Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ride Day 170 La Paz to Mazatlan

I spent the night in La Paz at a nice bed and breakfast called Posada Colibri near the Gaviota hotel. It was a nice quiet comfortable B&B but I am not used to spending so much for one night. I did and I enjoyed my stay.

The next morning after a big breakfast from the B&B and some pleasant conversation with other guests I headed to the bus station. I caught a bus to the ferry 18 kilometers outside of town. There was some time to kill and I wanted to spend it on the beach near the ferry terminal. I ended up hanging out in a bar restaurant with another biker I met that was from Ohio called Dean. We chatted about our rides for a couple hours. He is riding down to Brasil for the world cup soccer matches.

We ate lunch and went over to buy our tickets. It took forever waiting around to buy the tickets and get on the ferry. Bikes are the last to load so we stood out in the hot sun while they took more than an hour later than the scheduled departure time. But all was well. We met another rider from Mexico getting on the same ferry. We enjoyed talking about our routes and such.

The ferry once underway was not too bad. Some cheap Mexican food was included for dinner and breakfast but that is what I have been eating everyday since I arrived in Mexico. We watched a few macho movies on tv with all the truck drivers and boat workers. They seemed to like the hardcore violence and stuff. I finally went out and got my sleeping pad and slept on the deck for the night. In the morning after coffee and breakfast I stood and watched whales, dolphins, sailfish, other unknown fish and all the birds from the rail of the ferry. We arrived in Mazatlan a little later than the schedule but all was well.

We rode into town and checked into a hostel. I had planned to jump right on a bus but tht proved more difficult than I had imagined. So I will spend a night or two here and buy tickets etc then leave under more controlled conditions. I am kind of used to planning on the fly but sometimes a bit of planning is ok. the hostel is full of nice people from around the world and is clean and comfortable. Mardi Gras is going on now here so it might be loud later tonight, we shall see. more later

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ride Days 168-169 Loreto to La Paz

I was packed up well before light this morning and hit the road out of Loreto right away. I had about 24 kilometers of easy riding then a giant mountain to climb and I wanted to do the mountain before it was too hot. My plan worked out well and I had my first Mexican Century ride today. What made it work out so well is that David stopped right near the base of the mountain and asked me if I wanted to throw my bike in the back of his pickup and get a lift. I hesitated but then did just that. It was almost 30 kilometers before we went over the crest of the mountain. I kept saying ok you can let me out at the next safe spot and he kept saying no, we are not at the top yet. He knew the road so he was right of course.

When I finally jumped out and said thanks I started off with a long downhill glide then a tailwind was pushing me when I hit the bottom and the road straightened out and became flat. I was riding at about 18 miles per hour thanks to the wind pushing me. I have had almost all mountains until now except for one short flat stretch on the road from Mulege to Loreto. I enjoyed the speed I was able to make. I stopped in Constitution for some quick tacos and coffee then was right back out on the road.

I finally melted from the heat and the long ride at Las Pocitas a village with about twenty buildings. I picked out a restaurant and went in to talk to them about where I could camp for the night. I lucked out by meeting Manuel. He immediately told me I could camp in his yard or better yet he would rent me a spare house for 7 dollars. I took the house because he told me it would be much quieter in the house and that trucks make lots of noise at night this close to the road.

I spent the rest of the afternoon talking with Manuel and looking around his compound that he built himself out of local stone, wood and cacti parts with a thatched roof of palmetto leaves. Manuel was quite the innovative builder and had a well thought out design. His family made dinner of beans, mixed vegies, cheese and tortillas that was delicious. We all enjoyed ourselves I think. I was a lucky camper today.

After we ate my body melted from exhaustion from riding 105 miles. I thanked them profusely, paid my rent and went to my house for the night where I plan on writing this then going to bed.

Tomorrow it is off to La Paz 65 miles away ending with a big long grade up over the mountains again.
Not many pics today until I stopped riding and settled down at Manuel’s place.

I left Manuel’s place before dawn and rode hard in overcast conditions. I stopped for breakfast after riding for an hour and the sun rose. Great breakfast from a roadside restaurant. Then I hit the road again. Today it was large rolling hills in a drier desert than I have been riding in. I made it to La Paz by mid day and rode straight out to the ferry to try to get on the ferry that night. They would not sell me a ticket until the next day at 1pm so I rode the 15 miles back to town making it my second century ride in as many days. I started looking for a hotel and ended up in a bed and breakfast place that is really nice but over budget for me. It is the only hotel I need over the last five days which were and will be free so I went for it. I repacked my bags after washing my clothes and checked the bike over and lubed it. Now a good night of rest and tomorrow I should be on the ferry to Mazatlan. A few pics

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekend off in Loreto

I took the weekend off here in Loreto to take decongestants. My sinus canals to my ears are full of fluid on both sides and I need to clear them. I did not want to ride stoned on meds with the roads so dangerous. I feel better now but there is still a lot of fluid built up that I wish would drain out. I will decide in the morning if I need more time off or not.

I have been enjoying myself here. Yesterday there was a pig roast party here that most of the town and tourists all went to. I got a bit drunk yesterday too. I had a half dozen beers in the morning then 4 margaritas and more beer in the afternoon. Probably did not help my sinus issues but I had fun with all the people. Drank at the Mission Hotel and at Augies Bar for happy hour. Around sunset a large group of motorcycle riders came roaring into town in a big group. It was a Mexican club doing a club ride. I hung out with them for a while and enjoyed their good humor.

Back at camp my neighbor camper, David, was sitting around when I got back and we chatted for a couple of hours before bedtime. He drove down here to surf and his truck blew up so he sold it and this morning he rode up to LA with a returning snowbird going home early. Right now I am sitting at the bar in the Mission Hotel again because it is cooler here and there are a lot of friendly people around to hang with. A lot of them are pilots that flew down here with their friends just for the weekend. Must be a good life being that mobile. I could get used to that lifestyle. Tomorrow is either a day on the road to La Paz or another day off depending on how I feel in the morning.