On Eduardo's suggestion we headed up Nevado de Toluca. This is a dormant volcano that stands 4,500 meters above sea level. The dirt road from the highway winds 27kms through lovely forrested areas to the exposed alpine crater cone. Then decends into the crater to two lakes at 4,300 meters.
The Road to the Top
Once again Miss Piggy shows her virtues as we were fully loaded two up on a very rutted dusty road, with some very loose patches and others quite rocky. During the first 15 kms you often had to dodge fallen tree trunks laying across the road, and sometimes halfway around a bend. This is one time where we found ourselves both standing on the foot pegs too keep the bike stable.
Once we cleared the forrest, the view was outstanding and seemed to go on forever, and we just continued climbing with the road becoming narrow in parts and at times we crossed lava beds that had been 'cleared' for the road but were extremely rough and very narrow with steep sudden drop offs on one side.
Over the Lava Field
It was very exciting and most worth while as we decended into the crater to view the blue lakes of the Sun and the Moon.
We stayed at the crater for, perhaps, an hour. Before commencing our journey out, which was not without incident, we had to make a detour around a vehicle, that could go no further, when we dropped the bike in some badly rutted section. There was little damage to the bike and us zero, we both struggled to pick the bike up fully loaded at that altitude. Sweating and out of breath we climbed back on to the bike feeling a little shaken about the mishap.
Getting going after the fall
The ride down was uneventful, though tiring and at the intersection to the main road we stopped and enjoyed cheese, apples and dried fruit from our stores for lunch.
We circled the base of the vocano, heading for Ixtapan del Sal where we based ourselves for a few days, catching up on email, doing a day trip to Taxco and organising to meet our friends Garry and Ivonne, from Mexico City. We orignially met them at the HU meeting in Creel.
Garry, Ivonne and Jules
On Sunday the 20th November (Mexican Revolution Day) we were to meet Garry and Ivonne (on thier BMW) at the Zocalo, 10am. Grant could not get the bike out the hotel foyer due to a parked car so Julie walked to the Zocalo to meet them. In the mean time Grant managed to get the bike out only to find that the road was completely blocked off at both ends and a parade was ensuing.
Jules caught up with Garry and Ivonne as planned and returned to the Hotel to get Grant who was no longer there but had rode up the street to find a place to park, and was then enveloped in the crowd. He was replaced by school girls and boys twirling battons, waving pom poms and dancing for the whole extent of the street. After about an hour of much searching and being caught up in the festivities we all found each other and headed off to the archelogical ruins at Minalco.
The road was 'Topes-landia' (topes are speed bumps to the extreme) .... it seemed like every few meters there was another one, and the town itself was defintilely not user friendly and was a chore to manouver the fully loaded bike through, however we perservered and had a lovely lunch and a tour of the archeological site which involved a hike up a steep pathway, not too hard though.
Jules & Ivonne
Garry and Ivonne invited us to stay at thier house in Mexico City as it was probably an easier option than our original destination of Cuernavaca. Grant did not feel 'ready' for Mexico City but we decided to give it a whirl.... despite the horror stories of traffic conditions, pollution, population etc.
Garry did a marvellous job of guiding us to his home and it was not as terrifying as we imagined. Garry was to take us to Cuernevaca after work the following day.... as we had no idea how to get out of Mexico City... apparently it is quite easy when you have lived there for 20 odd years!
We spent the day with Ivonne who took us to San Angel (suburb) and we had a nice walk around the markets, streets and visited the Convento de Carmen. It was a very beautiful church and had a lovely walled garden. We did not realise it at the time but there is a museum next door that houses some mummified bodies.
Convento de Carmen
The ride out of Mexico City that afternoon was in mild traffic (according to some people) but was quite hard work. It seemed to take an age to get out of suburbs and hit the open road to Cuernevaca where we were greeted with an amazing sunset.
We arrived at Alan and Theresa's (Garry's in-laws) and stayed in their lovely house enjoying icecream, pizza and good conversation, leaving the following day for Cholula near Puebla.
Posted by Julie Rose at December 01, 2005 05:28 PM GMT
Alan and Theresa with Grant and Miss Piggy
HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!
Next HU Events
- USA California: Sep 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!
Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!