Discovery on the way to Parral

On the way to Parral from Durango I made a discovery that was not good. My goal was to ride through the Copper Canyon. However, it was too far to go in one day. The stopping point for me was Parral.

Knees and Breaks

For the last number of days my knees have been hurting during my rides. I made a decision to stop every hour for a break to walk around, eat, and hydrate.

As I left Durango it was pretty nice out. However, it wasn’t long before it completely clouded over. It was cool when I left and it looked like it would remain that way. I was thinking of getting my cold weather gear out.

Crack

On one of my breaks I walked around my bike looking it over. as I looked at my tire I discovered a crack.

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My heart sunk with the thoughts of impending disaster.

Tires

I knew was tire was getting bald. In fact in Canada I could get a ticket for the condition they were in. But if I bought new tires everytime the wear marks showed it would cost my a fortune. At the same time, I fully recognize how important tires are. And I am well aware of my lack of mechanical ability ha ha.

So I was trying to hit that sweet spot of getting good mileage out of my tires, and still have them not fail on me.

Seeing a crack I knew I had reached that point and perhaps beyond. For the rest of my ride I couldn’t help but think of it going flat on me.

I continued on taking my breaks and hoping for the best.

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Parral

When I reached Parral I encountered a pleasant surprise at the hotel I booked. The rooms were awesome.

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And the people were sooooo nice. It was just what I needed. There was a problem with my key to get in my room and the staff were so responsive. Even though the cleaning staff didn’t speak any English, we shared lots of laughs.

I left the room to look around a bit and buy something to eat for my room.

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The hotel was next to a hospital. Handy.

And around the corner was a Walmart.

On the way I found a motorcycle ride in bar!

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A iron statue playing the violin to Iron Roamer for his cracked tire.

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After getting some food I just enjoyed my big clean room, researched cracked tires, and talked to the staff through my open door. I usually keep my door open until dark to talk to people as they walk by. Strange I know ha ha.

As expected, my research revealed that a cracked tire is not good. It means it is getting old and dry and should be changed right away.

My Route for October 21, 2016

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Awesome Durango Mexico

I spent a day in Durango, Mexico, and discovered it is an awesome place to visit! Be prepared for a lot of photos ūüôā I had such a good time walking around the city and doing some errands along the way.

Laundry

One of my errands was to do laundry. Just down the street I found a place that would do it for 50 pesos or about $3.75 CDN. For that they washed my clothes, folded them, and package them neatly in a plastic bag.

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That gave me time to explore the city.

Galería Estación Café, Restaurant & Bar

First was a morning coffee. I walked past the Basilica of Immaculate Conception where they were having mass.

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Then I walked up Constitution Avenue.

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Unbelievable what I saw!

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Finally reaching Galería Estación Café, Restaurant & Bar. I picked the place because it had free Wifi. But I got a whole lot more. The surrounding were very cool.

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ATM Withdrawal

My next errand was to withdraw some pesos.

Protest

I walked back down Constitution Ave. and encountered a protest by Saint Ann’s church.

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The local police were there. I have to say for all the stuff I have heard about the police in Mexico, so far I have seen them to be friendly and helpful. In this case they were talking to people around the protest and smiling. From my point of view a perfect reaction to the protest.

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Saint Ann’s Church

Saint Ann’s Church was pretty cool too.

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Stopping for a Beer

I wanted to relax on a patio along Constitution Ave. to have a beer. I found a place and ordered one. I just started to relax when the Manager came out and said I couldn’t drink beer outside. What?!!! So I quickly drank it inside and left.

Plaza de Armas Durango

When I reached the Plaza de Armas Durango there was a market going on.

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Scotia Bank

Another unreal sighting, a Scotia Bank from Canada! Perfect to withdraw money since my ATM card is TD Canada Trust, another Canadian bank.

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Strangely I was unable to withdraw money from Scotia Bank! I ended up going to the Mexican bank next door where I was ably to. Huuuummm strange.

Breast Cancer Awareness

With my errands and work done, I walked back to my hotel for a bit. October is breast cancer awareness month and there was lots in the plaza about it. There was a trailer for breast exams with huge line ups. There was also a church with a nice display.

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La Carrera Panamericana

I left my hotel again to walk around. What I discovered was that the finish of the La Carrera Panamericana car rally was taking place tonight. People were starting to line the streets the celebration was beginning even as the rain began to fall.

As the participants arrived they were lead by motorcycle police. What I found interesting is that they road all different makes of motorcycles that were not marked as police bikes. Nor did they were helmets, despite the rain.

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McDonald’s

Ok … yes … I do go to McDonald’s. Not often, but it is a throw back to home when traveling abroad. Just like Starbucks.

The McDonald’s in Durango was interesting. It was in a building built in 1894!

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Also interesting were the washrooms. They must have one heck of a security problem ha ha

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With dinner in hand I went back to my hotel to watch football and eat.

My location for October 20, 2016

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Riding the El Espinazo del Diablo – The Devil’s Backbone – from Mazatlan to Durango

I had a bit of anxiety today as I was about to ride the El Espinazo del Diable, or the Devil’s Backbone, from Mazatlan to Durango. There is a new highway I could take, but it is tolled and I wanted to experience the history of what some consider one of the most dangerous roads in the world.

Anxiety

My anxiety was not only about riding this road, but I would also be leaving gringo land. The Baja and Mazatlan is filled with ex-pats and vacationers enjoying the sun, beaches and fishing. You can sense a bit of home as you walk around. As I head into the interior of Mexico I am guessing that will no longer be the case.

As I thought more about this I realized that every time I have lived, worked or traveled internationally I have been supported. In Nambia the Chief of Police and a Superintendent made sure I was well looked after.

In Macedonia I had the support of a massive organization called the OSCE and a wonderful language assistant to help me out. I was also in Macedonia long enough to make some great friends.

When I did business internationally I had the backing of the Canadian government. And when on vacation I was almost always with friends and family. This is the first time really going out on my own, by myself.

The Devil’s Backbone

The Devil’s Backbone as far as a road goes was not that scary as it turned out. I kept expecting something bad and it never happened ha ha. Just lots of curves and beautiful scenery.

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I reached a lookout point that was really amazing. I just walked around and took it all in. On the road was a sign saying Route 666. Huuuummm I guess that goes with the Devil theme. Now I have ridden Route 66 and Route 666.

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I guess virgin Mary is there to neutralize the Devil.

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Durango

In Durango I had booked the Grand Colonial Hotel. It was right downtown and had good ratings.

As it turned out it wasn’t that nice. But it was relatively clean and I made my peace with it. The big benefit of hte hotel was that it was right downtown and I could walk to see all the sights. They also allowed me to park my motorcycle in a sort of mall hall.

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My Route for October 19, 2016

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