Pictures: Day 14 - 18

Day 14 / Friday, October 5, 2007
Start: Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, 8:30 am
End: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, 8:30 pm
Mileage: 480

The city of Guanajuato with tunnels all through those mountains.

Going through an unexpected National Park on my way to the northern city of Monterrey.

The cliffs were very jagged and views were quite dramatic. The road was running in the valley of some narrow canyons.

The road was also very twisty and would be the last fun road to ride in Mexico for me.

Looking up at the jagged peaks.


Day 15 / Saturday, October 6, 2007
Start: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
End: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
Mileage: 0

Shopping for a new rear tire in Monterrey as my Kenda K270 was flat in some places after around 4500 miles.

The other side of the tire. I'm sure if I had been nice to the tire initially and not gone 80 mph on the highway it would've lasted the whole way back home. Look how much tread is left on those knobbies.

Checking to see if the Suzuki dealer has a tire in my size. One of the main streets in downtown Monterrey, Pino Suarez had about 3 motorcycle dealers. The Kawasaki dealer had the best selection of tires and I got a nice street-oriented tire for $70, similar to US prices.

Surprisingly we couldn't find a tire shop who wanted to change the tire for me. I could've done it, but it would've taken about 3 hours and am saving that for emergency situations. Moto Tecnica agreed to change the tire for $15.

The mechanics using proven techniques to break the bead of the old tire (using the kick stand of another bike to press down on the tire to remove it from the rim). I did the same thing when I was changing my tires at home.

I bet there's a Harley hidden in there somewhere… Note the Che sticker on the gray cabinet. These guys mentioned that they changed tires for another adventure rider who was heading for Argentina. Must be the same guy as before…

Putting the final bit of air inside after puncturing and patching my tube during the install. I hoped it would last all the way back home.

Check out this old Ural (a Russian military motorcycle based on a 1941 BMW R71 motorcycle design).

The tires were Made in the USSR. Wow, these tires are over 16 years old! I've never seen anything with a 'Made in USSR' stamp before... How cool.

The ranch house of my friend Cesar, where we relaxed and met with all of his extended family.

Reminded me of scenes from movies of old world Italian family gatherings, were the men sat at one table (drinking tequila), the women at another table and the kids on the side table. The food was fabulous; stewed lamb, pork and beef. And the Don Julio flowed like water...


Day 16 / Sunday, October 7, 2007
Start: Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, 9:00 am
End: San Antonio, TX, 6:00 pm
Mileage: 346

Arriving at tricepilot (Bob's) house in San Antonio from The border crossing back into the US was a breeze. Bob was following my trip report from the road and offered his place for me to crash at on my way back home. I always enjoy meeting other motorcyclists, cause we all have the same mindset no matter which walk of like we come from.

Bob and I. Bob's an ex-Air Force Colonel and has ridden to Mexico twice before and was going again in two weeks. He's in love with the country and asked how I managed to do the trip solo.

This was my response. All I needed for my Mexico trip was the Lonely Planet guide book (which had all the hotel and town info), the Guia Roji Mexico road atlas (used in planning the next day's route), my Spanish phrase book and my GPS with the Bicimapas Mexico maps.

The phrase book was invaluable to me. I listened to Spanish language audio CDs on the way down to the border, which taught me basic pronunciation and sentence structure and when used with the details of the phrase book, I did all right. Once I even managed to tell a hotel receptionist that the shower had no hot water. I was quite impressed that I could communicate that.

My trusty Garmin GPS 60Cx, which had the new Bicimapas Mexico maps with auto routing. The maps weren't 100% accurate but it was still a good tool to have especially in the big cities.

My new rear tire that I mounted in Monterrey, it's a more street-oriented tire for the highway riding.

The remains on my number plate, which I think broke off after Batopilas, early in the trip. I rode all over Mexico with no one bothering me about it and even rode from Mexico back to Chicago with no cops hassling me about it. Number plates must be overrated...

The road rash and bruises from my low-side near Zihuatanejo on my elbow. There's no holes in my jacket, so I think this was caused by the friction as the road surface was quite rough. My jacket has foam armor in the forearm but this was the one place with no armor.

Enjoying a brew with Bob's brother, Joe.

And I arrived just in time for pizza!


Day 17 / Monday, October 8, 2007
Start: San Antonio, TX, 8:00 am
End: Little Rock, AR, 8:00 pm
Mileage: 560

Yeah, so that puncture and patch job those guys did on my tube while mounting the new tire in Monterrey… I don’t think it held up, cause the tire went flat south of Dallas. I'm pointing the opposite way because I had to find lower ground for my kick stand because it's too long if there's no air in the tire and the bike will fall over. I put Slime and pumped it back up, hoping it would hold.

Alas, the Slime was not going to help. This is the remains of the tube. It exploded in the tire and the Slime was just filling up inside the tire. I think the heat from running on the highway when the patch let go was the culprit.

Luckily I found a Suzuki dealer right by the highway who got working on replacing my tube. I was prepared to do it myself, but was on a time crunch to make it back to Chicago.


Day 18 / Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Start: Little Rock, AR, 7:30 am
End: Grayslake, IL, 9:30 pm
Mileage: 730


Picture Index

Pictures: Day 12 - 13

Day 12 / Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Start: Zihuatanejo, Guerreo, 6:00 am
End: Teotihuacan, Mexico State, 6:00 pm
Mileage: 315

In the small town of Teotihuacan, just north of Mexico city. I was here to see some pyramids the next morning. This guy was providing some dinner music at the food market.

Locals enjoying some freshly made tasty dinner.

The food stall that I ate at. Various kinds of meat served with cilantro and onions. Simple and always good. Note the pineapple on top of the meat stand.

Dinner of some pork tacos with a slice of pineapple - Hawaiian Tacos?


Day 13 / Thursday, October 4, 2007
Start: Teotihuacan, Mexico State, 11:00 am
End: Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, 6:00 pm
Mileage: 281

The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. It was built around 2000 years ago and was possibly used for astronomy. I came at 7 am when the park opened and had the whole place to myself.

Climbing the steep steps to the top. It took only about 10 mins.

The view from the top, which is 246 ft from the bottom, making it the 3rd largest pyramid in the world.

Sun flare from the top.

The Pyramid of the Moon as seen from the Pyramid of the Sun.

Enjoying a peaceful moment at the top of the pyramid.

Climbing back down the steep steps.

No wonder it's called the Pyramid of the Sun…

Taking a local bus back to my hotel as there were no cabs around. Cost $0.40.

Having breakfast at the food market again.

These are what they call Quesadillas in this part of Mexico. A thick flour tortilla with various meats and cheese.

She was making them super fast. The tortillas were being made fresh.

I had a Picadillo (meat with potatoes) and a Barbacoa (pork). The fried tortilla was really tasty.

All the various ingredients being used.

The picturesque mountain town of San Miguel de Allende.

It retains its colonial architecture along with the cobble-stoned streets.

Since the town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, no traffic lights or modern buildings are allowed. Instead, lots of traffic police were at every major intersection.

The town had many old chapels, which must be at least 200 years old.

Chapel in San Miguel.

Chapel in San Miguel.

Lots of people were just milling about and relaxing around the water fountains and the many parks in the town.

Chapel in San Miguel.

All the stores use old houses as their store fronts, since they're not allowed to tear down any of the buildings. This old world charm is what attracts a lot of ex-pats to come and settle in San Miguel.

San Miguel.

Chapel in San Miguel in the main square.

The popular mode of transportation was two or small four-wheelers since the town is very hilly and the streets are narrow.

On the road to Guanajuato from San Miguel. A nice relaxing end-of-the-day ride.

The unique thing about the city of Guanajuato is their use of old mining shafts as street tunnels under the city, which is perched in the mountains. It is truly quite a maze and takes a while to get oriented.

Ahh, finally making it to my hostel, La Casa del Tio after going around in circles for over an hour trying to find it. I loved riding in Guanajuato, very unique experience.

The view from my room at one of the back streets, which leads into a tunnel.

It happened by chance that I was in town while a month long musical festival, Cervantino was taking place. The whole city was packed with people and lots of open-air musical acts were going on. A very festive atmosphere.

College kids bumming on the side walk. Guanajuato is also known for its university and corresponding percentage of young adults giving the city a more lively beat.

Guitar players waiting for a crowd to gather before performing their act.

Guanajuato is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning all the old colonial buildings are protected.

A public camera display showing traffic all over the city, including the tunnels.

I went through this tunnel 3 times while trying to find my hostel. I think a few more days and I could have the city figured out.

A bunch of clowns dancing on stage. Not a very good act.

More like it, a reggae/ska band performing in a square. People were just gathering on the steps and enjoying the music. They even played a Spanish version of Bob Marley's Is This Love.

Crazy hair-do. The young kids around seemed typical of youth in the US or elsewhere; extremely baggy jeans, slouching, smoking, backpacks and large graphic t-shirts. Maybe this image comes from the movies…?

Funny thing was that the power kept going out every 15 mins or so, which produced howls from the crowd. Maybe it was an overload on the city's power.

The band continued playing as soon as power returned to the guitars and mics.

This scene is great. Here's a guy totally into the moment who bust out crazy dancing every once in a while and on the other hand, there's a store owner who decides the steps need washing just as we're all sitting on the steps enjoying the concert.

The band played songs that the crowd seemed to know and this one energetic song got these bunch of guys to jump up and start frantically hitting each other. They calmed down when the song finished.

Lots of street performers were about for the crowds. Here's a girl who's a robot. Couldn't get a better picture as she kept approaching me and I ran out of change.

The guitar players from before performing for a crowd with two couples dancing. Everyone seemed to know the routine, must be a well known dance.

Next: Day 14 - 18, Monterrey, San Antonio and Home

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