mexico to pv on Vimeo

November 23, 2009

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Ameca to PV

November 16, 2009

After being lost in Guadalajara for a couple of hours I headed out of the major city to the town of Ameca. Having arrived there just before dusk i set out trying to find accommodation that fit with in my budget. There it was a small hotel just off the main road through the town posted price was 240 pesos so well within the budget. In i go, stop at the front to see if i there was a room but before i could get off the bike out comes a girl and tells me to go around, towards the back so off i go. i get around the back and i see her waving for me to come down the row to where she was standing. I get there and she has a garage door open and a place to pack the bike. Great i think a place that i can work on the bike and not worry about it being gone in the morning. She then show me that the entrance to the room is from inside the garage. It seems that each one of the rooms has it own private garage. Off i go and pay for the room then off for something to eat. I get back to the room and work on the bike and do some of the minor repairs and maintenance and head off into the room. Turn on the tv and the phone ring. Strange, not expecting anyone to call answer the phone and a i hear this voice speaking very quickly in spanish, asked her to slow down as then i may have a chance to pick up a few works and understand what she was saying but she justs gets louder and fastest. When all else fails ” no gracious” i say and then with a questioning voice i get a ” no” this goes on for about a minute or so until she finally hangs up. As in most of the hotels i stayed in there usually is a channel with some english or movies with subtitles. Not here… all of the station were of the x-rated variety except for the sports station which was of course soccer.

it wasn’t until i was riding the next day that i go to thinking about the conversation from the night before, i wonder if that hotel was some sort of drive-in brothel and the call was for services provided. I’m sure if that was the case they must of thought what crazy person drives into a brothel and doesn’t want the services.

Anyway the ride from Ameca turned out to be another one of those fantastic rides through the sierras. Starting off ride through farm land and then heading off into the mountains

Along the side of the road there were many Cactus that had flowers or fruit that the locals picked and sold in the cities. they would peel the outside off and eat the fruit in the centre. There seemed to be two types a red variety and a yellow. I tried they while i was in Zacatecus but they were not to my liking.

From Ameca i headed west into the mountains which were mostly Volcanic as seen in the next picture

the further i headed into the mountain the more lust the vegetation became and the more twisty the roads became. great for riding a bike not so good in a car and even worse in a large truck. As you rode these roads one always had to be aware theat there may be a large truck cutting the corners trying to get around the tight bends. It’s even worse on the Sunday and Monday mornings as the drives of the trucks are still experiencing the effects of the weekend parties and may not be total sober in the mornings.

October 29, 2009

had to go all the way to Mexico to find another bike, a rare site. Crashy has a 2 year leave to ride to the tip of south America and beyond but is currently zac for a couple of more days learning Spanish before he moves on for an even greater adventure.

the ride from zak to PV was uneventful i only got lost in Guadalajara for a couple of hours after i missed a turn and the gps got lost. Not all of the road in mexico are on the maps and nor are the directions correct as the gps tried to get me to ride the wrong way down an 8 lane freeway.

once i got out of the big city the ride was great more turns and great views. more pic’s to come.

Zacatecas, Mexico

October 22, 2009

after riding for several days nonstop it was time to take a break it was either go to Leon and Guanajuato or go to Zacatecas. i had been to guanajuato a few yeas ago as well there was a large festival going on and rooms were more difficult find. As well another rider that i knew was in zac and was planning to stay a couple more days so zac it was.

This the provincial capital for the province of Zacatecas and was a very important mining centre for several hundred years. Zac is situated on the mountains at an elevation of approximately 2500 meters. The main attraction is the cathedral in the centre of the city construction started in the early 17 hundred and completed some 60 years later. the cathedral is now a UNESCO heritage site.

the Cathedral

the Cathedral

Maine Entrance

Maine Entrance

the cathedral has been undergoing a major renovation since 1994 and the main alter is not visible but this is a view just to the side.

Inside of the Cathedral

Inside of the Cathedral

As you move through the town it gives you the feeling that you are in Spain rather than mexico. the city is very clean and quiet, other than the bells of the cathedral that ring every few minutes.

Typicial street

Typicial street

this city has been around for a long time and has many historic sites including this convent at was built in the 15 hundreds

Creel South Continued

October 21, 2009

As we headed further south through the Sierra mountains the geography of the land continued to change and the the flora changed as well, at the higher elevations we were in pine forests as we decreased in elevation the land opened up and become more high plains grasslands

river

river

as the rains move through the country side the river levels rise and fall rapidly, this small creek was a raging river only 2 days previously and was 2 meters higher at the peak flow.

The main roads through Mexico have so far been well maintained and a great deal of money is being spent to upgrade those that aren’t. However, the roads into these smaller villages are not. This road as with many others are still just a single track, rutted, rocky and a road with no culverts or bridges over the creeks and rivers making it at times impossible to travel through these areas.

corn field

corn field

Corn and chicken are the mainstay food source for the locals and most of the work is still done by hand or with very limited machinery this is especially the case in the more remote areas, the corn is all cut and stacked by hand and the crops are not abundant by any means, no where near what we see in fertilized and irrigated fields of N.A.

Ridge Top

Ridge Top

Rocks

Rocks

After riding 70 km through the mountains and further down into the valley and more range land the towns became larger and once again the road improved.

road

road

Shortly after this part of the road we were once again travelling on pavement and heading east towards a major city.

Shrine

Shrine

Mexico is still very Catholic and as you drive down the roads you see many shrines, most are just small wooded structures with a small statue inside. this one however was much larger and carved into the rock wall.

Down to the Valley

Down to the Valley

Here we go again from the high Sierra Plains to the valley floor and a significant increase in the temperature from the comfortable low 20 C to the mid 30 C. At this point all is well as the road snakes down from the high plains, little traffic and very few big trucks makes for a great ride. It was at this point that i started to hear a strange noise coming from the rear wheel of the bike. I have this nagging feeling that what i am hearing is not good. I’m still over 100km from the nearest town and moving towards the dessert. About half way down i no longer have rear brakes hmmm this really isn’t good. We get down to the valley floor and it’s time to check what is really going on back there. Pull off to the side of then road up on the centre stand, off come’s the back wheel to investigate the problem. One of the sealed bearings in the rear wheel are no longer sealed and there are pieces of metal every where. Although i have a selection of parts no wheel bearings. Still close to 100km from the nearest town what are the options, leave the bike take the wheel and see if i can find a place to fix the bearing, likely not to have a bike when i return or pack the bearing with grease put it back together and hope to make it to the city. 30 min later back on the road off to the city.

An hour later we spot a Honda dealer go inside using my fantastic 5 word spanish vocabulary explain the problem to the mechanic and once again off comes the wheel into the shop and he starts removing the bearing. meanwhile all i could think of is it’s 6pm this mechanic is beating the bearing out of the rear wheel of my bike and i have no idea if he can get an new bearing nor can i make sense what he is telling me. I hope I’m not here for a week waiting for parts. 5 minutes later he jumps on a scooter and away he goes, only to return with a new bearing and seal. 30 minutes later were off trying to find a hotel in the dark in a Mexican city, counting my lucky stars and hoping that tomorrow is uneventfull.

the next day see the 2 Americas that i was riding with the day before head north towards home and i am once again on my own heading south riding the Autostrada great road but… straight and mind numbing off to the next stop.

Suspension Bridge

Suspension Bridge

off the autostrada and up onto the mountains brings you to this long suspension bridge across a ravine that leads to an old mine.
The bridge is known as “Puente de Ojuela” (Ojuela Bridge) by the locals. the built in 1898 and was resorted in 1991 as a tourist attraction and is 314 meters long.

Looking back across the bridge

Looking back across the bridge

Looking down the ravine

Looking down the ravine

Entrance to the Mine

Entrance to the Mine

Creel South

October 20, 2009

From the town of Creel we headed south once again this time i teamed up with the KLR riders that i had met in Creel. with the route plan put together off we went south on the highway and left 20 km out of town down a road once again through the back hills of the sierras. no matter how many times i see the where the Native Indians live it still surprizes me. most families live in a small 1 room hut built out of mud bricks in the middle of now where. no electric power, gas or other amenities that we take for granted. the high sierras do get snow and cold in the winter and i can’t imagine how hard o life they live. passing through one small village a group of young girls were down at the river washing clothes by hand. when they saw the bike they ran for the hills.

Creel south

Creel south

Looking over the valley

Looking over the valley

Creel and the copper canyon

October 19, 2009

I have no picture of the night before or the small town that i was staying in. The afternoon the day before brought more torrential rains forcing me to stop shirt of my destination for the day. I get dark here early and with the rain and the road conditions i felt it best to stop for the night at this small town. this was of all the places that i stayed i felt that i needed to get out of dodge a quickly as possible. this is the time of year that the crops are harvested for shipment to the states, and not the kind of crops that you by at the local grocery.

i had noticed that just before the town several large trucks full of the military were setting up camp. they were fully armoured and building large barricades of sand bags with 50 cal machine guns behind them and several spike belts read to be pilled across the road.

well i guess they were preparing to deal with the crops in this region and i didn’t want to have anything to do with this.

so early in the morning i was off to creel my next destination

Top Basaseachic Falls

Top Basaseachic Falls

Basaseachic Falls on the Basaseachic River is the second-highest waterfall in Mexico, located in the Parque Nacional Basaseachic at CaƱon Basaseachic in the Copper Canyon region of northwest Mexico, near Creel, Chihuahua. They are 312 meters (1,023 ft) tall, the second highest in mexico and one of the to 10 in world

View of the falls across the valley

View of the falls across the valley

from here it was off to the copper canyon and the town of Creel a short ride away. Creel seem to be the mecca for adventure riders from the US and Canada there were 10 bikes from Victoria BC and anther couple from the Kelowna so Canada was well represented.

Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon

I stayed in the town for a night found a place to eat with another 2 riders from Texas ans Mississippi. Meals here have been exceptional and very inexpensive. For example half a chicken dinner with a drink is 50 pesos which is about $4.50 the room for a night is 150 pesos in Creel which included breakfast and dinner. But you could stay at a chain hotel for $150 per night if you were so inclined, and for that extra money you get a fireplace. Like lots of Mexico that i have so far they have a hugh infrastructure push happening and in the next couple of years the road from creel to batopilas will be paved and the magic of the town will be lost forever.

From the cliffs of the copper canyon we headed south the first 100km was off road and through the country side.

Road through the moutains

October 17, 2009
road through the mountains

road through the mountains

After the rain cleared the views became much better, well actually i was able to see more than a few meters in fromt of me. The ride through the high sierras was beautiful miles of twisty roads that make the old road to whistler look like a super highway. There was one point on highway 16 that i found myself hoping for a straight piece of road as it was mentally and physically tiring riding. Although the road is good there is always something around each corner from rocks and sildes as a result of the rains to my friends the donkeys.

early morning donkeys in the mist

early morning donkeys in the mist

There were groups of donkeys in the wild in the middle of nowhere at times standing in the middle of the road. Through the ride in the sierras there are no fences that i could see and the land was open and there were small herds free to roam the country side. i have only seen the donkeys on a few occasions being used as beasts of burden and only once did i see them being ridden.

a veiw across the sierras

a veiw across the sierras

As the weather cleared the views became even more spectacular as the road wound along the tops of the mountains

view across the mountains

view across the mountains

High sierra plains

High sierra plains

October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009