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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Mexico - Day 8 - Out of the canyons

Lupe and the Africa Twin
I got up in the morning and was ready to hit the road. It would have been nice to have stayed a few more days but it was time to go. I may have mentioned how hard the seat on the AT was. I had a lot of riding ahead of me and thought that maybe a fluffy bath towel might make a decent seat pad. I asked Lupe, the manager, if I could buy the towel I had used but she said no. Then she hurried off and returned with a freshly laundered one for me. When I asked how much she refused anything and said it was a gift. Could there have been a better send off?

I filled my tank at the local gas station. I have no idea where the gas came from but it didn't give the engine any problems.

Here I'm heading out on the road along the river and decided I wanted a picture of me with my New England Trail Riders t-shirt. We ride anywhere and everywhere.

Another picture of the canyon landscape. I'm winding back through all of the construction to get to the highway.

And I get to wait. 3 ½ hours to be specific.

That is the same Cat D-9 clearing the road again. This is their biggest model and you can see how tiny it looks next to the drop off the cliff. I'm glad he knew what he was doing because it looked pretty perilous!

Finally past the construction it was a look back at what I was leaving.

And a look forward to where I was going. 

It wasn't until later that I realized that I had lost my tent in all the bouncing around. The tent, in its slippery nylon bag, had taken the opportunity to jump free and stay in the canyons. Lucky it!

The rest of the day was spent riding down out of the mountains and onto rolling prairie. There was no excitement until the engine coughed, sputtered, and died. I flipped it to reserve but that was no help. I rolled to a stop and tried the starter and got nothing. The battery was too low to even turn the engine over. Arrgh! The regulator had died again!

I turned off the headlights and let the bike sit for a couple of minutes. Then I rolled down the hill and tried bump starting it. I caught on the second try and ran fine without the lights. However, I had lost so much time waiting at the construction site that it was late afternoon. Since I had lost my tent camping was not really an option so I hurried to Hidalgo del Parrall without stopping for any more photos.

Hidalgo del Parral is a big city, it was getting dark, and I only dared turn on the parking lights so that people could see me. My guide book suggested the Hotel El Camino Real as a good place that was clean and cheap. However, this was no small village and my chances of finding it were slim and none. I just kept following the flow of traffic through crowded streets trying to find any place to stay for the night. It seemed to be going on forever and my anxiety was growing by the mile.

Then, once again, luck smiled on me. There, on the corner I was about to turn, was the Hotel El Camino Real. It was with much relief that I pulled in and inquired about a room. 550 pesos for the room with breakfast in the morning. I would have paid twice that to get off the road with no lights. I was a very happy camper as I laid my head on the pillow.

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