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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-24-2010, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Mainland Mexico via Baja

Greetings fellow V riders. I've got touch and go internet so I'm only posting on my thread I've got going over at ADVrider.com. I'll be down here for at least a couple more months and will be updating as much as possible. Please stop by and say hello. Cheers! - Miguelito

Here's the link:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=542929

And a teaser photo:



And a teaser video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTbkXkhSq8U

BTW: Anybody got a clue how to embed a video here at the Versys forum?

Michael
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I've got a little time now so I thought I'd post a few pictures from my travels this year down south of the border.

Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca. Can you tell it's hot here in February?


Near Manzanillo on the West coast.


Snow capped volcano in the tropics in February, Comala.


Michoacan Coastline.


Dinner in Tehuantepec, , Oaxaca.


Pool hall, Tehuantepec.


On the way to San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.


San Cristobal is a beautiful town, but the poverty here was a little overwhelming. You could not eat a meal or drink a beer without having a minimum of three people come up and either beg, or try to sell you something. I invariably gave everyone who asked something until I ran out of coins. It's a good thing to stock up on 1 and 2 peso coins, as it becomes a lot more expensive if you give them all 10 peso coins.


Polished stones on the sidewalks. I stepped in a puddle one day, and nearly fell on my ass when my wet shoe hit these stones.



Michael
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Last edited by miguelito; 05-06-2010 at 05:21 PM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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The ride from San Cristobal to Pelenque was beautiful, and would have been more fun if it hadn't had all the topes along the way.


There was a sign outside this mountain village stating that you were now in the "free and independent Zapatista Territories".




Pelenque, Chiapas. I put Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer" on repeat play and walked around this extensive and impressive archaeological site, thinking about the Mayan's once-great culture, and how it was wiped out by the arrival of Europeans with guns, horses, and disease.
[NOTE: See comment below by Boricoa, and my reply to him for a "correction" to this statement].

No Video





Tlacoltalpan, Veracruz. This was a beautiful little colonial town, with nary a gringo, (except me), in sight.








Sundown by the river that flows past this colonial port town.




The colors of the town were the most vibrant of any town I've visited here.









Michael
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Last edited by miguelito; 05-06-2010 at 07:40 PM.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 04:58 PM
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Cool pics. Be careful down there, amigo!

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Tlacoltalpan to Ciudad Oaxaca.

The ride over the mountains from the east coast to Oaxaca, was one of tight twists and turns. On the east side of the summit, I barely got out of 2nd gear. The poverty of the people here is apparent in the field of corn you see planted on the steep slope at the right of this photo.




on the west side of the pass you descend to a valley and the town of Ixtlan, before ascending another pass. The church at Ixtlan.




Still life/landscape showing the turns on the West side of the second pass opening up a bit.


Ciudad Oaxaca.






Zapotec ruins at Monte Alban.









Michael
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Cool pics. Be careful down there, amigo!
Thanks Element. I've been here almost 4 months now, and I don't find anything particularly dangerous. I do try to get quickly away from the border towns, Juarez, Tijuana, and Nogales, (where 95% of the reported violence occurs). I think a lot of the danger that is being hyped to Americans is just that:hype.

Michael
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Last edited by miguelito; 05-06-2010 at 07:49 PM.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 05:54 PM
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great pictures buddy, all the pictures are making more keen on a world trip once my youngest leaves home
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 06:42 PM
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You said the Mayan culture was wiped out by europeans. The Mayan culture was well in decline by the time the europeans arrived. However, their culture is still alive today. You were surrounded by it and maybe did not noticed. Cortez faced the Aztecs in central Mexico.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-06-2010, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Boricua View Post
You said the Mayan culture was wiped out by europeans. The Mayan culture was well in decline by the time the europeans arrived. However, their culture is still alive today. You were surrounded by it and maybe did not noticed. Cortez faced the Aztecs in central Mexico.
You are correct that the Mayan culture was not "wiped out" by Europeans, and I did often interact first hand with the descendants of Mayan culture. Perhaps "civilization" as well as "wiped out" were poorly chosen wording which might have been better described as Mayan "peoples were decimated by the Spanish colonization then subjected to slavery and became an oppressed caste which they are still working to reverse via the popular Zapatista movement". From Wikipedia:
Later Spanish expeditions to the region (Córdoba in 1517, Grijalva in 1518 and Cortés in 1519) resulted in numerous conflicts and open warfare. Vulnerability to European diseases along with a civil war with other 'city-states' allied to the Spanish eventually reduced the Yucatec Maya population to less than 10,000 by 1850.

Michael
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-07-2010, 01:06 AM
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i'm having flashbacks. nice pix, bien viaje.

In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 06:36 PM Thread Starter
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Trip Report: Zimapan to San Joaquin

Well my account of this moto ride begins with a girl, (and a beautiful one at that). I got a call from Bekka as I sat on the rooftop terrace of my rental here in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende sipping tequila, drinking beer, and smoking cigarillos with three friends. She proceeded to inform me that she was with a couple of motorcyclist friends at a bar across town, and they were going on a moto ride tomorrow, then passed the phone off to her friend Art.

Art proceeded to invite me to join him and a couple of other riders for what he promised would be a spectacular overnight ride with a short section of dirt on “maintained dirt roads”. While I’m not a big off road rider, I’ve done some dirt, even some single track, and within a few minutes a rendezvous time and place was agreed upon for the following morning.

When I awoke, and the after-effects of the beer and tequila were making themselves felt, I considered rolling over and going back to sleep, but mustered myself and rode out to the rendezvous where I met Art, George, and Charley for the first time. We traveled a long ways on pretty boring roads albeit with beautiful views before finally busting off onto a side road with beautiful sweeping turns and speco views in all directions. A lakeside section took us through a long rock hewn tunnel where upon exiting we stopped to look at a dam built into a narrow cleft in the rock before entering another tunnel. We heard shouting, and eventually snapped to the fact that it was the marines guarding the dam telling us to make like hockey players and “get the puck out of there”.


http://i759.photobucket.com/albums/x...n/DSCN3773.jpg

Eventually we gassed up in the town of Zimapan and took off on a dirt road toward what would turn out to be a road to an area full of mines. We descended through a series of switchbacks what must have been a drop of a few thousand feet, occasionally pulling over for the oncoming ore hauling trucks.





When we reached the riverbed so far below our point of entry, the heat was incredible and my helmet and non-mesh jacket I brought with me into Mexico in January were saturated.









After crossing the river, we began the slow ascent of even tighter, less well maintained roads. The riding, was slow but not too difficult, though the price of error could have been great as the outside edge of the road was a continuous drop-off that could send one tumbling for hundreds of feet before much would stop you. We stopped a couple of times on the ascent and eventually reached a pullout where we could see a little village way below us with a bridge crossing a large river. It was here we realized that that bridge was where we wanted to be, and a decision was made which direction to go to reach it as we had just passed a fork in the road we’d been traveling.

In the upper right of this pic you can see the bridge we want to get to.















George thought we needed to continue up, and took off on his KLR, but as the rest of us surveyed the roads below us, we thought the lower fork might be the way down to the bridge. Charley took off after George, and soon returned with Jorge and we soon found the lower fork dead-ending into the open maw of a mine. A mine worker explained that for us to reach the bridge, we needed to descend all the way back the way we came to the river and ride the river bed out to the little town we’d seen from above. Did somebody say “river bed”? What happened to the “maintained roads” Art had been peddling the previous night? It began to dawn on me that these guys were doppelgangers for my friends back in the US. Not much difference whatsoever really, as they all continually sucker me into going places I would never have chosen to go left to my own devices, and therein lies the adventure in this adventure ride.



So about face we go, and descend to the dry riverbed again and turn downstream through a vertical cleft and a shallow stream that is spectacularly beautiful. We continue on with occasional stops under shade trees. I’m seriously dehydrated at this point, and am kicking myself for liking the taste of tequila so much, as well as not having the foresight to bring a bottle of water. The ride through the shallow creek goes on and on and the place is magical, although some of the magic may have been due to my growing punchiness from my dehydration. ☺ Eventually we began to see signs of human habitation, and the riverbed track turned onto an ungraded dirt road paralleling a large river. We’re almost back to civilization, and all I can think of is reaching the first tienda, and snagging a liter of cold water to quench my parched throat.






We’re almost racing now on the hardpack, and I’m probably too close to Art’s tail, but I can taste that cool water in the back of my mind and can’t seem to dial it back. As we enter a dry dusty stretch where the dust from Art’s bike obscures my view of the road, I see his rear wheel bobble a bit, but it’s too late for Miguel to adjust velocity or direction and as I hit the same point, my bike decides it’s tired, and wants to lie down for a bit. Oops!

Well, the Versys’s left quarter faring isn’t as pretty as it used to be, (busted up real good actually), and my inattention to chain maintenance is showing, as the chain is off the rear sprocket, and the wheel is spinning freely. I heard/felt something crack when I fell on my left rear shoulder, but I don’t feel too bad, so with a big assist from Charley, we get the bike back up and the chain back on, and continue the remaining ½ mile of dirt to the bridge and pavement. Ain’t that the way it always goes?

At the first tienda, we all down a liter of agua and a few of us quaff a beer as well. It’s a sign of how dehydrated I must have been that I didn’t drink a beer. That almost never happens… ☺

Now we’re on an amazing paved road, with an excellent surface as we begin ascending thousands of feet, until eventually we’re in the trees, and the temperature is cool, especially with my jacket soaked in sweat.





After a brief tour of the mountain town of San Joaquin we settle into the first hotel we passed upon entering town, and after a cursory cleanup, begin drinking beer and tequila, (courtesy of Jorge!). As the sun sets we move across the street to another restaurant and are eventually politely asked by the staff to leave, so they can clean up and go home. Ha!

Day 2 is a gorgeous ride with nice sweeping turns punctuated by sharp twisties, out of San Joaquin and back to San Miguel on the slab. After a lunch stop with a view at a local hang gliding spot, we hit the trail and are back in SMA in time for the weekly meeting of the local motorcyclists club, Motoclassico de San Miguel de Allende and more drinking. Go figger…





In spite of my dump, it was a great trip with a great bunch of guys. Thanks to Bekka and the boys for inviting me.

Michael
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Last edited by miguelito; 08-31-2010 at 03:33 PM.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-21-2010, 06:51 PM
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Mas por favor.

1974 Kawasaki F11
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2010, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Well, that was a long hiatus. I blame the girl.



I just had no time to write. Ain't love grand? During my extended stay in San Miguel de Allende, I had two girlfriends, the first of whom was kind enough to introduce me to the second, and the rest is history.


San Miguel de Allende at daybreak the day of my departure.

Dianna has a charity she runs that takes disadvantaged kids up in balloons, hoping to inspire them to dream bigger dreams, called www.theozproject.org




She took me out to a friends rancho for a Mexican rodeo, ( charriada). Chuck is an awesome guy and one of the few registered gringo Charros in the Mexican "rodeo" scene.



Alfonso is a gentleman and another team member of our home team.



Parade of the Locos in San Miguel. These guys and gals danced for hours on a hot day in costume.



I rode back to the US through Zacatecas, (one of my favorite towns in Mexico), and Hidalgo del Parral.

Then along the Rio Grande from Presidio to Alpine texas.



Where I spent the night with a friend. thanks Jesse.



I ended up returning to the US just as my visa was about to expire, and met Dianna in New Mexico for a 10 day ride through the Rocky Mountains, which then morphed into 35 days of riding 2-up on a Versys for about 5300 miles. I figure that's got to be at or near some kind of record for this bike.



We met advrider mundobravo and his lovely mujer in Santa Fe, and rode to Pagosa Springs, CO, and then on to Durango through some pretty big thunderstorms.







After Mundo & Gemma returned to Santa Fe, Dianna realized she had left her debit card at the C & W bar we'd been at the previous night. No problem. We called, but they had no answering machine. After riding by the bar, we saw that they don't open to 4 PM. When we returned, we saw that they are actually closed Sunday thru Wed. Sh#t! The 10 day trip was all ready being altered severely. We ended up abandoning the debit card, and striking out on our own.

http://i334.photobucket.com/albums/m...o/DSCN4140.jpg

We saw a balloon rally in Steamboat Springs.





Met up with another Versys rider/forum member, Hipshot, at our motel in Hot Sulphur Springs, and shared an evening drinking cerveza, swapping tales, and travel tips.




It's not easy riding two up for so long, but after a stressful moment or two, we worked out the glitches, and had a great ride. Unfortunately, I hadn't charged the camera before leaving, figuring I'd be Ok for 10 days or so. True to my estimate, the battery died after about 8 days, so no pics from the following ride that took us through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, and back thru Colorado to New Mexico.

I'm now back in Mexico with the cute girl, and settling into my other life where I write for a living. Anyone coming through San Miguel de Allende is welcome to PM me for info on the town, where to eat, stay, share a cerveza, etc. For those of you who followed along on this rambling report, thanks for hanging in there, and buen viaje. Cheers! - Miguelito

Michael
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2010, 10:43 AM
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Michael,
It's good to hear you are back in Mexico. I have never had a problem in Mexico and I know that you are an experienced Mexico traveler, I'm wondering if you are staying on routes that you have previously travelled? Are there any areas that you are purposely staying away from? I'm looking forward to more of your photos and road stories

Gary

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 07:25 AM
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Great adventures, Miguelito, sounds like someone has been smitten! Keep the pics and stories coming amigo!

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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2010, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
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Michael,
It's good to hear you are back in Mexico. I have never had a problem in Mexico and I know that you are an experienced Mexico traveler, I'm wondering if you are staying on routes that you have previously travelled? Are there any areas that you are purposely staying away from? I'm looking forward to more of your photos and road stories

Gary
Thanks Gary, (and, yeah element, "smitten" is as good a word as any. ) The only time I even think about the "danger" in Mexico that's being hyped in the press, is near the border, and that's mostly just because it is being hyped in the press. I've personally never had any problems, and find Mexicanos to be as friendly there as they are anywhere. As to my routes, I followed the same route back to the US, and returned via it, just because I like crossing at Presidio TX, where it's not crowded, and I really like Zacatecas a lot, (plus I have friends in Alpine TX I can visit). I hope to get over to Xalapa in the next few months and check the area out. I've also been thinking about Peru, so you never who you might bump into on your hometown streets amigo. If that happens, beers are on me, (the first night anyway ).

Michael
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-05-2010, 12:52 PM
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Michael,
Amigo, si usted decide venir al Perú, nuestra casa estará disponible para usted, nuestra casa es su casa.

Gary y Charito

"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they're real" - Abraham Lincoln


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