South America by Geezer

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by RexBuck, Oct 14, 2012.

  1. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Woke up at 5:00 after a pretty good sleep. Oops, lost an hour as we are now on Mountain time so, I guess I woke at 4:00 Pacific time . . .

    It was cold –a lot different at this elevation than down on the desert. Watched some kids / family TV show hoping they would keep their vocabulary at a 4 year olds level . . . maybe they did and I’m just in the 2 year old category. Got a few things done since my time wasn’t absorbed by taking showers, doing internet stuff or eating. Was able to make a cup of coffee with my little “slowest water heater in the world”


    It warmed up to about 10C (50F) when I left. Stopped at the Basaeachi Falls. About a half mile walk down to . . . . the top of the falls. Looking up the little river at the suspension bridge you cross coming down

    [​IMG]


    They do a nice job of building rock paved trail to the edge of the falls

    [​IMG]


    Pretty cool and you are able to walk up about as close to the edge as I wanted to get. The river is in the trench in the foreground. The fences in the distance are at the edge.


    [​IMG]


    Looking up the valley the falls fall in

    [​IMG]


    The water going over the edge - thought about hopping over the edge to get a better pic of this, then thought not . . .
    :eek1

    [​IMG]


    Then back on the highway, turned down Hwy 23 and here is another Basaeachi Falls turn off. You could drive right up to this one – great view point looking across the canyon at the falls. This was the more spectacular viewing.


    The falls - there are actually people standing at the top . . .

    [​IMG]


    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/1Hp1UsXgjkQ?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


    Looking up the valley

    [​IMG]


    This will be a short day as I plan to hang out in Creel and and get a few things caught up. Stopped in San Juanito for a Hamburgesa – little shack in the corner of a Pemex lot. Looks like maybe a couple of sisters and the pregnant daughter of one working there. Couple other kids wander in, are given sandwiches and go. See these little places a lot providing a bit of income for a family. Hamburger and a big Coke . . . $35 pesos – about $2.50.

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    #41
  2. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    For those who are not members of ADV-RIDER, I have created an index at the beginning of my first post. By clicking on the page number, you will be directed to the relevant page of that post.

    So, if you are using www.rexbuck.com to access this report, it may help you get to the latest posts easier.
    #42
  3. Pedro Navaja

    Pedro Navaja Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,556
    Location:
    USA
    RB, thanks for the note about El Morillo. I have put the correct link in the hotel thread and also sent a note to Norma. Enjoy the ride. Mike
    #43
  4. Jick Magger

    Jick Magger Exile on Main Street

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    861
    Location:
    Okanagan Valley BC, Canada/Scottsdale, Arizona
    Hey Steve

    Great scenery and a great highway. I stayed north of there in Sahuaripa in March on my way to Durango. Enjoy the ride. Be safe and I am looking forward to following along. :clap
    #44
  5. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Thanks for joining in Jick. When you are next down here, if you can work some of these roads in, you will love it.

    Appreciate your well wishes.
    #45
  6. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Thanks Mike, appreciate that.
    #46
  7. Motardca

    Motardca Motardca

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Okanagen BC
    hi Steve,
    glad you got of to a good start, i am so envious on one hand but it just wasn't possible to join you. I'm stuck here but there are worst places to be stuck. Have a safe trip and beetween yours and Colbatch's RR ther should be plenty of entertainment for the winter.Good luck
    Nik
    #47
  8. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Hey Nik
    Sorry you weren't able to get your trip going - you would love this. Hope everything got fixed ok.

    Thanks for joining in and thanks for your well wishes.
    #48
  9. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Got a room in Creel at the Hotel Paraiso Del Bosque - $350p – hmmm, same price as last night but has a shower that works (first thing I checked), has heat, internet (kinda), etc. Bunch of buses parked in the parking lot guess they put up some of the passengers from the Copper Canyon train as I think they can stay overnight in Creel. Slow time of year for them.

    [​IMG]

    Decided to stay an extra night in Creel in spite of what turned out to be spotty internet at the hotel. Restaurant in the middle of town has good internet, good food and good beer. Got some of this ride report done and caught up on the mundane things of life like bike maintenance and laundry.

    An interesting town as many of the ladies still wear the traditional dress – some very colorful. Hard to get pictures as many don’t like their picture taken. Particularly with young people, will see girls in traditional dress hanging around with girls in jeans and t-shirts. It is an interesting contrast.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    This area including the Copper Canyon is the home to the Tarahumara Indians – famous for developing the huarache and for being incredible long distance runners. They are the ones generally responsible for the growth of barefoot running. They would run through the canyons for dozens of miles, many times playing a traditional game. Tough feet but rocks, sticks, etc take their toll, ergo the huarache. If you ever get a hankerin to read up on these folks, the story of their running and the start of the “barefoot running” thing, get a copy of a book Born to Run – some will say not well written, but still interesting. :deal

    Saw one man in a traditional “skirt” – a kind of large loin cloth, obviously great for running. I was too slow to sneak a pic of him but here is a stock Google picture – the guy I saw had a slightly longer garment.

    [​IMG]

    See a number of the older folks wearing huaraches. Again, a stock pic – hard to run around asking people to take pictures of their feet

    [​IMG]

    Dinner was Machaca de Mexicana – kind of chopped beef with spices. Very tasty.

    [​IMG]

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    #49
  10. ADV Fool

    ADV Fool Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    452
    Location:
    Plumas Lake, CA
    We stayed at the same hotel Creel last February, great little town square. The locals were very interesting! Enjoying your RR, keep it coming.

    #50
  11. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Thanks for tagging along Fool
    #51
  12. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Woke up this morning to get ready to go with frost on the bike.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
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    Planning to head over to Batopilas, a small town within Copper Canyon. Couple of different guys told me the main road to Baopilas is closed for road construction. The alternative to get there is to take some longer routes which I’m led to understand are a bit tougher. This is pretty rough terrain with gravel roads ascending and descending thousands of feet. The main road into Batopilas is about as much as I want to handle with the load I’m carrying and being by myself. Might attempt some of the other roads in the area “next time” with some company and not packing all my possessions on the back of my bike. So, I elected to not go down and headed to Hidlago Parrel instead. Sorry to have missed it.
    <o:p></o:p>
    The first part of the day down Hwy 23 is spectacular. The road actually crosses eastern most part of Copper Canyon for awhile. Copper canyon is massive, covering an area four times that of Grand Canyon so, to be able to ride a small corner is cool and, beautiful.
    <o:p></o:p>
    In this video I have the camera on my hat – I think it captures the scenery quite well. Unfortunately I was riding directly into the sun but the little GoPro compensated pretty well. By the way if you would like to watch these videos full screen, click on the square looking symbol in the lower right corner of the video which will appear once it starts.
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    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/K2YVMHxfE5I?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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    [​IMG]


    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Rode into the town of Guachochi in search of some ice cream and discovered there are two more Pemex stations, both with premium. Last time I was through here I gassed up at the station on the edge of town that only has regular thinking that was the only station. Learned my bike won’t die on regular.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Stopped at a little store for a snack. This little guy was obviously the “watch dog” and was feverishly running around all the roofs he had acces to. See dogs running around on roofs frequently down here.
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    [​IMG]
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    The road from Guachochi to Parrel turned to be much nicer than I remembered. Some twisty bits along with some nice scenery. This whole series of roads from Hermosillo to Parrel turned out to be some outstanding riding with great roads and great scenery.

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
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    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Wanted to find a place downtown in Hildago del Parral. Man, this is a decent sized city with lots of traffic and I had no idea where to go. Looked for the downtown and finally spotted the steeple of the Cathedral – they do have some use. Stumbled across the Hotel Moreira in which I got a small but nicely redone room for $450p. Secured parking (has a 16 foot high steel gate), decent internet and hot water.
    <o:p></o:p>
    When I spotted the place I immediately started looking for a place to park, saw a guy pull out a space and jumped across two lanes of traffic to grab it. Went and checked in to the hotel and came back to my bike and here is a Municipal Policeman standing there. Uh oh. He points to the sign and says “No parking” . . . did you see the sign? Did you get a ticket yet? Did you see the sign? I was saying “the sign is all rusted and you can’t read it”. And all the while he was yacking at me, he didn’t pull out a ticket book and kind of started to smile so I tried to tell him “the sign says motos can park here”. Since I was parked on a one way street and the street I needed to go to the hotel parking is behind me, I ask him what is the best way to get over to that street so I can get to my parking lot. He kind of looked at me like I had two heads and said “you have a moto – just turn around and go over there” – cool! He actually did wander down the street a ways and held a couple of vehicles so I could get back. Martin – cool cop.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #52
  13. GaryWild

    GaryWild Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Vernon, BC, Canada
    Hey Rex
    That copper canyon video was fantastic. Unbelievable scenery and riding. I am enjoying getting to ride vicariously through you and the helmet perspective was great. I can't believe how good the road is. Am thinking of selling it all and joining you....can you please stop making it look so good?
    That was a smart move to ask the cop how to get around to the parking lot...as opposed to just doing it. You gave him the chance to scoff at you and he ends up helping you out. The classic "make your idea his idea". Great job on grace under pressure!
    It seems to be the land of little wiry dogs around there. And nice gorilla hands you have there.
    Gary
    #53
  14. acejones

    acejones Long timer

    Joined:
    May 14, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,398
    Location:
    MS. Gulf Coast
    Cops are like that in a lot of places. I was trying to get to my hotel in Florence Italy which was down a one way street going the wrong way of course. There was a cop standing under the sign. I pointed to the hotel and asked him how to get there. He indicated just ride down the street. I pointed to the sign and he just laughed and shrugged his shoulders, so off I went the wrong way down the street. He just smiled and waved. Grazie, Senor Polizei
    #54
  15. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Thanks for the kind comments Gary, glad you are enjoying it.

    It's pretty unusual to see a purebred dog down here. There is so much crossbreeding going on that they start to look somewhat alike. A lot of little guys like this one, mostly medium size with different length legs and a few bigger dogs.
    #55
  16. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Yup, sometimes cops can be your friend. :super
    #56
  17. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    I’m going in the general direction of San Miguel de Allende where I’d like to spend 2 or 3 days. Not a lot of options to get there – the direct route looks boring. Decided to go by way of Real de Catorce which is supposed to be a cool town on a mountain top and a place I've wanted to go to anyhow.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    To summarize the riding today . . . flat, straight, cuotas, trucks. Spent about $450p ($35) in tolls . . . The Libres were essentially running parallel to the cuota and I was on them for awhile then got back on the Cuota as I had left Parral late not realizing I would lose an hour moving to the next time zone. I didn’t want to be wandering around Saltillo in the dark.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Came across a Mexican prison – don’t see many around – I guess not as many as I would expect a lower percentage of criminals go to jail . . . Not a great picture as I didn’t want to be overly obvious and end up in there myself. :eek1
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]

    <o:p></o:p>The gas situation proved to be interesting today also. Riding at 100 -125 kph for most of the day with some decent winds at times and my mileage plummeted. I was expecting to fill up at one station in the middle of nowhere and arrive with about 30km of fuel left to find they are completely out of gas – all the pump jockeys sitting around doing nothing. Next gas is about 110 km. There is a station about 5km in a small town but they were out of gas also. So, in goes my spare gas and off we go.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Coming into Saltillo, I expected a station about 60 km from town but never saw it. Was gunning for the first station in town when I came across one about 10km out. Took 16.1 litres . . . my tank holds 16 litres. I’m thinking I would have had to dip into the spare gas again had I not come across this station at that moment.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Interesting terrain – kind of a high desert. Mostly 4-5,000 feet – varied between sand and cactus and agriculture. Had to get through the large city of Torreon but the ring roads do a pretty good job of getting through with only minimal drama. Still don’t like cities.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Had decided to go to Hotel Rancho el Morilllo in the City of Saltillo based on some recommendations. Supposed to be a nice place located out of the downtown area. However, my GPS and the genius operating it took me off the perfectly good ring road and dragged me through the middle of town anyway because I guess that seemed to be shorter. Oh well.
    <o:p></o:p>
    The lady checking me in showed me my room and then said I could park in front of it. Had to take my bags off to get around the corners but made it through. First had to make a hard right through this gate.

    [​IMG]

    Then down this long sidewalk

    [​IMG]

    Around this corner to the left

    [​IMG]

    Then down these sidewalks to in front of the far window

    [​IMG]

    And, there she is, hiding. My room is right behind the purple flowers.

    [​IMG]

    Had to take my bags off to get around the corners. Going in, the angles worked just right but going out, that last corner with the gate just wouldn’t make it. So, I just dragged the ass end over about 2 inches and I was good to go.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Hotel turns out to be quite nice. Older place with beautiful grounds. Owner Norma is a great lady. She is the third generation operating the hotel and restaurant and the family has done a great job of keeping it well maintained and very comfortable. They have only 14 rooms so the place isn’t a madhouse.
    <o:p></o:p>
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    <o:p>Dinner of tacos</o:p>
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    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
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    <o:p></o:p>
    #57
  18. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    What a day – on to Real de Catorce.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Start off with an enjoyable jaunt across the high desert heading south on the Libre, Hwy 54. Cut over on Hwy 62 and eventually the turn off to Real de Catorce. Unevnetfull up to there.
    <o:p></o:p>
    The 20 km road into Real is cobblestone. As long as you kept your speed up around 80kph (50mph), it was reasonably smooth - a little wiggly. Had to slow for some corners and other vehicles then it was like a paint can shaker. Noticed my little camera on the Macgyvered arm was really bouncing around so, thought it best to stop and put it in its case. Stopped a little later to take a picture of a beautiful panorama and noticed the view was just a diagonal line. Crap! Now I’ve gone and messed up my most used camera. I’ll have a check it out later.<o:p></o:p>

    The cobblestone road keeps climbing until we finally come around a corner to the entrance to the tunnel to the town. Rather than go over the still somewhat daunting mountain, the boys decided it was easier to just punch a hole through the mountain. Waited for the vehicles to come out from the other direction and a whole cavalcade headed in. 2.3 km in length – air reasonably fresh.
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    What a town. Built on the side of a mountain and all the streets are cobblestone in various states of repair. Bumped along weaving in and out of stalls built on both sides of the street, most with plastic tarps held up with twine strung acrosss the street. I was concerned that some were so low I might snag my GoPro which was on my helmet. That would make for a bad day. Rode low in the saddle.

    Stopped behind a truck and a couple of guys come up offering horseback tours that afternoon. Said I didn’t want to do it then but would in the morning. Guy lit up like a Christmas tree. Asked me what hotel I was going to and took me up there.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Since the Hotel Real is up a fairly steep side street and I’m loaded to the nutz, I decided to park on the main street, go up and register and check out where I needed to go.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Thought I would make this a bit easier on myself and took the new tires off the back and carried them up to the hotel. Another guy told me I could go around the block, it was easier. I thought the road would be ok and headed up. It was fine.

    Parking was another issue. Had to back the bike onto the cobblestone “sidewalk” which was fine except it was too steep for the front tire to stop the roll backward. Back and forth, getting it over the small lip to the sidewalk, finally maneuvered to where I thought I should be – couple more inches . . . oh, crap! I was apparently against the wall and those couple more inches were enough to push the bike to that point of no return . . . :muutt

    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]
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    Usually, just take a couple of heavy things off and the bike pops right back up. Yes, she has been sleepy a number of times before. However, this time she decided to fall so the concrete pole base right behind was wedged between the back tire and tail rack. No way to stand her up.

    [​IMG]

    So, enlisted the help of the desk guy Milo and a guy from Argentina who lives in Louisiana and we dragged her up about 6 inches, just enough so we could stand her up. Pushed her up a bit more and called it good. Lady across the street watching the whole process from her doorway with a grin on her face. I’m sure this is ongoing entertainment for her.
    <o:p></o:p>
    This place is amazingly cool, and I just arrived. Cool hotel, cool room (with hot water, TV, internet in the room) and a stunning view from the roof. And, cool town. The movie “The Mexican” starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts :raabia was filmed in Real de Catorce so a bunch of signed pictures of the stars with the hotel’s owner on the wall. See them hanging behind Milo (An Italian living in Mexico who learned "English" in Ireland)

    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Courtyard</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>Door to my room</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Went to the only restaurant open for dinner down the street and had a surprisingly good pizza. Now, I know my Italian friends will scoff at a Mexican pizza :nono but damn, it was good. Very thin crust, cheese, chorizo and peppers. Served with this outstanding salsa – oil base with some smoked peppers and a good bite to it (I usually find many Mexicans will serve Gringos a really mild salsa - frustrating). Served a great appetizer – pickled peppers and tomatoes with corn chips.

    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]



    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    #58
  19. BullShatter

    BullShatter Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    239
    Location:
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Really enjoying your updates...keep it coming, and thanks for taking us along on your journey!
    #59
  20. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,103
    Location:
    Interior BC, Canada
    Thanks Unlikely. Appreciate you joining in.
    #60