Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today started out east of San Antonio and ended 2 miles from the Mexican border at Laredo. We rode to Dilley to meet Hank Arriazola, a guy with years of motorcycle maintenance experience in San Antonio who recently started a repair shop in a building (above) that has been in the family for years. He has loyal customers that drive from all over. We shipped him tires, and he allowed us to use his shop to take off the wheels, then he changed and balanced the tires. He also took us to lunch, gave us buckets of advice about travel in Mexico and elsewhere in Central America, and let us store some stuff we decided to not take. He charges us a total of $40 each (he paid for lunch). We like Hank. Check out his website at (Yes that is his shop above and he runs the site from an Apple at what used to be the check-out counter).
I took it apart and put it back without too many spare parts. No worries Mom, I tightened everything down.

From Left, Pete, Bob (customer), Hank, and me.
One think Hank advised is that we had spare copies made of drivers licence and registrations.
We had copies with us, but he advised that we take copies laminated and looking real for the many checkpoints we will run into. We later stopped at Office Max and were told they could not colour copy goverment documents, but we could at a few select photocopiers. So we did, and then they laminated them for us. One of mine looks pretty ghetto, but the rest should do the trick with various town police.
These copies will be used as required and the real documents reserved for the borders. Hank also told us of a few routes along the mountains that he has taken many times and advised they were not to miss.
We rolled into Laredo, did the Office Max thing, bought Mexican Auto Liability insurance (covers $40,000, the max offered and includes a lawyer contact.... Hmmmm, seems low for liability.......), and went to a grocery store called HEB to buy some food.
Bunking down at an upscale Super 8 ( not), Pete is washing his socks in the sink as I type this and hanging them on his bike for the night ( it is almost 70 out right now). I don't think I will wash up much in that sink, I'll brush teeth in the shower or at the Chevron across the street.

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