As I mentioned, when I arrived in Mazatlan I had no intention of staying here more than one or two days. Well, it’s just a hard place to leave. Sunday and Monday night Alex and I are staying in Jim and Cindy’s empty condo on the beach for $25/night. Jim is the BMW rider from Ballard, WA that we met at the motorcycle convention. Then Alex rode with him through the entire parade.
Jim is an excellent rider on such a huge bike. He’s an Alaskan fisherman five months a year and the rest of the time he hangs out where he wants. Cindy, Jim’s wife, is a restaurant manager in Ballard in her time off she also comes down to warm up in Mazatlan. They live in a condo on the northern beach of Mazatlan and also rent one out in the same building. Al and I are sharing a two story, two balcony, two bedroom, two bathroom palace right now and it is awesome. The beach is just down the stairs and there are eight foot waves breaking on the beach. We have been spending a lot of time body surfing lately.
Yesterday we moved in, did a grocery run, and played in the waves. As the sun set Al and I hung out in the main patio talking with a bunch of retirees who showered us in snacks and beer. Then Jim took us upstairs and started pouring tequila shots… for four hours one after another. We drank more than a liter and it gets fuzzy after that. I remember being very excited that Osama bin Laden is dead. Jim and Cindy hosted us and fed us until about 10:30pm. By that time, it was obviously time to go home and pass out.
We were planning to go for a ride today with Jim but no one showed much excitement for it this morning. I think we all enjoyed vacation a little too much last night. So today we are relaxing, playing in the waves, and eating $30 in groceries. May 1st is a holiday in Mexico and since it fell on a Sunday this year, so is Monday. Tomorrow, we will finally get out of Mazatlan and head towards Cuernavaca.
We finally have a route planned for the next 700 miles. Tomorrow we start moving towards Durango over the Sierra Madre mountain range. Apparently the views are breathtaking and they are currently constructing the world’s tallest bridge along the way. From Durango, we’ll go south as far as we can and hopefully camp somewhere. Then Wednesday through Thursday we will push inland. That puts us in Cuernavaca on Friday and gives us time for a breakdown or whatever else will come our way.
It is incredible how much you don’t get to see on this trip even though you have all the time in the world. Pull out a decent map of Mexico and you begin to see just how big it is. Already we passed up the legendary Copper Canyon which is said to be four times larger and 1,000 feet deeper than our Grand Canyon. If we ever want to get to South America, we just have to bite off huge chunks at a time and skip everything in between. It doesn’t help that we are on Mexican time right now.
My riding gear is starting to get a funk to it, but otherwise has been unstoppable. At 95F degrees it’s still hot air blowing in your face even at 70mph. Therefore, I have been soaking my undershirts before departure. The wet shirt sticks to your body and acts as air conditioning in any heat. It only lasts for about an hour, but more water is easy to find.
My bike has been great as well coming up to 10,000 miles on the odometer. I’ve changed the oil once and waxed the chain regularly. The flat tire on Day 2 and a couple times flooding the carburetor have been the only issues so far. I’ve got my packing routine down to science so I know where everything is and keep it all tidy. I left a camp pillow at the apartment yesterday; just freeing up some space for food as we head into the woods. Any stuff sack with a jacket in it makes a better pillow anyway.