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We are touring california now for over a month on 2 KLR's.
By lets say by the middle of june we will cross the border to Baja. 28 july we have to be in cancun to pick up my girlfriend there after 3 months
now, we are looking for a healty way to reach to there in a month, we want to enjoy baja en take the ferry to mazatlan to visit striking viking. thats all we planned for now. we look for good places to stay, spots to see and maybe some workshops on the way! we wanna prepare well before entering baja because of all the problems, so we dont have to worry to much. any up to date advice is welcome.
thanks a lot!
we will give you back a big trip report, foto's and movies!!!!
I spent 5 months in Mexico a year ago, not on motorbike but using public transport, so these are the few places I can tell you about.
I stayed nearly all the time in Oaxaca, because it was such a wonderful place. A University city full of students and always some entertainment happening somewhere, often on the streets and free, or in one of the two theatres, and sometimes free. One theatre, Teatro Macedonio Alcala, is a small version of our wonderful Royal Opera House in London. Teatro Macedonio Alcalá - Oaxaca, Oax.
Often Mariachi bands marching in the streets for some workers' fiesta or protest.
Student protests and street exhibitions are usually accompanied by lots of street entertainment.
Also there's a large open air auditorium at the top of the hill next to the centre, (Auditorio Guelaguetza). Many concerts there are free. There's a large public observatory next to it.
For quiet moments, the bar next to Teatro Macedonio Alcala is very smart, artsy, relaxing and informal. And for some reason there are very few tourists in it. For some reason they don't find it.
So I spent most time in Oaxaca, but also visited Puerto Escondido on the Pacific coast. There are lots of cheap beach-front small hotels on the long straight surfing beach just south of Punta de Zicatela. A very Mexican small place not popular with many tourists, so it was popular with me!
Not far away is Puerto Angel, a place to avoid. It's an attempt by the Mexicans to build a brand new tourist resort almost from scratch and comprises almost entirely of package hotels. It was fairly empty when I visited which wasn't surprising. So consequently you'll see it advertised a lot in Mexico as a beach destination, but don't go there, you'll be disappointed.
Also the archeological sites of Monte Alban (close to Oaxaca) and Mitla are well worth a visit if you like to see local ancient sites.
Lunapix, Here are 2 suggestions. I have lived 3 years in Mexico, mostly San Miguel de Allende, but also on the west coast....
atten: McCrankpin (checked out your link, you look like a fun gang)
Once in Mazatlan have a taco at any taco stand or restaurant named "George" cruise the "Golden Zone," visit "Hotel Playa Mazatlan" and and ask around about its' very creative founder, the visionary Ulysses S. George, who came from California to Mazatlan, bought some land and then pumped tons of sand from the bottom of the sea to create more land and began building Hotel Playa Mazatlan in 1953. Then he attracted the Hollywood rich and famous to hunt, fish and play... They came.... One of his many grandsons manages the upgraded hotel today, some of his many off spring have taco stands.... George was labeled the "Gringo Loco" by the local Mexicans, for his "crazy" idea of pumping the sand and because of his relatively wild life style. The beach at Hotel Playa Mazatlan is generally stocked with the interesting movers and shakers of Mazatlan.
After that, find a surfer, "surfista" and have him/her indicate where the "surf camps" are along the west coast of Mexico. The surfers come from all over the world, sleep on hammocks near beach side restaurants and have created a sub culture that is very interesting. Generally, the surfers don't talk much and are constantly staring at the incoming waves, but in the evening, when it is too dark to surf, they are fun to be with.... the visuals are great and many of the surfers have lived in Mexico for years and have learned and integrated themselves into the Mexican culture. They are a treasure chest of information about Mexico, and camping with the surfers is very very inexpensive - be sure to bring lightweight travel hammocks.
You might even try surfing, and/or take surfing lessons. xfiltrate
With a month between Baja and Cancun you will have lots of chance to roam
If your bikes are in good condition you should really not need too much in the realm of repair shops, but an inadvertant tumble can change that.Take it easy in the off road department.If you are looking for places which will make doing regular bike maintenance easier I can recommend two hotels.
After Mazatlan you will, undoubtedly , head inland along Mex 40 to Durango and then probably to Zacatecas.
In Zacatecas you have a very KLR friendly hotel owner at Hotel Plaza Del Carmen, 222 Avenida Juarez, just a block west of the Plaza Juarez and near the Alameda Park. The owner has several KLRs and will gladly let you use his personal workshop if you need to do some fixing, tune up or oil change.Stay at his hotel and you can park the bikes inside the atrium and explore on foot the surrounding historic center of the city.
If your wandering takes you to Oaxaca the city then stay at Hotel Paris, a fairly luxurious place ,, about $41, but the owner / manager has a number of big bikes and in a pinch will let you use his workshop too. He sure would like to talk with you, trade travel stories, hints to good scenic roads of the area ( they are ALL scenic !.) Hotel Paris is very easy to find, in the historic center edge about 5 blocks straight west from the large central plaza-Zocalo- on Trujano #521 on the south side of the street.Again, if you stay here your bikes will be safely parked while you wander around the historic center on foot
On your ride down the Baja I recommend an overnight stay at Las Casitas in Mulege. This is a motorcycle friendly restaurant / bar on the main street with a number of simple motel type rooms in back built around a garden courtyard. Good food, reasonable, popular with two wheeled travellers. You can bring your bikes into the courtyard. Friends and I stayed there going both north and south a couple of years ago and had a most pleasant experience.
Whoa there, If you don't have the money for the ferry how are you ever going to get thru the rest of Mexico ? . Actually if you pencil it out the ferry cost is not excessive. Just think of how many tanks of fuel you would burn to compensate for the distance covered by the ferry. And if you take the overnight to Mazatlan you can factor in the hotel cost you did not need to spend.
But Mazatlan would put you well south of the Copper Canyon so you will have to return north , so , yes your better choice is to stay to the mainland. Enter at Nogales or Douglas Arizona and work your way down on some of the nice backroads of Sonora to Mex 16 and Creel , then the rim road to the west and back and farther down Mex 23 to Balleza , with side excursions to the canyon views . and maybe to Guadalupe Y Calvo - all great paved roads .
You say "off-road" but what I really understand is back road pavement and good hard packed gravel roads , ideal for the KLR and any other bike
I just came through Mexico, 6000 miles worth. It was a blast, I always felt safe, and the people were amazing. I am now in Antigua. I wouldn't want to miss baja-if you can help it. I think I only spent $130 for the ferry. I tried to take the overnight boat, but it wasn't running when I was there (April 09), neither was the ferry to Mazatlan. If you want to do Copper Canyon you would take the ferry to Topolabampa anyway, puts you a day away from the canyon area. I stopped over in Alamos and spent four days there, great place. I didn't go into the canyon but headed south to Mazatlan, then took Hwy 40 (I think) north through "the Devil's Backbone", an amazing road motorcycle road. That puts you into the interior of Mexico with some great colonial towns to visit, Guanajuato was excellent.
Make sure you stop at the border and get your tourist card, they won't tell you, you have to do yourself. You will need to get your temp. vehicle permit at the ferry dock south of LaPaz, can't buy a ferry ticket until you have it, and go thru aduana (customs).
Please look over my blog and hit me up with some specific questions, would love to help. I didn't go to the Yucatan, but came out thru Chiapis.
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