South America and back on a 250 Super Sherpa Minimalist Adventure

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JDowns, Oct 2, 2012.

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  1. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

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    LEON, Gto. MEXICO

    Vaya con Dios Amigo...

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  2. Eagletalon

    Eagletalon Been here awhile

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    Apopka, FL
    Hello,

    I like your attention to detail. I feel like I am riding alone for that simple reason along. Keep up the good work amigo and stay safe out there!!!

    Later
    John
  3. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Arte!

    Thank you so much for your kind hospitality. I really enjoyed my visit with your family. You are a lucky man!

    Muchas gracias,
    Su amigo Juan
  4. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    So I headed out of Linares in the late afternoon heading to the mountains. But first had to stop at an OXXO store (pronounced oh-so) to pick up some crackers to go with my Texas sardines for my evening repast. Came out to get on the bike and a dance couple had set up speakers that were blaring salsa music as they danced next to the coke truck in front of the store. I think it was some kind of Coca-cola Day of the Dead promotional stunt type thing. Anyway, they were quite good and I took out my camera and asked if I could take a picture. And the guy assumed I meant get a picture with his hot dance partner. So he took the camera and stood me next to her.

    And that my friends is how the Charlie Chaplin tramp posed next to the Coca-cola salsa queen:

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    Got on the bike and headed out of town on a road that looked like it headed towards the mountains. The Guia Roji Mexican road atlas that Arte so graciously gave me had hwy 31 listed as heading to the mountains from Linares, but the road signs said 58 and it was heading the right direction. I actually saw a couple on what looked like a GS12 coming the other way down the road. But it was late and they must have wanted to get to the party in Linares. Later I thought I should have whipped a uey and chased them down. Then I remembered I was riding a 250 Kawi and realized the folly of that idea.

    Getting closer to the promised land:

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    Shafts of light streaming from the heavens as the sun slowly sinks behind the mountains. The dark thunderheads are off to stage left out of the picture:

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    and into the canyons climbing up into hairpin heaven:

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    It's hard to catch the scale of these 2000 foot vertical cliffs. This cliff face rose straight up forever. This is a picture of the first thirty feet:

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    I stood at the base and bent back and took a shot straight towards the sky to try to get the next 1970 feet rising straight up vertically from the road, but it's hard to appreciate in this picture:

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    You'll just have to ride down here and see it for yourself.

    In today's lesson in navigation in Mexico, please note that street signs are not on posts. Look for them rather high up on building walls at the intersections. In this pic I am taking a left on Cinco de Mayo:

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    If you open your textbook to page 21 in the Guia Roji I am currently located on page 21 two thirds of the way down near the ring binder.

    N 24º 49.681'
    W 100º 04.585'

    Staying in a nice hotel for 200 pesos (16.00) with hot water showers, free wifi and plenty of Spanish Novellas on TV in the lovely mountain town of Galeana.

    The only way for me to keep track of what I spend each day down here is to put 500 pesos in my dummy wallet and count what's left at the end of the day.
    Todays total left is 138 so that means I spent 362 pesos on food, gas and lodging. With the bullk of that going to this room I'm staying in. 362 x .08¢ = $28.96.
  5. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hey Sam,

    Work is over-rated. Thanks for the donation. I'll write Strave19 on the side of the gas tank.

    Can't wait until you take off somewhere fun and I can donate to YOUR ride. I'm telling you, take off now while you're young and able. Girlfriends turn into wives and lives change.

    You'll thank me later.

    Kindest regards,
    John
  6. Merlin III

    Merlin III Lone Wolf-No Club

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    John, Looking forward to your camping observations and will have more questions at that time. Thanks.
  7. Paratrout

    Paratrout Been here awhile

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    Cackilackistan, Concord Oblast
    And that my friends is how the Charlie Chaplin tramp posed next to the Coca-cola salsa queen:

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    :eek2Mexican friend of mine always called beautiful latin ladies "white man's kryptonite"! I'm sure you can understand his point.
  8. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    As you get up in the morning there in Galeana look to the east as the sun starts to catch the face of the Cerro de Labradores, the mountain range that helps form the bowl where the town is located.
  9. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Here's someone's Flickr image of the Cerro de Labradores in Galeana

    PS If you have breakfast near the square the nice place is La Casona del General.
  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Trice,

    Thanks for the tip. I will be posting a shot of those mountains glistening in dawn's early light in tomorrow's episode. Latin American mountains are very photogenic:

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    Suerte,
    Juan
  11. slowoldguy

    slowoldguy Tire Tester

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    Oohhh. I like Galeana. Cerro Potosi ride nearby is pretty "cobblestoned" but the view is spectacular. Piece of cake on your warhorse kwacker.

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  12. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Well there you have it. Sunrise shots of Cerro de Labradores, breakfast at La Casona del General, then instead of riding to Rayones on the back road, maybe head to Cerro Potosi and get lost in the rock gardens.

    Sounds like a great day to me. I'm in.

    Best,
    John Downs
  13. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan There, that's it

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    Over 100 years later it's still true.
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    Where might you have learned that lesson? Hmmm....
  14. Bráulio Biker

    Bráulio Biker Brazilian Adventure

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    Brasília, Brasil
    Your RR is definetly inspiring me! I have read lots of blogs and sites about South America trips but never found details about how much it costs. Now I know it's possible to travel with a limited budget. Thank you so much.

    I stick with you at the minimalist philosophy. In fact I have gone in some trips here in Brazil with my little ( but "muy macho" ) 150 cc Honda and I know for sure that the motor size isn't something that can prohibit you to travel.

    Unfortunatly I can not offer a gas tank for you (at this moment, at least), but if you decide to know Brazil's capital, you already have a place to stay.

    Boa viagem!
  15. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Slept like the dead last night which was appropriate considering the Mexican holiday. This is where I stayed last night:

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    Hotel Juana Maria one block east and three blocks north of the central square on Diego de Monte Mayor street. Very nice place for 200 pesos I thought. Had a nice chat with Martha (pronounced Marta) the night desk clerk. And these are the steps I hopped to park in the lobby:

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    Piece of cake on a small dirt bike. And seguro parking behind the couch in the lobby for the night:

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    It would be a nice place for Trice to stay if he comes down on his Rocket III. That bike would look fantastic parked behind the couch here. Muy macho moto sculpture, could use a skid plate for stair hopping though:

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    It was hard to decide what to wear this morning but finally chose the Zombie Apocalypse training camp T-shirt from my vast wardrobe and went down to the plaza to see the remains of the festival displays from yesterday:

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    By the time I walked down to the park the peach and pink sunrise tones were gone from the sky but the mountains Trice mentioned are beautiful this morning off to the east:

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    And the view off to the east from the bandstand in the town square:

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    Pictures don't really capture the looming closeness. Everything is serene this morning after a Friday night of festival reveling. Just the birds chirping in the trees and the cathedral across the street catching the morning light:

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    It's brisk out this morning up in the mountains and nothing is open so time to head back to the office:

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    and send more pictures and stories from the roads less traveled.

    More later….

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  16. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Bráulio Biker,

    Your kind words are better than money. Money comes and goes. Great travel memories last a lifetime.

    Best,
    John Downs
  17. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Breakfast places don't usually open up until 9 or 10 in the morning. Mexicans eat late evening meals as well. Typically 9 or 10 pm. Sort of like India only there the restaurants don't even open until 9 and if you are starving at 6 you are SOL. Here at least there is street food available at most hours of the day from late morning on.

    Went down to the Casona del General Restaurante recommended by Tricepilot. Nice place:

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    down across from the Iglesia (main church) near the Plaza Centrale. Cute waitress was too shy for a pic so you'll just have to imagine. Nice decor with a Pancho Villa theme. I would fit right in with these hombres from a 100 years ago:

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    Later I hope to ride up in the mountains and see if any of these guys descendants are still around:

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    I imagine this is what happens if you marry Miss Coca-cola salsa queen in your later years of life after she's had a few kids and filled out. I'd rather be riding:

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    Anyway nice historic displays and posters at the restaurant:

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    Recommended. Although at 64 pesos for coffee and scrambled eggs I think I will be eating out of grocery stores for the rest of the day.

    Heading out into the mountains to see if I can find Cerro Potosi that slowoldguy posted a pic of and hopefully get lost. It's nice around here, and I have always been a firm believer in lingering in nice places and jetting through the boring spots. So decided to rent the room here at the lovely Hotel Juana Maria for another night and leave my stuff while I head out riding the backroads this afternoon.

    more later…..

    Best,
    John Downs
  18. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Came back to the hotel and promptly fell asleep. I'm getting into the swing of siesta life. Woke up and dark thunderstorms were sweeping up from the south. Cerro el Potosi will have to wait until tomorrow. Decided to stay in town and enjoy the day, goof off and study Spanish while I have an internet connection. Went shopping for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. Just to give you an idea of what is available for a traveler with no stove:

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    As far as prices converted to U.S. dollars
    Yogurt drink 84¢
    Avocado 36¢
    yogurt and granola 50¢
    sardines $1.08
    6 bananas 35¢
    cookie/cracker gamesa 48¢

    total was a little over 45 pesos or $3.61

    Prices are slightly cheaper in large town chain grocery stores than up here in the mountains. But it is always cheaper to eat from stores and roadside taco stands than sit down restaurants if you are traveling on a shoestring budget.

    Alas the pictures are not nearly as mouth watering as Ray's Tejas brisket and ribs that I still see in my dreams.

    Todays expenses were 397 pesos or 31.76

    Best,
    John Downs
  19. slowoldguy

    slowoldguy Tire Tester

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    Cerro Potosi is not hard to find but the dirt loop that goes Galeana, Rayones, west to Cienaga, Mimbres , Dieciocho de Marzo, Cerro Potosi, back to Dieciocho, back to Galeana is quite doable in a day.

    The road up the mountain is rough but not technical, just bone jarring. View is worth it.

    Gee. Digging all my maps out makes me want to go back and explore more of Nuevo Leon.
  20. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hey Tom,

    I appreciate the tips. I might have to ride around this place for a few days and explore. It's a beautiful area. I had never heard of Cerro Potosi before. The lady at the front desk pointed the way west out of town with a bunch of zig-zag motions with her index finger going steadily up in the air. Sounds good to me. As well as the Rayones loop.

    I'll report back what I find.

    Thanks for the ideas! Appreciate it.
    John Downs
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