South TX to Merida?

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by mwolff, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. mwolff

    mwolff Been here awhile

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    I posted this on the Tejas subforum as well, but thought I put it here also.

    In considering travel to Merida, (and wanting a warm weather moto ride in December), I'm thinking of riding from South Texas around the Gulf up to Yucatan. Google route choices include Mex 180, or Mex 105. I'd like to spend 3-4 days getting there, have 8-10 days in Yucatan and turn around and come back.

    Any reasons to dissuade me from doing this? I could fly into Cancun, rent a car, etc. for cheaper.....but then I wouldn't be riding.

    I was in Merida in 1974 for a semester studying Mayan architecture, visiting the ruins, having loads of fun and now, at 60, it seems like a good time to return.

    Being on the West Coast, it is not possible for me to ride the 3000 miles there and back in the time I have.

    I rode the length of Baja a few years back so know a little about Mexican roads, at least in that part. Is the 180 route interesting, scenic, safe, etc.? Are there interesting, scenic dirt roads? I'd probably be riding my '05 R12GS that would involve shipping to Brownsville......or buy a decent older sport tourer, ST11 or Connie in Houston/Austin/San Antonio.

    Any knowledge of this would be appreciated. Anybody wanting to sell a nice older UJM or sport tourer set up for distance riding?
    #1
  2. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    I'd ask to have this bumped into trip planning/Americas. My 2cents is that the gulf coast is far less desirable riding than the interior mtn roads.Spots along the coast such as Natla are worn out resortish areas. You might say what day of departure/return to help others with ideas as cannot discern the total #? As to ship the bike-are you thinking it would be there waiting on you & gain time? Lotta $ for a quick trip? I'd aim for a nice area like Xilitla,thereabouts(I'm not looking at a map) then maybe Veracruz from there & down. Merida is a great place to spend holidays as they decorate the city & I'd add that the Caribbean is close at hand. Holbox Is.? Progresso is not my choice at all for relaxation spot-worn out looking seaport look. More info= more help...
    #2
  3. mwolff

    mwolff Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the reply Kentuckid.

    I would leave So. TX on or about Dec. 15, plan to spend a total of 14-20 days total. My goal is to get to Yucatan, spend a few days in Merida visiting the old haunts from my time there, maybe visit Palenque, spend a couple days at the Carribean, a couple days viewing the hoopla over the Mayan Calendar events, and then return.

    Getting there, I hate going through cities, heavy traffic areas!

    I will post this in Trip Planning as well. Thanks.
    #3
  4. El Stigo

    El Stigo Hey Ese its EL STIGO

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    ANYWHERE BETWEEN THE US, MEXICO & WHO KNOWS
    If there is anything I can do to help you have a best experience ride PM me.

    If time is an issue I recommend you boogie down from Northern Mexico to the norther side of Mexico City, at Tula, take the outer circuit toll highway into Puebla, you will pass Teotihuacan Archaeological site area which is nice if you have never been there, cheap and decent hotels are adundant in the area. From Puebla you can go through Tlaxcala to Xalapa down to Veracruz and on over to Catemaco, Villa Hermosa, Palenque, etc. avoiding the toll roads most of the time and into warmer weather.

    Remember that the TOLL roads are now at 50% of auto tolls for motorcyclists. So the boogie down part is cheaper.

    Here are some good links for you

    http://archaeology.asu.edu/teo/
    http://www.maps-of-mexico.com/mexico_states.shtml

    Have fun and be safe

    El Stigo
    #4
  5. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Take Mex #180 until Guiterrez Zamora north of Nautla. PM me and I will send you a ride guide for the rest.
    It will have routing and photos and it also can connect via Puebla. Some of the best riding in Mexico is along the Teziutlan Massif route that bisects the Trans- Mexican volcanic axis and runs fron Teziutlan, Puebla to Tehuipango, Veracruz. I live in Veracruz and I can tell you that most gringos don't know this route, the few that do really like it.
    #5
  6. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Since your real desination is the Yucatan (Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintano Roo), just boogie 186/180 and then either go east or north at Escarcega.
    There are worlds within worlds in the Yucatan. I really like it.
    Yeah, it's more than damn-hot in the summer, but the winters are glorious.
    Lots of unusual/different foods, too, if you're game.

    Think of 186 as a knife fight....:D
    Make a game of it.
    #6
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    186 is nothing, #180 will do you in. I have ridden it twice in the last couple of days and it sucks scissors.
    Loaded with kamikaze loco Central Americans now towing two cars behind pick up trucks in convoys of up to a dozen. A massive number of double truck trailers and the tarmac is in total shit condition.
    You can look at the ass end of a truck for a couple of days or you can ride empty and beautiful mountain roads with fresh air and incredible views.
    Tough choice LOL!
    #7
  8. troyfromtexas

    troyfromtexas Been here awhile

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    I rode through a good part of your planned route last year. You can check out my observations on my blog.
    http://www.theadventurebegins.tv/2011/09/adventure-begins-tejas-la-tierra.html?m=0

    I just got back 3 weeks ago from wrapping up my trip through Latin America. I have a DR650 all set up for adventure riding, but I'm not sure if it's your style. I wasn't planning on selling her, but I could maybe be pursuaded. You can find out how she is equipped from the blog as well.

    I really enjoyed Mexico and hope that you will too.

    Troy
    #8
  9. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Both of those hwys have many sections under major rebuilding - not just repaving.
    Personally, I don't understand why a rider would stay behind a truck or even a double for very long.
    Be prepared for major changes in the roads surfaces. There is little or no notice signed, so try not to mentally zone out.
    Holiday time is famous for lots of towed vehicles being taken south.
    #9
  10. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    You stay behind a truck for a long time because of the sheer amount of traffic here, especially at this time of year.
    The last time I was on the #180 was Tuesday for work, have you got some more up to date info?
    #10
  11. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    MikeMike, I have no update more recent than yours.
    I've ridden and driven those highways many times in their full-length, and at different times of the year, starting back many years ago.

    You're local, and I understand that. You also consider your info/opinions as the best for the entirety of those highways that span approx 1300 miles.

    Please keep us updated...
    #11
  12. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    No, I just wanted to know if there was anything new or special I might have missed.
    There are better choices than those two roads, I just want to convince more people to opt
    for the good riding and skip the bad.
    Once you try Teziutlan to Tehuipango on the mountain route, you will never ride the #180 again.
    #12
  13. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    You're right. There are much more scenic and moto-great roads to take. And lots of people want to hear about them.
    Props to ya. :thumb

    The 'express route' from the east coast to the Yuc...is just what it is. Be aware and ready to go from 100 to 20 real damn quick. :D BTW, tons of new new, sorely needed work going in Tabasco.

    Thanks for your informative posts.
    #13