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  #1  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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Mexico safety?

I'm planning on two weeks in Mexico in March, riding in from southern Texas, ride south about as far as Veracruz, across to Mazatlan, then back to Texas. My goal is to see real Mexico and historic sites.

I prefer riding by myself, off the beaten track. I've seen a number of recommendations to not do that. I know some of that are just scare tactics and selling-newspaper tactics, but there are credible reports of deaths and kidnappings.

Danger thoughts? Recommendations? What to avoid? What to see?

thanks,
Chris

P.S. Reading "God's Middle Finger", about a guy who actively sought out narcos and bad-guys in the Sierra Tarahumara, probably wasn't a great choice
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  #2  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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Mexico

HEY CHRIS

I have about 6K RECENT MILES IN MEXICO.
About !/3 of it is solo ( KLR 650)

I go thru the border as early as possible,ride south for a few hours and then begin to enjoy.

Next week my son and i leave for about a month,my 3rd trip his first.

I'm an old dude -65
Try to learn a little spanish, use common sense,be vigilante.
I'm a little old to still be nieve (can't spell it) but i think people are basically good.

I have had good experiences.
GregEaton
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  #3  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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I've lived here for over 30 years and have travelled around a bit. I have never had a serious problem so my advice is would be the same be careful and sensible.
If you want to come to Mex City send me a PM or post here. We can show you around and put you up.
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  #4  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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My wife and I got back yesterday from a month long 2-up from Arizona to Guaymas, ferry to Santa Rosalia and then thorough riding throughout Baja (N & S). We observed all the normal precautions and had an awesome trip and never felt we were in danger or that a situation was not safe. Mexican drivers were courteous and helpful and the Mexican people were warm and friendly. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Be sure to check out Mollydog's postings. Don't ride at night, yada yada yada. Mexican cops are be on super good behavior and were nothing but helpful and friendly. Go for it and have a super time. Don't take to much stuff- I ended up shipping a box home from Cabo San Lucas.
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  #5  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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Prawns And Courtesy

I'm 75 and met with no problems or difficulties riding south from Veracruz (where I bought my Honda 125 for the ride to Tierra del Fuego) or on the way back north where I crossed to the US at Brownsville. Treat people with courtesy and you will be treated with courtesy. Consider them inferior and you are into a bad trip. Breaking the law (as in speeding) is dumb. Do not expect trucks to have perfect breaks or steering, nor expect all drivers to act in a manner you would consider rational. Do expect animals in the road and rocks left out by drivers who used them as brakes when parked. Don't ride at night - not because of bandits, but because you may hit an unlit car, truck, car, bike or donkey. Heading south, you will pass by the Sierra Gorda, fabulous riding country, charming people. When in Veracruz, eat at any of the restaurants above the fish market - everything fresh and great prawns!

You might find something of help at my BLOG.
Have fun, and ride safely...

Last edited by simongandolfi; 23 Jan 2009 at 10:20.
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  #6  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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Thanks everybody; that was the kind of responses I was hoping for. Use common sense!

That's one thing you learn in travel, isn't it, the dangers are amplified by people who don't know what it's really like.

Thanks for the invite garrydymond, I need to go to the Teotihuacan museum -- I'll contact you if I do.


Chris
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  #7  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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Chris,

Two weeks is a pretty quick trip to cover These rest breaks, IMO, are important.

Last edited by mollydog; 27 Mar 2009 at 19:38.
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  #8  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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In October I did a 3000-mile, 2 week trip from Los Angeles, through the Sierra Madre/Copper Canyon area to Parral, Durango, and Mazatlan, then back to Los Angeles.

Then I read "God's Middle Finger".

My opinion - that guy is a really great writer and very entertaining, but he's full of shit about the dangers to gringo travelers in the Sierra Madre. Unless you plan on dealing drugs or smuggling guns you're just not going to be involved in any trouble. On safety you should be much more worried about the logging trucks on the narrow mountain roads, or the long/fast rides on the desert blacktop than about any danger from the drug war.

I loved the book, but I wouldn't take it literaly and I certainly wouldn't let it stop you from an epic Mexican road trip.

Also - I did some 300 and 400 mile days on Mexican back roads on a 1977 KZ650 street bike, and while they were very tiring, they were a lot of fun. Thats an ambitious schedule, but is very doable, especialy on a fancy new bike.

go for it..
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  #9  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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i can only contribute to all positive reactions. just finished a 4 month trip (well effcectively 3) through mexico.
it's safe, divers and beautiful.

....except a bastard stole my mascot, Mel the Sasquatch who traveled with me for all the way from the Kotaneys, from my bike in Guanajuato! left the bike (well locked to pole and no luggage) outside my hostel and didn't bother to take it off. so that is my own fault i guess...

drive safe,
sander
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  #10  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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I've not seen or heard of this book.

Last edited by mollydog; 27 Mar 2009 at 19:39.
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  #11  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Sierra Madre Safety

As for your safety down there, I wouldn't be terribly concerned with getting shot.

I lived in the Sierra Madres for the past 13 months and just moved back to Colorado.

The Sierras are loaded with drugs and guys with guns but...don't give them a reason to shoot you and you're fine. What you need to be wary of is the roads. While living there, I knew of about 20 people who were killed in separate accidents from driving off cliffs. Most happened at night after a few many Tecates, but not all.

Be kind to everyone you meet. Be very aware of your body gestures and how you 'hold' yourself. Are you standing there puffing your chest out looking for a fight or are you comming across in a non-confrontational way? Something to think about.

Learn some Spanish. Bring a small phrase book. The locals love when gringos attempt Spanish. Often times they see it as both humorous and respectful.
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  #12  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Your best advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by blitsey View Post
As for your safety down there, I wouldn't be terribly concerned with getting shot.

Be kind to everyone you meet. Be very aware of your body gestures and how you 'hold' yourself. Are you standing there puffing your chest out looking for a fight or are you comming across in a non-confrontational way? Something to think about.

Learn some Spanish. Bring a small phrase book. The locals love when gringos attempt Spanish. Often times they see it as both humorous and respectful.

Warning to brother Viking! If traveling through Mexico greeting everyone with a big Viking smile, you will be treated to incredible friendship and hospitality. The real danger though is falling in love with the country, cashing in your chips and moving here. (Like I did)

When passing through Mazatlan, I always have a spare room for long-riders. Te esperamos.
Que tenga un buen viaje!
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  #13  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Do you recall the Author's name? I've not seen or heard of this book.

Cheers!
Richard Grant is the author. I bought it for myself for Christmas on Amazon. You would enjoy it, Patrick, he talks about a lot of places you've been. This guy went looking for trouble, so he found it. I have never been approached to buy commercial quantities of mota in the time I have spent in the area. A little for personal use, sure, but this guy is always having people offer him pounds of the stuff out of the blue, and it just doesn't ring true sometimes. Worth reading regardless.
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  #14  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Mexico is great, and very safe. Just spend a quick 40 days there and whished I stayed longer. The most scenic part is the far south. If you want to see some amazing old cities, do not miss Guanojuato, Morelia and Zacatecas, you will be blown away by the Colonial buildings and coble stone roads. Lovely!

We had no issues with safety and never had a problem with the cops either.

Enjoy
Johan

PS: Do not miss the road between Durango and Mazatlan (Not the toll road, the free, Libre road). Very scenic indeed.
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  #15  
Old 5 Feb 2009
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Learn some Spanish. Bring a small phrase book. The locals love when gringos attempt Spanish. Often times they see it as both humorous and respectful.[/QUOTE]

Very wise advice!

Last edited by mollydog; 27 Mar 2009 at 19:39.
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