VENTURING SOUTH on DRZ's

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Romanousky, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. warp9man

    warp9man Gravel in my Travel

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    Awsome guys. Im jealous :thumbup::beer:
    #81
  2. taranaki

    taranaki Mister Natural

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    Hooty... Just what I need on this drab Portland February night!
    #82
  3. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Thanks Kevin! We told you to come along...atleast you got Baja. I can't wait to tak a few months just to ride the peninsula all offroad.
    #83
  4. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Glad we can help console you. It only took me a few months of reading RR's before I just quit work and joined the club to get out of the rain. It will be nice to come home during the positive 3 months....where you from? Take care
    #84
  5. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    After much debate we headed back to the coastline to visit one of Alex’s friends….Franky. Our stopping point is Colima and then on to La Ticla where Franky is staying. A rather boring drive through a flat valley between mountain ranges. We parted ways with the Dutch couple just outside Tequila and made our way into Colima around 2:00 pm.

    My gps has the streets of Colima on the screen but none of it is routable…thus useless. Sweating balls and driving around town looking for a hostel that ends up not existing. Locate a motel and settle down for some internet time.

    Stinky laundry got washed in a dry bag with soap and hung to dry in the room. Rather uneventful but I did get some melon juice and one of the best pork tacos on the street money can buy (actually it was free at the Sunday market so bang for buck was nearing infinity).

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    #85
  6. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    The Cartel’s of Michoacán and Guerrero and currently warring with each other and we read some horror stories about the MEX200 (highway) but decided to go for it anyway. :eek1

    Entered Michoacán around ten in the morning and there was a massive military presence. More so at this border than any other thus far. The road narrowed and the trees hung over close to the road. Almost like a tunnel. Occasionally you would see a Humvee with a few machine gun wielding sentries set back in the bushes. I was a little concerned…..to say the least. You could tell you were in a different environment because there were no kids playing in the street and the graffiti increased 10 fold.

    Made it over to the coastline and the ever increasing views became more and breathtaking. Not to mention the tremendously windy roads required more concentration thus alleviating my focus on how to handle a “situation” if one were to occur.

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    Never saw a sign for La Ticla (Frankie’s town) but turned onto a nice cobblestone/concrete road right after crossing a specific river that we were informed about. Following the small aqueduct along the road we eventually made it to the beach and met Franky.

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    Town sign....all the way down on the beach AFTER you travel through town:

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    Lots of gringo (20-30)…strange. Apparently this beach has a great surf break and many of the kids in school around Guadalajara come for vacation.

    Sat down with Franky and got beers and the best Ceviche I have ever had. Good thing because we were actually going to camp right under the Palapa of this restaurant/bar.

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    Then went up to the house that Franky was born in and put our bikes away in the backyard. And Alex tried to catch some chicks

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    Changed clothes and settled in back at the beach. Franky has a lot of relatives and knows a lot of history about this place because of the past generations of his family. I’m not going to get into it but basically the Cartel’s are in charge here. They understand what Tourism does for the community and are not here to discourage it. They deal with problematic people within the community to help make it safe. But when it comes to the military, they are not fans …..Franky knows people…we met people…we’re cool on both fronts. The end.

    After a little drinking and BSing we head to his uncle’s place for dinner. Lobster and fried fish. Only locals can catch/eat Lobster (and turtle eggs) so we are feeling quite privileged. It was a great meal.

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    We were also served Hamikah (spelling??). It is like an iced tea sort of drink made from a local flower. This is a photo of me with my glass of Hamikah, standing next to the flower it was produced from, with Frankies nephew in the backyard.

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    La Ticla is a community of longstanding generations. Nobody owns land so nobody can buy land. No big hotels or vacation homes. Almost every dwelling has an ocean view.

    The town aqueduct that Alex really wanted to float down in an inner tube:

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    Back at camp we watched the sun set and continued to have fun. At one point I fired up my headlight to get something from the tent. The ground was moving….what the hell!! Alex runs to the nearest chair hops up off the sandy floor. “Franky what the fuck is this”, “chill out man they’re just hermit crabs”…”well what am I supposed to do, I don’t want to hurt them”. “hahahahahahaha”. This was pretty funny but I have never seen this quantity of hermits in my life. The pictures do not do it justice. All around us they were just shuffling around moving to and fro. I’ll keep my bare feet propped up on the table during evening hours in La Ticla.

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    Then had a fire on the beach and soon hit the sack.

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    #86
  7. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Watched the sun rise and then headed up the hill into town to Frankies where we were going to get a traditional breakfast. Before we headed into town we spotted a sea turtle that had come up to lay its eggs. Dumbass was at the wrong beach…..you’re supposed to be about 10 miles further south silly turtle. Back into the ocean it swam.

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    Quesadilla’s with homemade tortillas and local cheeses…..and salsa made right on the spot. Our cook had soaked the maze to break down the enzymes the night before so it was ready for the “stone grinding” process before being pressed flat. Really a fantastic process cooking on the earthen clay fire stove.

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    Then we hopped on the bikes and cruised south to stop in a see the local beaches that Franky grew up on. The first was where the turtles all come to lay their eggs.

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    The last stop was the swimming hole where Franky learned to swim. It was my favorite. Up high on the south hill is a lighthouse. Centrally located on a rock formation is a Palapa for drinks and a view. To the north is an inlet where the ocean is calm and deep for swimming. The crescent shaped nook of white sand beach is lined with Palapas but nobody dining.

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    We order more ceviche and cerveza’s. Finally decide to get into the water. Alex and I have been in Mexico for 2 weeks now and have not set foot into the ocean. Pathetic huh? Well, within 3 minutes of swimming around I get stung by a jelly fish. I’ve been stung before in Australia so I know the feeling. This one wasn’t too bad at all but left a line of red dots along my forearm with a nice stinging feeling. A little lime juice and it subsided pretty quickly.

    Back to La Ticla the sun was setting and I was beat. After a garlic fried fish dinner I passed out in the hammock.
    I can’t tell Franky thank you enough because this experience has been the highlight of the trip thus far. Salud!

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    #87
  8. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Today we got back on the bikes and road to Troncones. Only 120 miles or so but we didn’t hear good things about Zihautenajo or Ixtapa and those were the only other towns we were willing to ride to.

    I stopped in the middle of highway just to take this picture because I have seen the Shawshank Redemption at least 10 times. Great movie.

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    Arrived early afternoon and immediately got flagged down by a guy in a Jetta who said he has a hotel. How much? $25. Cool we’ll take a look. Follow him back to his place. It’s about ½ mile out of main hotel territory, it has a pool, decent parking for the bikes, WiFi, and looks clean on the surface. Sure we’ll take it.

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    One of our biggest downfalls is getting to a town and spending 2 hours in the sweltering heat trying to find a place to stay with everything we need (WiFi, good parking, semi-clean). Otherwise you might as well camp.

    We settle in and the place is crawling with ants. Not that big of deal. Hang by the pool and do the email thing. Back in the room I spy a giant rat turd on my bed. This bums me out. I wish we would have checked the other hotels. Especially because they were all in a row, on the beach, and we got in early.

    Then ride into town and get tortillas, beans, canned hot peppers, and spoil ourselves with sour cream and a little chorizo sausage. Cooked dinner in the outside kitchen and finished up with the internet.

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    Brushing my teeth and go to spit in the sink and there is an ant the size of pinky finger pulling some large egg looking thing up out of the drain. I don’t like this place. I roll out the tent on my bed, unzip the door and climb in. Rats can scurry all over me tonight.
    #88
  9. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Woke up….not really because I didn’t sleep all last night. Totally exhausted we gear up and get on the road by 7:00 AM. First I check the internet and my little sis sees that we are close to Acapulco and warns me to avoid it. Shit! We were planning on staying in Acapulco for 2 nights to rest up, change oil, etc… This is probably the 5th person that has told me to stay away from the once party/money/vegas style mecca.

    Acapulco is 180 miles away and this is a solid days’ ride. We like to keep it around 200 or less if possible. The next town on the list is Puerto Escondido. Another 240 miles past Acapulco.

    We roll into Acapulco around noon. Large houses on hilltops that appear to have vegetation sprouting through the windows…..abandoned. Deeper into town it doesn’t seem like a friendly place but not too bad. Eventually it gets super busy, hot, and the commuters are fussy. I make a wrong turn and lead us off the highway and into the center of Acapulco.

    Problem 1: our GPS maps are not very good. There are new roads/HWY’s/etc…. that are not always shown. (I’m using OSM maps)

    Problem 2: Signs are not posted in Mexico until you are right at the exit/turn/etc… No ¼ mile warning luxuries here.

    Problem 3: We are too busy trying not to get run over to pay much attention to where we are actually going.

    Center of downtown is not moving. Horns blaring and heat radiating off every surface distorting vision that is already poor due to sweat running down the inside of my glasses. We are stuck and not happy. Everyone is glaring at us and we are sitting behind a large school bus from the 70’s hauling unhappy folks. Two younger guys walking down the side walk eye balling us pretty hard. One steps into the street, I nod to him, no reaction, keeps going but a little close for my comfort. Alex sitting right behind me. They stop about 5 feet behind Alex just milling in the street talking looking over at the back of Alex’s bike. I’ve got the handle bars cocked, left hand holding the clutch in, right hand down on the extendable baton strapped just behind my right calf, watching the rearview waiting for some action.

    Talking to Alex on the intercom and ask him if we should just try to go around the bus. “Yeah dude this isn’t cool let’s get out of here these guys are watching me hard”. Sharp to the right then left and I’m alongside the bus. I can’t fit between the bus and car parked on the side of the street. Now we’re sandwiched in next to a bus with a bunch of people staring at us. The guys behind us take a few steps but keep talking with each other still looking our way. “Hey Al should I jump the curb”…”Uhhhhhh, I don’t think so”.

    Granted, the sidewalk is full of people but I will say that I am much more willing to make illegal maneuvers on the bike than Alex. With all the traveling I have done I feel that bikes for the most part have their own set of rules….and I’m not sure I could name a single one.

    After what feeling like an hour the light changes, the bus starts moving, and we zip away. Only a few blocks later we reconnect with the highway. “Fuck I need a cigarette”, “I’m not stopping in this shithole Alex”.

    It’s half past noon and we’ve decided to ride all the way to Puerto Escondido. We gotta move quick because arrival time is right around 6:30 and that means dark = not friendly people.

    We drive as fast as the bikes will allow us = not very fast. We make up time in two ways. 1) corners, twisty sections, etc… 2) Intercity (explanation below)

    The highways (2 lane roads) run directly through the center of all towns. Exits are not required. There are speed bumps called Topes. They vary in size, shape, and quantity. Usually at the beginning and end of town as well as a few dispersed throughout depending on city size….sometimes. They also have them in the middle of fucking nowhere. I know you are picturing a nice yellow sign 100 yards prior to this nicely painted bump in the road but you are mistaken. Picture no sign. Picture no paint on said bump. Picturing hitting said bump at 50 mph with no warning whatsoever. I’ve looked at my rims more than once looking for dents. Many of them are painted and marked but a few of them can really jump up and scare the piss right out of you. The good part about these is that all vehicles come to a halt when crossing them. This allows us to zip right past large sections of traffic rather easily and somewhat safely. Much better than doing it in the winding hilltop roads.

    About four in the afternoon we exit Guerrero and enter Oaxaca (wah-haka). I have read good things about Oaxaca and am quite pleased to be here. The landscape isn’t quite as nice but the towns are obviously more upbeat and a positive vibe is radiating. I feel good. Only 3 more hours to Puerto Escondido.

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    My ass feels like I went down a 100 foot water slide that had 4 feet of sand paper glued right at the exit chute. Wet and raw I ask Alex what he thinks about trying some Maxi pads in the future.

    The last 30 miles before hitting PE were gorgeous. Rainforest vegetation, cattle, people working in the rivers, lagoons, etc…. still a little shy on wildlife but we’ll get there.

    Drive into town, sun is gone but still putting out a bit of light. Thank God we made it. Now to find a hotel. We try to head for the beach, get a little lost, then spot a large pink hotel that looks good. We are going to spend a little extra today because we’ve been camping and we just drove 420 miles on dirt bikes. They want $75 for a room. I get it for $40. Score, first room with air conditioning. Pool right outside our room, decent WiFi, decent parking, and beds that don’t have springs sticking out. To top it all off the bar serves great food with prices matching most of the ‘street’ food we have eaten. Sign me up for at least two nights.

    We deserve Tequila shots:

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    ....And Michalada's

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    ...AND Nachos and fried chicken tacos

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    #89
  10. El Explorador

    El Explorador Radical Explorer

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    Location:
    Guatemala City, Guatemala, and going down!
    Looks like you gents are having a hell of an adventure. Ask around, I can't remember the name but there is a lagoon nearby where sometimes fluorescent algae blooms and you can go at night to throw rocks in the lake and watch it glow.
    #90
  11. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    We are having a blast! I am really looking forward to some more offroading/exploring in the near future. The rock throwing sounds fun. Maybe even some firecrackers in the lake :evil

    that is right up our alley because it is free and unique. We'll ask around today and see what we can find.

    I appreciate you chiming in and offering an experience.....was hoping there would be more of that as we have almost no plan whatsoever. Thanks!
    #91
  12. PDX Alamo

    PDX Alamo Been here awhile

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    I'm here for a month, just got here I signed up for Ixchel Spanish immersion and live with a family starting Monday. They were #1 google hit so they won don't know much else. I'm staying at the Black Cat Inn which is nice but unsure about bike parking, maybe they will let you roll it in the courtyard. I can check with em.
    #92
  13. Grease Monkey

    Grease Monkey Grease Monkey

    Joined:
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    Cloudcroft New Mexico
    Guys, this is John, we met you guys in Mulege a couple of weeks ago in the resturant with Warp 9, been keepin an eye on you guys, looks like your having a good time. :clapBe careful.:gerg
    #93
  14. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    amigos,

    I am glad you are having a good time and that being gringos and all, you STILL had the guts to come, saw a little of "extra business" activities and decided to continue on! and now you have stories for the rest of your life!

    I am in!

    Damasovi
    #94
  15. JacqueTanis

    JacqueTanis Sassy

    Joined:
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    Hi - this is Jacque ... remember the Mulege, Baja California Sur? Old lady, BMW, possible broken ribs from a fall on the gravel? LOL, yes they were broke - two of them. John calls them my battle scars. Hope you boys are doing ok! I've been thinking of you alot and pray for you every day. Stay safe and I'll keep following you and most of all, have fun ...
    :wave:wave:wave
    #95
  16. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the offer but we have already secured a room for a week. Actually right next door to you at the Pasado Hotel. We arrive next Friday. Need to find a spanish school so that we can start on Monday. We'll see you soon:freaky
    #96
  17. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Thanks to the both of you. Pleasure meeting with you guys and sharing a meal. Jacque, your a trooper for hanging in there with busted ribs. Thanks for the prayers and well wishes....we'll try to keep it safe:deal
    #97
  18. Romanousky

    Romanousky Been here awhile

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    Having a great time. You gotta give us gringos a little bit of credit here:rofl The stories are the best part. It is nerve racking in the moment but once you escape it you know you've got a good one to tell. If I didn't want the adventure i'd drive a car and stay in hotels every night. Glad to have you aboard!
    #98
  19. peteFoulkes

    peteFoulkes Been here awhile

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    haha, the EXACT same thing happened to us!
    #99
  20. PDX Alamo

    PDX Alamo Been here awhile

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    Portland, OR
    I wouldn't pick mine it seems twice the price of the others. Check out a few in person, I know one has a pool which is probably more conducive to Spanish learning. The other important thing to know is the happy hours here are the bomb. Cuba libre for 5q or .63 cents US. See ya soon