Ride South: Zacatecas & Guadalajara

From La Cuidad it was a short (and now sadly, fairly straight) drive to Durango. Here, the Libre meets up with the Cuota, teasing you with its perfect pavement.

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… before actually merging into one road. Careful, you do have to get off where it is indicated that the ‘Libre’ continues or you’re going to have to pay the full fee for using the Cuota.

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The last stretch of road to Durango takes you up and down various hills and through beautiful canyon lands where old Westerns were filmed. We’re told there’s old movie sets to be found here, but we didn’t find any.

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In Durango, we had a much needed coffee and lunch break before heading to Zacatecas, a historic city that was fairly nearby. The drive there wasn’t incredibly scenic or exciting, as both lie on the higher plateau of central México. We arrived at nightfall… only to find the hotel we were planning to stray at was long since closed.

We settled for a nearby hotel in the historic center and spent an extra day exploring local cuisine and sights. It’s a beautiful town.

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The colonial part of the city is a World Heritage Site, due to the Baroque and other structures built during its mining days. Indigenous cultures mined metals from the area even before the Spanish arrived.

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Once they did, it grew as a wealthy city. Its beautiful architecture shows this.

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Zacatecas is often called one of the most beautiful cities of México.

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From Zacatecas, our next stop would be Southward, to Guadalajara. Guadalajara is one of México’s largest cities, surrounded by epic canyons. As far as riding motorcycles go, taking one of the longer roads there is highly recommended.

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Once again, a beautiful twisty mountain road.

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You know you are closing in on Guadalajara when you see the — sometimes burnt — piles of trash on the side of the road and the air quality drops rapidly. It’s shocking how much trash is piled on the side of the road here.

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It’s tempting to simply frame this out of the photos we share but it is the reality of the country.

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Guadalajara itself is a beautiful city, however. Getting into town was a bit stressful — Stu had a stray dog jump in front of his bike at highway speeds, and the traffic is just fairly insane. Buses jump in and out of traffic with zero regard for other vehicles, fast cabs try to weave through it all and every inch is filled with scooters, bikes or other motorized vehicles. Fortunately, you get used to it quickly.

My bike ran rather hot, so we took a break or two before we arrived at the home of our Couchsurfing host. We spent a two days with him, exploring the city, working on the bikes and being taken to a party that was thrown by him and his friends.

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Exploring the historic downtown was a pleasure, its beautiful architecture reflecting the evening light beautifully.

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When here, absolutely visit the downtown area. The cathedral alone is worth seeing.

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Oh, Stuart got locked out of our hosts’ home and had to ride sans-helmet. Fun times!

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The generosity and kindness of our host and his family can’t be overstated. Thanks so much, Edgar! I hope you are reading this!

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