The End is Here; AKA The Adventures of "el Churro" Around Latin America (Mexico)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by WileyRTW, Nov 2, 2020.

  1. codebot

    codebot Long time lurker, n00b poster

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    A surfboard? At first I was revolted and thinking you're crazy to add the weight, but then I was happy. Seriously, it's perfect and I love it. Are there many good wave spots off he Oaxaca coast?
  2. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

    Joined:
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    I have read it before, but you dont even notice it. Of course, only I am dumb enough to take the very 1st test run via mil cumbres....but it worked out great!

    Good spots in Oaxaca, Guerrero, Michoacan, Colima, hell even Jalisco....and don't forget Baja! Of course that is all the info I will be sharing when it comes to surf spots....it is the rule.
  3. codebot

    codebot Long time lurker, n00b poster

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    It is the rule.

    I have a neighbor who is a big snow board, ice climbing, kayak and surf type of person who makes his way to surf spots all over the world early each year. Early last year he spent a lot of time in Zipolite. I am not sure if he was into the surfing or into the naked stuff. :imaposer

    Regardless, please keep posting! I will always be interested in how you cart a guitar around on your trek.
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  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I'm sure surfing nude and the fest all in one would be a blast.

    https://www.zipolite-mexico.com/zipolite-nudist-festival/
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  5. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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  6. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    If you have 70+ SPF in the right places...then no foul, no harm. :jkam
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  7. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    San Diego, Ca/Zihua Guerrero
    Those of you in the IMS thread already saw this, so this is for those who do not frequent that thread. Rt 134 is a road in Guerrero which runs from Ciudad Altamirano to Zihuatanejo. Generally the area between the cities is not one you should go off exploring on and requires a bit of caution, it is recommended you stick to this main road if you must traverse the area. You wont see much if any cars when out there as locals avoid the road due to past incidents and local "activities", I saw less than 5 cars in the 3 or so hours in the isolated portion, not even local moto traffic. The local guys in a Zihua moto club told me they won't take this route, and I that I would get murdered if I did, but a couple guys in the IMS thread took it a couple weeks ago without issue, so just inquire about current conditions if in the area. Overall it took me approx. 5 hours, which included some brief stops for pics. This was my follow-up posted in the IMS thread:

    No problems on the 134, not much traffic at all, lots of obstacles, especially marble sized rocks scattered across the road, but also a lot of boulders, animals, and potholes. I never once felt like I shouldn't be out there. I did almost get hit by/ I almost hit an army truck when he pulled in front of me to avoid potholes while I was already alongside him passing....but I don't think he was trying to kill me as later they caught up when I was taking pics and he stopped to warn me that I was being dumb parked along the high mountain walls with all the rockslides I had already seen. They never mentioned any safety concerns for the area/me.

    057 Ciudad Altamirano.jpg
  8. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    I have naturally received a fair share of comments on the surfboard here and on FB....so will get some pics of the setup. The panniers and large gas tank allow plenty of room even with the sidi mx boots, unfortunately I have to use the panniers even on quick day trips otherwise there is not enough room.

    I actually have had the guitar for years....it was pricey, but is a carbon fiber travel guitar. Size is between a full size and the small travel guitars so it feel nice when playing, it is light, and I figure it can stand the abuse I throw at it on trips like this...as well as not getting ruined from weather. I let the straps out so its weight rests on the seat, though there is a little bit of drag from wind on my shoulders. My off road stints have not been terribly long, so it is no problem when I am standing thus far, but could be bothersome if I were somewhere in S. America or even Baja. Now that I have two sets of the blue straps due to the surfboard I am going to try strapping the guitar to my tail bag so I don't have to wear it. It is one of these Cargo Acoustic guitars:

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  9. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    So my return trips to Morelia and Uruapan are a bit out of out of order, I don't recall exactly what I did, and dumped the photos into the same folders rather than creating a bunch of multiple Morelia/Uruapan folders, so deal with it. I returned to the prostitute hotel and enjoyed Morelia again as it was now decorated with Xmas decorations throughout the centro. I even scored a room with a balcony 1 night, but they put me back in the crappy room the following nights. There were more restaurants/stores open this time, and a lot more people, so the city was even more fun than last time I was here. Unfortunately the covid BS caught up with this city as well, so they did the rational thing and closed off 5 blocks of the centro to drivers....in a city of about 1 million people.....yes 5 blocks....closed to drivers only. You could still walk around the centro, shops were open, and many people are still wearing their masks improperly if they even have one on, but at least we are safe now with the traffic shut down. Ok ok, I admit, I LOVE IT, they should keep it this way all the time, the centro is much better without the traffic. Funnily enough humans are creatures of habit, and rather than walk in the empty streets taking advantage of the distance they could have from each other, 90% of them were all walking shoulder to shoulder on the sidewalks, what are you going to do?

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    More tiny beers WTF
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    There is a band playing on top of that bus! They must have heard I was back in town.
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    The newest update is that the state govt. has threatened to close down non-essential businesses on Thur-Sun evenings from 7pm, because like the hard working American, covid slaves away everyday during the week, and then gets crazy and goes out on the town for the weekend. The governor of Michoacan then tried to take it a step further and said all business would close on Sundays in major cities throughout the state. Luckily this was an empty threat, as the mayor of Morelia put his foot down and said not on my watch! Well, it turns out the mayor is weak and he caved, so they did shut everything down Sundays, but luckily it only really happened in the centro, elsewhere things were as expected, if someone wanted to shut down they did, if not they didn't.

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    The Aqueduct
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    I could get used to this
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    The view out on the main drag...only for 1 day :(
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    So after a bit of Morelia it was back to Uruapan, which had filled up for the xmas season so I had to find a new hotel as the one with my moto friend was full. I hit the National Park again, and ate some great food. My friends took me to a slightly fancier restaurant this time, where they knew the owner. Eventually he came to say hello and when introduced he tells me I am in the heart of Purapecha country, and am welcome here. It sounded much more bad ass the way he said it, so now I am acting like I own the place, probably not good.

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    Disgusting sludge
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    From there a friend and I took off for the coast, figuring xmas should be spent on a beach. The Jalisco cartel has recently declared war with the Michocan cartel, and even though I am now untouchable in Purapecha country, we took the toll road down to play it safe as the area in between

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    Now, this was a big restaurant, and every table the other direction was empty......yet these two jackasses chose to sit right next to me....come on guys, let's at least pretend to social distance ok?
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    Uruapan and the coast is tierra caliente, a bit unsafe of an area, and there is a whole lot of nothing on the route. Since it is a quick 4 hour ride and we are taking the toll route, and since I have driven months around Mexico with getting a flat, I leave the tools behind to lighten the load. Naturally you know what happens next.


    Not even 45 minutes outside Uruapan Churro starts to feel a bit strange, like something is loose with the steering, it is not awful but doesn't feel right. It had been bothering me for 10 or 15 minutes, but I had originally assumed it was the extra weight of a passenger with that bad shock. But the more I thought about it everything had felt fine the 1st 30 minutes of the trip, so I decided to pull over and take a look. I focused on the front tire as the steering had felt loose, my friend took a look at the rear and said everything was good, so we hopped back on Churro but decided to turn back and head for the gas station we passed to get a better look. Well, this time it was obvious something is wrong, as soon as I hit the gas I am all over the place and have no control.....crap rear tire has gone flat, what the F was my friend looking at??? It was a slow leak originally, but now the tire was done for. My friend hops off and I pull a u-turn to cross the highway to a safer spot to park, and just crossing the highway is incredibly difficult as his ass is swinging all over the place. My friend walks to the SOS kiosk nearby, but of course someone had stolen the phone so that was of no help. We use our phones and call the number on the toll receipt, in Mexico you can get help for free on the toll roads if you have an issue which is pretty sweet. They tell us a flat bed is coming to get us which is good, since I don't have a spare tube or the tools to replace it since I had been trying to lighten the load for this easy trip. I check the tire while we waited and sure enough we picked up a nail in Churros tire.

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    The tow truck shows up and he tells me he doesn't have any straps, but that I can stand on the back of the flat bed and hold Churro up while he drives down the highway....um, do you know how heavy this bitch is? Well, we don't have any options so away we go. Stupidly I had my helmet and other gear in the truck not really thinking about his plan, so while he kind of went slow, he kind of didn't, and I would have felt much better with the gear on. Not gonna lie though, with my hair flowing in the breeze I had images of teen wolf surfing on the roof of the van in my head the entire time. We make it back to the toll plaza without falling off the back, and he calls someone to come and help us, while he takes off. This is the end of the free service, but at least we are not stuck on the side of the road. 45 min or so later a guy shows up on a motorcycle, with no tools aside from 2 wrenches.....again, I could have taken care of this problem myself had I not been so lazy before so I cannot even get mad. Dude eventually takes off my tire and takes off, I figure we will never see him again and figure tonight he will come back and throw Churro in the back of a truck after we have given up and left Churro and his 1 wheel behind. Luckily my friend and I are awesome, and make the best of it with good jokes and some crappy food from the toll plaza vendors. At some point we even made friends with a stray dog...because, well it is Mexico.

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    Several hours later the guy comes back and my heart sinks, he doesn't have the tire, only the tube which he shows me is shredded. What he is showing me is that he cannot patch it which I understand, but wish he had just replaced the tube and brought the tire back, but he needs the money 1st....ok, here is some cash. He takes off and again we wait, having no idea when he will be back. Night falls, it is 7:30 now and has probably been 8 hours total thus far when he finally returns, but this time he has my tire...yay! There are people around now and then but I don't know how safe the toll plazas are after dark, so I was glad to see him. He starts banging on shit to get the wheel back on to where I finally have to tell him to stop and help him, but eventually Churro is back to normal. We had already decided we couldn't continue onto the beach this late, so head back to Uruapan for the night ready to try again tomorrow, but spirits are high as we are just happy to be leaving the toll plaza, and we know it’s a quick trip back to Uruapan.

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    It's dark now and the toll road is full of cars and semi-trucks hauling ass, everyone is passing everyone and on the toll road there is no divider, so you have oncoming cars and trucks making passes as well, which brings them into your lane. The trucks have no problem riding your ass, so it is best to keep moving quickly as well. After 30 or so minutes again I feel it.....son of a bitch not again. This time it is rapid, but luckily there is not a truck behind us, and there is a national guard car with his lights on pulled over up ahead. I start slowing down and almost crash, as the back end is kicking all over the place, I don’t know how we didn’t lose it to be honest. We don't quite make it to the cop car but it is close enough were I can push Churro over to it, while my friend goes ahead and tells him we almost died. He sees my friends face and realizes we need help right away so has me push Churro in front of his car as well as the other car he had stopped to help, and tells us we can get towed back to the toll plaza with the car.


    The flatbed shows up, and who else but the same driver, hola amigo! Still doesn't have any straps, so this time I am going to stand on the flatbed holding up Churro, while he tows the car behind us as well....great if I drop Churro this time not only is the bike done, I am gonna F up their car in the process. Having learned that this guy doesn't really know what slow means, I leave ALL my gear on this time. He wants to take us back to the plaza away from Uruapan, to the SAME plaza we had waited at the past 8 hours, oh please god no! Luckily, the Nation Guard guy is amazing, and is having a heated discussion with the flatbed driver to take us elsewhere who is blatantly objecting to this. National Guard hombre finally calls in to the flatbed drivers boss and orders him to take us to the mechanic. Turns out the National Guard hombre is pretty high up, so the flatbed driver has zero say and loses the fight. After dropping the car off at the plaza, we continue on, further from Uruapan, and pull into a mechanic shop on the toll road at the Pemex. Well, they only work on cars but they tell the driver there is a moto mechanic at the pemex literally on the other side of the highway, so we pull a u-turn and cross the highway, where we see the original mechanic who took hours to help earlier....boooo.

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    I suspect the guy pinched the tube when originally putting the new tube in as there is no nail this time, but he objects to that. Luckily he has a boss, and you can tell the boss doesn't trust him either so the boss tells us they will take a look while poking jabs at the guy about his shoddy work. They get the tube out, find a small hole by the tire stem, and try and tell me they were sold a bad tube....I don't buy it but what can I do. More money to the guy so they can go get another tube, I am just happy they tell me the shop is open despite it being 9 or 10 pm at this point. The boss tells me he will be back so we go back into waiting mode and grab some junk food. Eventually he returns with a tube, and they get Churro back together again. I pay the guys again despite knowing they are probably at fault, just happy to once again be on the road finally headed to Uruapan.

    Another 20 minutes later, slowing down to pay the last toll, I hear metal squeaking. I ask my friend about it, and my friend tells me it is the nearby trucks....no I have learned my friend has no idea what they are talking about, so I pull over to take a look. Sure enough, it is Churro. He is only making noise at low speeds, so I take a look at the tire knowing those idiots did something wrong. I touch the rotor and it is hot, as is the rim and even the swing arm. Further investigation and I see my rear brake pad hanging out of whack yet still in the caliper, the idiots never put it back in properly. God damnit, if you are going to do something right you need to do it yourself. It is 12:30 at night, there is no way I am getting a lift back to those jackasses, so send my friend off to ask random truckers in the plaza to borrow some tools. Eventually we get what we need so I take the tire off and start to reset everything myself, as the wheel alignment markers were also off. We give some of the tools back to truckers who needed to leave, and I continue working with what I have. I eventually get everything fixed but need a wrench to tighten the axel so send my friend off again. This time my friend comes back telling me I owe them big time. They had asked a trucker for a wrench, and as the trucker replied he turned around exposing himself as he had been mid piss. Hahaha, better you than me friend. I button Churro up and for the 3rd time we set off, hoping to be problem free. It is now late, freezing cold, and we are exhausted. We FINALLY make it back to Uruapan at 1:30 am, having gone 45 KM in 14 hours only to return to exactly where we started. Oh well, I guess the beach will have to wait until tomorrow. Always an adventure.

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  10. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,436
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    Calgary
    wow thats an adventure, hey I have an idea next time carry a spare tube and your tools lol That room with the balcony looked sweet and the hotel is more a low class love hotel than for prostitutes.:lol3
    WileyRTW likes this.
  11. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,050
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca/Zihua Guerrero
    Here are some additional pics of the surfboard setup, board is 6 ft which is just about perfect. It doesn't stick out as far in the back as the pics make it look, but the wetsuit and cable lock had fallen back there pushing the bag out more than normal, if I set it up better it is pretty slim, but I wasn't concerned with it at the time. Laying the wetsuit flat against the board is ideal:

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  12. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    463
    Location:
    The Rockies
    Plenty of leg room with that setup:super
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  13. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,050
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca/Zihua Guerrero
    Hmmm, 4 months behind now...oh well where was I??

    Life is good! Yes, no matter what problems I am having a beach seems to always fix them. Ok, to be honest I don't love it here, we are in Zihuatenejo, which has zero waves....what is the point of going to the beach if you cannot surf? But the bay is nice, and sitting on a beach eating and drinking is better than not sitting on a beach eating and drinking, especially after the debacle the day before. Churro ran like a champ now that I was the one working on him again, as expected there were zero problems getting to the beach today, zero!!!

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    Well ok, maybe a minor hiccup which could have once again easily been avoided, but hell this is supposed to be an adventure! After sleeping in after the long awful day we had, we set off to retrace our steps from the day before. I had been warned that there was a lot of nothing in the tierra caliente region we were going through, so planned on getting gas at the Pemex where the idiot mechanics were so as not to push our luck. Of course I missed the entrance not paying full attention, and decided to hit the next gas station rather than pull a u-turn. Turns out there isn't one, so as I continued on longer and longer it quickly became apparent to me that we had passed the final gas station. I don't mention this to my friend, and Churro has the largest tank in the world, so hoped for the best. Several hours later he dies. No problem, been here before, I laugh it off to my friend, flip Churro up on the kickstand to transfer gas to the left side, and we push on. 20 minutes later the same happens, flip and repeat. The 3rd time and I am getting worried, I am losing gas much faster than when it is just me due to the extra weight. I admit to my friend that we may not make it, and that they may need to hitch a ride ahead and bring us back some gas. My face must have told the real story as my friend was now also worried. We pull up a map to gauge how much further we have to go but to my relief we are not that far from the ocean....oh no problem we will be fine....I think. Off again, running real low we get to the toll both and there is a sign telling us it is 45 min to Zihua, and 15 to the next gas station....clearly we are not the 1st to have gas issues since this must be a common question when people pull up. My friends asks some questions in Spanish and we find out we can stop even sooner and buy some barrel gas from a local nearby, so now I know we are fine. We stop to buy a liter before carrying on to the main gas station, crisis averted.

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    Zihua and Ixtapa are two cities that are worlds apart. I don't love either one, but Ixtapa is horrendous. It is one of those Mexican resort projects where they took a beautiful bay, and ruined it with high rise condos and all inclusive hotels. I later drove the strip and you cannot even see the beach, and there are 2, maybe 3 access points to the beach, otherwise it is all private hotels.....it is the worst. Zihua is more our scene, a small mexican city with some nice beaches, a centro full of people selling their crap, but a number of gringos and no waves, eww. But, it is a nice place to spend xmas, so we got to our airbnb and enjoy a few days eating and drinking on the beach.

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    Unfortunately we paid the price for that, as towards the end of the trip my friend ended up sick from food poising. I used this to my advantage to go off walking to some of the beached we hadn't yet gone to since I felt fine. That is pretty much all that happened, but sometimes it is nice to do a whole lot of nothing. With my friend feeling better we headed back to Uruapan the next day. Not even 2 or 3 hours after getting back it hit me, and I puked for hours, running to the bathroom every 10 minutes. I puked so much the next day my chest was on fire. I briefly woke up thinking I had covid....no that is just my muscles in pain from all the puking. I cannot imagine if it had hit me during the ride back, what I would have done or how on earth we could have ridden anywhere, especially out there in the middle of nowhere. I didn't bounce back as quickly as my friend had, and had stomach pains for several days afterwards. Definitely not the best beach vacation I have ever had.

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    Feeling a bit better, we had to make up for that catastrophe, so I checked off another item on the list that had eluded me, Chorros del Varal. We jumped on Churro and headed off on another adventure, despite it being cold as shit. The winter storm that hit up North which everyone was talking about on Facebook had even affected us way down here, and we were getting hit with very cold winds from some thermal current or something. When passing through Angahuan I realized it was too much for my friend, so I stopped to find my friend some warmer clothes. I previously mentioned that Angahuan was the main entrance to the lava church, but that I had taken the back way so never saw it. Well, I loved it. The people were super friendly, the town had dirt roads and many houses were without windows. Naturally that is a bit sad, especially when it is cold like this, but it is one of those places were people make the best of what they have. We asked the guides with horses at the entrance to town where we could buy some clothes, and sure enough they sent us to the plaza in the centro. When we arrived we found people selling all kinds of stuff, including clothes for 40 pesos (1.92USD) each! Loaded up with warm clothes, we did what one naturally does to celebrate, and found some delicious burritos! Yes, I told you I like it here. After lunch we continued on, as we had to get out to Los Reyes for the falls, and were hoping to return before dark.

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    We make it to Los Reyes, and follow signs for the falls. I was hoping the place would be deserted, but when we got to the lot there were a few cars in the lot. We paid for parking, and walked down a ton of stairs, turns out you only pay for parking there is no entrance fee. We get to the bridge and are finally greeted with our first sight of the fall, and they are amazing. Seriously if you are in the area you NEED to go. Using google I find zero hits for this place on ADVRider, I hope this post changes that in the future, it is a fantastic place.

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    It is impossible to capture everything in 1 photo with my camera, but I do a pretty good job. I hate taking selfies though, so ask my friend to take a panarama of me and the falls, and this is what they took. Yeah, nice rocks, guess I will stick to selfies. While the lot was full, the falls are fairly empty, so we run all over the place having it pretty much to ourselves. We eventually head back to Uruapan, but do so at night, so it is much colder than earlier in the day. My visor was filthy so I was forced to ride back with it up, limiting the speed I could go as the temps were brutal.

    Not a panorama expert
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    Take 2!
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    I am sure some other stuff happened in Uruapan, but I forget. We headed back to Morelia where I am sure some other stuff also happened, but I forget that as well. I do know that after a few weeks I returned to the beach, because well, I had been there and not even surfed, and who does that??

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  14. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    Oddometer:
    12,974
    Location:
    Playa del Carmen
    Sucks about the food poisoning, I feel for you.

    I spent a night in Zihuatanejo, you’re right, it was a great little town. Had both dinner and breakfast at the same beach restaurant you went to. Best 50ps ($2.50us) breakfast ever.

    450BEC3B-7900-45CE-977D-A561390F2B1A.jpeg

    Great report, keep it coming :thumb
    WileyRTW likes this.
  15. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,677
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Wow Wiley, Freakin beautiful, thanks for this, much appreciated!
    GringoRider, WileyRTW and Cal like this.
  16. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    463
    Location:
    The Rockies
    Hola Wiley

    Been ridin that board?? Hopefully you’re getting some good swell.:lurk
    WileyRTW likes this.
  17. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,050
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca/Zihua Guerrero
    Not much, left it behind so I could spend Semana Santa in the Yucatan. Surfs not great out here, plus I was meeting a friend flying in so needed to keep it light. Should be back in 2-3 weeks, but of course I have other plans which will keep me from the surf as well.
    roadcapDen likes this.
  18. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv. Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    872
    Location:
    Darnestown, MD
    Really enjoying the RR and amazing pics!

    Lots of RRs make me want to ride... This one makes me want to eat!

    Cheers,
    WileyRTW likes this.
  19. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,436
    Location:
    Calgary
    Thats all he does is eat, I call my wife you come and look at all the food pictures in hopes that it will inspire her :lol3
    GringoRider, poolman and WileyRTW like this.
  20. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,050
    Location:
    San Diego, Ca/Zihua Guerrero
    :imaposer:rofl
    What can I say, all this adventuring works up an appetite.
    Just posted up a bunch of pics on my FB today, now that I know how to post pics easier here you go, I am sure most have been posted here already.

    :dukegirl
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