Do you still plan on going to Mex. ? Date set ? and route? Tim
I'm probably going to get flak over this but I'll say it anyway. It's not a good time to go to Mexico, especially riding or driving from the border. I began riding Mexico in the mid seventies. I have circmnavigated it and crisscrossed it and besides being stopped by federal soliders close to Purto Escondito on the South coast, I have never had any trouble down there. But this is a different time and the drug cartels are not the only problem. They may have started it but now the everyday jose's are getting in on the act. The economy of course is the problem for them. The ones they are targeting are the Americans that come down for a good time, especially the ones with $$ on them and it's not hard to figure out who they are. If you are an American and you are in the interior of Mexico then you are a target. When the Americans get hurt or killed in the process of being robbed then the drug cartels are being blamed which Jose is counting on. Don't get me wrong the drug cartels are not angels but they are not targeting the tourist, they are killing each other and fighing for turf. By the way this info comes from my brother, a retired Federal Customs Agent who was agent in charge of the South Texas region and his daugther who is now with Customs in Laredo, Texas. With all that said, I hope you have a safe ride and let us chicken livers here about it when you get back.
No flak from me, this IS the USA after all, & opinions are available to be spoken, by us all. I consider myself a very well informed traveler and find the "poor economy" a bit comical. I first went to Mexico as a child in 1954, 2nd time in 1956 and many times since then and it was and is very poor, so that argument is worn out. I'm certain that the amount of USA derived employment $'s have gone way down as our economy has faltered. I will ad that I saw plenty of Mexicans working in FL the past two weeks and they still work @ the sawmills here in KY. I live in one of the poorest parts of this whole country and they are working here because some of the locals will not! Truth be known, there are many Americans that have no idea just how poor it is in certain parts of the USA. That means that there is $ to be made here , even in the poorest locales.But, thats another subject!
If you want to catch up on Mexico, go to Advrider or Horizons Unlimited and it will keep you entertained for hours, days, whatever your limit might be on world travel, Mexico being much discussed. I have a contact/American in the DF, and he will tell you that several of the border spots and a few others have become less than desirable places to be safe. He cringes when his work takes him to those spots-those spots! That doesn't mean all the rest is a zoo, nor does it negate the need to follow the rules for staying safe there and other places around the world. I used to cross @ McAllen and choose not to go there for now. I also will offer that worn out saying that there are places in the USA that I choose not to travel. While in FL I took a quick look @ the crime page of the newspaper & it would be national stuff were it happening on the border now, but back page material otherwise.
Mexico & our border areas have some very serious problems and just because I'm able to go down there and have agreat time will not fix the problem. I alos see that attitude on the sites I mentioned that one persons experience is the reality-not so! I am 67 and plan to enjoy my Mexico ride as my health is good, the ride is cheap and the weather & scenery are delightful down there, as you well know. I could stay home and work in the shop until spring too, but I think I'll take a ride. My retirement years will not be held hostage to your choice to stay put. So, I don't guess you want to go?
But, we all have to listen to the little voice inside us and mine says,"It's not a good time for me." And , I wasn't trying to talk you out of it, just adding my two cents. I hope you have a great time and come back safely. If you need any assistance in Texas just give me a call (830-822-7977). I can jump on my horse and come to the rescue if needed or stop by New Braunfels and share some coffee, lunch and tall tales.
All in good spirit! Hope your little voice doesn't say "too much" to dampen your fun. Also, you need to stay away from the naysayers and get out there!
P.S. I can tell, way down inside, past that pissy little voice, that you really wanna go,right? FYI, I am/was a trained counselor for years and can read peoples minds
That pissy little voice says, "Don't go, you'll be killed." And then, that MACHO VOICE says, "Don't listen to that pissy little voice; be da man." And then, my wife says, "get off that damn computer and fix somthing." So, then I go outside, hide out for a while ,clean on bike some more, maybe change the oil, since I put uhhh 200 miles on it since I changed it last.
Mexico P.S.: I lived to tell this story. Had a great time and made several new friends along the way. The NCAA's got in the way of staying longer as I just had too many teams in the mix that matter to me. Is it a dangerous place? Probably, but having asked my new lawyer friend if he had ever seen a "narco" or did he know where one lived or anything of that sort, the answer was no idea on either count. He did say that you could probably "go down in the valleys" and get close to some areas where they live and grow the stuff, this being said in the state of Michoacan which is supposed to be "very dangerous". Obviously, my experience is limited to my exposure and not that of many people. I'll ad that many Mexicans are also afraid to travel in their country. I traveled in every state that is known to have a narco problem, except Sinaloa. I did not enter through Reynosa as in past trips and avoided lingering in border area, which is not the real Mexico anyway as very USA influenced.
I had a ride partner lined up and chose not to ride with him after a short "get to now you" session. Yes, it is hard to match up for such a trip & not because I'm some sort of out there type, either! Once I'm caught up on my chores I may post some pics. Suffice to say for now, that even though it was my 3rd bike trip there it was a great time! I did several mtn rides that topped my previous "best rides in Mexico" list. The coast from Puerto Vallarta south is awesome! Not much Pemex there either... The road from Cadereyta northward to Jalpan is even more spectacular! That said by a guy thats traveled all over the Rock Mtns many times. More later...
Sounds like a great trip, and I hope you post some pictures. I would love to make that trip, and since I haven't yet, would enjoy living vicariously through your pictures for now.
Peace, Love and Popcorn
We've had several visitors come through Big Bend on the way to Mexico and not one has had any edgy experiences at all.
Just raved about the great country and its people!
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It would have been fun to stop and see you guys , but a bit out of my line of travel back to Kentucky.
I'll share the only edgy experience of my whole trip: I got to within 25 miles of home and was pulling up to a stop light in Mt Sterling, KY. There are two lanes, one a left turn lane and the other a straight or rt turn lane. I'm going to turn rt, but lay back about 20-25 ft. and what a lucky thing for me I did! The idiot in the old Chevy van in front of me in the rt. lane, decides to back up! I start to backpedal my bike as fast as I can (not easy at a short legged 67 yrs old and what with the bike loaded with luggage,etc.,I am really frantic. Luckily they stop and turn towards the left turn lane about 6" short of my front tire. BTW, my horn had quit during my long trip. Once the van gets angled up and toward the left turn lane , I go into gear and pull up beside the van and knock on the passenger door. There is a teen kid drving and an older fat guy on my side.I flip up my helmet and holler"what in the hell are you trying to do?" The old guy on that side says, "You better get out of here or I'm getting out and you wont like it". To which I reply, " I don't much like getting run over either"! I decide that a retreat is the best recourse and as the light has changed, I head for home.
And there was the Mexican hotel that waxes their concrete going back to the 1st floor parking area, that caused me to dump my bike due to it sliding out from under me on the slick floor.
Mexico has some very serious problems going on and the simple fact is that you best avoid those areas where the narcos are active.This is mostly along certain parts of the border. This means different things to different people.While tourism is noticeably down in many places in Mexico, I never observed that people were avoiding going to any particular locations. E.G., at the pyramids north of Mexico City, there were thousands of school kids & others there seeing the sites. I had a hotel person(in the north) tell me they are getting almost no one from the large city of Monterrey, once a primary source of their business, as people say they are afraid to leave their homes. That same person told me a list of places in Mexico not to visit, all of which I went to with one exception and found to be peaceful and safe. Much of the tourism in Mexico is really hurting and in many locations. Between the economic factor of recession and the narco killings, it is trully a sad thing. The west coast areas are really down on tourism-there are people there but far less than normal. The "Striking Viking", left his home of Mazatlan due to the killing going on. He has commented that passing through that town as a tourist is a far different thing than living there. I was told to not go to Morelia, the capital of Michoacan as it was a hot spot. My lawyer buddy invited me to come, I went & found that it was a neat city with much to see. I just missed a chance to see President Calderon leaving a reception there. I was also told to not go to that state and enjoyed a 3 day visit there in Patzcuaro( a very nice Pueblo Magico) and more days to other towns in that state.
Another anectdote:I was walking with my host(a fellow rider living in Mexico City area) and we were in one of the really rich parts of the city and had just passed the Caddy and Bently dealerships, when I observed a number of guys in suits gathered around various nice cars at the curbside. I asked if he thought they were salesmen or what, and he says, no, those are body guards for the rich. I don't suppose the bad guys know I get a pretty small teacher retirement check, but sure hope I don't resemble what rich looks like!
When I pulled up to the mid-50's customs officer in Eagle Pass, TX, he said "do you know how lucky you are to be alive?" I asked him if he said that to all the people crossing the bridge. or just old bikers like me? He says," don't you know whats going on down there!? I say yep, I read the paper, watch TV and have already been to Mexico many times. Fact is there were 5 lanes of alive people behind me entering the USA. I think that contributed to my oil sight gauge starting to seep as it was hot and too much idling on the international bridge! And say, does Texas really come out financially on the 75 cents they collected from me on a six pack? Hard to imagine it pays to have full time people in a bldg collecting pennies on booze coming in from Mexico.
If amazing mtn roads, scenery in abundance and a vibrant culture with friendly people everywhere are attractive to you, GO! I'll post a few pics later.
I'm glad you made if back safely; sounds like you had a wonderful trip. I'm sure everyone looks forward to viewing some of your pics.
1978 R100rs MOA#22600 125cc Kymco
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.