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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tomorrow I will be leaving headed for south of the border.

I plan on taking a slow ride down and will be crossing the border at Reynosa on May 4.

Plans are to ride down to the Yucatan. Hopefully will have an extra day or two to play. The wife and my sister will be flying into Cancun on the 12th and we have a condo rented on the beach in Akumal. On the 17th they will fly out of Cancun. I will then do a slow return trip home mostly up through the middle of Mexico. A little more coastal area and hopefully quite a few mountains, returning home some time around the end of May.

I will be updating from the road daily as I can depending on internet connections.

Anyone wanting to follow my route may do so from my SPOT page:

SPOT Shared Page
 

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You go Jimmy !!!

I'll be watching and tracking you closely.

Have fun and be safe... and don't forget your camera !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
May 1, 2012

Miles: 418
Time on road: 8h 45m

Woodstock, GA to Foley AL

I had planned a short day so I was planning on a slow start so that I could miss the Atlanta traffic. By 8 am I was ready to leave so I went ahead and took a chance on the traffic. Not the best decision but I got through without too much problem.

I headed south out of Atlanta on I-85. I crossed the Alabama state line and shortly after passing Auburn I left the slab and headed south on Hwy 29. Turned out to be a good road. Mostly two lane and very little traffic. Added a little extra time to the ride but well worth it. Good weather and a relaxing ride.

Picked up Hwy 31 in Flomoton and followed it over to Hwy 59. Traffic started increasing on 59 and once I crossed under I-10 it slowed down. Took Hwy 59 on down to Foley and spent the night with my Aunt and Uncle.

A little bit of LA (lower Alabama)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
May 2
Miles: 377
Total miles: 795 (almost a full day's ride)
Time on road: 8h 45m

Foley, AL to Sulphur LA

Left Foley this morning at 7:00 am CT. Continued south on Hwy 59 and then took Hwy 180 out to Fort Morgan. Got there a little too early and had to wait around an hour for the ferry to arrive. Short and choppy ferry ride over to Dolphin Island and then took a couple of back road up to I-10 just west of Mobile.

Waiting on the ferry






Ferry ride











I was not wanting to ride in rain today. I was not looking for rain, but the rain found me. Clouds had been getting darker and as I crossed over into MS the rain and I met up. It would rain hard for a while, then it would rain harder slowing down traffic. Also, there was plenty of lightning to keep things from getting boring.

Realized the first thing that I forgot to do before leaving home. I did not treat my face shield for rain. Paid the price for this one.

Crossed into LA and the rain stopped, for a while. Had another couple of rain bands to come through but they did not have the thunder storms like the first one did.

Finally rode out of the weather system just west of Lafayette and was able to dry off again. Stopped for the nigh in Sulphur, just west of Lake Charles.

Realized the second thing that I forgot. My camera uses a micro card and I did not bring the adapter so I cannot load the pictures into my computer. No pictures in the RR until I get an adapter.

Tomorrow I hope to have another short day and stop in McAllen, TX with a border crossing on Friday.
 

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You'd best git an adapter!!!! We want photos!

Travel well!:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
May 3, 2012

Miles: 491
Total miles: 1,286
Time on road: 8 hours

Sulphur LA to Pharr, TX

Today was just a travel day to get to the border so the trip can begin.

Really great riding today. That is if you like riding slab. And straight roads. Flat. Windy. Hot And boring. Otherwise ….. As I said, today was just getting to the border.

At least there was no rain today. Heard on the Weather channel last night that the weather system that I rode through yesterday dumped almost 7” of rain around Mobile, AL. Maybe it really was as bad as it seemed to me riding in the rain yesterday and not just that I am getting old and wimpy.

Did not get an adapter for the memory card today. Hopefully soon. Will update with the pictures when I do.

Should be crossing the border in the morning, getting lost in Reynosa and driving around in circles trying to find my way out.
 

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May 3, 2012

Did not get an adapter for the memory card today. Hopefully soon. Will update with the pictures when I do.

:furious::furious::furious::furious::furious:


.............:seeya:


..............:biggrinjester:


.
 

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Subscribed!

You must have passed through Houston today. It's not hot yet :mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
May 4, 2012

Miles: 303
Total miles: 1,589
Time on road 8h 30m

Pharr, TX to Manuel,Tamaulipas, Mexico


Got a semi-early start this morning and left the motel around 7:00am.

It was about a 15 minute ride down to the border. I knew when I was in Mexico because of the sudden appearance of topes. Also plenty of the steel half grapefruit on the road spaced about two inches apart and up to four rows at a time. Makes being on a bike fun. Tried to go through Customs but the gate would not rise and let me enter. Bike could not trigger the gate. Finally a Customs Officer came over and had the car behind me to move up which trigged the gate and let me in. Customs Officer started asking me the usually questions. After finding out that I was headed to the Yucatan he said that he was from Cancun. After that I got a 15 minute education on where to go and what to see in the Cancun area.

Asked him where I needed to go to get my Tourist Visa and Vehicle Import Permit. He said to go to the building to our right. Asked him where to park and he put me into one of the secondary inspection slots. Said to park there as long as I needed and the bike would be fine.

Parked the bike and went inside the building. Wrong building. Needed to go down the road about two blocks. Walked down and verified where I needed to go to get the permits. Went back and got the back. rode back to Immigration.

Got the paper work started and all was going well. Went down to the Banjercito to finish up and pay. Lady behind the desk checked my paper work and did not like my Georgia registration. Wanted the original title to the bike. Most people use their vehicle registration to get their vehicle permit. That's what I used last year and did not bring my title. She told me that I had a problem because the registration showed only the due date and not the expiration date. Could not get the permit without the original title to the bike. Finally a Immigration Officer came over and check the registration. Asked me if I had insurance on the bike and wanted to see proof. Gave him my insurance card and he sent me off to get a copy of the card and then come back. Got a different clerk this time. Good to go. Another 10 minutes and I had both permits.

Got on the bike and headed south out of Reynosa. The Zumo worked much better than my Quest II did last year. Out of Reynosa and didn't even get lost. Got to be a first.

Riding south of Reynosa











Came to my first check point. Checked my permits, had me open up one pannier and the top box, and I was on my way again.

Heading south from Reynosa was very similar to riding in southern Texas. After about an hour it started to get hilly with a few mountains in the back ground. The road was one of my favorite type of Mexican road. A two lane with wide shoulders. Drive to the right, half in your lane and on the shoulder. Traffic passing uses the center of the road. Biggest vehicle has right of way.

South of San Fernando I hit my first military road block. I have been through quite a few military road blocks, but none like this. These guys were not fooling around. They were loaded for bear. Grizzly bear that is. They had placed dirt across the road and made about 6 super sized topes, around 2 feet high. Several machine gun nest and several mounted on trucks. Lots of personnel moving around. Traffic going south was light and they waived me through so there was no delay. Traffic heading north was stopped and backed up for about a quarter of a mile.

Came to a Pemex but it was still a little early for gas and there was another one about 40 miles down the road so I continued on. Passed a lot of military trucks that had machine guns mounted and several trucks carrying troops. Came to the next Pemex. Closed. Finally made it to the next one but running very low on fuel.

The good road ended as I encountered road construction. About 5 miles of hard pack with lots of loose gravel and rocks on top. Air pressure in the tires was set for running slab and was way too high for the dirt. After dancing around for a while the construction finally ended and I was now on an old deteriorated two lane with numerous pot holes. Road finally improved in some sections so the final ride in was not too bad.

I had noticed an absence of topes in most towns today. Only went through one that had a few baby topes.

Made it into Manuel and found a hotel for the night.
After checking in I walked up the road to an open air restaurant. There were 3 young adults sitting at a table toward the back an it appeared that ran the restaurant. Walked back there and started talking to one of the guys. No English. No Spanish. Next to this guy was his girlfriend/wife/sister(?) eating a bowl of seafood soup that looked rather good. She was wearing a very low cut top and she also looked good. She was looking very good. I pointed at her and said I will have what shes has. They brought me seafood soup instead.

Town of Manuel



Motel

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
May 5, 2012

Miles: 519
Total miles: 2,108
Time on road 12h
Manuel,Tamaulipas to Acayucan, Veracruz

Got started on the road this morning just before daylight. Lot of fog in the fields and at times on the road.

Made it into Tampico with no problems. Traffic started to get a little heavy and slowed down the pace some. The GPS took me through the city without getting me lost. A first for me. With all of the turns and lack of signage, without the GPS I would still be there. Last year the Quest II would show me about a block and up to a tenth of a mile off of the road that I was actually on so I never really knew for sure where I was at. It also had a tendency to quit working before you came to a turn.

Tampico



South of Tampico and had a wide variety of roads. Some good, some bad. Started out coastal, mostly straight and flat. Later it went up in the hills for a few curves and a change of scenery.

GPS also got me through Tuxpan without getting me lost. Two for two! I am getting use to this.

Picked up a cuota road which took me around Poza Rica and then back to the coast for a beach ride.

A little road porn









Several sections of Hwy 180 were cuota. It was just a two lane road, no shoulders, and not well maintained. It was more like that they decided to put up toll booths and collect money from everyone. Before I got into Veracruz the cuotas became more like our interstate roads. Went around Veracruz on another cuota, left town on a different cuota, and finally headed southeast on another cuota to Acayucan. Seems like I spent about as much on tolls as I did on gas.

Today's ride had extended to be a longer ride than I had preferred. I was planning on stopping somewhere north of Verzcruz but just did not really like the area. Did not want to go into another big city so I by passed Veracruz. It was around another 160 miles before I found a hotel for the night. Still 45 minutes of daylight to spare.

View from room, down town Acayucan, Veracruz

 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
May 6, 2012

Miles: 343
Total miles: 2,451
Time on road 7h 15m
Acayucan, Veracruz to Escarcega, Campeche

Today's road were the reverse of yesterday's. Started out on the cuota “interstate” roads and they continued for about half of the ride. From there it went back to the good/bad/good/bad roads. Mostly good traveling roads but a lot of construction also. A few small towns with a few topes. All in all not too bad. Terrain is mostly flat, roads mostly straight. Ok for “getting there” roads.

Road pics













Went through one federal police roadblock today. Had several vehicles pulled over to the side and checking them out. Waved me on through. Guess I just don't look like a very interesting person.

Two more military check points today. Both small and lightly manned. Slowed down but kept rolling.

All in all not a very exciting day. On schedule so I stopped for the night in Escarcega. Paid all of $29 for my hotel room. The deluxe version. Marble floors, hot water, cable TV, AC, internet, and a toilet seat. What more can you ask for.






I now have 4 days left to complete a one day ride. Will be slowing down the pace tomorrow.
 

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Hola Road Dust! Welcome to the peninsula! I live in Valladolid, Yucatan. Have tools, secure parking, extra hammock, plus a little knowledge of the area. If you have time, I sent a PM with contact info.
Saludos,
Pako
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have a couple of extra days. Will try and give you a call.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
May 7, 2012

Miles: 328
Total miles: 2,779
Time on road 6h 30m
Escarcega, Campeche to Akumal, Quintana Roo


Today started out good, and then it all changed.

Left Escarcega at a reasonable time this morning and headed due east. Roads were good, straight and flat, but after about an hour or so I begin to climb up into the hills to around 800 feet. Nice change with some sweepers but nothing to get excited about.

More road porn







Entered into Quintana Roo and came to my first military check point for the day. This time they were interested in me. They went through both panniers and the top box checking everything. Strange that I have never had them check the tank bag.

Few miles down the road was another military check point. This time they were only checking west bound traffic. Few more miles east and the state police had set up a check point. Waived me through so there was no problem with that one.

Just before Chetumal I began losing altitude. Road became flat and straight again and was around +/- 100 feet in altitude. Pasted Chetumal and headed north toward Felipe Carrillo. Decision time. Do I want to go north up through Valladolid and on to Rio Lagartos, or stay on the coast and go up toward Tulum for the night and just do some day trips from there? As I got into Felipe Carrillo the temperature had gotten up to around 95 (still better than yesterday's 100​+) so I opted for the coast and a short day's ride.

I got into Tulum and for some reason it just did not appeal to me. Too much traffic and too many people. Was not sure how to get to the hotels down in the beach area and I did not feel like exploring. I headed on up to Akumal and went into the town of Akumal. Nothing there so I headed over to the Akumal resort area where we have a condo reserved on Half Moon Bay for the 12th. Did not find anything that I was interested in until I got down to the Vista Del Mar. I rented a room in the hotel which is just a couple of buildings down from the condo.

Got the room rented, and this is when my day totally changed. First they showed me the room. You go from patio to sand to water. Then they gave me a voucher for a free Margarita at the restaurant next door. I quickly went from traveler to tourist. Became totally useless. When to the restaurant, had margaritas and dinner. Walked the 100 yards back up the beach to my room. Sat in a lounge chair on the beach just outside my room and watched the waves until after dark.

End of the day













Went from a day of good riding to, well, as I said, to being just totally useless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great Shot!!! Those Margaritas musta really hit the spot!
They made things really tough, but somehow I was able to manage. Survived the grueling 20 foot walk from the lounge chair to the room. Probably will have to do it all over again tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
May 8, 2012

Not a lot to teport on today.



This morning I caught up on my ride report and finally got some pictures uploaded. Topped of the tank on the bike. Rode in to the town of Akumal and had lunch.



Came back to the room, played on the beach some, laid on a lounge chair to make sure that it did not run off, and now it is time for dinner, margaritsas, and some more lounge chair time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
May 9, 2012

Miles: 195
Total miles: 2,974
Time on road 8h
Akumal, Quintana Roo to Valladolid, Yucatan to Akumal, Quintana Roo

Not a lot of motivation to ride today so I just headed up to Yucatan with no real destination.

The GPS kept telling me that the road that I was on did not exist. I ignored the GPS and continued on. Finally, after getting into the state of Yucatan the GPS decided that the road really did exist.



Realized that it had taken a lot of days and a lot of miles just to get a few hundred miles south of Mobile AL.

Made it into Valladolid and stopped and gave hormonicamoon a call. He was at home and invited me to stop by.

Made my way through Valladolid.







Finally made it to his street, thanks to the GPS, and found where he lived.











We had a late breakfast and discussed all things V-Strom and Mexico. A big thanks to hormonicamoon for putting up with me. He is a great person to talk to and was definitely worth the trip.

It started getting into the after noon and the temperature was rising so I wanted to get back to the cool breeze on the beach. It was knocking on the door of 100 before I got back to Akumal.

Headed back down the road. Notice how much different this road is than the ones that I was on before? It was very definitely differ...... O well, after a while they all look alike.



Stopped in Tulum at a Pemex for gas. Gas attendant tried pulling a swap of money on me. I gave him a $200 bill and in less than a second he had put it in his pocket when he thought that I was not watching him, pulled out a $20, showed me the $20 and pointed at the amount due on the pump trying to get me to give him more money. I let him know in no uncertain terms that I knew that I had given him a $200 bill and not a $20. He then gave me my correct change with no hesitation.

Made it back to the room and found heavy traffic out back.



Went down to the restaurant for dinner.



Had a few visitors drop in and join me for dinner.



Pulled up a chair and sat down.



Contemplated the long walk back to my room (first white building between the palm trees)



Made the journey back to the room with no real problems but due to the extreme difficulty of the trip, the update to the ride report will not be done until tomorrow morning. Hey, it is a rough life here.

Tomorrow I will be vacating the harshness of this environment and moving on up to Play de Carmen for a couple of days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
May 10, 2012

Had a short 45 minute ride up to Playa del Carmen today.

Got to the hotel way too early. They let me park the bike, leave my riding gear with them, and change clothes. Room would be ready by 12:30.







Out of the Power Ranger suit and now wearing civies, I found a place to have lunch and after wards took a tour of the beach area. Had something on the lens of the camera so all of the pictures had a smudge in the middle of them. Had to go back to the beach again and retake all of the pictures. (The wife is really going to believe that one. You are not seeing in the pictures what I was seeing up close. Or at lest I am not posting those pictures.)

















This phase of my ride has come to an end. Tomorrow I will remain in Plays del Carmen and get a rental car. The rental agency is just around the corner from the hotel that I am staying in. Saturday I will drive up to the airport in Cancun and pick up my wife and sister. The bike will remain parked at the hotel. We will be going back down to Akumal where we have a condo reserved. On the 17th I will make a return trip back up to the airport in Cancun, back down to Playa del Carmen where I will turn in the rental car, get my bike from the hotel, and I will be back on the road again taking the slow route back home.
 
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