Solo Month In MX and GT

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by jrzyguy, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Hey Jim, I am running Dunlop 606's. They are my not first choice tire for this trip, a good dual sport tire would be best... since I am riding mostly pavement. I have the 606's because I was planning a Baja trip and changed directions.
  2. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Today started badly. I left my ATM card in the machine... it was gone when I returned. I needed to call Chase Bank anyway, because my credit card was denied last night at my hotel. Then, the final blow, my Mexican phone took a crap! Cash from the ATM is my lifeline, without it I'm not going anywhere. It was time to take a deep breath, relax, and make a plan.

    I got my phone up and running at a Telcel store... they're everywhere. When I got Chase on the phone, they informed me that there had been a security breech on my credit card (after I had left on this trip) and had therefore canceled and reissued my card. Next, I had my ATM card canceled and ordered 2 new cards. And finally, I set up a PIN number on another credit card I carry, so that I can make cash withdrawals. Okay, I'm back in business. The lesson here is always bring a back up ATM card and store it separately. I have a second card but misplaced it during my recent move to San Diego. I will never leave on a similar trip without 2 ATM cards... ever again!

    I was packed and on the road by 10:00. I headed north and picked up the cuota toward Morelia. This cuota was the closest thing to a U.S. Interstate I have ever seen in Mexico. It runs most of the way around Mexico City... perfecto!

    I had initally planned to revist Matt and Nat in DF on my way back, but had to cancel my visit and keep rolling in order to make the Friday ferry in Mazatlán... sorry Matt and Nat! :cry

    This is a look at the rolling countryside as I approached Morelia.
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    I followed my same routine when entering a new city... I follow signs for "Centro" and stop at the first park to check the Lonely Planet for hotels. Posado Don Vasco it is.

    Once out on the street, I came across this large crowd listening to and watching a band.
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    In a clearing just in front of the band, 2 dancers in white-face were randomly selecting female dance partners. The crowd was loving it!
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    A few blocks away, tents were pitched in the street by protesters for education reform. It's fun for me as a tourist to see how the Mexican people leave their homes for public spaces, where they eat, drink, socialize, and everything else.
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    An organ grinder making music at the entrance to the cathedral.
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    The cathedral at night... magnificent!
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    These folks were doing a brisk business with their baked goods.
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    On my way back to my hotel, I saw these two mariachis practicing in their truck.
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    Morelia has so much going for it... I especially liked the scale of the city, the gorgeous colonial architecture, the energy of the people and the nightlife!
  3. m_p_w

    m_p_w Unfunempolyed

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    No worries bro, we'll catch up soon! After watching the video, Nat thinks you're probably safer than riding with me in Mexico City anyway. :D

    Great shots of Morelia, I need to get out that way.

    Stay safe and enjoy the rest of the ride!
  4. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    No doubt that Nat is right, but that was never a consideration!
  5. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    My day started badly. It involved losing my ATM card (I left it in the machine), learning that one of my credit cards was canceled and reissued (due to a security breech) after leaving on this trip, and finally, my Mexican phone took a crap! I needed to take my own advice... take a deep breath and relax. Fast forward, I can access cash from any ATM using a cash advance from another credit card. Access to cash is my lifeline... so all is well with the world.

    The lesson for me is to always carry a second debit card, stored in a separate place. In the future, I will never leave on a similar trip without a backup card... period!

    So, now that I'm on the road again I wanted to stop by the town of Patzcuaro... The Planet calls it "a small, well preserved colonial town in the Michoacán highlands..."
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    Back on the road, I ran out of daylight in Tepic.
  6. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    I made one scheduled stop in Patzcuaro. The Planet calls Patzcuaro, "This small, well preserved colonial town in the Michoacán highlands..." Here are some pics.
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    I can usually see a touring bicycle from quite far away... especially when they're pulling a trailer with surf boards! These two Australians are surfing their way from San Francisco to Argentina.
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    This doesn't look like a Pemex station, but it is a source of gasolina.
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    I wasn't watching my tripmeter and ran low on fuel. So barrel gas came to the rescue.
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    My smile of relief was even bigger than his!
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    As soon as I reached Mazatlán, I headed to the Baja Ferry Terminal to secure my tickets... una persona, una moto, and una habitación. I need to ride from the boat at 7 AM Saturday... and I want to be rested. This is my ride to La Paz, Baja California Sur.
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    While waiting to board, I made some new friends. James and Lee, from Trinidad, CA, are returning from Costa Rica... they surfed their way down and back. I'm not sure why, but at every single Policía Federal checkpoint, they were asked if they were smoking weed...
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    ... go figure!
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    And this is Manuel and Jeni, who are moving from Cancún to Cabo. Both had spent time in the U.S., and although they enjoyed it, they're happy to be back in Mexico.
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    It was a blast to spend time with them. Lots of laughs, while sharing stories of our travels!

    Here are a couple pics of the sunset as we were heading out.
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    And a shot of my bike, parked below deck... it had the entire floor to itself!
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  7. fortrider

    fortrider Been here awhile

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    Nice pics Jim, stay safe and have a great ride.
  8. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Thanks Steve... I'll be home tomorrow and do a final post. I'm 120 miles south of Ensenada tonight.
  9. newtomex

    newtomex newtomex

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    I am still planning on ride my bike with my wife to Ensenada. My trip will be nothing like yours but where I am at in my head it probably takes me as much courage as your trip does for you. I hear lots of bad things as well as good. The travel agent I talked with this morning said they encourage people to avoid Tijuanna because of danger. :norton do you have concerns about parking your bike on the street on your travels to go sight seeing?
  10. dtop1

    dtop1 Long timer

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    You don't generally have to worry about the bike being stolen while parked on the street. However things that can be stolen off the bike such as a tank bag are vulnerable. There are a couple of pay lots with an attendant where you can safely leave the bike in the downtown area.
  11. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    newtomex, I just got home... my last stop was at a favorite jewelry store in Ensenada. It don't like to arrive home empty handed.

    I can't speak with authority about TJ, but I think it's fair to say that Tijuana is not representative of Mexico. It is a border town that accentuates many of negative tourist stereotypes... on both sides. And because you have some reservations and are already apprehensive, you might prefer a more welcoming place... giving yourself the best chance for a positive experience.

    That said, I think you'll find Ensenada to be a good 'first visit' town. My traveling experiences have taught me that what I project, what I put out there, is usually what I get back... a smile gets a smile, a kind word gets a kind word... and expecting trouble frequently brings just that.

    Hope you and your wife have a fabulous time!
  12. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    I love La Paz... it feels cosmopolitan and has an amazing malecón. I stopped for breakfast at an open air restaurant, where I could watch the water and people getting it going on Saturday morning!
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    From Loreto to Mulegé has some beautiful scenery!
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    Met a few more interesting people out there... each with a great story!
    While waiting for some road construction to let us continue, this character walked to the front... he sailed down to the Baja from WA and is spending the winter on his boat. He'll leave it on the Baja, and return to it when his travels continue next fall.
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    And this is Dan, from just south of Yosemite National Park, who is riding his KLR to Baja Sur for several weeks. We met at The Hotel Mulegé. Dan treated me to breakfast Sunday morning... thanks again Dan!
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    It was a quiet day in Baja Sur!
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    I ran out of daylight a bit south of Ensenada, where I spent the night. The following morning (Monday) I reached Ensenada shortly before noon, where I did some shopping before the final leg.

    I took the road to Tecate, where I expected a quieter border crossing. This route also brought me through Baja's wine country.
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    My border crossing went without a hitch... moto's roll to the front of the line, yeah! It's good to be home!
  13. newtomex

    newtomex newtomex

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    I am really looking forward to my little trip. Your pictures are part of my inspiration. Good advise. I have always believed the same thing about people. I have a lot of family ties with people from the south of the border and love them. I just have to work through some of the rummors. My wife told me not to talk to people about going to mexico. Welcome home. :clap
  14. moabmick

    moabmick n00b

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    Mountains, canyons and deserts.....sweeeet!
    Jimbo, so many great pictures and comments. Glad you are back...and looking forward to our next ride! Bring your sweetie next time...
  15. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Thanks newtomex, it's good to be home. I'm excited for you and your wife. Have a fabulous time! Jim
  16. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Roberto, Thank you for your support... I'm glad you traveled with me! I'm sure I'll see you this spring/summer, but since Julie is a working girl, I'll likely be solo.
  17. Bear Creek West

    Bear Creek West Been here awhile

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    Thoroughly enjoyed your report - can't wait for my turn to tour that area!

    Love your camo painted DR as well!
  18. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Hey Bear Creek West! Glad you enjoyed the report... and the decision on the camo is... it's here to stay!
  19. danoalaska

    danoalaska MOTOHEAD

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    Was really cool meeting you in Mulege, thanks for all the great info! My trip went really well and made it home. All ready missing Baja. Hey you know what's crazy.....I ran into that same guy on the sailboat from Washington about 5 months ago broke down in a harbor at Mavericks just south of San Francisco......Excellent ride report....really enjoyed it!
  20. jrzyguy

    jrzyguy Restless

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    Hey Dan, Glad you enjoyed the report and really happy that your trip went well. So you met the sailboat guy... small world indeed! Hope to see you again on the Baja! Jim