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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake

Cuts and Curves

December 15th, 2008 by sunflowers

Copper Canyon

Copper CanyonCopper CanyonOr rather one cut. The morning we were meant to ride out of Creel and do some of our hardest riding I managed to seriously slash my index finger of my clutch hand so we decided to do a mini jaunt to see how it would hold up and partly because it was pretty rough and partly because we got lost it ended up being as much off road as I had done since my bmw off road course.

As I managed to cope with two hours of off road riding we decided to head out rather than spend an extra day in Creel and visit the hot springs. A hard choice for me.

From the map it looked like it would be a straight road to Durango but other than a few straight stretches it was a little road winding around the tops and bottoms of hills and valleys. It is hard to describe the feeling of coming around a corner and looking straight out over a drop of more than 1000 meters.

Copper CanyonCopper CanyonCopper CanyonCopper Canyon

Posted in Mexico | No Comments »

Creel, Copper Canyon

December 14th, 2008 by sunflowers

Copper Canyon

Copper CanyonCopper CanyonCopper CanyonThe Copper Canyon is a huge network of canyons at points deeper than the grand canyon. It is also home to 60,000 Tarahumara the indigenous people of the region (unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of them as I didn’t want to be rude). But you can go onto their land and see the monks, frogs and mushroom rocks formations.

Having read one of my photography books I now think I am a bit of a pro and was out there before seven in the morning taking photos.

As you are riding you see lot very colourful graveyards and these little miniature churches.

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Shots in the Night

December 13th, 2008 by sunflowers

Copper CanyonOur first day we drove through Chihuahua (yep associated with the dog) and stayed in a town 60 miles east. During our first night we heard three gun shots right outside the room. Mark being from Minnesota was pretty used to the sound but was surprised we didn’t hear sirens as we were right around the corner from the police station.

We had about 140 miles to get to Creel the main town in the Copper Canyon. As we arrived there about 11am I was a bit over being on the bike and so we found a guide that could speak english and did a tour of Divisadero. Where we went on the balancing rock (one that you can rock from side to side balanced on top of a cliff), saw a stone that is suppose to be a phallic symbol which you write your name on and lots of canyons.

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December 12th, 2008 by sunflowers

MexicoMexicoMexicoMexico has a population of 109 million (11 most populous country in the world) of which 75% are of mixed European and Amerindian (indigenous) ethnicity. It is the world’s largest Spanish speaking country and the 12 largest economy in the world by GDP by purchasing power parity. The paso is currently 13 to the US dollar and 20 pasos to the pound. Most of their food is spicy.

We had a fairly easy crossing. The first bloke that we talked to was a bit annoyed that we couldn’t speak much Spanish as he said that he didn’t speak much English. I was going to ask him why they didn’t staff the Mexican US border customs with personal that were bi-lingual but I didn’t. We were waved through two military check points and I tried to practice my Spanish when we stopped for lunch but two people came up to ask if they could help. I guess it is painful to hear me try Spanish.

Posted in Mexico | 2 Comments »

Bends in Big Ben National Park

December 11th, 2008 by sunflowers

TexasI met up with Mark who I am crossing into Mexico with in Apline Texas. Due to the rough weather he drove down his bike on the back of his truck. We checked out a few of the town’s bars and met up with the locals. I was called mam for the rest of the evening and tried white sangria which must have been a bit off as I didn’t feel all that great the next morning.

TexasGetting to the border we rode through Big Ben national park with lots of bends that I took at a pretty sedate pace as running out in front of the bike I had 2 wild pigs, 1 donkey, 1 road runner and cows.

We also paralleled the Rio Grande which separates Mexico from Texas, New Mexico and part of Arizona. They reckon that the number illegal immigrants in the US is 12 million and the number in the UK is about half a million. Makes sense as it would be a lot easier to swim the Rio Grande than the English Channel.

Posted in USA | No Comments »

The good the bad and the ugly

December 10th, 2008 by sunflowers

BikeThe worse thing about riding through Texas was the cold. It was -8 degrees (18f) and I woke up to frost on the bike. Also it was windy. All along the road there was signs stating the next so many miles had dust storms and some that warned that total loss of visibility was possible. A trucker that I met on my lunch stop said that people had been advised not to travel.

TexasTexasSo it was pretty much me and the trucks on the road. When you are dealing with stopping your bike from being blown off the road being passed by trucks at the same time is pretty scary. At one stage I was blocked in by five trucks as the highway speed limit in Texas is 80 miles per hour and on the A roads 75. But I wasn’t at work and I was motorbiking across the Americas so it was all good.

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Desert Driving

December 9th, 2008 by sunflowers

DesertI have decided to skip doing the whole route 66 thing as it was going to be under 0 degrees (below 30f) along it. So instead I am taking highway 10 to Texas where I am meeting up with a bloke from HU to do the Mexican border crossing with.

I did 550 miles and a ten hour day from California, across Arizona into New Mexico. It is all desert. Unfortunately the weather has taken a turn for the worse and by the time I finished I was frozen and it is 0 and below even this far south.

Americans do have a sense of humour as some of the signs I saw were ‘Palm Desert and Other Desert Cities’ on a direction sign and ‘State Prison. Do not pick up hitchhikers’.

Posted in USA | 1 Comment »

Hotel Horror

December 8th, 2008 by sunflowers

BikeI only managed to do 250 miles on my first day as I spent the morning packing the bike and waiting for my cousin’s painters. This is my bike with it’s new black side panels and this is a picture of it packed. I am carrying more than I should as my cousin was getting rid of his books so I have 5 photography books with me and 6 trashy novels.

BikeI spent my first evening in a hotel which was fine except at four in the morning I woke up and my room door had been opened. Luckily I had the catch on. Scared me quite a bit though as I have watched too many movies about roadside hotels.

Posted in USA | No Comments »

Hit the road Jack

December 7th, 2008 by sunflowers

HollywoodAfter three days of getting my laptop back and last minute preparations I am ready to hit the road early tomorrow morning and I can’t wait. Nothing like waiting around getting ready and fixing things to get rid of nerves.

A couple of website for you if you get struck by an XP Antivir you can run a scan with www.malwarebytes.org and a MS Windows site that will do a safety check onecare.live.com.

Posted in USA | No Comments »

Boots and Viruses

December 5th, 2008 by sunflowers

So much for a holiday! For the first two days I sorted out stuff I should have done before I left. Wednesday and Thursday were spent riding all over LA looking for motorcycle boots and heated grips only to find out that stores here don’t actually stock anything and it is all ordered in. Then last night I stupidly clicked on an email my sister sent me and last night and today have been trying to remove it and reinstall my laptop. Hopefully I can get it done before the weekend so I can enjoy two days in LA before I head off to Texas to cross into Mexico.

Posted in USA | 2 Comments »

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