Ed's Third Trip to Mexico (this time the Yucatan)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by edstoll, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. eford3rd

    eford3rd n00b

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    have fun ed and be safe
    #21
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  2. sledrydr

    sledrydr Been here awhile

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    Your perfect blistering pace is refreshing! The early stops with plenty of walking sounds nice. Believe Ill follow along. From IA as well. Where abouts in IA are you home based? Enjoy.
    #22
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  3. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Hi Earn. You need to gather your brother up and ride the copper canyon of Mexico. You would like it.

    Hi @sledrydr . I live in Osceola.
    #23
  4. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Day 6
    Ciudad Victoria to Ciudad Victoria

    This turned out to be a long day. It was also a wonderful day. The intent was to just go ride. The weather was beautiful and Google maps showed a squiggly line headed west called Highway 101.The road did not disappoint. Pretty scenery and lots of curves. It was hazy out so my pictures are worse than normal. Sorry I am not a photographer.

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    It is hard to see in the picture but that is Cd Victoria in the valley below. You should come see all this in person it is much better than my lousy pictures show.

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    Then came a pleasant surprise. An archeology site Balcon De Montezuma (Montezuma's Balcony). It turned out to be about 2 1/2 miles off the pavement. Most of it easy going but I would not ride a Goldwing back there.

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    It would not be a good place to break down. If you needed it there is an extra donkey laying around. Probably wouldn't be able to get much out of it though.

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    At the end of the trail I came to a closed gate. My heart sank. I figured the public had been locked out. I went through the gate on foot and read the signs that were ahead. I realized the gate was only to keep out vehicles, bicycles, back packs, food and about everything except humans. Protecting the ruins.

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    I secured up the bike and hiked in. This is the foot path to get there.

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    The site consists of many round rock foundations ( I think about 70) that grass huts used to be on.

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    One of Montezuma's men left a shovel behind.

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    The Grand Escalinata.

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    I had the place to myself. Very fun. Now back to the highway.

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    You never know what you are going to find. Dead Donkeys dead Buicks..

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    I know it"s backwards. Nice town seems to be prosperous.

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    Then I found another gem. There was a squiggly line on my map that went south from Palmillas that went through to Highway 66. This is a good one. It started out nice pavement and turned to rock and dirt winding through the hills.

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    I came across a family repairing a cattle crossing. Real nice folks.

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    Sorry for the long post but today was a Red Letter Day for me. I wanted to preserve it for my memory later. I took 133 pictures today so I am sparing you quite a bit.

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    It was so long of a day I violated one of the number one rules in Mexico. I rode the last hour after dark.

    The days stats. The high speed was rushing in a few areas to get in before dark.

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    #24
  5. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Good job Ed . In Jaumave I hope you looked up into the trees and caught sight of some of the guacamayas .Got a picture ?
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    Huge pecan trees cover the town which prides itself on protecting these parrots which spend the winter there feeding on the nuts in the tree tops. .
    #25
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  6. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Dang it I went through Jaumave too fast. Maybe I can catch that on the way back. Sjoerd I am in CD Valles for a few days. Do you care to tell me what the must sees are? I could use the help. I know there is a lot in this region. I will probably run down to Xilitla tomorrow or the next day.
    #26
  7. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Day 7

    Ciudad Victoria to Ciudad Valles

    Went a lot easier today. The weather was awesome. I got up and did my chores ( uploading pictures, doing an update on this report ect.) and then went out for breakfast. It was a pretty poor breakfast in the restaurant around the corner from the hotel but all is good and by noon I was rolling south.

    Highway 85 was a pleasant easy ride. Goes through a lot of agricultural area. I took a few pics on the fly.

    See the wind generators. Just like Iowa. By the way none of them were turning.

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    In Ciudad Valles I headed for the centro and come across this gem of a hotel.

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    It is great. Very clean, secure parking, bottled drinking water on all floors for 470 Pesos about $25. I took two and will probably book more because there is a lot to see around here and I really do like this hotel. Best I have been it during this trip. It even has room to hang your laundry to dry.

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    I ate a great burger in the attached restaurant and set out on foot. Busy Busy town. Lots of vendors and shops.
    I found a motorcycle dealership. This truck would probably do what your gator will do and more. It has a big cargo area. $2800 dollars brand new.

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    They have walls in Mexico. This one has glass shards and broken bottles cemented into the top.

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    After a couple hours of walking I came back to the room to do my chores.

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    The days stats

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    #27
  8. ColeK

    ColeK n00b

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    Hi Ed,

    My Name Is Cole - Just started browsing Adventure Rider cuz I look forward to a similar ride so I'm following your adventure. My dream ride is here (Dallas) to Ushuaia, Argentina - the End of the World! Obviously riding through Mexico is of interest since, well, ya can't really go around it. I've spent a couple weeks in Mexico City and been through Monterrey and Tijuana. I read your whole first adventure - skipped the second to FF to the latest. Weather has been stupid cold down here this year - started getting too cold to ride in early November this year. Someday I want to spent a lot of time in places where riding conditions are excellent all year long. Medellin Colombia is on my mind.

    Hey you were lucky. You really just beat the cold weather. There was 16 inches of snow on Route 2 in Sonora.

    I did the East Coast from Sprfld Mass to Miami three times (escaping the winter) on a Kawasaki 454 LTD. Are you on a Rebel 500? Just watched some video reviewing that and they had a lot of good to say about it.

    I might suggest if you haven't already - visit Teotihuacan and climb the Pyramid of the Sun. It's the largest pyramid in the Western Hemisphere - quite an experience. Mexico City is a lot nicer and safer than most rumors would lead you to believe.

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    #28
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  9. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Welcome to ADVrider Cole. There is a ton of information here and knowledgeable folks. Make sure to check out trip planning.

    I intend to go to Teotihuacan. I am on a Honda CBX500. This is a tremendous motorcycle but not the only thing out there. Ride whatever you have.
    #29
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  10. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

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    Ive been by that same white rock mine, was crazy how you turn the corner and every thing is white washed from all the dust, trees trucks land, every thing is white except the sky. Thought I west colorblind for a minute.
    watching, and safe travels!!
    #30
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  11. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Me too... I know the location intimately ..a memorable experience :augie on the first ever ride into Mexico .... It is on Mex 85 , the place called El Abra, ( the pass , or the window) where the highway and the railroad climbs up through a notch in the escarpment south of Cd Mante . Now it is a succession of limestone quarries which coat everything with dust out of the rock crushers.
    On that first trip , July 1979 it was just a gravel pit in the brush and I had to stop the bike and dive into the woods for a major emergency dump because I had "Turista " on the third day in Mexico . In the hot weather the day before we had bought iced lemonade from a street vendor . The stuff was cold and tasty but it was in those big 20 L glass jugs you still see, on a wheel barrow and the guy used a ladle to scoop it into actual GLASS beakers . Obviously the cleanliness of the glass washing etc . left something to be desired . AIEEE carramba ! Lesson learned .

    Ed , the Hotel Pina has its own good restaurant right in the building , off the lobby. Lots of hotels do likewise , don't shun them looking for something
    " better" . If you want a really light simple breakfast there is always Oxxo where you can buy a coffee and a big sanitarilly produced packaged sandwich or a similar package with two burritos , different sorts. Lots of Oxxo have a small sit down counter where you can consume the food and do people watching .

    Cd Valles is a big prosperous town ,ranch country and citrus .
    In town I like to do a wander around the big Mercados which are a few blocks south of the main street if you walk west out of Hotel Pina .
    Near town sort off , 50km to west on Mex 70 there are the waterparks of Tamasopo. Some folks like the Puente de Dios sector , outside NW of that town .
    Its is okay but the tunnel swim is not my idea of fun ( Just the viewing of it left me with repeat bad dreams of getting snagged in a draining tunnel funnel and about to drown ) Nicer walking waterpark is north of town and you can carry on that highway loop back east to Mex 70
    Also off that section of Mex 70 is the paved road south to Tanchachin and Aquismon (page XXIV, hint) which you could use when you are going south not to retreat to Cd Valles .
    Rather than making loop drives from a central base which commits you to returning there , it might be worth trying the full-wander approach = > check out of a hotel with all your belongings on the bike and find a different hotel that night - even if it winds up being only 80 km away . That way the next morning you are able to start the next section without needing to repeat a road you already have visited , photographed and at end of day you dont restrict your exploring.

    Aquismon is a pretty town and is only 40km away east from the Sotano de las Golondrinas. If you stay in Aquismon you can ride there in the morning. They do offer jeep tours from Aquismon but I think they leave verrrrrrry early in the dark so that you can catch the "rush hour " of X-thousand bats and birds . The swallows do fly in and out all day so that was good enough for me .You stand at the edge of the hole (fence) and swallows coming in will buzzzzz right past your head as they put on the brakes from top speed . There aralso big parrots who live on the cave wall .
    From Aquismon do go back to Mex 85 for the run into Tamazunchale , maybe side trip of a day to Xilitla (p186) and Las Pozas . The 85 south here changes character as it enters the mountain valley All the small farms on the steep mountainside look similar to scenery in the Guatemala highlands and the Andes
    From Tamazunchale the 85 south is IT ! - wonderful road up into cloud forest and then onto the desert plateau of interior Mexico .

    Sorry ,I'm getting carried away - flashbacks and instant rerun of all the scenery and curves .

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    #31
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  12. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Sjoerd, thank you so much. Exactly what I was looking for. I will make good use of what you said. It is an honor to have you visit my ride report. If you are so inclined additional recommendations as I wonder around are greatly appreciated.
    #32
  13. waverunner800

    waverunner800 Adventurer

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    Ed--finally got a chance to open up your ride report. I know, I found out you were headed to Mexico six days ago, but was somewhat tied up with holiday stuff and then back to work (oops, sorry for that four letter word). I did pull up your spot tracker (during authorized breaks only of course) at work the last two days, so we've been following your progress. You should have left the Danger Ranger at my place--I'm about 40 miles closer to the border than New Braunfels!! Ride safe, and stop by on your way home!
    #33
  14. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Doug, keep that work thing to yourself I don't want any of that. I was worried about leaving the truck in your HOA area because I intend to be gone a lot longer this time. You don't need those problems. I may be able to stop by on the way back.
    #34
  15. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Day 8

    CD Valles to CD Valles

    I started out westbound to check out some water falls. It was misting rain. The moisture intensified so I bailed on that and retreated to town. I rode around exploring the city.

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    I found a large city park.

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    This map inside the gate contains useful information about the whole region. It was interesting also because on one side north is up and the other side south is up.

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    They were doing some brush clearing in the park. The people doing it had this crew cab Ranger. I have seen a lot of these in Mexico. Why couldn't we have these in the US? Crash tests I suppose.

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    The bathrooms had fancy doors on the stalls.

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    Nice walking trails

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    They used a lot of railroad ties in this park.

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    They also use truck tires.

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    At the park the rain was starting to pick up so I rode back to Hotel Pina and re-uped for two more nights. I then took off on foot looking through the Mercado all around the area. It is like a farmers market on steroids.

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    Apparently not only is it unsafe to drive at night in Mexico it is also unsafe to walk at night.

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    I seen a multi colored squirrel running around a tree. I was trying to get his picture but he was too quick in and out of the branches. I think a lady seen me trying to get the picture and came out of a little homeless type shelter and held up a tortilla shell . She fed him to keep him still so I could get the picture.

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    Government building.

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    I am going to try for waterfalls again tomorrow.

    The days stats meager as they are it was still a great day.

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    #35
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  16. strick909

    strick909 n00b

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    Hi Ed, I'm enjoying tagging along on this trip!
    Just out of curiosity, how is your Spanish? I would really love to ride into Mexico from Texas one day but don't speak a word of it past Hola.
    #36
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  17. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    I know very very little. The please thank you good morning ect but I can in no way communicate with words. I have a translator app on my phone and I know how to point at things on the menu. I have tried to learn Spanish but I am old and it doesn't come easy. Don't let it stop you. Ride Mexico you won't regret it. Smiling and being nice goes a long way down here.
    #37
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  18. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Day 9

    Ciudad Valles to Ciudad Valles The waterfalls day

    I made it to 4 different cascadas (waterfalls) today. I took a lot of pictures but I will just post a few that represent each one. I am going to break this up into 4 posts to keep them organized for my own benefit.

    This is all in the region called Huasteca Potosina. It has a rich and beautiful jungle ecosystem with rivers, abysses and waterfalls. today I set out to visit a few of the waterfalls and generally just ride around ending back at CD Valles. It turned out to be another great day. The weather was perfect and the adventure was a success.

    I was a little late getting started because the bike was blocked in.

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    No worries, long breakfast extra cup of coffee. A little extra time on the pot and the parking lot was cleared. I headed out of town going west on 70 and then north on a paved road to Cascada Micos.

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    Each of the waterfalls I went to today had plenty available to eat .

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    It was a little wet from yesterdays rain. The dirt here is very slick when damp. I nearly fell crossing this bridge. (on foot)

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    Clear water



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    Very rickety bridge.


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    I got to the end of the area and was turning back when this guy hollered at me.

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    This is Marko. He runs the last shop along the strip.

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    He didn't speak english but we communicated okay. He pointed me to a doorway in between the shops and indicated it goes up. It sure does go up. I counted 400 steps when I came back down.

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    It was worth the climb.

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    I went through here and on to that cat walk to get those pics.

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    I hiked back down, bought a bottle of orange juice from Marko and headed for El Naranjo.

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    Part 2 of day in the next post.
    #38
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  19. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Day 9 continued
    Part two Naranjo and Cascada El Salto at El Meco.

    I continued north on the paved road to Naranjo. As I was leaving Mico I came across this at an overlook.

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    That looks to be serious fun. Those bike cross on cable way above that falls I showed from the catwalk.

    The road became potholed but all paved to Naranjo. It passes through agricultural land.

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    Harvest is done by hand. Very different from home.

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    I guess the old Pete decided to take a nap.

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    Naranjo is a decent sized town.

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    Cascada El Salto is right beside the road at El Meco just north of Naranjo.


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    Super easy access and beautiful. There is a restaurant right there if you want to sit out on the overlook and drink or eat.

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    Next up the highly regarded Puente de Dios. I took a little different route there.

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    #39
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  20. edstoll

    edstoll OPD-2019 Supporter

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    Day 9 continued.

    Part Three El Meco to Tamasopo.

    I left Naranjo the same way I came but then took off on another road heading in the general direction I wanted to go.

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    It is hard packed country road mainly to access the fields but did pass through a small village or two. It was teeth jarring rough and sometimes rutted up bad. I have a great suspension on this bike. I was regularly twisting on the throttle and attaining speed that smoothed it all out. Lots of fun but then I would come to my senses and remember how far I was from home and back it back down.

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    I eventually made it back to pavement and Tamasopo.


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    If you come here be prepared for lots of steps. It's down down down to the river and of course you have to climb back up.

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    What do you suppose this kid is contemplating?

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    Next up we are going to the other side of Tamasopo to the Cascadas de Tamasopo.
    #40