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

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

  1. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    The carnitas that are lean look the best! Im not a fan of gristle and fat. The rear rack looks much better painted, its always fun getting things repaired in Mexico.
    #81
  2. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

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    Awesome stuff Wiley, just awesome :clap

    You’re making me jealous. Thanks for sharing. Your ride is getting better and better with each and every post. :lurk
    #82
  3. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Hmm, well absolutely no rain so beautiful blue skies for months, but after a few more updates it gets to where I cant get rid of the chill due to higher elevations in the desert. Present day Morelia has been fantastic weather wise.

    I loved the rust look, it was more fitting for churro, but the racks have held up great.

    Good to hear, I warn you all it feels like the next few posts are more vacation than adventure.
    #83
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  4. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

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    Adventure riding in Mexico is a vacation. At least it is for me.

    Keep it coming :thumb
    #84
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  5. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Batten down the hatches, I am turning 25!!! Oh wait, I already used that title when I sailed from Panama to Colombia during my Bday on the van trip. That was an awesome time, spent with some great people hopping around beautiful Caribbean islands. Ok, so there are no hatches to batten down this time, but my 25th birthday is coming up, yet I have no plan on doing anything out of the ordinary. I knew I didn't want to spend it in Morelia since there was not much going on, so as previously mentioned, Churro and I headed West to Uruapan looking for adventure, despite not knowing what a Uruapan even was.

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    It is a pleasant, fairly short ride over to Uruapan from Quiroga. I turn off to head towards the Centro, and with phones and GPS apps making travel a breeze nowadays figure I will have no problem getting there. But before I get all that far, a guy pulls up and asks where I am from. This happens all the time, if they don't stop me to talk I get waves or fist bumps, so nothing out of the ordinary yet. His next question is if I know the centro, so I tell him no it is my 1st time here. Ok, follow me he says, and away we go. A few lefts and rights later and we pop out in the centro after 5 or 10 minutes, awesome, he had no reason to take me here but wanted to help a gringo. We stop and chat, I find out he is working but wants to help me out. I tell him I can walk around from here and find something, but the moto parking on the plaza is full, so he tells me about a couple hotels and decides to take me to one. The hotel is nice, way nicer than I need, and they want 1500+ pesos (75USD!)....normally. He gets me a room for 800 (40USD, not bad), which is still a lot after paying 200 a night for the pink room (10USD, yay!), but I take it cause this guy has gone above and beyond. Besides my body is sore from all the adventures so a nice bed is good every now and then. He needs to get back to work, but we exchange facebook info before he goes, since he is a fellow moto guy. I don't see him again, but later after I have left Uruapan I contact him and tell him I want to go riding with him and his friends when I return to the city, so I am sure we will meet up again.

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    Already off to a good start I go off walking to get my bearings, and some food. Right away I like Uruapan, the Morelia centro feels new, where Uruapan feels old and warn, just how Churro and I like it. Most ADVRiders seem to stop over for a quick night here and move on. I find out from just about every person I meet that it is not the safest place in Michoacan, but as a gringo I am fine as long as I don't flash money around and don't act like an idiot.....well I can guarantee I don't do at least 1 of those things, I know not to flash money around. When night rolls around I head out for some food but the centro is pretty dead, there is only really 1 option for food, and 1 nightclub open though my bday wasn't until tomorrow so I skip that, and return to the hotel after the some what disappointing food. I don't know how much of that is covid vs. Safety, or if there is just no nightlife here.

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    During my exploration I did some recon on hotels, it seems like it should be easy to get a room between 300-500 pesos (15-25USD), but I find one for 230 pesos a night (11.5USD), though it increases slightly on weekends. I tell him I need to park the bike though it is obvious they have parking, and he whips out his phone and starts showing me his bikes, which he has ridden all over Mexico. Ok sold, I like this place already. Now there was an occasional bug in the room, and a slight, not good but not overly unpleasant odor in the bathroom, though leaving the window open resolved this. Normally there are rubber pads to cover the drain as it comes up through the shower pipes, but this was obviously unavailable. The hotel is located near the national park, so I figure I need to check that out while here.

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    Well, the park is awesome. There is so much flowing water, and thick vegetation, that you forget it is surrounded by the city. Technically it might sit on the outskirts, but is still surrounded by houses on all side I believe, but once inside you never know it. Due to covid there are section closed off and you can only go through the main area in 1 direction, but it was still nice at the low price of only 25 pesos (1.25USD). If you are in Uruapan this is a must see, and it is only a 10 min walk from the centro.

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    At some point I make friends with a guy who spent a good portion of his life in the US, so can speak perfect English as well as Spanish, which makes things much easier for me. His wife is from Nuevo San Juan Parangaricutiro, which is famous as the original town was destroyed by lava from the volcano eruption in 1943, though this was before her time. Nuevo SJP is not very far from the original site, which confuses me slightly as I figure you would want to get as far from the volcano that wiped out your town as possible, but then again I have mentioned on a previous post about Ecuador that Banos sits at the base of a volcano, so it doesn't seem to be a major concern to Latinos. Anyway, she obviously doesn't speak english, but the two of them are great people, and help me to understand and enjoy the city during my time there. Oh yeah, and she wants to tour the world on a bike, has quite the adventurous spirit, and would love to see the middle east. Ah yes, a fellow adventurer.

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    The 1st night I had met them, they take me out for some AMAZING but unhealthy food which I could never have ordered on my own, and then they pick up the bill despite my insistence to pay for my share. Sadly I didn't snap a pic as I was pretending I wasn't a gringo, and I had planned to go back later for more, but we ended up out every night so it never happened. We then head to this awesome private bar, which you can see the entrance of being the giant metal gate below. I would say there is a very good chance I am the only gringo they have ever had, and make a few more friends on that reason alone. I don't take pics inside as I am still trying to not be a complete gringo. The inside was pretty classy and had about 20 people all younger than we are, but the music is techno-ish which doesn't thrill me. While chatting with a new friend here, the original who brought me tells me they are going home and have picked up the bill....WHY?? I had planned on repaying them for the dinner, but they didn't give me the chance. What is more ridiculous about all this is that these guys are the typical Mexican family, they are not all that well off, and there is a freaking pandemic going on, they should not be doing this in any way shape or form. They simply wanted me to enjoy their city, and it's people.

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    Of course I see them just about everyday over the rest of my time here, but I also manage to get out as well. Churro and I are planning on checking out the water fall, Chorros del Varal, but not before taking the long way around the volcano to hit up a squiggly dirt road I saw on the map. The road is a lot of fun, and takes me down to Santiago Acahuato, slightly famous as the image of the virgen Guadalupe might have appeared here, and unrelated the pueblo was taken control of by the autodefensa in 2013. I cant find out much info on the image stuff, and my friends didn't know of Acahuato, so it can't be all that famous though there are some tour buses with Mexican tourists. Coming in on a moto from the back way in this small pueblo brings you out in the centro, where I loop around with all eyes on me. I stopped to get some food, and chat with the ladies a bit, and it seems like a nice enough place. Just past here is Apatzincan which has also had security issues in fairly recent times, but everything seems good now. This borders the "tierra caliente" region, which is a huge region which cuts the state of Michocan in half, and named this as the climate is very hot. Coincidently this area is a bit hot regarding safety as well, so caution should be used. The heat is enough for me, so Churro and I continue west of here to catch the road that will take us up to Los Reyes and the falls. By the time we make it up there it is late enough in the day that I decide to continue on the loop and return to Uruapan, saving the falls for another day. Just about everyday I plan on going the easy way there to check it out, but of course I have not yet made it there, despite literally going through Los Reyes on my way to Mazamitla, but that trip is not going to make this post.

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    So with late starts to my day that have me abort the falls several times, I instead head to the church that was buried in lava from the previously mentioned eruption. It was a slow eruption that lasted 8 years, and took over a year to get to the church. Somehow, a good portion of the church survived, despite being directly in the lava flow. You can go to Angahuan where you will find guys who will take you to the church via horseback, but I already have a horse, so Churro and I go past there to take the back way in which is near Zacan. From here it is an easy dirt road, though there is occasionally fine volcanic silt similar to sand which causes the bike to float occasionally. Overall it wasn't bad, but there are also sections with rocks which would make me nervous in a car, but I have read a few take a car this way. We make it without issue naturally, so I park the bike, order up some food so they will watch Churro, and then hit the church. After the church I had planned to return via Angahuan to check out the town, but see sign for Nuevo SJP, which is a longer way back to Uruapan, via dirt....so you already know which way we went.

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    Another night my friends took me for my 1st Mexican Chinese food, something which doesn't have the best reputation, though I have learned there are locations in Mexico where it is fantastic. Uruapan might be the avacado center of the universe, there are large orchards everywhere, and big money involved. It is similar to the drug game, there is a lot of deception, betrayal, and murder....ok maybe I wont enter the carnitas game, who needs all that. Well, we get Mexican chips with our delicious Chinese food, so I shouldn't have been surprised when my friends whip out some avacados they had brought and we chow down on delicious Chinese food along with our chips and guac. Since I am again pretending I am not a gringo, all you get is a leftover shot. This pic was coincidently taken because when I returned from the store to get more beer my friend said oh you got the large ones...which I replied no way, these are what we have been drinking all night aren't they? Well, while I was clearly wrong, I raised the bar I guess, cause we stuck with the large cans the rest of the time. But back to the Chinese restaurant, my friend gets a call from a client as we are leaving so we jump in a cab to head back. He knows the cab driver, and I hear them catching up, talking about the location of my friends new place, but also tune out as the driver is older and tough for me to understand. What I completely missed, was when they were talking about how the cab driver had been kidnapped, they threw him in a trunk and drove around all wild and crazy for a few hours eventually letting him go, though with injuries from the ride in the trunk....so when they say there are bad hombres here, they mean it.

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    This all happened several weeks ago, and as usual I am behind on my posts, so don't really have any idea what else happened while in Uruapan. I do know that for weeks I had continually told my friends from Guadalajara I would meet them up in the desert a few hours south of Real de Catorce, knowing they planned to head back to GDL early December. I kept telling them I would leave Michocan soon back when I was in Patzcuaro, but I had been having a blast in Michoacan so it was impossible to leave. I finally forced myself to move on from Uruapan, thinking I would hit Chorros del valor on my way to Mazamitla, but as mentioned another late start had me skip the falls, despite being so close. And if you haven't noticed, when I said I was definitely going to mil cubmres next, well it is obviously not happening, at least not for while.

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    Oh yeah, remember how my friends picked up the tabs the 1st night, what I didn't tell them until days later was that night had been my birthday. The fact that they, like my friend who took me to the centro, went above and beyond not knowing this, made me appreciate it even more, and is a birthday I won't soon forget.

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    #85
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  6. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    wow this has turned into a great report and your photos are fantastic. I have ridden trough Uruapan but never stopped , it is now on my to stop list along with visiting the church in the lava flow.
    #86
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  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Sweet! You've gone to some places most other Ride Reports have not. Visiting that park in Urapan is on my list since visiting Morelia & Patzcuaro already.
    #87
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  8. Mofrid

    Mofrid Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yeah ... Totally wonderful RR. Thanks for posting it!!
    #88
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  9. JohnnyLingo

    JohnnyLingo Eleutheromaniac

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    This places and people are amazing. Thank you for sharing them with us!
    #89
  10. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Disagree, this was a great report from the start sir! But I think it is awesome Uruapan is now on your list. It is unfortunate that I cannot make friends in every town I stop in, I know there are plenty f good ones that I only see from the outside, and miss what they are really about. You can also hike the volcano there, but since I have done that in Indo I didn't want to mess with the black cloud that was hanging over it that day, so will return later.

    I wouldn't have gone to the park if it wasn't right there....but I am so glad I did.

    I am burnt out on vacation, so I really appreciate these comments, the likes mean nothing, but it is nice to hear you guys are enjoying it. I like doing the reports, but at times could easily stop writing them and not miss it.....this is incentive to keep going. I mean, who wants to read about Ajijic, blah....its coming soon.

    Thanks for following along!
    #90
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  11. Champe

    Champe Long timer

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    Mexico has my attention because of this report.

    I like the food descriptions especially, because I am comparing to Colombia. I have been to both more than once and think Colombia could use a little Mexican influence in this area.

    Crimewise looks similar. Pretty rare, but could happen almost anywhere. Not so different from the US.
    #91
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  12. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Excellent dude and Happy Birthday, es magico!
    #92
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  13. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    I despise colombian food, there is no comparison between the two in my mind. Mexican food blows it out of the water.
    #93
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  14. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    So I stole these pics from a friend, that march was no joke. I noticed the other day they have finally started cleaning the graffiti on the buildings.
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    #94
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  15. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

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    Thanks for taking the time for all the writing and pics!!
    Some of the best times of my life have been on the road wandering old mex.
    Enjoy it, all of it.
    #95
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  16. pitbull

    pitbull Long timer

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    Fantastic pics and great adventure. Thanks for sharing.
    #96
  17. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Everyday is an adventure when you roll with el Churro
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    #97
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  18. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    I pressed like but not sure if that was the right thing to do:lol3
    Hope you can sort it out
    #98
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  19. Canton rider

    Canton rider Canton Rider Supporter

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    I really like your Ride Report and am following it with great interest. You're VERY smart doing this while you are young and can enjoy all aspects of it. I really appreciate you taking the time to share the prose and pictures with us. Well done.
    #99
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  20. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Thanks, but I am only relatively young at 41, we all need to go now, we are only getting older with more responsibilities each day.
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