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Mextrek #10, Galeana, October 24th to 27th 2019 + After Party V3.0

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Hey Mextrek Amigos!!!

First off, here is the registration link: https://forms.gle/npCGRVVu3MhXwKj19 Paypal can be made via paypal to Mextrekadv (at) Gmail.com

The next chapter of Mextrek will be a return to the core 4 day weekend in Galeana, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. (with a 7 day afterparty for those with a bit of time) We are celebrating 11 years of TARA trips to Mexico, and this is our 10th group ride in a long series since Richard heroically planned and executed the first glorious Mextrek #1 in October 2008. We are also celebrating the invaluable contribution of Milton Otto to our thirst for adventure on two wheels.

After Party 3.0: There is also a 7 day After Party V3.0 for those who need more time in Mexico. Gunajuato, San Miguel, Santiago, and day of the dead. Epic. See the next post in this thread.

What is MEXTREK you ask? Mextrek is a big group of adventuring friends who head to the remote and beautiful mountains of Northern Mexico a couple times a year on dual sport bikes for a 4 day adventure. GPS tracks, ride guides to lead daily excursions, hundreds and hundreds of pristine back country roads with exceptional beauty and remoteness.

What type of bike is ideal? A bike that can be ridden off road on gravel roads, with rocks from time to time, but that is also capable of running 100 miles of highway at 60 MPH. Bikes as small as KLX250's, XT250's, and DR250's have made the trip, no problem. Also, bikes like the large KTM1190, BMW1200GSA, and Africa Twin are also at home, giving up some measure of off road capability for creature comforts and highway capability. The ideal bike for this trip is a KTM690 / Husky 701 / DR650 / XR650 combining light weight and agility with highway capability, power, and weight carrying capacity. For the after party consider taking a bigger bike or one you feel comfortable riding 5 or 6 highway hours on in a day.

How far do we ride? 500 to 700 miles depending on what routes you choose. Minimum 385 miles takes you to Galeana and back from Mission, TX on highway and 15 miles of dirt roads.

Who comes along? Young and old, average age is probably 45 - 50. Not really a high speed event for hotrodding kids, safety is important, but many, many roosts are roosted, corners slid through, and at the same time new to dirt riders creep along in 1st gear on day one on the steep stuff. June trips are around 30 people. October, more like 60 to 70. Experience level needed to attend is: None, just a thirst for adventure.

How much does it cost? $50 fee for organization, tee shirt. All in, with travel from Texas, I'd budget $500 USD. Upper end, $750.

How much vacation time do I need? From Houston or Austin you can leave work Wednesday at 5PM and be back to work the following Monday morning, so technically 2 vacation days. To be safe, take Wednesday off as well to travel to Mission and get your permits and meet the gang.

All other questions: I refer you to 10 years of history and intelligence gathering on WWW.TWTEX.COM

Mextrek #1
2008 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27799&highlight=mextrek+2008
2008 Reports: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33656
Mextrek #2
2009 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41336
2009 Reports: http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?p=671326#post671326
Mextrek #3
2010 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46716
2010 Reports: http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?p=749178#post749178
Mextrek #4
2015 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=102388
2015 Reports: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1384620
Mextrek #5
2016 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106148
2016 Reports: http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=111763
Mextrek#6
2017 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=112382
2017 Reports: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=115745
Mextrek #7 June 2018 (Gunajuato and Real de Catorce and El Salto after party V1.0)
2018 Planning: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=116147
2018 Reports: http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117666
Mextrek #8 Oct 2018 (Guanajuato and Real de Catorce After Party V2.0)
2018 Planning: https://www.twtex.com/forums/threads/2018-mextrek-8-oct-20th-23rd-2018.115969/
2018 Report: http://twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1577869#post1577869
Mextrek #9 June 2019 (Santiago, El Naranjo, Xilitla, San Miguel, Guanajuato, Real de Catorce)
2019 Planning: https://www.twtex.com/forums/threads/mextrek-9-destination-guanajuato-june-22nd-30th-2019.119615/
2019 Report: https://www.twtex.com/forums/threads/mummy-riders-mextrek-9-ride-report.121129/

So mark your calendars (Relax, Harvest Classic is October 18/19, F1 Austin Nov 1-3):

Wednesday October 23rd: Welcome dinner in Mission Texas, location likely Mambos. Overnight at the Clarion Inn, Mission.

Thursday, October 24th: Group ride to Galeana by way of China, Iturbide, Rayones. Fast riders optional "Gold Standard" long route available. Group dinner at La General de Casones. 190 miles, 140 pavement,

Friday, October 25th: Break in to groups and explore. 50 to 150 miles

Saturday, October 26th: Repeat Saturday's heroics. Celebration de Milton, with dinner catered at Jasmine's scrumptious bakery. 50 to 150 miles.

Sunday, October 27th: Depart for the border early AM. Crawl into bed back at home, late late. 190 miles - 220 miles (all concrete)

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...The After-Party V3.0: "Day of the Dead....Mummies"An additional 7 nights, 7 days, and 750 easy mainly concrete miles.

If you were on Mextrek #9 you had the pleasure of visiting San Miguel de Allende and then Guanajuato. Both amazing locations, both touristy spots, but each with its own distinct flavor. Highlights of Day of the Dead Mummies mextrek after party:

Optional overnight in Real De Catorce, Saturday night

2 nights in San Miguel (Monjas Hotel, Downtown San Miguel). Steak dinners, hot springs, late nights on the square, morning coffee on the patio.


4 nights in Guanajuato (Entire 20 guest hostel, in the heart of El Centro, 5 minute short walk to main square). Banquet dinner, midnight cemetery mummies on the day of the dead, walking tour, hiking La Bufa, mine tours, salsa lessons, Callejonedoras serenades, and cool fall evenings on the rooftop patio.

1 night in Santiago (Posada de Colores downtown). Mainly to break up the return trip home, but with a pass through the amazing highway 20 Los Lirios route, one of the prettiest passes in Mexico. Cola de Caballo, the best Italian food in Mexico, and a last night beer garden late night to say goodbye to Mexico.


Thursday: Mission to Galeana 193 miles, 5.5 hours

Friday: Free ride Galeana / Celebration de Milton Dinner

Saturday: Free ride Galeana / Optional overnight in Real De Catorce

Sunday: Galeana to San Miguel. 321 miles, 5.5 hours. All larger highway. Optional route through Doctor Arroyo for mountain passes. Welcome dinner at Los Milagros (the Miracles Argentine Steakhouse)

Monday: 160 mile loop to Pyramid, Monolith at Bernal, and small Puebla Magica of Tequisquiapan. Evening rooftop dining in San Miguel.

Tuesday: Morning guided walking tour of San Miguel. Afternoon La Gruta Hot Springs. San Miguel to Guanajuato via Delores Hidalgo (Birthplace of the Mexican Revolution) 57 miles, 1.5 hours

Wednesday: Guanajuato walking tour and pub crawl. Banquet dinner Wednesday night late.

Thursday: Guanajuato countryside ride. 50 foot Jesus, Forest, lakes, Hacienda San Gabriel. Evening Halloween activites.

Friday: Guanajuato - Day of the Dead. Late night including walk to cemetary or La Bufa overlook. Dancing at El Grille.

Saturday: Guanajuato to Santiago 418 miles, 8.5 hours. Climactic ride down Mex 20 thru Los Lirios and past Laguna De Sanchez into Santiago. Visit to Colla de Caballo if anyone has the energy. Dinner at the fabulous Italian restaurant on the square.

Sunday: Santiago to Mission 146 miles, 3.0 hours. Cross over before noon. Home in Texas for dinner.

A few videos of the areas we'll visit on MT10 and the After Party V3.0:

OMG! That was amazing! I'd love to be a part of that!

Any of those destinations on this Mextrex?
All are on this trip. It's a tour of the cool places in northern mexico. Highlight is Guanajuato as this video clearly shows....

Guanajuato:


San Miguel:




Real de Catorce:

 
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Attendees (updated Sept 1st)):

1 Organizer Peter S (Shadman) CBR500R(X) + V3.0 (The afterparty)
2 Ride Guide Steve M (Fang) + V3.0 Paid
3 Ride Guide Sean S (Pandora Adventures) + V3.0 Paid

4 Jack S +V3.0 Paid
5 Scott B Paid
6 Mike S +V3.0 Paid
7 Eddie T Paid
8 Gabe H Paid
9 Mark H Paid
10 Nick H + V3.0 Paid
11 Shai L + V3.0 Paid
12 Andre N + V3.0 Paid
13 Gaylon + V3.0 Paid
14 Edwin H Paid
15 Peter VW + V3.0 Paid
16 Reagan E + V3.0 paid
17 Tim B + V3.0 Paid
18 Curtis J + V3.0 Paid
19 Michael P + V3.0 Paid
20 John B + V3.0 Paid
21 Jim B + V3.0 Paid
22 James JP C Paid
23 Ken E Paid
24 Eric B Paid
25 Alan B + V3.0 Paid
26 Greg P + V3.0 Paid
27 Israh C Paid
28 David B Paid
29 Mark W +V3.0 Paid
30 Laura D Paid
31 Jae B Paid
32 Casey D + V3.0 Paid
33 Ride Guide Thomas M Paid + Guanajuato by plane with Z!!!
34 Mike H +V3.0 Paid
35 Vinny Paid
36 Evan B Paid
37 Rich S Paid
38 John J Paid
39 Matt A Paid
40 Dao H + V3.0 Paid
41 Patrick B Paid
42 Coy O Paid
43 Greg B+ V3.0 Paid
44 Andy V $50 due
45 James P Paid
46 JT JT Paid
47 Milton Otto!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oct 14: 47 confirmed riders.
 
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Is Mexico Safe:
Keep tabs with 100,000 other adv riders who might know a bit about Mexico here:
http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/is-mexico-safe.546927/

Radios:
Communications: If you plan to come to Mextrek we really really really really hope you to come with a radio, its charger, and if you want to...some type of speaker or ear piece in your helmet. Amazon is your friend on this one:

Basic radio: 4 watt / 1 watt: UV-5R V2 About $25, includes charger and earpiece. Programming cable not required.
Extra power model (NEW): 8 watt high power: BF-F9 V2 About $36 - 38 (Recommended radio for 2018 ride). Same as UV-5R otherwise

With varying degrees of success we utilized the mighty Baofeng UV5-R radios on previous Mextrek rides. They are amazing. The feeling of security a ride leader has when he also has a designated sweep with radio is amazing. And when everyone on a group is equipped the ride leader has the ability to tailor speed as requested, assess difficulty of terrain on slower riders, point out side tracks and stops for items of interest. In short, communication while riding in a group is a whole new realm of riding connected. I'll do my best to lay out the little info I know on radios and add points as others chime in:

Basic: $25 radio, supplied headset: One ear in helmet has speaker. Microphone is clipped to chin bar. Talking is accomplished by pressing the push to talk button on microphone or on side of radio.
Pros: Cheap, easy, worked for me last year.
Cons: Hard to talk and ride. Sound clarity at speed lacking. One ear aches a lot. No earplug in that ear. Radio has to be charged every 10 hours or so.

Basic with push to talk: $25 radio, motorcycle mounted, handlebar mounted switch $25 , upgraded headset $25
Pros: Motorcycle can power radio. Talking is possible with both hands on bars. Increased sound clarity. Able to broadcast at highway speeds.
Cons: Riders becomes attached to bike with headphone cable

Full shebang: $25 radio. Push to talk button $25 Sena SMH10 bluetooth headset $160 Sena SR10 bluetooth 2 way transmitter $195 Baofeng to Sena cable $20
Pros: Hands and cable free 2 way communication using push to talk button on handlebar. Sena transmitter can also route music from your phone and GPS audio from your garmin, all seamlessly. So you are free to jam tunes, get turn by turn directions, and talk to everyone on e the ride with both hands on the bars.
Cons: $$$$$$$$$$$$$, charging up every night (10 hours max use), becoming "that guy", Sena not staying affixed to helmet mount, potential for crash damage

GPS:
GPS Tracks / Guidebooks:
Maps: I'll distribute GPS maps for 16 routes around Galeana. V3.0 After Party I will make some new GPS files based on what we rode on Mextrek #9.
If you haven't done so already please order one of Richard's awesome guidebooks and topo maps for the low price of $25. You order directly through Richard via PM on this forum: TrailBoss is his username. You get info, general info, specific info, tips, maps, route descriptions with small maps, pictures, and all sorts of warm fuzzies and fuzzy mink glove good feelings after taking a day or two to fully digest the content. And the rides in the linked GPX files match up to the rides in the guidebook perfectly, so there is very little guesswork deciding which routes to take. And a little pro tip....downloading google earth onto your PC will allow you to preview a GPX file and see in great detail the route, topography, etc... if you are the type to preview what you are going to ride.
http://www.texasadventure.net/mextrekgpsroutes/
Thanks Richard for all the work on these files and the guidebook. They are awesome!!!!

Insurance:
Mzungu writes: Well, this is not a "how-to" but "how I do" as everyone's requirements are different. In summary:
  • Baja Bound for motorcycle damage and liability
  • Ripcord to get me from a point of injury or crime to a hospital and for "get me in the door for treatment" assistance
  • MedJetAssist to get me from remote hospital to my US hospital
There are other companies that are a good or not so good fit for me for this trip. Please research those and decide for yourself. I've previously booked a policies with MedJet Assist on motorcycle trips and for hunting dangerous game on safari in Africa and in remote Alaska regions -- I thought MedJet would come to me in the field - they do not. I finally read the policy. There is little in overlap in coverage (which can cause a catch-22 resulting in no coverage at all when coverage overlaps between two or more companies as the insurance companies point at each other and say "you first"). Here's a good article:
https://expeditionportal.com/buyers-...tion-services/

Medivac Insurance:
Tricepilot writes: The short, technical answer is that MedJet air evac insurance is purchased separately BUT air evac insurance is included with most policies underwritted by MexAdventure. The following quote is from my Guide to Riding Mexico on Adventure Rider: "Mexadventure advertises: "Medical Evacuation Insurance and Plane Tickets Home are automatically included with our Mexican auto insurance policies"! FAQ: So, why bother with the extra expense of MedJet? Answer: If you need medical air evacuation, go with the pros whose job it is full time. Based in Atlanta, experienced on a daily basis doing this, always on their "A" game. When Whiskeysmith crashed in Mexico, and was hospitalized in Parral, we thought he had MedJet but all he had was Mexadventure's "Platinum" coverage which appeared to offer medical extraction as a bonus. I was on the phone with their rep all night long as was told to "call back tomorrow" - and this was a Spanish speaking operator in Mexico City. You want that when you are in a tough bind? I don't. Don't get me wrong, I've been with Mexadventure for years, and always go back to them. But I consider medical extraction by air the same way I do a parachute: you want some extra, seldom used, old model lying around the back of the hangar on your back when you jump? Or do you want the state-of-the-art, tested frequently, highly rated rig on the other end of the line when you pull the coord? Your body - Your money - Your choice."

Permits and Visas:
Tourist Visa:
A visa for your person is needed. Nothing needed in advance. Just fill out paperwork at border, show passport, get visa. Free for 7 days. $30 or so for a 180 day. You can come and go on the 180 day permit.
Motorcycle TVIP: AKA, Permit for bike. Must have valid registration in your name (wife / mom / sister doesn't count...do a family title, transfer $5, with state of TX), no lien or lease, with license plate # matching what is on the bike. Pay $40 fee and $200 - $400 deposit. Check out when you leave Mexico and get $200 - $400 deposit back.

If you are the cautious type, get your TVIP and Visa in advance at the Austin or Houston consulate / Banjercito office. Caution: If you get it in advance and don't make the trip you will have to cancel it before the date it comes into effect at the office you got it from. Otherwise you'll have to make the trek to the border at some point to have it cancelled, as if you made the trip.

If you have time to get it the day before Mextrek at the border (office closes at 10PM) you can do it at Anzualdas Crossing (2 miles away) or 24 hours at McAllen crossing (10 miles away), or in Laredo / Nuevo Laredo 24 hrs. Worst case, skip breakfast and get it at 6:30 AM on the morning we ride into Mexico at the border office (on the Mexican side).

Duh: One bike per rider. No truck and trailer if the bike gets a TVIP. Without a TVIP you likely will not make it through the trip without some hassle, threat of bike impounding, bribes paid, and mental anguish, although it is possible.

A free 7 day visa and 7 day TVIP is needed for Mextrek #10.

A $50 180 day permit and 180 day TVIP will be needed for the After Party V3.0
 
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...The After-Party V3.0:

The last couple of years we've added extra days for those who need, well, extra. The After-Party V 3.0 will continue to confuse and confound and entertain those with a thirst for adventure, a tiny bit deeper pocketbooks, and that bizarre luxury of extra vacation days. You are free to stay as long as you like, head home at any time, no expectations except:

1. You ride briskly and don't need hand-holding to follow a remote road to a destination, possibly on a flat tire, after dark.

2. You are fine with experiencing food, culture, and scenery for a day, as much as you like making miles.

3. You have someone to vouch for you who has been to a previous after-party.

This year's after party is going to be a fast moving parade. Lots of dirt transition riding, lots! Rough schedule:

Sunday, October 27th: : South ride from Galeana to Palmillas via General Zaragosa, linking in the best dirt road around according to Rich.

Monday, October 28th: Palmillas to El Naranjo. El Naranja has a great little hotel on the river. Oranges to eat. And we'll visit Cascada de Minas Viejas waterfalls with 7 pools to descend.

Tuesday, October 29th: El Naranjo exploring more waterfalls and nearby dirt roads. Short hop west to Guadalcazar puts us on the edge where the mountains hit the plains.

Wednesday: October 30th: Guadalcazar to Real de Catorce. Tunnel road in. Bonanza hotel. Dinner at the Meson de la Abundencia.

Thursday: October 31st: Real de Catorce to Parras de la Fuente. Back way out of Real, and then a new dirt track all the way to Parras!!! Parras is home of the oldest vineyard in the Americas (aka this half of the globe). With lots of wine tasting and lounging around it will be a nice retreat.

Friday, Nov 1st: Parras to Santiago via the truly spectacular Highway 20 through Los Lirios. 4 hours riding. Anyone with more riding in them can loop to our hidden waterfall Salto de Shinehah and catch the best part of the Gold Standard into Santiago through Casillas and Laguna de Sanchez.

Saturday, November 2nd: optional: Amenaza Triangular (Triangle Challenge): A never attempted one day challenge to the infamous 3 peaks of La Trinidad, La Ascencion (comunidad de Cebolla), and Potrero Redondo (Chipitan Falls). 173 short miles, 3/4 dirt to dead ends in the amazing peaks of the Sierra Madre Oriental. 10 hrs per google maps.

Sunday, November 3rd: Santiago to Mission. Home by evening?

Its a lot, soak it in. Lots of dirt riding. 844 miles added to a typical Mextrek in 8 days. Lots of exploring. Who's in?
Can wait ! This will be my 4th MexTrek and it’s always a blast. Thanks Peter for putting the work in to ensure we have a an amazing planned route as always .
 
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Check that. After party conflicts with Formula 1 so I'm only a maybe on the main event.
F1 factored in to my plans to go South first, back north, then West. I'm sure Thursday morning there will be at least a couple guys running back to Austin from Real de Catorce to catch F1 on Friday. Its is ONLY 572 miles, lol.

Each year I try to plan around F1 and Harvest, as best I can.

F1 means no Day of the Dead tho...
 

copb8

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F1 factored in to my plans to go South first, back north, then West. I'm sure Thursday morning there will be at least a couple guys running back to Austin from Real de Catorce to catch F1 on Friday. Its is ONLY 572 miles, lol.

Each year I try to plan around F1 and Harvest, as best I can.

F1 means no Day of the Dead tho...
Hey, I get how complicated organizing these events can be. My hat is off to you. You can't please all the people all of the time that's for sure. I have season-tickets to COTA and am required to purchase F1 tickets which are $$$ so I'm pretty committed to those dates. And I love F1. I've just always wanted to do an after-party but it never seems to work out for me.

Y'all are going to have a gas.
 
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Hey, I get how complicated organizing these events can be. My hat is off to you. You can't please all the people all of the time that's for sure. I have season-tickets to COTA and am required to purchase F1 tickets which are $$$ so I'm pretty committed to those dates. And I love F1. I've just always wanted to do an after-party but it never seems to work out for me.

Y'all are going to have a gas.
You should come till wednesday or thrusday. It's plenty.
 

Dahveed

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Well, I'm definitely interested. But I'll have to work within my schedule. So I can't leave DFW until the morning of the Friday the 25th. And I have to be back in Mission Thursday the 31st. So I can't do all of the first ride or all of the after-party. Is it worth still doing this trip with those constraints?
 

sandsman

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Ok, I'm in......I'll just explain it to Mrs. sandsman later. She will understand. We are going back to Mexico for 4 weeks in Nov/Dec anyway. Yeeha.
 
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Well, I'm definitely interested. But I'll have to work within my schedule. So I can't leave DFW until the morning of the Friday the 25th. And I have to be back in Mission Thursday the 31st. So I can't do all of the first ride or all of the after-party. Is it worth still doing this trip with those constraints?
With a partner, yes, it would be worth it. I wouldn't take the trip alone just cause the there and back in Mexico it is good to have the support of anohter rider in case of mishaps. However, it bothers me none to do it myself. You could ride in to Mexico on Saturday via Gold Standard, meet up with us in Galeana on Saturday night. Ride with the after party to Real de Catorce (via Galeana, Palmillas, El Naranja, and Guadalcazar) and ride to Mission on Thursday. I know of one or two guys wanting to head back to Austin for Friday. You might skip Mission if not going with the big group and just ride from San Antonio or Laredo to save miles.
 

Dahveed

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With a partner, yes, it would be worth it. I wouldn't take the trip alone just cause the there and back in Mexico it is good to have the support of anohter rider in case of mishaps. However, it bothers me none to do it myself. You could ride in to Mexico on Saturday via Gold Standard, meet up with us in Galeana on Saturday night. Ride with the after party to Real de Catorce (via Galeana, Palmillas, El Naranja, and Guadalcazar) and ride to Mission on Thursday. I know of one or two guys wanting to head back to Austin for Friday. You might skip Mission if not going with the big group and just ride from San Antonio or Laredo to save miles.
The current thinking is Jeff will take my bike down there with him (if he confirms he is going) and I'll fly down Friday morning. I'll get there at noon, pull my bike out of the trailer, and head down that afternoon. On the return, I'll head back up Thursday arriving in Mission that afternoon, put the bike back in the trailer and stay overnight and catch a flight out Friday morning.

I share your concern about riding alone in Mexico. I don't speak the language in any sort of useful way. I'll have to think about it. If Jeff can't do this trip, then I'll have to drive myself and that changes the dynamic a bit. Delays me getting down there until Saturday. The return could be the same.
 
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