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Scenery was mostly agricultural today. Lots of apple orchards, other fields, some covered with huge stretches of netting, and as we moved into foothills this afternoon, huge fields of scrub and brush lined the road. All were fenced, some had cows in them, but many seemed empty. Lots of vendors on roadsides selling apples, corn and melons. Lovely hotel with small courtyard patio and secure parking. We had to stop in a place next door for our beer before going for dinner. Shared 6 tacos at a little place in La Junta about Those susas tacos did t stick to our ribs those were the pickled cow brains!

I definitely preferred the pollo and pork options that we tried. Seemed a long ride today, but partly because of heat, partly because of construction on the highway. We were glad to arrive on Durango in late afternoon and to check into a Best Western property to cool off.

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Speeds posted on Mexican roads seem optional. Today like every other days we cruised relatively slowly through 60 or 80 km zones while cars and truck pass doing twice that speed. Same in construction zones. The only thing people slow down for are the topes and speed bumps that seem to be in the entrance and exit to every town. And they mean business — could loose an oil pan if you tried to speed over them.

The first 40 km or so were on the new highway 40 — marked on signs as 40D. However the old highway 40 is still in operation, an amazing piece of road with continuous curves as it climbs over the mountains. There are more than 2, tight curves, many are hairpins that turn more than degrees, often on blind corners overgrown with vegetation. There are absolutely amazing views, but again, no where to stop and look. In many places the curves are very tight, mostly blind, often gravelly, and the roads are all quite overgrown, especially in the lower elevations where trees and shrubs grown in the narrow roadsides and lean over the pavement.

Happily there is little traffic, although some big trucks and semis and buses do use this road. It took most of the day to travel just over km as so much of the trip was at low speeds with engines revving as we braked for corners, dogs and cows. We arrived in Mazatlan in late afternoon, feeling the heat. Headed to hotel, which felt like it took forever to get to partly because of heat.

So checked into a place Rick had booked, it is on the beach so a move in and clean up before dinner and a walk on the beach was about all we had energy for. It looked like the door had been kicked in at some point. So loaded up a cart and changed rooms ….

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A productive day in Mazatlan! Right after breakfast we dropped laundry off at a nearby lavatoria. But after dropping off laundry we rode over to a Suzuki shop where Rick got a new shift lever installed.


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So a temporary fix was done that should help with shifting until he finds a new shift lever. After that repair, we we directed to an auto-bano — 3 guys spent about 30 minutes scrubbing weeks worth of bugs, road dust, spattered oil and all sorts of other grime off of the bikes.


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They scrubbed the rims of the tires, armour-alled the side cases and polished the windscreens. We were very happy to get this done as well. Nothing special later in the day — in the heat and humidity, we spent some time planning our ride for the next few days and then went for a walk on a quest for a Mazatlan or Mexico sticker.

We will head back towards Durango on new highway 40D to check out the many tunnels and bridges that make this road an engineering marvel. Plus it will be good to get back to cooler temperatures. Booked a place in Sombreret for tomorrow, heading to Zacatecas for Wed in hopes of finding a place to replace the seals on my front forks which have started leaking a bit.

Today we are heading inland again, partly due to another tropical storm building over the Pacific and partly because we are heading to Zacatecas for some bike work. Today was another ride through stunning scenery. The new highway has similar views to the old one since they cross the same mountains and gorges, but on the new highway we could take a few more glances at the scenery without risking our lives! The engineering and design of this road was amazing — 63 tunnels that have a combined length of 11 miles plus 32 bridges, including one that is the second highest suspension bridge in the world.

It was amazing to see. Arrived in Vicente Geurrero in late afternoon and hooked up with Rick as we were gassing up the bikes. We rode into the small town of unpaved streets, rough riding as we searched for our Airbnb place. We sat on the sidewalk with Mari for company as we rehydrated and chatted — Mari had very little English, and my Spanish is not good at all, so it was a lot of effort trying to communicate not very successfully!

At last our host Maricela let us in with huge apologies.

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She and her husband Luis were lovely, welcoming and generous. Although we were a bit concerned that no one seemed home, when they arrived they were wonderful hosts. Luis drove us downtown to a restaurant they recommended for dinner, then we walked home after a heavy shower. Interesting town — mix of very rough streets, the occasional horse and rider galloping through, farm vehicles, old cars, as well as motorcycles of all makes and ages. We started the day sharing breakfast with host Luis at a nearby Gordita stand — a woman makes a selection of tortillas stuffed with eggs, meat, cheese, tomato, potato, and much more.

We enjoyed a selection of flavours and watched many of the locals who are obviously regular customers stop by too. Rick had called since his Spanish is much better than mine! This part of Mexico is beautiful. Farmland in a huge valley, surrounded by mountains in the distance with trees, shrubs, grasses, fields, flowers, and a road in good condition.

We climbed elevation getting to Zacatecas and upon arriving in the city found it a bit challenging to ride. Hopefully this all works out!

So we meandered our way to our hotel on very hilly streets, paved with stone. Finally found hotel after being diverted by road closures as the apparently big car rally Carreras Panamericana was arriving in town at the same time as us, and were staying in same area. Anyway, found hotel, found the parking garage which turned out to be on the 4th floor — our room is on the third.

This is not a newly built parkade! It just demonstrated the incredible elevation changes within a single block. Settled in, wondered around the area with Rick and Tony admiring several of the rally cars , finally found dinner at a very mediocre restaurant and called it a night. We roamed around the nearby streets looking for a breakfast place. Finished breakfast, headed back to hotel to load bikes up. Chatted with a German fellow who was parked beside us.

He figured he will ride it as far as he can and then push it off cliff.

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We headed out of the garage, with me feeling somewhat stressed about the potentially slippery streets. Up steep hills again, down steep hills, around corners, riding on narrow streets with lanes about wide enough for 1. Some one-way streets that we luckily never started the wrong way down — but it was close. By the time we got out of the city, the temperatures were rising, and I was certainly more than warm enough!

But it would be an interesting city to learn more about. The ride was a nice one today. We stopped in Tabasco for a brief rest and to cool off a bit — the day is getting hot! For Tabasco to here the ride was excellent — through a gorge surrounded by mountains covered in trees right to the tops. We zipped around curves and hairpins, although many locals passed us. You can tell they know the road! There were views of a very tall waterfall closer to Guadalajara but as usual, nowhere to stop on a narrow road with no shoulders.

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Into Guadalajara through what seemed crazy traffic to our hotel. There are traffic circles with multiple lanes going around- 3 or 4 at least, with drivers changing lanes to merge in and out. A while later we caught a cab to a restaurant as there seem no restaurants near where the Eco Hotel Guadalajara is located.

But it is only about 15 minutes from the bike shop we are heading to in the morning. Interesting day in Guadalajara. They will get the work done by this afternoon which is good news. We then found a place nearby to grab breakfast — or perhaps brunch since it was almost 10 by the time we found a little place to eat, finished sometime after 11 and headed into the centre of the city on two bikes. Was glad to find a place to park in a private, guarded parkade and we wondered about the area near many of the historic cathedrals and government buildings.