Mexico by Geezer

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RexBuck, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. Jick Magger

    Jick Magger Exile on Main Street

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    Day 12 - Jan 29
    "Left Navojoa with no definite plans on where to stop today. Had a route planned out but as soon as I was out of the city I saw a Libre sign and headed off. It wasn’t really a Libre but more just not on the Cuota. This is great farming country that reminds me a lot of California. Lots of variety: Field crops, cotton, grains, vegetables, vine & tree fruits and so on. I love looking at this stuff. And, they are big, very productive farms.

    So, I’m standing on the side of the road to take some pictures and this guy pulls up to see if everything is ok. Speaks pretty good English so start chatting. Turns out Javier rides an 1100 GS, is the Presidente of the local Sanuaro Moto Club and has travelled all over the western states and into Canada. In his spare time he is a farmer and head of a large Co-op in the area. Super nice guy. Gives me a hat from his club then gives me a beer holder – the only other place I’ve seen these is in Australia and the Aussies call them stubbie holders. Very passionate about farming and very passionate about motorcycles. A great guy. Thanks Javier".


    Yea Steve you wanna be real careful of all that danger in Mexico....random people giving you gifts at the side of the road...once they have you loaded down with presents rendering you immobile is when they will strike.....Be careful out there :rofl
    #41
  2. danceswithcages

    danceswithcages Been here awhile

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    Hi Steve!
    I'm really enjoying your RR. Cool video. It's been many years since I've been to Mexico. Maybe next winter...
    Quite often I find myself in a Mexican restaurant here, downing fish tacos and Negra Modelo, too. :freaky
    Makes it feel a bit warmer. Keep on keepin' on.
    #42
  3. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    It is hell down here . . . just don't know where to turn . . . gifts, great food, great beer, etc . . . I'm doomed! :D
    #43
  4. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

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    RexBuck, as a Geezer myself, I am enjoying your report. Nice job. As much as many people are concerned about traveling in Mexico, the ride reports on AdvRider do not seem to indicate any individual problems. It seems that most of the problems are between the drug cartels. There are reports of some incidents with travelers, but heck, you can find those in the US.
    #44
  5. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Hey Ol Man, thanks for the kind comments and thanks for following along.

    Well, I have not experienced any problems while down here.

    I think there is no question there are some bad things happening down here. Certainly most of the stuff that gets sensationalized seems to be drug related. Then there are the reports of tourists being attacked, held up and killed. Again, many times when you sort through the background of those incidents, you find some "strange" stuff. Some tourists will be affected by some violence but attacks against tourists generally and against bikers specificly don't seem to be dramaticly worse than in the US, Canada or many other first world countries. In fact, if you compare statistics, many US cities are more dangerous than most of Mexico. So, I agree with you - use some common sense when down here and you should be fine.

    If you are interested in more on this subject, there is a huge thread over Trip Planning/Americas called "Is Mexico Safe" - there is some great information and discussion there.
    #45
  6. RebelYell

    RebelYell Been here awhile

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    Reminds me of mesmaloya and yelapa some of the water and mt pics/scenery.I keep reading this thread Im gonna quit my job and take up riding full time.Ya had me sold at the churro's cinnamon roll/bun stand thats worth the trip in itself:roflIve seen more things and variety of fishes/rays then Ive seen my whole life stateside.Back in 09 there was this huge manta ray that came by our hotel for 3-4 days.We saw the fishing boats and I said to buddy I bet them bastards are gonna kill that,after he said they catch anything there.We didnt see it agin after that and some one said they killed it and it was one of the biggest they ever caught.It was the 1st MAnta ray I ever saw in my life at 34 years old ,its never too late to see or learn new things.It looked like a b2 bomber in the water.Anyway sorry to take over your thread,sticks a cinnamon bun in his mouth and listens and reads intently:lol3
    #46
  7. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Yah, Churros mess with your brain and make you do strange things. Thanks for following along RebelYell.
    #47
  8. treebrain

    treebrain Bobby Lynch

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    I'm not sure what lies in the future of this RR, but the surreal clip of the burro dragging the wood is gonna be tough to beat.:clap
    #48
  9. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Yah, I have no idea what lies in the future for this ride or this RR but thanks for following along treebrain. That little guy was on a mission and had obviously done this trek many times in the past.
    #49
  10. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Short day today distance wise – only went from Los Mochis to Culiacan but did a bit of wandering in the hills. Cuota and Libre combined for awhile, they get a toll and then they split. Headed up a road I had preplaned from the Libre east then south. Paved part of the way then turned into good gravel. Then gravel varied a bit – lots of dry water crossings. Not a lot of scenery but once I got going was nobody around.

    Followed the road into a very small town – suddenly realized that virtually all the houses were nice to luxury. Lots of new cars, new ATVs, etc. Lots of construction. Couldn'’t find the road I was to continue on so, carried on through the town. Wound up scooting up a driveway to a pretty fancy place to turn around. Got yelled at by some guys in the street. Turned around, shake hands and carry on. Didn'’t see any guns - didn't actually expect to. Lets see, we are in Sinaloa State, we are up in the hills a long way from anything, there is a tremendous amount of wealth in town, the place is palatial, there is no apparent active business in the area, mine, farm, nothing, there are a lot of Hombres around giving me the Stink-Eye. Ahhh, probably a just a bunch of the Mexican upper crust wanting to get away from it all . . . could well be.

    Of course, I stuck to the Libre roads where I could. The Libre roads are generally the old highway which go through all of the small towns that have been there for a long time. They are free while the Cuota is more of a freeway, hardly any topes, 4 lane but you get to pay a toll for using it. I like the Libres as there is more to see and experience that way. Every once in awhile, they get sneaky. For instance, just before Culiacan, cruising along the Libre, sign pops up, End of the Libre, then another sign, Start of the Cuota then a toll both – all within a half mile. Bastards!

    Just to satisfy my farm need and a need for something visual in this post, you see these structures to the right in this brief video every once in awhile on the flat farmland. They are netting and my guess is they are sheltering tomatoes - they are huge.



    Decided the afternoon was getting long and I would get a place in Culiacan. What a mistake! I drove around this berg for an hour looking for a hotel lots of motels at the outskirts but I wanted just a regular joint.

    Another moment to explain the difference between a motel and hotel. Hotels are what we are used to and many look like what we think of as motels – drive up to the door, etc. although many are the multi-storey inside entrance buildings. However, on the outskirts of most larger towns are numerous Motels. Motels are where you go if you want to discretely rent a room for just a few hours. They are designed with an entrance and exit and you usually can’t see inside the grounds. Each room has a private garage and all transactions are done with cash, no names and in fact the staff wouldn’t even see you if you wanted real discretion. Usually rental is from a few hours to half a day. I wound up in one last year and it actually worked pretty well although I was awakened periodically by garage doors opening and closing. Had a 12 hour stay and had to be out at 6:13AM – worked fine for me. No WiFi though and the TV had a “limited selection” of, um, genre.


    So, didn’'t want a Motel tonight. Let Garmin drag me around looking mostly for places that didn’'t exist finally thought, how about Lonely Planet – they should have a couple of recommendations. Can you believe for a City of 600,000 they don’t recommend one hotel or even a restaurant. Sure backpackers are going to avoid a city if they can (as should bikers) but the odd one must get stuck there. They did mention there were some hotels near the river so, went that way and found a whole wack of fancy places – feast or famine. Finally found the Hotel San Carlos around the corner from the new places. It was basic but just fine – parking inside the courtyard that is secured with a steel gate at night, the best WiFi I’'ve had the whole trip – just no AC. Oh, and 300p – about $23.
    #50
  11. jnorton1

    jnorton1 Been here awhile

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    Did you catch the name of the wealthy town in the hills or was it just a development of nice homes?
    #51
  12. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    No, it was a little town. I, ah, don't remember its name.

    Thanks for following.
    #52
  13. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    A pretty uneventful day transiting from Culiacan to San Blas, just west of the city of Tepic. Terrain changed from wide open flat land very conducive to large farming to much smaller family farms, vegetable farms and orchards as the mountains started to crowd in towards the ocean. Agriculture certainly seems to be the predominate employer.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Mountains started pushing towards the ocean and farm land starts to shrink

    [​IMG]

    I had always heard about San Blas and figured I should check it out – was expecting a sleepy tourist beach town. What I saw when I arrived was a very Mexican town. Wandered around looking for a hotel (not having the foresight to find a recommendation) finally found main street and saw a couple of suitable places. Stopped at the Hotel Los Alverez – decent parking, hot water, AC, WiFi . . . 300p. Two 300p nights in a row. Great! Nothing fancy but suits me.

    [​IMG]

    Unloaded the bike and needed a beer. Walked up the street to a little tienda (store) and bought a couple of Barrilitos, another great Mexican beer. (Not many that are at least “good”)

    Some vendors on the main street

    [​IMG]

    Mexican meat market

    [​IMG]

    Cooled off, and went looking for dinner. Found the town’s square was just hoppin. Turns out the town has a cultural week and tonight features a singer. So, a big percentage of the town turns out, usually as families. I really enjoy just watching the people and Mexican families are at the top of that list. The Mexican families I have observed seem to be pretty tight. They enjoy doing things together and older kids will play with younger kids. They seem to be pretty happy.

    [​IMG]

    Kids playing in the center of the town's Zócalo

    [​IMG]
    #53
  14. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    :freaky
    #54
  15. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Thanks man. And thanks to you, in a couple of weeks Mrs RexBuck will be joining me for awhile in Oaxaca :evil . . .
    #55
  16. Jick Magger

    Jick Magger Exile on Main Street

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    Okanagan Valley BC, Canada/Scottsdale, Arizona
    Steve

    Enjoying following along here. You are doing well. Any thoughts on the f800 gs for all your fans. Happy with the performance? Is it the right bike for Mexico? I love my Gsa but from some ride reports a slightly smaller bike has its advantages in Latin America. Nice to see tricepilot following your ride. I just finished reading his 2007 RR and will read his other two RR's in the next week. He certainly gets me excited to travel more in Mexico. You boys are living the life and i read the reports and try to keep the economy moving forward on the homefront:*sip*

    BJ
    #56
  17. going south

    going south hero & Zero...

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    Great RR so far RexBuck: loving the Pic's and narrative!!!

    The little Beach town of San Blas has WiFi in the Zocalo now & heard it's actually pretty fast....
    Keep up the good work...:freaky
    #57
  18. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Thanks BJ. I am really enjoying the 800 on this trip so far. Only had one time where it was a real handful and that was the very brief period in some deep sand. I am starting to understand the adage of when on these trips, you will never wish for a larger bike. The 800 has tons of power for the highway and can pass in a flash. It is still a big bike and there are tons of roads I wouldn't dream of going on but these little dirt bikes are zipping all over the place on them. So, for a compromise bike the 800 is great. Comfortable on the highway and good on non-pavement. I've ridden this bike on some pretty rough roads/trails that I wouldn't consider fully loaded and by myself a long way from home.

    The GSA is a phenominal bike - I learned on one. HIgher top speed, greater acceleration and that boxer engine is an amazing powerplant. I think the same things apply to it as the 800 - big, that is good most the time but every once in awhile you wish it was smaller.

    TricePilot writes a great report - he's been a real inspiration.

    I think dreaming is an important part o getting ready for these trips. And, those of us goofing off appreciate people keeping the economy moving forward.

    Cheers
    #58
  19. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Thanks for following along going south. Didn't know there was WiFi downtown in San Blas - I have to pay attention more in many of these little towns.
    #59
  20. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    I am really enjoying your trip report. Nice narrative with regards to the hotels/motels, borders, wifi, costs, etc.

    Now, how do I get in on this "retirement" thing?:lol3
    Sooner rather than later, I hope!
    #60