No bribes or bandits - My initiation to Mexico

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by PhillipsMetal, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. joenuclear

    joenuclear Ride to eat, eat to ride... all roads lead to pie!

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,430
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    N!
    #21
  2. ShaftyNZ

    ShaftyNZ Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    88
    Location:
    Matiere, Central North Island, New Zealand
    Hey Phillip

    Really enjoying following your adventure - keep up the great writing and excellent photos!

    Shafty
    New Zealand
    #22
  3. PhillipsMetal

    PhillipsMetal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Alabaster, AL
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> When my good friend drops off the face of the earth and claims to have found a better life away from the rat race and corporate hamster wheel, the 90% of my jaded side thinks that he has just dropped out and is running away. After all, we were both raised in retired military households and educated in government schools where the fact that the USA is the greatest country in the world was ingrained and nowhere else could compare. Especially Mexico. But then there was the 10% of me that realized that Rick was always bright and inquisitive and was known to travel the path less taken. That part of me trusted that he made the right decision.


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    We had talked over the years and he always reassured me that his life was as normal and typical as any live he would have in the US. In the next few days I would find out.


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    We both grew up in modest homes in rural Alabama. Visiting Rick’s home reminded me a lot of that time. He and his wife Artemiza had built their home from a single room on the property into a nice home. Artemiza painted the murals in the sun room and the entry hall. The sun room was the main gathering spot in the house and had a cool old stove for cooking out there. There was a kitchen inside the house also.


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    Behind the home is Rick’s shop. He works out of this shop doing repairs and tinkering. Beside his shop is a trailer that he got in trade from a circus traveling through town and it is filled with lapidary equipment. Rick makes his living from both of these pursuits along with erecting garages and awnings. This fits Rick well as he always loved to tinker and solve problems.


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    Around mid morning a truck drives by blaring music from a loudspeaker. It’s a guy selling bottled water. As I see through the next couple of days, its possible to live here without ever leaving home for anything. There are delivery trucks for propane, tortillas, fruit, meat, and water that I saw. They each have different music. If that doesn’t get you by, the neighborhood is scattered with little stores. There is a typical country store where they charge your food until payday, several beer stores and assorted businesses. I would soon find out that is just the tip of the economy in these little town. Just like Rick’s house, this was a condensed version of our home town.


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    Chilaquiles for breakfast:
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    About midday Rick’s step daughter Marlena was driving in to Guaymas for some fabric and we hop in for the ride. Rick’s wife Artemiza is a seamstress and she specializes in wedding dresses and quiencenra dresses. Quiencenra is a celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday and is marked by an elaborate party where the dress is similar to a ball gown and is a prominent part of the event.


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    We took in the downtown and riverfront sights while Marlena shopped. Guaymas is a bustling place with government offices for the county seat and a nice walk along the water.


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    After returning home, things got real interesting.



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    An older man pulls up on a three wheeler and wants Rick to fix the steering tube that has been beaten out by decades of riding these dirt roads. With Rick interpreting I find out he is 76 years old and he rides this trike all over the place.



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    In a few minutes another older gentleman cruises up on a motorcycle and I find out he is 86 years old! And he is not babying his bike, he cruising at a pretty good clip down the dirt roads.



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    We chart for a while and these guys are out just making the rounds and enjoying life. The fellow on the trike is scopes out my bike and was smiling as he heard about my ride down. I guess he was ready to be cruising on some longer rides because he offered to trade me his house and his motorcycle for my bike. That was a little humbling.


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    We took a little ride down the road to see the main industry of the village, brick making.


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    As the afternoon approached we struck out towards San Carlos in search of free internet so I could let everyone know how I was suffering through the 100 degree heat and toughing it out on the road – lol. In sharp contrast to the harsh and humble desert landscape, San Carlos is an affluent resort town, with celebrities like Danielle Steel, Willie Nelson and Jon Claude Van Damme keeping homes there.



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    Rick and I amble into the coffee shop at the yacht club feeling like Eddie Murphy at the country club in Beverly Hills Cop. After I update the folks at home, we take a tour of the resort. Even though I am not a resort kinda guy, I have to admit this is a beautiful place. While we are there, Rick picks up a rock from the overlook and grinds me out a arrowhead on his lapidary equipment when we get back to the house.


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    For supper, we all loaded up and headed to Miramar.



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    We dined at an outdoor seafood restaurant and this place was a feast. I had something with marlin and everybody got exotic looking dishes. The seafood was so fresh I am not sure some of the octopus arms weren’t still wiggling. Artemiza and her daughter teamed up against the gringos and ordered our food with extra peppers and cut up the whole time. I did have a soup called beche, which means nekkid, and I guess it’s the brine from cooking the sea food. It was really good.
    On the ride home we took the coastal road and ended up in San Carlos. It was a beautiful drive.
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    #23
  4. FishTaco

    FishTaco urban misfit

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    92
    Location:
    at large in SoCal
    What a great intro to Mexico! Enjoying your RR :D
    #24
  5. SMC

    SMC Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    Newport Beach CA
    Thanks

    This is a really great report.

    Subscribed for more.
    #25
  6. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    16,484
    Location:
    Traveling on the Moto
    Hi John!

    Turn the heat up, I need to head south!

    Donnie
    #26
  7. PhillipsMetal

    PhillipsMetal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Alabaster, AL
    LOL - no kidding. I have to pick up my bike from the shop Tuesday and the high is supposed to be 35. :huh If nobody hears from me next week, I may have started my Mexico return a little early. :rofl:rofl:rofl
    How is your new bike coming along!
    #27
  8. PhillipsMetal

    PhillipsMetal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Alabaster, AL
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> The day started out early with a customer for Rick showing up around 7 am. OK, let me rephrase that: The day started out early for Rick, while I slept through in – lol. A couple of families were headed from California to Puerto Vallarta and the tongue on their boat trailer broke. Rick got up and fabricated a patch that would get them back to his shop.


    While we waited on them to return, Artimeza was busy on the sewing machine. In a universal situation that evidently spans the boundaries of language and borders, we got a huge laugh out of her latest job: altering the uniform of the local policeman.


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    The best part of the job was she was letting the shorts out AGAIN. I asked her if the local police were paid that well and they told me that when funding runs out, he will go door to door asking for gas money to keep patrolling. Maybe we should try that with the NSA and see if we can’t start reclaiming the land of the free.


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    The vacationers returned and Rick got to work. There were two car loads of people and they all unloaded and hung out off to the side. One of them headed to the store and returned with a couple of cases of beer and the adults started vacation early. There was no clock watching or edginess I would have expected from most people. They just started their vacation there and they were content with kicking back and watching Rick work. A big change from the attitude I would expect north of the border and one I would be also guilty of.


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    A quick trip to San Carlos to find an internet connection and I am hopelessly stuck in the sand. Oh well, guess I will have to stay a while…


    [​IMG]

    The neighborhood was dotted with all kinds of small businesses. This small country store was a couple of blocks behind Rick’s home and they had charge accounts for the local residents. There were several small country stores in the village. There were mechanics, specialty shops and several modern looking beer stores.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Orange grove:

    [​IMG]


    After Rick finished welding up the old man’s trike from yesterday, we rode around the area, then headed home and hung out until about midnight. Then we loaded up in search of a late supper. The homes down here are clustered together closely in micro neighborhoods. Everyone was outside talking by the road or hanging out in the yards.


    We ended up about a mile down the road at a house in a neighborhood with a glass front pizza case filled with hot slices and next to that, hot dogs with all the toppings. The place is lit up with colored and flashing lights, but the funny part is right in the middle of this neighborhood at midnight is this awful techno / rock band that is CRANKING out some terrible noise. They had huge speakers set up for the computer mix and guitar and a giant drum set with 3 kids on it wailing away. I guess they were trying to overcome their lack of talent with enthusiasm. I can’t believe the neighbors weren’t over there cutting power to the house.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    The food more than made up for the bad entertainment. The hot dogs were split and filled with HOT salsa and covered in mayo, cheese, tomatoes and wrapped with bacon. I ate one for Michelle while I was at it.
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    #28
  9. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,437
    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast and Puerto Vallarta, MX
    Really good report.
    #29
  10. PhillipsMetal

    PhillipsMetal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Alabaster, AL
    <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:RelyOnVML/> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> Its time to head home. I head north and see a few wrecks on the way. On a long straight away, I saw a large explosion of dust fill the air about a half a mile ahead and by the time I got to the truck, some good Samaritans had already removed the driver and headed out for the hospital.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    An uneventful ride to the border, checked out and headed north. I thought the check out went much too easy, so I turned around, went back across the border to make sure my motorcycle was checked out. Turns out when they scanned my papers at a little check point it took care of the whole thing. Back across the border and heading north again. I guess I really didn’t want to leave after all.
    Made it to Benson, AZ after spending a few hours cruising Tucson for old times sake.
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    #30
  11. PlznMySoul

    PlznMySoul Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    236
    Location:
    Dirty South... FloRyda
    Great report! You're pretty handy with the camera.
    #31
  12. joenuclear

    joenuclear Ride to eat, eat to ride... all roads lead to pie!

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    7,430
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    Yup!
    #32
  13. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,325
    Oh does that sound familiar! I can't count the number of times I've eaten god only knows what, usually loved it, and let them figure out what they needed from my wad of cash.

    It's really a lot of fun, isn't it!? I don't think I've ever been burned this way eating or such. We won't talk about taxi's. But really, even they haven't been bad.
    #33
  14. Jproaster

    Jproaster I work too much

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    270
    Location:
    Dayton, Tennessee
    Totally enjoying your report. Im hoping to visit coffee fincas of Mex and Guat this Nov.
    #34
  15. CaseyB

    CaseyB Adventually

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    795
    Location:
    The Garden State
    the one on the right seems suspicious :lol3

    The way you described the entire scene really brought out a laugh, seem's like a situation I would get into.


    I enjoyed the report and good on you for getting out there and exploring.
    #35
  16. bromax

    bromax Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    20
    I really enjoyed your post and picturs.
    #36
  17. Hosebag

    Hosebag Difficult but Useful

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,788
    Location:
    Douchevillia
    Thanks a bunch for posting up!

    Six friends and I did a nine thousand mile loop from Eastern Ontario through the same area in '07. (Stayed in some of the same places).

    Brought back some great memories :D

    Viva Mexico :freaky
    #37
  18. PhillipsMetal

    PhillipsMetal Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    172
    Location:
    Alabaster, AL
    I appreciate everybody following the thread. I had a few meals down there that I wasn't sure about, but that was part of the fun. Some basic Spanish would be a big help, especially when ordering food and paying for stuff, but it added to the adventure at times.

    Also, thanks for the photo compliments. I enjoy photography, but I brought too much equipment. I am going to do a post ride list like PlznMySoul did on his ride and address that ( http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=942282 ). I think I am going to have to steal some of his routes on this trip down. That looked like a nice ride.
    #38
  19. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,596
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Really nice story & photos :freaky
    #39
  20. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    16,484
    Location:
    Traveling on the Moto

    I am in Dallas visiting my daughter at the moment. Plan to head out Monday or Tuesday.
    #40