SF to Panama... eventually

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by stickfigure, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    Sorry... I know, bad blogger! :shog

    I promise a real update soon. It's been a busy month! I have pictures of San Miguel de Allende, Real de Catorce, four-wheeling in a rented Nissan Altima, friends coming to visit from Australia and the US, bad karaoke singing (fortunately no audio), lots of partying with beautiful women, and me falling in love :raabia

  2. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    I will try to catch up the last month and a half in the next couple entries.

    I met Guille a couple days after arriving in Guanajuato, and we quickly took an interest in each other. It has subsequently developed into something more serious :nomystery

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/2549931364_bdae5ef1c5.jpg"/></a>

    Guille has a lot of hot friends. Sonia paired up with Gavin. She doesn't speak English, so Gavin's Spanish is getting *rapidly* better.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2066/2531908391_46783da473.jpg"/></a>

    Christian is a friend of Gavin's from Melbourne. He came to Mexico for a month, joining us for most of that time in Guanajuato. He and Laura clicked:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3228/2512286925_11ceed99a1.jpg"/></a>

    From here on out it was like a monthlong triple date. This kind of thing is apparently not unusual in Guanajuato; it's a fairly cosmopolitan city with a major university, but it's nevertheless a small town and everyone knows everyone else. The locals (guys and girls alike) frequently date extranjeros.

    Here are some random pictures of us having fun!

    Guille and I at Bar Ocho (it's funny if you say it fast and understand spanish):

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3275/2509413093_e5eba4e769.jpg"/></a>

    We found an Irish pub. Guiness, for strength!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3189/2513108356_5a130b9cb2.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2181/2512298811_411fc94257.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3231/2512294289_ceebc51bc0.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2244/2512303361_941e0f0af4.jpg"/></a>

    The <a href="http://www.donquijote.org/guanajuato/info.legends3.asp">Callejon del Beso</a> is the narrowest street in Guanajuato - narrow enough to kiss across the balconies.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2351/2512277281_b7e677537b.jpg"/></a>

    Random pics of Guille and me:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2411/2522830553_fd46033da4.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2051/2523624910_7745507a65.jpg"/></a>

    We went out for karaoke. You can see what Gavin's singing in the <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/2522806005/sizes/o/in/set-72157605308200032/">full size image</a>.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3147/2522806005_4d4433698c.jpg"/></a>

    Guille's mom!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2125/2523627068_0f067bb6e5.jpg"/></a>

    I feel like I haven't been posting enough food porn. Here's some:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3189/2522801733_16fe2a33a3.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2277/2533575933_1a80ae46cd.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2417/2510349444_ede20b2212.jpg"/></a>
  3. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    This is the part where you start to hate me. I will let the pictures explain.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3138/2549916782_6601da8908.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3103/2549918280_898eb25b9f.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3260/2549091813_633b15645a.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3125/2549916278_c26bbcd000.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2342/2549092449_02b73cac7d.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3060/2549919024_5516218b42.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2048/2517334567_3f8c8635b8.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2117/2518121296_bb582a28fb.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3247/2517296713_708ec82068.jpg"/></a>

    Remember Raul from Zacatecas? He lives in the DF but he came to visit us in Guanajuato! Here he's flirting with a new Canadian friend, Audrey.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2157/2522822677_f3b5ff4a4c.jpg"/></a>

    My old roommate Scott and his friend Lilah came to visit for a few days too:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3192/2523639212_53a9c85341.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2127/2522821701_1ae7438e2c.jpg"/></a>

    This is Sara (a friend if Guille's visiting from Pittsburgh) and Gustavo (Guille's roommate):

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2340/2534437452_7696bba6e9.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2361/2534440458_e0971eec0f.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/2533628047_2f41224c43.jpg"/></a>

    This is Pollo. He graduated with a law degree but teaches salsa instead, because dancing is simply more fun:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3283/2533640053_189c56b4a1.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/2533630033_db9d8cfff0.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2211/2533827171_7fb268454b.jpg"/></a>

    This picture pretty much captures the essence of our stay in Guanajuato:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3181/2534645026_379a720158.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3237/2533637897_d953dbfff7.jpg"/></a>

    Drunken antics with statues:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2357/2506237349_5495803ec7.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3158/2507163190_fa40e7abce.jpg"/></a>

    "The morning after":

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2371/2534838224_07a1e6aa10.jpg"/></a>

    The reason I don't have many pictures of scenery in Guanajuato is that I was too busy taking pictures of the "wildlife".
  4. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

    Aug 16, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
    Thanks for the update, looks like everything is coming up Aces for you.:freaky
  5. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    Gavin and I rented a car and took Sonia and Guille on a weekend trip to Real de Catorce, an old mining ghost town that is slowly becoming a tourist destination. Unfortunately Christian took a week trip to the Yucatan and Laura had to work. Raul was planning to join us but had to rush back to Mexico City at the last minute.

    We left late Friday, spending the night in San Luis Potosí. The state of San Luis Potosí seems to be entirely jungle or desert with nothing inbetween. The capitol city is nice, with giant lush green plazas.

    <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=san+luis+potosi,+mexico&ie=UTF8&ll=21.963425,-102.436523&spn=9.547303,16.435547&z=6"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3136/2573393235_b087fe81ec.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanluispotosi/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3232/2532000411_a0b897b3e8.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanluispotosi/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3170/2532817416_40c46506be.jpg"/></a>

    There are two roads into Real de Catorce. One is the "back way", which turned out to be a 4x4 road. Nothing that a Nissan Altima can't handle, right? Please don't tell the rental company.

    <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=real+de+catorce,+mexico&sll=21.963425,-102.436523&sspn=9.547303,16.435547&ie=UTF8&ll=22.411029,-102.172852&spn=9.51706,16.435547&z=6"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3026/2573394513_df5ea45249.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3268/2532003491_a10b6cbe94.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3204/2532012285_7ae09ec78f.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3275/2532013297_1f9480fb92.jpg"/></a>

    Between the deteriorating road and the looming rain, we finally turned around and took the traditional route in. Gavin and I must come back with motorcycles.

    The entrance to Real de Catorce goes through a one-lane tunnel at least a mile long:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2002/2532831746_a0b2ddb1f2.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2338/2532887728_e50354aeed.jpg"/></a>

    We found a cute hotel, ate delicious food, and settled in for the rainy evening.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3236/2532845914_5d0389407f.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3092/2532839058_8bd69183af.jpg"/></a>

    Sunday morning we hiked to the "ghost town" above Real de Catorce proper, where most of the mining occurred.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2318/2532858056_ec3e9e6db5.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2268/2532853220_bfc83eb445.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3125/2532056459_ae28e1aca4.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3060/2532860616_112a2e3f30.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2006/2532861986_bb3499e384.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2127/2532863782_f5c4010aa8.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2127/2532868910_f849de47a3.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3204/2532049967_f1d8ab9418.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2134/2532874884_6688c8fe5a.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3127/2532886894_0a5e6867bc.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2291/2532881082_cd6f141757.jpg"/></a>

    Amazingly, the only damage to the car happened after we got back to Guanajuato. I parked the car on a steep dirt slope for the night, and some joker moved a large rock just under the bumper. I backed up pretty far before realizing the nasty sounds were more than just the rough terrain:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/realdecatorce/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2167/2532121823_d4cc6b9b47.jpg"/></a>

    Hurray for damage wavers :augie
  6. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    Remember what I said about riding up stairs?

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2404/2535266371_c9d11f2871.jpg"/></a>

    Oops. Recent KTM rims (on post-2003 640s, 950s, and 990s) are notoriously soft and prone to denting. I had a half-dozen significant dents already from the ride across Baja, but this one is big enough that I'm finally worried.

    This dent happened with full street pressure. The problem is that my gearing is too tall; I can't creep up stairs without stalling the bike, so I had to hit the stairs with a little speed. As I write this, my motorcycle is in Mexico City receiving a new 15-tooth front sprocket (down from 16). Hopefully I will now be able to loft the frontend a little with the throttle. They're also fixing the rim - the tires have tubes so the risk of slipping the bead is minimal, but I'd like to be able to drop to 18psi without wondering if it will hold.
  7. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    It came time to leave Guanajuato and head back to Mexico City to meet Christian, who was flying back from Yucatan. Gavin and I didn't want to leave Sonia and Guille...

    ...so we bought them motorcycle gear and took them with us :D

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2122/2535268431_69616552f4.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/2535273159_150a7e5c4c.jpg"/></a>

    Laura got a ride in a car and brought Gavin's luggage. I rode with all my gear, plus Guille, plus her backpack, once again reminding me that a 640Adv is far too small to ride 2-up for any distance. I either need a 990 or a girlfriend with her own motorcycle :wink:

    Reunited, it was back to triple-date mode! We stayed in the Zona Rosa but ate most of our meals in La Condesa, where there are hundreds of upscale restaurants. The food in Mexico City is great. Not terribly cheap, but great nevertheless. There is plenty of decent-to-good wine available, too - but it costs.

    I finally found good sushi! This place in the Zona Rosa was pretty good, even by San Francisco standards:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3176/2549437346_10b9302a78.jpg"/></a>

    A random picture from a nice dinner:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3021/2549108091_056d9995ef.jpg"/></a>

    The food at that restaurant wasn't particularly notable, but this was the view:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3229/2535278941_1d6f52ac0d.jpg"/></a>

    Raul joined us!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3107/2548630237_2e8fe12f6a.jpg"/></a>

    We spent a night in a bar in the Zona Rosa listening to Mario, a friend of Guille and Laura, play trova. He was quite good.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3097/2549063765_864f44f202.jpg"/></a>

    Random shot of Gavin and Sonia:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3091/2549890690_37a357f7f2.jpg"/></a>

    While we sitting at this bar in the Zona Rosa (the gay district, btw), three rednecks from Florida tried to - I couldn't believe this - gaybash us. They sat down next to our group and started calling us "gay" in a way that indicated they thought this was some sort of clever insult. Why they chose four fairly well-built guys and their girlfriends for this activity I have no idea, but they were clearly looking to have their asses handed to them. They left before it escalated beyond verbal sparring.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2278/2547545210_5b4e77ab2d.jpg"/></a>

    This was the funniest store I saw in Mexico City:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3265/2548688763_6c3481cd50.jpg"/></a>

    A picture of us at the end of the weekend, when Laura was getting a ride back to Guanajuato. Christian got on a plane to return to Australia a couple days later...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3119/2548603101_2a9dd14199.jpg"/></a>

    ... but not before we went to Lucha Libre! Sadly, they wouldn't let me take a camera inside so I have no pictures except outside:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3147/2549472072_b192fb7fd8.jpg"/></a>

    I dropped by bike off at Motoaltavista for some repair work (sprocket change, fix the front rim, flush the hydraulic clutch, oil change). Unfortunately the shop has a backlog and as I write this (three weeks later) I still don't have it back. This is causing me some distress because the bike's visa expires in exactly ten days. However, it means I had a fair amount of time to explore Mexico City.

    A beer hall!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3117/2549486672_03768984f3.jpg"/></a>

    ...with this, a wheat beer brewed in Mexico! Yes, despite the fact that the label looks German.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3156/2548650543_533c0075df.jpg"/></a>

    We went looking for karaoke late one night. Everything was closed. This was a neat looking place, though:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3264/2549452512_27e8733082.jpg"/></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3081/2549474596_8611ae13d3.jpg"/></a>

    We found a Mardi-Gras-themed bar called Bar Zydeco:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3073/2549491918_9cf36884aa.jpg"/></a>

    And next to it is an Irish pub. We drank Guiness and made some new friends. This guy (we were told) was a famous soccer star:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3179/2549508478_a3d9b00b98.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3057/2548681771_0425046513.jpg"/></a>

    This is the *best* torta in Mexico City. Actually this is half of the best torta in Mexico City. You don't want to see the other half. It comes from a little stand at the San Antonio metro station (near the Motoaltavista shop).

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3266/2548632725_56201ca799.jpg"/></a>

    I've now spent about a month in Mexico City, if you were to add up the days. I'm starting to feel like a local. I know how to get around on foot and by metro and even by vehicle. I have a set of favorite restaurants and know where to go to find the cool obscure shops. I know where most of the colonias are and I've even decyphered many of the labyrinthine freeway intersections. I like this place. It's crazy big and relatively expensive and traffic sucks, but I would enjoy living here. There's great food, fun people, a cab ride across town costs a couple bucks, and the list of things to do on a weekend is staggering.
  8. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    We spent an afternoon at Xochimilco. I took a boat ride back in March with the Tultepec crew, but this time we left from a different harbor closer to the center of town. There was a lot more traffic!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3012/2548567399_60d8d305db.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3145/2546783413_a138835cc8.jpg"/></a>

    Many of the boats were vendors selling beer or food.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2132/2546840015_fd788ef1e0.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3178/2546815339_ec77d7b25f.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3124/2546835515_5c0bc467f6.jpg"/></a>

    We passed by several nurseries, including a few that were on boats:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3264/2549404122_38ea5180dd.jpg"/></a>

    Some boats had mariachi bands; they would tie up to your boat and sing.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2180/2546802363_273af16aa4.jpg"/></a>

    The whole place is a huge party!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3117/2549420416_9370572939.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3168/2546856815_ea38f3a2af.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2125/2546890953_0518f048e9.jpg"/></a>

    Speaking of party, it was Christian's birthday... time for mariachi!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3014/2547695996_587e74bcae.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3263/2547683424_3be93f606c.jpg"/></a>

    The boat stopped at a market so we could browse around a little. The girls bought "atrapanovios", basically a chinese-fingertrap with a leash. They worked :lol3 :crash

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3105/2549399038_40f57ce352.jpg"/></a>

    They apparently have other uses too:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/xochimilco/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3126/2548572317_e721e21937.jpg"/></a>

    By the way, don't bother taking the metro to Xochimilco. It takes far, far too long. A cab ride from downtown is 20 minutes and costs the equivalent of about $13 USD.
  9. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

    Aug 16, 2005
    Forest Grove, OR
  10. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    Some more random pics from Mexico City.

    A room in Casa De La Condesa, which is actually in Colonia Roma. Very nice place. At $90/night, one of the most expensive places I've stayed in Mexico:


    A view off the balcony while it was raining:


    A bookstore right around the corner:


    A seafood sandwitch:


    Obligitory pictures of sushi:



    Beware ordering a dirty martini in Mexico, unless you like them *really* filthy:


    Big michelada:




    Clothes shopping:


    "Horsing around":


    If you remember, Raul met Audrey in Guanajuato. She came back to the DF before returning to Canada, so we went out for a beer. There are lots of restaurants on rooftops around the zócalo.



    Raul and I went out and found a rotating restaurant/bar on top of the World Trade Center. Great dessert, mediocre drinks. They serve a ruso blanco without Kahlua. Gross! :puke2

  11. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    I picked up a new accessory for my motorcycle at a bike store in Mexico City:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/2600443364/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3209/2600443364_c68a8989bd.jpg"/></a>
  12. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    The wait for my motorcycle dragged on, so Gavin and I took a bus back to Guanajuato to spend another week with Guille and Sonia :rogue

    First we went to León for a going-away party Guille's mother, sister, and niece are moving to Toronto.

    Sister, brother, mom, Guille, brother:


    Including the boyfriends and girlfriend:


    A bunch of us went out to a surprisingly cool nightclub in León:




    Damn this girl is hot!


    Guille and Pamela trying on the boyfriends' glasses:


    Maybe this is why Gavin is so pale:


    Yes, I'm a dork. She loves me anyways.

  13. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    Back in Guanajuato, it started raining, SERIOUSLY RAINING! I originally expected this trip to last six months, which would have returned me to San Francisco just as Central America's rainy season began. Ooops! It has started and I haven't left Mexico yet. I may need knobbier tires.

    Heavy rainstorms in high deserts are beautiful. Lightning, thunder, and floods! Of course I had to go out and play in it... and take pictures.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3005/2620189038_12e1e1a38d.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3213/2619364155_ddf9839b38.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3191/2620194486_c92e51d5a2.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3085/2619368271_1b32864585.jpg"/></a>

    The tunnels were flooded. That's actually a whirlpool over a drain in this picture:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3076/2619366947_f7040440e2.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3266/2620195402_a1531a752b.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3057/2620211142_c77cc0029b.jpg"/></a>

    Guille and I walked out to La Presa ("the dam"). There are actually quite a few dams in Guanajuato but this one is a pretty neighborhood with some good restaurants.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3093/2620207524_9113d6e6ca.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3149/2619377429_faafb9ca77.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3118/2619379415_7473be8fb2.jpg"/></a>

    A before/after picture of Guille's backyard:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3051/2620187022_0d188e650c.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3293/2619384963_b14d12ec40.jpg"/></a>

    What else to do on a rainy day? Make tinga!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3173/2620184722_c2e5d05721.jpg"/></a>

    Guille and her roommate, Gustavo:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2024/2619359577_961d34b33c.jpg"/></a>

    Here's some other food porn from Guanajuato. Enmoladas and a chili relleno from Mexico Lindo y Sabroso, a restaurant in La Presa:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3107/2620218876_5c6b7896a0.jpg"/></a>

    This is a Guanajuato-style cecina from the same restaurant. Cecina is a bit like beef jerky, normally, but this version is super-thin and deep fried:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3226/2620212432_9844f2c588.jpg"/></a>

    A couple dishes from el Rincón de Los Milagros, probably the nicest restaurant in Guanajuato. It's in the San Javier district, up the hill a ways. Fish in an unusual garlic sauce:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3150/2619357439_24acda9f5d.jpg"/></a>

    The best dish in Guanajuato: Pork in a sweet, savory sauce strongly reminiscent of blackberry jam.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/guanajuato/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3272/2619356485_2a9523aa0d.jpg"/></a>
  14. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    At long last, my bike was ready. Our departure from Mexico City left me about 7 days remaining on my bike's 180-day visa - a leisurely pace but not a lot of extra time to deal with "things going wrong". Also, it's starting to rain a lot all over Mexico - especially in the southeast.

    Departing Mexico City. We stayed the last couple nights at the Hostel Zona Rosa, which is the only place in el DF that is cheap, cute, and well located. They have big suites for groups, the owners are really cool, there is a bar downstairs, and you can safely park motorcycles in the alley. I'm sure I'll be back. It's at the end of this dead-end alley (on Hamburgo near Amberes), nearly dead center of the Zona Rosa. You may remember this place as where Mario, the trova-singing-friend of Guille and Laura plays every Saturday night:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/mexicocity/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3036/2599184591_74d0c64d94.jpg"/></a>

    We took the route to Puebla up and over the pass near Popocatépetl, where that ecotourist villa I've stayed at a couple times is. El Popo was covered with clouds and snow this time:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/collections/72157603747465617/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3266/2599187069_a82b872478.jpg"/></a>

    The road is paved up the west side from Amecameca and dirt down the east side to Cholula. Unfortuantely Gavin discovered that his rear brake was nonfunctional. It wasn't terribly technical but downhill on moist dirt with no rear brakes was no fun for him.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/collections/72157603747465617/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3264/2600018764_ddf4873d63.jpg"/></a>

    We were showered on a few times up the mountain (brrrr) but it stayed fairly dry until we got to Puebla, where the deluge started... and kept going on and off until we got to Veracruz. I wish I had more pictures of the massive flooded streets in Puebla:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/collections/72157603747465617/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3061/2599192571_f99771c7a4.jpg"/></a>

    In retrospect, the detour over Popo was a mistake; even racing along the quotas (about $25 usd from Puebla to Veracruz) we still arrived after dark. It turns out Gavin's rear tail light stopped working and he doesn't have a non-tinted helmet visor. Doh! We separated so that Gavin could ride faster; dropping a tooth on my front sprocket reduced my comfortable highway cruising speed to about 80mph.

    The state of Veracruz is gorgeous. The road from Puebla rises up into giant mountains covered with lush green foliage. There's a good reason why - driving down the mountains, we were rained on - and entertained by the most spectacular lightning storm I've ever seen outside of Utah. Even after it stopped raining the lightning flashes illuminated the distant sky every twenty seconds.

    It's hot in Veracruz. Humid, sticky, and (in motorcycle gear) almost unbearably hot. This is a radical change from freezing rainy 3700-meter Popo where my heated vest and goretex jacket liner were both retrieved from the bottom of my panniers. The discovery process went like this:

    [Our protagonist stops for gas, after dark, shortly before the city of Veracruz]
    "Damn, it's hot and humid here! I'm sweating!"
    "Geez, there are bazillions of flies here. They must be drawn to the lights of the Pemex station."
    [Stops, starts filling tank, takes off jacket]
    [Looks down at arm, where a half-dozen mosquitos are slurping away through my baselayer]
    [Looks up, squints slightly at the millions of swarming flying creatures]
    [Screams, sets new record at putting armored jacket back on]
    "Bite me through that, assholes!"

    Some of those mosquitos were the size of small bees. I suspect that if I had the misfortune of falling asleep in that environment (or even getting a little bit drowsy) they could have sucked me bone dry in ten minutes.

    Fortunately the city of Veracruz was pretty much devoid of mosquitos. Unfortunately it seemed devoid of culture and nightlife too. Granted, it was a Tuesday night. We stayed in a cheap hotel near the zócalo and entertained ourselves at dinner by watching the hookers across the street ply their trade. Fortuantely they all went into a different hotel than the one we were staying at. Incidentally, this is the first place in Mexico I've stayed where prostitution was so overt. I saw it driving by a few parts of Mexico City but it was on the fringes; in Veracruz the girls stand on the corners of the centro. Oddly enough, this didn't make the city feel as seedy as I would have expected... maybe because everyone was smiling.

    Veracruz is cold-shower land. Hot water is not necessary in hotels, nor is it even appreciated. I spent a big part of every sweaty, humid day dreaming about how nice it will be take a shower under cold (or what passes for cold) water. To preserve sanity, three are necessary: once in the morning, once immediately after doffing m/c gear at a hotel, and once before night.

    For some reason I didn't take any pictures. Just this one, of a ship unloading something with scoops:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/collections/72157603747465617/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3278/2599197525_2b0ddbfbea.jpg"/></a>

    I can't say that I was impressed by Veracruz, but one night is not an adequate measure.

    <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=veracruz,+mexico&ie=UTF8&ll=18.75031,-97.77832&spn=9.166452,13.139648&z=6"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3254/2623512696_e273924ab9.jpg"/></a>
  15. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    The coastal route from Veracruz to Coatzacoalcos was one of the most pleasant and relaxing parts of this trip.


    Note to other travelers: Take that little coastal loop between Saltabarranca and Catemaco. There is a super-cute little beach town called Montepío with restaurants and a few hotels that I'm hoping to return to someday.

    Here's some shots from the route:




    This was the perfect place to have lunch, in a tiny pueblo with maybe 10 houses. The ocean is maybe 100 yards away. I'm obsessed with this type of tree; it looks like a giant fern with red flowers:


    Part of the route took us through a biosphere reserve area:



    Gavin's bike actually ran out of gas sometime along this stretch, but I donated some from my kamel... I mean KTM. I have pretty close to exactly twice the range.

    This was a bad week for the Multistrada. At one point we had to take an, uh, unconventional entrance to a cuota. Entrances and exits to cuotas are pretty tightly controlled so you can't evade the toll booths. Both the Bicimapas (in my Zumo) and the Garmin Mexico Maps (in Gavin's Zumo) tend to assume that any intersection of two roads is, in fact, an intersection. Nope.

    While we pondered the unfortunate directions, we watched a local motorcyclist drive down a narrow foot path, through a fence, across opposing traffic, across the median, and off in the direction we wanted to go. Why the hell not?


    "Hey, what the hell?"


    "I'm stuck!"


    The bottom of the engine scraped the burm and crushed the plug for the sidestand killswitch cable. Switching out of neutral immediately kills the engine. This is high on the list of why a Multistrada makes a difficult adventure bike - this exact same thing happened crossing a tree on Usal Road about a year ago. The solution was the same - I cut the plug off and spliced the wires together permanently. This is something that should probably never be fixed.

    Finally, crossing over the median:


    Unfortunately I didn't get pictures of the stupidly steep, narrow single-track up the side of that overpass where I nearly pitched my KTM over. Adventure!

    Coatzacoalcos is nothing special, which is somewhat surprising because it's in a good location. I believe the city is most famous for shipping, a huge petrochemical complex, and birthing Salma Hayek. It has long, long beaches along the coast but they're kinda grungy, and there are quite a few clubs and bars but almost no hotels. It's certainly not a tourist destination for extranjeros.
  16. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    Coatzacoalcos is on the end of a peninsula that juts west, buttressing one side of the inlet to a sizeable bay. We had to cross the inlet to leave. Bicimapas said there is a bridge, Garmin Mexico says no. We found no bridge, but did find a small ferry! 4 pesos each and 30 minutes later we were on the other side, winding our way between massive chemical factories.

    Loading onto the ferry:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3159/2599299457_b19ce081aa.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3250/2600132808_2872ebb0db.jpg"/></a>

    The "dock":

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3285/2599304871_a9f940b867.jpg"/></a>

    Really, it's just a platform with an engine:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3184/2625885544_99b799a2a9.jpg"/></a>

    Our plan was to follow the Gulf coast of Tobasco as far as Paraiso and then head south into Villahermosa. I had seen pictures; the coastline is beautiful but desolate, bordered by a road that has been abandoned to storms and sand dunes.

    Just getting *to* the coast was tricky; I plotted a meandering part-dirt route through the Tobasco coastal forests but couldn't get the Zumo to route across an obviously marked road on the Bicimapas. This is not too unusual because the maps aren't perfect, so I ignored it. Garmin Mexico didn't show enough detail for the area.

    Here's what this part of the journey looked like. It was beautiful, but Gavin got pissed at me for wasting a bunch of time when we're in a hurry to get to Villahermosa. He wasn't enjoying the dirt without a rear brake, plus his MT60 rear was almost bald.*

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3182/2600141058_1925692352.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3270/2599309587_6a86517ef0.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3145/2600176726_0a222138e7.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3258/2600148766_ce9d8c955c.jpg"/></a>

    Here we arrive at that part of my map that wouldn't autoroute. Oops. This did not improve Gavin's mood, but it provided some great pictures!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3249/2599337927_39550c43f3.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3275/2600158302_15d43b599b.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/veracruzstate/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3015/2599332241_6739bf9f87.jpg"/></a>

    One year ago, 80% of the entire STATE of Tobasco <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Tabasco_flood">was underwater</a> in an <i>inundación</i> that made New Orleans look like a bathtub. I'm surprised that roads are as intact as they are.

    * What you say?! A dualsport tire on a Ducati?? There are only two rear DS tires available for the Multistrada. One is the Pirelli MT60 and the other is the Avon Distanzia. No distributor imports either tire in the correct size (160/60-R17) to Mexico. While we were in the DF, Gavin mail-ordered an MT60 to the Motoaltavista affiliate (a KTM/Ducati shop) in Villahermosa. Shipping more than doubled the price of the tire :bluduh
  17. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=sanchez+magallanes,+mexico&sll=18.114529,-93.99353&sspn=1.151184,1.642456&ie=UTF8&ll=18.16934,-93.771057&spn=1.21867,1.955566&z=9"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3030/2625047033_52974ac9dd.jpg"/></a>

    Sánchez Magallanes is a remote little town on the beach. It looks like it once got a fair amount of local tourist traffic (probably from Coatzacoalcos and Villahermosa) but then got wiped out in a storm and never rebuilt. It was around 5pm when we arrived so we decided to call it an early day, find a hotel, and get some much-needed cerveza.

    Here's a montage of (what's left of) Sánchez Magallanes:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3058/2600198334_045cb6e8ac.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3091/2600192226_8e49413711.jpg"/></a>

    We could find only one hotel in town and it was empty. Our room was 160 pesos.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3091/2600189124_9d37a34f8d.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3191/2600186124_fd562c8618.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3270/2599353335_f15c813455.jpg"/></a>

    This drawbridge no longer opens. I'm not sure it ever did; I can't imagine why big boats would come into this more-or-less insignificant bay.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3045/2599376251_0d5155a7f6.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3244/2600195332_04c678b780.jpg"/></a>

    Look at the stairs, which have completely rusted away:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3047/2600245584_3404644f79.jpg"/></a>

    All the houses up against the water were wrecked. Most had garbage strewn about in front.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3100/2599382449_f5624a219c.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3054/2600179338_ba5b728daa.jpg"/></a>

    Gavin has a better camera <small>and he's a better photographer</small> :augie

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinaking/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3119/2597244439_8b0e582707.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinaking/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3212/2597262775_0cd39eb161.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinaking/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3122/2597370025_56940c11c7.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinaking/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3210/2597292519_b856f753f8.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinaking/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3289/2598313996_41fb86f6ee.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinaking/tags/sanchezmagallanes/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3193/2598230946_98f06aa5f0.jpg"/></a>

    Sánchez Magallanes is kinda spooky. People aren't really friendly, and the town is mostly deserted - although (vacant) motorcycle and pedal-powered tuktuks were everywhere. It was a Thursday. I wasn't expecting big parties, but *all* the bars were empty.

    If you choose to visit and they attack, just remember: Shoot for the head.
  18. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco
    This was a day of proper adventure.

    After a seafood breakfast, we started off east along the coastal road towards Paraiso.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3080/2599423101_d000ab0074.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3043/2599410253_822b2fef1f.jpg"/></a>

    Within ten minutes, Gavin heard a snap and suddenly his bike was riding a lot lower than normal:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3109/2599431757_69daacb563.jpg"/></a>

    The suspension tie-rod snapped in half!

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3196/2600254570_9b4b55260f.jpg"/></a>

    Poor Ducati. In all fairness, it's an aftermarket part that has seen a fair amount of abuse in the last year and a half... but I could hear my KTM snickering quietly to itself.

    Gavin flagged down a car and after a couple hours managed to come back with a truck:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3127/2599435863_045f0a083b.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3080/2599442473_827cf58d9b.jpg"/></a>

    Gavin and the truck went to Villahermosa via highways, while I pressed on with the adventure.

    The road started out pretty nice.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3010/2600275000_4ce38b269d.jpg"/></a>

    Then sand started creeping over the highway in places.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3045/2600302552_e832f46768.jpg"/></a>

    "Hello, road? This is the ocean. I want my beach back."

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3262/2600303468_f3cdd296bc.jpg"/></a>

    Don't argue with the ocean.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3116/2600311508_2afd3d697c.jpg"/></a>

    At this point the "road" went slightly inland through the palm trees.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3227/2600452444_ed6cce2e4d.jpg"/></a>

    It was time to drop tire pressure. This makes a *world* of difference on a soft surface. 19psi is actually too much for deep sand, but I expected to be on and off pavement. It turned out to be a perfect compromise, and I never dropped the bike.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3179/2599634911_34158a14fa.jpg"/></a>

    Brief product endorsement: This "pass through" <a href="http://www.bestrestproducts.com/celestia/order/orderform/?recno=25">air gauge</a> is bloody brilliant because you can inflate (and deflate with the button) while still measuring pressure.

    I took a lot of pictures so I could show Gavin what he missed (and to make sure his next bike is a BMW or KTM). These are in chronological order. Note that there were a lot of paved sections that I didn't bother taking pictures of.

    The locals put coconut husks along much of the path to provide traction.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3080/2600319900_821d5d92da.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3126/2600323352_2ae3f4458a.jpg"/></a>

    Lots of places where the road just started and stopped.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3165/2599500567_5a95ded9ae.jpg"/></a>

    Sometimes the local kids would come out when I stopped.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3069/2599497625_d5c56bb66c.jpg"/></a>

    Sometimes the sand became pretty deep and soft.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3129/2599512451_f3aeb7cecf.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3216/2600344592_c09b477b10.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3275/2599519205_cd07b225e4.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3296/2599522245_42de11457f.jpg"/></a>

    There was one large concrete bridge in the middle of nowhere. The road on either side was a mess but the bridge was immaculate. Without this bridge, this road would be impassable - it bridged the inlet to a large bay.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3100/2599526363_7b0f28b198.jpg"/></a>

    On the bridge, looking back:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3097/2599531941_1040e18e87.jpg"/></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3276/2600363610_7ee4f3db1e.jpg"/></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3292/2599539771_97a8259ca2.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3047/2600372054_58d34092ba.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3162/2600375284_34f306d484.jpg"/></a>

    Nepal cactus growing out of jungle foliage and sand. Weird ecology.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3091/2625079493_c95b242aaf.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3107/2600377776_4cdbfb9ee3.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3147/2600380840_64cf9156f5.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3239/2600384210_0812b956f0.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3041/2600389850_fdc10596dc.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3023/2599563293_6d895631b9.jpg"/></a>

    The road follows a narrow sandbar with the ocean on one side and a bay on the other. Sometimes it was narrow enough to throw a rock across. You can still see the remains of the asphalt in this picture.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3125/2599568599_b50d9def20.jpg"/></a>

    One good storm could destroy the remains of this sandbar and make this trip impossible, even on a motorcycle.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3144/2600400846_5fc484a9b7.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3102/2600411888_709cbc6603.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3132/2599586863_51ce7fd69b.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3249/2600418698_85c7390891.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3044/2600424732_bbf4c2b06e.jpg"/></a>

    Getting closer to Paraiso, the road began to improve.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3187/2599601377_497421ce6e.jpg"/></a>

    But not completely:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3033/2599607457_3455375506.jpg"/></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lhoriman/tags/paraisolost/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3172/2599619603_da1bbe3153.jpg"/></a>

    Despite Gavin's misfortune, this was a really, REALLY fun day (for me). The only annoyance was that the locals (whose land the road was frequently rerouted onto) sometimes put up ropes across the road and were charging "tolls". Sometimes I simply rode around through the sand, sometimes I paid a few pesos (they always asked for ten). Maybe they help maintain the coconut-husk road. Unfortunately there are quite a lot of them.

    I would love to come back and ride this beautiful, desolate road again with 60 lbs less luggage and lower air pressure. It would be fun to do a lot of the beach sections too. I'm not nearly as afraid of riding on soft sand as I once was - this trip has improved my offroad skills considerably.
  19. stickfigure

    stickfigure Fiendish Fluoridator

    Jun 10, 2007
    Please don't call it 'Frisco

    I don't have a lot to say about Villahermosa. I thought the city may have had potential given more time but Gavin didn't like it. The weather is hot and humid. It's not terribly cute, and people on the street were not especially friendly. We've been ruined by northern and central Mexico.

    Surprisingly, I didn't see a lot of damage from the flooding. It may be that the remaining damage is mostly psychological, and this produced the subdued atmosphere. Tabasco is supposed to be one of the wealthier states in Mexico; I expected nice restaurants and a vibrant street life. It was dead.

    Here's the funky hostel we stayed in. We were the only guests.


    There is some pretty architecture in a big park. Unfortunately I left without getting a chance to see the big zoo and museum:






    Villahermosa has a KTM/Ducati shop (and Motoaltavista affiliate) called Cyclecenter. We've been mail ordering and fedexing various things there; my 2008 registration arrived but Gavin's tire hadn't. Plus it was going to take some time to acquire a new tie-rod.* Unfortunately my expiring visa forced us to part ways.

    I also now have a major problem with my GPS. The Zumo unit itself seems fairly well built, but the cradle is a piece of crap. After a few months in the Real World, the little rubber cover that is supposed to protect the pins cracked and fell off. The tiny spring-loaded pins are far too delicate for an outdoor environment.

    You can see a lot of oxidation in this picture, probably due to electrolysis since there is always power to one of the pins (having the Zumo on switched power is highly annoying when you turn off the bike to talk to someone). In recent months the cradle has been causing trouble with stereo audio quality; now it refuses to feed power consistently (if at all). Worse, when it occasionally feeds power for a brief second and then cuts out, it puts the Zumo in a 30-second automatic shutdown mode - even when running on battery.


    I rush ordered a new cradle from the US, which Gavin will hopefully bring me. This turned out to be a challenge. Garmin, in their infinite wisdom, does not allow US merchants to ship replacement cradles internationally. Furthermore, replacements are not sold in Mexico. I found a US merchant online who was apparently willing to ignore this restriction but it cost me $130 for a $50 part. Great way to support your customers, Garmin.

    * They spent several days but were unable to source it in Mexico. Gavin had to ship one from Desmoto in SF.
  20. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

    Jan 16, 2004
    Hayward, WI
    Fantastic adventure and report dude:thumb
    Cavegirl and I are just south of you in Chiapas. Yes, we should hook up to share some beers:freaky if you are nor already too far north. Keep up the great report