The Motorcycle Chronicles of Jackie & Valentino... The Southern Episode

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by V@lentino, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    We peeled the miles as fast as the sun burned the clouds from the sky, and finally left the rain of the Pacific Northwest behind, entered sunny California at Crescent city, and camped among the redwoods.

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    Angela is such a mule

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    Wow

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    After the avenue of the giants, between Leggett and Fort Brags, Valentino erased some of the chicken strips from the rubber. Indeed it was sweet.

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    Stopped in Santa Monica to visit a friend and

    Sample local delicacies and enjoy some of the local culture

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    First anecdote of the trip:

    Valentino walks into a gas station in Centralia, WA, this conversation with the young lady behind the counter ensues.

    - Good morning sir!
    - Good morning.
    - Are you German?
    - Huh… no
    - Are you sure?
    - Huh yes, I am Canadian
    - Really! And you came all the way from Canada on your motorcycle.
    - Yes, but British Columbia is only about three hours away from here.
    - But it is so cold!
    - Huh… well not really.
    - Ok, if you say so. By the way I come from Alaska, but I live here now. - Bye bye have a good day now. :huh





    Just getting warmed up with the video cam set up. We will get better as we inch our way south. Tomorrow we party, Monday we recover, Tuesday we hit Douglas, AZ.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1m0IvbSfDtQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>​
    #21
  2. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    One and a half days to go....Maricopa to Douglas to Batopilas. Just another fat old rich guy posing on a big expensive BMW....

    Wait, I'm not fat OR rich.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/V04IBsz-9Wo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #22
  3. TealLA

    TealLA Adventurer

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    Hola, it's Teal from Steve's party tonight. Good luck and safe travels, I'll be checking into your RR every step of the way. :clap:clap:clap:clap
    #23
  4. JoeMongo

    JoeMongo ¿Por dónde?

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    Steve, you know that your idea of "making it to Torrey" is to spend less than an hour there. I think your riding time will be even better spent on this trip. Have a great ride and try to save your Bikopotomas falls and crashes for the sand. Better yet, try to avoid the sand.

    Subscribed, and thanks all three of you for bringing us along!
    #24
  5. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Jonathon, great hearing from you. Glad you are coming along on our ride. Friends make us rich beyond words!

    Steve
    #25
  6. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Hola, Teal!

    Glad you could be here to help send us off!

    See you soon, and thanks for the shirts!

    S
    #26
  7. jimboc

    jimboc n00b

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    A couple of pics of the crew heading out this morning. I believe they're in Douglas, AZ tonight. [​IMG]

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    #27
  8. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Hey JimboC,

    Glad you are along for the ride! We crossed the border around noon, took care of our paperwork, and we're now in Nuevas Casa Grande. Had a good meal and found a nice motel for $32.

    Hopefully we'll get some pix up soon. So far we've just been riding to get down here. Maybe now we can slow down and start enjoying the trip!:clap
    #28
  9. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Hidalgo Del Parral might just have done it for me. Here I was finally over a thousand kilometres from the US border and most things Americana. Although we could not help but to notice the Walmart and Sam&#8217;s club as we entered the &#8220;ciudad&#8221;. Sitting crouched at an old and squeaky desk, the warm blowing breeze was lazily lifting the blinds of our kitsch room at Hotel Acosta. I felt a great sense of peace, we were finally on our way. I know we have not found our groove yet, but the reality of life to come is slowly seeping in, an for a brief moment I felt elated by my surroundings. Our bikes were neatly tucked in the lobby of the hotel, under the watchful eyes of our host Alvaro.

    Who say's you can't fit big bikes in the lobby?

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    Hidalgo Del Parral
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    From our 360 degrees terrace, I could see three churches from another era that beckoned a visit.

    Not that I am religious by any stretch of the term, but I like to rest my eyes on history&#8217;s best witness. Architecture; religious or not has always afforded me that pleasure during my travels.

    Hidalgo Del Parral, one of Mexico&#8217;s many mining towns. Here the minerals have been extracted and exploited by the Spaniards as early as 1562. The French and English banks also did their best to ensure a one-way trade system was established to complete the exploitation cycle. Some time after the end of the Mexican revolution, one of its most illustrious hero, General José Doroteo Arango Arámbula aka Francisco Villa, aka
    Pancho Villa, was assassinated here for reasons that are still debated today.

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    According to Wikipedia the city has a population of approximately 101000, about the size of Fargo, ND and Green Bay, WI.

    Earlier in the week, we left Glendora, CA a quaint extended suburb of LA and rode the painful line called Highway 10 East to Arizona. It runs from California to Florida, and the 760 km or so to Tucson was mainly desert dotted by big box stores. Good thing we had to exit for gas a couple of times or we would have forgotten how to negotiate curves.

    We then darted south to Douglas AZ via Tombstone and we got to play Cowboys and Aliens.

    Sometimes the Aliens win.

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    We entered Mexico at Agua Prieta, we were lucky and had the formalities completed in about and hour. Stamp this, copy that, pay here, stamp there, stick that here, that&#8217;s how it&#8217;s done competently and with a smile.

    Note to self: teach US and Canadian border officials to be as friendly as their Mexican counterparts.

    From Agua Prieta we darted to Nuevo Casas Grandes, and completed our two-day run of about 1250 km.

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    The next morning was the ride to Creel, where we had the intention to cross Copper Canyon south to Batopilas and East to Hidalgo Del Parral.

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    We received inconsistent reports re. the condition of the road, and opted out. It was not an easy decision, and Valentino was disappointed to turn back, but considering we are barely on the first few weeks of a six months journey, two up on the pig big, I know that the opportunity to ride challenging roads will come again.

    Happy people, something about Mexico and motorcycles

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    Life is good, tomorrow we give Angela a break, visit Hidalgo Del Parral, and I post some more Pics.

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    Just a tease


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    #29
  10. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    After looking at this photo I figured I could you use a shave

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    So I treated myself to the the first shave of the trip; $50.00p, it does not get better than that

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    Regardless of how nice the ride, a day off from sitting in the Russell Day-Long saddle can also be a blessing. We stroll around Hidalgo Del Parral, "Parral" to the locals and enjoyed the colourful hues of the city


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    They like bikes too

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    Visited the &#8220;Palacio de Alvarado&#8221;, the former house of Don Pedro Alvarado, at the time the richest man in the state of Chihuahua, and one of the richest in Mexico. He was known as benevolent and was liked throughout the land. This rich benefactor even proposed to pay off Mexico&#8217;s national debt. The President at the time; Porfirio Diaz declined the offer and was quoted to have said &#8220;that the Mexican debt belong to the whole nation and not just one patriot.&#8221;

    Sounds to me like this politician, as many today, had more than one master to answer to.

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    Thank you Hidalgo Del Parral for your welcoming streets and agreeable people.

    ¿En donde esta Pancho Villa? En el corazon de todos los Parralenses&#8230;
    ¡Viva la Revolucion! ¡Viva Mexico!

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    Tomorrow we ride and head for Durango

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    #30
  11. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Nice pix! Lots of opportunities for gorgeous colors in Mexico.
    #31
  12. pceire32

    pceire32 Irish

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    Surscribed !

    Paul from "Wednesday riders" Steve.

    Ride safe.
    #32
  13. atsilividis

    atsilividis n00b

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    Big Brother looking after you. :norton
    #33
  14. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Thanks Paul! Riding down here is pretty fabulous. And, later last night I was able to upload pix to Smugmug, so I can finally put them up on this page. We've been pushing on pretty good, and wifi connections are slow, so it's been harder to post every day.

    We're heading to Zacatecas today, and staying a couple of days, maybe I can catch up with my writing!
    #34
  15. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    Off the highway, first exit, the crappy Garmin Mexican maps could not find the street of the four star hotel we had booked yesterday in the historical centre of Durango.

    So Jackie did her thing:toney:
    - Valentino, please try to keep up. Make a right here, follow the round about sign, wait for it, I’m looking it won’t be long, its close to the Cathedral and Plaza Watchamacalitito.

    - Right there look, Calle Zarcos.

    - Ok Jackie! Good call now what, right or left?

    - Vete por la izquierda tonto aqui esta.:smile6

    Quatras estrellas, ya really, maybe out of 16… or 27. Not that we are difficult or anything, but the dude at the front desk had the personality of a shoe, and the rooms were just as nice.

    We rode down Highway 45, blessed with comfortable temperature, and circumnavigated a patch of dark clouds that were pouring rain on the meadows to the west of us.

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    Quote from the Lonely Planet Mexico 2013:

    “(…) Other highways with safety concerns are highway 45 (Fresnillo – Durango – Hidalgo Del Parral) dubbed the road of death due to carjacking, and violent murders of bus passengers.”

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    Good things we were travelling on motorbikes, all that the Jackie – Valentino & “Co.” posse saw was friendly Mexicans waving at them with a smile. Actually there a was the odd burro, caballo, pero, gato, zorro… well you get the idea.

    Not too dismiss the violent reality of the US-Mexican drug trade, but come on, turn off Fox news for a minute, grab your gear and twist the throttle.

    We rode some straight parts

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    Twisty bits

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    And real Gnarly spots

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    Durango is celebrating its 450 years of history. What a treat, color, music, and a festive ambiance.

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    We walked on the passeo

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    Had a great meal in this cozy cantina

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    In no time did this Gringo turn into a Mexican

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    Churros y chocolate were calling for desert

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    Jackie had to lend a helping hand
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    Houba Houba :dg
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    Valentino was a happy dude

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    Muchias Gracias Durango.

    Today we head for Zacatecas
    #35
  16. TealLA

    TealLA Adventurer

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    Valentino, Jackie & Steve - Your RR is very much appreciated for all of us stuck back here in LA-LA land. Great pictures and very nice writing!!!

    We just got confirmation yesterday on the "New" R 1200 GSA, perhaps I will sneak one out of here and meet you guys somewhere along the way :lol3

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    #36
  17. C-Stain

    C-Stain Long timer

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    In.

    Can't wait to see where this leads.

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    #37
  18. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Hey everyone, I'm the &#8220;& Co&#8221; in this ride report, and I've been on the road with Jackie and Valentino for a week now and it's been an adventure in every sense of the word.. J&V are quality people in every sense of the word, and I've learned a lot from them already, especially about the nature of travel outside the USA and Canada. The great thing is, I'm going to learn a lot more.

    I've been dreaming of this ride for a long time, yet honestly speaking, there have been many moments, especially early in the morning, when I still feel apprehension. Is it homesickness? Tech problems with the computer Fear of the unknown? Wondering if my girlfriend will remember me when I return? Who knows?

    So the way to do a six month moto journey is the same way you eat an elephant, and that is one bite at a time. So with that, my friends, I hope you enjoy the pix and comments as I chime in on J&V's ride report.

    Crossing the border was simple and the paperwork was easy-mostly because Jackie is a world-class fixer who speaks impeccable Spanish, and because the Aduana was deserted. I'm sure if we'd been there with a horde of people, it wouldn't have been so painless!

    Once we'd cleared the border, it was east and then south thru the State of Chihuahua. Wide open spaces, vistas that went on forever, broken up by the occasional sleepy town....

    Well, first things first...here are my traveling partners...

    Watch out for these big boys...the road from Chihuahua to the US border is pretty busy!

    Along the way, lots of small towns. Here is Valentino making some new friends...

    Yes, the GSAs DID fit behind those doors...:huh


    We spent a couple of days hanging out in Hidalgo Parral. Pretty cool little town with a nice town square. Check out my room...$20 buys you a view of the city and a very noisy ceiling fan!


    Here's a good thing about Mexico:

    The evening in Parral...


    A very persistent businessman...


    Parral is a small town with some beautiful buildings!





    More pix soon!
    #38
  19. V@lentino

    V@lentino Inspektor

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    As we entered the city, heading for the &#8220;Centro historico&#8221;, Jackie was doing her thing and taking pictures, she snapped this one

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    Within a few seconds I heard the honk of the small bike, and slowed to my right looking at the Municipal LEO in my right mirror. I kept on going about 25 meters until both our bikes reached a Pemex station, I turned the ignition off.

    All three of us knew exactly what was happening. Jackie &#8211; Valentino &#8220;& Co.&#8221; were getting their first shakedown of the trip :jose.

    We had loosely planned for this as such:

    No one speaks Spanish, and I don&#8217;t speak English; Only French. Since I was the first stopped and with my helmet removed, Pedro &#8220;el Pichicoma&#8221; asked me in English if I spoke English or Spanish. To which I answered, shaking my head and hands:

    -&#8220;Non pas d&#8217;Anglais pas d&#8217;Espagnol, juste le Français&#8221;

    Evidently, he turned to Liliane, at which point in her worst French-accented English she said,

    -&#8220;My husband does not speak English, we don&#8217;t speak Spanish, what&#8217;s wrong?&#8221;

    To which &#8220;Pichicoma&#8221; answered: -"you were speeding"

    Here we go I thought to myself, let&#8217;s dance...

    (Writer's note: assume that everything Valentino says from this point on is in French interlaced with one or two useless words of English said with a very heavy French accent. The whole thing is then poorly translated to English with an equally heavy French-accented English by Jackie).

    Don&#8217;t worry; I get confused just writing about it.

    -&#8220;What do you mean I was speeding&#8221;, I was passed by several cars, and my GPS never exceeded 35kph&#8221; says Valentino as he is gesturing with his hands showing cars passing.

    -&#8220;No you were speeding&#8221; says Pichicoma&#8221;
    (Jackie translates to French)

    -&#8220;What do you mean I was speeding&#8221;, I was passed by several cars, and my GPS never exceeded 35kph&#8221; says Valentino as he is gesturing with his hands showing cars passing.
    (Jackie translates to English)

    -&#8220;It does not matter about the cars" says he, "you were speeding&#8221;
    Bla bla bla more French, more translation&#8230;.

    (Insert more witty comments by Valentino as above)

    -&#8220;Give me your licenses&#8221; says he.

    By that time Steve has joined us and in unison we pull out our International drivers licenses and hand them to Pedro.

    After a brief glance he says that he has to write us a ticket for speeding, that we were caught on radar&#8230; yadi yadi yada&#8230;. Ensues more translation to French, with me requesting to see the radar, him replying that it only displays the speeding infraction for 3 minutes, and that he will keep our drivers licenses until tomorrow, and that we have to pay for the ticket now. To which I answer that I want to go to the &#8220;Commissariat&#8221; so we can pay the tickets there and be on our way because we have to leave early tomorrow, yadi, yadi, yada, and we need our BS IDL back. But we can&#8217;t do that because the police station is two hours away and he does not have time to do that:csm.

    By this time we are about 15 minutes into it, the Badland Pro is starting to be hot and Valentino&#8217;s temper is rising. &#8220;Pichicoma&#8221; is standing a foot or so away from me holding the IDL in his hands and I grab them, and we play tug of war for a few seconds, and I let go:turkish.

    He is surprised by this and obviously not impressed. I this point Steve who had mostly been a spectator gets in on the dance and proceeds to deflate/deviate the situation. &#8220;& Co.&#8221; aka AdventurePoser is a former LEO from Kalifornia, and also a very astute socialite:gerg.

    (Refer to my original post on page one for more re. this particular aptitude.)

    -&#8220;So what&#8217;s wrong with your friend, doesn&#8217;t he understand that I am the authority here and that you were both speeding, and that I have to give you a ticket, yadi, yadi, yada&#8230; I will keep your licenses, and will escort you to your hotel, because you can&#8217;t drive without your licence, bla, bla, bla&#8230;&#8221;:asshat

    So he&#8217;s dancing with &#8220;Pichicoma&#8221; while I&#8217;m regaining my composure, mentioning that Jackie and Valentino are really a class act, but being French is like being Mexican and tempers can flare up.:dog

    And by the way I am a retired LEO, and the city I use to work for is the twin city of Zacatecas and we contribute uniforms and all kinds of stuff to the Zacatecas PD, and what is it &#8220;gonna&#8221; take to make this go away?

    -&#8220;Well the ticket is 1600.00 pesos but you can pay 1000.00 to make it go away&#8221;

    (Writer's note: bare in mind that I am giving you the short version, because by now Steve is 15 minutes into his dance with &#8220;Pichicoma&#8221;.):jerko

    -&#8220;Hold on please let me speak to my friend&#8221;

    Jackie translates English to French

    I reply

    Jackie translates French to English

    Bottom line we are not paying anything to this&#8230;:topes

    Go back to the beginning when I started to talk about the cars passing me, and read the whole thing again&#8230;

    Back to the dancing with Steve

    -&#8220;Hey you are welcome to my part of the world, what do you think about extending us some professional courtesy, I would do it for you if you were in my town yadi, yadi, yada, and on for another 10 minutes or so.&#8221;

    By now I have apologies profusely for my French impulsiveness and he starts to look at his watch. More dancing with Steve.

    Ok, ok, I will do this for you this one time, and he hands back the IDL, smiles, shakes both our hands, says (again) he&#8217;s going to escort us to the hotel, but we can go and it&#8217;s all good. Seconds later he changes his mind and gives us directions to the hotel, poses for a picture and disappears on his motorbike.

    :D:D:D

    Cost of the interlude $0.00, 45 minutes spent dancing with a corrupt municipal cop priceless.

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    Lessons learned:

    Remain firm polite, and when playing the good cop/bad cop routine do not cross the thin line that can take this to the next level and go from a BS ticket to a Law Enforcement Action.

    Let&#8217;s be clear that I will not pay bribes of any sort to any &#8220;Pichicomas&#8221; along the way, that next time this will happened we know that the French bad-English no Spanish routine works.

    At the end of the day this dude does not want to attract more attention to himself than is necessary, this is his barrio, and he needs to be able to do this again.

    I am convinced that my actions, the fact that he was dizzy from listening to Jackie&#8217;s bad translations, and the smooth talking Steve made it impossible for him to follow through on his intentions.

    We all knew (all four of us) that he was full of s#!^, and I believe that the single most important element that influences this type of situation is the certitude that your mind is made up, that you will not pay, and that you are in control.

    We were never in any danger at any time, broad daylight, at a Pemex station with at least half a dozen people watching from a distance.

    I do recognize that I crossed the line when I try to take the licenses away from him, that it did escalate the situation to a certain extent. But he crossed the line the minute he decided to shake us down.

    Often conflict resolution happens through conflict escalation.

    I believed we were always in control of the situation, and when he decided that the joust was over, he had come to the conclusion that these Gringos were just not worth his time.

    As we put our helmets back on, smiles and thumbs up galore were extended our ways by the passing pedestrians who had witnessed the scene.

    That&#8217;s why this is an Adventure.

    Tomorrow we ride to Guanajuato, and I will tell you all about how wonderful the city of Zacatecas was.

    Valentino out&#8230;



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    #39
  20. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    An interesting exchange with the Policeman who wanted $110 USD per bike, to be paid at a station 2 hours away....:rofl

    The funniest part of the situation was listening to Jackie "interpret" Valentino for me. Since they were in pure French character, she spoke to me in a very heavy French accent that was very difficult to understand, but she sure sounded hot!:evil (Sorry Valentino)

    It was Surreal. J&V speaking French, me listening to Jackie who pretended to stumble through English, in front of the cop whose English was as good as mine...:rofl

    Valentino was correct in that our goal is to pay not one penny to crooked cops. ($110 USD, yeah right, when pigs fly) Paying one dime creates a more difficult situation for the next moto adventure who gets to dance...

    Unless there are guns involved.:rofl

    Buen Viaje,
    AdventurePoser
    #40