Picture compilation

Right now we are in Guadalupe Victoria. We hoped we could make to Durango today, but Steve’s bike had other plans…..

A compilation of our last days in Mexico:

In Monclova Steve’s bike got some maintenance.

Monclova Garage

The route to Arteaga was great

Route to Arteaga

After a long day we enjoyed the last minutes of mexican winter sun in Arteaga

Enjoying an evening sun in Arteaga

Next day we headed for Parras. This is how the Mexican truckdrivers do it…

Mexican truck driving

The route to Parras was beautiful and warm.

Route to Parras

Every hour we had to stop to cool down Steve’s bike…

Waiting for Steve's bike to cool down...

We spent two days in Parras, a nice little town. Steve’s bike needed another Mexican look at his front brake. Next day we wanted to take the yellow route towards Torreon….not knowing that the yellow route was rocks, sand and pot-holes. Proper Off-road for 80 km, but with some Black Elephant training a few months ago…we had a blast.

Off road

Not only Steve’s bike needed to cool down….

Cooling down

In the middle of the Sierra de Parras

Sierra de Parras

All we are is dust in the wind….

Desert

That day we only covered 140 km, but dusty and tired we found a hotel in Matamoros. Only 18 euros for two rooms, including hot water…!

Matamoros

Today (sunday) we hit the road early to go to Durango. But Steve’s bike really needs a mechanic now. The carburettor might be the problem. Today we suffered from severe head winds.  That in combination with the height of 2000m resulted in a bike that really didn’t want to ride….well.
We stopped to help a fellow biker with a flat tire. He had been waiting for over 2 hours and no Mexican stopped for help. And all of a sudden three Dutch Dangleberries came around the corner and had all the tools he needed. He was really grateful and thanked us as if we were a god’s gift! It was the least we could do after being helped by others the last few weeks. (Dave!)

Helped a fellow biker

The severe head wind made us stop in Guadalupe Victoria.

Severe winds

Tomorrow we’re heading for Durango, to stay some days and hopefully find someone who knows about carburettors, hot engines, front brakes, and tachometers…. Good news is: all bikes are still running, maybe not as wanted, but that’s all part the trip….we guess.

Thanks for all the comments! Adios amigos…

Parras

On Thursday we left Arteaga and had the best ride so far. Mountains, deserts….and potholes. Trying to avoid those and enjoying the best views. What a ride! A long day, not because of the mileage but because we had to stop several times to cool Steve´s bike and one time Steve´s bike stopped itself. The “repaired” front brake, wasn´t that good repaired after all. Going to be an adventure already.

Late in the afternoon we finally arrived in Parras. A nice little town. Found a hotel and went to bed early….totally knackered.

Today we had our rest day, got our laundry done and someone had another Mexican look at Steve´s front brake. And most important, we enjoyed the nice warm weather.

Adios

Arteaga

A quick post.

After we left Monclova, we had a terrific ride to Arteaga. Through the desert…Great views, empty roads. Breathtaking.
In Monclova we spent a day repairing Steve´s bike (read: shorten the list with manco´s).  Spent a day in a mexican garage watching others repairing the front brake, the battery and broken rear view mirror. The high oil temperature wasn´t a problem according to them.

The day after (Tuesday) we stayed in Monclova due to the weather, so finally on Wednesday we headed for Arteaga.

Arteaga is quiet place near Saltillo. We had a walk through the village and enjoyed the view with some corona´s.

Pictures soon…hopefully

Monclova

Mexico it is! What a day it was… But let’s start in Uvalde. Saturday we wanted to leave Uvalde to head for Mexico. Got up early at 6 to drive the final 100km to the border, but when we looked outside and saw the drizzle we decided to wait a few hours. We left around noon and decided not to cross the border. We drove to Eagle Pass, the US border town where we spent the night in a cheap-club motel.motel room
Very Mexican already and we got ourselves some real super tacos morales.

tacos

Sunday morning we went to cross the Mexican border at Piedras Negras. Because it was sunday is was really quiet so it all went really smooth. The plan was to make some miles and not stay close to the border. It seemed that the temperature rose with 20 degreess when entering Mexico. All of a sudden we were riding in summer….really warm. When we stopped for a drink, Roels bike didn’t want to start again….but after some proper cursing we found the electrical problem. Everyone wanted to talk to us asking where we’re from, where we’re heading etc and wanted to take pictures of the gringo’s.

new friends

fixing roels bike
When we got to Monclova and wanted to look for a motel, Steve’s bike quit running. All day his machine already suffered from a high oil temperature… So we were forced to stop at a junction in order to make a plan. Instantly a car with family stopped and asked if they could help and after that some other guy. Roel wanted to look for a place to stay and U-turned his bike where it was forbidden. So a police car pulled him over and wanted to give him a “ticket”. But somehow when the friendly people around us started filming the situation we got a police escort (with the lights!) to a hotel. After the police was gone and we got ourselves a room, we wanted to celebrate this day with some beers but because it was sunday they were not allowed to sell us some cold beers (after we had this long day in the heat). The hotel clerk said that his uncle could help us out and in a few moments we could get our “package” from a red car…..
So here we are drinking our 2 sixpacks in some nice hotel with internet. Tomorrow we gonna look after the bikes.

Adios Amigos

Uvalde

Here we are …in Uvalde. A village 100km from the Mexican border. The day we left Austin, we ended in Boerne. A Texan village with German roots, as many villages in this area. Really funny to walk in the Hauptstrasse and ofcourse we had to check the Biergarten. biergarten

Next morning (today)  it was drizzly weather and so waited to hit the road. It is against one of our rules to ride in the rain. We hate rain… But after watching an other B-movie on a B-television we decided to go anyway. We had a great ride through real Texas.

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Stopped for some coffee in Utopia. When we entered the coffeeshop, all cowboy hats looked at us and at our strange bikes. Those don’t like a Harley…

Coffee in Utopia

Ended that day in Uvalde, and trying to cross the Mexican border tomorrow. So we had do some proper preparations….

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Austin

So Monday we left Houston. In the morning we got rid of our rental car and after that it took some time to get all our gear on the bikes. First time we saw it all together….and we might need to get rid of some items the upcoming weeks in order to travel “light”. It’s either Roels nosehairtrimmer or the toolbox.

Travel light

It took us over an hour to get out of town via the interstate. Unbeleivable….the same distance from Amsterdam to Den Helder, just to get out of town. After that we enjoyed a terrific sunny trip through Texas along ranches and authentic villages.

 lake somerville

brenham

End of the the day we stopped at Brenham at a motel. You can immagine how our room must have looked like.

motel
Next day we hit the road early (tuesday) to get to Austin. Dave told us to visit Austin and to celebrate Fat tuesday there (Mardi gras). Who were we to ingnore Dave….So Austin it is. Again a really nice ride. Long roads, sunny, ranches….Nice.
We got a hotel near City centre for a reasonable price and our neighbour appeared to be a Dutchman from Amsterdam. That night we had great night out in Austin celebrating fat tuesday. We spent a weeks budget in 6th Street….and woke up this morning deciding not to ride today.

Fat tuesday at Austin
Today discovered Austin by daylight and enjoyed a warm and sunny day.

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Arranged an insurance for Mexico and planned a tomorrow route. We plan to cross the border in two or three days. Mexico here we come!

Lakewood

On our night out with Dave and his friend, they told us to go to church on sunday. To Lakewood church, an event to must visit. Lakewood church is in the former Houston Rockets basketball court and fits over 15.000 people. The show…ehh church service… is send on tv for a million public. The pastor is Joel Osteen and has sold millions of books. A good reason to give it a visit and to receive some blessings for our trip!

http://www.lakewood.cc/Pages/index.aspx

receiving blessings for the trip.

getting some blessings

Just a few thousand people…

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Ready to roll!

The last three days were very busy. We’ll give you an impression:

Got the rental and drove all day (on friday)  to arrange all sorts of things

The rental

Went to the Wal Mart to buy some last equipment. Bas still needed a small chair.

Walmart

Went for lunch.

Lunch

That day we arranged our insurance, customs and paid the final costs for getting the bikes. Friday night we were invited by Dave, a Houston biker, we met on the internet and was very helpful. We had a good meal and went for some beers. After that unable to drive, we end up couch surfing at Dave’s place. NiceCouch surfing

Next day (saturday) we got our crates and we were allowed to open them at the logistics centre. We thought this would take an hour…

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We thought it was only getting the front wheels in and start…

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But none of the bikes wanted to start quickly and this took quite some time. After jumpstarting them all, we thought we were okay. But there was a great inbalance in Bas’ bike. It appeared that his rear tyre was damaged, and needed to be replaced.

replacing tyre

So after many hours we were still at the logistics centre, but the good thing was that the weather was really nice. And when we got hungry in the afternoon, Dave got us a nice lunch.

picknick

After that, back to work. Hopefully we could make it before sunset.

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Finally we were good to go, but unfortunately we had to make our first km’s in the dark. But: all bikes are now ready to roll!

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Houston

Hi everyone!

Landed safely in the USA and we were welcome as well.
Thurdsay 11 feb we arrived at schiphol airport at eight. Really nice to see a lot of friends and relatives for a final goodbye. Some of them were already worried about the whole trip, because within half an hour we already lost one of the boarding passes.

HPIM1832

We had a good flight and landed around 2 o clock in the afternoon with a 7 hrs time difference. Getting through customs took some time, and after that we got our rental car. Too bad, the price wasn’t as advertised. And we are already the laugh of the town in our HHR (chrysler PT cruiser look-a-like) while the rest of Texas is driving a pick-up truck. Unbeleivable….so many trucks. After a ride through cold and wet Houston we arrived in our hotel. Finally.
Today we got up early and got a truckers breakfast in the motel (not that we had any choice). We spent the entire day driving the local highways around and through Houston. We needed to get a bike insurrance, getting our bike cleared by customs and after that we went to the cargo depot. The bikes are really there! Well,….the crates,  still not sure what’s in it. Evertything is arranged to get the bikes and hit the road. Tomorrow we are planning to get there early and uncrate the bikes…..

First impression of Houston:
– a lot of trucks
– cold and wet
– a lot of concrete
– a lot of fastfood
– helpful people

Cheers,

Bas, Roel, Steve

Ps1. Thanks for all the nice comments! (the bad ones we’ve deleted)
Ps2. We already let go of the travel light principle….Roel has an electric nose hair trimmer with him.