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. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    The tank is awesome, I put it on after I bought it... I never have a fear of running out (I missed the last gas station between Uruapan and lazaro cardenas and theres not much out there). Rather than pay for crash bars it protects the engine and radiator with its many tip overs, while giving me the longer range. I could have used 1 size smaller but love having the large tank.

    It uses vacuum to access the gas in the wings, and does have hoses inside, but my bike doesnt have vacuum (suspect the fuel cap) so I have to tip it over while on the kickstand or lay it on the ground when low.....which I had to do 3 times on the way to lazaro cardenas mentioned above.

    The tank draws more attention than a hot blond on the back of the bike, def more attention than I would like, but if it got stolen it would be tough for them to use with their tiny bikes anyway, so it is more a conversation starter. I get tons of fist bumps and high fives.

    Thanks, it's what god wanted:rofl

    The finger is ok, I have a constant problem with eczema/dermatitis so constantly look like a hobo.
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  2. The Breeze

    The Breeze Been here awhile

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    Sounds like that tank already paid for itself! Not sure if you’re planning on going to South America....but if so, you’ll be glad you have that big tank in the High Andes.

    I made a guy that was giving me shit about mine, get down on his hands and knees and pray to the 8+ gallon tanker I had on my DR650, when he was running out of gas on one of the high mountain passes in the middle of nowhere!!
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  3. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Having driven my van to Colombia with intentions of going to TDF, this has never been out of the question, which was also a reason for adding the large tank. With the state of travel at the moment, and the fact that the longer I vacation the harder it will be to get another job it is unlikely I leave Mexico........but you never know.
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  4. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    Face mask is sweet, but only bought it for the photo op and to throew the kid a few pesos. I don't wear it in public since kids can read, and I think people with swear words on their t-shirts lack class. No zip ties on the fuel lines, maybe tomorrow, but probably not.:rofl
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  5. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    try a local pharmacy for a cream called Vitacilina it might help your thumb.
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  6. wellcraft

    wellcraft Long timer

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    Great RR, safe travels brother
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  7. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    That's right bitches, I built a door, cause that's what you do when in Mexico. Actually, one of the 1st things I asked my friends when I finally arrived after weeks of telling them I was on my way, was what work needed to be done, as I like a little manual labor now and then, and sitting in hotels was making me soft.

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    Ok so I mostly watched as my friends build the door, but I built a door damnit. And we built a fence, drilled some stuff, you get the idea. But you can't build a door without material, so we hiked out to find the reeds, breaking them with our bare hands. We then tied the bundle up and used the bike as a wheelbarrow pushing them home. We then had to cut the reed to size, before we could slap that bad boy together with cordage. And of course none of this is done with electric tools. Before getting the reed we asked permission to take them as you cannot even take wood from the ground here, it is no different than stealing someone's lamb, respect is extremely important in order to avoid problems. Who knew building a door was so complicated.

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    Desert life is always exciting, one of the evenings we were sitting out in the yard discussing how the rooster had just called out to his girlfriend that he found food. We waited 30 seconds, and suddenly she emerged around the corner from the backyard, paused and looked around a bit in confusion, so he called out his locating to her again. She then made her way over to the cage, but got stuck on the wrong side. She was on the outside of the cage, but the food was on the inside, can you believe it?? She paced back and forth for about a minute, I gave up any hope she would find the entrance to cage long before despite it being 1 foot away. Suddenly, she popped around the wall and was inside to be rewarded with her food and our cheers. Yes, this is life in the desert...and I think I like it.

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    We went on walks several evenings, but damn the desert got cold so we decided to put that to a stop. I ate some delicious food every meal, and we went and watched the local volleyball match in the plaza. There was a dance Saturday night in the puebla, but my friend wanted no part of it. I had assumed she was asking if I wanted to go because her and her husband were going, but no she was just being polite in case I wanted to go, yeah not this time I think I am good. While I assume it would be a hilarious spectacle in this town where nothing happens, I fear I will draw more attention that I want. And then of course as previously mentioned we worked, which was just what I needed after this vacationing thing that I pretend is adventuring, but really I know the difference.

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    I prefer to not bring the guitar out, but after dodging multiple requests I eventually ran out of excuses, besides, there is nothing to do out here anyway. My planned 3 day stay turned into 2 weeks, had I left after day 10 I would have made it! kumbaya
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    Turns out my friends are as bad at planning as I am, because we all decided to go for a picnic on one of the coldest of all the days I was there. We packed up the Volkswagen and hit dirt roads perfect for churro and I. I felt guilty for leaving the guy behind, but sometimes a Mexican adventure requires a beetle, and this one was up to the challenge. The road was perfect, rough at times, giant rocks, lots of cows, along with wild horses, and a few burrows. We passed a couple Lagunas prior to getting to the dry lakebed where we had planned to stop, but pushed on looking for shelter from the wind. We found it, had a picnic, and walked around. I already told you not much happens in the desert. This time I am actually glad, as the whole family has seen rattlesnakes on various occasions, and I am not looking for that kind of adventure.

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    I am only 4 or so hours from Real de Catorce, and having never been reluctantly headed North, I already know it is not for me. During my trip I stopped for a pic at the tropic of cancer, thinking to myself why even stop, I have crossed this several times, plus driven across the equator, but hey it's a reason for a pic. Well, I put the kickstand down and let churro settle in, only to watch the kickstand sink into loose sand as he fell over....damnit. Churro is a heavy bitch, so as I was removing a bag to lighten the load to lift him, 2 national guard cars stop and ask if I need help. After helping me lift it they ask a bunch of questions on the trip, wish me luck, and get back in the car. I then start snapping pics of churro, so 1 of them jumps out of his car and asks if I want pics with my bike, which of course I do. The national guard has had bad headlines lately over in Baja, giving out a lot of tickets to people driving in their cars without their masks on, but this would be 1 of 2 instances I have had that have shown they can also be fantastic. Appreciate the help guys!

    These are all on the way to Real de Catorce
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    Real was nice enough, but an hour or two and you have seen what you need to. The entire place is being reconstructed, there was work being done everywhere you looked, it is far from the Real de Catorce of old days. It felt like there were about 30 hotels already with plenty more being built, it's going to end up just like Sapa in Vietnam, a place I didn't love. The hotels are over priced, but I eventually found one for 350 pesos or so, though many only have street parking, especially the cheaper ones. Ok Churro, your back on the streets, sorry buddy. Churro wasn't the only one sacrificing though, the hotel was extremely cold, and that winter storm was still causing havoc even in Mexico...plus my door once again lacked privacy, but provided a nice night light to see in the dark when I got up to go to the bathroom.

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    This door was shut and locked!
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    I figured I should make it count so Churro and I hit the jeep trail, I never did see the tunnel as we took the same way back out, but that was fine I have seen tunnels before. I head back to my desert friends for a few more days, and while I enjoyed my time there, leaving was not difficult as the cold finally pushed me back South, this time headed to Dolores Hidalgo.

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  8. dano619

    dano619 Long timer Supporter

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    Great update, thanks!!
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  9. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    San Diego, Ca
    The problem with having my own wheels is I miss out on these, its been years!

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  10. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    San Diego, Ca
    So even on the easy rides Churro usually has something up his sleeve. I have previously mentioned I cannot access gas below the petcock, so despite having gas in the tank I can run out of gas. Well Churro decided it was time to come to a halt with a Pemex tauntingly in sight, but too far for me to want to push that fat bitch. Ok, I will tip you up on the kickstand to get the gas from the right side wing over to the left so I can drive rather than push. After filling back up at the Pemex we continued on to the pueblo magico Dolores Hidalgo, a city I have heard good things about but have not yet made it to.

    So close yet so far, that green sign says Pemex!
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    A random church of the way to Dolores Hidalgo
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    Dolores Hidalgo, a pueblo formerly only named Dolores, until a man, Miguel Hidalgo, stepped in and took over. Actually, he is well known as the priest who spurred the Mexican War of Independence back in 1810, calling for the people of Mexico to rise up and kill off the Spanish bastards who had stolen their lands and enslaved them all. He reportedly gathered an army of over 90,000 poor farmers and other brave Mexicans, doing all this without a facebook page, call me impressed. Unfortunately for Sr. Hidalgo, he ended up decapitated with his head displayed for all to see in Guanajauto as a reminder of what happens when you call out the elite, but eventually the people won their independence from the Spanish bastards 10 years later. Before he was executed it is claimed he said "Though I may die, I shall be remembered forever; you all will soon be forgotten."...now that is one bad ass hombre! I am definitely stealing that line when I am executed. Possibly more important than this though, Dolores Hidalgo is now also well know for their homemade ice cream sold all over the centro, so I bought some of that, despite enduring the past few weeks of cold weather.

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    I love when the celebrate my arrival in these towns
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    Impossible to get this church without the wires
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    Dolores Hidalgo is nice, but a bit small. I could have stayed several days but moved on after 1 as I had seen most of it. I ate ice cream, got a couple tortas for lunch, and found a street burger for dinner. The burger was a messy delight full of both burger and hot dog, but since I am once again a month or two behind I don't really remember what else went on in this town, but I did enjoy it and will use it as a stopping point if ever in the area.

    I had a few options moving on from Dolores Hidalgo, so heading for Queretaro I chose the route that took me straight through San Miguel de Allende only a quick 45 minutes away with no plan on stopping, but figured I should take another look for old times sake. During the van trip we stopped here for 1 night, which was all we needed. San Miguel is an absolutely beautiful city, but it has been over run with gringos for a long time. I remember seeing numerous plates from both the US and Canada which was odd, as most locations during the van trip I did not see many other US plated cars at all outside of Baja. Of course with gringos comes high prices, so San Miguel is not high on my list of Mexican destinations. It is not only that I am a cheapskate, though I am, the unfortunate effect of gringo popularity means that cost of living, and goods go up and hurt the locals, something that my friends in Mexico have even commented on when I mention San Miguel. I did end up enjoying my evening in San Miguel on the van trip, and remember chilling in a park somewhere listening to the numerous musicians during the night. This time I am not stopping here, so figure driving through will be a nice reminder of the 2011 trip.

    Filler from 2011-8 pictures, that is all I took of this beautiful city, I really was burnt out
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    Well once I got to San Miguel I was reminded of how beautiful the city is, and almost completely devoid of tourists/expats thanks to covid, so I changed my plans and decided to stay the night. I found a hotel with parking a bit outside the centro, but an easy walk to everything around. I believe the cost was 25USD, and for the most part I was the only 1 there. After a shower I set off to find some food and check out the city. It was much emptier than most places I have been thus far, but everything was open, so it kind of gave me the city to myself. Unfortunately the musicians are non existent due to covid, but I was able to find food despite restaurants and bars being empty. I walked all over the city, and took the guitar out to an open field near the hotel where I wouldn't bother anyone, so it ended up being a continuation of my desert relaxation rather than an adventure. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to stay other night....and another...and eventually I found myself stuck in San Miguel for a week or so when I was only planning on driving through.

    2020 and recharged...so here are 40!!
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    Now that I am old it's not often I am out after 10pm, so I had no idea there was a curfew in place requiring places to close down. I had gone to a bar with a friend at 9:15, only to find out we needed to finish the beer and leave by 10. The bartender told us where we could buy beer, but the stores are not supposed to sell alcohol after 10 and his hot tip was a dud, so the store would not sell us beer. Of course I waited in the car so it wasn't because the gringo wanted beer, we just happened to find an honest store that was following the mandate, nothing wrong with that. Luckily this is Mexico, and the 3rd store we tried sold us beer, so we took the party back to my friends house despite knowing covid would be out on the hunt now that it was nighttime.

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    Def not as fun as the Ruta de Mezcal
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    Despite enjoying my stay, San Miguel does have it's drawbacks, one being the gringo prices previously mentioned. A perfect example was the morning I couldn't decide what I wanted for breakfast. I reluctantly headed for the centro, knowing I would be paying more for the location, but decided to check the cafe which had constantly had a small handful of gringos out on the patio throughout my stay. Well, all I did was look at the 1st few entries on the menu before changing my mind. They wanted 50 pesos for a juice, when they are normally sold in Mexico for about 20 pesos, and sometimes even less....a difference of 1.50USD, yeah I don't think so. I once again decided to fight the hombre, this time finding a guy selling donuts and coffee out of his home. I was able to buy 2 donuts, plus a coffee for 30 pesos, less than 1 juice at gringo cafe, I have won this battle! Luckily outside the centro there are still plenty of non gringofied food spots, so I was able to get some carnitas tortas for only 24 pesos, and this enormous bag of chicken and potatoes for under 5USD.

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    Eating well, but doing nothing, it was once again time for Churro and I to move on, this time to the city of Queretaro. I had heard there is a very nice centro, yet all the amenities of a big city as well, which means much more going on than this past week in San Miguel , so we were ready for the change. But before we get to that post, let's finish off with more pics of SMDA, since I have more than 8 this time.

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    Walking some random side streets, and these kids gave me free candy. I insisted on paying them, but they wouldn't take my money!
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  11. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    Excellent! Love the food photos, I made a big batch of pozole today 2 meals now and 2 more frozen for later.
  12. WileyRTW

    WileyRTW Wiley

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    We are gonna needs some pics and a recipe.
  13. Cal

    Cal Long timer

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    I mostly use recipes from Rick Bayless Mexico One Plate at a Time