We finally make it to Xilitla OR Scars are tattoos with better stories

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cwc, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. cwc

    cwc .

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    No dog today, Dean was too busy.

    Dean Sez:

    A bright sunny morning after a decent nights sleep. Plenty of hot water in the shower. It was good that Charlie realized to remove the roll of toilet paper from the bathroom before showering as there is no shower curtain and the splashing water covers every bit of the bathroom.

    A slower start this morning as it is not that far to Xilitla. At least one upset stomach in the group, but hopefully nothing serious. Roomed next to us was a sombrero salesman and his driver, the young driver spoke with Charlie a fair amount. He was concerned for our safety, and wished us a sincere safe trip. Hopefully today will be an uneventful travel and sightseeing day.


    As much as we complained about Cd. Maiz, the ferreteria left a good impression. We needed some short 5mm screws for the airbox on Betty’s bike so I went shopping. At the ferreteria they found some longer ones and broke out a new bolt cutter to shorten them for me. They refused to charge me for them. Nice guys.

    Linda found some info on Tepeyac where there is a giant mosaic mural. It was on the way so we went to look at it. I’ll let her provide the detail, but part of it looked like this.

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    We returned to Cd. Maiz for lunch (Tepeyac wasn’t EXACTLY on the way) and then headed south after a short tour of Cd. Maiz neighborhood streets. It was pretty clear at this point that we wouldn’t make Xilitla.

    At Rayon there is a new bypass for Mex 70 so you don’t have to go into town if you don’t need gasolina. We did need it. After gassing up we headed for Cd. Valles. This is another fun road, but the sun was getting low and there was a lot of traffic. As we got spread out in the traffic I got a little stressed thinking about what might be happening behind me, but we all made it.

    If you look in Google Earth you will see that the new bypass will eventually feed into a whole new route to Cd. Valles. It doesn’t look nearly as fun as the existing road.

    In Cd. Valles we stayed at the Sjoerd B. recommended Hotel Saja. It’s pretty much in the inner city and has lots of stores nearby in case you need something.

    Tomorrow we’ll see if we can make it to Xilitla.

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    #21
  2. cwc

    cwc .

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    We should get there pretty soon. We are almost as slow with the report as we are on the road.:D
    #22
  3. Powershouse

    Powershouse Flower Sniffer

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    Paul and I planned to take a quick look at Los Pozas, then come back and load up the bikes and be on our way. So we grabbed some fruit for breakfast and worked our way through the school traffic to Los Pozas. We went the back way through town and down a rocky road. I enjoyed the rocky road on the X-Challenge, but Paul had to take it slow on the Versys - which proved to be a problem when we encountered our dog-of-the-day. I was able to goose it and out run the beast, but Paul had to mind the rocks and the mangy cur clamped on his leg. Seeing as we were on our way to clamber about the sculpture garden we were only wearing sneakers and light pants rather than boots and riding gear, so Paul was keenly aware that the dog had chomped him.

    We got to Los Pozas before they opened up so we had some time to kill. We visited with some other early arrivals, two guys from Monterey who were nearby working on a crane project and decided to take the tour. We visited with them a bit and we pulled out maps and talked about places to check out and places to stay away from. Then the gates opened and we started touring.

    What a place! Paul and I had originally planned to take a quick look, but we ended up spending most of the morning there. We decided to go to plan B - spend another night in Xilitla, take a day trip in the afternoon and be back in time for dinner with the rest of the crew when they made it to town. Off we went south to Tamazunchale and west on 85 then on back to Xilitla.

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    A quick visit to the interneto and we learned that the group wasn't going to make it that evening, but we passed on a hotel recommendation and made our plans for the next day. Sad fact was that us short-trippers needed to start working our way back north.
    #23
  4. dwthump

    dwthump Been here awhile

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    Great ride report but I have a problem with the pink color fonts, can't read them. Due to the settings on all readers preferences, maybe you should stick with just black fonts.

    Darren

    *It's a KLR, I'll catch up*
    #24
  5. wanderc2c

    wanderc2c Adventurer

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    Betty departs the motel early in a pair of running shoes. She’s off to see how the town of Maiz wakes up. She returns with a runners glow.
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    The setting sun and very hungry bellies left Betty&#8217;s bike healed but unfinished. Dinner waited for us down the street in a woman&#8217;s house. She wasn&#8217;t too excited to see us. It was the end of a long day for her too. The old guy watching the TV in the same room we were eating jumped up every now and again to help her out. In Mexico, you are a guest wherever you eat. The check won't arrive until you ask for it. We have forgotten this custom and sit there till we remember. A peak in her kitchen at the end made you understand efficiency. She had it dialed in, and the food was good. She smiled when we handed her a wad of pesos&#8217; and left a generous tip.
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    Peter&#8217;s frolics down the dusty streets also dislodged the nuts from inside the air box that held the cover in place. We never thought of that one. Charlie made his way to the nearby store the motel owner directed him to.
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    The motel owner attempts to teach me right and left, grabbing a pen and my hands. The results.
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    Dean&#8217;s notes say the San Jose hotel in Maiz was $225 pesos&#8217; or about $19.00 for the night.

    We are close to El Tepeyac, and the mural. In 2009, I had made a u-turn to take a picture of a burned out cement building in the town in the right place. There was the mural! We would have missed it had I not turned around. We were not intending to be in this area, but my clutch issue sent us away from Charlie and the boys towards flatter land. It was another must see we put on the list for the group. Since we thought Paul and Kevin were gone from Xilita (no internet to tell us different) we were not in a hurry to head in that direction, this would be worth the detour.
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    Mural de Tepayac has to be on your list if you are in the area. Someone noted in the group that the buildings had all been picked to pieces, but the two separate murals were left untouched. Did the people think highly of this man? If you look closely at the tiny, glass pieces in the mural, you notice the same man is repeated in many areas. The 30 mile detour is worth it. Everyone is walking around with their jaws dropped. Should it really be called a mosaic?


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    [​IMG]The second mural is made with 1&#8221; rocks. They are very different. Imagine the artist working in two different mediums and still having the ability to keep the scale right.


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    Peter runs around the grounds a bit before we depart. Again he looks like he was born on a bike.


    Bob does a little research on Mural de Tepeyac when we return and finds this:
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    About the ranch and town.

    http://www.en.nuestro-mexico.com/San-Luis-Potosi/Ciudad-del-Maiz/Areas-de-menos-de-500-habitantes/El-Tepeyac/

    About the rich guy.

    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://desdeelcerrodelasilla1.blogspot.com/2012/03/un-siete-de-marzo-se-estrellaba-jorge.html&prev=/search%3Fq%3DTepeyac%2Bmural%2Bmexico%2Bciudad%2Bdel%2Bmaiz%26start%3D10%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DDTl%26sa%3DN%26tbo%3Dd%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial%26biw%3D1318%26bih%3D739&sa=X&ei=7-i_ULfgBaKZ0QGviYGoDg&ved=0CDsQ7gEwATgK
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    The motel operator had a map hanging in the office with a pic of the mural. It also had a picture of Casa del Grall and she claims it is very beautiful.


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    We turn right about ½ way back to Maiz and head to the town of Palomas. The road is very rough and missing much of its pavement. I worry about Susan behind me. We can easily dodge the potholes or roll through them, but her suspension isn&#8217;t as forgiving. I&#8217;m not worried about Bob. He&#8217;s a guy!
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    We roll into the tiny town and Charlie inquires with a man on the street. Casa del Grall is back at the very sharp turn just before you enter town (one block away) and down a dirt road, maybe 3 miles. The group makes a u-turn, and pulls off on different sides of the roads. Susan isn&#8217;t up for the dirt and has a good book to keep her company she says, but the group is hungry and Maize will have lunch.
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    A group of 8 will overwhelm a restaurant. We split up for efficiency. Bob, Susan, Dean and I opt for fish at Mariscos La Jarana. The restaurant is very clean, and the owner and the helper can be seen cooking for us behind the counter. It was absolutely wonderful

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    The church in the square in is Maiz is supposed to be wonderful. We don&#8217;t have time to stop.
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    Charlie leads us out of town towards Valles. Betty is running a Garmin Zumo with no special maps and without Charlie&#8217;s tracks. He&#8217;s making loops. Betty has better maps, and can direct us out of town. Betty and Charlie become a tag team for correct directions to travel for the rest of the trip.

    We know we won&#8217;t make Xilita tonight. The road to Rayon is unimpressive. Turning left on 70, we head towards Cuidad Valles. Charlie leads and I am following. He&#8217;s riding a wonderful pace and I have a big smile on my face. He&#8217;s easy to pick out in the distance when we get separate several times by truck. The white sides of his city cases really stand out.

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    I&#8217;m in heaven. Motorcycle nirvana. We just kept dropping and dropping and dropping on perfect curves. We pass many signs for waterfalls, but I never see a blinker from Charlie. Stopping at a sign near the bottom and I shout to Charlie that the ride down was just what I came for and wasn&#8217;t that fabulous? &#8220;NO&#8221; he says. And I think he&#8217;s kidding. Old mother hen can&#8217;t keep track of all his chicks with the truck traffic on the road and he&#8217;s not happy.

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    This can&#8217;t be. Charlie too must enjoy this vacation, and later the decision is made to divide into two groups of 4 starting tomorrow. Charlie and Craig&#8217;s GPS track work before departure will give us a good chance of ending up in the same town.

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    Cuidad Valles is a huge, bustling city with tons of traffic. It&#8217;s flat. Charlie instructs us in advance that if we lose the group to STOP RIGHT THERE and don&#8217;t move. Someone will come back and get you. If you drive around in the city, we may never find you he warns. Following him the wrong way down a one way street, we all make it into the parking lot of hotel SaJa without dying.
    We wonder off to El Nortio patio café for dinner.

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    Tomorrow, Xilita

    Linda
    #25
  6. slowoldguy

    slowoldguy Tire Tester

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    Following along. :D We are headed down to the same general area end of the month. Hoping to get down to Barranca Tolantongo. But more likely Xilitla (if the boys keep slicing off days). Already marked the danger seep on the map. 4 miles west of El Naranjo. Check. We have those snot slick crossings in Texas, too. End up riding every part of the bike but the seat if you're not careful.
    #26
  7. cwc

    cwc .

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    Door of the day, Dean was having trouble finding dogs.
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    Today we will go to Xilitla. It is the location of Las Posas, a site with many strange concrete &#8220;sculptures".

    http://tinyurl.com/Las-Pozas

    We ate breakfast in the hotel dining room, which was pretty basic, but the food was OK. Eventually we got on the road and had a little problem right away. I had the group well enough trained from last night that they would follow me down a one-way street the wrong way so we did that right out of the hotel because it was shorter. Unfortunately I needed to do a little more training, because the first time I ran a red light only about half of them followed. We&#8217;ll have to cover that at the next planning meeting.

    We broke into two groups of four pretty quickly on Mex. 85. It&#8217;s pretty busy and a bigger group would have been a problem.

    [Edit - in a later post Linda will correct some of the above. I blame any errors on several things; Dean didn't take any notes this day, I suffer from CRS syndrome and I have the firm belief that a story doesn't have to be absolutely true to be a good story.:evil]

    About halfway to Xilitla Dean, Susan, Bob and I took a right to visit Aquismon. It&#8217;s an interesting looking place that is the center of some natural attractions. We just went to the centro and took a snack break before moving on. There were many vendors selling all sorts of "stuff". While some were eating and people watching, others shopped. I could spend more time there.

    We managed to find our way to Xilitla and the Hotel San Ignacio (again recommended by SB). This was a nice, clean place run by somebody&#8217;s mother and she ran a tight ship. No smoking and no alcohol. The secure parking was inside, at street level and carefully watched by La Dueña.

    La Dueña giving Dean his marching orders.
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    After settling in we walked around town for the rest of the day.

    This young lady was the tourist information booth attendant. She was very helpful, suggesting places to eat and see.
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    Dean and I just got the info and left, not wanting to hang around and appear to be dirty old men with lust in our hearts.

    We will stay in Xilitla tomorrow to tour Las Pozas.

    Track Info

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    #27
  8. selzbytes

    selzbytes Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Great RR - very much enjoying it. When you're all done with this little adventure - set your sights on Asia. My wife and I are also from Minnesota and are on company assignment in Shanghai for 2 years. We miss riding here in China as the government makes it very difficult for foreigners to ride here. Planning our first trip to Northern Thailand in a couple months. It would be great to do a group effort on an agreeable Asia route - give it some thought.....
    #28
  9. artbone

    artbone Adventurer

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    Charlie,
    Are you just getting around to posting this or are you still in Mexico? Could have sworn I met you and the group in San Miguel in Dec. :1drink

    Art
    #29
  10. cwc

    cwc .

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    Hi Art,


    We're home, we are just slow.:rofl

    Linda did some mini-reports from her phone when we were on the road, but our fans (both of them) wanted more, so here it is.
    #30
  11. cwc

    cwc .

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    I was intrigued by this http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=818258 but there would have to be some serious saving done first.

    Mexico is really cheap. I think I spent about as much in the five days of stateside travel to get to and from Texas as I did for the two weeks in Mexico.
    #31
  12. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

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    Cool ride!
    #32
  13. wanderc2c

    wanderc2c Adventurer

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    Art!
    How wonderful to see your name pop up. Please see the PM I have sent you
    Linda
    #33
  14. Mr. B

    Mr. B Contrarian

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    "Subbed"
    #34
  15. wanderc2c

    wanderc2c Adventurer

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    Yesterday, we learn of the United States Presidential election results via an email from a friend. Jubilation runs through the democrats on the trip. It makes the international page in Cuidad Valles. The paper was saved for later attempts to read it.

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    I&#8217;m sure Peter wishes Charlie&#8217;s last ride report was accurate. Maybe the coffee spilled on their notes. We had a different start to our day.

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    Note the cable locks between the bikes. Craig&#8217;s bike was taken on a copper canyon trip, and he very luckily found it stashed across a river hiding in a thicket by following the tire tracks in the dirt. He&#8217;ll never make that mistake again. They are locked every night no matter where we are.

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    Dean begins the day by playing us a tune. With his Bellflower spoke tool that is. As he patiently waited for his group to be loaded, spoke checking was his pastime of choice tapping on each spoke and listening for the produced tone. I was curious as I had never seen it done, and more riders gathered, like he was the pied piper of spokes. Craig&#8217;s bike had a few &#8220;flat&#8221; spots and Dean was right on it, bringing him back into tune. Peter wasn&#8217;t so lucky. His flat spot turned out to be a flat front tire on his tubeless GS. Hmmmm&#8230;. Where? Why? How lucky to discover it before we were all loaded and heading down the busy streets.

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    I love how these guys sort out the problem and choose the best solution. Dean has brought along a little air pump that connects to the battery and brings the tire up to pressure. It will be rechecked when we return from breakfast in the hotel that was included in our room costs. Not your average US continental breakfast. It was a sit down breakfast served hot, with real coffee and a clean space.

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    They calculate how much air has been lost during the time we have eaten. It&#8217;s determined it is probably a slow leak. Soapy water located the tiny air passage. A thorn from the bushes from Peter&#8217;s adventures at the mural? Who knows? Plugging it seems extreme and a potential for further problems. The Beasty group waves goodbye to Charlie, Dean, Susan and Bob. The old father hen will have a reduced stress day.

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    We set out to find some tire &#8220;fix a flat&#8221; and there is success at this well stocked Kawasaki shop. A small can is all we need. Betty, Craig and I all have tubed tires, and extra tubes along. And most importantly Craig, our expert tire changer. The product is successful and Peter never adds air again.

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    I pop into the bank to change $200 into Pesos. They take a copy of my passport for exchanging that small of an amount of cash. Really? The cash machines will be the choice in the future.
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    Wells Fargo encouraged us to open a &#8220;travel account&#8221;, free for 90 days. Fraud is high in Mexico they warn me, and card readers pick up the card info, even on bank ATM machines. They suggest putting some money into the new travel account, for which they give me an ATM card right away. I can transfer money via the internet into that account whenever I need more funding in it. My regular accounts couldn&#8217;t be compromised and my risks limited. Something to think about if you are headed to Mexico. We used no credit cards on this trip. Credit cards and debit cards just aren&#8217;t used where we are traveling.<o:p></o:p>
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    Here are a few local bikes:<o:p></o:p>
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    The Postal carrier


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    <o:p>Used Microwave anyone?</o:p>
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    Streets of Valles
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    Craig, Peter, Betty and I head towards Xilita. Charlie planned our trip, and we did very little research on what he had planned. Each day was a surprise. Today would be an extra special one. On 85, we dropped into a stunning valley. The vegetation turned lush and large and the mountains erupt in front of us. This roadside stand sucked us right in. Where did all this beauty come from&#8221; we all asked. Peter discovered one stand selling coconut water. They started with a whole coconut and as Peter described how after a bit of machetti styled work, the carver still had all his fingers. The juice was served in a plastic bag with a straw sticking out of it.

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    The remainder of the road into Xilitla was a great ride. Winding high, we could see a long way over the mountain tops. A very tight uphill right handed u-turn was the entrance to Xilitla. I&#8217;m an interior house painter by trade, so I notice everything that needs paint. I can&#8217;t imagine how they paint the very tall buildings as you approach Xilitla. Look up to the right, you will see what I mean. And they are seldom boring beige. Dark Blues, yellows and golds&#8230;
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    I will admit to being an A+ personality type. Pulling into Xilitla was sensory overload for me. The strong police force seen everywhere in Xilitla directed traffic towards the square. The kids were just leaving school, and we were heading right through a sea of people, street vendors, colors and textures. Wow. I can already see why the boys stayed here two nights.
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    It takes a bit of searching, and finally a discussion with an English speaking townsman that we find San Ignacia hotel and our traveling buddies. This is definitely the place to stay! Gated parking below the rooms and a fabulous private rooftop. The proprietor prohibits alcohol consumption, there are signs everywhere reminding you. But the rooftop became our second home. The views were spectacular. Just watch your step around the rebar for the &#8220;future expansion&#8221; you see everywhere in Mexico.

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    We all head out to a late lunch to a restaurant recommended our motel. The patio overlooking their backyard was delightful and the food delicious. Peter is starting to catch on that Susan has a nack for ordering exceptionally good looking and tasty meals. Susan and Bob have traveled Mexico many times before.
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    <o:p>$697.00 for 8 of us for delicious food in a great spot or $7.25 each.</o:p>
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    <o:p>The local pizza delivery</o:p>
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    Craig and I wander off the check out the church in town for its architecture. We are in Mexico just after the day of the dead. Memorials can be seen everywhere, staying up for most of the month of November. The bright orange marigolds have a very strong smell. A young man sweeping in the church offers to take us up to the roof top. It&#8217;s quite the adventure. Craig was getting a little to close to the edge for my comfort. The wooden roof long ago stopped keeping the interior of the church dry. The arched cement roof was very old, but in great shape. We tipped him for his tour "for the church"


    The dead's favorite things. These stay up for the month of November, and can be seen outside peoples homes, in restaurants etc.

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    Craig and I don&#8217;t score the rooms with the best views of the mountains. Peter and Betty do but are in for a long night combining very poor mattresses, chickens and dogs and cold showers. Bring earplugs.

    Linda<o:p></o:p>
    #35
  16. Powershouse

    Powershouse Flower Sniffer

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    I'm glad Linda mentioned the Day of the Dead decorations - every cemetery that we passed was a riot of flowers and decoration!

    While there group was headed to Xilitla, we were leaving. Our route for the day took us up to Jalpan, then onto Rioverde for lunch (note to self - there is no need to order camarones diablo in Mexico) where the waitress chased the cop away while we finished our meal - turned out we did not have a permit to park where we did. Then over to Valles and north to Mante where we spent the night.

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    The climb of over 3000 meters up to Jalpan was impressive. It took us up through the clouds and required a deployment of the heated gear. I had a footpeg come off along the way, but fortunately all the parts were still there and it was a quick repair.
    #36
  17. cwc

    cwc .

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,022
    Location:
    anywhere
    Dog of the day. Is this the one that got a piece of Paul?
    [​IMG]

    Dean Sez:

    A pleasant walk around day in Xilitla, hiked the road out to the Edward James Sculpture gardens. Very scenic and imaginative on the mountainside in the rainforest. Beautiful waterfalls and pools that some people were swimming in. Temps have been very pleasant, and the tropical birds and butterfly's are a treat to the eyes and ears.

    Bob & Sue rode the 5 zip lines through the forest.


    [Bob, Sue and I took a taxi from downtown to Las Pozas. As the others headed to lunch, Bob and Sue decided to ride the zip lines, so we went over there where a busload of students from a Zacatecas teachers college were also preparing to ride.

    Bob gave me his phone so I could record the event, but I got lost in the menus and one of the students had to save me. It didn&#8217;t do any good, because all my pics were bad.

    I did get some entertainment out of it though. I was able to convince the students that Bob and Sue were my parents. They were really impressed that someone THAT old would be zip lining. &#8211; cwc]

    We had a nice meal on the way back to town at the restaurant run by the mother of the fella who gave us a tour through the gardens.

    We had a moto meeting late in the afternoon and planned out our remaining days in Mex. Charlie did some great map work and has some prime moto roads lined up for us.

    We got together on the roof and came up with a rough plan for the rest of the trip.
    [​IMG]

    The group went out for supper, but the later lunch will hold me well through the night.

    Earlier today we spoke with the man who owns the restaurant where the group is eating now. He told us his business is off 70% in the last half year because of all the drug publicity, there have been no problems at all here in Xilitla, but with the US state department saying not to travel in Mexico, no one is coming to visit. This fella worked for twenty years in New York City, and now has returned to run his restaurant here, and raise his family. Hope we have safe travels the remainder of our trip.
    #37
  18. Powershouse

    Powershouse Flower Sniffer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,325
    Location:
    Minn-knee-sooo-taaa
    We stayed in a different hotel on this stop in Mante. It was just past the one we stayed at on the way in, and right next to the nursing school :evil. I think it was called M Gomez. What we didn't realize when we checked in was that it was serving as a barracks for Marines and Policia. The Marines were two doors down from us. Very professional bunch, they maintained an armed and uniformed sentry outside the door at all times. Their sargeant told us they would keep an eye on our motos and that they would be very safe. The Policia? They were up all night partying with the sparkle girls and left a big pile of beer cans by the pool. But hey, they were kind enough to let us take a picture in front of their truck.

    [​IMG]

    We ate well in Mante! Dinner was at the restaurant that was closed when we were in town with the larger group. Then the next morning for breakfast we discovered bocoles - small gorditas with various stuffings which are local to the huasteca region. Good stuff!

    [​IMG]
    #38
  19. Powershouse

    Powershouse Flower Sniffer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,325
    Location:
    Minn-knee-sooo-taaa
    The next day we did a bit of backtracking, back south a bit and west toward Cd Maiz (watch the slick spot!) and on the the ruins and mural at Tepayac. From there it was a jaunt north to Victoria where we would stage for our jump to the border.

    [​IMG]

    For the most part the drive north through Tula toward Victoria was a bit of a drone through the high desert, but just after yet another military checkpoint the road split. All of the other traffic took the new and improved road (Hwy 126), but Paul and I took the road less traveled by and that made all the difference! Our path proved to be 20 miles of moto-nirvana up and over the Sierra Grande and we didn't have to share it with anyone else - we saw one pick up and a bicycle, both going in the other direction, all we encountered in our path were a few goats, which I shoed away so that Paul wouldn't be bothered :lol3.

    [​IMG]
    #39
  20. artbone

    artbone Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    84
    Location:
    San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
    You're right, one of the best motorcycle roads ever. It's not nearly as much fun in an overloaded pickup with an overloaded trailer behind. :eek1

    Art
    #40