Portland...Puerto Vallarta...???

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by pdedse, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Thursday, Oct 2: Day 10

    We woke to another hot morning, relaxed in that we knew we only had a little more than an hour to ride to get to Bahía de Kino, on the east side of the Golfo de California, or Sea of Cortez. We take our time getting things ready, still groggy from yesterday’s long, hot ride. We try again to find a rear tire for Marc’s bike, but no luck. Road construction delays us getting out of Hermosillo, but by 1:00 we’re on our way.

    Very Sonoran desert landscape with Sahuaros and other cacti. Soon traffic thins to next to nothing. After another hour we arrive and check out Kino Viejo and it looks pleasantly quirky but we also see Kino Nuevo on the map and head north along the coast for a few miles. After finding a couple of places too expensive, we inquire at Saro’s, a simple looking hotel / apartment.

    The guy wants $70 per night for the lower apartment that has kitchen, AC, terrace and just meters away from the beach. Saro, the Italian owner’s name, opens the door to the sea and a beautiful cool breeze blows in. I ask about a discount if we stay two nights and he says he’ll knock off $10 the second night. Marc is on a budget in that he’ll need to make his money stretch for 4 months, but I’m not. I ask him to pay $50 and I’ll cover the rest for the two nights. Deal! I’ve got a good vibe about this place. After 2300 miles, we’re ready to relax a bit.

    It’s already near 3:00 and we kind of forgot about lunch with the excitement of arriving at the beach. We talk about a nice fish lunch, but both of us are simply too tired to get back on the bikes again, so we cross the street and buy copious amounts of chips, cheese, salsa and tecate and make that our main meal of the day as sit on the terrace and just…

    do…

    absolutely…

    Nothing!

    Enough talk, time for some photos.

    We step outside...
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    Don't want to miss the sunset...
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    Street side view of hotel...
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    Marc from the hotel terrace, beachside...
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    One of the few photos of Marc and me together...
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    Looking south...
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    Looking north...
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    Looking east...
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    Looking west...
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    :clap

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    Pretty sure that the land you see is Isla de Tiburones...
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    :norton

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    A short video of the sunset:
    http://s258.photobucket.com/albums/hh263/pdedse/?action=view&current=2008MexicoSummer054.flv

    Blurry, but you get the idea...
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    At about 9:00 Saro asks us for some help with his computer, he can't read the small print anymore and wants to know if we can make it larger. Marc's good with computers and he tries first, but it's all in Spanish so between the two of us we see what we can do. We make the font ridiculously large and Saro seems happy. He didn't ask us to change it back, so I guess it helped.

    Feels good to be off the bike and walking the sands of the beach, taking it all in. I miss my wife and kids and they would love this place. A very good day...



    Total miles: 60; Hermosillo to Bahía de Kino, Mexico
    #21
  2. E-Bum

    E-Bum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
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    751
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    Portland, OR
    Very nice. You got Jupiter in there too!
    #22
  3. flyjosh

    flyjosh Stave It Off!!!

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Nice thread. Makes me jealous. I've been dying to do a ride to Mexico. Someday....someday.

    The furthest I've made it is Portland to Seattle :cry
    #23
  4. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    So that was Jupiter...who knew?
    #24
  5. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
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    It was just over a year ago I was riding north of Seattle and I met a guy who had just finished riding Russia and China, had ridden S. American and Africa, and was beginning to cross the States. I thought to myself, if he can, why not me?...then I remembered...not enough money, time...family needs me around, job, house needs windows, roof, kids need etc.
    :eek1 :eek1 :eek1

    but now I've managed this trip at least.
    #25
  6. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
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    Friday, Oct 3: Day 11

    We’re both very happy to not have to ride today. Still about 700 some miles to ride to Puerto Vallarta, but today we plan on doing a whole lot of nothing.

    After a walk / run along the beach and homemade huevos rancheros, the day consists of swim, beer, talk, swim, beer, eat then more swimming.

    I actually do a little bike maintenance. The rear tire (Pirelli) was new when I started the trip, but is developing small cracks along the bases of the knobs. Once I do continue the trip after arriving in PVta, have to bring a rear tire with me.

    Bikes in front of our room:
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    We picked a good spot, as Super Juliana’s has about everything we need for cooking, eating and drinking. We buy one of those five gallon jugs of water you see in the pic below for 20 pesos, 60 peso deposit for the bottle (liter bottles sell for 10) and nearly finish it by the end of the day.

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    For the first time I talk to Marc about the possibility of continuing this trip to Costa Rica at some point. Marc will study Spanish until the end of January and my in-laws live on a remote farm in the mountains near Ciudad Quesada, CR. They could use some manual labor and Marc wants somewhere inexpensive to live where he could practice more Spanish, AND my mother in law loves to talk, SO…I could leave my bike in Puerto Vallarta until the end of January, fly back, continue to ride with Marc and we both go together to Costa Rica. This is sounding better every day!

    I spend about 3 hours in the water swimming. Feels so good after the hours of sweltering desert heat, wearing mc riding pants and jacket!

    Me, floating...
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    Our back door to the beach:
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    Kitchen:
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    Bedroom w/ AC:
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    Looking south street side from hotel:
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    Nearly got run over by a truck as I stepped into the street. Didn't see or hear it! Prolly the sun.

    Tuna sandwich lunch:
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    Our destination written on the wall, so to speak...
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    Afternoon snack:
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    More ridiculous sunset photos, much different than Day 1 sunset, dontcha ya think?:
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    Sad to see Day 2 at Bahía de Kino end:
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    Tomorrow, we head for Alamos upon the recommendation of a friend. Only about 5-6 hours on the bike, so that seems reasonable.

    Total miles: 0; Bahía de Kino, Mexico
    #26
  7. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Location:
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    Fun thread with good pics, but you folks are pretty slow. Not speaking for them, but most of this crew moves along at a better clip...:D
    #27
  8. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Saturday, Oct 4: Day 12

    Sad to say goodbye to Bahía de Kino, but time to move on. We’re on the bikes by 7:30 and we head south on 24 towards Guaymas. After a stretch we switch bikes and the immediate difference is that Marc’s Honda has no fairing which I like. The KLR fairing directs the airflow up and under my helmet so that I get air rushing into my left ear which I’ve had to wear a plug for. And the Honda has brakes! I left my KLR brakes stock and they do not inspire confidence.

    After 4 hours we arrive at Navojoa where we take a left towards Alamos. We begin to climb and there’s more desert vegetation, quite pretty. After 50 minutes we’re almost there when we pass a pick-up way overloaded with firewood and it has a flat. After a ¼ mile I pull over and ask Marc if we shouldn’t go back and offer a hand, we’ve got the time. The owner of the truck appears surprised, but happy that two gringos should pull over to help out, and he gives us a big smile as we shake hands. No sooner do we look at the tire when a friend of his happens by and pulls over as well. Pickup owner tells us his friend will be able to help out just fine. He thanks us again---at least we tried to do our good deed.

    At the Pemex station entering Alamos we stop to ask about a certain hotel. We take off coats and backpacks because of the heat, glad to be able to be rid of them for a few minutes. Back on the bikes, we find a nice hotel for $500 pesos and it’s right in the heart of downtown. After unloading things I look for my backpack…I look more…and some more. Marc, you seen my backpack?

    No.

    :eek1

    I go back to where we parked the bikes, back to reception, outside where we first stopped to see the hotel. Nowhere in sight. Great. What did it have? Maps, books. Hey, no money! Still got all my ID / papers. Hey there wasn’t really all that much, food, water….uh-oh…the title to my bike. And my brand new camera with all my photos!!! There goes my road report!

    :eek1 :cry :huh

    Unbelievable. I know nobody stole it. I must have left it…at the Pemex???? I ride the mile back to the Pemex (an hour later now) knowing that this is a waste of time. I arrive, get off bike…and there it is!

    :clap

    My backpack is sitting on a bench right in front of the Pemex station. I’m almost afraid to look inside. I open it up and all my stuff is there. I know I didn’t leave the backpack on the bench. I must have set it on the ground by my bike and rode away forgetting to put it on. Someone prolly saw me leave it and left it on the bench knowing I would come back sooner or later. Thank you whoever did that. I like to think it was the pick-up driver for whom we had stopped to help out. It could happen…

    The rest of the day we stroll around Alamos, me, gratefully, taking pictures of the beautiful town...

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    We find a lovely mom and pop restaurant and make plans for the last two days of riding!

    Total miles: 268; Bahía de Kino to Alamos
    #28
  9. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Sunday, Oct 5: Day 13

    We leave Alamos by 8:30 and it’s back towards Navojoa after which we head south on 15 again. We roll by Los Mochis, Culiacán and La Cruz without incident. Not quite as hot as recent days. Oxxo again for lunch--can of tuna and tortillas work nice enough. Toll roads are adding up, with the most expensive being a 16 dollar one before Mazatlán.

    We run into our first rain a couple of hours before Mazatlán...
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    Marc spends some time rain-proofing his computer...
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    ...naturally, the rain lasts all of 5 minutes.

    Mazatlán is unknown to me and we spend a little bit of time getting over to the malecón area, where we’ll stay for the night. Wow! The humidity is really high, our mc clothes grossly sticking to our bodies. We spend some time finding a hotel--too many choices! And finally decide on one at $32 for the night. With the sun setting, we strike out for a walk.

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    We meet a man and his wife and ask if they have a restaurant they particularly like. They tell us about one and even insist on taking us there. We hop on a bus and arrive and say goodbye to the couple, but their idea of a good restaurant is a noisy, tourist bar and so once they turn the corner we walk away looking for something else.

    We should have only one more day of riding. My plane leaves Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday, so arriving tomorrow Monday will give me Tuesday to prepare the bike for storage and all too quickly this trip will end, for me at least.

    Total miles: 386; Alamos to Mazatlán
    #29
  10. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Monday, Oct 6: Day 14

    We figured we had to ride about 6-7 hours today so we take our time getting ready in the morning. After breakfast we tour the malecón area. I’ve spent a good deal of time in tropical, humid areas in Costa Rica, but the humidity in Mazatlán may just be the stickiest I’ve ever felt. My clothes seem to simply melt. Eyelids stick. Putting the helmet on feels absurd. But the views are very pleasant.

    I'm not sure, but it looks like Marc is flipping me off!
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    By 10:30 we’re on our way. At the gas station several boys ask for some money and I offer them a half full gallon of water which I had just bought to fill my water bottles. They like that and immediately started chugging the cool water. Then I let them start the bike and rev the engine which they like even more. Even though we’re dressed in our mc gear, moving at hiway speeds the heat and humidity are tolerable. One last long stretch riding towards Tepic and there we finally reach hiway 200 which will take us into Puerto Vallarta.

    At a road construction area I slow down as the guy is somewhat waving at me to do so. I look at him and motion whether to stop or just slow, and I take his hand signs to slow down, which I do. A few seconds later, the two lane road becomes just one and soon traffic is coming right at me! Woops, I guess he wanted me to stop; confirmed as I don’t see Marc behind me. I pull over quick enough, and then wait for the cars to pass and Marc to join me.

    Just 20 more miles to Puerto Vallarta!
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    We make it to the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta by 5:00 and I call Chava, my friend, who directs us towards the downtown area. We park and call again and within a few minutes he’s there and we’re very happy to see him. He lives only 5 minutes away and soon we’re having dinner at his house.

    Our bikes parked outside Chava's house...
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    It suddenly hits me that we’re done! Tomorrow, we’ll wake up and not have to ride anywhere. I check the odometer on my bike and it reads just over 3,000 miles since we left Portland, two weeks ago. My flight leaves in two days...

    Total miles: 265; Mazatlán to Puerto Vallarta
    #30
  11. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Tuesday, Wednesday, Oct 7,8: Days 15, 16

    Tuesday: Chava's 20 plus roosters start at 3:00am, then again at 5:00 and 7:00. And right outside my window! Actually, they don't bother me too much...
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    Chava, Marc and I went to have breakfast at one of his favorite places--no gringos, only locals he tells us, well except today!
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    After we walk around PV looking for Marc’s language school. After we locate it Chava has to go to work and so Marc and I roam the downtown area.

    We watch the pole flyers...[​IMG]

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    One of the vendors grabs my attention because he DOESn’t call out to us. He’s selling big, beautiful wooden puppets, the kind you make dance with strings--very nicely made. He’s got all the cartoon characters you can imagine--bugs bunny, tweety, bart, batman, e. coyote (ok, he doesn’t have roadrunner, I asked). He pulls out speedy gonzalez, and since that’s my wife’s last name, my interest perks up. I always try to buy her something and this looks pretty funny cause her nickname in grade school was just that, speedy. He tells me he handcrafts them, paints them and signs each one. Six months making them, six months selling. He starts out at $30 (carísimo, I tell him). I really couldn’t pay more than 15. He gives me the “you’ve got to be kidding me” look and starts in again about the quality, that he’s the only vendor cause he personally makes these (I believe him, he shows me all his tools, and how he fine tunes them), that 30 isn’t that much. I tell him I’ve just ridden two weeks on a motorcycle, that my money is running low…He suggests $25. I say 18, he says no, I walk, he shouts out what’s my best offer, I say 20, he says “you’ll buy it for $22“. I say OK. My wife loved it. Man I wish I could regatear more over prices.

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    It's only 11:00, but like Mazatlán, it's entirely too hot and humid, so...
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    I spend the rest of the day packing, deciding what I’ll leave behind and what I’ll take home.

    Marc and I discuss just how serious we are about continuing this ride to Costa Rica towards the end of January. We figure we’ll need 10 days to 2 weeks at a comfortable pace (From Pvta to CR I did the trip in a week by car a few years back, too quick), and I’ll need to check with my in-laws to see if they could use an extra hand around the farm. Marc will have had 3 months of Spanish by then and should be fairly comfortable with the language. Of course, then I’ll have my bike in Costa Rica and can leave it for future trips in Central America, or maybe even South America. Or I can ride it back home at some point. If Marc decides not to go to CR, then I simply fly back to Puerto Vallarta and ride back home to Portland, this time, I think I DO go back via Baja.

    We go out in the evening to a Cuban bar and listen to some good music. I’ll have to bring my wife back to this place, very good chance to dance.

    Wednesday: I’m all packed and I just need to prep my bike before leaving at noon. I change the oil, oil the chain and I’ll leave every / anything else for when I return. I ride it over to Chava’s brother’s house and there it sits, waiting for me.

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    We decide it's finally time to take a photo of the two of us together...
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    One last hug goodbye!
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    :cry

    On my way to the airport I see a big boat...
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    Suerte con el español, Marc!

    Total miles: 0; Puerto Vallarta, return to Portland...to be continued
    #31
  12. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
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    November 2

    Been home now for over 3 weeks. Made it to my sister’s wedding, event that changed my trip substantially, but maybe for the better? Had she not called with her news, I would simply have ridden to Baja, spent a week there, and then ridden home. Now I have the chance to make the trip more than I originally imagined by riding to Costa Rica where I will probably leave the bike for some time allowing me to explore Central America. Anyway, since I’ve made mention of it so much, and if you’ll indulge me with a couple non-mc trip related photos, here’s my sister’s happy day. A beautiful wedding in every sense…

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    My daughter...much different suit for me!
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    Couple of days after I got home I hopped on my other ride, my trusty 04 Sportster. Wow! What a difference for I had gotten used to the height of the KLR650 and now I was stubbing my toe every time I put my left foot down at stops. Didn’t realize how bad the sporty shocks were till now. Even the KLR stock shocks cushion the ride substantially more. I think about selling the sportster and buying a new 09 KLR, the black one looks really nice, but now after a couple of weeks, I’m getting used to why I bought the sportster in the first place. It too is a very fun bike to ride. My recent day trip through the Columbia River Gorge:

    Not a bad riding day!
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    My other ride...
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    Things I would do differently: not a whole lot. More trip time would have been nice. I bought the KLR only 6 weeks before I left, so more time with the bike would have been a good idea. I didn’t have any real issues with the bike except the blown fuse, but that’s pretty good for a 3,000 mile trip. The tires I put on before leaving, Pirelli MT21, are a bit knobby for the mostly hiway riding we did, but they performed just fine. The rear still has maybe a thousand and the front looks great still. This was the first time I’ve ever really ridden with somebody on a long trip. It would be fun to try something like this with 3 to 5 riders. More problems, but more adventure perhaps too. Soooo, if you’re interested in riding to Costa Rica end of Jan 09, and Marc’s and my plans pan out, let me know!

    I think I can see Puerto Vallarta...
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    :wink:

    Total miles: 0; Portland…waiting to continue…
    #32
  13. Tequiladezert

    Tequiladezert Cabeza de mapa

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    121
    Location:
    Jalisco, Mexico
    Enjoyed the report!! thanks for sharing it!

    The trip to Costa Rica sounds tempting. . . since I live 4 hours away from Puerto Vallarta and I ride a XR650R. . . Ill let you guys know.

    Ill pass the invitation on www.tequiladezert.com our local adventure forum
    #33
  14. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
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    Glad you enjoyed the report. Marc would probably appreciate having another XR650 along...spare parts!
    :evil
    I keeed you.

    We're thinking of leaving Jan 22-25 there abouts, and we have basic camping gear (tent, sleeping bags), but would probably hotel it more often than not.

    We should know if this is going to happen or not by late november / early december, so stay in touch!...
    #34
  15. macrosse

    macrosse Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
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    55
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #35
  16. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    3 inches of padding...likely story. :wink:

    Where will you be leaving from? I could 1) leave my bike with relatives in AZ or Colorado and wait for you or 2) ride all the way back to OR, then ride to meet you somewhere...
    #36
  17. macrosse

    macrosse Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Portland, Oregon

    I will be leaving Jellico TN July 1st. I met a guy on here so I have at least one riding partner and we are going to try to do about 200 miles a day. I'm guessing with bike maintenance, flat tires, and rest days, we might be riding through Trinidad Colorado area around....... the 17-18-23? I don't have a clue. I will keep you up to date if anything changes. I think it would be easier if you road out to meet us so you don't have to buy a plane ticket and HOPE we show up on time.
    #37
  18. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Ok, because yeah, if I left my bike in Phoenix and then met up with you in July, that would mean missing a lot of riding in the intervening months. I do have my sportster, but I might sell it. Plus I don't want to leave the bike w/out running that long...again! I'll be thinking abou it...
    #38
  19. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Well, nearly time to continue this trip. I leave Portland, OR for Puerto Vallarta on Tuesday, Jan 27. I'll spend the 28th getting the KLR650 ready and maybe do a test ride with Marc the 29th and 30th. Then I'll head N for Mazatlán and hope to cross over to Baja via the ferry.

    Marc will continue the trip by heading south for Oaxaca for more language study.

    I hope to spend about 10 days in Baja and meander north and at some point veer off the main road and head for the the east side, eventually will cross at Mexicali. Then it's head for Oregon and hope the weather isn't too cold!
    #39
  20. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

    Joined:
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    Tomorrow I leave for Puerto Vallarta!

    Back in October I brought most of my riding gear home with me because I have another bike here (sportster). Now I gotta pack it back up, take a few more winter clothes along for when I get to N. California and OR, there's some items that Marc requested (he's heading south, me north), and then I'm off.

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    USAir told me that the tire can be my carry on (they charge $15 the first bag, $25 the second!!).

    Everything else has to fit in this:
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    My friend Chava will pick me up at the airport, and Wed. I'll meet up with Marc to see if we can't get the bike started. The battery seems to be dead for sitting the last 3 months. Actually, they tried to start it in November (after a month of sitting) and it wouldn't start then so we'll see.

    Time to bring the KLR home!
    #40