couple of books on economics/the recent financial crash, some histories, and the rest are novels. The other cool thing about this device is that I can download more books from here or anywhere around the world that has cellular phone service.
    </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    I was finishing my dinner my first night here at El Mirador when the waiter began putting away the tables before the sun even set, and I commented that they closed the restaurant early. He explained that one downside of the waterfront restaurants is that as soon as the sun sets, the mosquitoes come out in force. I got to witness that firsthand as I finished my cerveza.


    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Tomorrow I leave for Ciudad Oaxaca.
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #71
  12. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Yep! I was blown away by them Joe. Well worth visiting if you happen to be in this corner of Mexico.
    #72
  13. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    <o:p></o:p>The ride from Tuxtepec to Ciudad Oaxaca could be Mexico&#8217;s version of the Skyline Drive/Blue Ridge Parkway. It&#8217;s about 150 Km of tight twists and turns, and the bulk of the ride I made in second and third gears.



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]






    Unfortunately there weren&#8217;t nearly enough spots to get off the road to take a photo of the breathtaking views as you wend your way up to a high elevation mountain pass, then down to the town of Ixtapa, then up another mountain and eventually into Oaxaca.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    David works for the Federal Gumint, and one of his jobs is to pick up the trash at the scenic pull-out at the top of the pass. Nice guy.



    <o:p></o:p>
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    The church in Ixtapa, the only sizable town along the way. along the way.


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    The church in Ixtapa, the only sizable town along the way. along the way.



    <o:p></o:p>
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    View from Ixtapa



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    The valley between the two passes you cross on rt. 175
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    I stopped for refreshments about 20 km from town at a roadside restaurant with speco views. You can see the tight turns from the earlier part of the trip smooth out as the road approaches the valley below.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Still life with Corona...

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    Got into town, and found the Hotel de Arbol which is great. Clean rooms, parking for the moto, internet and a big bathroom, all for the same price as the dumpy Hotel Reforma in Tlacoltalpan, (about $24). I did some maintenance on the bike, checked the coolant level, and topped it off and went out on the town. It&#8217;s a beautiful city. Fantastic architecture, from it&#8217;s numerous cathedrals to the Spanish colonial grand structures. You can tell the difference between the little colonial towns and the major ones not only by their size, but by the number of two story buildings. The traffic pretty much sucks in el centro here.

    [​IMG]
    Ciudad Oaxaca.


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    Did I mention traffic sucks in el centro?



    [​IMG]
    The only problem with the hotel del Arbol is that they pack the cars, (and motos), in like sardines every night, and then in the morning they start the reshuffling of them all like a rubik's cube to get everybody out on schedule. By evening this lot will be packed to the gills.


    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>



    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    Easter week has a lot of celebrations down here...


    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    The zocalo.


    [​IMG]


    Tomorrow a visit to the Zapotec ruins at Monte Alban...
    <!--EndFragment-->
    #73
  14. Motojournalism

    Motojournalism motojournalism.com

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,678
    Location:
    Montreal via BC
    Fantastic ride between San Cristobal and Palenque eh?:thumb

    Thanks for the food shots too, There ain't no place outside of Mexico that can do Mexican food properly! I miss it!
    #74
  15. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    Not much to say here other than I rode out to the Zapotec ruins and spent the day walking around this impressive archaeological site. I repeated the exercise from Pelenque and donned my Ipod and put Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" on repeat play, as I pondered the nature of empires such as these Meso-American Indian kingdoms, and the Spanish Empire that conquered them, and how or if that relates to how we Americans, as a nation, conduct our own business in the world at large. :norton On to the pics:

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    I.m leaving for points north tomorrow. Either Pueblo or Cuernavaca.
    #75
  16. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    San Cristobal to pelenque was awesome except for what I thought were an awful lot of topes, and most of them unmarked, so it was hard to get into a riding groove the way I did on the Tlacoltopan to Oaxaca ride, (which had almost no topes in 150 km). As to the food, by definition, you're right, although New Mexico gives the Mexican's a good run for their money in the cocina.
    #76
  17. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    <meta name="Title" content=""> <meta name="Keywords" content=""> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"> <meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 2008"> <meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 2008"> <link rel="File-List" href="file://localhost/Users/michaeljones/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/msoclip/0clip_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--> Food_ Hotel Parador de San Miguel, Ave. Independencia 503, just a block and a half from the zocalo.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Food- Coming into town from the north, take the turnoff gor San Jacinto and a half a block on the left is La Flor de Istmo, Camino San Jacinto esq, Ferrocarril #109
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Hotel – Hotel del Arbol, Ave. Independencia


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    <!--EndFragment-->
    #77
  18. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    <meta name="Title" content=""> <meta name="Keywords" content=""> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <meta name="ProgId" content="Word.Document"> <meta name="Generator" content="Microsoft Word 2008"> <meta name="Originator" content="Microsoft Word 2008"> <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-->The ride to Cuernavaca was a mix of great scenery with twisting roads and a smattering of cuotas. Even the cuota coming into Cuernavaca was beautiful. I passed another ADV rider on a green KLR going the opposite direction and we saluted each other. I couldn’t tell as we were in the middle of some excellent twisties when we passed, but it might have been Chad, a Canadian with whom I’ve crossed paths in Mulege, and once again on the West coast of the mainland. I always have a pang when I see riders going the opposite direction, which is when and where I’ve seen most of them, wishing we could sit for a few minutes and share stories and places we’ve been.



    Some views along the way.

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    <o:p> </o:p>
    I made a quick detour into the picture postcard town of Tepoztlan. Sorry, no pics of that, but if you’re in the area, you should swing by to check it out. Everything around southern Mexico is even more beautiful than usual with the blue-purple flowering St. Lucia trees scattered throughout the landscape.
    <o:p> </o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>
    </o:p>
    Entering Cuernavaca from the north is a journey of descent, as the road plunges down and down towards el centro. I pulled into the first hotel I saw wirh a garage, and found their nightly rate almost $300 US, so I kept riding down toward the zocalo. I was having a hard time finding hotels in the crush of afternoon traffic, and eventually pulled into another hotel garage and found their rooms to still be expensive, but the heat and the ride were getting to me, and I coughed up 1300 pesos, (discounted from 1950 pesos) for what turned out to be a lovely air conditioned room next to the courtyard and pool. It was very nice and maybe the quietest room I've had in any Mexican city.

    <o:p> </o:p>[​IMG]
    The 1300 peso room.


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    Watch your step when you leave and enter your room.



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    Apparently the extra 1000 pesos buys the tchotchkas on the walls and horizontal surfaces.


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    Random composition.



    I walked down to the zocalo, and eventually stopped into a little bar for a cerveza, and shortly thereafter a gringo looking dude walked in and muttered something in English, adding, “You look like a gringo, anyway”. To which I replied, “So do you”. Ha! We shared a couple of beers and then parted ways after dinner on the edge of the zocalo.


    [​IMG]
    View from the bar where John and I met.



    [​IMG]
    Sidewalk repairs in Cuernavaca






    <!--EndFragment-->
    #78
  19. atk_nut

    atk_nut and atk_nut_wife

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    622
    Location:
    Duncan, BC
    Awsome r&r!
    Looks like you are doing a similar rout as us but we didn't have as much time.The mountains are just as beautiful as the coast and it was where we cooled off our sun burns.We had alot of fun getting soccer balls,blowing them up with our tire fixin stuff and having a game with the local kids.I played goalie while my kids did the running.Ask for instructions on the spin top.It's hard but everyone knows it and it will make you new friends.There are alot of hot springs and caves in the mountains that aren't in that stupid Lonely Planet book.Ask around.Also,watch out for that oil.It'll make the bike hard to start in the morning,especially around Durango.It must be easier knowing spanish there.We only knew a few words and it was hard at times.Don't forget hwy 40!! It's a must!
    Wishing we were there still
    atk_nut family
    #79
  20. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    505
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico
    I'm digging the mountains atk_nut. The heat down on the coasts was getting to me. I just had my oil changed again, because of the viscosity issue up here at higher elevations. I rode rt. 40 last year and enjoyed it. I just rode a smaller route between Ciudad Hidalgo and Morelia which was perhaps my favorite road here in Mexico. It was only 80 km, but it was 80 km of perfectly cambered curves, and no diminishing radius curves at that along the mountain ridge and the climb up and down. Plus, no traffic at all! Awesome ride!
    #80