Mexico Route Planning Advise Needed

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Jammin, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I went into Mexico at Laredo. I would not suggest it. I came out at Brownsville. Totally different experience. I would recomend Brownsville.

    I didn't like Laredo because of the atmosphere of violence. You'll probably be fine- the violence doesn't usually include tourists or adventure riders- but it's not a nice vibe. If you're curious about tough towns, gangsters, shoot-outs with police- then Laredo is for you. I stayed two nights at a cheapish ($90/night) hotel in Laredo while I was trying to get my bike running. It wasn't fun at all.

    Good tacos, though.

    The toll road from Laredo to Monterey is fast but the semis there were HOMICIDAL. Also the dogs along the road seemed worst. Not that you'll get bitten- I just wouldn't want to hit one. Some of them are pretty big. 40-75 pounds. The dogs seem pretty smart about cars, but they're not- proof lying on the side of the road, bloated, covered in flies and maggots and smelling BAD. Not just one dead dog- lots of dead dogs.

    Sometimes I'd wonder if the homicidal semis were hitting them on purpose.

    The bike shops in Laredo seem to cater to wealthy Mexicans and bored Border Patrol. If you need random work done, try this guy. He mainly fixes old cars but he's also had a few old bikes that he was working on. I needed a clip for my fuel injector, and he gave me one- no charge.

    Attached Files:

    #21
  2. Virtual Rider

    Virtual Rider Traveler

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    I'm sure you've seen it but just to get you excited (as if you're not already)...
    [​IMG]


    I didn't catch your intended rout to CC area and then on to the west coast but thought I'd mention the following. Much of the road from Hidalgo del Parrel to Creel is outstanding. That's not the most direct rout from Chihuahua to Creel but it's an option. Also, Hwy 16 from about La Junta (north of Creel) to the east coast is an amazing ride. I haven't ridden the devil road but I can't imagine that it's much more than this one as far as nice twisties.

    Keep in mind that once you get to Creel, going further south or west is going to require 100+ miles of dirt. If you hope to continue south out of Batopilas without backtracking to Creel, you'll cover some pretty tough conditions for the first 10 miles out of Batopilas. That stretch is also pretty wierd to navigate.
    #22
  3. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    #23
  4. Virtual Rider

    Virtual Rider Traveler

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    :rofl

    That plasticized ho has nothing on the scenery from those switch backs.

    This was taken a few miles before the stretch of road above
    [​IMG]

    Oh and if you're curious about where those switchbacks are, open Google Earth and go to 27.130, -107.568. Zoom in.
    #24
  5. Jammin

    Jammin Integrating back into society

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    Oh yeah, I've seen that picture before. :flug

    On my route: I'm crossing over into Mex at Ojinaga and then plan to head straight to Creel. I guess now I'll go by Hidalgo del Parral :brow Yes, I'm aware it's all dirt from Creel.
    Regarding leaving Bato the back way, can you elaborate on what kind of terrain specifically: deep ruts, sand, etc.. And is the only back way out of Bato to Urique? If so, is there a river crossing involved? How high would the water be at this time of year. Seeing that the rainy season has just passed, I'm thinking the water level will be high.
    Is there another way out of Bato?

    Here's my rough overall plan that I've been thinking of:
    > Border crossing at Ojinaga to Creel to Batopilas.
    > Then head to Mazatlan by staying inland and coming to the coast at Culiacan or riding the coast down from Los Mochis (depending on how I get out of Bato). Are there fun roads to ride along the coast without hitting the big highway?
    > From Mazatlan head to Durango on the Espinoza
    > From Durango, head to Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Guanajauto
    > The head west to Guadalajara and onwards to Sayulita
    > Then the next destination is heading south along the Pacific Coast to Zipolite. I'm thinking I'll zip inland when I find a twisty or dirty road and come back out to the coast.
    > From Puerto Escondido, head to Oaxaca, then to Teotihuacan
    > From there stay inland and head towards San Luis Potosi and Real de Catorce
    > Then last stop in Monterrey, before crossing the border for home.

    What do you guys think?

    Is Sayulita worth a visit?
    #25
  6. Virtual Rider

    Virtual Rider Traveler

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    Technically there are three ways out of Bato. The way back to Creel. Some way that I know nothing about past Satevo and on into Sinaloa. I've never heard of anyone going this rout as a tourist/traveler but I'm sure it's been done. And finally the way I went, out through Tubares. This rout starts with about 10-15 miles of very tough terrain. At the time I did it, it was right at the limits of my skill on my bike (1100GS). I've done quite a bit more dirt/off-road since then and I'd love to ride it now on your smaller bike. I'd still be very nervous on my pig.

    As for specifics, this is looking down one of the switchbacks:
    [​IMG]

    It's a steep climb out of Bato and there are many, many cases where there simply isn't a line that won't take you into this crap. Much of it is heavilly rutted and the ruts are filled with rocks or sand or whatever else they had to "fix" them with.

    After about 25 miles or so you'll cross the Urique River. I can't comment on the river level since it's completely recent-rain-dependant, but when I crossed it in early Nov, it was about mid calf while on the GS pegs.

    Shortly after the river you can either go NW towards Urique or South towards El Fuerte and on to the coast. From here, the road is improved towards Urique, Cerocahui, etc, and even more improved going towards El Fuerte.

    If you go the direction to Urique, Cerocahui, etc, in Bahuichivo there's another option to go SW towards the coast. I've never ridden this stretch. I went back more or less north from Bahuichivo back to Creel.

    FWIW, some of these stretches are not shown accurately on any map I've seen. This is accurate :D

    [​IMG]

    Just to orient you, the major points of interest are: Creel at the top of the loop, El Fuerte at the bottom of the image, Batopilas on the lower-right part of the loop (near "BRIDGE" and "HOTEL BATO"), and Urique which isn't shown but is at the end of the squiggly offshoot on the left side of the loop.
    #26
  7. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    #27
  8. Virtual Rider

    Virtual Rider Traveler

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    It's more like 80/80/80 but some stretches will feel like 90...or more. :lol3

    The other road west that I mentioned does indeed go to Alamos. I'll do that some day...just haven't yet. I did go to Alamos via paved roads...beautiful town!

    I personally would be leary of riding the Bato-Tubares stretch alone. Between the crazy loose stuff going up the canyon wall and then the river crossing, there are just too many "opportunities to wish for help". I'd feel better about it on a light bike than on my GS though.
    #28
  9. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Could the differences be your GPS reading flat track-over-ground, not with elevations?
    Or maybe my odo was just off...:D
    #29
  10. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Jammin- when are you goin?
    #30
  11. Jammin

    Jammin Integrating back into society

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    Hey guys, thanx for the detailed info regarding Bato. I'm making good notes. Yeah, I think I could do those boulder switch backs but doing it solo might be pushing it, that too for my first time. And I havent done a river crossing before, so am thinking that I shouldnt risk the first time solo. Maybe I'll just head back up to Creel... That's not too challenging of a road, is it?

    Bananaman, I'm planning to leave Chicago next Saturday (9/22), crossing over at Ojinaga Monday morning. You interested in tagging along? :freaky
    #31
  12. Jammin

    Jammin Integrating back into society

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    LR, when exactly you going to be in that area?
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  13. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    Coming form CA: I'll probably cross at Nogales or Dougals, AZ on 9/27 or so, not real firm at this time. I may ride down the west side and go into the canyons from Alamos or El Fuerte and over to Creel et al from there...or just go on to Creel first...dunno yet. Rough plans are to spend a week or more around the canyons, and learning the roads, then another week farting around somewhere else...kinda open.

    If we met up, I'd be happy to buy you a cold cerveza.
    #33
  14. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    LR, how long are you going to be in the CC area? I'm going on the RawHyde CC trip Oct 1 - 13. 1st week in baja then to CC. Long story, but first time I've ever tried a group ride of this type. Will you still be around CC Oct 9 - 11? :beer :beer We didn't have the chance on the road outside Chiapa de Corzo last Feb.

    (Hijack over)

    Jammin, all good advice. I'd say the most important is to forget your schedule. Pick a destination for the first night in Mexico. Then pick the next day's destination the night before. Go where you feel like it and don't be rushed. If it's hot and humid, turn inland. Feel like seeing the ocean, head to the coast. Halfway thru your time period, turn around and start meandering north.

    I always hate the last run home. Most people make the closest destination the starting point and the farthest destination the end of the trip. Then it is nothing but a rush to get home. I like to make the farthest destination the starting point and work my way back. Whatever works for you, just remember, he journey is the destination.

    Have a great time, you'll love MX.
    #34
  15. Jammin

    Jammin Integrating back into society

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    :freaky and share tall tales...

    You know what, I think you're right. If I try and stick to a schedule, I'll be more worried about staying on schedule then actually enjoying it. And I totally believe that the "Journey is the Destination" (figuratively, as well :norton )


    Ok, quick question on insurance: Is buying liability just enough, or is the theft of the whole bike a real enough concern to get full coverage?
    If only liability, is 50K a good enough policy, or just stick with 100/300/100K?
    #35
  16. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    The rule I live by is:

    Liability insurance- 10x your annual salary.

    Collision/theft/comprehensive insurance- as much as you feel you can't afford to lose.

    In Mexico, you're guilty until you can prove your innocence. Does your liabilty insurance policy promise to bail you out of jail? In Mexico?
    #36
  17. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    Oh, man- I wish I could, but I'm getting a new roof next weekend. And I'm getting some work done on the basement. And my mom says I can't leave my room again until I finish my homework.

    The roof and basement stuff is true. Also, this weekend I'm doing a lap around Lake Superior. I've been planning it since July. I was hoping you were going in the winter. My kids say I've done enough motorcycle trips for this year. And they're probably right- I did 10 days from Madison to Mexico and back, I rode to Alaska, and I did three days around northern Wisconsin. 31 days of travel by bike, looking at 4 more.

    I'm probably going to do the South America ride in February. If your planning had been for this winter...
    #37
  18. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    I carry 50k liability with bail, nothing else. I buy my insurance on an annual policy, 2 or 3 trips and its cheaper than per trip prices. I also carry medjet assist for evacuation insurance.

    But that's for me and that may not be right for you.

    Can you afford to walk away from the bike and all your gear and get on a plane? I figure the 50k is enough for the insurance company to get me out of jail. From there I'll make my own decisions.

    As for comp / collision, I consider my bikes to be toys (albeit expensive toys). I don't finance toys and I consider them disposable. Not to say I want to leave my bike on the side of the road, just that I never place much financial value on them once I own them. That way it doesn't hurt so much when I drop / crash / bend them.

    Cheers,
    #38
  19. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I have a prescription for vicadin and I carry it when I ride. I don't (DON'T!) take it if I'm riding. I carry it in case I'm seriously injured and don't get prompt or competent medical care. I carry the prescription or the pharmacy receipt so I can get the drugs back into the US. Coming back into the US from Canada this summer the border patrol guys really questioned me about the drugs.

    I'm thinking about getting that fancy titanium flask from aerostich and filling it with clear alcohol- rum/vodka/gin. Good to relax with and/or good as a solvent/antimicrobial.
    #39
  20. Virtual Rider

    Virtual Rider Traveler

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    Very possibly. Actually my odo said more too but everyone knows that BMW can't make a speedo or odo that's accurate. :lol3

    I was traveling solo but hooked up with a couple guys (both on the bike you're riding by the way) that had plans to ride out the "back" way. I wouldn't have done it if I they hadn't agreed to let me tag along. Leave your options open and maybe the same will happen for you.

    The "main" road from Creel into Bat is, in spite of the impressive photo above, fairly simple. If you want more dirt, you can to back to Creel, then down (the left side of the loop in my map) to Urique, and on to Tubares, El Fuerte etc. That keeps you off the bad stretch from Bato to Tubares. Just a thought.
    #40