Brian's First Ride Report: Mexico 2019

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LogHouseBikers, Jan 6, 2019.

  1. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    I tried to find a view point of Puerto Angel from opposite side of the bay and found myself at a dead end road on the tip of the point. This is what I found...
    IMG-0439.JPG IMG-0438.JPG IMG-0440.JPG IMG-0441.JPG
  2. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    This is the road to the light house, after turning around and pointing back the way I came.
    IMG-0442.JPG
    At the top of the hill (going backup) I was treated to this view I missed coming the other way.
    IMG-0444.JPG IMG-0445.JPG IMG-0446.JPG
    Finding the dead end was actually rewarding; sneaking around the little tiny one lane roads/alleys.
  3. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Somehow I missed the road to Huatulco. Don't know what happened to it.
    Anyway, a liitle before reaching Salina Cruz I noticed a beach side road sign to yet another "Playa Azul." Guess that's something I am supposed to go look at? I keep finding them. So off I went. The road quickly became dirt/sand... wait a minute... I am on the RE Himalayan... no problem! Went out to the end of the road and found a great little beach area with a restaurant to boot. Shrimp for a late lunch/ early dinner (about 3:30 in the afternoon)!
    57092457649--56D4AB03-C9D8-4623-9364-22DFCD22B039.JPG IMG-0450.JPG IMG-0452.JPG IMG-0453.JPG
  4. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Salina Cruz turns out to be a bigger city than I realized. It has a major port, and an oil refinery. In general it is busy. I hurried through since it was later in the afternoon than I planned, but did stop for a picture. Sorry about the power pole lines, but the stop point was precarious(?) Didn't want to get off the bike, and not much more room to be stopped at.
    IMG-0458.JPG

    I continued to Juchitan de Zaragoza, and found a newer looking hotel right as I entered town. Very "commercial" looking building, not yet finished. It is clean, with large rooms, pretty good wifi, breakfast in the morning, and hot water. $40. Will get a photo in the morning.
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    31,503
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    There are ATM fees built into the transaction. You have to click ok to accept it.

    As such you want to to try and get the max out per ATM use to minimize that fee. Certain cards are better like Schwab. My USAA card refunds those.

    Usually the max is 9000 pesos or so ($400 something USD). Many are less. You need to carry more cash than you might in the US. Stash it in a safe spot.

    In some places ATMs are hard to find.
    ATMs in banks are the most preferred.
    Cover the numbers with your hand just in case there is a skimmer. Stand alone ATMs and in supermarkets get hacked the most, try to avoid.

    I transfer only the amount I'm withdrawing each time into my USAA travel act in case I'm hacked. If so the person could only charge the few $ left in the acct that day.

    Bring 2 CC in case a machine eats one and keeps it. It can happen. Make sure your CC company knows you're in Mexico.

    Many places accept CC these days but those are often the resort/tourist places anyway.
    If a place accepts a CC assume you are paying extra vs the places that are cash only. Technically cash only place are building the national 16% IVA tax into the ticket but when you start comparing the CC charged places prices to cash prices you realize they are not to compete on cash pricing.

    Carry cash and maybe only use a Cc for a resort like hotel room
  6. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    31,503
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    https://osmand.net
    Is another offline routable map app.
    Both maps.me and Osmand use the same open source maps osm.
    You might like it better.

    You can also select the area you are visiting in Google Maps and download the maps offline. It's in the the 3 parralel lines on left.
    This way you get at the POIs that are in Google and not in osm maps. I use this and osmand in Mexico. You should actually do it everywhere!
  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    31,503
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    The toll roads (cuota) are all private built and thus the toll. Insurance is included in that fee too if you have an accident, plus help trucks and call boxes. Yes they are $ (most expensive toll roads in the world) but they are fast and effectient .
  8. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    31,503
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    And thus I'll add check online with your bank asap to verify the transaction or not as Cal found out. The ATMs are suppose to verify this...but in Mexico anything is possible. Cal's bank will then have Bancomer run the logs on cash out to see the problem, but it sucks when it happens to you.

    I stick to Scottiabank, BBVA, Banamex, Santander & HSBC...they are all foreign owned or connected and have always done me right.

    Bancomer is now on my caution list.

    The bottom.of this article lists the big banks in Mexico and generally the most reliable
    https://transferwise.com/gb/blog/money-and-banks-in-mexico

    Major retail banks in Mexico
    | --- | --- |
    | BBVA Bancomer Mexico | Mexico’s largest bank. U.S. based bank Wells-Fargo has ties with the entity. |
    | Banamex (owned by Citigroup) | Mexico’s second-largest banking group, Banamex, is a Citigroup subsidiary. If you bank with Citigroup, you can withdraw from Banamex ATMs for free. |
    | Banorte (merged with IXE) | Banorte is among the most populous in terms of ATMs and local branches in Mexico. Capital One’s debit card allows free withdrawals at Banorte ATMs of up to 3,000 pesos a day. |
    | Santander Mexico | Use the branch locator to find Santander branches and atm's. Be aware that fees maybe apply. To avoid your card getting blocked you should notify your bank that you'll be traveling. |
    | HSBC Mexico | HSBC Mexico operates 1,400 branches and 5,200 ATMs across Mexico. If you bank with HSBC at home, expect free ATM withdrawals at HSBC ATMs.
    | Banco Inbursa | Banco Inbursa is a local Mexican bank owned by Mexico’s famous billionaire Carlos Slim. |

    The following foreign banks maintain branches in Mexico:

    International banks operating in Mexico
  9. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    31,503
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    And get change for those 500 peso notes too asap, small place can't often make change.

    I find the closest OXXO and go in and buy a beer & drink it with that 500.

    Gas stations are a great place to change to, but be very watchful of change. I will finish my fill up and pay with a 500 but also say the change back I'm expected to receive. Hold the 500 in your hand and make sure to see the change in their hand. Exchange and then count it back right there. Don't get sidetracked on anything besides the change!

    Then give them a 10peso coin tip (that's how they get paid) and then pull out another 500 and say cambio? They have a big wad to help you out and you just tipped them.

    The next place is big supermarkets. Go in for the experience and buy something small and pay with a 500.

    Try to get 100s and 50s vs 200s.
    If you do have 200 work those for change when you bill is over 100p.

    As you know it's almost 20p to 1 USD so it's easy.
    Take off a zero and divide in 1/2.
    500p = $25
  10. Steinbuck

    Steinbuck Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    71
    Location:
    Minutes from Baja
    You're doing a great job with the riding and writing--very enjoyable. :lurk

    My guess is that every inmate who rode Baja for the first time had the same reactions as you've written. There's a real sense of accomplishment in crossing a border, riding through sections previously thought impossibly difficult, fixing problems along the way because you HAVE to and the challenges of adding a blog to all of that. The blog completely changes the trip. Kudos all around.

    I've ridden Baja multiple times and have long wanted to cross to the mainland but was concerned about the many unknowns. Your descriptions of the mainland sections are pretty reassuring. Still doesn't make me want to get one of the homeshare apps, though. :scratch

    Oh, and I'm still trying to figure out how to make camera access (even a point-and-shoot) more convenient. I'm about ready to go cyborg with one eye.
  11. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Today was a long ride day. I am now in Chable, Tabasco. At the La Isla hotel. $500 pesos and not a place I will revisit. While they did give me a good parking spot, the bed sheets were dirty and I had to make a "stern" request for replacements. And then I had to re-make the bed myself. Not unfriendly folks... just not quick to "fix" the issue. They said it was the last room they had, but I saw at least 2 other people show up and get rooms after me. Maybe they had reservations?
    IMG_0479.JPG IMG_0480.JPG
    The reason for the "plan" change and long ride is to make a meet-up with someone in Akumal on Wednesday. It just switches the order of travel. I will meander back instead of there.
    Davidprej and Cameleer like this.
  12. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Some of the pics from today's ride...
    IMG-0463.JPG IMG-0464.JPG IMG-0466.JPG IMG-0467.JPG
  13. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Along the way I had a delay at a construction site. One lane traffic.
    IMG-0470.JPG
    I made a new friend while waiting. Can you see him? Zoom all the way in...
    IMG-0472.JPG
    He was playing peek-a-boo.
    IMG-0473.JPG
    Made each other smile! :-)
  14. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Last nights hotel. Industrial was the descriptive word I was looking for.
    IMG-0462.JPG IMG-0460.JPG
  15. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
    Oddometer:
    710
    Location:
    East Texas
    Great ride report & pics Brian so thanks for taking time to do the report
  16. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb...

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2015
    Oddometer:
    969
    Location:
    Satellite of Love
    Almost looks like Cell Block # 9...:D
    SavannahCapt and RedDogAlberta like this.
  17. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    19,949
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    That was my thought before I saw your post - a prison courtyard.
  18. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Today was part 2 of the hard run to Akumal. The road, Mx 186 from Villahermosa to Chetumal, is long and mostly straight. Generally boring, although beautiful countryside. I saw lots of signs for archaeological ruins along the way, and will have to do this road again when my wife is along (we really enjoy these places, but like to visit them together.)
    Staying in a nice hostel in Chetumal. Hostel Paakal. $350 pesos, + $40 if you want breakfast (have to reserve the night before.) A really nice place actually. Clean, hot showers, wifi, private room. And, at least for this solo traveler... secure Motorcycle parking! (She offered/asked without me saying anything.) I believe there is only 1 other guest here tonight.
    57109923475--5894968F-6839-406E-A9FA-BF0EA6DA02AD.JPG 57109927978--71AB04CE-EDBA-43E9-B3A4-97DD6E1C6813.JPG
    My room...
    57109942162--80083EDF-EC17-4D66-BF0E-1EBCFB68708A.JPG
    A screened outdoor sitting area...
    57109961658--9CDDA70F-C5C9-4BC4-A5B6-716D501BE62E.JPG
    Gordon, crashkorolyk, Cal and 2 others like this.
  19. LogHouseBikers

    LogHouseBikers Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    244
    Location:
    Yuma, Arizona
    And in the back yard...
    57109948356--79CC3502-B2E7-4683-AD24-D98EB80C4ACD.JPG
  20. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    631
    Location:
    Great Falls, Virginia