Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day 44 (0km): Still taking a break

No big plans for the day. We did some shopping to continue making improvements to the bikes, I had Subway for lunch, and I also got caught up on the new season of The Big Bang Theory (I'm such a nerd).

We did get to see something very cool today: Armando, the number one Inca, showed us the inside of his graphic design business. He has 45 employees, and in the back what caught my eye were the 3 HUGE HP printers. I found it very interesting since that's the kind of thing I probably would have got into had I not become an engineer. 

Armando took us out for dinner at a really nice restaurant with local food. Santiago also met up with us there. You could see the lights of the city from the restaurant. It was an excellent dinner; thank you Armando.  

Alberto hasn't been able to load all the new photos of our time in Chiapas; sometimes photobucket is moody. Hopefully we'll be able to sort that out soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 43 (0km): Fixing things

Nothing really exciting happened today. We'd been pushing the candle the last few nights so I had a huge sleep in this morning. Boy did that feel good. Our plans for the day included a long list of things we had to fix and chores to do.

The most exciting moment during the day was walking down the street to a restaurant were we had a barbeque lunch for two. We tried to get some vampiros from up the street but it was closed. All went well and we managed to check everything off our list.

Day 42 (173km): Daytrip to San Cristobal

Gerardo met up with us in the morning to ride to San Cristobal de las Casas. We took the Libre route (lots of nice curves) on the way there. There was very little traffic and the weather was ideal. As we got higher and higher the temperature cooled to a perfect 16-18 degrees. Some of the highlights of the road were an old dog lying (just chilling) in the middle of our lane after a corner. He didn't seem bothered by us almost killing him. We saw some Indigenous women carrying wood up the steep road. What was amazing about this was that the women were ~150cm tall and carrying ~40kgs of wood. It looked hardcore. They were also wearing cool traditional clothing (blue and purple). Also, just to add some excitement, sections of the road were gone (due to rain). So on two occasions our lane was missing and we had to use the other lane.

We had breakfast in San Cristobal, where we saw Javier (Another member of fraterhnos Club), and walked around the historic center (the streets, the markets …). After taking in San Cristobal we went to Gruta del Racho Nuevo (a cool cave). It was the largest cave I've been in so I'm glad Gerardo took us (I would have never noticed it there otherwise). I had some churros at the cave and then we took the Cuota road back to Tuxtla. It was an intense change in temperature coming back down from the mountains, not to mention the extreme fog conditions on the road at the top. 
Some breakfast
Browsing the postcard selection
In the caves

Yum yum BBQ'd bananas

It was a very nice day. We are really enjoying our time exploring Chiapas. Gracias Gerardo!

Day 41 (9km): Bike Service and Ecotourism; what a combination

It felt like an early morning because we had stayed up so late last night. We dropped our bike's off at Check Point Moto Garage (Gerardo's bike shop). He generously offered to give them a once over, oil changes and a sprucing up. Muchas gracias! While that was happening he dropped us off at a local tourist attraction: Canon del Sumidero and the Ecotoursim Park Amikuu. Conveniently it's really close to the city. 
The view from the water
Enjoying the boat ride

The Christmas Tree waterfall in the canyon

The tour we took was based out of Chiapa de Corzo. It's a nice pretty town by itself. We took a boat ride down the canyon. It was really fun, partly because I just like being on the water in boats and also because the scenery was beautiful. There were crocodiles, exotic birds and interesting rock formations. The only negative was that there was a lot of garbage floating in the river, slum dog millionaire style. That part was disappointing. At the end of the boat trip was the Ecotourism park. We both felt this was worth the extra money because we got to see some of the natural animals to the Chiapas jungle (in a zoo setting) and also got to learn some history. The bonus was getting to hold a tucan on my arm and Alberto posed with a Britany Spears snake. 
Alberto getting to know the wildlife
Dinner time

The Tucan experience
The impressive Jaguar
Saying goodbye to the canyon
Gerardo picked us back up in the evening; we retrieved our bikes and came back to the clubhouse to watch the UFC. Take that Brock Lesnar! 
Our beautifully clean bikes

Sidenote: thanks Santiago for bringing our laundry back nice and clean!

You have to love the Fraterhnos Club hospitality and generosity: accommodation, bike maintenance and laundry! Thank you guys!

Day 40 (0km): The search for a road map

We had a good sleep; the weather is cooler inland. I spent some time online trying to find out if I can buy maps anywhere (since we are in a large city). My search led us to a mall nearby. We asked (i.e. Alberto asked) several people where we could buy maps for Central America (cause all they had were Mexico maps) and that led us to another cab ride further into town. Again we were directed all over the place to several stores with no luck in finding a map of Guatemala. We did end up buying groceries though, so I guess all was not lost.

Santiago brought us some very yummy snacks before we went to the mall. They were authentic tamales. Very tasty and I liked the banana-leaf wrap action.

Fraterhnos Club members get together every Friday, so this evening so we got to meet many members of the club. It was a nice evening spent chatting, drinking and eating unique hot dogs from the street vendor downstairs. Such a good night that Alberto didn't get to bed until 4am. 
Friday night social


Day 39 (300km): Meeting up with Fraterhnos

It was in fact very windy this morning. I'd hate to find out what the wind is like in the afternoon (People say that it gets much windier)... Yikes. The best thing about Mexican signs is that there is no warning, if there is an important intersection the signs are right at the intersection. It really keeps you on your toes, no napping or forgetting to wear your glasses here. Once we veered off to Tapanapetec there were two curious looking dirt berms blocking the road (again, no warning AT ALL). They were 3-4m high and impassable. No signs on where to take a diversion. I went back and took a side road through a small town. It was totally random and a little rough had we not been on dualsports. Then shortly down the road once we had got up to cruising speed there was another berm in a merge lane. This time there were no side roads, there were no options. Luckily I noticed that one corner had been driven on by bicycles so it had been hard packed. That's how I got across.

It was pretty windy for most of the morning. We met up with 3 members of the Fraterhnos Club: Gerardo, Alejandro and Santiago in Tapanapetec. We rode together to Tuxtla Gutierrez. The road was pretty nice: good road surface and some nice twisty sections. I guess we lost an hour today coming into Chiapas so the day seemed to go by really fast. We had a meal once we got into the city and they took us to their clubhouse. It's a pretty sweet set-up: bar, entertainment center, seating area, facilities. That's where we are staying (there's a spare room with a bathroom for fellow adventure riders that are passing through), Armando even hooked us up with a King size bed. Thank you Fraterhnos!

We are very grateful for their kindness and generosity. 
Sitting at the bar in the clubhouse

Day 38 (253km): Leaving trendy beach town to arrive in industrial sea port??

The gecko that was in our bathroom yesterday had sneaked out in the night; he was gone when I went to take a picture of him this morning. Alberto came up with the best idea this morning: putting our cooling vests in the freezer. Brilliant! I was icy cool when we set off. The surf looked nice when we were leaving Puerto Escondido, not that I really know what nice surf looks like. I guess I was spending more time checking out the hot surfers with tans wearing only shorts and sandals.

Again the road today was mostly inland so it was pretty uneventful. The road surface was pretty decent and the traffic was good. Actually the traffic has been much better. I think the road from Tepic to Puerto Vallarta was the real low point.

We went through a military checkpoint today and they “looked” through my stuff. For a while there, after Copper Canyon, they just waved us through but now at the last 2 we've been through we've been stopped. It's kind of a bizarre system, similar to the security checks at the World Cup stadiums.

We decided to settle in Salina Cruz for the night. It appears to be a port town and it's VERY windy. Unfortunately the air temperature outside our room appears to be cooler than inside. I hope we can get that fixed ASAP! (Update: we ended up moving to a different room with a working air conditioning system).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 37 (417km): Twilight Zone

The first challenge of the day was getting through Acapulco and back on 200. I think Acapulco is the capital of VW Beattles. They use them as cabs, but we also saw tons of personal ones; they were everywhere. Getting through Acapulco wasn't too bad, but there was one crazy intersection where the traffic lights meant nothing. Buses would get stuck in the intersection and it took us three green lights to make it through (we were practically at the front) and there was lots of horn honking. Eventually there were signs directing us back to 200, but we had to take the Cuota route to Mexico DF first. We were on the road for 3km, and then had to pay a toll when we exited. Mexican toll roads are blatant theft! Then the real kicker, right after the toll booth was a section of road, maybe 3km, with probably 30 speed bumps. It was ridiculous. I'm sure glad I paid that toll.

Alberto: “OMG, that was a rough one”
Me: “Yeah I saw you bouncing all over the place so I slowed down more.”
Alberto: “What's that speed bump for??? Stopping a tank!?!”

The road was mostly inland today, so there wasn't much scenery. We didn't really even see any interesting wildlife. The destination for the day was Puerto Escondido. The bizarre thing about riding in this heat/humidity is that I now think 30 degrees is cold.

Arriving to Zicatela beach and subsequent Hotel strip (in Puerto Escondido) was like entering the twilight zone. We'd stumbled upon a gringo surfer community. Lots of funky shops, hotels, restaurants, and people walking about in flip-flops. A guy from the Sunshine Coast approached us to pimp his hotel. We were tired and didn't feel like shopping around so we accepted. It was 1 block up from the main beach avenue but it was a really nice set-up. Our room, and from what I can tell most of the rooms, have their own private set-ups. We had a deck, hammock and roof tanning spot. The room had AC (a deal breaker after wearing bike gear all day) and a kitchenette too. I totally want to come back here with a bunch of friends: Casa de Dan y Carmen. It would be a good place to stay.
Our room (poolside)

After a well earned shower we went down and walked the strip. We had dinner at a pizzeria. It was really nice because there was a breeze off the ocean and they made fresh juice.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 36 (0km): The good life is just too good

We couldn't resist staying another day and we were rewarded because there was a nice breeze pretty much all day. The breeze combined with the shade from the palm trees at our campsite created a deadly combination of comfortable living conditions.

Unlike the previous night camping it never got cold in the night. No need for sleeping bags here, and certainly no need for our -12 rated sleeping bags. hahaha. There was an amazing thunder/lightening storm during the night and we panicked and put up our tent fly. The rain never made it to us but it came pretty close. Too bad actually because the rain would have cooled things off a bit. It was cute though, the campground host offered to let us move our tent under the palapas. We assured him that our tent had been tested extensively in rain back in Canada, which he seemed satisfied with. The other campers took him up on the offer though. They looked like they had a superstore tent though.

A day of rest includes complete laundry overhaul (now hanging on my clothesline between the palm trees), relaxing at the beach/in hammock, making awesome food using our little MSR dragonfly... I enjoy cooking for myself while on the road because it is so much healthier. Due to the camping nature and limited space on the bikes we only use minimal ingredients so the meals end up being nice and pure. Weird cause I never cook at home. 
Laundry hung out to dry

It's the good life hanging around the campsite listening to the surf pounding on the beach.

Enjoying some time in the hammock

Day 35 (435km): A chance to use the hammock

We tried to get on the road before the sun really came out and we were rewarded by some nice coolish riding temperatures. 200 was more of the same: twisty with an occasional glimpse of the ocean. There were some bizarre unsigned sections of road construction that kept us on our toes.

We had lunch in Oxxo, which is sad but it had AC and that was the deal breaker. We had initially just stopped for a snack (from our own supplies) but then caved and bought some sandwiches at the Oxxo so we could eat inside. In the afternoon we drove through some serious rain. We were soaked within seconds but it was a nice change of pace because it cooled us down.

We had some issues with the signage but we made it to Pie de la Cuesta and found a nice campground/RV park. It's right on the beach and all the campsites have palm trees. Actually the palm trees are the boundaries between sites, pretty cool. We immediately went down to the beach and Alberto did some bodyboarding in the surf. We are just north of Acapulco Bay. 
Campsite with ocean view
Alberto: "My herniated disc can kiss my a$$"

Day 34 (270km): Saturdays are when the magic happens

The humidity, my god the humidity. I don't think I'm designed to handle humidity very well. Being stopped on the bike is like a kind of torture, so the best thing is to keep moving, and fast. Today was the most amazing ride since arriving to Meixco I think. We may have just got lucky, or maybe Saturdays are normally quiet but we practically had the road to ourselves and it was twisty. It was actually fun riding. It was also like being on safari thanks to the plethora of wildlife sunbathing on the road: green lizards, iguanas, tarantulas, a GIANT frog/toad...
Ride break
Today something great happened. The drivers in Tecuman were both friendly and courteous. I was in shock, but also very thankful. I wish I could say the same for the rest of Mexico so far.

Somewhere between Tecuman and Playa Azul are a bunch of ecotourism camps which have nice facilities: camping, cabanas, restaurant. It was great. We passed probably about 5 or 6. We ended up staying at one and it was great. Fairly cheap camping and right on the beach. This was only the second time we've seen official camping (the other time was outside Creel). I wish there were ecotourism camps all along the coast because they are my ideal camping spot.
Our camping spot for the night

Sunset view from our tent


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 33 (384km): Mexico 200, our bread and butter

We managed to navigate our way out of Tepic with only one wrong turn, so we felt pretty good about that. We were travelling south on 200. 200 follows the coast south through Mexico and it will be our home for the next few days. Things started out okay but soon took a turn for the worse. We came upon a very large convoy of vehicles stuck behind a bus and an 18 wheeler. We spent probably 40min going under the speed limit stuck behind the long line of traffic on twisty roads. It finally opened up and we got by, and the rest of the way to Puerto Vallarta was more or less smooth sailing.

Driving in and out of Puerto Vallarta sucked. There was tons of traffic and it was hot. The combination of heat and moving slowly on a motorbike is terrible. We found ourselves downtown and used a public beach access to go see what the beach was all about. There was a beach volleyball tournament going on as well (I think Canada was playing). The water was nice but the sand was rough and the beach was nothing special. 
The beach, downtown Puerto Vallarta

Once we left the general area of Puerto Vallarta and the subsequent traffic it was actually pretty nice. I think we entered another state and the road surface was significantly better. There also wasn't as much traffic. We pushed ourselves today and made it to B. de Navidad. Couldn't really tell if the town looked cool cause it was dark when we arrived.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day 32 (443km): Attack of the Mexican Toll Road

There was the cutest stray dog at the hotel. He slept between our two bikes. He looked like a black lab, about 6-8 months old. He was so curious when we were packing our bikes, but sadly we had to leave him behind.

It was cold for the first time in a long time. I had my heated grips on minimum. The road was curvy, but the road surface was terrible. I think I've given up on sportbike riding in Mexico. The other tricky thing about these narrow mountain roads is passing large trucks. It's like Russian roulette. The combination makes for a very tiring ride. I guess I'm a hater. 
Espinazo del Diablo

Once we got over the mountains it was very warm. We followed the signs to Tepic and ended up on the toll road at first. Then we chose the free alternative route. This was an interesting experience. There was quite a bit of traffic and it was like running a gauntlet constantly overtaking one large truck after another. We were getting tired of this process and felt it was getting unsafe so we went back on the toll road. This was short lived once we discovered how many toll booths there were. So we finished up the journey on the libre route (back to the painful procession of slow moving large vehicles).

We arrived in Tepic and started the search for a place to stay. Unfortunately it was rush hour so that made the process a little more stressful. We ended up caving and staying at a fancy hotel (the first one we saw).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day 31 (250km): Rain?? What's that.

The housekeeper at the Hotel was very friendly and we had a nice conversation with her before we left. One of the best parts of travelling is meeting great people. A friend of ours (Gerardo from Chiapas) warned us that the Gulf of Mexico route had suffered damage during the rainy season so we had to change our plans and are now taking the Pacific route through Mexico (HWY 200).

Once we were on the road we were grateful we had decided to stay in Rodeo. The drive to Durango was longer than we had expected and there were a few sketchy spots, one in particular where the road suddenly changed two different levels. Alberto had chosen that exact moment to pass a truck and ended up pulling off quite the stunt... I was glad he's riding an F800GS and not his Yamaha R6. Durango seemed like any other city to us; we are just not city people so we have a hard time appreciating cities. Getting through town and en route to Mazatlan was not the easiest but there were signs, even though they were confusing.
Cool rock formation

It was cold for the first time today and we even got sprinkled on briefly. Rain... I forgot what that was. The road to Mazatlan is twisty so welcome back the 'Mexican Hello' and getting stuck behind large trucks. We stopped at a nice hotel in El Salto, which was good timing because an hour later it was raining pretty hard.Also my Sitka Hoodie, which served me so well in the US, had to make a comeback last night. It was cold! 

Day 30 (247km): No toilet seats in Durango

It was a noisy choice staying downtown last night, but it was kind of nice for a change: being at the center of town. It made the experience more real. My arms and right shoulder were sore when I woke up from the accident. Sore in the same way they would feel after windsurfing during a storm, so no biggie; I could ride.

It was much easier leaving downtown than getting to it last night. Our direction was Durango and at first it seemed like we were on some country road (it was gravel). I guess they were doing road construction and the road eventually turned into a normal road. It was more or less straight going until the end where there was some amazing mountain scenery and some nice fast curves. We stopped for an unhealthy lunch at a Pemex gas station (I feel like a writer from Bike magazine UK). It's amazing how cheap junk food is. It's still not as hot as it was in Sonora on the coast but either way I have officially ditched my BMW Underwear and gone back to my Icebreaker 150s. The BMW Underwear did not do as good of a job wicking the moisture away from my body. Say what you will about how great synthetics are but nothing beats natural fibers.

We decided to stay in Rodeo (north of Durango) because we don't like cities and didn't want to deal with finding a place to stay in the city. Also it was getting late to the point that we didn't know how far we could get past Durango before it got 'too late'. So we found a nice place to stay (with a restaurant) in Rodeo so we were happy to call it an early night.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 29 (349km): Larry, where do I know this guy from?

We got frost overnight, but as soon as the sun came out everything melted. We enjoyed the road this morning the most: still twisty but with more visibility through the corners. We had planned to make a side trip to Sinforosa Canyon View Point but never saw the signs. I guess we should do better research next time, or any research since we didn't really do any.
The road

At around lunch time I had an accident: I ran into a horse, or rather the horse ran into me. Alberto was leading and it was a straight bit of road. Out of nowhere this horse T-boned me. I never even saw it, and neither did Alberto when he drove by. It hit the front of my bike hard and redirected my path to the opposing ditch; where I crashed. Despite a few scratches on my helmet and crash bars, and one or two holes in my pants I was okay. 
My crashed bike

Since this is my second time crashing this bike into a ditch I can undoubtedly say the BMW F800GS lives up to it's ad campaign of being unstoppable. Due to the nature of the accident I was expecting the bike to be unrideable, but all that was needed was an adjustment to my barkbuster and mirror and some zapstraps for the pelican case (which of course disconnected from the bike). The horse is probably in worse shape since he rolled and left skid marks on the road. The other thing that I observed was that not a single passing car stopped to see if we needed help getting the bike out of the ditch, and to top it off when they went around us they drove as close as possible. 
Repairs being done

The other good thing about the crash (the first being that I was okay) was that it fixed something on my bike. My starter button had been sticking and it was not sticking anymore. Bonus.

The road was straightening out quite a bit by the afternoon as we headed for Parral. Thankfully that helped us make good time because we were delayed quite a bit by the crash. We spent the night in downtown Parral.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 28 (94km): The daytripper

We stayed another day in Creel at the campground and took a day trip to El Divisidaro. We also coined a new term today: The Mexican Hello. Here's the deal. The Mexican Hello is when a driver in the oncoming lane is driving in your lane, or moves into your lane once he sees you. The driver waits until the last second then returns to his lane. He waves as he passes you. We decided that the driver drives in your lane to get your attention so that he can say hello as he passes, hence the 'Mexican Hello'.

The ride to Divisidaro is only 40km to we had a relaxing morning and then set off late morning. The temperature was pretty much ideal for riding. The road was a bit rough at the beginning: potholes and gravel. It got nicer near the end and there were lots of good curves. But you always have to be on guard for the Mexican Hello. When we got to the end we paid to get into the Barranca del Cobre area, which turned out to be a steal at 40 pesos for the two of us. 
Spectacular view

We went to the end first, no particular reason we just thought we'd see what was on offer and work our way back. At the end was the Piedra Volada, which we chose as our first photographic stop. There was a road that went to a gondola, and it turned out to be our lucky day. It is a recent addition (the whole complex isn't finished yet) and it was running for free this afternoon. It was pretty awesome as it travels across a section of the canyon. Oh boy it was an impressive view. There is also going to be a restaurant/tourist complex but it wasn't finished yet. We did sneak in though to enjoy the view and check out the glass floor. The views at Divisidaro are well worth the small detour and the new additions (gondola etc...) will surely bring more tourists out. 
The Telescopico de Barrancas del Cobre

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 27 (145km): Back on the road

Today our goal was to make it to Creel. Some would laugh since going from Cahuisori to Creel isn't very far (people go from Hermosillo to Creel in a day) but I still wasn't back at 100% so there was no need to push the issue. That and Creel has more or less been our destination for 3 days now. haha

We took the most direct route to Creel by getting off HWY 16 early (my map lead me to believe we would take a right at La Junta). We were warned that it was not all paved, or at least Alberto was. The road was fine, but rough road wasn't exactly what my stomach ordered. Thankfully only a small part of it was rough. There was one section where construction was happening that was really bad. They had just laid down a thick surface of dirt. Luckily for us one of the construction workers told us he would be rolling it soon and that we could follow him up. I watched a Jeep Cherokee struggle getting up the hill so I was happy to wait; and as it turned out once it had been rolled it was fine. 
Waiting for the roller to work his magic

We stocked up on the essentials in San Juanito: gas, cash and groceries. We arrived in Creel early in the day, which was nice and my body was happy since it was feeling a little under the weather by the time we found somewhere to stay. We are camping, yay! I know that sounds weird but I like camping (we really like our tent). Also there is a quad/mountain bike track at the campground so Alberto definitely got his money's worth riding around on his bike. The campground is fairly fancy and could be likened to a KOA. It's called Hotel Villa Mexicana.
Alberto having fun at the campground


Day 26 (0km): Under the weather

We decided to stay another day in Cahuisori because I still wasn't feeling too hot. I don't really have much to say about today. I just felt like crap and watched Mexican television all day. I'm getting a lot better at understanding the Simpsons Mexican style.

Day 25 (131km): A short day in the saddle

I'm not sure how I feel about riding HWY 16. I can't fully appreciate the scenery because I'm paying attention to the curves, and I can't fully enjoy the curves from fear of oncoming traffic (oncoming drivers here cut the curves very aggressively and end up on your lane). We had a few close calls in the first 45min of driving. We didn't see any tarantulas today, only butterflies. People who come to Canada to travel sometimes worry about bears. Me not so much. A bear is never going to sneak up on you; he won't be hiding in your tent or boot. A spider however can be much more sneaky. Therefore spiders kind of freak me out. I'd prefer to continue seeing large spiders on the road only.
One view from the road

The road was nice, but hard to fully enjoy. As the day wore on I started to feel progressively more sick. I was feeling a little sick yesterday, and today was more of the same but I felt really bad by the evening. We got a hotel in a Mining Town (Cahuisori, Chihuahua) on HWY 16.

Our neighbour at the hotel offered to drive us to a waterfall he knew of in the area. It was an amazing view, and we wouldn't have stopped had we been on our own. Thank you David for showing us the amazing view. The Basaseachi Waterfall alone had been worth the trip to Copper Canyon. 
The falls and the amazing rock formations surrounding them

Unfortunately after getting back from the scenic side trip I was suffering from violent stomach cramps and pretty much had an unpleasant night. 
Accommodations complete with guard dog

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 24 (379km): Brush with the law

When I woke up because it was light out, I was already starting to sweat. I don't know if I'm cut out for these warmer climates. We went for a walk on the beach and had a swim. The water was amazing. It was the perfect temperature: score 1 point for the Sea of Cortez. There were lots of fish and some nice waves. When we walked back to Franceso's house he invited us in for breakfast. We had a lovely breakfast with him and Norma. Thank you very much guys for your hospitality. 
Saying goodbye
By the time we had packed the bikes, we were both pretty sweaty (it seems to be a common theme) so it was nice to get moving and feel a bit of a breeze. Our cooling vests are working well. That was a good score in Tuscon. The road was pretty boring to Hermosillo, and longer than I had expected as well. But Bahia de Kino was worth the detour. It's a very nice beach town. We stayed in Kino Nuevo, so I can't comment about Kino Vejo. When we reached Hermosillo a cop pulled us over. I didn't realize he was trying to pull us over (since I was looking for road signs) until he chased us down. As it turns out we were speeding in a school zone. When my options are: 1) Follow the speed limits and get squashed by cement trucks, or 2) Have an outstanding ticket in Mexico I think I'll always choose option 2. The funny thing is, for anyone who knows and rides with me, is that I was leading... so MY reckless driving got us pulled over. Now there is a shocker. So once the traffic police officer nearly killed us pulling us over he gave us the sob story: I'm keeping your licenses until you pay, you're wasting my time because I had to chase you down, blah blah. He even threatened to take Alberto to jail at one point. Anyways, long story short we got our licenses back, but wasted a bunch of time talking to the cop in the heat.

After finding our way out of Hermosillo and onto HWY 16, boy do I miss TomTom when navigating in cities, it was smooth sailing. The road was really straight and it was still pretty hot outside until we got through Tecoripa. Boy, then the twisties start flying at you from all angles. It was hard to fully enjoy it though for fear of oncoming traffic not being in their lane. Still it was a welcomed change, not to mention the glorious cooler temperatures of the mountains. The scenery was also very nice, but there weren't really any places to pull over and get photos. I guess the spectacular views will have to live on in my memories. 
Taking a lunch break
A small taste of the scenery

We are resting our tired bodies in Yecora tonight. Sounds like Alma, QC with the people speeding outside the hotel and the music playing loudly.

Day 23 (387km): The other route to Hermosillo

There was a crazy thunderstorm in the middle of the night; huge thunder, hard rain and lightning. The rain, or maybe the thunder, was so strong it triggered the alarm on one of the bikes. Just earlier yesterday Alberto was talking to someone who said it hadn't rained in 3 years. I guess the streak was broken. Everything was pretty much dry when we woke up though. Just a few puddles here and there.

We stopped by Marcelino and Emanuel's family's factory to say goodbye in the morning. On the way we called in at the Autozone for some chain lube and a map. Success with the chain lube but the tiny map was like 129 CAD and the book set was almost 200 CAD. We passed on that one. I guess we will keep the inaccurrate free BMW issue map. We said hi and goodbye to Marcelino and Emanuel. We also got to meet their father and sister who helped us out with directions on the new road.

The road to Desemboques was windy. The road was also shockingly straight but at least that gave us a chance to admire the scenery. If you grew up in Arizona it probably wouldn't be that impressive but for me it was great. Once we got to Puerto Lobos you could see the Sea of Cortez too. The ocean was a nice addition to the mountains and cactus forests. When we reached Puerto Libertad we stopped for gas and a small lunch break at the beach. The water was beautiful and definitely worth the drive. The highway, which wasn't on our map, is almost done being built. There were a few sections that weren't finished where we had to take dirt detours. It was like being on a motocross circuit: up and down, up and down. 
Some of the scenery: A cactus forest
Up close cactus
Not a care in the world
Puerto Libertad and the Sea of Cortez

After Puerto Libertad the road travels inland. The scenery is more of the same: mountains + cactus but we enjoyed it. There was even a section of road that was slightly flooded for those out there that need a little adventure. 
Alberto taking a test walk
What happened to the road?

The road finally took us to our destination: Bahia de Kino. What a beautiful place. We met a Chilean, Francesco, who has lived here for several years and he assures us that this is the best place on earth. He kindly invited us into his home and let us camp on his roof. It doesn't get any better than falling asleep under the stars listening to waves crashing on the nearby beach. 
Bahia de Kino
Our view from dinner at the beach

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 22 (0km): We just didn't feel like it

When I woke up I was exhausted. Alberto's back was also not too good after all our adventuring yesterday so we decided to stay another night in Caborca. This took the pressure off and we had a very leisurely morning. The breakfast at the hotel was excellent and the staff extremely friendly and helpful throughout the day. 
Some of the very friendly Hotel staff

I didn't have many great achievements today: updated the blog, I watched the second half of Chelsea vs Arsenal, I took a nap. It was a pretty low key day, but it felt really good. I watched the Simpsons in Spanish in hopes that I might pick up a thing or two.

In the evening Marcelino, his family, and Emanuel took us out for dinner. Marcelino ordered for us and it was excellent food. Homemade, authentic tortillas are the best! They also took us on a tour of town. We got to see the church where a battle occurred between the Mexicans and the Americans. It was very interesting because you could see the bullet holes on the walls from the battle and the church was very pretty and large. 
The gang out at dinner. Salud!

The church downtown
Thank you Marcelino, Emanuel and your families for all your generosity and kindness. We have enjoyed our time in Caborca very much.