Friday, February 09, 2007

The first few days on the mainland

After packing up and storing the RV, we left Los Barriles Monday morning still undecided which ferry we were going to get (either $200, 6 hours to Topolobampo, or $360, 18 hours to Mazatlan which is 300 miles south) Getting to the ferry terminal made the decision for us when we realised that the Mazatlan ferry doesn’t sail till Tuesday – duhh!

It meant we got into Topo around 9.30pm which wasn’t the greatest plan but luckily we only had to ride a mile in the dark before we found the town’s only hotel and crashed for the night after a dull ferry ride where we were forced to listen to Spanish dubbed films at high volumes (but hey – they feed you for free on this ferry!)

The next day we rode the 300 miles to Mazatlan – 7 hours on the bike in 90 degrees and wished we’d stayed in La Paz and waited for the Mazatlan ferry on Tuesday. By the end of that day I was all for selling the bike and buying an RV; no wait, we already did that bit, this was supposed to be us moving out of our comfort zones! We spent 2 nights in Mazatlan; as touristy as it was supposed to be, the old town part really was quite endearing; and of course the small matter of being able to park the bike in the hotel lobby, (well as much of a lobby as you get in an $18 hotel) helped the decision to stay!

We are now in a town on the coast called San Blas; a small old town which although has its share of wintering ‘Gringos’ is still very Mexican as is evident by the town square full of locals until way into the night – and of course the prices compared to Baja; 12 pesos, (60p or just over $1) for a beer in a beach bar!

The hotel, (the nicest of the three so far) is a bunch of rooms off a deep veranda littered with rocking chairs surrounding a shady and cool courtyard. No lobby here so the bike, (El Burro; formerly known as Donkey) spends his day lazing under the shade of a huge poinsettia tree in the courtyard.

The roads here have been ‘interesting’ to say the least. The truckers are crazy drivers – they’ll overtake on blind corners when it seems like there’s no time or space to do it safely – it’s just a constant game of ‘chicken’ for them with us on the motorbike stuck in the middle of it!!; [and Leo and Annette; if you’re reading this, you deserve a medal just for cycling this far!]

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