Oktoberfest and the Rodeo
A lot has happened in a short time. We at last have our bikes, bade farewell to LA and went to an Oktoberfest in San Diego. After a taste of the desert in SE Arizona and a visit to the old outlaw town of Tombstone, we crossed the border at Douglas, it was easy, but time consuming.
The American customs guys spent ages chatting while filling in the forms. They even made copies of the “temporary importation for non residents” forms we had got in LA, as they claimed not to have seen them before! Once signed out of the US, it was over to Mexico. We missed the car park for customs and ended up on a grotty bit of waste ground behind the customs building, where our first sight in Mexico was 2 policemen dragging off some poor guy in handcuffs – good first impression!
It took a while to complete formalities as one of us stayed with the bikes. There were no hassles or unexpected surprise charges and we were soon on our way out of Agua Prieta, getting our first taste of driving on Mexican roads. For the record our tourist cards cost US$20 each and the temporary import permit US$24.
We spent our first night in Mexico, in a hotel by the highway in Janos. The bikes were parked out of sight of the road, the owner offered to put them in one of the rooms, but Black Betty was just a little wide for the door. Instead we locked the bikes together and took off anything likely to be stolen.
The next day we rode to south, past fields of chillies and apple orchards. The road varied between straight ahead, for kilometres at a time and winding hilly sections. We passed through an immigration check and a military checkpoint, without problems and reached Cuauhtémoc in the late afternoon.
Here we met a Mexican guy called Jésus, who invited us to go with him and his family to the rodeo in Chihuahua the next day. It was a great spectacle, guys strutting around in cowboy hats and boots, kids playing on the mechanical bucking bronco, goats being lassooed, and that was just the warm up. Around 5pm, the stadium began to really fill and by 6pm there was not an inch of space left, but still people were crowding in. After the rodeo riders were introduced, the show began with the traditional bucking horses, followed by other shows of lassooing skill.
Posted by Sian Mackenzie at October 25, 2002 12:46 AM GMT
The finale was the bareback bull riding, well you could hardly call it riding as the bulls managed to throw the riders off after a few seconds, but it was still exciting to watch. It was a wonderful evening and a great introduction to the generosity of the average Mexican.