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jfriesen1


Jan 19, 2007, 4:18 PM

Post #1 of 12 (2626 views)

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2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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I’ll be traveling in Mexico for about 3 weeks on a Gold Wing motorcycle in late April and could use some advice. Traveling from Leon to Puebla (before heading east to Palenque) I’m looking at something like the following:
Leon to Guanauato to Dolores Hidalgo to San Miguel to Queretaro…
Then, to take in some of the Queretaro Hwy 120 to Bernal to Pinal de Amoles to Jalpan to Xilitla to Tuxpan (Hwy 130??) to Poza Rica (Hwy 180) to Nautla (Hwy 131??) to Xalapa (Hwy 140) to Tlaxcala (Hwy 119??) to Puebla.
This route, although not direct, lets me take in the Queretaro etc area, plus gives me some change in scenery from inland by taking me to the Gulf coast along #180 for a stretch before heading back inland to Puebla.
I’d appreciate any tips, warnings, suggestions on this.

OR -- a more direct route I’m also looking at between Queretaro and Puebla would be through Pachuca, then on #139 for a short jaunt past Xoloxtitla before turning south on (Hwy ???) and then down to somewhere near Tepeapico (sp?) where you switch to another Hwy that takes you through Apan to continue on and then turn south (just south of Tlaxco) onto Hwy #119 and down through (or past?) Apizaco and Tlaxcala and down on an ‘autopista libre’ (Hwy #???) to Puebla. I’m having a lot of trouble interpreting this map and nailing down the ‘exact’ route from Pachuca to Puebla. It’s an ITM southern Mexico map and not very clearly marked. I’m hoping someone who knows this area well will be able to shed some light into these dark corners of my map.
Any help would be appreciated.
John Friesen



sfmacaws


Jan 19, 2007, 9:59 PM

Post #2 of 12 (2602 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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Here's the bypass route we've used to get around Mexico. From Pachuca take the road south to Ciudad Sahagun, it crosses an autopista to Mexico but you go straight on. You go towards Mexico at the next highway but only for a few miles and then turn towards Calpulalpan, the signs should give that town several times, always go towards it. From there you are on 138 (I think, close to that number) towards Apizaco. When you get to the turn for Apizaco, go instead the opposite direction towards Chiautempan and Puebla.

There are a lot of trucks on this route but the road is generally ok, 2 lanes no shoulder.

Unless you specifically want to go to Puebla though, heading for the Gulf Coast and south would get you to Palenque and would be a very pretty route. Either way you have to come down off the Sierra Madre Oriental, from Puebla you will do it on a divided highway with several lanes. You'll drop from around 8000' to sea level in about 50 miles, with most of the drop in 25 miles. The other route you will do it on 2 lane highways with incredible views and a longer downhill.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




jfriesen1


Jan 19, 2007, 11:32 PM

Post #3 of 12 (2595 views)

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Re: [sfmacaws] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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Thanks for the info. I checked out my map and could follow your route from Pachuca to Puebla. That's actually Hwy #136, and then the last leg to Puebla I believe is #119.
The aim was to end up travelling east to Palenque.
Maybe it's not worth the additional miles backtracking inland to Puebla before striking out eastward again towards Vellahermosa and Palenque. I'm wondering about this other (coastal) route I mentioned, up to Poza Rica from Queretaro by Hwy 120, through Jalpan, Xilitla, Tamazunchale and then somehow getting over onto 127 and then 130 to take me by down to Poza Rica. Are you familiar with that route and is it worth taking the long way around? What's the #180 down the coast to Veracruz like? Is it a two-lane? Toll? I guess I could take the #180 along the coast all the way down past Veracruz and east, stay on #180 for days on end all the way to Villahermosa. Any idea what that route along #180 east to Villahermosa is like? I'm wondering if I should plan on staying on 180 all that way.
BTW I'm glad to hear you're out of the rain and enjoying some sun!! Or am I wrong?
Sorry about all the questions. Never been to Mexico, but very much looking forward to my 6-week motocycle journey.
Cheers,
John Friesen


sfmacaws


Jan 20, 2007, 12:02 AM

Post #4 of 12 (2592 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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It really depends on time, you said you are only spending 3 weeks and you are planning a very long trip. The route you first suggested through Xilitla is drop dead gorgeous, it's through the area known as the Huasteca Potosina and is full of waterfalls, rivers, jungle, orchids, beautiful. BUT, the roads are winding and 2 lane and it is a long slow drive to the coast from the highlands. I think you will have to skip some areas in order to get to Palenque and back.

My suggestion would be to just head across Mexico City to Puebla and down the mountain, then get on the toll road to Villahermosa. You could come back on 180 if you have time. Mexico is a huge country and these other areas will be there for your next trip. Spend the night north of DF and get up very early and just cross it. What's the worst that can happen? You may get lost but if you study the map and keep the route in mind you probably won't. Or, you may get stopped by the transitos but if you can't get out of it by not understanding or playing stupid then you may have to pay them. Cut their first suggestion at least in half, maybe offer one quarter (make sure you have small bills and not many of them in one pocket to be ready.) If they are on a motorcycle then offer them some Goldwing patches or a t-shirt or something like that, bring that kind of small stuff with you. It will be a nice thing for any other motorcyclists you meet. It will save you days of travel and allow you to get to Palenque and have some time there instead of just riding all day every day.

Yes, it is sunny here now. Still a little normal rain occasionally at night but the cold nortes are gone for now. Today was beautiful and tonight I'm sitting here in front of my deck with the doors open and a warm, light breeze off the water. Paradise!


oops! I just noticed that in your 2nd post you said 6 weeks not 3, I had the 3 weeks from the 1st post in my mind. Still, I think going from Pachuca to Huauchinango to Poza Rica would be easier. I haven't taken that particular road but I have heard it is busy but in good shape. Ed probably knows about it. That is also beautiful country although I would guess the road is well traveled and not easy to sightsee on.

The road south of there through Teziutlan is just south of a very interesting area, indigenous markets and people. It's an area on my list of places I want to go but we haven't gotten there yet. I particularly want to go into the areas between Teziutlan and Poza Rica, around Cuetzlan.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




(This post was edited by sfmacaws on Jan 20, 2007, 12:10 AM)


jfriesen1


Jan 28, 2007, 8:16 PM

Post #5 of 12 (2523 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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Thanks for the good advice. I think I'll take a pass on Puebla and spend more time in Queretaro area then head east to the Gulf coast and get on 180 and 145 as quickly as possible and steamroll through to San Cristobal. I'm worried my planned routes will be too much to do in two weeks so I'll also take a pass on Palenque and do that maybe the following year along with Yucatan.
I'll be on a large touring motorcycle (Gold Wing 1800) and want to 'dawdle and gawk' thru the Queretaro area along Hwy 120 before cutting across to the Gulf Coast and Hwy #180 to beeline (sort of) towards Villahermosa.
SO.... Does the following route make any sense? Am I missing something? Is there something here I should be avoiding? Any help would be appreciated. Here's the route I've mapped out from Queretaro to San Cristobal. Queretaro south on #57 to San Juan del Rio; Hwy 120 noeth east thru Pinal/Jalpan and Xilitla and past to Jct Hwy 85 and turn south to Tamazunchale on #85. Then go south-east on un-named Hwy to Huatjutla de Royes at Hwy #105. There go north 20 miles and turn east on un-named highway and go 19 miles to Tantoyuca at Hwy 127 junction. Go south from there to El Alazan at Jct #130. Turn south on #130 and go thru Alamo and pick up #180 before Tihuatlan and continue to Poza Rica.
It's the route crossing over from Hwy 120 to #130 and then #180 that's difficult to determine. It's a terribly convuluted route but I can't find any better way of getting from Xilitla to the coast.
Continue on #180 thru Nautla and Vera Cruz, then turn R on #150, then L on #145 to continue on #145 all the way to Villahermosa. At Villahermosa turn south on #195 to Tuxtla. From Tuxtla go east 60 miles on #190 to San Cristobal. May be saddle-sore by this time.
At San Cristobal it will be time for a bit of a stayover and rest before continuing on to Oaxaca city and Cuerevaca, back down to Hwy 200 and back up to Guadaljara and from there start heading back towards the U.S border.
Cheers,
John


sfmacaws


Jan 28, 2007, 8:52 PM

Post #6 of 12 (2516 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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It will be a beautiful ride on 120 to Xilitla, probably slow but who cares, gorgeous.

This year we drove from Xilitla pretty much the route you outlined to the coast. It was challenging getting through Huejutla de Reyes with our 27' RV as the road takes a sharp right turn in the downtown, but it will be no problem on a bike. I don't think we took the cut across to Tantoyuca, I think we went up and around, but I can't really remember now and if there was a sign there that said Tuxpan this way, we took it. That route is 2 lane but pretty good and the scenery is great.

If you want to get to San Cris faster, skip the city of Veracruz and get on the cuota west of the city that goes straight as an arrow almost to Villahermosa. Same route you wrote but it's 145D, the toll road. It's long, straight, boring and the road is so-so but a whole lot better than the free roads through there. You won't go all the way to Villahermosa, the exit for the new road to Tuxtla is just past Minatitlan. You don't actually go through any towns on this toll road, but there are exits for them so you know where you are. Take that new road to Tuxtla, it's faster and better than 195, you'll want more time in San Cristóbal.

Sounds like a fantastic trip. We expect trip reports here as you go. ¡Vaya bien!


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




jfriesen1


Jan 28, 2007, 10:58 PM

Post #7 of 12 (2507 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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Thanks so much for the quick and informative reply. It’s very helpful. Trying to find these routes on my map here is a strange experience what with the cold weather here in Toronto and the warm sunshine I imagine you have there in Mexico! I do enjoy, however, planning the trip for April – it’s somehow a ‘warming’ experience:>)
Great to hear from someone who has taken that route. Now I know it’s not just a figment of my fevered imagination. I see how you took the slightly longer route north to Tantoyuca and bypassed the 20-mile shortcut across. Probably a smart move as I read somewhere that that road is a real mess!!
Bypassing Veracruz city is what I would want to do. I’ll try again to find that on my map. The #145D highway (toll) I can’t find on my map. I can only see a #150 going south-west from Veracruz to meet #145, which goes south a bit then bends eastward and goes all the way to Villahermosa. I now see how there’s another highway that head south to Tuxtla before Hwy 195. So that’s the NEW toll road to take. Very good! I’ve read about that new road but didn’t realize that was it. It’s supposed to be incredible scenery along there but probably not so spectacular in April before the rainy season begins.
I suppose the total toll costs from Veracruz to Tuxtla will amount to a fair chunk of change. What would you guess? But I'm sure it's worth it. The Gold Wing, weighing 900 lbs and an 1800cc engine is VERY comfortable on the highway and can make good time on the slab!
I enjoy reading your informative and entertaining posts. Will keep you posted on the motorcycle trip. And I’ll probably have some more questions as I plan further. This will be my second ‘long’ trip on the bike. The first trip was last June when I bought it in Southern California and rode it back to Toronto over a 12-day period. Drove through the Colorado Rockies (Hwy 550) etc., and also up the Blue Ridge Parkway. A wonderful trip! But the Mexico trip will be better! Can hardly wait!
Thanks again… Cheers,
John


sfmacaws


Jan 29, 2007, 12:30 AM

Post #8 of 12 (2502 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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John,

You need to get a better map. Get this one http://www.amazon.com/...?ie=UTF8&s=books You don't have to get it from Amazon, it's just easier to give a link to a book there. They have them at travel book stores, online and stick, and I'm sure other places in Canada. They, of course, also sell them in Mexico but you might as well get it now and enjoy the planning with an up to date map. They can also be harder to find in Mexico outside of the cities. So, get one now and planning will be much easier.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Ed and Fran

Jan 30, 2007, 7:06 PM

Post #9 of 12 (2469 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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Let me try to help confuse things on this one stretch.


Then go south-east on un-named Hwy to Huatjutla de Royes at Hwy #105. There go north 20 miles and turn east on un-named highway and go 19 miles to Tantoyuca at Hwy 127 junction.

At Huejutla de Reyes, I believe you need to go north closer to 30 miles (50 km), almost to Tempoal. You turn east on what I believe to be Hwy 128 to Tantoyuca, where you do pick up Hwy 127.


Go south from there to El Alazan at Jct #130. Turn south on #130 and go thru Alamo and pick up #180 before Tihuatlan and continue to Poza Rica.
It's the route crossing over from Hwy 120 to #130 and then #180 that's difficult to determine.


I could be wrong but I actually think that's 180 that you pick up just before you get to Alazan/Potrero de Llano. Probably doesn't matter. You're more likely to find a sign for "Tihuatlan" than you are to find a highway number.

Unless you really want to spend the night in Poza Rica, it's best to bypass it. Heading south on 180, just after passing Tihuatlan, look for a new highway overpass/cloverleaf. Should be a sign saying "Veracruz/Tuxpan Cuota". You'll exit to the right and curve down and under the bridge. This puts you on the cuota road towards Tuxpan. A few miles farther on (not sure, maybe 3-5 miles) you will see a sign for "Veracruz". Exit to the right. This is the new section of toll road that by-passes Poza Rica and dumps you out on Hwy 180 about half way between Papantla and Gutierrez Zamora.


It's a terribly convuluted route but I can't find any better way of getting from Xilitla to the coast.

With the exception of bypassing Poza Rica (as I mentioned) there isn't any better way.

Best regards

Ed


jfriesen1


Jan 31, 2007, 3:38 PM

Post #10 of 12 (2441 views)

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Re: [Ed and Fran] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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Yeah, I realize the #120 road will be slow, but I’ve read all kinds of accounts of the area through there and it sounds fascinating.
And with both of you familiar with the convoluted route to get to the coast from Zilitla, I’ve nailed that down perfectly now on my map.

How fast is Hwy 180 from Poza Rica down to the 145D? I’m planning to make “good time” (as opposed to ‘having a good time’ all the way to San Cristobal, then stopping for a short rest.
Another question: From Tehuantepec I have 2 choices to get to Oaxaca 1) take Hwy 190, or 2) go further along #200 to Puerto Angel and north to Oaxaca from there. The second route is quite a bit longer, but is there any reason why I should take that instead of Hwy #190? Does anyone know about comparing the road surfaces/width/scenic/cultural value (we won’t be stopping for attractions), traffic conditions, etc?
And yes, I am ordering the Roji (sp?) map. I suppose the atlas version would be the one to get.
I can’t see that Cuota bypass at Poza Rica on my map at all. But I certainly will bypass Poza Rica. Want to get to San Cristobal as fast as possible. There are times to dawdle and times to drive, and you have to make those choices when you have a limited time. I’m still working on finding the places to dawdle after I leave San Cristobal.

I’ll be riding in Mexico for about 3 weeks. For 12 days it will be two-up and for that part I have only 12 days to go from Leon (airport) to Queretaro to Poza Rica to San Cristobal to Oaxaca to Cuernavaca to Zihuatenejo to Guadalajara to Mazatlan. Whewww… May have to end at the Guadalajara airport. Will see how it goes – there are a couple of places where I can shorten easily.
Cheers,
John



Ed and Fran

Jan 31, 2007, 5:12 PM

Post #11 of 12 (2432 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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How fast is Hwy 180 from Poza Rica down to the 145D?

Can't help all the way, but figure 4 to 4-1/2 hours from Tihuatlan (bypassing Poza) to Veracruz. Might be just a touch quicker by now with the bypass.


Another question: From Tehuantepec I have 2 choices to get to Oaxaca 1) take Hwy 190, or 2) go further along #200 to Puerto Angel and north to Oaxaca from there.

See my answer in your other thread.


I can’t see that Cuota bypass at Poza Rica on my map at all. But I certainly will bypass Poza Rica.

Doesn't surprise me. It's been open less than a year. Try the following link to the SCT's on-line interactive maps. Click on the one for Veracruz, enlarge it, move to the area just north of Poza Rica and you'll see it in green.
http://portal.sct.gob.mx/...ageLabel=sct_book_56

Regards

Ed & Fran



sfmacaws


Jan 31, 2007, 9:29 PM

Post #12 of 12 (2416 views)

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Re: [jfriesen1] 2 routes between Queretaro and Puebla on motorcycle

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Quote
And yes, I am ordering the Roji (sp?) map. I suppose the atlas version would be the one to get.


Don't get the bigger map, I think that is the one called Atlas. The problem with it is that each state has a page and to do that the scale changes dramatically from page to page. Really disorienting and difficult to judge distances without looking for the scale. The 8.5 x 11 size has good detail and the scale is the same throughout.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán


 
 
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