Mexico by Geezer

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by RexBuck, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Thanks for the kind words and for tagging along Motowest.

    The retirement thing is new to me and its still a bit scary. However, I can see that I will looking back in awhile and wishing I had done it sooner.
    #61
  2. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Day 15 - February 1

    Short day today from San Blas to Guayabitos. Beautiful road more or less following the coast. Noticed there are a few decent looking hotels/resorts south of San Blas. Think I still would prefer to be in town just to get more of the Mexican flavor.

    After motoring in a pretty straight line across the flats for a while, the road climbs over a hill and presents some spectacular views and a few miles of really fun twisties.

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    In Zacaulpan, ran across a couple from Colorado, Rick and Chris heading down to El Salvador (and maybe further) on KLRs. Nice people.

    See these growing in the area. They are Jackfruit but the locals call them Jaca - which sounds like yuca which is what I thought they were saying and needless to say, was confused . . . again. They are apparently the largest fruit in the world and can grow to 3 feet long and 80 pounds. Seem to be a bit smaller here. Tasty.
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    Arrived in Guayabitos, planned to hang around for a couple of nights to visit some friends, get this RR caught up, play tourist and generally goof off. I will find that goofing off consumes a lot of time and will end up there 5 nights. :jkam
    #62
  3. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    So how is the weather holding up? Warmer temps making for comfortable days? Is this the best time of year to be enjoying mainland Mexico?:hmmmmm

    I need to get these things figured out for what I hope will be an early retirement (or maybe just extended vacations :evil).
    #63
  4. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Great - started this morning at 17C (63F) and hit a high of 36.5C (98F) for a bit this afternoon.

    Weather on the Baja tended to be cooler - maybe highs in the low 80s - mainland has been a bit warmer.

    Lets see, supposed to get down to -11C (about 12F) at home tonight . . . I'm good with this. :D

    If you are not ready to pull the plug, consider the extended vacations - you'd be surprised what you can do in a month.
    #64
  5. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Days 16-20 - February 1-5

    Was going to spend three days here, visiting friends, hanging out, getting caught up. Extended it a couple of days to catch some other friends and watch the Super Bowl.

    Rincon de Guayabitos is the middle of three small seaside tourist communities. They primarily cater to Mexican tourists but there is a decent sized Canadian group there also. Good place for people wanting an alternative to the glitz of the big resort towns. Along the main drag.

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    Here’s a couple of shots of the hotel I had for $40 a night. Mostly Canadians until the long weekend then mostly Mexicans - either way, the other guests were fine.
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    On the beach you can get a whole pineapple with all the guts mushed up with some juices added and then some pieces of orange, jicama, watermellon stuck in. 30p less than $2.50
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    Some beach vendors.
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    Had a great time playing tourist. :jkam
    #65
  6. Jick Magger

    Jick Magger Exile on Main Street

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    You are right about the weather at home Steve...Looking out the front door this morning....brrrr<a href="https://jickmagger.smugmug.com/Other/Intelligent-Auto-mode-enhanced/21384242_Rttzkq#!i=1703666639&k=KrhHPcR&lb=1&s=A" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"><img src="https://jickmagger.smugmug.com/Other/Intelligent-Auto-mode-enhanced/i-KrhHPcR/0/L/P1010506-L.jpg" title="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug" alt="Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug"></a>
    #66
  7. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    That's a great picture BJ - I particularly enjoy looking at pics like that while sitting on the beach with my friend Negra Modelo waiting for another spectacular sunset. :freaky

    ps - at least you don't have to shovel that . . . .
    #67
  8. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    That picture sure helps remind you that you are in the right place this time of year. Apparently you are not the only one enjoying the warmer weather of the southern latitudes!
    #68
  9. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Well, Santa Cruz is tough to take at anytime of the year, that's for sure.
    #69
  10. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Day 21 - Feb 26

    Another weinie day today. Went about half hour back up the road to a little town called Chacala. I had been through there before and thought I’d like to check it out, so I did.

    Chacala is still a tourist town but much smaller than most others – even more relaxed feel to it. Today however, was really busy – cars parked all over the place. Last day of the Mexican long weekend, Día de la Constitución. Mostly Mexican families enjoying the beach.

    Since I arrived late in the morning, most hotels didn’t have rooms ready so, went and had breakfast and relaxed.

    Nice beach and not real busy in spite of all the cars here.

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    Staying at Hotel Las Brisas – 495p for a small but nice room. Once I got checked in, went for a walk around the Beach, over to the “marina”. The local fishing fleet
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    By mid-afternoon, I was reduced to sitting in the hotel’s restarunat on the beach. By the evening I was on about my umpteenth beer, had watched a spectacular sunset, had a great fish medley dinner all the while they had some 50s / 60s rock playing in the background. Waves crashing in. Pretty frickin relaxing if you ask me.
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    Comment: Pacifico is a decent beer when the favorites aren't available but doesn't hold a candle to the Mexican oscuro or dark beers like Negra Modelo (my fav) or Indio

    The sunset getting started
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    Then it exploded
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    These three guys decide to go for a swim in the last bit of light
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    Turned the beach pink
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    By the time the sunset was finished, the parking lot had gone from stacked 2 deep in some places to my bike and 1 car. Mexican’s all went home to go back to work tomorrow.

    I’'d come back here.
    #70
  11. motowest

    motowest Two-wheeled Adventurer

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    It looks like the sunset was worth the effort, for sure!
    #71
  12. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Day 22 - Feb 7

    Took a back road to Puerto Vallarta. Starts about 7 km south of the Chacala turnoff - sign says Älta Vista. I think a lot of this road was probably originally a connecting route between Tepic and Puerto Vallarta, possibly before MEX 200 was developed, hence the cobblestone sections on the steeper parts of the road. Here are some clips of the cobblestone portions; the grade of the road and holes in the cobblestone are mellowed out a lot by the very wide angle of the GoPro camera - I'm not a great off pavement rider but for reference, I was in first or second gear most of the time.




    Overall, turned out to be a very enjoyable twisted road with lots of up and down. I just had a lot of fun on this part.

    Coming around one corner and see this cattle guard - quickly thinking (well, as quick as my brain permits me to think) that rails running the same way as I'm going would not be a good thing. Fortunately, the cattle guard was pretty well filled in with dirt.
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    Friends had told me to keep an eye out for the turnoff to the hot pools. Decided to wander back there to take a look. Most of this little road in was pretty good but was some nice steep spots and some nasty powder stuff in spots &#8211; wasn&#8217;t too deep though.

    Was thinking I might sneak in a skinny dip thinking it was just some natural pools but there is a guy looking after it and anyhow, there was already a crowd there - group of RVers. Took some pics, had a brief chat with the guy that looks after the place and headed out.

    Here are some of the lower pools
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    Here are the upper pools - apparently each pool is slightly lower than the next so the water runs through all of them in sequence. The upper pools are the warmest. Stuck my hand in and it wasn't a hot tub but it was reasonably warm.
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    Rode south of there turned better as it went through some larger towns approaching Puerto Vallarta.

    On the outskirts of a small town, San Juan de Abajo, stopped for breakfast / lunch at a roadside restaurant run by a family. Incredibly nice people. I had taken my big camera out to take some snaps of them and along with the GoPro on my helmet, the daughter came over and asked if I was going to put these on the internet? Told her I was and she seemed delighted at that. Sorry I wasn't able to give her my RR addy off the top of my head.


    Comment: That got me thinking. I would have liked to have been able to quickly give her a link to the ride report so she could see herself. So, set up www.rexbuck.com which will be directed straight to this ride report. For $10, what the hell?


    Here's the family - girl on the right is the one who wants to be the movie star. Papa cooking corn. Mama making tortillas did not want her pic taken. Notice the wood-fired stoves - not unusual in these roadside eateries.

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    Road deposited me north of PV (somehow in my addled brain thought I would be south of it) so suffered having to drive through a city again. Yeech!

    Pretty uneventful ride for the rest of the day. Once I got past the PV traffic, had about 30 or 40 km of nice twisty road. Then pretty mundane. Nice scenery except for the last couple of hours. A picturesque valley on the way.

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    When you are driving around early in the morning or in the afternoon, you see a lot of workers going home in a Mexican worker bus - a half ton can hold 6 to 8 comfortably while a 3/4 ton can jam in a dozen or more. Better have a steel rack so they can all stand. Actually, its hard to see but some in this group were sitting - I think there was at least 15 here.

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    Got into Barra de Navidad - not a bad tourist town - looks like little more upscale hotels along the beaches. Stayed in one a block back - Hotel Sarabi - wasn't the one I had in mind as I realized after I checked in that the one I had my eye on is next door. This one is just fine though . . . 350p - secure parking, wifi, hot water and clean bed.

    My routine each evening is about the same - sitting in the courtyard writing this stuff, kill my first Negra Modelo then on to the second then to dinner. It's a nice touch down here that in many of the small stores you can buy single beers - great for the traveler
    . :drink
    #72
  13. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Great RR. We've been going to the Puerto Vallarta area for about six years now; usually at Christmas. First time we went was to attend a friends 50th wedding anniversary party in Rincon de Guayabitos. Couldn't quit going after that !
    Gotta keep watching this RR.
    #73
  14. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Yah,. we have certainly enjoyed the area north of PV. Thanks for following along Ace and the nice comments.
    #74
  15. Sleddog

    Sleddog Ridin, again:)

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    Since going to Mexico's Copper Canyon region the first time last March I've become a junkie for anything Mexico. We'll be returning again in a Month & can't wait to get on the road.
    We did do a day ride from Los Mochis to Topolobambo & had lunch at the Ship looking restaurant at the port your arrived at.

    Really enjoying your RR & following along!

    Sleddog
    #75
  16. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Hey Sleddog thanks for the comments. Mexico really grows on a person - the people are super and there immense variety of things to experience here.

    Have a great trip and ride safe.
    #76
  17. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Day 23 - Feb 8

    Interesting day today. Rode a spectacular road, got pulled over in two checkpoints, got lost in a good sized town and was held up by banditos. :yikes

    After stopping in Manzanillo for gas and a taco breakfast, was stopped in an Army checkpoint - they wanted to check my side cases - pokes around a bit. Doesn't look in anything else. Did find my disc lock which is in a small case and quite heavy - thought he'd found a gun. Looked it over pretty carefully before tossing it back.

    GPS was confused or I was confused but wound up on the Cuota to Colima - took about 10km before I could find a break in the barrier between the lanes and do a U-Turn.

    Return to Tecoman, get in the city and don't realize immediately the GPS is not following the highway through town but just a straight line across the town. For some reason it isn't routing in this city and just drew a line from the highway at one end connected to the highway at the other end. These electronic gizmos are a great tool but sometime we (I) get lazy and rely on them too much when we should be using some common sense.

    Wandered around town for a while looking for the highway and coming down a side street, run across a bunch of Transit Police - one of them waves me over. Uh oh. Turns out they were just pulling all motorcycles over and checking licenses. Guy wrote some stuff down from my license and told me to go. Finally deduced the highway and got out of town.

    Lots of banana plantations south of Manzanillo for quite a ways. Lot of very large fields of palms are planted with young banana trees. Wonder if they'll take out the palms when the bananas start producing. Interesting to see. They put blue plastic bags over the ripening bunches of bananas - I'm guessing to protect them from bugs and birds but might help them mature better also.
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    Got held up by banditos - wanted money. Here I am whistling around a corner and they pull up a cable across the road. Scared the shit out of me but I had my wits about me and didn't argue, just paid. Fortunately had my camera on.



    Trying to make it to Playa Azul but the frickin road is so bent, I keep having to slow down. What a fantastic stretch of pavement. No traffic, endless curves. What a great time! Spectacular views as the road went up and down - sometimes a bit inland other times amazing views of beautiful white, empty beaches.
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    Had to watch out for varmints though. Tons of burros and the odd flock of goats.

    Was going to be after 6 by the time I got to planned destination, Playa Azul and I thought I should find a place before then. Bahia Bufadero looked about right and it looked like it had some hotels.

    Before I was close to Bahia Bufadero, I realized I was needing gas and should have filled up in Tecoman. Anyhow, see the next Pemex is about 60 km in Bahia Bufadero and that fits with getting a room there. Fuel warning light on for 40 km, see the Pemex sign in the distance, come around the corner and here is a fairly large and fairly new station . . . closed. WTF? Oh well, my spare gas will get me to the next Pemex on the list.

    So, might as well get a room. Well here's a small town with some pretty nice hotels and everything is empty. Stopped at three and decided to stay at the third one - seemed ok. Nobody seems to have internet.

    Had me park through the lobby next to the little pool in the courtyard (see her in the far corner). Quite nice place for 400p.
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    Ate across the street at a mother daughter outdoor restaurant. Basic food but good.
    #77
  18. a.j.44

    a.j.44 Frozen 6 months a yr

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    How much did the little Bandita get off you for the road tax?
    Great R/R keep it coming.:clap
    #78
  19. Jick Magger

    Jick Magger Exile on Main Street

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    Thats illegal. The red flag they used on the cable is too small. Well below the legal limits.:rofl
    #79
  20. Vernonpedro

    Vernonpedro Gravelrash

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    Yeah, but that's about all the bandito that the old guy could handle, BJ. Only saw coins going in the cup, no folding notes :rofl Trip's looking pretty good, Stevo - will you still be willing to ride with us lesser mortals this summer???? Take care Steve. Pedro:clap
    #80