Here's the report:
Day 1: Left Memphis Tn on Nov 7 and arrived in Creel late the night of thurs the 8th. Stayed at the only hotel that seemed to be open late at night. Las Posoda. The room cost about $25 and was not really much to look at. After getting a map from 3 Amigo's we headed off to Batopilas the next morning. The first hour or so of the trip is all paved with great views. The road then changes to a dirt trail through lots of construction. After getting past the construction the road turns gravel / dirt with incredible views of the canyon. Great switchbacks and incredible scenery. We made it in to Batopilas around 5 pm and stayed at a great hotel. The name escaped me but its the orange hotel right in the city center. Paid $45 and it was VERY nice. Martine is the name of the guy who either owns it or manages it. Safe and secure place to keep our bikes too. Oh yea, we are riding on XR 650 L's. This trip took about 8 hours but we stopped a million times for pictures, etc.
Day 2. We were supposed to be heading to Ceracahui but ended up making several wrong turns. One thing I soon realized is that it doesnt matter if you have a map or not. Over and over again the road will split in two or three and you basically have to guess which is the right route. We of course took the wrong one time and time again. From Batapilas we went through Satevo, Rodeo, San Juan de Dios, Tubares, Piedres Verdes and on to Ceracahui. Actually getting lost worked out great on this particular stretch as we got to do about 6 or 8 river crossings. I fell in on the first one and was soaked from helmet to foot but quickly got the hang of it and it became my favorite part of the journey. After getting lost for about the 100th time today, we ran into, of all things, an american named Preston running a mining expedition in the middle of absolute nowhere. He filled our tanks with gas for free (wouldnt accept a nickle) and sent us on our way. We finally made it to Cerachaui. Stupidly we decided not to stay there (didnt really like the feel of the town) and to drive to Urique just before sun down. Major mistake. (seemed like a good idea at the time!). We ended up traversing down the road to Urique at night. What a treacherous undertaking. It was scary as #$#&. Had we known it was that steep and exposed, we would have never, ever attemped this with only our headlights as guides. Incredible is all I can say. I certainly wouldnt recommend this. We arrived in Urique about 8 or 9 and couldnt find a place to eat. The town was basically shut down for the night. This was on Saturday. A woman invited us into her home and cooked us a meal in her kitchen with a dirt floor. Unbelievable hospitality! We stayed in a less than average hotel, the name of which was the Hotel Barranca. This portion of the trip took 13 hours some of which was spent half way over the edge of the canyon on my ass and/or in a cactus, submerged in a river or backtracking searching for my back which fell off the back of my bike. Pretty miserable.
Day 3: The next day we were miserable as we were tempted to throw our bikes on the back of a truck to get back to Creel. It made it even more miserable to know that we went a good 2 hours out of the way to Urique when we could have stayed in Cerachaui. We went back up the mountain (only road in or out) and realized then how freaking scary / stupid it was to go down at night. We found the turnoff to San Rafael and it was all downhill from there. We stopped briefly in Basaseachic (looks like a really cool little town) and hauled ass on pretty decent roads back towards Creel. We were relieved to see the sign for Creel that said 55 km and paved road. This portion of the trip took about 4 hours. We made it back to Creel at 2 pm, loaded up the bikes and took off in a 1981 F 150 and drove for 27 hours straight-1400 miles. No sleep. That sucked.
Observations: We did this trip on a shoestring budget. No fancy packs, no packed food/water, no GPS, no fancy riding gear. We basically just took our 650's and strapped a gym bag to the back with bungee cords. Wore short sleeve shirts and cargo pants and packed no additional gear other than a change of clothes or two.
Took a while to get used to the idea of rounding a corner and seeing a freaking donkey, cow, goat, bull or car standing in the road or barreling right towards u.
The Honda XR 650 L is a beast. We pounded the hell out of these things - laid it down a million times (some of which were very hard), dropped it in the river, and rode the hell out of it for hours on end. Never failed to start on the first or second push of a button. This thing is BULLETPROOF!
You better know some spanish. During our entire trip, we probably met 1 local who spoke english. That's it. If it wasnt for my buddies fluency in the language we would still be there.
Looking back the trip was incredible. Trip of a lifetime.