It is Saturday night and I have just checked into a great hotel in San Miguel de Allende owned by a Mexican friend of mine. How can life get any better? If I could only visit one place for the rest of my life, it would be San Miguel.
Thursday, October 16, was my first day "south of the border" and it turned out to be an eventful day only not as I would have liked. I am riding a BMW R100GSPD, in top shape, but the bike was manufactured with the oddest and weakest sidestand imaginable. Fifteen minutes after crossing the border, I stopped at a bank to exchange currency. As I dismounted my bike, the sidestand collapsed, falling over on top of me and wedging me under the truck parked beside me. To make matters worse, all of the beautiful young senoritas in the bank were watching this brave, but slightly old, motorcyclist show his skill and style. After some five minutes being pinned under the motorcycle, they summoned someone to get the bike off of me. Upon inspection, I found that the sidestand had totally bent and was now in the shape of a paper clip. Not a good shape for a functional sidestand. After wondering if I was really up to this trip, I found a welding shop that was able to straighten it out and give it some much needed bracing.
Two hours later I was on my way. The border crossing,about 35 miles south of Piedras Negras,went smoothly and I was on my way within 30 minutes. The weather worsened as I arrived in Monclova, with the temperature dropping and the rain beginning. The ride from Monclova, on MX 57, to Saltillo is one of the best rides I know, with a beautiful mountain pass.
However as I passed Saltillo, the fog set in and within a short time, I could not see anything. The hugh double trailer semis that seemed to be traveling with me slowed to a stop and I crawled to an exit at the village of Arteaga, luckily a village that I know well. I was able to find a very rustic hotel where I booked a room for the night. The room was questionable, no sheets, no hot water or no lock on the door, but the people were great. Surprisingly, I had a restful night's rest.
Friday morning, October 17, started with fog, but by mid morning the fog lifted and I enjoyed a beautiful ride down the mountains past the Monterreal Forest, one of the great ski areas of Mrxico. I was heading to San Luis Potosi where I had booked a room at Las Marquesa, a beautiful and fine hostel for the might. Arriving at 4:00 P.M. gave me time to explore the beautiful city of San Luis Potosi. The room was great, the host, Lety, a most fantastic lady, made me feel as if I was a guest in her home. In fact, I was. That evening, I spent some three hours exploring the city. I had a great night's rest.
This morning, October 18, started great. Lety, my host prepared a great breakfast and I was off by 9:00 AM. Today's ride took me south through San Luis La Paz, west to Delores Hidalgo, which is a city known for it's ceramics and it's ice cream (no, I did not sample either).
Later today, I made my way to San Miguel where I will stay for one week, hopefully learning to order food, a room and fuel in Spanish.
The adventure is everything I expected. I just wish the BMW engineers had designed a better sidestand.