Huasteca 2015

                      Mexican Tourism Increases as Beheadings Subside


                                 Mexico has it Rainiest March in 75 Years

I couldn’t decide which headline to use, so there you have it. For those of us living along the Mexican border, I was all too familiar with the shootings, kidnappings and violence and for many, traveling into Mexico was no longer an option. 

But the 1,000 mile motorcycle trip in 2013 thru Baja California to Cabo San Lucas put forays into Mexico in a different light. This trip would be by guided by Motodiscovery and it would be their first journey back to this part of northeast Mexico in a number of years. 

And then there was “the rain”

This area of Mexico had it wettest March in 75 years! The trick was to stay warm and dry…. Sometimes yes and other times, no

I left Phoenix in sunshine and 70º.

Coming into New Mexico with all the redncek bullet holes In “Welcome to New Mexico”

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The next morning would be 28º and raining all the way to Corpus Christi.

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I had never been to Corpus Christi, so I spent a couple of days exploring the beach, the Oyster Festival and the USS Lexington.

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Still raining on my way from Corpus Christi to Mc Allen where I would meet up with the other riders. This stretch of road is where one of our riders, Darrell, found religion as he hydroplaned at 65mph.

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Skip, from Motodiscovery, and Don Stanley, from our local BMW club worked on this itinerary for several months. Most of it was on road, with several portions off road. Unfortunately, the rain and the mud, kept the off road sections to less than what we hoped for. Bill, from Canada, was by far the best dirt rider of the bunch.

Here is a map of our route.

The 1200 mile route would take 10 days from McAllen to Santiago, Galeana, Real de Catorce, Cielo Biosphere, Huasteca, Hacienda de Engracia and back to McAllen. This area of the country is little known to Americans. It is very rural and aside from Real de Catorce, has little to do with the big name resort areas of Mexico.

We spent the night at the Casa de Palmas in McAllen where we met Skip and the two tour leaders who live in Mexico. After a wonderful and spirited dinner and a good night sleep, we departed the next morning in the rain.

Alberto, our leader,  had a knack for getting us lost, which was part of the adventure.

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Juan, our van support driver, on-the-road chef and menu translator.

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And the riders…

Barry (Arizona)

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Mike (Texas)

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Darrell (Arizona)

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Chris (Georgia)

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Brian (Arizona)

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Jim (Washington)

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Bill (Canada)

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Russ (California)

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Bob (Arizona)

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Due to an off road motorcycle accident several weeks before this trip, Don (who helped put this together) could not ride with us. Brian brought Don along in spirit with a girly man “Dammit Don Doll” which was strapped to his front windshield so as to view the sights, sit with us during dinner and, unlike Don, did not drink or speak!

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A collection of motorcycles….

Santiago is an historic colonial town with a beautiful cathedral and town square with the Sierra Mountains as a backdrop. Happy hour!

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Heading out the next morning. Did I forget to mention rain?

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These old timers gave us good information about which dirt roads would be impassable. Their lady friend squeezed in with them a few minutes later. I’m sure they have all been friends for over seventy years...

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Rain break. One of many…

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Mike after a wet riding day

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Alberto explaining a very complex motorcycle theory!

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Jim going, going, going …. down

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On our way to an outdoor lunch by the waterfalls.

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Bill and Barry. BFF!!

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Real de Catorce. Once an old silver mining town. It sits at 9,000’ with a popultion of 1,000. It is reached by a 17 mile cobblestone road and then thru a 1.5 mile tunnel. It was a real adventure doing this at night.

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Heading to dinner. Very steep streets.

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Lamp and gramaphone from a bygone era.

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Russ deep in thought

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There are more horses than cars in Real.

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On our way to Jauiave, Tamaulipas, which is a macaw bird sanctuary. The natural beauty of the area easily made up for the accommodations. It was just as wet inside as out as the roof and bathroom leaked, but the owners were were hospitable and threw us a private dinner at their La Florida Spa.

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I’m not sure if all the cabins have girly pink bedspreads, but ours did. It beats camping, but not by much.

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View from our dinner party

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Our next lodging was at the foot of the Cielo Biosphere. Quite a change.

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The following day we rode in a covered vehicle up to the Biosphere due to all the rain and mud. Bill rode all the way up on motorcycle. Two thumbs up!

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Dammit Don Doll enjoying the view

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Juan and his helper prepare a BBQ for us at the top

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Obviously, the locals were not impressed with the DDD

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A little too much excitement for the old folks.

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I have no idea what Darrell was thinking, but I would guess it has something to do with the Rain Gods.

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Our last night was spent in an old hacienda built more than 100 years ago. Maintenance is a problem, but the rooms were comfortable and their dinner was excellent.

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Took me awhile to make friends. When he finally stopped snarling, he posed quietly. One of my favorite photos...

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Took me no time at all to make this friend.

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Colorful veranda ceiling

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Bill at Happy Hour

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Dinner time in the formal dining room

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Dammit Don Doll and the Chicken. No comment necessary

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The last day riding to the border it did not rain, but it was humid. We turned in our papers, said goodbyes and went in different directions. We all wished the weather had been better, but “it is what it is, til it ain’t”. It will be a trip we will not soon forget and I didn’t even mention Bill’s bike blowing up or Russ getting hit by a truck.

Heading back to Phoenix the next day, guess what?

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Hasta montamos otra vez, mis amigos!

Vaya con Dios!

Your comments are always appreciated!! And thanks for reading….