Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 8 - Matehuala to Querétaro

RobT:  Today was a good day.  Upon leaving our nice hotel in Matehuala we immediately went away from the toll road and drove on secondary roads through some small villiages, the likes of Vendo.  Saw the back way into Real de Catorce and pondered for a second on what that road would be like.  Hank showed us some pictures. The word challenging doesn't seem to do it justice.

RobC:  Lunch by the road side. This lady was making "gorditas," made up of a fat tortilla with any filling you want. I chose barbeque meat, which turned out to be cows innards - quite chewy, and a bit of a challenge. Hunger quickly goes away in a case like this and one hopes that this will help the weight-loss program.

Cheese variety of the gorditas.

RobT:  San Miguel de Allende was an amazing colonial town with very steep cobble stone streets, stone buildings, narrow streets, cathedrals and bright, rich colours painted on stuccoed store fronts accented by ancient wooden doors and ornate metal railings.  You could hear a mariachi band playing in the Plaza along with the occassional boom of a firecracker.

Driving through these steep cobble stone streets proved to be an adventure in itself.  Add to that the taxis and local bus drivers who believe the larger vehicle has the right of way ..... no matter what.  No, there are no stop signs or street lights in the old part of town so it was pretty much a free for all.  My kind of riding.  :)

Dropped off some brake lines Hank gave us to deliver to a friend at Ten-ten-pie cafe right behind the cathedral in the main plaza.  What a cool spot!  Spent some time relaxing there before asking for directions out of the center to get back to the main highway so we could be in Querétaro by seven.  Little side note:  On the way in we had both noticed a very steep narrow street down toward the cathedral, stopped, had a photo op, and commented on the difficulty of negioating the uneven cobble stone on a bike.  Guess which street we rode up by mistake?  Yea.  This one is about a 30 to 35 degree incline and "T"s at a main thoroughfare with both corners blind so you better be good with your balance, clutch and throttle control!  Two options: stop or keep going.  Turning around was a sure disaster.  Rob kept going, narrowly missing a green taxi but clipping a pole with his mirror!!!!  All good though.  Me?  I had an "encounter" with a local bus in the old part of town trying to force its way into my lane from a side street.  It was either grab a hand full of brake or get forced up the curb onto the side walk.  I opted for braking, as the curb was about a foot tall.  All good.  :)

Ten-ten-pie Cafe with the nice patio on the right.

We were about to leave Ten-ten-pie, I was parked at the side waiting on Rob to get his beast turned around when a woman approached asking to have a picture taken with me.  Ok?!  Rob pulls up just as this happens and the other two friends of this woman want pictures.  I guess we reminded them of Ewan and Charlie.  LOL.  As the photo-op was ending, yet another woman wanted her baby girl's picture taken with me. ?!?!?  So I put the little girl on my tank bag and the mother took the picture.  Poor kid was looking at me like I was an alien what with my helmet and sun glasses still on.  What a weird experience.  LOL 

Made it to Querétaro by 7:30 p.m. after having to hail a taxi to lead us to Ernesto's house.  The GPS loaded with Mexican maps and all the road construction proved to be too much to overcome by technology alone.  Interesting fact about maps in Mexico.  Back home there would be only one street name in a given city. In Mexico City, there may be 50 street names that are identical.  The way they get around this is you have to state what neighbourhood your looking to go to then you'll get the correct street.  Maybe this was the root of our GPS problems.

Had dinner at about 10 pm at a famous, local taquito restaurant.  The food was incredible!  Taco Bell or any other Mexican restaurant back home seems like a substandard TV dinner.  Wow!  Oh, culture lesson #1.  No such beast as hard shell tacos.  Apparently that's not Mexican but an Americanized version of Mexcian food.  If you want hard tacos, they are flat and are called tostadas and you pile stuff on them.  Tortillas are the soft ones and there are a variety of them depending on whether its breakfast, supper, etc.  During the drive home after tacos last night  I noticed kids (5 years old) dressed in dirty clothes and teenagers performing flips, jumps and twirling fire batons at the stop lights then walk up to car windows for their "propinas" (tips).

Typical road hazards.

Can't seem to upload videos directly to the blog anymore.  Attached is a You Tube link instead.

San Miguel de Allende

Small villiage on route to San Miguel


  1. Hi Rob T and Rob C,
    I still follow you. The pictures and the texts are very good to imagine how the trip goes!
    Take care! ;-)

  2. Took "secondary roads" huh? Good for you! But you know what the HU riders say: "I took the road less traveled,... Now where the hell am I??"

    Rob C. - Got your check and your gift. Thanx. Am taking Sara to a little French restaurant up the coast Wed. night. Then Thurs morn we hit the road to NC. Still waiting to hear on the Mozambique assignment.

    Ride w/ God, Toby

  3. Rob & Rob, When I left Nuevo Laredo I saw you guys headed back North. I thought you probably had problems at KM 26 aduana, Hank confirmed just that. Leaving San Felipe for Chiapas this Friday, hopefully we will cross paths. Safe trip and good luck

  4. Yo dudes...keep up the great reports. FYI, the Youtube videos are marked private.

  5. Robbie T, you're livin' it Dude and I'm lovin' the reports! Soak it up and take all ya can get bro, it's a one time deal can ya dig it!

  6. I went into Google Earth this morning and looked up Querétaro. Wow! There are street-view camera shots all over the place. If I knew where you were, I could probably find it. Keep us posted....