Mexico 12/20/2019 - 03/02/2020
Thanksgiving is three days away, and less than a month until we're
on the road again. The plan is to loop the Americas; go down to
Argentina via the West coast and back up the East. Once we get back
to the US in maybe a year or year and a half, then Europe or
We, is me and my honey. If you know me then you know
her. She's not into social media and likes to live a private
life, so, I'll respect her wishes and keep her the mystery woman in
There was a lot of debate regarding the mode of transportation,
probably just as much between me and myself as between her and I.
Questions like, what's the goal, see the world or ride the
motorcycle; or, after three months and 9000 miles of riding Mexico
and Guatemala do I still want to do this, am I up to it physically;
or, how much stuff do we need to take and how much space do we need?
In the end, we'll be taking two vehicles, my DR650 and an older
Subaru Outback. I've also got a towing attachment (not a
trailer, more on this later) so the car can tow the bike as needed,
which will most likely be most of the way to and through
Mexico. As we go further South, to areas I haven't ridden
through yet, and the roads get nicer, I'll be riding. For the
car, other than putting some spring assist spacers on the rear and
setting up and bringing a normal size spare, we'll probably leave it
stock. Still debating bringing one of those enclosed rooftop
containers, but hey, it's an Outback, not a two ton pickup, so, just
as well, we can't take that much stuff.
As when I took off in May, there's mixed feelings and apprehension,
though less about borders and do I know enough Spanish to get
by!? The bigger question is will be opt out of some countries?
We may need to go around some or get through relatively
quickly. Venezuela comes to mind on the return trip, but who
knows, maybe things will be a bit more stable in a year or however
long it takes us to get there. What are we up to now, about 4
million people have left that country? We took a look at the
government travel site and there's a whole lot of places in this
world that are not recommended. Yeah, what else is new?
Maybe if the US and other world powers stopped meddling and sucking
out their natural resources, they'd be way better off... so much
more could be said... Anyway, we'll play it by ear, and as before,
only plan a few days in advance.
And here's how things are looking right now.
Using honey's place for a staging area (no... we're not taking the
ottoman). She's been selling off stuff, giving it away, and figuring
out what she wants to pack and keep. Fire Sale!
In the mean time, we just got about 18" of snow here in the Boulder
area. Eeeeeeeehah! The car is buried and the bike is
sitting in my daughters garage.
The packing continues. A lot of the stuff has already been
sold off or boxed and stored. The place is looking pretty
empty. Some boxes, kitchen stuff, kitchen table and three
chairs, mattress on the floor (bed was sold a while ago).
Tonight we're going to see Kahlil, my grandson, at his first violin
recital (I hear it's a few seconds of playing.) and then we'll have
dinner and say our goodbyes. My honey's daughter and fiance
are coming over Wednesday to pick up the table and chairs and to say
Looks like the weather will be sunny come the weekend, so that's a
Over the last couple months I've been thinking about how to deal
with a car and a motorcycle. Don't want honey to have to pull
a trailer all the time, not to mention the extra licensing, title,
registration at the borders. But it would be nice to be able to tow
the motorcycle for the long and boring stretches, and basically most
of Mexico since I've ridden so much of the country already. I
found the MOTOW and a few devices like it, but MOTOW is by far the
better design, vs. a similar unit that's all over E-bay, Amazon, and
Walmart for $100 and not worth 50 cents! So, bit the bullet
and bought a Motow.
Had to do a little modification to the bracketry to get some
clearance at the bumper and took it for a first tow from my
daughters to the departure point in Boulder. It's a neat
design, meant to have the rear wheel in the carrier that slips into
the hitch receiver. It has a hinge so follows just like a
trailer. Also, lowers and raises with a screw.
Then on the front it uses straps on the handlebars to lock the bars
in place so that bike tracks straight.
The bike does lean a few degrees and sway a bit from free play, and
after the first few blocks the bar straps loosened, which had the
front wheel doing a shimmy, but once I retightened it, it seemed to
be ok. Since then, I've bought some heavier straps I'll
use. Talked to the manufacturer and they recommended a hitch
stabilizer, which is on order, to knock down some of the
swaying. Talked to them enough to get some more confidence
that this thing will actually work. They sent me a photo of a
guy hauling a Ducati with hard bags and two tires on it, for
thousands of miles.
Also figured out a way to rig up some lights on the front of the
bike, so that people following me will have more than just a couple
small flags. They are magnetic mount and the bike's reflector
brackets are the perfect place for them.
Just have to drop off a few more boxes at my daughters house in the
next couple days, and we'll be ready to go. Thursday night
we'll be sleeping on a yoga mat and a blow up camping pad! Some guy
is coming for the mattress. No place to live, minimal stuff, a
car, the motorcycle, some food, pots and pans, some clothes, some
shoes, and that's it. The journey continue.
Alright, and we are off again!
Morning of the 20th, got of out Dodge. Made our way south toward
Colorado Springs, stopped for a short hike up to the Castle Rock in
ahhh... Castle Rock... then took a walk at Garden of the Gods and
continued on to our digs for the night in Alamosa CO.
With the stops and the hiking we got to Alamosa after dark. Where
apparently they had temps in the negative double digits last week...
as in -40??? Guess it's one of the coldest places in the country.
All of a sudden, towing the bike to warmer climates didn't seem like
a bad idea!
In the morning it was in the negative single digits. Loaded the car
back up, took off the bike cover, and cable locking it to the
receiver and took off for Aztec NM.
So far the towing arrangement is working well. The handlebar and the
mirror visible in my side mirror was my indication at all was well
with the bike. Some beautiful scenery along the way.
Stopped for gas in a little town called Pagosa Springs. Local guy
came over to check out the towing arrangement and we got to talking
bikes. He told us about the hotsprings just down the road... so...
Pagosa Hotsprings it is! Situated right next to the San Juan River
in Pagosa. They have pools from 86 degrees F to 110 degrees F. So we
bounced around for a couple hours among the pools. I also took a
wade into the river. Not very deep this time of year, but cold has
heck. After about 20 seconds I couldn't feel my legs any more... So,
back into the 106 degree pool! If you're in the area, it's a must
do. Apparently Pagosa means Healing Waters in native American...
High sulfur content, along with other minerals. At $26-30 per person
(bring your own towel or pay +$4) it aint cheap, but you can stay
there all day. They also sell drinks and food right in the pool
After getting thoroughly steamed, we finished off the days drive.
Yup, definitely have had worse days!
That "fog" in the distance is actually smoke. Something was
burning, not sure what. Maybe a controlled burn.
Aztec NM to Lake Powell area. About 260 miles.
Before taking off for the morning we took a couple mile walk from
where we were staying to the Aztec ruins.
All the doors were less than 5ft tall...
Pretty complex layout. Multi level condos made of stona and wood on
the outside and then a large central meeting area in the middle of
One of the main corridors, half under ground. Very cool in there. As
you enter each section there are additional passages to the left;
living quarters. Took decades to build.
Then you gots to grind the corn to make your corn flour so you can
make your tortillas...
Got ourselves back on the road. Some pretty nice scenery along 64
and 160 headed West. A desolate beauty.
Planted for a couple nights. We'll see what we can see around here
So, near Page AZ apparently are a few slot canyons. After doing some
research, picked Waterholes to go see, which is about 2 miles long.
Compare that to Antelope which is more expensive, more crowded and
only about 200 meters long, and Waterholes is a clear winner. Use to
be you could just buy a permit from the Navajo and take the tour
yourself, but no more. Now, none of this is cheap... About
$58/person for a 1.5 hour tour. They drive you to the start of the
Canyon, and you hike back to where you took off from. It's private
land owned by a Navajo family. Our guide was 20 years old kid. He
knew his stuff and answered all our questions. Pretty straight
forward. There are definitely some tight areas, and you have to
shimmy down some ladders.
Honestly, I was a bit ticked that I couldn't just go hiking on my
own. Felt like I was getting shafted. But I considered it a donation
to the Navajos, for chasing them off their land. I also learned
about the Long Walk... where the US basically made the Navajos and
other natives migrate across three desert states back in the
1800's. Many of them died in the process.
Yes, this is actually a walkable slot. At the bottom is
sand. If there wasn't any then you would literally be walking
on two walls that come to a point. When it rains, the rain
quickly builds up and rushes through these canyons at huge
speeds. The water can actually remove all the sand. If
too much sand gets removed then the slot's have to be refilled by
dumping sand from above.
This was at the end of the slot, and goes to join the Colorado
And the Colorado River right after the dam.
Overlook onto Lake Powell; Glenn Canyon Rec. area.
Merry Christmas Eve!
The day started out a little foggy and got worst from there, but
there were definitely some bright spots! Holed up for a couple days
in Williams AZ, on historic route 66.
This was 89 headed south out of Page AZ... snow on the ground, fog
in the air... winter wonderland!
Stopped at this place called Cameron. Selling all sorts of Native
wares. Check this out, a manual loom (is that what they call them?).
A little old native lady was working on it, says it will take her
about a year to finish... The smaller rugs on the wall sold for
thousands, so I'm guessing this will be about $15-$20G's
There was a basket there that took a year to weave, price... a cool
They had sand art and pottery... butt-load of jewelry. Good thing we
don't have the money or the space in the car!
They also had a post office there, so mailed off a couple post cards
to the grand-kids, and conversed with the nice lady working the
counter. She had hair down past her butt, said she was thinking of
cutting it cause it's heavy... Me being a near cueball, have no clue
how that would feel. Does your neck get tired?
Also had a restaurant there, so we shared a vegan Navajo taco for
lunch (you can have it with Muton I think). MMMMmmmm... Beans,
veggies, on fry-bread (yeah, bread that's fried instead of baked).
First Navajo taco ever. If you haven't had one... find one. There
was a restaurant in Page (Steer89) that was suppose to have them,
but they were closed, so this was a nice surprise...
So, after our taco, we proceeded on toward the Grand Canyon...
Yeah... things didn't look so good.
We got to the gate and they told us only part of the road was open,
and we couldn't get to Williams that way, so had to turn back
around. Got out of the snow, but as we got closer to Williams, more
of the same.
Made it safely to our Motel, motorcycle still attached! Though
definitely in need of a wash when the weather clears up in a few
days and we head further South.
And why is the Subaru sagging in the rear, cause we didn't bring the
kitchen sink, but we brought the stove and kitchen! Making Christmas
Eve dinner... Rice, salad, some home made sauerkraut... Honey, pass
the Soy sauce, would you? Where's the granola?
Two nights in Williams was a good idea. Got another snow storm the
second night and clearer skies in the morning.
Took a walk down main street (Route 66) during the day. This
was a tree in the front yard of some motel. Definitely get the prize
for largest decorations!
And this was the state of affairs this morning.
In Phoenix for the night, where it's a balmy 61 degrees... and NO
snow. Head for the border tomorrow!
They grow some big cactus down in Southern Arizona and Northern
Took an short hike through Organ Pipe Cactus National
Monument. The stats on these big cacti are crazy. Takes
them until they about 75-100 years old before they start growing
their first arms. They get to be 30 ft tall! They bear
flowers one day out of the year and then produce fruit.
That's about 8 miles from the Mexico border in Arizona. And figured
that it was time to pull the bike off the MOTOW and ride through the
border. Given that I only had about 6" of ground clearance while
towing it, and knowing that Mexico has those speed bumps (topos)
everywhere, the towing was over for now, unless I lift the rear of
Well, the border at Sonoyta was not much of an issue, at first.
Jabbering back and fourth with the guy giving us our tourist cards
went on for a while. But the Banjercito was about 17 miles down the
road, so on we went. It was in the 40's and started raining, so put
on the full rain gear, turned on the heated grips and heated vest,
and we went on our way; me on the bike, honey in the Subaru. Took
hours to get the Temporary Import for the Car, because it's a
Colorado salvage car, and Colorado gives you a title with a Colorado
assigned IDCO instead of the Vin number, and the car actually has
two VIN numbers (cause it was pieced together), but people want the
VIN number, they don't want some IDCO, so it took conversations,
phone calls, looking through manuals, talking to three different
guys, taking pictures, and so on. By the time it all got sorted out
it was dark already and we were still two hours from our
destination... So, riding in the dark, in the cold on unfamiliar
roads... sketchy. At one point there was a construction site, where
basically part of the highway was missing... just a mess...
literally craters, washboard, mud... and sharing it with semi's.
Luckily it was only a quarter mile or so, or it wold have been even
a longer night. Finally made it to our destination at 8:30... File
that under "don't ever do that again!". Next border, get there
early, and leave plenty of time!
Took a walk around parts of Caborca and came across this. It's a
depository for bottle caps, because apparently caps are not
generally recycled when plastic bottles are. What do you do with all
You stick them to walls to make murals pointing out the need to stop
polluting the world... pretty cool..
This morning in no hurry to head for our next destination. Struck up
a conversation with a young Mexican guy that had the room next to
ours. He's been riding for three days shooting to get across Mexico,
on his 200cc bike, all loaded up with gear. Said it was cold. I bet,
hitting low 40's at night, and he came in late. Even with heated
gear and heated grips I was getting cold the night before. We said
our goodbye's and honey and I took off. Brisk morning, still needed
the heated vest and grips to stay warm.
Not much going on here, four lane split highway... snooooooz...
Some three hours later we got to our next destination and what was
supposed to be our Air B&B for the night. But I got a message
from the guy saying, sorry I don't own that property any more...
great. So, we looked up some hotels for the night... And here's what
$18 dollars gets you in Mexico... A two story with a garage on the
bottom, big enough for the car and bike and room to spare, and a
room with a king size bed on the second level... S-weeeeeet... Made
some phone calls, made dinner, and plans for the next few days...
And yeah, that's a line drawing of a naked woman on the shower with
the see through glass and blue light... Ha!
We had a really great place in Mermosillo. Cristina the host
was very nice and friendly and we muddled through a conversation
regarding New Year's eve celebration. She made some
recommendations regarding restaurants that were having New Year's
Eve dinners. But we didn't bring any dressy clothes, so
Cristina offered to have us join their family. We agreed and
she'd let us know what time to come down (we were up on the second
floor of the house). On the 31'st they stared with music early
and the evening rolled on. Finally at 9:30 she said we can
come down, that dinner would be there in an hour. Eating
dinner at 10:30 at night?... We had eaten dinner, and we were
getting tired. I thanked her but said we were going to go to
sleep. Music could be heard from downstairs and around the
neighborhood until 3:00 in the morning! So, didn't sleep great
View from the rooftop.
While down below someone was laying on the deck doing her nails...
Yeah, it was a rough couple days...
Well, the bottle caps recycling is a step in the right direction,
but still got a ways to go to get things cleaned up...
Took off from Hermosillo this morning for San Carlos, which is just
far enough from Guaymas (which is the more popular spot) to be not
near a big city...
Yeah, not much going on on the way there. More four lane highway,
though brand new and grooved concrete; 15 headed south.
Got their early and got checked in. Girl at the counter speaks poco
Ingles, and I speak poco Espanol, so checkin was smooth and easy.
Got our stuff in the room... Nice view from the sliding glass back
door, with a path to the pool... and all for less than a Motel 6 in
Took off and headed for the beaches, which are just across the
street from the hotel. Walked around a bit and got the flavor. Yup,
that's a lot of beach, and practically empty. There were quite a few
people making a ruckus in one of the grass roofed restaurants. Feliz
Tons of shells everywhere, about 70 degrees, with a steady West
breeze, waves lapping at the shore. Yup, it's going to be rough here
for a few days!
There's also a small Canyon just North of us, so will do a hike to
check that out, and see what else we can turn up around here.
Got up before dawn to try and catch the sunrise, but the clouds hid
it on us..
Took the main road out West to see where it would take us. Came to a
Mirador with a really nice view.
Hiked down the hill into the bay area, wandered around and climbed
some of the rocks along the edges...
Took the road all the way to the end. Ends in a dirt road leading to
a tiny poor town, where they're obviously trying to attract
tourists, not sure they're having much success..
Bought some groceries at a couple of the food stores in town, got
back to the hotel and ordered lunch from Arbolitos De Cajeme
Restaurant... Deep fried fish... they make cuts in the fish on a
crosshatch pattern, on both sides, then dunk it in oil, so that you
get chunks that are fried crispy on five sides and are flaky in the
center... with some rice, a stack of tortillas, a little salad, some
Went and took in some sun at the pool, then took another walk on the
beach... Yeah, rough day... I think I broke a sweat climbing that
Napula Canyon. A very busy three kilometer hike; about one hour in,
one hour out. You feel like you're in another world. And for those
who really want the full adventure, they also have zip lines there.
There are at least six or seven lines across the canyon, but to get
to them you have to climb ladders, suspended bridges, repel on
ropes, and climb up rock faces. Didn't do that. Just did the hike in
and out. During the rainier season there is a waterfall and swimming
holes. Couldn't really take enough pictures, and it's hard to relay
These palm trees are huge. About four to five feet across with the
dried palms. And just couldn't get the height in the photo.
You can see one of the zip lines here, but if you look really close,
you can see a couple people on the face of the cliff... Hard to see.
The place is huge.
And later at the hotel, sitting by the pool, after lunch and siesta,
I got the blessing from a local bee. Just one of those shots...
Slow paced day today. I slept relatively late, not even sure
what time. Doesn't really matter. I know the date
because I look, but still don't know the day unless I inadvertently
come across it somewhere. Honey came from running on the beach
at sunrise, I did my morning Yoga, and helped make breakfast, and we
discussed plans for the next few days as we ate.
Some time later we went back to the beach, just walked along the
shore (wait, did I take a nap after breakfast... I know I took one
after lunch...). A person on some peddle craft with a small
sail went by close to shore and pointed some distance behind
her. Dolphins. Yes, I saw some fins skimming the
surface. Guess it was morning feeding time. I took a
dive into the water... brrrr... just a little warmer than beer
temperature... and splashed around a bit hoping to attract them!
Honey pointed out that we've been on our Journey two weeks
now. Again, didn't know. It's been interesting traveling
with her. Of course we get along really well, it's easy.
Even when we disagree, we talk through things, and move on. I
knew going in, that the journey would be different than what either
one of us is used to. For me, we're moving way slower and
smaller distances per day. I wouldn't think twice about doing
a 200 mile day, stay two days and move on, but she doesn't really
like driving, so two to three hours is the limit, with rest stops
every hour. Also, staying three nights or more in one place
will happen more frequently, whereas I rarely stayed more than two
nights. Anyway, slower pace, enjoying each place more, seeing
more. Truly no rush. Because there is no point in
rushing. I'm glad we're finding this balance.
Anyway, after the beach, came back to the room, made lunch, took
showers, went and sat out by the pool in the sun, came and took a
nap, woke up, went back for a walk along the beach and to the
grocery store to get some more prepackaged, baked, corn
tortillas. There's no Tortillaria to get them fresh;
definitely a tourist town. Came back to the room, snacked a
bit, and that's it. Our last night here; back on the road
Been a relatively uneventful couple days. 1/5 stayed with a really
nice lady in Obregon. We practiced our Spanish, she practiced her
English. Just outstanding hospitality. The night we came she gave us
some fresh eggs for dinner, as in from a chicken at a friends house
across the street... also taught us how to make stove top bread,
though it ended up being more like a pie cause we went overboard
with the apples, but there wasn't a crumb left! Her dogs were too
funny, one looked like a sheered sheep and the other looked like a
person with blond hair that parted in the center of her head. When
we were leaving this morning she gave us some oranges for the road,
picked fresh off a tree the other day. She also knows a guy by the
name of Robert; rogueadventures.com who's been doing some world
travel. Tied to find him on the internet, no luck.
Little one was begging for more tortilla.
Found a tortillaria this morning, hot a and steaming tortillas, so I
was in heaven.
Got moving about noon today. Just four lane highway to Los Mochis.
Put the bike on the hitch again and burned up the miles.
Found this little guy scrounging on the side of the road when we
stopped to take a break. Tossed him some tortilla but he wasn't
interested. Too bad, you could see his ribs. Not much to him.
Made it to our destination after the GPS took us for a ride. "We're
here." "I don't see you. Sometimes the GPS takes people to the wrong
place." Yeah, figured that out after talking to a few people and
Was also a somber day. Saw a couple hairy accidents. One car in a
ditch all accordioned nose first, no glass, airbags deployed.
Another one with a couple guy who were on a motorcycle being tended
to while lying in the street. Not good. Had a close call myself,
blew right through a stop sign and it wasn't a four way. Couple
seconds later and it could have been all over... shit... focus..
focus... focus... yeah, the sign was hidden and yeah we're looking
for where we need to go... but damn... as it was, I got away with a
horn blowing... Whew.
Safely behind bars again, for a couple nights at least, maybe longer
if we like the place. Going to check out the beaches tomorrow, and
see what else is around here. Los Mochis is a big town, fairly well
organized... still has some really crappy streets though; typical
Mexico. But it does have a couple Walmarts, a McDonalds, and a
Burger King, so it's getting fully Americanized!
Spent the day today going to a local a-burr-eat-em (though there
wasn't really any food there so not sure what the eat part has to do
with it... ) also know as the Jardin Botanico and after that went
down to the El Maviri beach, which is about 30 minutes out of town.
The day was high 70's, sunny, and breezy... another rough one...
This guy was a good three feet long.
iguanas, turtles, ducks, geese, butterflies, tropical plants, all
sorts of cacti varieties...
Good way to raise awareness regarding bottle disposal.. make a trash
can out of bottles..
And here we have the lovely Vanah modeling the 7 foot wide tree...
And then, for a little break... mostly very fine sand, feels like
mud between your toes when you walk out into the water. It was like
that in both directions, hardly a soul...
You can walk out like 50 yards and still not be in the water to your
Did nada... laid in the sun, dug a hole, pretended to make a sand
castle, bought a bag of peanuts from an old Mexican lady and threw
shells at the sea gulls while we munched the good parts.
While the slight breeze blew sand over our towels and nearly made
Yup, another rough day... Back on the road again tomorrow.
I'm kind of liking this traveling with the honey thing. Slowing me
down a bit; smell more of the roses along the way...
Ok, where was I... Yeah, we stayed two nights in Mochis and moved on
to Culiacan. Just as we were leaving I noticed the smell of
gasoline. Found that my auxiliary fuel filter I installed was
leaking. Tightened it up but that just made it worse.
So, turned the petcock to off and pulled the filter off and gas was
pouring out of my tank... Ah.. that's not right... duh, turned the
petcock to prime instead of off. Anyway, took the filter out
of the line, reconnected the line and we were off... deal with it
later... Took route 15 down instead of 15D (the four laner), so got
to see a little scenery, some farmland, some curves. Nice break.
There really aren't many options along the west coast as far as
Had some trouble finding our Airbb for the night, but worked through
it (yeah, first world problems in the third world). Turned out to be
a four apartment building, and by the end of the night the whole
family was there getting stuff done. We were officially the first
guests in this place. They built it just to rent out. Everything new
and a large enclosed parking area. Hostess spoke pretty good English
and had both of her kids with her, who spoke good English. Later the
father came to fix the garage/yard door while the kids fixed our
wi-fi... hospitality! ... or debugging... hostess was all excited
they had electricity... good plan...
After we got our stuff unloaded, we walked a few blocks to get some
groceries. There are some big hills in this town... took a picture
of one of the roads peak to peak... it was steep walking, like
steeper than some of the Colorado mountains.
By the time we got back it was almost sunset so went up to the
rooftop and got a view.
Today I spent the whole morning doing maintenance on the bike. That
fancy fuel filter I had was leaking the other day, so had to take it
off. Checked it today and the rubber seal got hard (cheap ass
rubber), checked the valves (they were right on), and turns out
after about 16,000 miles my chain was worn out, so had to replace it
and the sprockets; had spares with me. The chain tool I had wasn't
the greatest and I don't like the swage job it did on the master
link, but I'll see how it goes, if I notice anything going weird
I'll just go to a dealer and have them put a new master in it.
Speaking of dealers, there was a Suzuki dealer in town so got a
couple of iridium spark plugs, so won't have to change those again
for a while. Took it for a test drive and the chain didn't fall
off! Maybe I should raise my standards...
Well, no beaches around here and the one an hour away you can't swim
in cause it's got bugs like e-coli, stuff that causes pink eye,
swimmers ear, and other assorted niceties... So, found another
arboretum after lunch and walked around.
These trees are just freaky. They let out roots from branches, and
when they hit ground, they root and become a new trunk. They will
wrap them selves around themselves or even other trees.
Some pretty cool banzai trees too...
And that's a wrap... back on the road tomorrow.
The road to Mazatlan... the most important thing... the newly
installed chain didn't fall off! Also the bike had a 14 tooth front
sprocket, the one I installed is a stock 15 tooth. Now it's a little
easier going faster... Took route 15 again, the road less traveled.
Not bad, just enough curves going through some high hills / low
mountains, and some small towns, to keep it interesting, and use up
some of my side rubber. Honey bought some corn on the cob from a
roadside seller, so took a corn break a little while after.
Got to Mazatlan and the traffic was just clog city. But it was
familiar from this summer; the first West Coast city I visited.
Made it to our digs. Basically six days in a small condo with full
kitchen, a block from the beach, for less than one nights hotel room
in the US. Gots to love it! And they use bars and spikes in their
Got our stuff unloaded, had a quick dinner, and took a walk down to
the beach and down the strip. Talk about a lot of stores selling a
lot of crap... Alart!: Major Tourist Trap... Hey, you want to be a
guest for our 90 minute presentation, then we'll give you a free
cruise? Yeah... we'll let you know. Then there was the "Beer
Boutique" store... didn't even ask. Everything from hand painted
sinks to blow up floatties for the kiddies. Did see a place where
you can get breakfast to $2.50 US. Cars, noise, lights, tight
sidewalks with merchandise intruding on your space.
The beach side of the strip is all "All Inclusives" far as the eye
can see. There was a stiff breeze on the beach, though nice and
balmy. The weather will be in the 80's for the next few days.
Saw a t-shirt that said: Relax, you're on the fun side of the Wall.
and another one about a Trump sandwich, White Bread, a lot of
bologna, with Russian dressing, and a small pickle...
Even a "Trump 2020" license plate... good to see they have a sense
of humor about it.
Today, I think we set a new record... three beaches in one day. Went
to Playa Cerritos, but the tide was so high there was no beach. So
went further north and found a massive empty expanse. That will
Pelicans flying in formation...
When it looked like the tide was low enough, headed back to
Cerritos. Walked the rocks and enjoyed the captive pools which had
some small fish and crab roaming around.
Then back to the main strip, and Playa Brujas.
Yeah, it looks like a postcard, but it's just too commercial for
me... certainly makes the spread between rich and poor more readily
apparent. I would say there's no less All Inclusives here than there
are in Cancun, though maybe they're a little smaller here. But the
water here is murky because the sand is brown and very fine, so
makes it look muddy when it's not.
Rooftop view back at the domicile...
Went over to the Fero Lighthouse (visited there this summer) to do
the hike again.
The place has gone to the cats... Someone actually cares, they put
out some water. Off to the right there was a couple dogs
hanging around too.
This guy was just lounging around on the steps up to the lighthouse,
and there were more cats up there too. I went over to pet him,
he barely lifted his head and went back to snoozing.
It's about a 30-40 minute hike with about 300+ steps. Climb is about
500 vertical feet total.
Just below the lighthouse is a peer/barrier to protect the port.
From 500 ft up it looked like a gravel road. Part of it is, but most
of it is these huge boulders and concrete shapes. So we went
and at the end there's nothing but a small tower, with razor wire
After getting back we went to the beach and rented a small catamaran
for an hour (honey's a skipper) and sailed along shore.
Lazy days in Mazatlan. Walked the beach some more, swam, made
Nopales cactus for the first time. Taste kind of like green beans,
and the liquid behaves kind of like okra; strings liquid when you
pick it up. Played bocci ball on the beach with a couple that
resides in the building we were staying in. Stopped up for some
chips, nuts, and wine after dinner. Interesting couple, been all
over the world in their 70+ years. Currently reside in Canada during
warm season and Mazatlan in the winter.
Today we said our goodbyes and took the road to Acaponeta for the
night, a small town half way between Mazatlan and Tepic, on 15.
Stopped along the way to buy some roadside shrimp tamales from a
lady and her daughter. Two big shrimp in each one, shell, legs,
eyes, antlers and all (is that what shrink have, antlers?). Put a
little lime on it, spit out the unwanted bits and delicious. But
there is something about biting into it and seeing two eyes staring
back at you...
Got to the hotel and it was like stepping back a century. Sure, you
can pull the motorcycle right through the lobby to the courtyard...
works for me.
Big blue fabric closes off the opening in the courtyard, giving
everything a blue color while the sun is shining.
The room is small, has a bathroom where the toilet, sink, and shower
share the same space, no curtain just a drain on the floor, and
literally has 15-18 foot ceilings...
Photo on the wall...
The church next door, from the balcony.
Went for a walk through parts of town...
Scored big with some fresh vegetables and apples without stickers on
The central square from the balcony of the hotel...
View from the room...
Honey by the water fountain...
There's all sorts of sounds coming through the window. People
mulling around the square, car and motorcycle exhaust fading, street
vendors selling their wares, kids yelling and playing... It's alive!
There's even a pretty nice restaurant next door. These are the kind
of towns a like. Big enough to have a decent economic base, but
small enough to be personal. But, moving on tomorrow.
Took 15 South again toward Tepic. Avoided the tollway again (15D)
until the last toll. Again, there's a bunch of people at the toll
booth, none of them in the actual booths, and they have a rope
strung across the lane to prevent you from passing. So, what are you
going to do? Pay the man. Honey was in front with the car and paid,
but they waved me by without paying. As I was sitting waiting, I was
trying to figure if I should challenge them. But just past the tool
booth I saw what looked like a police truck with lights flashing, so
guess they were legit. I'm wondering if the state allows groups to
collect the normal tolls to support causes?
Other than that, relatively uneventful until we got into town. The
address was across town so had to go through downtown traffic
getting there. Then, dirt, and hills, and ditches. I can't believe
there are actually streets like that in places. At one point I look
at where I'm going and it goes up a steep hill with ruts and rocks,
and there's a road going to the left, but narrow, and a chicken in
my way... well, it's going to move cause once I get some momentum
going up this thing, I'm not stopping. I make it up, take the turn
and stop. I look back and see the hood on honey's car and then I see
her going backward... I'm thinking she's not going to make it. But
she gives it another run and comes around. The road ahead is worse
than what we just came up, so I tell her to wait and let me scout it
out. I go a few blocks and it's a dead end and yeah, there's no way
she can make it with the Subaru, not enough ground clearance, the
ruts are too deep and irregular. So, I come back, point back down
hill at the next block, but she doesn't think she can manage it. So,
I go down on the bike, and walk back up to take the Subaru down, and
then send a message to our host, like wafakawi? I give him an
address and number and hes says we're in the wrong place. I'm like
WTF, it's the location that's in AirBB. Turns out he's 30 minutes
across town in the direction that we just came from. Great. Honey
and I discuss it, and she doesn't feel comfortable going down, so I
just tell her I'm going to take a path, just make sure two of your
wheels are on it as you follow me. She does and we get out of the
mess. Mini adventure and first world problems in a third world
We're in for the night, in a house where the entire first level has
no windows and the garage is right next to the living room. I doubt
the FBI could find us. Got here late because of the shenanigans so
no town walk. Maybe tomorrow, but only staying one night here, so
At breakfast today, our host, and nine times grandmother! gave us a
demonstration of making tortillas from scratch using this
contraption; basically a press, with two pieces of plastic. So, you
mix Masa (cooked and blended corn) with water, make balls, stick a
ball between plastic, bring the press on it... boom.. tortilla. She
cooked them up for us and they were delicious, also gave us some
home made picante, not too spicy.... mmm.. mmmm...
After breakfast we mulled it over and decided we should just take
off so the days journey wouldn't be rushed. Good move, because
Nyarit is on a different time zone so we lost an hour. The route
from Tepic to the Puerto Vallarta is a nice two laner for the most
part, but it was kind of crowded, with some slow moving trucks, so
not idea, but nice blend of curves, lush greenery, and small towns.
Stopped for and afternoon break and snack.
We got into town and as we got closer to our stay for the night
we're on a dirt road again, thinking it was going to be a repeat of
yesterday, but never got that bad, and at the end is a series of
nicely paved roads and gated communities. We met our host and the
place did not disappoint. Turns our we're their first guests. I like
this, people are opening up their homes just in time for us to stay
Nice bedroom, private bath, full use of the kitchen, and... a
community pool across the street (which we promptly enjoyed),
complete with palms and coconuts.
We're here for two nights, so we'll probably check out the nearby
beaches tomorrow. Far enough north of Puerto Vallarta to avoid the
city mess and congestion. Our next day will be going Southeast to
end up in the midst of a dozen or so Volcanos, found a small town
there and I'm guessing the volcanoes are not active... but let's not
get ahead of ourselves... enjoying one day at a time. At least doing
this story keeps me in touch with what date it is, though which day
it is gets lost occasionally.
Another day, some more pool time, some more beach time, some more
smelling the flowers along the way...
Da boys at the homestead...
Da boat on da beach... and the fancy beachfront properties...
Da beach... Playa Bucerias
Da chillin on da beach...
Back on the road again tomorrow morning, headed for those volcanoes.
Host tells me the road is all up and down and back and forth...
Yesterday was one month since we took off from Boulder... Somewhere
over 2000 miles.
Started out the day by making our own tortillas for breakfast.
Bought some Masa (dry corn kernels cooked with ash then drained,
washed and mashed) at a local store. Nothing like fresh tortillas...
Took route 70 Southwest. Not bad, after a bit there's some nice
scenery going up into the mountains, and in some places the road is
s-weet, in good condition or repaved, with some nice sweepers. Other
places, not so much; rough and potholed. Chain still hasn't fallen
Ended up just outside of Mescota at the Villa Cantabaria, down a
gravel road off of 70, an old villa converted to a hotel some 15
years ago, according to the staff. There's hammocks, and sitting
areas, bungalows, huge rooms, a pool, nice view of the mountains,
open air lobby, open air kitchen, temps in the 70's... and we're the
only guests. Apparently September is the busy season, very popular
with the motorcycle community... come for the road, stay for it all.
We got the room at the far right end of the place, so yeah, just
pull the vehicles around.
Huge old tree in the front yard of the place, like one of those we
saw in the arboretum a few days back.
We can just make out the town in the distance. Muy tranquilo aqui!
Open air kitchen, with industrial stove for cooking massive amounts
of food. They will make you breakfast from a short list of options.
The kitchen assistant helping us with dinner... nicest mild mannered
There was some rain just after we settled in, so got the official
welcome rainbow. A little after this photo a herd of cows went
across this grass... the leader out front and the rest of the herd
following in line... that explains the hoof prints over in the grass
by where we parked. Couple horses mulling around too.
Someone went for a swim, but I was content with mid thigh, cause it
was chilly and that water was beer temperature! Brrrr... I'm sure it
would be great in July-Sep.
After dinner sat in the open air lobby, listened to music, danced a
bit (well, honey danced and I faked it). And there was a bit of Jose
in a bottle behind the bar, so yeah, why not?
Short day, only about 70 miles for the day, about two hours with the
slow traffic, the speed bumps, and the curves.
Staying here a few nights, seeing what we can see around here.
Apparently the kitchen helper is a nap helper too...
and that's kind of how it's been. Just did absolutely nothing
yesterday; some sun time, some siesta time, making meals, enjoying
the birds chirping in the yard. Tranquil definitely describes this
place. I think we've reached a new level of relaxation. And with
views like this, how can you not?
This morning after breakfast, thought we'd venture out try to hit
one of the volcanos (showed a hiking trail around it on the map) and
a Municipal Park (Petrificado el Malpais). No idea what to expect.
First attempt was a fail, road was crap. Talked to a local, he
suggested not going further, rather turn around and go through town.
Well, the park was closer so went there instead, also rough road,
nice scenery (river steaming in the cool morning air in the
but a closed gate that we opened, and we end up in some guys front
yard, next to the stable with cows and horses. Fail again. So, went
back through town to go to the volcano. The town roads are all rock,
some worse than others, so slow going, but guess it wasn't slow
enough for some so they actually had rock speed bumps across the
rock road... nice...
Well, got to where the trail around the volcano starts, and we're
greeted by a big gate with a sign that basically says NO!... Ok,
then... Thought about going south to a lake area, but figured we'd
save that for tomorrow. Went back, made lunch, reserved the place
for one more night, got some more sun and more chillin...
In the later afternoon we chucked a frizbee around and the horses
from the farm started doing some edge trimming around the trees and
stone walkway. There's also a whole herd of cows that comes walking
across the front lawn every day like clockwork; out in the morning,
back in the evening.
Took a walk into town, less than a mile away, stopped at a store and
bought some locally grown avocados. Like 21 pesos ($1.05?) for five.
Brought them back, chilled for a bit, made dinner... rough
day. Couple dogs followed us home from town... I don't know,
guess they just liked us. Speaking of dogs, as we were driving
around earlier, found that quite a few of the dogs in town have a
striking resemblance to our kitchen helper... someone gets around.
Speaking of town, there's suppose to be about 100k people living
there. Could have fooled me; relatively empty streets. Lot of
agriculture in this valley, nestled between a couple dozen
volcanoes, the youngest one of which could be as young as 1000
We'll see if that lake has a locked gate around it, ma(nj)ana...
Well, last day in Mascota (Pueblo Magico)...
Sunrise at the homestead...
The herd going out to pasture...
My new "hugs" emoticon... On the road going to Presa Corrinchis...
(Corrinchis dam). The usual mix of rock roads, gravel roads.. The
gravel feels like a superhighway after bouncing around on those rock
La Molcajete restaurant... mess of a road getting there and a mess
there... guess they're doing some renovation off season.
The restaurant has a view of the lake and surrounding hills. Talked
to the caretaker about a road (shows as a hiking trail on Maps.me).
He confirmed it goes around the lake, and we missed the turnoff
So, after a plate of guack and chips, which was very good by the
way... $3.25... we headed back up the road to find it.
But it was another gate... sigh... so much for hiking trails around
On the way back to the homestead stopped in town center.
So, the Mexicans have this tradition where the 15 year old girls
have a coming out of sorts... so they get all dressed up and have
their picture taken, etc.. We've seen a lot of that as we're
traveling... the hearts are standard town decor..
Back on the bouncing rocks to the homestead... to feed the calves!..
apparently they don't like apples...
And took a walk around the homestead... the herd... looked like they
were ready to come back home... Those flat topped cones were the
That's a wrap for Mescota... pubeblo magico indeed...
But like all paradises it's not quite perfect. The place we're
staying in has this musty smell, which was just rustic, for a couple
days, now it's annoying... they need to clean some mold off the
shower curtains. And the whole place is kind of damp, and I have a
series of bites on me (similar to this summer) which seems to say
sand flies or bed bugs or something...but can't find any evidence of
them... other than the very itchy bites, but they look very familiar
and feel the same... So far way less then I had in the summer, I'm
sleeping with sweat pants tucked in my socks, long sleeves tucked in
my sweat pants, and a hat... and honey is somehow immune..
Time to gooooo..., and hopefully not bring them with...
Ok, and off we went. Soon as we got out of Mascota the road takes
you up into the mountains where you can see the whole Mascota area.
The entire route we took (starting with 70/90) was a mixed bag).
Some really nice sections of new curvy pavement and some teeth
jarring, potholed, badly patched stuff.
Stopped at a small town along the way to buy some groceries and have
a lunch snack before moving on.
And carried on...
Got confusing as we got about 2/3 rd's of the way along. The GPS was
doing some crazy things; one telling us the route was impossible,
another one routing us up north and than back down (ah.. no..). So,
played it by ear and made adjustments as we went along. About half
an hour out of Jocotepec, or destination, traffic came to a
standstill and was just c-r-a-w-l-i-n-g... Some work was getting
done at a major intersection and the lanes were filtering down and
having to cross another highway, so everyone had to wait their turn
to go... Oy. What should have been about a four hour trip was 6.5 by
the time we got to my Aunt and Uncles house. They insisted we stay
with them while in the area and it's awesome to see them.
Today they took us around the town a bit. Hilltop view of Lake
Chapala, then down by the lake... Joco(tepec), as they call it, is
like retirement mecca apparently. The weather is relatively mild all
year round, at about 2500 ft above sea level. A bunch of ex-pats
(25k+), from all over the world, choose to make their homes here.
And it's not cheap. Houses are about what they cost in the US or
more, in the gated communities.
A lot of fruit is grown in this area and a lot of the silver things
in the distance are covered fields,like greenhouses... Which by the
way are intended for export to the US, not for local consumption, so
the food will sometimes get imported back from the US.
Down by the lake are all sorts of sea birds...
The greenery in the forefront is not grass, or even ground, it's
some kind of water plants that grow thick and cover the surface near
Introducing the new hit band ... Jocote... ok, not really... honey,
me, and my Aunt and Uncle.
After walking around the park and shore we went to dinner in a near
town. Yves is the name of the place and there's a story about some
old man feeding a mule... so they had some artwork and well...
a couple of hairy mules!
The place was actually really good. Prices maybe a bit lower than
the US, but good food and something for everyone. And besides the
mules, it has a large pool with fountain, inside or outside seating,
and American music playing on the speakers. It is what the ex-pats
expect! And the waitresses speak Spanish, but answer to English...
How long we going to stay? Not sure. I've got some papers I need
notarized by the US consulate (at $50 a signature... sheeeesh...),
which is in Guadalajara, about 45 minutes away, but couldn't get an
appointment for two weeks. So, unless they agree to see me sooner,
we may get to know this area pretty good.
Some action from the last couple days...
Can't put my finger on it, but there's something fishy about this
picture... The lakefront at Jocotepec.
and clearly the pelicans think there's something fishy here too...
Lakefront at Chapala...
Some hand made crafts... Made by five native Mexicans all dressed in
their native colors...
The walk on the right of this photo goes on for a mile, we never did
get to the end of it... Pretty cool. There's a skate park there,
vendors, people mulling around. Don't go on the weekend, you'll have
to park three blocks away; popular place.
Statue of Jesus the fisherman...
At one time this bridge wasn't there, so you had to take a boat out
to the Jesus statue...
Now here's some entertainment (see video below if it loads)... these
guys climb this pole, then they wrap those ropes around the pole by
spinning around on the thing they're sitting on... then they hang
upside down by one leg while they spin and lower to the ground...
while one of them plays the flute... then they come around asking
for donations... ok, that was worth a few pesos...
and here we have the latest in Mexican gringo fashion... I wouldn't
mess with the short guy... he looks tough...
This is a huge restaurant on the Chapala shore... we went and ate a
couple doors to the left...
Red snapper bathing in the sunset... yum...
Sunset on the shore...
The moon, Venus (I assume), and the shore...
Not a bad couple days...
So, been doing important things, like playing with noodles and
So, if you shoot one of the pool water supply jets through a noodle,
you can float the ball ... one of our important discoveries...
Then a discussion ensued as to why honey can float and I start
sinking feet first... has to do with muscle mass, body fat
distribution, and such...
Then yesterday we decided to actually go do something. Kind of a
overcast rainy day but went over to Mazamitla, which is about 1.5
hours Southeast into the mountains and about 8000ft. Temps in the
low 50's. Most of the road getting there is actually pretty nice.
Curves and mountain scenery.
Town center is definitely kind of touristy, and there were signs
about Pueblo Magico... must be some kind of designation they assign
to particularly charming towns... Anyway, after we had lunch figured
we'd go check out a nearby waterfall, Cascada El Salto, about 15
minutes further South. Ended up at a gate where you could proceed by
foot (no thanks) or by riding horses (in the rain, no thanks). We
see cars coming out and ask why they can drive in and out, and he
says they live there, so some kind of gated community in the forest.
Confusing conversation ensues and he wants 500 pesos... we're like
wtf.. later! But more conversation and we settle on $20 US and they
give us a visitor pass and let us through... The road winds through
the wooded hills, with some pretty big houses scattered around.
Someone has money... we speculated this is where the cartel lives...
secluded in the mountains only one road in and out... But anyway,
after bouncing around the rock roads, getting lost once, making a 12
point turn, cause the road was really narrow, we got to the end and
a small walking path...
then you end up at what is the top of the falls, so you have to go
down this rocky staircase...
And you get to the bottom and get your reward...
The fall is over 200 ft tall. And actually there's suppose to be
another one very near by, but we weren't that adventurous.
On the way back we stopped to just one side of the gate as you're
about to leave town. A whole row of metal mariachi players. A couple
of them holding empty tequila bottles. Seems fitting...
On the way back we had three police trucks pass us and they were in
a hurry... little further down they were at an intersection looking
all riled up in their full bulletproof outfits... My uncle says
maybe someone got shot. Yeah, well, maybe... It's a beautiful area,
but I'm sure there's trouble if you go looking for it.
Lazy day... woke up at like 8-something, made breakfast by 10, did
nothing until about 2:00. Then my aunt and uncle took us over to
Cajititlan, which is on a lake that goes by the same name, just
North over the mountains from Chapala. On the way there we stopped
at what is supposed to be the best burrito place in the area. It
didn't disappoint, but it definitely leans toward the meat menu. The
place was huge, a couple lines, one for eating inside and outside.
The burritos are on the small side, so you have to have two or
three. I opted for the Chillie Rellenos (sp?). If you're in the
area, on route 23 in Santa Rosa, it's a definite stop.
Los Burritos da Nayahua or now Los Milagros de Daliila; view from
inside the dining room...
El gato en el Burro alado de caballo... (I think I got that right)
in the restaurant courtyard.
The main food line... with interesting fake parrot water falling
pool kind of thing... They're fast! Gave me a number for my dish,
and by the time got to a table to sit down, the girl was right
behind me with the food.
After getting pleasantly stuffed we continued to the lake... There
was some kind of fiesta going on, so streets had all sorts of
vendors, and the shore area was just packed with people. They had
three bands within 50 feet of each other all playing at the same
There were a few places selling these Gorditas de Nata (not sure
what the Nutella is in the picture for, maybe should be a topping?),
which are kind of fat, sweet, corn flour pancakes. Bought a stack of
four, hot off the grill, for $1.30. Yum...
Also bought two hats, one wide brim ladies straw hat, for honey, for
$1.50... and my uncle bought a nice brim hat for like $7.00... How
do they even make stuff that cheap?
Local architecture... there's always a church in the square...
And that's about it. Still no word from the consulate regarding
moving up my appointment to have some papers notarized, so looks
like we'll be here through the 6th, so will start thinking about
where we're headed next.
Dinner at some awesome neighbors and some thoughts about the
Been just hanging around, temps are barely hitting mid sixties and
it's been cloudy and rainy. My aunt says it is very unusual for this
area. Global weirding again! Got invited for dinner by some
neighbors of my aunt and uncle, Frank and Rose, and not just any
dinner but make your own pizza! And normally they would do that in
their outdoor brick oven, but cold and rainy, we did it in the
regular oven. They are originally from England, Rose was in the air
force and retired at 40! And Frank was a firefighter for many years
and traveled around the world, they both have. Awesome people, do a
lot for the community. Enjoyed talking to them. They have an amazing
place too, which they bought for a song and dance and renovated
So, they have a full sliding door in their living room that opens up
to the patio, and the world becomes their living room! Not a bad was
to live. Outdoor grill and brick oven to the left...
So one of the things we talked about was the cartel, and thieves,
etc.. The cartel has businesses, some normal stuff like restaurants
and stores, and then other stuff, and they don't like trouble for
themselves, or the community. They don't like to attract attention.
They don't like tourists getting robbed cause it's bad for business.
So, petty thieves in Mexico not only have the police to deal with
(sometimes people just disappear, or get the crap beat out of them,
when they get caught; who's got time for courts) but also the cartel
(like people getting dragged away and having their hands cut off to
set an example). But, there is still crime, like in this
neighborhood, a housekeeper got threatened into helping would be
robbers. The house was completely cleared out... came with a
truck... loaded up and took off... but I'm guessing that's not going
to happen again. But there are other deterrents... like one neighbor
with the guns who asks the police, can a shoot a guy that comes on
my property? I can't tell you yes or no, but don't shoot anyone in
the back... good enough! He did shoot a guy. What the exact
relationship is between the police and the cartel, I don't know, but
it's all very interesting. I'm guessing if they each keep to
themselves it's live and let live.
And how does that effect me as an obvious tourist? Well, If I don't
go looking for trouble, I'm hoping trouble stays away from me. Some
common sense, and respect brings respect.
Well, yesterday got my stuff taken care of at the US Consulate in
Guadalajara. The trip in wasn't too bad, about an hour and twenty
minutes. Mid day, so that's as good as it gets in terms of traffic.
It's a decent ride from Jocotepec (Hoko). On the way out it was
multi-lane bumper to bumper. I was forced to exercise my options and
cut through and around traffic... when in Rome, make like the
Romans. I will say that some of the guys that split lanes are loco.
Not that I'm a lane splitting expert, but I generally try to go just
a little faster than traffic. Some of those guys were zooming. Saw
one guy almost get wiped out; he's between lanes, coming to a spot
where there's no car in the right lane, and just as he's there, the
guy in the left lane decides to cut over. They saw each other at the
last split second and all ends well. And the buses... They don't
care. There's only two lanes and a messed up shoulder and they are
driving on the shoulder; two wheels on the road, two not. Remind me
not to take a bus anywhere... Eventually got to the cause of the
backup, some truck stalled out in the left lane, and smooth sailing
back to my Aunts.
There's a nice overlook as you get into Jocotepec and I wanted to
stop there and get a parting shot of the town sign, but it was
totally clogged with buses; must have been 10 of them, even out in
the street, so stopped a little bit down the road. Still a nice
Today we went to the Chili cook off in Ajijic (Ahihic) water park
just down the road. The main thing is they have a Chili, Salsa, and
Margarita competition. You get in a big line, and all the vendors
are lined up, giving you a taste of their items, and you enter your
choice on a ballot.
You can check your Espanol in at the door, cause aside from some of
the providers, it was as white and English speaking as it gets. One
guy comes up to a guy wearing a big Canada shirt and says, you're
from Canada? Yes, I am, where you from? US. Sorry to hear that. Hah!
I asked who won the Chili cook off last year. My uncle says a
Canadian... hmmm... Really, Mexicans let Canadians beat them in a
Chili cook off? What's the world coming to! But the decks are
stacked. The neighbor Frank says that there's a lot more natives
starting tomorrow, Saturday.
They also had Mexican bands playing 60's to 80's rock. Definitely
catering to the audience! Nice thing is that part of the proceeds go
for charity, so even though you have to pay to get in, pay to enter
the contest, pay to eat, at least the music is included and it's for
a good cause.
Actually a pretty nice water park, but not open yet.
No Chili contest today, that starts tomorrow. There's also vendor
booths everywhere selling all sorts of nice quality stuff.
So that's a wrap for Jocotepec and the Chapala area. Clearly the
word is out that this is a nice place to retire. As my uncle said,
he could have gone to California but here the weather is about the
same, mild all year round, and there's plenty of Mexicans just like
California, but it's a lot less expensive! Yeah, his taxes on the
house are just over $100/year... that's not a typo... Not a bad
Going to head Southwest, to the coast, for a little change of
scenery, for a few days, then will probably circle back Northeast,
circle around Mexico city, and head for the Guatemala border. Exact
timing and locations TBD.
Was just thinking. The other day when I got back from Guadalajara, I
was just buzzing, hyped, nervous, adrenalized, not sure what the
right word for it is. Being somewhere you've not been before, having
to find locations, and then trying to escape the madhouse traffic,
it's like all that bad energy rubs off on you. Maybe that's why
people back in the states shoot each other in traffic. It only
dawned on me after I got back and settled down, and noticed what a
different state my body and mind were in. I guess in one sense it's
a necessity, to have that heightened awareness when you're in the
middle of it, and in a way it seems energizing, but I'm not sure
it's good to be like that too often. That's probably the reason I
don't like big cities and traffic.
Left Jocotepec behind and made our way to Cuyutlan.
The two mountains in the background are Volcan de Colima and Nevado
de Colima (12k and 14k feet). Visible for most of the ride down.
Four hours later and made it to this nice casita.
Literally across the street from an endless beach, temps were in the
80's, so we wasted no time heading for the surf to cool off!
Water temp was perfect, but there was some serious waves and they
were breaking hard. Normally I love to go wave bashing but one came
down on me and whipped me around like a rag doll. Never felt that
much power. Honey didn't fare much better, so we both opted to stay
this side of the break line.
After a while went back in to rustle up some dinner, then came out
to watched the sunset and the moonrise...
The town is not very big, so took a walk. It's obviously a tourist
town, it's got some hotels, restaurants, vendors still out with
their trinkets after sunset, a few street vendors selling food, but
there wasn't a lot going on. Off season?... That works. Going to
spend a couple nights here before moving on.
Not sure what to make of Cuyutlan. There's a lot of houses and
property for sale. Is it the next hot thing, or was it hot at one
time and now people are just selling to get out. There are some very
new, and/or big houses scattered around. And some old and run down
Went to the Tortugario de Cuyutlan, 15 minutes south of town, where
they study and do conservation work on turtles. Their main thing is
to collect eggs that female turtles lay on the beaches, and take
them, and protect them, until they hatch, and then release them into
the Ocean. The eggs are protected in Mexico, but people still dig
them up to eat them. The Tortugario releases around 100k turtles
into the wild each year. Turtles don't become fertile for 30 years,
and some live 150 years or more. They have various holding tanks
where they have a few turtles they study.
Spent some more time on the beach and splashing around this side of
the break line again. Watching the waves is mesmerizing. Because of
the way the shore rises relatively steeply, some waves actually form
as the water goes back out to sea, they clash with the incoming
waves, exploding as they do. Depending on the angle they come at
each other they can explode all at once or the explosion zips
across. The waves are non stop, all day, all night. Sounds like
thunder in the distance. Took a walk just before sunset and there
are small crabs running all around the beach. I can think of worst
places to be.
This is one of the pools, about 10 of them, where they keep turtles.
Keep the males and females separate.
Moving on tomorrow.
Headed along the coast to Maruata. The road there is mixed,
but mostly two lane and just the right curvy. Some areas are
in sad need of some resurfacing, but no major potholes or
such. Lot of Banana plantations along the way. They put
plastic bags around all the banana bunches to protect them against
bugs. I guess that's better than spraying them with all sorts
of insecticides, or maybe they do that too. Seems like a lot
Within about half an hour out of Maruata are these beautiful views:
Just a continuation of the beach we were at for the last two days...
This was the highest point on the road it seems, lots of curves
going up to it and more going down.
We got into town, trying to get to a hotel, Centro Ecoturistico
AYULT, or Maruata. Honey got out and checked the water
depth. Well, she's a beach bunny, so that's right up her
alley. No problem only about a foot deep.
After that ended up at a much worse spot, honey stayed back, I got
off and asked a couple of the locals, yeah, there's camping ahead,
but there's a hotel back in town. He showed me on the map, I
turn around and honey is gone. Ok... well, hotel first, only a
few block away, so back through the water. Nope, not
there. She must have gone further. Ok, back through the
water, only other street, and it leads to the hotel we were
originally looking for. Turns out she used Google maps... I
was using maps.me... I was a little annoyed that she just took off,
assuming my GPS was pointing in the same direction... don't
assume... let's not do that again.
Before we even unload the car or check in, she slips off her bra and
underwear, slips on her bikini (you've seen that right? it's like a
magic trick, if you don't look carefully you miss it) and wants to
head for the beach... ah.. ok then... how about we check in first...
took a couple things with me up stairs... lots of stairs just to the
lobby... asked about the rooms... $500 pesos for two days... sold...
no? honey would rather camp under the tiki huts on the beach... Ah,
how about not and say we did. I brought the tent for
emergencies, but why rough it if we don't have to. Back and
fourth a bit and she agreed it's the better idea; big room,
electricity to cook with, nice bathroom... ya...
Pretty soon we were both at the beach... Nice!
The view from the deck of the room wasn't bad either...
And here's the view from the beach up to our room... Oi! Lugging all
our stuff up about three flights of stairs wasn't much fun.
Unfortunately this beach was even rougher than the last one.
Big waves, with embedded rocks, so we stayed close to the shore and
jumped in when it calmed and ran out when a big one was
coming. The water was warmer but cool enough to feel good in
the high 80's temps.
These guys were running all around, about the size of my pointer
finger. I was chasing this guy, and then he got tired of
running and just played dead.
Went in and made dinner and then came out later to watch the
Just as we were leaving, a local guy comes out with a five gallon
bucket and says something about turtles. He was going to
release baby turtles into the ocean, so we stuck around to watch and
help the slow ones. Apparently it's safer to release them at
night. Fewer predators. Cool!
While there, we wandered around the beach. It's not just one
beach, but broken up by rock outcroppings, and you have to go
through the water or cut through town to get there. The whole
town is quite a place. One guy described the beach as being
one of the few natural beaches remaining. In one spot there
are all sorts of birds, mostly pelicans diving for fish.
There's a hospital there, and some kind of military installation,
but it's just out there, on a road that's not much traveled from
what we saw. I guess that's what gives the town it's
infrastructure, what there is of it.
Right at the base of our hotel was a pen with pigs in it. Then
a little further into the trees, some chickens, a turkey, some
roosters. You don't see that next to your average hotel.
And the Wi-fi only worked in the lobby of the Maruata Eco
hotel, at least in the area we were in. So, you can definitely
So, the hotel below is not where Maruata hotel is, it's where the
arrow is. The green star is another hotel in town (and this is
pretty much most of the town). The dots along the beach on the
right are where we walked and took the photos of all the
pelicans. Also, that's where the waves were least disruptive
to swimming. The shore is very steep, so the waves break very
late, so if you swim out just after a wave hits, you can be beyond
the break line, just floating around. Nice place. The
dots going out into the Ocean are some rock cliffs we climbed.
Our room basically had a bed in it, with a nice deck, shared with
the neighbor, and the bathroom was just outside the door. Ours
was also open to the outside at roof level, so the bed had a
mosquito net over it. The guy next to us had a bathroom in his
place and looked like he was sealed up pretty good. We plugged
in our portable electric burner and cooked our meals there, though
the kitchen/staff in the lobby was very accommodating, and they sell
beer, water, and do have a reasonable menu. They even offered
to let us cook in the kitchen.
The waves at night sounded like thunder. Maybe because all was
quiet and the sound carried, but not being used to it, they did
their job in messing with my sleep.
The views from the cliffs we climbed.
The palm covered areas are private land, and they are open to
camping for a fee. Some belong to restaurants. We didn't ask.
The hotel was 1000 pesos for two nights, I'll take the hotel.
Dedo de dios (gods finger, wonder which finger...)
The stairs going down from the open air hotel lobby/restaurant area.
And time came to leave paradise behind and head for Lazaro
Cardenas. Took the main road south, it's a noodle! Very
Stopped about two hours into it, for honey to take a swim break, and
have a snack before continuing. The waitress of this place
came and left some menus, but she never came back, so we just fended
for ourselves from snacks we had. And it's not like we didn't wait a
while. Honey got her refreshing swim and on we went.
There was no reception worth anything, anywhere along the route, so
couldn't confirm reservations or get directions, once we were almost
in town the I had service.
To make a really long story short, our host had issue, the
directions on file were not correct, and she couldn't figure out how
to tell us where they were or send us a screenshot of a map.
Two hours later, escorted via cab, we finally made it... and it
wasn't worth it. Not to mention that the people next door to our
room were having sex and screaming like there's no tomorrow. Very
thin walls.. We made other reservations and moved on.
Frustrating, but once we got to our stay for the night, all we could
do was laugh at the thought of staying there.
Today, went to a local beach, nothing to write about. Lot of
oil tankers parked offshore. Did some shopping and we'll
figure out where to next.
Tossing around the idea of heading Northeast to circle around Mexico
city, but getting close to a city that big... we thought better of
it, so continued South along the coast. Stopped for the night
in a tiny town, Papanoa Coyuquillas, actually just a bit south of
there right by Ojo De Aqua. If you sneeze you're miss
On the way here, we took a mid day break in Ixtapa, which has at
least a mile or two of all inclusive hotels along the beach.
Had to do some walking around and asking before we found the public
entrance to the beach. It's all just walls and fences and if
you're armband is not the right color, you can't come in.
Here, we are staying at a really nice small hotel, Hotel Berakah,
which is like a five minute walk to the beach. Which we didn't
waste any time getting to after we got settled. But this place
is timeless. If it wasn't for the cars and electricity you'd
be hard pressed to tell what century you're in. Time moves very slow
here, to the point of being unnecessary. The proprietor has
created a paradise and it's as it should be. Nothing pretentious,
just what you need and a rustic beauty. Our room is big, two
double beds plus room for two more, there's hand carved chairs and
tables, tree trunks for pillars, hammocks in a huge sitting area,
and all under grass roofs. Even a nice pool. Less than $700
pesos per night, and I negotiated even better. They even let
us use the kitchen so we can cook our own meals. We were in
the kitchen talking to the lady cooking, while she's holding her two
month old child.
Last night we went down to the beach just as they were going to
close the last restaurant that was open, had a tequila, I sat in a
chair, honey swung next to me in a hammock...
This morning we went for a walk on the beach after breakfast.
Like two people there, and a couple dogs chasing birds. One of
the dogs comes up to me like we're long lost brothers and haven't
seen each other for decades. All great, but he's wet and
sandy, on the beach, and he's humping my leg! Trying to shoo him
away but just kept coming back. Took my sandals off cause I
was just going to go into the water to get away from him, but then
he left me alone. He's probably been whacked with things in
peoples hands before.
Here he was digging a hole, cause we thought he was going to bury a
rock that he had found and was carrying around. I don't know
if he thought it was a shell or what, he put it down but then he
walked off with it.
Makes me thing. Society has really strayed from what makes us
happy. Here we are, what more do we need. The only way
it could be better is if our families were here so we could share it
all with them. But that's what it's about, sharing good times
with the one's we love. Societal advancements are great,
especially if it means more people have the basics they need, but
that's not what drives progress, it's money. And so many have
so much money and wealth, and yet there are so many in need.
And it's easy to say, they should pull themselves up by their boot
straps, but it's not that easy. It's a fact that many of the
strong and powerful take advantage of the weak, people and
countries. Especially the US and first world countries.
We think we know best. I recall another time where a group
thought they knew best, it was the Crusades, and the "Christians"
went around conquering the world for "God", and if you didn't fall
in line you were killed. What would Mexico and South America,
or the US for that matter, be today if the Europeans hadn't come and
exert their might? Taking what and who they wanted at the
expense of the indigenous people.
What I'm struggling with is, if we came out of the trees, where we
were at one with nature, going about the business of surviving, and
we came out of the trees, are we really that much better off?
What has all the advancement done? Have we advanced in how we
treat each other, or do we just use more sophisticated rocks?
Or is this all the route that progress and more importantly the
growth of consciousness has to take?
There's a hotel in town here that charges over $50/night.
Little more fancy, but right on the beach. Maybe this place is
too small, and the beach is too small to attract a Hilton or a
Holiday Inn, and that's good, because something is lost when they
move in. Then you're not in some other country, enjoying what
it has to offer, and mingling with it's people, but you've brought
your country with you, to a spot where you like the weather, and
you're talking to your neighbors from back home, cause they came
too, cause that's where the planes and the travel agents send them.
I'm glad I'm taking this whole trip now, because I think we're
loosing more and more of the world, faster and faster, and replacing
it with western civilizations idea of what the world should look
like and be like. It's like replacing every fruit and vegetable out
there with corn. Yeah, corn is good, especially roasted over a
fire, but if all we have is corn, that would really suck...
Been continuing to move South along Mexico 200. First there
was Acapulco. Getting in was pretty easy, getting out two days
later was a pain in the butt, like most big cities. Found a
cheap hotel to stay at for a couple nights. Hotel Bor.
It was a pretty decent place. Slightly run down, but had a
small pool, less than 10 minutes walk to the beach, a large open air
lobby with industrial four burner stove, a big fridge right outside
our door, and a banana tree, though the bananas were green.
The road getting there was forgetful.
It's been getting hot out there... shade is a welcome thing on the
road. Here we are in the hotel courtyard. When we got
there there were literally busloads of people leaving, so had to
wait a few minutes for our room. After that I think we were
the only guests.
This is a view to the adjoining property, and yes the boat is in the
hotel yard.. needs a little work..
We got a room in a separate little building in the back... fridge,
table and chairs, cold shower with good pressure... that will work.
We got settled in and made dinner. Fresh blue corn tortillas,
beans, guacamole, salad, and sauteed zucchini...
Next day took the walk to the local beach early... pretty small area
and kind of cluttered with boats.
No, the dog isn't dead... just dead to the world. He's got the
After lunch took a 15 minute drive to the big beach. Actually
multiple beaches, but it just goes on. Lot of hotels and all
inclusives. The water there was also relatively still and just
the right temperature. Guys walking up and down the beach with
trays of plates containing muscles and shrimp.
I guess I can see the attraction, being that Acapulco is in a bay,
the water is much more still than the other places along the
coast. Wasn't at all crowded, but that has more to do with the
From Acapulco the next stop was Marqualia.
On the way there, in a little miss-it-if-you-sneeze town San
Antonio, we had a problem. Traffic was not moving. I
just pulled off to the side and waited, then it moved a little, then
stopped again, then some traffic from the other direction.
When the coast was clear I went down the oncoming lane and I just
kept going. Tucked in when traffic was coming from the other
direction. Finally got to the source after a couple miles.
A crowed had put timbers across the road and were standing in the
way to stopping the traffic. Every now and then they would let
a few cars by, then stop it again. They let me through and I
pulled over. Asked por que, read their sign. Turns out
they felt they were getting shafted. It was a money
thing. A school foundation was started back in 2013 and it was
never finished, so they were striking to draw attention to it.
Eventually the police came, they shook hands with a few people,
didn't really do much, but not long after, they cleared away the
wood, let traffic go, and dispersed. I'm thinking what a f'n
mess. Why do they have to hold up miles of cars? Why not
go to the state presidents house and block his road? I mean,
life here is hard enough and they are just adding insult to
injury. I waited for honey to come by in the car and then
Again, found a hotel for the night. Very nice place
actually. Down a typical dirty dusty road, with a small sign
pointing to an alley. Hotel Media Luna. It's family
run. The guy spoke good English. Turns out he worked in
the US from the age of 16, saved all his money, then came back and
bought this place.
After all that traffic nonsense honey needed a swim, and I needed a
sit on the beach... 10 minutes away and it did not disappoint.
The typical palm covered structures, couple restaurants...
took a detour on the way back...
Today, kept going South, made it to Santiago Jamiltepec. The
road getting here was pretty sweet, in good condition for the most
part, some good twisty sections too. Again found a cheap hotel
just coming into town... $14/night. Can't beat that for A/C,
secure parking, and a condo made o stona! No, Steve Martin
would be proud, all the furniture in the place, and the mattress
support, are made of concrete; perma-furniture. Hotel El
Mirador. It was a little confusing at first because the whole
place was locked up. One guy there. I asked him if they
were open, sure enough. Puedo veo el dormitorio? Si.
Bien. I paid him. No recibo? No. I'm
wondering if the place is even his, but we're in, and possession is
9/10 of the law...
Climbed the metal stairs up to the roof to catch the sunset...
Which brings me to today... we're just south of Puerto Escondido.
Going to hang for a few days. The road here is a two laner, in
pretty good shape, and has some curvy section. We also got an early
start, so it was relatively cool, so good ride... aside from needing
to pass a bunch of slow traffic, without leaving honey behind, but
she's getting better! When in Rome... !
Typical street in town. Had to go do some hunting to find our
and I ended up at this intersection while honey was hanging back to
see if I found it... Yeah, this is an intersection... you should see
the rest of the road...
The view from the balcony at our place ...
A little better on the other end. Multiple rooms with a central
kitchen on the first level. There's a couple hammocks hanging
around. No A/C, and it's hot during the day, like 90+. It was over
100 degrees the other day. The room does have a fan so probably time
to sleep in a wet T-shirt. Can't open the windows cause the
mosquitoes are vultures...
View from in the kitchen... look, matching bike!
Soon as we got settled in we headed for the beach which is only a 5
minute drive. The water was pretty close to bath temp, and the surf
was all over the place. Best I can describe it was sitting in a
really powerful champagne glass. The sand bottom was rippled, so as
the waves came in they rolled a long distance, creating bubbles and
foam, and we were getting pulled every which way, so good workout!
Checked my spokes yesterday, found a few duds and tightened them up.
Then took a walk around town yesterday. Some hills, some 90 degree
temps, some sun beating down, and I was drenched. Stifling. I get
the siesta time now, your body just doesn't want to do anything.
A couple more photos of the side streets in the neighborhood. Yeah,
some have concrete (with lots of topos!) but many are just dirt.
This is actually the road from the place we're staying at. The photo
doesn't tell the story. I'm standing at the top of a hill looking
across a big dip, and the other end is steeper and more rutted,
before you pop up onto a paved street. Reminds me of videos people
post of themselves on dual sport bikes going up some steep hill and
people cheering as they make it... except here it's just an every
day street and no one blinks an eye. The other day I saw a guy on
his little scooter, with his girlfriend, in flip flops, going up...
I'm thinking you could put some of these guys in the Dakar, tell
them the tacos are on the other side, and they'd beat the field to
them... and they would be carrying a big plastic cooler on the back
with pizzas in it!
I'm going to do some griping... This place we're at, turns into a
convection oven at night. The walls heat up during the day, then at
night it's 20 degrees hotter than outside, and if you turn on the
ceiling fan then it just circulates the air around the hot walls.
So, we put a fan by the door to blow some cold air in, and opened
the windows, which have no screens, so then there's mosquitoes
everywhere, so I put up my mosquito net, but there were some small
gaps between the net and the wall, and the buggers found their way
in, so basically we were in an enclosed, hot (ok it was a bit cooler
because of the outside air), torture chamber all night... slept like
crap... the day before I slept with a wet t-shirt on, it was better
than mosquitoes... No more places without A/C this far South! Would
have been better off in the tent, but it's small for two people...
gripe gripe gripe... mwhaaaaahahaaaa! Whimp!
Someone wrote, you plan to make a trip like this, but in the end,
the trip makes you...
In a few days we'll be in the Guatemala mountains, so things will be
The road to Crucecita, just a skip down the road Puerto Escondido.
Another hot one today. The road was a mix of two and four lane.
There was some new nice twisty stuff with occasional peaks at the
coast. Flying through the twistiest, with the Eagles and the trash!
Life in Mexico!
Got to La Crucecita about 3:00. Huge six land road going through
town, totally empty. Judging by the size of the street, the
advertisements, and the surroundings, I'm guessing it gets pretty
busy during the high season. There's a cruise ship dock in town too.
It's also right next door to Parque Nacional Huatulco, suppose to
have beaches to die for, snorkeling, waterfalls. Going to take a
look tomorrow and see if we want to stay here longer than two
The place we found is in a pretty decent neighborhood, A/C in the
bedroom! And no mosquito net required! And the pool is COLD! Way
colder than the Ocean has been. After a hot day, it felt so good to
be in it!
Oh yeah.. sipping tea by the pool...
There were some French Canadians at the pool when we arrived. One of
the ladies gave us some tips on Guatemala and Honduras. Took some
Including Mexico and Guatemala last summer I'm 12,000 miles into
this trip, and just getting started. Oh, and the chain I installed
still hasn't fallen off! Going to be time for another oil change in
Guatemala and another tire change in a country or two.
My morning shadow...
Well, yesterday went down to the beach; Playa La Entrega. Nice.
The town is very clean and well organized. It's just over 30 years
old and it was planned from the ground up, not pieced together over
time like most Mexican cities.
Turns out that the beaches around La Crucecita has received the blue
ribbon three times for worlds (something; clean, nice) beaches. The
beach is well protected from the waves. Did some snorkeling. Very
nice, many different varieties of fish, and a huge corral bed, that
apparently goes on for kilometers. Some of the fish are literally at
your feet as you wade into the water. Because it's part of a
national park, there's no fishing allowed. Reminded me of the
The dark areas in the water are corral beds. Not a ton of variety of
coral, but lots of it. You can just snorkel to your hearts content.
After snorkeling we had a picnic lunch in the shade, laid around a
bit, and moved on. There was a mix of tourists and natives, but
mostly natives. They know where to come.
Honeeeeyyy... there's a cat in the sink! The cat is like, if you
turn on that faucet, I'm going to claw your eyes out...
Yesterday, arrived in Salina Cruz, just about 300 miles from the
More Mexico route 200 headed south. Yeah... don't light a match,
cause the whole place is going to go up. Dry and hot.
Taking a photo is all about how you frame it...
And this is what's behind the sign. Not the greatest view... docks,
oil tanks, kind of industrial...
It never ceases to amaze me the way Mexicans, build their houses on
hills, on top of each other, next to each other, with minimal,
weird, or no street access, and when you ask them, is this where the
house is (the red dot), they say yes, an then it actually turns out
to be somewhere else (the blue arrow below in this case, which
actually is pretty close). On Google maps, from the red dot to the
house it shows a street... no, there's no street... it's a narrow
(barely wide enough for a car) very steep (honey looked at it and
says, no, I can't go down that) driveway, at best. And the street
getting to the red dot is a roller-coaster, which at one point has a
light pole right in the middle of the road, if you can call it a
It looks nice from a distance, but sucks from up close...
This is the view from our "penthouse" suite.. Actually built on top
of an existing house, with four bedrooms, and a common kitchen. Not
a bad place. But last night, that little parking space below was
full, so I have no idea where people would park if they actually
rented all four rooms...
Anyway, went 15 minutes to the main beach. Very unusual. Huge flat
area, that the waves spill over into and create a vast, wet, flat
plane. Some of which can be driven on. There was a storm brewing
that never happened, but very windy and turbulent waters. And very
refreshing after the hot ride.
Salina Cruz at night...
Yeah, that's the best way to take in the town, from a distance, at
night. I'll say it... it's an ugly town... So many dumping looking
places, ridiculous streets, industrial waterfront... population 70k.
Over on the far west end of the beach is supposedly a surfing
area... the waves fold over just so... and there area a couple
resorts. That's half an hour away, so didn't bother. Took another
shot at the beach but the wind was blowing out to sea so hard it was
pelting us with sand. Didn't stay long.
Oh, almost forgot, got woken up at 2:30 in the morning by a
Magnitude 4.6 and then a bit after that an aftershock. There was
this loud sound, sounded like a bomb exploding. I shot up off my
mattress, "Holy Crap, did you hear that!" ... really dumb question
cause if you were deaf you'd hear it. Realized later the noise was
these large metal doors, as they shook, that go to the courtyard. If
it wasn't for that we probably wouldn't have gotten up, but shortly
after that we felt another tremble and more door shaking sound.
Apparently there are hundreds of earthquakes a day in this are of
Mexico, stretching down through Guatemal. So, that was fun!
Some interesting stuff along the road that runs along the beach...
So, the roads. This picture doesn't do it justice, because this is
flat and then goes up at what must be a 30-40 degree angle. Honey
says, are you really going up that thing?
Here's another shot from close up. When you crest the top all you
see is sky.
Our place was UP this road...
Then you get here... a lump of dirt, and our drive way is DOWN and
to the left...
Yeah, it's ugly...
This however, I've never seen before... mamey... it's a fruit...
Kind of the texture of an unripe avocado with that fuzzy mouth
feeling of an unripe banana... so I'm guessing it wasn't ripe!... So
cooked it... very unique taste...
And that's all the excitement in Salina Cruz! Going to stay one more
day, cause the place is nice and we can sprawl out. Should be in
Guatemala on around 3/1.
The road to Tonala. This is one road I was on last summer, headed
for Guatemala. There's a stretch that is loaded with Windmills,
honey estimated 2000+. The crosswinds were even more brutal than
last year. The mountains had to be about a mile or two off the road,
heavy clouds above them, and the wind was just relentless. At one
point we pulled over, honey was getting blown across the parking lot
(she says she's never stood in a wind that strong), I nearly dropped
my bike, and it was about 15 degrees cooler because the wind was
blowing light rain all the way from the mountains; there were no
clouds above us. There's a town along there called La Vento! Aptly
named! I was reading about the area, the winds can reach 100 mph!
Which is why they flip trucks... Anyway, seeing as we couldn't stand
up, we moved on!
No wind here, unless the sheep were passing it...
Made it to our digs for the night... oh man it felt good to be out
of that wind... my neck and between my shoulder blades were killing
me from fighting it...
I can smell the Guatemala border now. In a couple days we'll be
pulled up short, spend the night, and then take our time the next
day when we cross.
Alright, moved on to Huixtla, just an hour from the Guatemala
border. Nothing too exciting. Straight shot. The last few miles into
Huixtla, off the main highway, were a mess. I was starting to wonder
what I got myself into, but the dust, potholes and gravel parted to
life. Found a hotel right at the edge of town... I've slept in
worse. Big rooms, A/C, pool, on site restaurant. We'll take it.
Soon as we got situated in the room, we headed for the pool. Felt
good after the 100 degree temps. Struck up a conversation with a guy
there, use to live in the US, worked as a roofer. He spoke some
English, and our Spanish is getting better, so we managed.
Took a walk into town after it cooled off a bit, it's a nice area in
general, but per usual garbage strewn everywhere. Lot more of those
little three wheeled tuk-tuks acting as taxis.
Went into a restaurant in town, figured we'd ask for a menu. No
menu... pollo... pollo tacos... easy selection. Went back to the
hotel and had a couple fish dishes at the restaurant.
And that's about it for Mexico the second time around.
Tomorrow off to Guatemala.