Oaxaca, Estados Unidos Mexicanos

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by akaDigger, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Evansville, Indiana
    In our last episode the boys and I had just completed a two week trip to Baja. That was in January of last year. I knew I was going to do it again and I also knew two weeks wasn't long enough. This year it's three weeks and the destination is the Bahias de Huatulco on mainland Mexico's southern coast.

    Days 1 & 2: We loaded our bikes and hauled from Indiana to Dallas, TX pulling into dump motel on south side about 11PM. Gave unfortunate couple gas money. Couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the guy pouring gas into his car 15 minutes later. Dumb pimp running through the lot hollering. He had misplaced his ho. "No dude, Angel's not in here" my buddy Brent hollered back when the guy knocked on our door.

    Brent the jefe, my cousin Tom and me got up on day 2 and pulled the bikes south to San Antonio International Airport where we were going to leave the rig in the long term parking lot. The attendants let us unload right at the entrance under the awning since it was cold and raining.

    Well, motorcycle dealer Tom's DL650 won't start. Dead battery. He want's me to give him a jump with these tiny little cables he has. (tiny wires is more like it) I comply. It don't work. What the f#*k, this is a long term parking lot. The attendant happily calls for the service vehicle. Why didn't I think of this sooner.

    After longer than we thought it would take we're ready to roll. Destination: Laredo.
    Brent, Tom and Digger (me)
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    We headed out into mid afternoon SA traffic in the rain. This is a good one: I'm gonna pull my 800XC's Givi adjustable windscreen up. I do this all the time while rolling. Whoops! It's wet and I pull it all the way out. Never happened like that before. I think back to the instructions that came with it.

    It stops raining after only about 50 miles and stays dry the rest of the stretch to Laredo. Cold and windy though. In Laredo we stay at La Hacienda motel. It has an enclosed courtyard parking lot. We dine on steak at the Texas Roadhouse a few blocks north of the motel. We get pesos at the cambio across the street. Generally always good rates at these places.

    Tomorrow we will cross the border.
    #1
  2. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
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    Toronto
    Safe ride :thumb

    :lurk
    #2
  3. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Jan. 5, 2013:
    Day 3. We had breakfast in the hotel dining room. (more like the hotel mess hall) Food was OK as was the jugo and cafe. Good thing we weren't in a rush. Got gas and drinking water at a Shell mini mart. I was riding from the pump to store and ran over a fresh puddle of oil. If not for my ABS I would have been the first man down.

    We cross the toll bridge and pay $3 on the US side. When you're crossing you can see the immigracion and aduana down under the bridge. After passing the gate on the Mexican side we turned right, rode about 300 yrds then made a almost u-turn right. El Brento seemed to know where he was going and he did. First through immigration. BRING YOUR OWN PEN! There was a line at the aduana so we queued up.

    To ride further than the border zone on the mainland you have to jump through a few hoops. Not sure if you need proof of Mexican Insurance, but I wouldn't go anywhere uninsured, especially Mexico. You need to take proof of ownership. This can be your original registration or title. I used my original title. You need copies of the ownership document too. Get a copy of your Visa (FMM) before you get in line at the aduana. Tom and Brent didn't bring copies and got sent to the 'get copies' line. For a fee of course (maybe 5 pesos). Then back. Bring a credit card to post a bond for your bike. $400US for my newer bike. less for older bikes. They credited my account back the day after I left Mexico.

    They were busy so it took a while. We head south going the wrong way on a one way street. The friendly Mexican drivers make way. No harm no foul called. We take the cuota (toll road) to Monterray and then west to Saltillo. We paid about 130 pesos ($10US) in tolls this day. Skirting Monterray on the NW side you pass through the most polluted air I have ever been in. They're cooking up cement there. The weather has the smog pinned down against the ground. We pass Saltillo and head south toward Matehuala but turn off toward Cedral about 10 miles before we get there. Six miles past Cedral Brent turns south onto a granite paved road. It's 27km to Real de Catorce and granite all the way. It's getting late. We ride. This is a really cool road. After most of the 27km we start to climb.

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    We go through a long ass tunnel at the top. We are at 9000ft now. The town is on the far side.
    These streets are really steep.
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    Brent becomes the first man down when he finds himself goin' too slow with his GS1200 in the wrong gear. I park and go to help instead of taking a picture. What was I thinking?
    Main Street
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    The pavement
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    My Triumph 800XC
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    The church, built at the turn of the 19th century
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    Some cool ornaments
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    Art from the early 21st century
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    We ate dinner as well as breakfast at Meson De La Abundancia. The food was good and there was a lot of it.
    We stayed at a different hotel in a three bed room on the third floor. Nice but very cold that night. Plenty of blankets though.
    View from terrace
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    Early the next morning
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    Fog below the town
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    Waiting for incomming traffic to clear the long tunnel
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    Looking back from the bottom of the mountain
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    #3
  4. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

    Joined:
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    I LOVED Huatulco! Well, the town was okay away from the big resorts, but the high roads in coffee country were amazing! I never realized how much work went into feeding my caffeine habit!

    Enjoy, and ride safe!
    #4
  5. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Jan 6, 2013:
    Day 4. The ride leaving Real de Catorce was pretty cool. When we cleared the tunnel we stopped to make apparel adjustments. The sun was out and we thought it was going to get really warm. We were approached by a teenaged girl from Miami who wanted her picture taken with us and the bikes. She was with her family and they had been visiting relatives over the Christmas Holidays. Then the younger sister wanted a shot with her in it. then the shyest sister. Then mom too. We obliged.

    Down the mountain on the granite road and back to the main drag. Mex 57 is the main road between Texas and Mexico City. We gassed up in Matehuala and head south. That road is straight and flat for 70 miles. We passed pick ups loaded with Federales, usually six on benches in the back, armed with new assault weapons.
    Flat beds full of well armed soldiers who waved as we passed.

    Just before we came to the junction of State Road 75 Brento pulled into a Pemex and we were completely engulfed by a throng of begging children. When I pulled out my cash to pay they were all looking pretty hard at it. I was holding on tight. If I dropped even a coin it could've gotten real ugly. There must have been 50 kids. I didn't feel good about that. Tom skipped gas on this stop figuring he could make it 'til the next stop. With only 70 miles traveled I could have too. Brent, who has made this trip many times said people used to sell anything and everything along that stretch of road. Now there is nothing much going on. This is one of the more dangerous roads in Mexico.

    We headed southeast on SLP (San Luis Patosi) 75. This is a new autopista de cuota and it took us all the way to Rio Verde. From there we went southeast on Mex 89 to Jalpan. It was Sunday and things seemed to be hoppin' in Jalpan in the late afternoon. From Jalpan we went east on 120 toward Xilitla. This was the best road since we got off the granite that morning. About 20 miles east of Jalpan we started to climb on an awesome highway but soon it got foggy as hell.

    We were stuck behind traffic moving about 5mph. This is a winding mountain road and we had to pass with extreme vigilance. The only thing that made passing possible at all was that you could make out oncoming traffic at about 60 ft IF they had their lights on. I made a pass and as I did I suddenly saw people standing in the road waving for me to slow down. Brent had already about stopped and my ABS bailed me out again. We crept past a head on collision. A Ford pickup and a Tsuru. Good thing they were both doing only 5mph.

    We got to Xilitla just before nightfall. Brent knows where he wants to stay but the road is blocked for market day. Policia point us down a side street. Brent turns right at the first street we intersect. Wrong way on a one way again. The street was dug up on our side but the oncoming once again pulled over and let us through. We stayed at the Hotel San Ignacio. Brent was familiar with the owner and she rented us rooms dirt cheap. Once again cold as hell, extra blankets.

    Brent and Tom with the only other white man we saw that day
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    Mission
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    #5
  6. Vato Jinete

    Vato Jinete Feo del Norte

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    Subscribed
    #6
  7. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    Location:
    Walnut Crick, Cal.
    Fascinating buildings...thanks for writing this up.

    :lurk
    #7
  8. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Jan 7, 2013
    Day 5: We pulled out of Xilitla going east. It's cool and cloudy but the road is great. We took 85 toward Tamazanchale. The weather improved as we rode. At San Filipe Orizatlan Brent looks for for a road he wants to use as a shortcut on our route to Mineral del Monte just north of Pachuca. We didn't find it and kept going to Huejutla then turned southwest on 105. After about 20 miles we stopped for a jugo de naranja where the short cut road intersected. The road we took was great anyway.

    Ahead we could see the clouds hanging on the mountains were were headed for.
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    Just a few miles later we were in pea soup. Too bad for us. The road would have been awesome. The cliff face on our left was practically hanging over the road as far up as we could see, 40 feet or so. On our right just fog but you knew it was straight down. We were able to keep a relatively brisk pace for the conditions for a while but then came up on traffic. There was no passing here. Visibility was shit. You couldn't see the front of the truck ahead of us. Tom, who was in the rear, was more worried about the traffic behind us than ahead. 25 miles like this until we descend below the fog just before we reach Molongo.
    Molongo
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    No sooner had we left Molongo we were back in the thick. When we reach Zacualtipan we can't see 15 feet. I remember a lot of students just getting out of school in the streets. Extreme caution. I just rolled with it. I didn't love it but I didn't hate it either. I kept telling myself "this is really good experience". Not far out of Zacualtipan we started a long descent. In what seemed like five minutes we were 4000 feet lower and it was very warm and sunny. Nothing to hate about that.
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    Fine weather the rest of the afternoon. In Mineral del Monte we go to el centro and pick a hotel for the night.
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    It was just across from the church.
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    This is a cool town with a lot of good places to eat. A lot of coffee shops and bakeries.
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    I realized we were at 9000ft again when I schlepped my bags up two flights of stairs. The room was cold and at first with no hot water. The girl at the desk said just let it run. After a half hour we convinced her something was amiss. I have been a plumber for 35 years and I know these things. She goes to the mechanical room and opens a valve. Scalding water! Extra blankets again.
    #8
  9. CeeBee

    CeeBee The Cake Baker

    Joined:
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    Little Town north of Houston
    Thanks for bring us along. Write faster :clap
    #9
  10. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Jan8, 2013
    Day 6: Today we are going to end up in Oaxaca at Huajuapan de Leon. We take the cuotas around Pachuca past Puebla and down to Tehuacan. 180 miles. There we gassed up in in the first hot weather of the trip. El Brento spotted pollo carbon grilling on the sidewalk and made a U turn. Great lunch with a couple Victorias to quench our thirst.
    Your basic Mexican restaurant kitchen
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    From there we rode only 60 miles on great motorcycle roads. About 30 miles before Huajuapan we cross into Oaxaca.
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    At Huajuapan we find our way to el centro and choose the Hotel Garcia Peral. 600 pesos for a double but it's nice. Secure parking down the block.
    Court yard inside Hotel Garcia Peral. No motos here
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    Had dinner at the restaurant attached to the hotel. Tables overlooking all the activity in the plaza. There is a lot goin' on in every town square every night of the week. Drank a few beers and a few tequilas and watched the action. Huajuapan is a good town to stay in if your down that way.
    #10
  11. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Jan 9, 2013
    Day 7: Normal day in Mexico. As we're ridin' out of town we have to give way for a Wednesday morning parade. Six guys pulling a bull along by the nose, people in paper mache costumes, marching bands. I hope everything worked out for the bull. An hour later we meet mourners marching in a funeral procession coming from the other direction. Not sure about the proper etiquette so I just slowed and made the sign of the cross. This road would end up being my favorite of the trip.
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    We stopped in Putla and had lunch. Sopas de camarones was the special. It was outstanding!
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    Brent has been riding up front the entire trip and has been a very conservative guia. Making it to your destination is more important than how fast you get there. This afternoon he wicks it up a couple notches though. He wants to make Pinotepa before nightfall and it's getting late. The 85 mile stretch of road is narrow with tight twisties all the way. For the first time since I have had the Tiger I find out what it's really capable of. Epic ride! Passing traffic, negotiating topes, scraping around curves, dodging burros, cattle and pot holes. It was awesome!

    We made it to Pinotepa before dark and checked into a big hotel painted pink. Maybe it was some other color that looked pink. We went to eat at the Indio Restaurant. My meal sucked. Tom and Brent went to a nearby bar while I processed my meal closer to the toilet in our bathroom. Tom and Brent said I didn't miss a thing. Pinotepa would be the most unremarkable stop of the trip.
    #11
  12. MadMex

    MadMex n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2011
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    Location:
    SanAntonio TX
    When riding to Mexico, and if traveling through Texas, its a lot easier to stop at the Mexican Consulate in Austin to get your permit. There usually is no line there (except for X-mas and new year) and that way when you get to Laredo all you need is your visa, thus avoiding the long lines for vehicle permits. Also remember to bring your 3 copies of each document so you don't have to walk to Kinko's.
    #12
  13. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    The copies were the clinker for my boys. Lack of a pen at immigration was my lapse. I knew better than to do that.
    #13
  14. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Ok, I laid down on this RR 3 months ago. Nobody cried foul so I let it go. I'm sure most people who have filed RRs know why I would just quit. Today however I am stuck indoors as the rains refuse to abate. So I will pick up where I left off.

    Jan 10, 2013
    Day 8: I was all better after my gastrointestinal distress from the evening before and was hungry for breakfast. Not bad at the pink hotel except for the Nescafe. We mounted up and headed east on Mex 200. It is very tropical today and I wished I had my mesh jacket. Brent packed his as far as San Antonio but decided to leave it. I'll make room for mine next time no matter what. We catch our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean maybe 20k before Puerto Escondido. We slowly make our way though PE in traffic and then on to San Pedro Pochutla where we stopped for fuel. A suspicious text message I read here led me to correctly believe I had no job to return to. Oh well.

    We pressed on in the heat till we reached Santa Cruz Huatulco. We stopped for a fish taco lunch and called Lee Bob, who would host us for the next few days. We met Lee Bob at the Rio Copalita and followed him home.
    We would call his palapa home for the next three days.

    Lee Bob standing in his kitchen
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    The couch I lost affection for
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    Lee Bob and Brent have Mexican "high adventure history" dating back decades. Back in the day LB saw this then undeveloped area as an opportunity and at some point just moved here.

    We spent the weekend relaxing and touring the area with the bikes staying parked.

    Private beach? Not exactly but nobody else was there.
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    The Rio Ayutla
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    Cascadas
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    Our guia to the cascadas, Rosa Irene Santiago Pascual
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    Rosa hard selling El Brento local coffee
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    Produce market at Santa Cruz
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    If at first you don't succeed...
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    There was an earthquake while we ate at this place
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    The next morning we would get back to riding more of Oaxaca.
    #14
  15. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Jan 14, 2013
    Day 12: We had another great breakfast at LB's palapa then packed the scoots for the return trip.

    Me cooking huevos con tocino and pancakes while Tom works on a fruit salsa
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    Another tropical weather day as we get started. We backtracked to Mex 175 and turned north toward Ciudad de Oaxaca. As we climbed a nice road up the south flank of the Sierra Madre del sur the weather turned downright pleasant.

    Stopped at San Isidro for apparel adjustments and snacks
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    It's up in these parts that "magic mushroom tourism" is very popular. We met some of the "tourists" when we stopped for lunch. It was downright chilly at this altitude. More fantastic road down the north side and then on the new cuota into the valley. It warms up considerably but it is much drier. Into the city in afternoon rush traffic 'til we come to this place.

    The Hotel Casa Cid de Leon. Not so secure on street parking. Brent would lose his bike cover.
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    Fell in love with this bed after three nights on LB's couch.
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    Paid 1400 pesos / night. About $110 US / night for two nights. Breakfasts here were great and unlike the room, very inexpensive.
    The hotel had an OXXO across the street, an ATM at the bank around the corner and was just two blocks from the main town square.

    Very cosmopolitan city. At this point my camera dies and I took over Brent's for the remainder of the trip. Different settings.
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    Mercado
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    We toured Mont Alban while we were here.[​IMG][​IMG]

    We hired Vincente as our guia. Worth every penny. Without him this would be little more than a pile of rocks. He is a local and an archiologist who studied his own cultural history. Very good English too.
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    Tomorrow we head for Tuxtepec
    #15
  16. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Jan16, 2013
    Day 14: Oaxaca to Tuxtepec. We headed east out of the city and got crossed up somehow and took a circuitous route to the turn off to Tuxtepec on Mex 175. We had a nice climb in good weather up the mountains. Along the way a rooster ran out in front of me and I couldn't avoid contact. I think I only scalded his ass a bit. I did see feathers fly and you could tell he was pissed as he ran off. I didn't stop to see if he was alright. As we approached the higher altitudes we were in rain forest. First fog again then light rain.

    The pines were covered with that moss you see in the Pacific northwest rain forest
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    At 10k feet we were almost to sunshine
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    Going down the north side was spectacular. It was curvy as hell. Tom figured 100 miles and 2000 curves. Stick that in 'ur Deal's Gap. It was foggy, raining at times and always treacherous. They had had one of those weather events the day before that makes the news all over the country. Massive rain and wind. The road was half washed out in a dozen places but all the 'dislaves' were already marked by the good citizens. They had also cleared most of the trees that had fallen across the road. With machetes!

    We crossed a river into Valle Nacional and just like that the curves and grade were no more. We had descended the whole 10,000feet to 150ft above sea level. The last 30 miles to Tuxtepec were by comparason straight and level.

    Taking a short break north of Valle Nacional
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    As you close in on Tuxtepec you catch up to traffic hauling cane. Lots! They also have the most massive brewery I have ever seen. Corona and Modelo.
    The dull weather hung over from the day before didn't help brighten up this industrial town.
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    We stopped to get our bearings. Brent found the landscape much different than he remembered.When in doubt ask this guy. Alehendro Segundo Roja
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    He not only recommended a hotel but he led us to it. Later he came by to check on us. We were headed out the door for diner when he got there so he just took us to a great restaurant in his car. He declined an offer to buy him dinner because he had already eaten. Returned us safely to our hotel. Cool dude. And also a GSXR rider.
    #16
  17. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Jan 17, 2013
    Day15: We wanted to ride west on 182 but the mountains were shrouded in fog so we decided to go north instead. Sucky cane traffic and straight flat roads in this part of Veracruz. We hit the cuota at Cordoba. When I pulled up into the caseta lane I kept the bike off the oil down the center of the lane like I learned from my guru Jimmy last year. But I put my foot in it when I went digging for toll change. Down we went, me and my bike, making me the 3rd to drop my bike.

    Infamous caseta Fortin between Cordoba and Orizaba
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    After Orizaba we need to cross a mountain pass near Pico de Orizaba, at 5600meters it is the tallest peak in Mexico. We wouldn't see it though, it was shrouded in fog as was the mountain pass. This was the thickest fog yet. Vis at 15 feet in very slow accordian traffic and getting clutch cramps in first gear. When the grade flattens out on the west side it's sunny and warm.

    Stopped at Huexapan just east of Puebla for lunch.
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    We decide we are going all the way to Pachuca. We ride like hell and arrive at dusk. After an errant circuit of the central part of the city we hail a cab and he leads us to a "nice" hotel complete with drive up window and hourly rates. We take a pass. He directs us to another. It is fine with good food and drinks.
    #17
  18. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Evansville, Indiana
    Jan 18,2013
    Day 16: Frost on the MC seats this morning but the rising sun made quick work of it. It warmed up nicely before we headed out for the Royal Spa at Zimapan. We took 85 NW thru Actopan and Ixmiquilpan then north to the spa. the last 30k is a cool road into a canyon then over a mountain.

    We stopped to stretch our legs at the Rio Tula bridge.
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    It soon becomes obvious that we have arrived at the nicest hotel this side of Mexico City.
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    The back door!
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    Israel the bell boy showing us all the facilities. We were the only guests at the hotel that afternoon so we had his undivided attention.
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    About 60 F so we take lunch on the terrace.
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    5 stars anywhere. That's Philip II who built here originally.
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    While we're viewing paintings...
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    After lunch we rode out to the Presa de Zimapan.
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    My Tiger sans bags above the Presa. These bikes are awesome!
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    That evening we notice Israel has moved his bike over by the big boys.
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    We decide to extend our stay here an extra night using up our last spare day. BTW we Paid $110 US per night here.
    #18
  19. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

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    Jan 19, 2013
    Day17: We are going to day trip to the Cascadas de Tolantongo. If you are in the area this is a must see. We backtracked to Ixmiquilpan and asked for directions to Tolatongo. Just like the man said, up 4 lights, turn left at the OXXO, follow the signs and we were through town and on our way east. The Cascadas are in a deep canyon and the road going down was dirt. Or should I say, because of the extremely high volume of traffic, dust. There were a lot of guests there that day being a Saturday with beautiful weather.

    Spectacular view from the rim
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    There is camping and a hotel at the bottom. If you would like info there is a web address on the sign
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    We parked down by the jacuzzis
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    The geothermally heated water is very warm. I'm gonna guess 95 F.
    Me just after a swim
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    Walked about a quarter mile up to the cascadas & grutas
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    We were gettin' pretty hungry so we head back in the direction of the pollo carbon we spotted on the way in.

    The cooking apparatus here was ingenious.
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    Two sated customers
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    Back at the spa I had to try the masseuse. Being a five star spa I had high expectations and was not disappointed. Price wise it was about the same as at home but the work was better. Brent got done too.

    Tomorrow we head for Jalpin.
    #19
  20. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

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    Great photos! :thumb
    #20