Cuatro Abuelos y un Pata de Perro Visitan Algunas Ciudades Coloniales Mexicanas

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cwc, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    15 November Monday 2010

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    The dog of the day.

    Charlie led Arturo and me on a great day trip to the mountain top village of Real de Catorce at about 8,900 feet in elevation on the mountain top. Taking the old road or back way up, kept us on our toes, as the narrow single lane dirt and rock shelf road had steep inclines, and extremely sharp hairpins on the face of the canyon walls. Some of the road was cobblestone, but with the stones on their vertical edge to give traction, one could really tear up the rear tire if you got to rambunctious. Tourists riding in and on top of old Jeep Willys came out of Real de Catorce to visit remnants of the old mine structures and up the canyon from Estacion Catorce so one had to always be ready to share the narrow roadway around the next hairpin.

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    A good breakfast is essential.

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    Tury displays his new Tury-a-Tech line of chain lubing accessories.

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    Random shots of the back way into Real de Catorce.

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    Not shown is the crash scene. Dean stopped to take some photos and I pulled up behind him, stopped and got off. When Dean was ready he mounted up and left as I was getting on my bike. I started to move, but in the wrong direction. I was sliding backwards with both brakes applied. Did I mention that this is a steep road? Soon enough the bike tipped over. Dean stopped maybe a quarter of a mile up the hill and seeing my predicament started back down the hill on foot. About that time one of the Jeeps came along and the passengers jumped off to help me. Once the bike was up and the airbox drained it started right up and I got moving just as Dean arrived.



    The main street of the village was the colorful market place one would expect, all the local crafts, religious icons, embroidery, foods and candies. One of the more popular food choices was corn on a stick. The vendor would have you check the boiled ear for tenderness of the kernels, then husk it and put the ear on the stick for a handle. A sliced lime was then rubbed on the ear of corn, mayonnaise is then painted over the kernels, heavy cream is then painted over the mayo, with a different brush, chili sauce is then painted over the top, and lastly a dusting of powdered cheese is sifted over the whole works, it seems like a bargain at a $1.US.

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    Not everybody is excited to be in Real de Catorce.

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    Who needs to buy an expensive kite?

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    Dressing up corn on the cob.

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    Tury and I shop for lunch.

    The flagman who controlled the one way (at a time) tunnel leaving Real de Catorce let the 3 of us come to the front of the line so we would not have to choke on the dust and fumes from the line up of vehicles. We rapidly cleared the long curving tunnel and began the wind down the mountain side on the miles of cobblestone road. Cobblestone is best traveled at 50 to 60 miles an hour on the dual sports, the long travel suspension really smoothes out the road.

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    Guelito and Hector after hearing about the proposed route to Real de Catorce decided to take a rest day. They also went out and bought the steaks and worms and so forth for our evening meal.


    Upon our return to the hacienda we were treated to a Bar-B-Que supper of Beef Steak and all the fixins. The highlight of the meal was freshly fried worms from the base of the Agave plant, these are the same worm that you find in the bottom of a Mescal bottle. Our host hand cleaned the wiggling worms and then plunged them into a pan of hot canola oil, being heated by red hot charcoal. The worms wiggle like never before, but soon straighten out and bloat up, retaining their coral color. Their appearance and texture can best be described as being similar to the orange colored cracker sticks that come in the oriental trail mix, just add some pairs of legs and a couple of beady black eyes. The worms actual taste was bland to my pallet. Some call them the caviar of the desert.

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    Dean makes a worm taco.

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    Dean EATS a worm taco.
    #21
  2. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    Hello Federico,

    It's good to hear from you.


    Zacatecas is coming up soon!:wink:
    #22
  3. fugarwe

    fugarwe Usual Suspect

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    I can't wait till the girls get home so I can tell them Grandfather ate worms!
    #23
  4. Mr. B

    Mr. B Slowpoke

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    Mmmm. Worm taco!
    #24
  5. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    One of these abuelos is not like the others. He didn't sample the worms.:nah
    #25
  6. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    16 November Tuesday 2010

    Our days ride took us over an assortment of tar roads to Delores Hidalgo where we met up with Guelito and Hector who took the big roads with their Road Star and Goldwing.
    We got rooms at the Hotel Anber just off the square, secured the bikes in their parking lot half a block away, and had a most enjoyable supper on the square at an attractive restaurant, with an even more attractive hostess. Our walk around the town center, took us to the main church, local merchants, and past street vendors in the square itself. Hotel Anber was clean and tidy with airy common areas and a value at $20.US per person. We covered 180 miles today.


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    The dog of the day.

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    Nice company car seen on the San Luis Potosi bypass.

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    The meeting/eating room at the hotel where we enjoyed our breakfast tamales.

    Tomorrow we go into the high miles mode.
    #26
  7. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    17 November Wednesday 2010

    We found a nice traditional bakery just off the south side of the square, along with some juice and a couple of tamales from a street vendor and free coffee from the hotel we had a nice light breakfast in the hotel lobby. We left Delores Hidalgo around 10AM and drove scenic twisties to Guanajuato a city of 150,000 people set on steep hill sides, with buildings dating from the 1500s. This was the town of Diago Rivera the famous artist who was married to Frieda Khalo, another famous Mexican artist. A walking trip to the center of town from our Hotel La Abadia, showed us narrow, twisty, steep streets, beautiful tree covered squares, an orchestra concert in the Cathedral, and wandering Mariachi bands on the street, as well as occasional donkeys being led while carrying loads of fire wood or huge bundles of God only knows what. We took a ride on a Sprinter type bus around the city, highly recommended as it showed us sights we could have not focused on riding the motorcycles. The drivers of these small buses judge clearances to the half inch on these narrow streets, and through the tunnels that create a motor vehicle subway system under the downtown area. Arturo pointed out that some of the alley ways are so narrow that people can kiss across the balconies above the road way. Only 40 miles traveled today.

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    The dog of the day.

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    A pretty serious looking breakfast crowd.

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    Fortunately we got out of here without buying anything.


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    Our first tourist stop in Guanajuato. It looks like they didn't finish the second bell tower, but we discovered that only the main cathedral was allowed to have two bell towers.

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    It seemed like everything was covered in gold. We heard a tour guide say that all the gold on the walls amounted to less than 3 kilos. That must be some pretty thin gold.

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    The view from our room in Hotel la Abadia. We though it would be great when the señoritas come out for some sun. That didn't happen.

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    A typical tunnel entrance. I thought it would be difficult getting around in the tunnels, but it wasn't. I just got on the bus and magically arrived where I needed to be.

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    Sidewalks in Guanajuato are carefully designed to ensure handicap accessibility.

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    #27
  8. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    18 November Thursday 2010

    Slept well last night under the large picture window which offers up an overlook of the court yard pool and the city of Guanajuato. This morning on Mexican news, the U.S. govt issued a travel warning not to go to Mexico. Also a number of Drug Murders and Arrests were the top stories. Windy with nice sunshine today, we did some laundry, email, and tinkered on the bikes. Arturo and I commented on the young girls with nursing babies that we saw on the bus yesterday and on the street this morning, they appeared to be 12 to 14 years of age, with a sad faraway look, of not knowing what the future will bring for them or their child. One girl did not even have matching shoes.

    Later on Tury and I walked around town and visited some of the places his grandfather and other relatives had lived when he was a young lad. It was mostly a pretty laid back day doing chores and observing life in Guanajuato.

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    There were lots of these little cars running around town. They look just perfect for that duty.
    #28
  9. fugarwe

    fugarwe Usual Suspect

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    If there is one thing you've taught me as a father, it's that a story doesn't have to be true to be a good story.
    #29
  10. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    19 November Friday 2010


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    The dog of the day.


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    Our routes.

    Drove to Morelia today 172 miles over a variety of roads and terrain, 2 lane, 4 lane, construction, and for the most part more traffic than we have encountered in the past. Much more of the land is under cultivation and sprawling greenhouses cover 40 acres or more in a single block of buildings. We stop in San Miguel Allende for lunch, and are treated to a children’s parade through the streets and all around the square. The parade is to celebrate the revolution of 1910, all the little boys are sporting charcoal mustaches, large sombreros, bandoleers of bullets, toy rifles, and even the strutting attitude of a revolutionary. One little fella wore one of those puppet horses that hangs from your shoulders, and it looks like you are riding it. The little girls all wore the long traditional white “senoritas” dresses, with all the fancy embroidery along the hems, and held a toy baby slung to their backs with a shawl, and all were in full makeup to make them appear to be full grown women. In front of the judges stand they sang what I would guess to be patriotic songs, and did traditional dances, suited to their age and ability.
    Charlie predicted there would be too many “Gringos” in San Miguel Allende, and yes we did see some, but not that many, and most seemed to be of retirement age, and some were obviously from Europe, and you can’t blame them for wanting to spend vacation or winter in such a beautiful city, with all the feel of European architecture, and large ornately decorated stone buildings.


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    We didn't figue out what this parade was about, but they had a police escort.


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    The spiffy faucet handle in the baño at out lunch stop.

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    Deans light lunch.

    We drive on to Morelia a city of 1.5 million and locate Hector and Guelito at a street side table on the corner of the square enjoying refreshments and the conveyor belt of people walking by, a number of the young gals are definitely head turners. We book into the Hotel Concordia a couple of blocks off the square, a welcome retreat to the hustle, bustle, and noise of the traffic clogging the lanes around the square. Concordia offers clean conservatively appointed rooms, a nice central atrium, elevator, a small breakfast room, where you are served your cooked breakfast, all for $20.US per person.
    Walking into the Cathedral I half joked that all of the churches we have seen so far could be put inside this one. Restaurants abound from one lady operations to fully staffed, with fine table cloths, American fast food is present as well around the city center.


    There was a little drama getting to Hector and Guelito. We called and got their location and Tury led us there. Fortunately I also had them located on the GPS. It was the Mexicano equivalent of the US 4th of July, but it was like the US holiday on steroids. The road was about 20 ft. wide and had three lanes of traffic. Tury was splitting lanes like a pizza delivery rider on a 125. We made it, but it got intense a couple of times.

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    We parked for a while to discuss out options. A couple of people tried to get us to move, but alas we didn't speak Spanish.

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    The four abuelos.

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    The four abuelos and the Pata de Perro.
    #30
  11. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    20 November Saturday 2010


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    Complimentary breakfast at the hotel.

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    The Dog of the day.


    Guelito and Hector have proposed a day trip to Lago de Patzcuaro, and the boat trip to the Island of Janitzito in the center of the lake. A smooth ride out of Morelia into the rolling countryside, takes us to a bustling village, that is in the midst of a full parade, with bands, drum and bugle corps, children’s groups, and city fathers, all being covered by confetti, thrown by the bystanders along the parade route.

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    The first thing Dean noticed was the obstructed drivers view on this bus.

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    Then he started noticing other things.

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    After enjoying the festivities we ride on to Lago De Patzcuaro, we park the bikes next to a lake side vendor, who agrees to watch them for 30 pesos (less than $3.US each) per bike for the afternoon, while we take the tour boats to the island of Janitzito. First I sample a deep fried battered smelt like fish, it was so tasty. We all eat some from the cup of them I buy, Charlie opts out, which is one more for me. The low long tour boats are powered by old bus engine/transmissions, the captains seat about 3/4s the way back from the bow, is centered over the keel. There is a small steering wheel and a shifter for choice of a forward gear or reverse, the boats are surprisingly smooth and glide easily over the surface of the lake. On the way to and from the island entertainment is provided by Mariachi musicians, also on the way to the island the local fisherman form a circle of 5 or so flat bottom canoes and put on a netting demonstration, showing how they collect the lakes fish in their large circular “butterfly” nets attached to the end of a long pole. In unison they dip their nets in the circle, and all bring them out of the water, slowly and at the same time, increasing their chances of netting the most fish. Of course one or two of the fisherman paddles his way to the tour boat to collect a tip for the demonstration but there is no pressure whatsoever to contribute. The boat fare to the island is 40 pesos, less than $4.US and that is for round trip back to the mainland, just grab the next returning boat when you are ready to leave the island. On the island it is a most pleasant experience to walk the hillside market streets filled with food, craft, painting, pottery, clothing, religious icon vendors; as well as food stalls, and restaurants. If you are feeling energetic you can hike to the top of the island for a close up view of the statue of Morelia, who helped to lead that region of Mexico on to independence. It is obvious that all of the 3,500 residents of the island are fishers, either of the lake, or of the tourists, but there is none of the pushiness one might expect from a market place setting.

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    Back on the mainland of the state of Michoacán, Arturo, Charlie and I enjoy a meal of the local fare at Restaurant Las Camelinas, it was delicious. Hector and Guelito ate their meal out on the island. The rising near full moon guided our drive back to the city. For only traveling 75 miles we sure did experience a lot.

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    #31
  12. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    21 November Sunday 2010

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    The dog of the day.

    Hector and Guelito have taken the big road on to Zacatecas as they need to return to Chihuahua soon. The rest of us took the "back way".

    Traveling through rolling hills of Live Oak, and various pine trees, and dropping down to broad flat valleys of agricultural land past shocked fields of corn, we travel 202 miles to the town of Lagos de Moreno where Arturo, Charlie and I get a room at Hotel La Troje on the side of the town square. Reasonably priced at 395 pesos ($34.US) for the 3 of us.

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    A nicer than usual roadside shrine.

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    We saw bikers here so stopped. The food was good. The bikers were returning from a big rally in Leon.

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    Some of these chickens appear to have a better contract than the others.

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    While I went for a more comfortable seat on my bike, this guy went the other way.


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    If we came in the front door this is how we got to the parking lot. Actual entry to our room from the parking area was a little more convenient.

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    Sheets were dried on the roof.

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    System for transport of sheets to the roof.

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    More sheets going to the alternate dryer via OSHA approved ladder.


    A tasty meal accompanied by a singing guitarist finishes off our day.
    #32
  13. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    22 November Monday 2010

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    The dogs of the day.

    Early morning gunfire of about 20 rounds in 3 separate exchanges wakes us this morning, but there was no full automatic fire.

    When we were out and about in the morning nobody seemed to be affected by the gunfire. I have heard early morning shots in Urique, Chih. when I was pretty sure it was a celebration of some sort. I have heard shots while sleeping at 28th and Park in So. Minneapolis when I was pretty sure it was NOT a celebration. These will have to remain a mystery.

    We enjoy a simple but tasty breakfast in a small café, and head onto Zacatecas, except for Arturo who has to return to Chihuahua.

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    The roads to Zacatecas are busier than we have encountered so far, but still very manageable. As we neared Aqua Caliente we passed a huge Nissan factory that must employ thousands of workers. There are acres of new cars gathering their daily dose of dust wafting in off the miles of surrounding desert, while waiting to be loaded on train or transport for delivery to car dealers. At the military check point where all vehicles are searched, the soldiers make a pleasant half hearted look through our luggage, they are more interested in the motorcycles and the fact that Charlie and I are from Minnesota.

    We stopped on the side of the road to bid adieu to Tury who was planning to go to Torreon that day. At this point Guelito, Tury and Dean all had colds. Hector and CWC were still healthy and would remain that way, largely due to clean living.:roflFrom here on Dean and I would be on our own as the other three abuelos returned to Chihuahua.

    We stopped at the next Pemex and got gas and directions to downtown and then went to look for a place to stay.

    In Zacatecas we are looking for a motorcycle friendly hostel when it's owner, Federico, rides up on his KLR and says his hostel is presently closed but he would lead us to a hostel he is sure we will like. He was right, the Hostel Villa Colonial http://www.hostalvillacolonial.com/ was just about perfect, with it’s roof top terrace, roof top kitchen with eating counter, internet in the lobby, just a few short blocks from the city center, which also means a few short blocks away from most of the night noise, a private two bed room with private bath, for $10US each per night, and parking directly outside the glass door that the 24 hour desk staff look through, keeping a direct eye on the motorcycles. The window ledge in our room kept our juice nice and cool for morning, although there were refrigerators in the kitchens for the guests as well. We traveled about 130 miles for the day to arrive in Zacatecas.

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    I'm pretty surprised that we don't have a photo of Federico. He is a frequent visitor at the Hostel Villa Colonial and we had several pleasant conversations with him.
    #33
  14. Streeter

    Streeter Has Coping Skills

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    Quote: "We parked for a while to discuss out options. A couple of people tried to get us to move, but alas we didn't speak Spanish." This made me laugh. John C., it looks like that one bike would need a true "iron butt" to ride it.

    Nice write up guys,

    Paul
    #34
  15. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    23 November Tuesday 2010

    The roof top veranda at Ernesto’s Villa Colonial makes a great place for breakfast of fresh bakery pieces, baked just two blocks away. Zacatecas is a colonial city of 150,000 which swells to 300,000 weekdays with workers and university students. Walks around the city are followed by a nice cat nap as the air is thin here at around 8,200 feet elevation. The government building just below the hostel Villa Colonial has a wonderful 3 sided mural painted and sculpted in stone surrounding its staircase to second floor, well worth a look. Lara the gentle 6 year old black lab rules the roost at the hostel, and is happy to clean up any crumbs that may have fallen from your eats, onto the roof top. Rules the roost really means, sleeps where ever she likes, so keep your room door closed if you don’t want a bed mate.

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    Lara is todays dog of the day.

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    We saw lots of neat little Coke trucks.



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    The name of this restaurant was something like "Meat with it's juice" and thats what they served.

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    Although this lad doesn't seem to impressed with this mural in the government building, we liked it. We spent some time checking it out and several local people took the time to explain the meaning of various parts of it.

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    #35
  16. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I'm enjoying your Mexico ride... the eating is as good as the riding! Thanks for all those great pics :thumb

    :lurk
    #36
  17. Powershouse

    Powershouse Flower Sniffer Supporter

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    So, what's it all about Alfie?
    #37
  18. cwc

    cwc . Supporter

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    Basically the history of Mexico with emphasis on the time after the first foreign terrorists arrived.
    #38
  19. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

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    You guys make me want to ride north for lunch! Thanks for the great rr :thumb<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    #39
  20. judjonzz

    judjonzz Beastly

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    :lurk
    #40