Mexico on an Airhead - 2019

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ricard, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    “When I was very young and the urge to be someplace else was on me, I was assured by mature people that maturity would cure this itch. When years described me as mature, the remedy prescribed was middle age. In middle age I was assured greater age would calm my fever and now that I am fifty-eight perhaps senility will do the job. Nothing has worked. Four hoarse blasts of a ships's whistle still raise the hair on my neck and set my feet to tapping. The sound of a jet, an engine warming up, even the clopping of shod hooves on pavement brings on the ancient shudder, the dry mouth and vacant eye, the hot palms and the churn of stomach high up under the rib cage. In other words, once a bum always a bum. I fear the disease is incurable. I set this matter down not to instruct others but to inform myself....A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”
    ― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

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    An Airhead on the Airline Highway, Central California (last week).

    Leaving Los Angeles for 3 1/2 weeks in Mexico on the R100R airhead.

    Banamichi - Navojoa - Mazatlan - San Pancho/San Francisco - Ajijic - Morelia - Tepoztlan - Oaxaca .... ??? and back.

    Comments, suggestions and snide remarks welcome.
    #1
  2. colloquialoatmeal

    colloquialoatmeal Thumpin'

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    Some of the best riding I had was in Chiapas, especially hwy 199 from Palenque to San Cristobal. The highway that runs from Ciudad Oaxaca to Tuxtla Gutierrez was rad too. Hwy 190 I think. If you haven't gotten Sjoerd's book yet, do that!! Best of luck on your trip, stay safe, and eat everything you can!!!
    #2
  3. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the suggestions colloquial oatmeal (nice handle).
    #3
  4. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Almost ready......

    For weeks it had been an enthralling game, a meditation, and at times and obsession, wondering what to pack and where to pack it. The major departments were Food, Clothing, Bed, Tools, First Aid, Documents, Cameras and Fuel. The Kitchen was pretty much established in one of the side boxes. I had a neat Optimus petrol stove in its own aluminum saucepan; a non stick frying pan with a folding handle; a pair of nesting stainless-steel mugs; some ill-assorted containers for salt, pepper, sugar, tea, coffee and so on…..and an impeccable white linen jacket reserved for garden parties on the lawns of tropical embassies…..As well as various antibiotics and other drugs and salves, I had bandages of every description, dressings suitable for amputations and third degree burns, tweezers for extracting bullets and disposable scalpels for performing my own appendectomies. In screw top bottles I was given some horrendous white stuff for body lice, and a strange mixture of cod-liver oil and glucose, which, they said, wan an old naval remedy for tropical sores.
    -Ted Simon, Jupiter’s Travels

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    And, some new tires at Valdi’s Motozone in Torrance, Ca.
    #4
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  5. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 6th - Los Angeles to Arcosanti, Arizona - via Joshua Tree, Blythe, Salome, and Prescott.

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    East of 29 Palms, Ca

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    Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti

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    View from guest rooms

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    Earth formed vault at Arcosanti
    #5
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  6. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 7th - Arcosanti, Az to Bisbee, Az
    Hot, crowded, freeway ride. A rain shower south of Tucson cooled me down a bit and washed off some of the dust.

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    Morning in an Arcosanti guest room.

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    Arcosanti

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    Arcosanti cafe

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    Bisbee, the Copper Queen hotel

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    The bar at the Copper Queen
    #6
  7. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 8th - Bisbee, Az to Banamichi, Mx

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    The town of Bisbee in the morning, just gutting hot, and everyone still sleeping off the night before.

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    The border fence at Naco decorated with shiny new concertina wire.

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    Looking back at Mexican immigration/customs. Entering Mexico here is a breeze, no wait and immigration is friendly and helpful. They certainly don’t need to be these days.

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    Looking towards Mexico, everything changes.

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    I obtained the vehicle import permit for the moto down the road in Cananea. Again, super friendly and helpful service. The “Banjercito” is very well hidden in this nursery school across the street from the Pemex station. Directions are on the “Hotel Los Arcos” website, but it’s still almost impossible to find. After taking this photo I had a very minor shakedown by a bored local cop who wanted to know if I was a photographer, or reporter, and why I was interested in the nursery school.

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    “Ruta la Sonora” heading towards Banamichi. The “Vados” were mostly dry, though a few still had a little water in them.

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    When a river crosses the road it becomes a park. The algae growing in the hot sun is super slippery! (Just ask “turkeycreek”) Not much traffic so kids use the road as a slip-and-slide. Nice spot to sit in the shade on a hot day.

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    And arrival at the beautiful Hotel Los Arcos in Banámichi.
    #7
  8. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Nice pics. Give Tom a high five for me.
    #8
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  9. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Thanks for posting about Arcosanti I will try to stay there next trip!
    #9
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  10. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

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    I'M ALONG FOR THE RIDE.
    #10
  11. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 9th & 10th - Banámichi to Navojoa to Mazatlan

    It’s hard to leave a comfortable bed, good food, and pleasant conversation, but I must continue south. Pleasant winding roads through mountains and country side until Hermosillo where I mount the long straight ribbon of concrete that will take me to Navojoa and then on to Mazatlan. The drone of the engine, and the search for a shady place to stop and drink some water or juice, is constant. In Los Angeles it seems the world is paved, with patches of honest dirt here and there. In Mexico only a thin ribbon of road conveys me through endless expanses of dust, mud, and burning fields. Strong smells of smoke, cattle, and roadside carrion are ever present. Off the ribbon things change suddenly and often treacherously.

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    Hotel Los Arcos de Sonora, Banámichi

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    Thanks Turkeycreek!

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    Looking for mid-day shade

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    Plaza Machado, Mazatlan

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    #11
  12. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 11th - Mazatlan in the mid-day heat

    The heat forces tranquility on the town. Mid-day the buildings no longer cast shadows on the narrow streets. Everyone has gone indoors, to be still by whirling fans in open windows. In the morning the cafes are full, no one leaving the tables, staying as still as possible until it’s too hot to bear. By noon everyone is gone, the cafes are empty. After sunset, the Malecon is packed, hardly a table to be found. Everyone has come out to live, and be loud, and see who’s there.

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    The venerable Hotel Belmar

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    #12
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  13. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

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    I really enjoy the pace and tone of your ride reports, Ricard. Thank you for your words and photographs.
    #13
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  14. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    Mazatlan to Tepic - July 12

    Tepic

    Turned inland to escape the heat. The evening breeze is cool, rain clouds are filling the sky, it’s not raining yet. Plaza Principal is full of old and young. The vibe is good.

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    Plaza Machado, Mazatlan

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    Tepic, Plaza Principal

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    Tepic bookseller. Books have been sold in this shop for over 100 years.

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    Tepic boot seller

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    Tepic, Centro

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    No more shoe shines today.
    #14
  15. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 13th - Tepic to Ajijic

    Endless fields of Agave as I pass the town of Tequila. The road winds up into the mountains, the trucks crawl along in the right lane, and on one curve I pass thousands of bottles of Victoria beer shattered all over the road. Near Jocotepec the sky finally opens up on me for the first time, and it pours rain.

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    Best place to meet other bikers is cowering from the cloudburst under a Pemex roof.

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    Ajijic

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    #15
  16. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Always just ride through Tepic, thanks for the photos , looks like Ill have to stop next time.
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  17. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 14 - Chapala

    Reina del Lago de Chapala, La Virgen de Zapopan

    Church bells, a brass band, The Virgin, sacred hymns, insistent and never ceasing drums, ecstatic dancing, for hours through the mid-day heat.

    Catholicism, indigenous culture remembered. Something between the sacred and profane.

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    #17
  18. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 15th - Ajijic to Guadalajara
    July 16th - Guadalajara

    One of the three famous albino burros at Yves’s restaurant in Ajijic. A short ride to Guadalajara Centro. A pilgrimage to Taller Jose Clemente Orozco.

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    Orozco

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    #18
  19. ricard

    ricard Been here awhile

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    July 17th - Ajijic to Morelia
    July 18th - Morelia


    Nice ride through the little pueblos along Hwy 15. Good road with a fair amount of traffic. The rain came down in the afternoon, as usual.

    Sick in Morelia but well taken care of in a little hotel, Suites Concepto, run by good Catholics, as are many in the Centro.

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    Sick in Morelia, spent one day like this.
    #19
  20. MufflerBearings

    MufflerBearings Been here awhile

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    I'm glad to see you post; I was beginning to wonder where you went.

    Great photos as always. Looking forward to seeing more of Morelia when you're feeling better.
    #20
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