Wedding Vows in Action: Riding South from Seattle

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ADVegan, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    But they DO already have signs put up -
    Things like MEXICO
    and MIGRACION
    and ADUANA
    and CIITEV

    As a comparison : There are STOP signs and red lights at intersections on US roads and many people do not stop for them . Must they now post a crossing guard at every intersection to wave a flag to point out that stop -requirement ?
    Should the Mexican border copy the US border model and treat every non-citizen tourist motorcyclist coming in for a visit like a potential crook bent on larceny ?
    #61
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  2. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Good point Sjoerd, and I learned the lesson! Any whining was just me kicking myself for the extra expense and realizing I'm not the clever boy I thought. Their system is not to blame.

    On the way to TJ now!
    #62
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  3. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    What's after TJ? Heading to the mainland?
    #63
  4. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    We just flew up to TJ, got the stamps very easily at the airport, took an Uber over to the Banjercito and took care of the TVIP while we were on a roll.

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    It was already dark and we'd just booked a $20 Airbnb in Tijuana. That was about what you'd expect for $20.. felt pretty sketchy, but I'm sure it wasn't. Well, I'm not sure- but we are OK. Ended up eating dinner at the grocery store because the few restaurants near by just looked like trouble. Sometimes it's not all glamour.

    IMG_20181208_192159.jpeg

    Flew back to La Paz yesterday, love the sunsets in this town!
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    Riding to Todos Santos for the day today and then back here to get the ferry to Mazatlan tomorrow night. From there the rough plan is to head down to Sayulita for a few days then East to Guanajuato and San Miguel de Alliende for Xmas.
    #64
  5. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

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    If you cut down to the coast to San Blas and take that way to Sayulita, its super fun road into some jungle. Better than Tepic and around. Things are about to get real Mexico for you now...
    #65
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  6. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage Supporter

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    Just wanna mention that unless you really must go to Sayulita for whatever reason, it's expensive and very crowded especially right now. Consider San Pancho (Francisco)...just saying. Sayulita is not like it used to be. I was there last week and left within an hour.
    Really enjoying this RR you two!
    #66
  7. Phlyn' Phil

    Phlyn' Phil Been here awhile

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    100%, or lo de Marco north of san pancho. I wish I would have stayed in one of the hotels after san blas right on the coast last winter when I was through. Just some ideas. But you will find tons of vegan fair in sayulita... sooo...
    #67
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  8. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Good to hear you got it worked out. Will be looking forward to your ferry experience. If you can, please include your ferry experience and whatever you find out about the ferry in the near future as I've been reading mixed things about its future.
    #68
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  9. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the tips, they're really appreciated now that there's more than one road to take!

    We had Sayulita on the list just because we had heard of it before leaving the US, but you're all right- booking a place this time of year wasn't easy. We booked a few days just so we'd have somewhere to stay but we don't like booking cities that far in advance, it really cramps the vibe and creates a "we gotta make it to X" mentality.

    We were on the fence about Tepic/San Blas but I think we'll go the San Blas route after your suggestions.

    Will update on the ferry! We booked tickets in town at the Baja Ferries office just to get it out of the way. Everything I've read says the ferry is great, IF you get a cabin. If you don't, it can be miserable. Well, they didn't have any cabins left for tonight's sailing... But we were ready to get moving again so we booked it anyway and are hoping for a cancellationin one of the cabins Also jogging to the pharmacy now for some Dramamine.
    #69
  10. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Glad to see that you got the FMM straightened around .
    I really like your attitude ...""we don't like booking cities that far in advance, it really cramps the vibe and creates a "we gotta make it to X" mentality. ""

    May I suggest that you extend that approach a bit farther and to never book even a day ahead at all , there will always be a room somewhere . Sayulita is a tourist burg ,cramped and crowded with gringos , that is probably why you heard about it . If you go somewhere nearby that is not so in fashion with the tourist and beach crowd there will be hotels that have plenty of vacancy, there are lots more towns than the tourist magnets .

    Have you ever heard of Mexcaltitan ? You might find it interesting to do a short visit, it is off the highway north of Tepic, on an island in the mangroves .
    You can get there with a quick 500m boat ride from a small landing on the side road west of Tuxpan or you can take the more southern road west through Santiago Ixcuintla and then the 10 minute boat tour to the island . The bike remains parked at either boat landing .

    If you got off the ferry this morning in Mazatlan you will be pressed to comfortably make it to San Blas tonight , so you might as well take it easy and relax in a hotel in one of the two towns appearing in the preceding sentence , then do the island walk in the morning and the backroads from Ixcuintla , across the river , west through Villa Hidalgo among the tobacco farms and the mangrove swamps to San Blas . There you can find rooms with no reservations and carry on south to... whatever you wish . And don't hesitate to stop at any of the Auto Hotels you see where ever you are .

    :D If you need something to worry about-; in an earlier post you mentioned that you have only the one BLACK key for your KTM . ( two black, one red , sounds exactly like the setup on the Yamaha Super Tenere ) You will be totally snookered if you loose that , but you knew that . Any key maker with a suitable blank could make a replica which could then be used only to open the purely mechanical locks of the steering and any KTM sourced hard luggage if it was using the same keys , of course.
    Now the worrisome part - those fancy BLACK coded keys are probably like the key fobs on the cars and bikes with key-less start system . Car( and bike ) thieves are equiped with sensors and code readers which can pick up the key's signal REMOTELY from nearby . So if you are in a crowd they could be standing in front of you and without touching you "picking your pocket " , getting your key code and stealing your bike a bit later .
    The upside of this is that if crooks can copy the key codes , then there is probably a key specialist running a booth in a mercado where a replacement code-able key is available which can be re-progammed and ground to your specs .
    #70
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  11. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    The day after we got back to La Paz we took a ride over to Todos Santos about an hour south west. We had scoped a little before hand and saw a vegan restaurant so we pulled in there for lunch and had some amazing lasagna! Very cool little hippie place. The owner happened to be from Puyallup, WA. We've been surprised how many people from WA we keep running into. IMG_20181211_162947_032.jpeg

    We walked around for awhile and went into a bunch of shops. Todos Santos is a very nice little clean town, totally set up for people to visit from Cabo. I thought people coming up from Cabo (and there were a lot of them!) might get the feeling they were visiting "real Mexico" since they got out of their resort. They'd be a little mistaken, but it's still worth a visit in my mind, very picturesque.

    Had to get one Margar at the Hotel California. Even if the Eagles say it's not what they were talking about.

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    The next day we packed up and checked out of the hostel. We went and got lunch did some errands and hung around in La Paz until about 5. The ferry sailed at 8pm and they said to arrive by 6pm. The sun set as we left La Paz along the coast and it was a nice way to say goodbye to the city that had surprised us in a good way.

    Ferry Steps:

    1: Man stops us and asks for our TVIP, speaks perfect English. I produced it, and he asked where the VIN was stamped on the frame. We found it together and I held his flashlight while he confirmed it matched the TVIP. I asked him what our next steps were and he told me to go get weighed and take the receipt to the office to buy tickets.

    2. Pulled in front of a few semi trucks to the weigh station. I don't think they were too pleased, but it wasn't completely clear if they were in line. They were. Pulled up on to the platform and payed 88 pesos for the privilege of finding out our bike plus us weighs over a thousand pounds... Yikes. We got a receipt but I don't recall ever showing it to anyone because we already bought tickets in town. Our tickets said weight:0kgs.

    3. Pulled up to the left, and a man stopped us and said Rachel had to get off the bike and board separately. He didn't speak English but I'd read this was part of the deal so we were expecting it at some point.

    4. I drove a little further and saw about 6 bikes pulling on to the boat. Now in WA (home to the biggest state ferry system in the US) they board all the bikes at the same time, so I thought- "this is my time, I better just follow them! And I went to do that but I was waved down by a guy and he told me to pull over and he checked my ticket and took one of the two ticket receipts in my booklet.

    5. Then I just rode on the boat after the other bikes, and strapped the bike down to the deck. The lady told us when we bought tickets we'd need our own straps. I might not have understood her but again I had read that as well.

    IMG_20181211_181334.jpeg

    The whole process of boarding from arrival at the port to strapped down took about 20 minutes tops. Super easy.

    Rachel was about the 3rd person to walk on the boat and she ran to reception to put out name on the cabin wait-list. We got some drinks and settled in for some cards and dice. The dinner was served and we were able to get some more rice and beans and tortillas. Then there was a comedian and a musical act, and it was really cool to be around Mexicans having fun and interacting with their friends instead of how we have been - when they're at work. I'd like to figure out more ways to do that because they seem like a happy bunch of people. Also Rachel absolutely loves goofy entertainment at resorts/cruises etc. Especially if there's crowd participation.

    Our name got called and we got a cabin. When we went to take our stuff up there we were stoked - we had mentally prepared for a night sleeping on the couch in the bar, but when we saw the cabin we realized how much our lives and improved. I think Rach's actual response was "Oh fuckin' fuck yeah!"

    In the morning Rachel got off the ferry and I had to wait another 45 minutes to go down to the bike. I spent that time talking with the 6 bikers that were parked near me and they were very friendly. All friends from Mexico City that had trailered the bikes to Mexicali and ridden down Baja. I mentioned Rachel was on the lookout for gloves, if they could recommend a shop and one of them started digging in his bag to give me a pair he had. I was able to convince him Rachel's hands are infant-sized but appreciated the offer. We exchanged info and they said to reach out if they could help in anyway.

    We got a hostel in Mazatlan for the night, and went down to the beach and rented kayaks and paddled over to an island for a beer and a Coco-loco, tequila poured into a coconut.. when in Rome. Met some cool folks at the hostel, but crashed early as we were more tired than we realized.

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    #71
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  12. Duanob

    Duanob Been here awhile

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    <We've been surprised how many people from WA we keep running into.>

    Really? I'm sitting in the gloom and rain in Seattle right now and thinking of how I can get the hell out of here! Go south and find some warmth and sunshine.

    Great trip report so far. I would've suggested Barro De Navidad and Manzanillo and Colima just south of Puerto Vallarta but I've read recently that they have turned into Narcos Centro. Too bad because I love those towns. Very Mexican middle class, not over-run with gringos, great architecture and food, nice people and great beaches. I wish Mexico could clean up their drug cartel problem already!
    #72
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  13. PapaDontPreach

    PapaDontPreach Adventurer

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    That's a simple task ... once you get Americans to stop doing drugs.
    #73
  14. 08StangGT_CS

    08StangGT_CS Adventurer

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    Great report. So jealous. Enjoy!!!
    #74
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  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Even better
    Chacala
    Nayarit, Mexico
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/ureU2

    Or a soak
    Jamurrca
    Nayarit, Mexico
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/rtCaK

    Or paradise to yourself
    Hotel El Rinconcito
    Jalisco, Mexico
    +52 322 175 5277
    https://maps.app.goo.gl/uh398
    #75
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  16. dogibrown

    dogibrown n00b

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    Sitting here in New York dreaming of Mexico! Thanks for the great writing and pics, will be following this report!
    #76
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  17. oneway

    oneway Tehachapi CA

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    How far south are you headed? Is it a late start for a Ushuaia run?
    #77
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  18. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    Not totally sure, we have really tried to stay away from being destination-driven. If we run out of money or stop having fun, we'll call it and not feel like failures.

    Definitely late for Ushuaia this season, I think we would want to be there right now.

    We have a wedding to film and photograph in Bali in June, so that will be a check in point where we decide if we return and make a Ushuaia run next winter or head somewhere else.
    #78
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  19. oneway

    oneway Tehachapi CA

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    Perfect answer. Let the TRIP take YOU.
    #79
  20. ADVegan

    ADVegan Been here awhile

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    As everyone here said, and several we met told us- yes, Sayulita is overrun with gringos. However, Rachel went to NYU and loves Manhattan so everyone's likes are different! She loved the vibe in Sayulita, I preferred San Pancho/ San Francisco just north. That was definitely more my speed. I know Sayulita is not very "ADV", but it had a good nightlife scene, lots of live music and plenty of good food. Sometimes those don't exist in true adventure locations and they can be fun too. I gave myself permission to like it.

    We stayed three nights and I had to get us out of there because Rachel was liking the clothes shopping a little too much and I knew each day we stayed might be a month off the trip budget.

    On our way out I started feeling pretty bad. We briefly looked into staying another night but I decided I could make it to Guadalajara. About an hour in, we stopped to buy some roadside bananas and met Jose Reyes who was selling them. He didn't speak any English, but our limited Spanish allowed us to learn he had spent a few years in Florida doing stucco work. He hung out with him for awhile, partly because both was feeling like shit. Eventually he went and got his phone and his boss's business card and I called the number and left a message for the boss saying "hi and hope all is well from Jose down in Mexico". Sounds like the business owner had treated him well and I was happy to hear that. Fun memory.

    We stopped in Jala for lunch and I immediately lied down in the town square while Rachel got some street food for us. Eventually we made it to Guadalajara and I was running a decent fever. I saw the KTM temp hit 250°F for the first time as well, maybe it was the traffic but I like to think it was commiserating with me. We basically holed up in a hotel for two days, me in bed and Rachel not sure about the safety of being out alone in the big city. Luckily the hotel we booked for $30/night was super swanky so it wasnt a bad place to ride out the fever. Pretty sure I got a mild case of Dengue from the mosquitoes in Nayarit, I got chewed up pretty good one day forgetting the DEET. Fever is gone but I'm still achy and weak and randomly have to lie down, sometimes in public.

    Made it to Guanajuato, which is gorgeous. Reminds me of Cinque Terre with colorful houses on steep hills. It's also a lot colder as our hostel is at 6800 feet.
    #80