While i'm getting my life back together, please look at a fine selection of my photos:

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Hostel Casa Kloster in Guanajuato will be my home for the next couple of weeks.
Rented a private room for cheap 90 pesos/night. Parked my bike inside on the patio and settled in.
The past few weeks i've had the feeling i walked in the shadow of my buddy Claudio. I really envy him for his Spanish. Not for him being Italian nor for his bikechoice: A Guzzi!! Although, don't know what it is, if we walk together, girls first see me, i'm tall and blond. Next they notice Claudio, their eyes go his way and pupils start getting big and big smiles all over...

So, in order to appreciate in full all beauty of Mexico and everything south from there has to offer, I need to learn Spanish. Culture i mean here people! Come on!

The past three days i had 5 hours of classes a day and a hour or so homework. And now my head hurts. Jeez. I didn't do anything intellectually challenging the past five and a half months! The only thing i had to think about was to hit the clutch before shifting gear...sort of, anyway. And it's definitely something different. Great fun though. It's good to use your head in a different way.
And it gives me the feeling i do something useful for a change.
Besides that, mi profesora es muy bonita ;-)

Uh..what happened between Mazatlan and Guanajuato your wondering? Not much. Rather boring sceneries, stayed two nights in Guadalajara and moved on. Guadalajara is a very big city, with, ofcourse, al lot of people and some nice buildings and plazas. Too big to my taste really, i missed the nice and cozy plazas and laid back atmosphere of smaller city's. Guanajuanto is more my taste. I do have some nice pictures of Guadalajara though. There are wonderful wallpaintings inside the federal building. And nice fountains and sculptures.

The climate here is significantly different than the coastal area: It friggin' cold here! That wasn't in the plan (which plan??). During the day it's not too bad, but evenings and night go close to 5 Celcius and windy. The city is on 2000m elevation. One of the reasons, obviously. And its winter here too!! Supermarkets here getting ready for Christmas which is a bit weird actually. The temperature helps me focus on my language training. Which is a Good Thing.

The town is quite different from the usual straight and square blocks, consists of winding tunnels underneath the city and lots of twisty alleys. And all is one-way only. By far the best town to get lost, if you have a sence of humor. Lonely planet was right ;-). There's a big university here so lots of nice and trendy bars.

I'm sure i'll enjoy it here. Maybe even three weeks ;-)

I added a lot of pictures to my photowebsite , please do take a look, it gives a better view of the fun i had here ;-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Maztatlan. Nice harbor city, long Malecon with lots of activities, Colonial architecture and lively night live. Like La Paz, but bigger. Good times here again.

Mazatlan as seen from the lighthouse.

What can i say. My spanish improved quite a bit lately by applying the best method possible ;-) My friends from canada and Junneau know exactly what i've been up to now, so i could leave it with this. For everybody else, i'll elaborate a tiny bit about it anyway. This experience is also part of my trip and therefore of me.
I pretty much stick to the usual pictures and stories of great roads and gorgeous sceneries and this is, i think, a welcome change.

Claudio, my Italian travelbuddy for the past few weeks, contacted a Couch surfing member and she introduced us to a couple of friends. This turned out to be a good move and allowed me to experience a new aspect of traveling. I tend to stay away from romantic stuff, or better, romantic stuff tends to stay away from me, it seems, usually, but not this time.

Must be the sun and lively spirit of Mazatlan and Mexico. Dunno. We had a wonderful romantic weekend, seen all beautiful places in town, drank beer at the Malecon acompanied by music and went out till dawn and had Fun.

Adrianna, if you read this, you'll always have a special place in my heart. Love S.

All good things come to an end and i left Mazatlan with a heavy melancholic feeling. I think this picture, besides its just a good one i want to share with you, reflect a bit how I felt.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Espinosa del Diablo

I couldn't believe that there would be a better road then the California Hwy #1 at wondelful Big Sur. But i found it! Hwy. #40 between Durango and Mazatlan is a wonderful scenic route with about 100km of a REALLY terrible amount of sharp blind curves and presumable fantastic views. I'm not sure about the views, the driving was quite demanding and fun. Some days I don't want to do a photostop every 10 minutes but just Go!!! And reasonably good quality tarmac. To make it all a bit more challaging for bikers some stretches were coverend with a thin layer of fine gravel. Good times. Missed a bit of power, torque and forkstability again. At the other hand, having a small, powerless bike probably saves me from pushing the envelope to much, which is a good thing. No regrets for my bikechoice, especially if i see how Claudio and his Guzzi are struggled in the rough stuff. I changed my opinion on Guzzi's by the way, with reduced tire pressure i behaved remarkably well. And same for the narrow twisties. Anyway, picturetime again!

Leaving Durango

"Espinosa del Diablo" [The devil's Spine]. Now i know why. We were a bit in a hurry and it was very foggy so not many pictures. Here's a taste. I you find this way on google maps, you see exactly what i mean.

Earlier this morning we left Durango late and halfway to Mazatlan we ran out of daylight and pitched our tent, made diner (coocking noodles that is...) in a small Pueblo were the whole ritual was the event of the year for the kids. Nice experience, lots of regret that my spanish is still not at conversationlevel, even with kids. Unfortunately it is very damp there so the next morning we departed with a couple of kilograms water in out soaking wet tents.

Curious but shy kids at Coffeestop

Tight curved & Trucks do not go well together. This situation took about ten minutes of manouvering before traffic continued.

That's it for this part. Next story: Mazatlan!


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Barranca del Cobre - Creel to Batopilas

We arrived in Creel in dark (again....) and cold, at altitude of 2300mi t gets chilly fast when the sun disappears. The cheapest hostel in town according to the lonely planet was a hostel and it turned out to be a nice place with, as always in hostels, lots of young (relatively that is) people from all over the
world. I forgot the name but it's easy to find: follow the direction to City center, drive all the way down to the plaza, passing lots of other hotels. The hostel is located in the right far corner of the Plaza. The price was right too: $80,- for a bed, diner and breakfast. Pesos that is, not US$ ;-) Cheapest so far. Apparently I move in the right direction. Baja was pretty expensive, with La Paz as an all time high. Other tips: right across the plaza, crossing the railroad there's a small a small green colored shop with great coffee for only $8, and a cute very skilled and nice girl running the place too ;-) Creel is nice to hang around for a day, which we did, and there are lots of tours to do. The hostel rents out mountainbikes.

After a day of recovery from our 2 day dirt road adventure (Which actually can be done in one day if you start early in El Fuerte or Choix and don't spend an hour and a half building up karma credits trying to fix a local's flat tire
or give a local drunk guy a lift. And don't have flats or other
misfortune of course...) we needed another adventure to keep our adreneline going....

Our next adventure was the route from Creel to Batopilas. A 65km dirtroad. After all, not many bikers do this, and it would certainly add to our list of adventures. We figured that since this road is actually on every map it wouldn't be as rough as we experienced earlier- this assumption turned out to be not entirely right ;-).

The first 75 km. is a fantastic road with challenging curves and great
scenic views.

Due to a lack of navigation skills and absence of
preparation (except from water and food, i get smarter every day...) we missed the turnoff to Batpilas completely. And had to backtrack. Funny thing: there's a sign "Batopilas" if you come from the south, from the north there isn't.

The road turned to gravel immediately. First few kilometers were pretty smooth. Then a large stretch of very bad road on the trace currently under
construction. After that it's not that bad actually, see picture above.

Depending your skills that is. We haven't got any of that, and our bikes are heavily loaded with all travel gear. So we took it sloooow and easy. In hindsight, it would have been better to make it a two day trip from Creel and leave as much luggage behind. Below: After 20 kilometer you see this awesome view. You have to go all the way down, cross the bridge and then back up again.

Even if you are the experienced off-road type, the road doesn't invite you
to go fast. There's hardly any shoulders and it's all single lane,
blind curves and lots of rocky stuff etcetera. Is it a difficult
technical road? No, i must say. A heavily loaded Moto Guzzi
can do it, so how hard can it be? What scared the crap out of me
the most was the narrowness, the distracting scenic views -does weird
things with your orientation and balance senses- and steep drop offs right nex to the road.

In short, if you take it easy it's a great adventure and fantastic
scenery. See pictures. We needed about 3.5 hours to cover the 65km.

We took the 2nd hotel in the Batopilas village, a double room for $100, hot shower and free potable water. Very cheap. Downside is that it is a 15 minute walk to the plaza with other
(nicer, more expensive) hotels and a few restaurants. We had dinner at
Restaurant Mary's at the plaza. Good food, nice and fairly cheap.

Batpilas has a strange feeling. People wear guns there and at night public guards walk around with 9mm and m16's. Nice... It's perfectly save though, accoording to a local...

It shows that mexico goes through a turmoil. In Creel a protest display with coffins and a text about the murder of innocent people in august this year made clear that there's a lot going on underneath the surfice.

Personally i haven't had a moment i thought i wasn't save. You have to pay attention to your belonings though. People, kids in particular, have the habbit of looking with their hands instead of their eyes. Ow, make sure you count your change. Although people are friendly in general, the will check out if your stupid ;-) Keeps you awake though...

barrance del cobre