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

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

  1. schismatic

    schismatic Been here awhile

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    Los Angeles, CA
    look forward to reading part 2!:evil
    #41
  2. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    For the Oregon to P Vallarta stage, I posted after the fact. I ll try to post as I go for the return home...

    Made it to P Vallarta on Tuesday and now its Saturday, about ready to head north. Flight from Portland to Phoenix was hi lited by the fact that Phoenix airport has the most amazing biker friendly bathrooms. They have a tire holder in the bathroom stalls!!!

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    Camelback mountain in Phoenix, use to hike that about 3 times a week...memories...:cry

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    Arrived about 5 pm and Chava, an ol friend from Phoenix days picked me up. Marc, my riding buddy who came down from Portland with me back in Oct, was there as well. We spent Wednesday getting the KLR ready to go. First thing we had to jump start it, battery water level was WAY down. Did start and then cleaned air filter, regular maintenance stuff.

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    Thursday we would test out my bike by riding out to San Sabastian, a little mountain town about 55 kilometers east of Vallarta...
    #42
  3. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    I brought Marc some dead animal skin for his honda 650 seat, looks like a buffalo...[​IMG]

    Marc has been studying Spanish for a few months, so he rented an apartament...view from his pad...
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    Bikes ready to leave Chavas house for San Sebastian...
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    We head north thru Ixtapa and then east for San Sebastian...
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    #43
  4. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    The road followed a deep ravine on our way to San Sebastian...[​IMG]

    Saw signs to protect the boars, deer, mountain lions, but for this?
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    Lunch time in San Sabastian.
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    We begin our ascent to La Bufa, rocky viewpoint area at 8000', you can see it top right.
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    #44
  5. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    The cobblestone turns to dirt and 180 turn after another, small streams, cooler weather, lots of fun riding...[​IMG]

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    View of San Sebastian from above...
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    #45
  6. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    More photos of the ride up...
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    Self portrait...
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    #46
  7. bosco

    bosco Raybanned

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    Location:
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    :scratch

    Portland or Costa Rico?
    #47
  8. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Marc and I toyed with the idea of heading to Costa Rica where I have lots of family. He was going to study Spanish there maybe stay with my inlaws, but opted for Guatemala instead where he's heading soon. Since he wasn't heading to CR, I decided to return home to Oregon so that I can use my bike more!
    #48
  9. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    View from 8000' at La Buja...[​IMG]

    Riding back down...
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    This would be the last view of Marc for a while...
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    He kept riding and I was looking for him. Didn't see him for 10 minutes and stopped to check my map to see if I hadn't made a wrong turn. Except my backpack wasn't on my back!
    :huh
    Rode back to the top, wasn't there, then remembered the restaurant where we had lunch, and figured I left it there. Rode down, didn't see Marc at all. He went looking for me and we missed each other, long story short, an hour later we finally cross paths again. Returned to rest. and yep, backpack was there. Second time I've done something similar this trip.

    Central plaza of San Sebastian
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    Inside the cathedral
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    #49
  10. macrosse

    macrosse Adventurer

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    Hey buddy! I just got back from Guadalajara a few minutes ago and I'm glad to to see your update. I will be headed out the 9th to Oaxaca so I will keep you updated. I will be waiting for your updates. Take care and ride safe.
    #50
  11. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    amigo great read and i hope you have a great time the rest of your trip!

    Damasovi
    #51
  12. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Hola Marc! You must be on your way! Marc and I rode together from Portland to Vallarta, now he's on his way to Oaxaca, Antigua, Belice, back thru Mexico and then finish up doing the TAT this summer!! Hopefully, he will post update links to this RR...

    I failed miserably in maintaining this as I rode home from Vallarta to Portland via Baja...pics coming shortly.
    #52
  13. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Man, I was thinking of you a few days back, wishing I had your phone number handy for I ended up riding through Ensenada unexpectedly on my way north!

    :huh

    I'll explain soon.
    #53
  14. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    On our trip from Portland to Vallarta, one thing Marc and I didn't get the chance to do much was ride secondary gravel / dirt roads. Chava suggested we visit Cuate, a "two hour ride" from Vallarta, up in the mountains where his grandfather had lived. We couldn't get lost, just ride 5 minutes south and turn left, inland, at the river. Easy enough and the fun began...
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    If you look closely, you can see the canopy flier gliding above the forest...
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    Marc blazing away...the dirt was powdery at times, kind of like the ski slopes.
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    We had ridden for about an hour when the road forked. Stopped to ask which way and how long. "About an hour".

    Rode another hour and asked again, how long to Cuate..."about an hour"

    :huh

    A couple of smaller ranchos, or communities. Some had some decent sport facilities.
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    We rode another 45 minutes and asked once again how long to Cuate. A guy in a car this time who had traveled this road a number of times. "From right here, it takes just over an hour" !!! It was already 1:30 and we had to get back by 4:00 'cause Marc was heading for Guadalajara with GF for the weekend. So we didn't quite make it to Caute, but it was fun trying!

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    One of at least 10 small river crossings...
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    And we're done! Nearing the hiway that takes us back to Vallarta...
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    That was it for my practice rides. Bike was working fine. Saturday I would get a new rear tire mounted and since Chava is a real estate agent, he promised to show me some neat properties for sale, in case I was interested.
    :deal

    Sunday, Feb 1 I would head for Mazatlán where I would catch the ferry for Baja!
    #54
  15. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Chava invited me to breakfast before we were to look at PVta properties. He promised to show me some 750K homes to one costing a cool 2 million.

    Walking PV streets...
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    Wonderful colors at the restaurante...
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    At one of the piers...
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    Silly pelican tourists!
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    My buddy Chava. Stayed 5 nights with him and his mother and aunt...Muchísimas gracias por todo!!
    :clap
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    Getting ready to mount and balance a new rear Pirelli MT21...
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    They were going to charge me 100 pesos, around $8.50. Then a guy at the shop wanted my used one, so he paid the m/b for me. Sweet.
    #55
  16. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Chava takes me around to a few select properties...

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    That one had no view, but at 750K was considered a steal.

    Across the street there was this condo w/ view, also at 750K...
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    This one wasn't for sale but the design was interesting...
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    This condo was going for 2 million--it's view left something to be desired...not sure exactly what, but something...
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    I mean, if you like this sort of thing...
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    Parasailing...
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    One of the condo's 3 pools...
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    The interior pretty much sucked--all orange and yellow. I wouldn't offer more than a million point 5.
    :wink:

    Fun to dream, but my reality had me thinking about my trip back home the follow day. First stop, Mazatlán!
    #56
  17. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    WTF!!! anyway, i will read to know why you came this way when you were going to go East coast!

    Damasovi
    #57
  18. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    :norton Said adios to Chava and family and was on my way. I brought a few extra things down for the trip home and was kind of top heavy, but the bike didn't feel too squirley as I pulled away from Puerto Vallarta by 10:30.

    This was a different feel for me for on the way down from Portland I was riding with Marc and knew we had each other to rely on just in case. Previously, I had done two 3 day solo trips in Mexico but on a rented KLR and all I had to do was call the owner and he would bail me out in the event of any difficulty. Now I was alone and it took me a good half hour to stop imagining worse case scenarios of accidents and such...just not healthy to worry about what could happen, better to focus in on the ride and enjoy what was before me.

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    Arriving in the state of Nayarit..."it's your home, keep it clean"
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    I lost my light weight gloves in Vallarta, and it was too warm for my winter gloves...just this once, glove-less.
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    Tequila wanna-bees
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    Lots of this on the cuota...
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    After the for sale properties I saw the day prior in PVta, this residence was in stark contrast, on the outskirts of Mazatlán...
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    Bike performed flawlessly and I arrived in Mazatlán around 4:30, missing the Super Bowl--I hear it was a good one, but the wrong team won!

    Good to know people in high places...
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    Looking the other way...
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    Not exactly roughing it, just humbly accepting others' generousity. Next day, crossing the pond to Baja!

    307 Miles; 6.5 hours riding.
    #58
  19. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Mon Feb 2

    Wanted to make sure the ferry crossing would go ok. Arrived at the offices before 11:00am and had to wait more than an hour for tickets.
    The damage in pesos and dollars at exchange rate of 13.8:

    1 adult: 1190 / $86
    1 cabin: 760 / $55
    1 motorcycle: 1665 / $121
    Total: 3615 / $262

    $262 is a lot of money, but Marc and I rode down the mainland side and to repeat that would have been the third time for me (drove a car to Costa Rica three years ago), so it was worth it to see something new in Baja. Plus the idea of crossing the Sea of Cortez was exciting.

    They told me to return at 4:00pm and I arrived after pretty much everybody else w/ a vehicle was on board. I was carrying 4 items that I strap to the seat, saddlebags and my backpack. No lockable panniers so I ended up "checking" two of the bags and carried the rest with me. They said I could leave it on the bike, nobody would have access to the vehicle area, but I didn't like that idea. I rode right up the ramp, they told me where to park it and then they strapped it down. Saw 5 BMWs on board as wel. Would have to look for them later.

    Reception was much like a hotel, checked in, got key and they took me to my room:
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    Had two fixed beds, and two more that you could pull down over the two fixed ones, and one more pull down by the entrance. Very nice.
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    The bathroom was big enough and I immediately took a shower because it was hot in the vehicle holding area. Then I went up on deck to explore...
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    I love the way the tree foilage grows parallel to the angled surface here:
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    We would head for "open sea" through this.
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    There were two of these. I thought they were tugs, but they seemed to be there to prevent us from getting too close to the harbour edges.
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    Looking back at Mazatlán...
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    Baja is just beyond that sunset...
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    On deck I met Alex, a bicyclist from Seattle and we talked for a while. He flew his bike to Puerto Vallarta and had been cycling solo all over southern Mexico, and now was making his way back home. He was going to sleep in one of the "sleeper rooms" where the seats look like airplane seats and where you can spend the night a bit more cheaply. I thought what the heck, my room's got some empty beds and invited him to share my cabin.

    Very windy and quite chilly so we went below. After dinner started getting ready for bed and soon the loudest, drunken-est (?), laughing-est grupo de cuatro arrived next door. Tried my best to ignore it for an hour, then gave up and went to talk to the folks at reception. You could hear these guys from 100 meters distance. 10 minutes later a rep from the ferry arrived and gave them a talking-down that lasted another 10 minutes. A talk that included phrases such as "respect for others' rights", "not the only ones on board", etc and the guys settled down within another 15 minutes.

    With everything quiet now, you could feel the room in constant sea motion and soon I drifted off.
    #59
  20. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Tue Feb 3

    Woke up at 5:30am and after a quick bite to eat went up on deck to watch the sunrise.
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    Getting closer...
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    Ready to dock. I gather my bags and waited for them to announce it was unloading time. Said goodbye to Alex and was itching to get going...
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    Ready to roll...
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    It was nearly 8:00 by the time the inspection folk let the mc riders go to the front. They took our names, looked at passports checked a bag or two, and meanwhile I talked with the BMW guys about travel plans, etc. Once waved through we we're off for La Paz.
    #60