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  #1  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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TX to South America 2up on ninja 250

As soon as I accidently stumbled across the website advrider.com I knew that was exactly what I wanted to do, though I didn't know when in my life I would be able to. I graduated from college and I knew it was the best time in my life for a motorcycle trip. I scraped up enough money to take the MSF course and buy a 2002 ninja 250. I chose the ex250 because they are cheap (mine was $1500), reliable, good mpg, standard seating position and capable of highway travel (a must in TX). About the same time I met my beautiful girlfriend Michelle. She is more adventurous than me, speaks Spanish fluently and is incredibly outgoing. Perfect traveling companion. One day she jokingly said we should visit her friend in Ecuador, and the trip was born.

Here is the bike in touring mode. Mods are loud exhaust (previous owner), highway gearing, luggage rack and relocated rear signals (to fit bigger bags). Other than that, completely stock.


Bike gear includes:
Cargo Converti tankbag I got off ebay for $20usd (28L)
Nelson Riggs Sphere saddlebags ebay for $60 (45L each!)
Tailbag that came with the rack (10L)

Camping stuff:
REI 2 person tent $50 used
2 30/40deg lightweight sleeping bags from REI outlet $110
REI outlet sleeping pad $12
2 1.5L nalgene bottles $13

Electronics:
Spot tracker 1 $40 used + $100 service plan
Ipod touch 8gig for a mini laptop $80 used
Quad band Samsung A707 phone $25 used
Michelle's digital camera

This is a minimalist trip. We have scraped together a bit of money and we want it to last for as long as possible.

Last edited by jordan325ic; 7 Jan 2012 at 16:26.
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  #2  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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*I apologize for my lack of punctuation, I am using a Mexican laptop and cannot figure out the keyboard

Trip begins 12/4/10.

We head from Austin, TX to Fabens, TX. Fabens is a little town outside of El Paso, TX. Michelle's family lives there. We camp in Iraan, TX, at a rest stop.

Next day we continue to Fabens. We spend a week with her parents. Her mother is from Mexico, and is the most hospitable woman I have ever met. She doesn't speak English, which was a good primer for the trip. I played scrabble in Spanish, watched movies in Spanish. Every day, three times a day, she makes enormous amounts of the most amazing Mexican food I've ever had. Menudo, barbacoa, enchilladas, tamales. I probably gained 10 pounds in a week. She would not take no for an answer. She is a very religious Apostolic Christian, and I attended a service. Very loud, very energetic. Very Souther-Baptist revival feel. The preacher prayed for us on our trip.

We exchanged money in El Paso. $12.5 pesos to $1USD. Better than we were expecting.

We planned to cross into Juarez on 12/9/10. We were escorted into Juarez by Michelle's mother and her friend - Nubia, who both knew Juarez very well and knew all the procedures for cross the boarder. Everything went smoothly until I realized I had accidently brought my birth certificate instead of the motorcycle title! I called my family back in Austin and arranged to have it rushed mailed to me. Back to the US for a few more days...

But first, we had to run errands with Nubia. We can store the bike at her mother-in-law's. Her mother in law is startled to see her daughter followed by a motorcycle rider. Apparently "encapuchados" are balaclava-wearing motorcycle police, who are not trusted. None of the gun-wearing authorities are. I was told multiple times "do not trust the police/soldiers/military". I heard many stories from people who lived in El Paso or Juarez. The mother-in-law's son was killed a few months before. He was a mechanic and he was shot to death and the shop was burned to the ground. They think his boss wasn't paying the dues on time to the cartels. The shop was close to her house, she heard the shots... Very sad.

After we ran the errands we followed Nubia around the city to smaller crossing. We ended up riding about 70 miles in the Juarez area.Aside from the roaming police trucks with heavy machine guns mounted on them, there was no indication of anything amiss in the city. I never felt even remotely threatened.

Crossing back into the US was easy. No pictures of anything for this section though.

Last edited by jordan325ic; 7 Jan 2012 at 16:35.
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  #3  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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While we waited for the title to the bike to arrive, we went to have dinner at Nubia's. My first time having liver. It was... interesting.

12/12/10
Got the motorcycle title and prepared to go into Mexico, again with the escort of Michelle's mother and Nubia.

Here is Michelle staging in the Walmart parking lot on the border.

It only takes a moment to enter Mexico, but the line to enter the US was huge! It was so huge that apparently our escort didn't get back into the US until we got to Chihuahua, Chihuahua (4 hours away)! I was squeezing through the stopped cars to make my left when I realized that there was a line of cars going the wrong way on the far shoulder The line was disrupting people's ability to make a left out of one sidestreet, so they had just invented their own lane. This is normal in Mexico. I actually really enjoy riding here. It's enjoyable to cut free-form through the traffic and around the potholes and speedbumps.

We travelled Ruta 45 all the way to Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico. Michelle has family there who we would stay with for another few days. Ruta 45 was boring as any West TX highway. Long, straight, forever. The toll was 65 pesos. We jumped off the toll just before Chihuahua and took the free road. It was twisty and very fun, even with my heavily laden bike.

We took a small dirt road to where we would stay. Small house with a gated courtyard, just like most. It houses Michelle's grandmother, aunt, uncle, and two cousins. All very friendly and hospitable.

The house:


The courtyard:


While we are in Chihuahua, we go to el Centro mercado:


The Cathedral:


Me, the fountain and Michelle's young cousin.


View from the tower in the center of town:


We go to a Dulceria to search for "Bocadin", these little chocolate bars.

Michelle LOVES these things.
While there, we see these insane bags of Cheeto-like things that are literally the size of a small person. The cost for one of these bags is about $7 USD.


Chihuahua is situated in a valley and is surrounded by small mountains. We see this one and decide to climb it before we leave.

Last edited by jordan325ic; 16 Dec 2010 at 18:30.
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  #4  
Old 16 Dec 2010
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12-14-10
I wake up at 7:45AM, and since nobody else has awoken I start reading to pass the time (F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is The Night, quite a contrast). I notice there is incredibly loud music playing outside by 8am. There is a big street market setting up outside, happens every Tuesday. The vendor playing the music is one of several stands selling pirated music and CDs (5 pesos for 3). Karen tells us that the cartels control the piracy in this area. Anybody who wants to sell those discs must pay dues to the cartel and sell their drugs in the same stands. I kick myself for spending a ridiculous $7USD on a 24mm socket at an Autozone on the border. There are a dozen vendors selling used tools within the first few blocks.

Next day me, Michelle and Karen (her cousin) hike up the mountain. The route we take is very steep and difficult, but we make it to the top in good time. The view is great, we eat sandwhiches and fruit at the top.




Local kids also come up here to graffiti their love onto the boulders. Karen found a secret admirer.

(Translated: Karen, you are the woman of my life. I love you. J.L 4E)

After spending all day in the sun Karen wanted a "clamato". This is a drink made up of tomato juice, chile powder, salsa, spices and cerveza. I had a canned version of this in the US, which I found revolting at the time. But here, in Mexico, after a hot day hiking, it was delicious. It was also somewhat surreal to have an open alcoholic beverage in a moving car. In the US this is highly illegal.


Tomorrow we leave for... Jimenez maybe. We're not sure where we'll end up.

Last edited by jordan325ic; 7 Jan 2012 at 16:39.
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  #5  
Old 23 Dec 2010
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12/16/10
We begin our trip from Chihuahua down to Mazatlan, via Parral and Durango. Free roads all the way. No problems. It became more hilly and the roads became more curvy. Much preferred.
Lots of this:


We had a late start from Chihuahua, so we hit Parral right as it was getting dark. There were a couple of motels along the route that were catered towards lovers (read: prostitution) that charged for a few hours at a time. We decided that we'd see what the hotels in town looked like. We went to the center and found one that looked decent. Pulled into a grocery store parking lot and Michelle went to inquire about the price. It was closed, but two men came out of the grocery store to talk with us. Salvador and Raul. Apparently, we had been following each other since Juarez. They stayed in Chihuahua the same amount of time we did, left about when we did. Used the exactly same route. He said we passed each other many times. Salvador managed that grocery store and was in Juarez to buy product. Pretty incredible that we should end up in his parking lot. He invited us to buy our dinner in his grocery and cook it on the store's stove. We bought the ingredients for Sopa with vegetables, about $1.60usd. Another employee named Luardez cooked and made us coffee while we chatted with them.

Three people were killed that day, another the day before. Salvador told us the drug cartels battle each other but don't care if civilians get in the way. He has family in Oaxaca. In his mother's village there is an annual feast that one of the village members hosts the entire event. When his mother hosted, she killed and prepared 670 chickens and used 400 kilos of tortillas.

Our hosts:



Unfortunately El Camino will be closing soon, I'm guessing because of the Walmart that popped up a few blocks away. Very sad for the employees, many of which have worked there for decades.

Salvador said the hotels in town were overpriced and recommended Motel Las Palomas. Very clean, with a secure tiled garage.


Salvador insisted we come back for sweet bread in the morning. Of course we obliged, and enjoyed a whole bag of pastry for only 7 pesos. We bought some food for the road and we were off.




We camped outside of Durango. Did a bit of offroading through the thorn thickets to find the appropriate location. The little ninja handled it easily.


Sidenote: Asking directions in Mexico is... interesting. When we asked people how long it takes to get from Parral to Durango, we recieved answers from 3.5 to 8 hours. We asked how long it takes to get from Durango to Mazatlan we recieved answers from 2.5 hours to 8 hours. We were told 7 hours from Tepic to Guadalajara (actual 4, with traffic). Taking the average of all of your responses is usually pretty accurate, at least for us. Signs saying how many kilometers to go are also routinely wrong. Anywhere from 5-60% off. Also, if people advised against a certain road, I generally found it to be highly enjoyable. Take information with a grain of salt.

12/18/10
We awoke early and began the trip to Mazatlan. We had been advised to avoid the Mexico 40 libre, which goes through the mountains. They called it "The Devils Ribcage". With a name like that, there's no way we were missing it.

The road was incredible. Took about 5 hours to go from Durango to Mazatlan, and it was all tight, twisty mountain road. The views were incredible.


Guardrails for safety:



El Salto, halfway point:




It was exhausting, but very memorable. Best road I've ever been on. We made it Mazatlan just as it got dark, and we navigated through the city looking for a hotel. We had been riding since 8am, but it was still fun to cut through the traffic. Michelle was having a great time too. It's fun to ride around a foreign city with no idea where you're going. After checking half a dozen, we found one that was affordable. About $15usd a night.
We could park the bike in the hallway or in the room.


12/19/10

We spent a few days in Mazatlan. Definitely a bit more touristy, and the prices reflected it near the beach. In the markets and near the ports, prices were very good. Breakfast plates could be had for $1.30usd, tortas for $1.60usd. Very delicious. Seafood was also plentiful, and fresh.


Motorcycles routinely park on the sidewalk in Mexico. Very convenient.


We took the hike up to the highest natural lighthouse in the world.




Took a boat to La Isla De La Pierda. Wonderful eternal beaches, although looking at it on google maps, apparently it's not an island.

It is populated by a good population of retirees, so prices are in line with american prices. I recommend eating in Mazatlan.

The Devil's ribcage also wore out what was left of my rear tire. It was impossible to find a 130/80/16 tire in Mazatlan, so I got a slightly taller 90/130/16. A brand called "Duro", which according to everyone I talked to, is a pretty well regarded china tire. $100 for the tire and installation, which was steep, but apparently just the cost of things in Mazatlan. I talked to a fellow biker on a sweet little Yamaha 125 and he said the price was fair. The guy replacing my tire said they don't do balancing in Mazatlan on motorcycle tires anywhere. The wheel weight on my wheel also got knocked off during installation, but I haven't noticed any vibration so it's all good. The taller rear tire plus my 15-44 gearing make for very leisurely highway cruising. 80mph is now 8,000 rpm, compared to the stock 10,000 rpm. Since I generally don't rocket from stoplight to stoplight, I'm pleased with it. MPG is also stellar, haven't hit reserve yet. Somewhere north of 55mpg fully loaded with passenger and luggage, even through the mountains. When I was in the mountains, there was a hesitation between 8-9000 RPM, which was disconcerting, so I kept it below that. It went away when I got to the coast, so I'm assuming it was just the altitude.

After a few days, it was time leave for Guadalajara

Last edited by jordan325ic; 7 Jan 2012 at 16:43.
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  #6  
Old 24 Dec 2010
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Location: Ecuador, amazone, puyo
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Great trip!
I hope you are coming to Ecuador to visit your friend.
If you do so make sure you come to visit the Amazone.

I would like to give you guys a free room or camping spot
here in my cabana to make you feel welkom
in south america.
(just sent me a message when you are here)
Good travels.
__________________
Freedom is all i need!
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  #7  
Old 24 Dec 2010
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The friend we were going to visit in Ecuador is actually here in Guadalajara now, so we'll be seeing her soon enough. Thanks for your kind offer, I will certainly let you know when we hit Ecuador.

Having some problems with the digital camera right now, so the next update will be a little late. We're spending Christmas here in Guadalajara. ¬°Feliz Navidad!
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Old 25 Dec 2010
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Baby Ninja

Well done on such a small cc bike, bit diff from my 1400 nitrous nina,
Steve
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  #9  
Old 25 Dec 2010
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So your friend Salvador sent you to a comfy love hotel (i.e., motel) in Parral, following which you stumbled unknowingly onto one of the world's premier motorcycling roads, Espina del diablo. That's hilarious. You're the perfect contrast to all those posting here and elsewhere who believe that the essential ingredient for any journey is endless research and parsing of possibilities long before any departure.

Keep it up!

Mark
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Old 3 Jan 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
So your friend Salvador sent you to a comfy love hotel (i.e., motel) in Parral, following which you stumbled unknowingly onto one of the world's premier motorcycling roads, Espina del diablo. That's hilarious. You're the perfect contrast to all those posting here and elsewhere who believe that the essential ingredient for any journey is endless research and parsing of possibilities long before any departure.

Keep it up!

Mark
Yea, the motto for this trip is definitely "minimal planning". We didn't even have a map for the first 2,000 miles of Mexico, just a print-out of the google maps Mexico image. Our host in Union De Tula gave us a Mexico atlas, but Michelle insists I not look at it. She's lucky, so I'll bank on that. Doesn't really matter where we end up anyway.
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  #11  
Old 3 Jan 2011
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12/21/10 To Guadalajara¨

We check out of our Mazatlan hotel and look for breakfast. Above all the street level vendors in the central market there are second story restaurants. Very cheap, 15 pesos for breakfast, which was delicious and filling. Definitely a good find if you're on a budget. Too bad we didn't find it earlier. Also had "cafe con leche", which is coffee made without any water, just coffee and milk. Very tasty. We also sent postcards to the folks back home, which was a little time consuming, so we got a late start. We camped near Tepic, off a little farm road. Very noisy with the trucks engine braking down that area, we didn't sleep well. The farm workers started going down the road when we were packing up. They were confused and-or amused by the spectacle.

We stopped in Tepic to eat our breakfast of fruit, bread and butter we had bought the night before. There was a great little park not too far into town, very picturesque.





We were now on the "Ruta De Tequila" according to the highway signs. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant, looks like a blue cactus, and there were enormous fields covering the hills and along the highway.


Also a weird field of black rocks. Didn't look like the other brush-fire fields we'd seen.


Very hilly, simple but beautiful.


We ate in Tequila, famous for it's many tequila factories. We were going to take the tour, but our waitress said it was 250pesos per person, which was out of our budget, so we skipped it. We did buy a very overpriced bottle for our friend we were meeting in the next week. It was 160 pesos, which is similar to the price in the US. I didn't realize that tequila is only a fraction of the price here in Mexico. A few weeks later I would be shocked to see 750ml bottles of apparently decent tequila going for around $3.20USD.

Just before Tequila, the camera took a soft little tumble into the sand. So no pictures of Tequila, but I did get it going again on the last day we were in Guadalajara, so I could take some pictures.

We get to Guadalajara just in time for rush hour. We had no idea where we were going, no idea where any hotels were, no idea how crazy Guadalajara traffic was. I liked it. Motorcycles cut through traffic, pop onto sidewalks, go the wrong way down one-ways. I was burdened with extra wide saddlebags, so I wasn't as nimble as other bikes, but we got around. After over an hour of riding around cluelessly we randomly found a couple of hotels on a strip that were actually decently priced. We chose "Hotel Astur", About $20usd per night, but it was clean and we could park the bike in our room. Little did we know, but we were actually in the Historical District, right in the middle of the city, walking distance to the Libertad market, several museums, tons of shopping, and countless cathedrals and plazas. Very lucky, we were so tired we would have taken anything. Our faces were a blackened from all the soot in the air.

(If you're going to Guadalajara: Calle Independcia Sur was the road with Hotel Astur, we found less expensive hotels around the block on Juarez)

We only had 97 pesos left, and the money changers were closed. We ate dinner in La Libertad market. Tortas, potato chips with salsa, a coke, and cerveza for the both of us = 96 pesos ($8usd). Gotta love it.

Next day we change money again, not so good this time, as expected. We get 11.70 pesos to the dollar (compared to 12.5 in El Paso, TX). We spend the day walking around and updating the blogs at a ciber. We both love Mexican food but decide to do something different, and get pizza slices on the street

While we're waiting in line there is an attempted kidnapping. A man grabs a 6yo boy who is eating pizza with his mom and brothers, the kid freaks out and gets free, runs to his mother, who is panicking now as well. She rushes all of her children into the pizza shop doorway. Everyone around was pointing at the man. I had no idea what was going on at that point, but Michelle says she saw the man kick the boy as he struggled free and that he walked right around us, as if he was still intent on nabbing the kid. He split, and the police were called. I doubt they caught the guy, he easily vanished into the crowd. Michelle's older brother was almost kidnapped in Guadalajara when he was a baby. Luckily there was a policeman around the corner and kidnapper ditched him to not get caught.

We spent the rest of the day getting lost walking around Guadalajara. We went to the market, which was very cool.


Chille rellenos, with canzome and the most delicious tortillas I've ever had, $2us.

Lots of plazas, cathedrals. Very beautiful part of the city.






Next day we went to the Museum of Contemporary Art. It was the day before Christmas, so we didn't expect anything to be open. We were surprised to find it would be open for another 2 hours. (Bring your school ID, half off for students, 70 pesos regularly). Incredible building, and the work housed inside was fantastic. The first chamber (old Cathedral) is covered by 57 murals by Jose Clemente Orozco. Probably my favorite of what we saw. The main dome has a huge painting entitled "El Hombe De Fuego", which is breathtaking.

(not my photo)
We saw as much as we could before they closed.

Museum from the outside, later that day.


Guadalajara definitely has a "big city" feel. Different than any of the other places we've been to in Mexico. Feels more modern, or perhaps more Americanized. Wonderful to visit though, perhaps my favorite part of Mexico yet.

Last edited by jordan325ic; 7 Jan 2012 at 16:48.
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Old 3 Jan 2011
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12/25/10 Union Del Tula

Michelle's best friend is Karla Luna. Karla's family is from a little town called Union Del Tula, about 2 hours Southwest of Guadalajara. This year they were having a huge family reunion, first in 25 years, and we were invited to stop by for the tail end of the festivities. We packed our bags and left early, only taking an hour to find our way out of Guadalajara (good luck finding street signs in Mexico).

We ate Tacos Dorados on our way. Note: Tacos Dorados are fried tacos. Sometimes they have toothpicks still in them from when they were held together for frying. I didn't realize this initially, and I'm probably still digesting one or two.

We find Karla at the Cathedral with her family. It wasn't difficult to find the Cathedral, it's the tallest building, and there is only one for the whole town.There are a good 80 to 100 family members at the church.

Those are all part of the Luna family. They are celebrating her cousin Alex's first communion.
Karla and Alex:

The Cathedral interior:


We head to Karla's grandmother's house to change into clean clothes for the upcoming fiesta. It's a beautiful, clean, bright house with incredible hand-painted tiles, each one a little bit different.

During my time here I wear borrowed "Cubavera" shirts, very comfortable and fashionable here.

We head to Alex's communion fiesta. The hosts all sit at one table, the youth at another huge table, and the adults at their own tables. Everything is fully catered, with free cervezas, plates of tacos and cucumber with chile and lime for appetizers, birrea (beef dish local to the area) with rice, beans and tortillas for entre. We are treated to a VERY LOUD brass band. Everything is very loud here. The party is huge. Dancing, moonwalk for the kids, drinking, eating.

We jump out for a minute with Karla to see her family's villa. This is a little ranch house outside of town, with a room for each of the 8 sub-families that make up the Luna family. It is built on an old 19th century hacidenda, and there are remenants everywhere.



"Villa Luna"


Inside, the villa is beautiful. Lovely little gated courtyard.



Behind the villa there is a huge stable holding a good 20 prized dancing horses, worth up to $50,000usd each. Two of Karla's uncles ride and train them. Too dark for pictures.

We return to the communion party and eat churros rellenos. Later that night, we hit the town with the rest of the youth. At the first bar I learn that the moon (la luna) is the women's restroom, the sun (el sol) is the men's bathroom. My bad.

The next bar could easily been any bar in the US, minus the occasional accordion over the speakers. We danced, drank and had fun till closing time. Karla's little sister also showed up, who is 16yo but looks no more than 14. Carding isn't enforced like it is in the states.

Next day we wake up late and head to grandma's house for breakfast. Menudo (tripe soup), southern style with no hominy). Delicious. We come back and wash clothes.


... and hitch a ride to another party. This time at Villa Luna, with mariachis. We go in the back of an uncle's truck.

(Union de Tula is named for Union de T.V.L.A, the initials of the four founders)


This party is great as well. Again, fully catered. This time with sheep and chicken cooked over an open flame. Delicious.

We are also treated to a horse dancing performance.

Karla's uncle brings a horse into the courtyard and it trots around in step for a few songs. The whole family crowds around and takes pictures. Afterwards parents line up to have their children's pictures taken with the horse and rider.

Horsemanship is a big deal here. The next day we saw a young woman arrive at the Cathedral for her quincera in a flamboyant blue dress on a huge black horse. After the ceremony she rode away and her father danced along side with another horse.

That night we went to the plaza. We drank "calientitos", a delicious hot drink of boiled fruit, and ate Mexican hotdogs (wrapped in bacon, with chile and katsup). We also observed the tradition of "la vuelta" (turn). The plaza is a big square. Various food vendors lining the edges, with trees and a big gazebo in the middle. Young single women walk clockwise around the square, young single men walk counterclockwise slightly outside them. If a man fancies a woman, he'll stop and ask her if she wants to walk around with him. Couples walk counterclockwise with the men. This is how courtship happens in Union De Tula. Karla's pa*rents met this way decades ago, and still walk around the plaza to this day. Young and old participate. I found it very charming.
1349

The next morning Karla left back to the US to return to her work as a nutritionist. We spent one more day with her family. We went to the Cathedral and were blessed by the priest, who rubbed oil on our open palms. Karla's dad spent the afternoon chatting with various people in the plaza. He is very outgoing and has many friends here. We at posole (menudo made with pork instead of beef) and retired for the night.

Union Del Tula is the opposite of Guadalajara. Though I love Guadalajara, you can't deny it's filthy, with massive amounts of poverty plainly visible and a somewhat lawless feel. Union Del Tula feels like a very small town, though apparently it has 28,000 residents. For the first time I was instructed not to park my motorcycle on the sidewalk. There were people sweeping the streets and the main center. It was very clean, very traditional. People take pride in their city and their traditions. I never felt ill at ease here, never suspected I was being ripped off because I was a tourist.

Many thanks to the Luna family for allowing us the opportunity to participate in their reunion festivities. It's one thing to view a culture from the outside, as an observer. It's quite another to be able to participate and be immersed in the culture. It was an incredible experience, both in Union De Tula with the Luna family, and in Chihuahua with Michelle's family. Living within the culture was a fascinating experience, and I will never forget the hospitality I was shown.

Last edited by jordan325ic; 7 Jan 2012 at 16:52.
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Old 3 Jan 2011
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12/28/10 The Coast - Manzanillo, Playa Tunel

Eduardo (Karla's father) insisted we accept his gift of a Mexico atlas. Up until that point, we were relying on a compass and a tattered 4-page map of mexico we printed off the internet.

Hadn't had any problems with our current method, but we graciously accepted the atlas anyway. We tool the Luna family advice and went east to Colima via the back roads, then down to Tecoman. It was twisty, but covered with potholes. Very fun anyway. We got confused and accidently went 40km North to Manzanillo before we stopped. Manzanillo is a tourist town, and since it was the holidays everything was very expensive. We found nothing less than 400pesos. I didn't like it here. We camped on the beach for free.


Next day we headed South along Mexico 200 towards Acapulco. Twisty highway that goes along the mountainous coastline. My new favorite of the trip. The scenery expansive, picturesque beaches.





The motorcycle limited our camping options, since we couldn't just leave it on the side of the road overnight. We eventually found Playa Tunel, which was an incredibly picturesque little cove with a road going down. It was 50 pesos per person, per night to camp there, but the view was worth it. We had our own isolated, private stretch of beach, and a short swim north there was a few little beach-side restaurants. Perfect.




I was feeling a little ill the next day, so we decided to stay another day. I laid in the shade all day and recuperated. I felt better.

Next day we went exploring. You can see there is a cave going through the cliff into the open ocean. Michelle grew up in landlocked El Paso, and has never learned to swim until this summer. She bravely swam into the cave with me and hung around for a few minutes before turning back. In the cave there are crabs and sea urchins all along the walls. The ceiling is a good 10 feet above you and the waves crash all around. Surreal. Later I swam all the way through via a different route and into the open ocean. The waves are very strong and threaten to dash you into the rocks. The cliffs are lined with more caves and I explore a few more before I lose my nerve and come back to the cove.

Michelle and I are both stung by a jellyfish at one point.


We climb along the rocks to get dinner. We play cards with some teens while we wait. My Spanish is good enough for that at least. For are joined for dinner by a domesticated parrot and kitten who belong to the hotel kids. My Caldo de Pescado is served with the fish tail still sticking out of it. Fantastic. We buy some bottled water for the night and head out. By this time it's dark, and we've got a wallet, cell phone and leftovers, so swimming home around isn't an option. We have to climb around the rocks separating the beaches blind. Amazingly, we only lose one water bottle in the process, and neither of us gets soaked or steps on a sea urchin. Tomorrow we leave for Zihuatenejo

Last edited by jordan325ic; 7 Jan 2012 at 17:13.
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  #14  
Old 3 Jan 2011
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Sweet ride

Cool ride man, im going down myself with a friend, checking out Yucatan at the moment. Maybe ill see you out in the road. Keep it up, great report. Stay safe.
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Old 9 Jan 2011
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Hi From The Uk

Jordan, Michelle and the little Nija are looking like you are having so much fun. Well done guys, stay safe, keep the knee down and the Nija upright. I bet you when you get back home the first job will be to rebuild the 250? Keep in touch folks, all our love and best wishes from the UK. Steve, Karen, Steph and Chris. Watching your every move.... PS: The GT750M from 1975 is now near complete, pics soon.
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