November 12, 2006 GMT
STILL!!! In Mazunte
Mexico, Mazunte, November 12, 2006.
G-Money (AKA Gabo, AKA, Gaby) Entry.
I'm back. I know most have you were hoping that Smokey would be writing by now, trust me I really was, but unfortunately we will all have to wait for a Smokey entry. Besides Smokey, I was also hoping some of the many friends who came to visit and promised would write an entry would do so. But that as well, will not take place, and that is because those people are lazy f%*ks. And to make them feel worse for promising and doing nothing, I will now name them.... Gabriel Riff, Bobby Rahal and Heather Westelman. These “people” should not be trusted. If they tell that they had a great time at your place and will definitely write a blog entry describing their stay, they are lying to you. Trust them NOT!.
Anyways, enough with the hate, I’m over that…
So wow, wow, wow, I can’t believe I’m starting this again.. And it´s been a crazy amount of time so don’t expect a detailed analysis of the last 9 months, all high level, sorry. The one year anniversary, to us having left los Angeles, is coming up so I have to write something. I’m going back on my word….Everyone can change..
I read back the last entry and will go from there… based on chapters…
1. The Land….
Is still there. And work on our house was started two weeks ago. So far so good. We definitely had a tough time starting, over 8 months of talking. But hopefully the wait made us smarter, which I think it has. The place will be a two level studio in the mountains overlooking the ocean. It will have a palapa roof. If you don’t know what that means, then you suck! Kiddin´ It’s a palm roof but you do suck!
2. The Store…
This past August we opened up a clothing/accessories shop in Mazunte. Really cute little shop, nothing big, that fits in well in this town. The locals love the place, it’s the first such store here, and during the quite month of August was opened almost full time. Its presently closed do to low season, but will open up soon. We’ll be trying out a new clothing section which we call Mode Derdy Stylin’. The name comes from Smokey’s parents clothing store which catered to Strippers and HO’s, but mostly strippers…respect. The clothing selection comes directly from the new store named Lulu’s. Check it out if you’re downtown.. And you don’t have to be a Ho or Stripper…. Who am I kidding! You gotta be that! Anyways, it was fun getting the place going.. rarely…, most of the time it was a pain in the ass.
Here is a big lesson we’ve learned since the last blog….Getting things done in Mexico is tough, even tougher then back home. We went through lots of crap I haven’t yet been able to deal with psychologically enough so as to write about it.
3. Why Mazunte?
It’s a nice place, really. You get the occasional crazy coked up local, but that’s rare and getting rarer the more familiar we become to them.
The beach is still nice and we’ve been exploring other beaches in the region. There are TONS of them. But I still say ours is the best.
4. Me Mujer!
Meaning, my woman.
That’s what they call Bebe (the Dutch girl).
What can I say…. Its been a real trip since the last time I wrote. After I returned from San cristobal, she headed to Guatemala and I back to Mazunte. We kept in touch and I headed to her after a month, to Guatemala. She then decided to come back to Mazunte with me for a little bit before heading to Belize and Hunduras. After Hunduras she headed to Costa Rica and I headed there to see her before she left back to Holland. That is also where I met Bebe’s mom. Nice lady, went well. After 3 months in Holland she came back to Gabo, that’s me. That was Sept 7th, she’s been here since then…. things are very good. CRAZY! We even moved out on our own. I live with Bebe! I live with a woman!
Who would have thought that a motorcycle trip would end up like this after only a year. I’m in chock every other day. The chock is wearing off nowadays. My life is in Mexico now. But don’t tell my mom that, she thinks I’ve gone crazy. And she’s blaming Smokey, so I’m kinda okay, poor Smokey. And it don’t help him much when I agree with her. Poor smokey.
- Smokey bought a Safari. It’s a cool Volkswagen from the 70’s (1977). Also called the Thing sometimes. Its totally lime green. Really cool car. Reminds us of my old Chevrolet Chevette. No power steering and very unstable. We love it. The first time we both took a ride, it was SCARY. The thing is rattling and we feel like we’re barreling down the highway,… one of the funniest rides I ever had, sick!
- Smokey also took some trips. Twice to Bangkok. Most of the store merchandise is coming from Thailand.
- I took two trips back home (New Jersey/Montreal). Jewish Holidays! My mom has me by the balls I tell you.
- Some people visited. The undependable ones were mentioned at the start, besides them…Lisa Fitzhugh and Nancy Rahal. Bobby never left the beach, can’t remember him without his swimmers, Nancy never left the house, but did get me hooked on Curb your Enthusiasm, Heather was a trooper, I mean TROOPER. We actually got caught up in a real life riot/revolution in Oaxaca city. We were there in June when the first clash that sparked all the crazy sh*t happening now, took place. I remember getting up at 6 am because of some noise and heading to the toilet, as soon as I left the room, I got a smack of tear gas. I was gased damnit. So was Heather, and that was just the start… Crazy stuff, helicopters, stun grenades, woman with machetes, kidnapped riot police right outside our guesthouse and throughout the whole thing we had front row seats on the roof of the guesthouse we stayed at. Scary stuff, really, we left town ASAP and now its even crazier. We took some photage which you might have seen on Heather’s photo site, if you use it and make money of it, we get a cut. Lisa was great, lost two pairs of shoes hiking with Leo, aka the Sherpa (as Bobby called him). And Gabriel was good times. First he got kidnapped coming into town by Kate, aka Crazy Kate, I think she’s okay though, that was FUNNY! I go down to her restaurant to blend up some chickpeas for Hummus and he’s seating there, poor bastard. Besides that, he hightailed it out of town after just 3 days, the wuss got scared of Dengue. What a wuss. But we like him anyways, you’re always invited back, wuss… Leo still calls you wuss or p*ssy, something like that…..
So in total we love having friends over, it is really great having a little bit of home here with us. So as always the invitation is open. Although we will be losing the beach house for at least a month, during the holidays.
Okay I gotta run, to much to say and I want to go home. Before I go though the other big news is that we’re opening up a sushi restaurant. I am officially a sushi chef if anyone asked and its gonna happen starting December. All Japanese receiving this e-mail don’t be afraid, I’m actually quite good, at least according to Bebe, Smokey, Eppy, Leo, and Sabine.
More on this some other time. And photos too.
Regards to all,
We miss you and love you (some of you).
Gaby, Aka Gabo, Aka g-money.
Oh and as for the bikes,…. Still doing good. Just kinda rusted all over.
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 10:59 PM
February 04, 2006 GMT
Mazunte = Paradise
Been a long time so definitely a long entry warning, actually I think it will be in Chapters.
I also want to note that this will be my last entry until Smokey does one. Many of you have been wondering why Smokey hasn’t written. Some of you have even accused me of killing the guy, which is why he hasn’t written. I can assure you that Smokey is alive, although these days a little under the weather. SO until he writes an entry, there won’t be anymore coming from me.
Mazunte (pronounced Masunte) - January 10th and still here.
Chapter 1 – Our beach house and Mazunte
When we drove in off the highway and made it to the beach (don’t forget topless beach). We were greeted by a local who directed us to the cabana closest to the beach (Rinconcito Beach). We took it.
The place is not too small, but is pretty disgusting. The walls are dirty, the beds suck (mine has springs almost sticking out), and the bathroom is NASTY, usually smells like sewage. Now you may ask yourself why we are still in the same place and its been almost a month. The answer is that our place is the coolest spot in town. We are so close to the water, that I haven’t had to piss even once in the ocean. Now that is close. Three steps from our front door is the sand and we’ve also setup a hammock from which I watch sunrises, although if I’m lazy, I can always just open my front door and watch the sunrise from bed.
Besides the proximity to the beach, our spot is also the action spot. Our spot always has people hanging out and drinking and chillin’. So the good thing is that our spot always has action and the bad thing is that our spot ALWAYS has action.
So far we pay a weekly rent of $80 usd for the place, although we are thinking of moving. The bathroom and mess in the room is starting to get to us, but we’ll see.
By the way, according to people who’ve been coming to Mazunte for 15 years, our place was the first place on the Beach. That’s kinda cool we think.
Time for some Mazunte history. This area used to be a slaughterhouse for turtles. Big turtles. About 20 years ago, they put the turtles on the endangered list and now killing them is very illegal, although it still happens. Supposedly, turtle meat is VERY good for you. Now since its VERY illegal to be caught with anything turtlely, let me say this. I met some guy, lets call him Gabriel and he ate some turtle meat one night, and he says he never felt soo good after eating meat. He really really felt good, according to him he could run a marathon at that moment. That’s all I’m gonna say.
So when they stopped the slaughter, they started making this place into a tourist destination and these days you can come here and go on trips where you see dolphins, whales and turtles. You get to even jump in with the turtles and bug the hell out of them as you hold them by their shells, poor bastards. They’re really cute though. And the dolphins are everywhere, when we went out on the trip we saw at least 200 hundred of them. Well, that’s basically Mazunte’s history.
The beach we’re on is probably the best beach around and definitely the coolest. There is also a fully nude beach just over a mountain. Mazunte is also considered to be the southernmost point of Mexico and if you see it on a map, you’ll understand how it gets sunrises and sunsets. I can wake up in the morning, get on my hammock and watch a sunrise and then around 6pm head over the hill to a spot called Punta Cometa and see a sunset. Its actually the second time I’ve been in a place that has this and this place is better. Another attraction is a place called the Jacuzzi, because its kinda like a pool that gets big rushes of waves into it. I kinda got sucked out the first time I went and on the way back in got dozens of corral blisters, I’m still pulling them out, but you don’t need to worry since being sucked out only happens if you allow it, so don’t do it. The Jacuzzi is more like an aquarium. I snorkel in it and it is just like swimming in a big fish tank, really beautiful. There are other spots, dozens so I’ll stop here regarding nice spots.
Chapter 2 - Mazunte the People
Now I’ll try to do my best to describe some of the characters in this town, but it will be tough. Most of the people here are REAL characters. We think someone should make a sitcom based on this place. If someone does make a sitcom, we want royalties by the way.
Before I start, you should know that I will not be using the real names of these people, because first it´s not nice and secondly I think half of them are wanted by the law somewhere in their home countries.
First off the Local Foreigners. These are people that have been around for years or at least months.
First we have John the local wise man, who every once in a while throws out crazy sh$t like, ¨The highest form of human love is the lowest form of real love!¨ I still don’t quite get the meaning but its really deep, I’m sure. This guy is soooo f%cken cool, I can’t do him justice. He’s very tall and reminds me of Gandalf from lord of the rings. He’s also the best massage guy in town, although I don’t know that from first hand experience, but this guy always has some girls foot, shoulder, back or whatever in his hands. And this guy is in his sixties and he’s hooking up with some real nice young (and I mean YOUNG) women. Not only is he the wise man in town he’s also the ladies man and you would never know it just by looking at him, NEVER. Imagine Gandalf doing it with that elf princess, that’s this guy. Oh, and he’s also the best drummer in town (bongo drums are huge in this town).
Okay, next we have Carlos. This guy is like out of a movie. Every time he opens his mouth, I feel like an idiot that I don’t have the video camera rolling, unless I do have the video camera rolling and then its sweeeet. First he says he’s Mexican, which can’t be true, sh$t, I have a better chance of being Chinese then he does of being Mexican. Then he always talks about all the stuff he’s done. I’ll name some of the more memorable career choices he’s made; He’s been a Navy Seal, a CIA agent, a prison guard, a Pro Golf Player, a Shaman and the list goes on. Given the timeframes he puts to these events in his life there is no way it can all be true, unless miraculously Carlos was a CIA agent working with the Navy SEALS, while being undercover as a Pro Golf Player and volunteering as a Prison guard on weekends. Just CRAZY. And he’s the guy managing the guesthouse we stay at. I can go on for hours about him, but I’ll move on.
Next is Wilma and her daughter Julie, these two are some of the more normal local foreigners. They are from the states like Carlos and John. They own a nice beach house right behind us and have been helping us out in our land purchase (see chapter whatever). Now the true character is Wilma, not only does she look like my mom but she’s also a little like my mom. A little bossy and gossipy (sorry Mom). But she’s still SUPER cool and chances are MUCH less bossy and gossipy then she used to be. She plays the drums (bongos) and sometimes even fills in with a band in the local hotspot. She also smokes weed. Now let me be clear, I am absolutely against smoking weed, kids and young adults should stay clear of weed. Now seeing what its done for Wilma, I am tempted to get all older people (over 55) a prescription for weed. That sh$t can do wonders, I see it first hand here. Instead of drugging up our elders with expensive chemicals, we should drug up our elders with cheap herbs. If I ever become president, I will put it into law guaranteed, I ain’t kidding. I can’t wait to get my mom here and introduce her to Wilma, I can just see my mom on the Bongo drums grooving with Wilma and John, we’d call the group ¨Happy Old People¨ or something like that.
Then there is Leno, who is originally Mexican but was brought up in the states. Good guy, and hangs with us almost all the time. We’ve kinda taken him in as one of the group, and he’s started working on our land as well. The best way to describe him is that he’s like Forrest Gump. Once he even talked about chocolates and I thought I was going to loose it. Anyways, he’s great.
There are others, like Leza the really smoking hot French waitress at the restaurant next to our place, and Lance, a guy from Kentucky who we think is either a pornstar, an undercover FBI agent or a serial killer, even though he says he's in construction, yeh right. But I won’t go into details because this is cutting into my beach time.
Now for the Local Locals. These guys are usually drunk or drunker. Its amazing what alcohol does to these Mexicans. They have zero control. They are actually a little scary when they are drunk, so we try to stay away on those big occasions when it seems like the whole town is drunk. Although a couple of days ago I was in the town close by heading back when I bumped into a couple of them and before I know it I’m drinking beers with them at a cantina, and when I say cantina I mean whorehouse. They just call it a cantina, but after I sat down and noticed the decorative naked photos, I kinda got the jist.
Anyways, the local locals are pretty cool, even though they get drunk and act really f%cken weird.
Overall, the people in Mazunte make this the sketchiest place I’ve ever liked. Its hard to explain but even though you really have to be careful here you still feel safe knowing that you know that everyone is sketch.
Chapter 3 – The Nightlife
Although this village only has like 100 people at any one time, there is still a substantial nightlife. The main joint (presently, but that changes) is Bar Luna Nueva. Great spot, bad service and some freaky shows. The last time I went they had a group/act where they mixed Arab belly dancing with Hindu (Indian) beats. Its was very cool, although the main guy was a guy dressed like a belly dancer and was belly dancing. Very weird, the other two were girls luckily so I didn’t spend much time looking his way, he kinda weirded me out. On other nights they have a 12 piece band, although I believe it was the High School band, one kid was like 8 years old.
That's basically the main spot in Mazunte, but there are 2 other beaches close by with more people. The main one is Zipolite, which I went to last night to practice my salsa lessons (see more in chapter whatever).
Besides bars and clubs, people just hang on the beach some nights and turn that into a nightlife.
Chapter 4 – Really cool tourists.
Mazunte definitely gets the coolest tourists. One night there was a celebration of some sort and the town put on a great party. Really big too, for such a small town and they even had roller coaster type rides. But these rides they had, looked like they came from the throwaways of other parks, so pretty scary. Smokey and I met up with a couple of girls and one of them suggested we go on a ride. Before I know it, I’m on the scariest ride of my life. Looking at the ride is nothing to be scared of, since it was only one of those boat thingies that go up and down and never really all around, so I thought we were not in for anything special. Boy was I wrong. Not only was the ride a full 10 minutes (felt like 30 minutes), and the lights kept on going off which made us think the ride would never stop or worse the whole thing would bust, but the clincher was when the attendant (some kid, damn he could have been anyone of the street) decided to leave for a full minute with us still yelling our brains off. That was hilarious, with people passing by, seeing us going crazy and with no one watching the lever. Unbelievable really what is allowed here. That was the best ride of my life by far, I was actually scared at one point.
Anyways, the whole thing was cool and that was thanks to this Dutch girl. By the way Dutch people have the weirdest sense of humour, which I realize I really like. One time at dinner we were listening to Kit (really cool girl from Montreal, which some of you will get to meet) talk about drinking piss, and Bebe (my name for the Dutch girl) immediately asked ¨Why, were you thirsty?¨¨ I almost fell off my chair, but others didn’t find it as funny.
Chapter 5 – Going to San Cristobal
I actually took a few days away from mazunte last week. I headed to San Cristobal de Las casas with the Dutch girl. We had a great time. The town itself is very interesting with really nice places to see and hang at. We spent our nights at the coolest club in Mexico (in our opinion), called El Circo. They had the best house band (a cross between the Masters Of the Universe, Bob Marley and some Reaggaeton) and some crazy DJing in the back room. The DJ actually played salsa, rap, techno, swing, rock and raeggaton all in the same set. Wow.
Besides clubbing, another memorable event was when we went horse back riding. Our guide was drunk (kept stopping to piss every 5 minutes) when we started so we decided to get him even more drunk. So we got him and us some beers and a half litre of some really good local stuff called Posh (best moonshine I’ve ever had). After that the trip was fantastic. We got to go back through the forest instead of the highway which we used on the way there and secondly it was just fun. He brought his son (10 year old) and a friend along on a separate horse, which was a good thing since we kinda left our guide behind, he could barely stay on his horse much less ride along with us. I’m not too bad riding, and Bebe used to compete so we were in no real danger.
The only problem with San Cristobal is the weather. It was cold, like 5 degrees in the evenings, that was difficult. I can just see the Montreal people hitting something right about now. But really that was the coldest I’ve had it in almost a year and it even rained somewhat one day, that was weird. Initially I didn’t know what it was and then I realized I was getting wet and then I put 1 and 1 together and got ¨Sh$t its raining!¨
Chapter 6 - Dead man in Mazunte
When I got back to Mazunte, we had a real life event take place. The waves on the beaches here are quite dangerous, even for good swimmers.
One day there was a Mexican tour that came in and went to the most dangerous part of the beach. That was dumb and add to that they were drinking and it has to go down as super dumb. Anyways, at some point we hear yelling and head to the beach to help out someone who is drowning. Smokey and I helped get the guy out of the water and also into a waiting van. By the way, I’ve never seen a man so close to death, it was scarier then in the movies. But on the beach we had some help from other tourists, one was a paramedic, the man had a pulse and was breathing but was in really bad shape. We got him to the waiting van but didn’t realize that there wasn’t anyone in the van who knew first aid, it all kinda happened really fast. So the man never made it to the hospital alive. Poor guy, that is really a bad way to go, drowning in front of your whole family is definitely sad. I was actually more upset then sad because I don’t think he should have died, if only we realized that the van only had family members we would have gone along, but we didn’t so its over. That was the closest I ever came to a dead man. Hopefully, it won’t get any closer.
Amazingly after that whole commotion Mazunte was back to its old self within an hour. Unbelievable place, Mazunte is. So that’s the sad part of this entry and I hope everyone is smart enough not to drink and swim in dangerous spots, because you can die, we’ve seen it.
Chapter 7 – Land Purchase
While I was away in San Cristobal, Smokey was busy looking over some land that’s for sale. Also while I was away Smokey miraculously got himself a Mexican ¨relative¨. Something like his cousin´s boyfriend in Montreal. SO that gave us a real good in to buying land here, since no foreigners can own land that is 50 kilometres from the coast or 100 kms from the borders. By the time I got back the deal was almost done.
Everything was actually finalized yesterday when I went with the land seller to the bank to confirm the money transfer. That even was kinda funny. After we confirmed the transfer, the Mexican guy went to the teller and called me over. He gave me 50 cents and said ¨go get a black bag¨ in Mexican, so I went and got him a black Bugs Bunny bag, which I found funny, but I don’t think he thought the same because instead of using the bag he placed the cash into his underwear. Anyways, I like Bugs Bunny and I ain’t ashamed.
So after he got his cash we got the deed. Its done. The land is really sweet. It’s a good 15 minute walk from the beach (which is a negative, but not too bad), but has a serious view of the ocean and beaches. The land has a sunrise view and a sunset view and I mean Ocean sunrise and sunset views, not some pathetic over the mountain view, those don’t really count. And its quite big, we can build a house and several cabanas with plenty of space.
Today I started clearing the land, and its sad how weak I am, after only 30 minutes of manual labour I almost started hyperventilating, luckily Leno was around to help out.
So God willing within a couple of years the place will be set up well.
What else, there was soo much. Oh yeah, Smokey might have Dengue fever. Dengue has been going around recently. Julie, Wilma’s daughter had it a couple of weeks ago, and Carlos says he had it a few days back. But no need to worry, he’s getting better and I’m watching over him.
Oh and my salsa lessons. I just had 3 of them so far and its good. The guy teaching me was supposedly a mexican dance champion at some point so be certain I'm learning from the best.
Okay, this entry can be much longer but I’m tired and I still need to go into town (30 minutes drive) so sorry, that’s it for me. And hopefully Smokey can place an entry soon otherwise this could be it.
Regards and asta luego hopefully in Mazunte,
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 10:21 PM
January 29, 2006 GMT
This entry is only to notify everyone that we are fine. Actually very fine. We're still in Mazunte and this place is out of this world. I need a long ass entry to give it justice, so that will have to wait. Its SUnday damn it and we're chillin, so stop buggin.
But I'd like to get some Bike notes out of the way.
SMokey's Bike: Since Puerto Escondido have only been going into town (Pochutla, 15 kms from Mazunte) once in a while. A couple of days ago his front brake lever was feeling spongy and this morning we performed our first front brake bleeding. It worked, the brakes are fine and we're pretty proud of ourselves, although lets be honest, bleeding the brakes is still on the easy part of the bike repair scale.
G-Money's Bike: Nothing really to report, except that I changed the oil again. WHy not right?.
Both bikes seem to be doing well, although the worry now is that all the salt in the air is gonna cause a problem sooner or later. So we've been bathing the bikes in WD40 (except for the brakes, I know, I learnt that awful lesson before).
Well, that's it for now.
Hopefully, I can get the full entry out soon. I really want to get the stuff down before I forget all the crazy stuff here. Its a total circus, really.
Ciao, asta luego, orale, vatos locos forever.
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 10:31 PM
January 11, 2006 GMT
Mexico's Little Italy
First off just to let everyone know that we're in another one of those small towns where it'' be hard to reach us so don't get scared or anything because we're doing fine.
Acapulco Dec 25 to January 3rd 2005 (I think)
I leave most of Acapulco up to SMokey. Many of you have asked for Smokey entries. Unfortunately, Smokey has not been able to put all that effort into writting a blog entry, so you're still stuck with me. Hopefully by me leaving out what happened in Acapulco it will force SMokey to write something. And if that doesn't work, I have no trouble with talking shit about him until he has no choice.
Whatever, but before we leave Acapulco, I would like to say something. Basically, we learnt something very special in Acapulco. We learnt that no matter how crappy or nasty a city is, that we can still enjoy it when we have nothing but time. One of the great things about this trip is that we're not on some stupid ass vacation which we need to be back from in a week or two. When we enter a town we enter it with a complete open mind and what ever happens happens. There hasn't been one place yet we didn't enjoy.
Okay that's enough of that. Back to business.
Peurto Escondido - January 3. 2005 (I think) - January 10th.
This is the primary Surf Town of Mexico, with its claim to fame being the Mexican Pipeline. And I'm not refering to the Cocaine Pipeline which probably also flows from Escondido, but the Surfing Pipeline, when a huge wave curls on itself and forms what looks like a pipe. Well, when we were there, there were no pipes, actually very little waves to talk of.
Amazingly, we stayed for a week. Peurto Escondido is Little Italy in Mexico. Supposedly the Italians made a movie about this placed many years back and since then its been colonized by them. We ended up spending our time at our Italian guesthouse getting homemade spagetti and Cappucino to die for, while listening to Dalida (think thats her name) do a French version of a Itsee Bitsee Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka DOt Bikini song (which happens to be on my all time favorite list). Anyways, we had a blast, the food in town was spectacular and finally there was a significant tourist scene.
The townn was soo hip I even decided to cut my hair in a mohawk style. Its been a lifelong dream actually. And it doesn' look half bad. I've given it a couple of goings over and still need one last trim and bamm, I look like a Mohican.
Mazunte (near Puerto Angel) - January 10 -----^
We finally managed to leave Escondido and decided on a one day stop at a town nearby called Mazunte. We drove in off the highway and headed to the beach. Within 6.3 seconds it became apparent that it was a topless beach. We rented the Cabana on the beach (7 steps away, no joke I can see the beach from my bed) and have not left yet.
I'll probably have a lot more to write about Mazunte and the area, for now its just to let people know that we are fine and are having a very surprisingly good time in Mexico. Who would have thought it would be Mexico.
Anyways, enough of this.
As for the bikes, we had them FULLY serviced in Acapulco. I'm hoping Smokey adds that to his entry. So overall, we're doing fine with a new air filter waiting for us in Oaxaca. Presently using a very well crafted makeshift filter on SMokey's bike.
That's it, I'm off to the beach.
We hope everyone is doing well.
Miss you all,
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 09:02 PM
January 02, 2006 GMT
About Mexico: Part 1
G-Money Entry (Although Smokey D is planning on one shortly, I can´t wait).
As for this entry, its part one regarding general Mexican Travel conditions and just general Mexican stuff.
First things first. Happy New Year to All.
We spent ours in Acapulco, at a club/bar.
Let me state for the record that the place we were at was by far the most diverse crowd I´ve ever experienced at a New years club party.
There were obviously many nationalities represented, but what got me was the age variation. I can safely say that the age variation was from a month old to 80 years old. I ain´t kidding there were kids and even babies at this place and in other places as well. Smokey and I were jokingly yelling at the Baby´s, ¨HEY BABY, BABY, IT´S 3 IN THE MORNING, GO HOME BABY¨. Anyone who knows Dave Chappelle standup acts will understand the joke, others that don´t, should get off their asses and watch/or listen to Dave Chappelle stuff.
In all honesty it was nice partying with groups of families, and seeing the little girls dancing really made me miss my two nieces (miss you Zoe and Emma). And reminded me how my sister still hasn´t sent any recent photos in over 2 months, what´s up with that???
Okay, that´s enough for now about New Year´s and Acapulco. Let´s get back to Mexico.
1) Driving Conditions. (Up to Acapulco, and staying primarily by the Pacific coast, therefore minimal inland riding).
The highway system has so far been surprisingly good. The toll roads are as good or better then anything we have back home, and they´re also usually pretty empty. The free roads are okay as well, although the main one I can attest to is the Highway 200 down the coast.
Things to work on for Mexican Transit authorities include:
i) Signage. For some reason no signs ever say if you´re heading south, north, east or west, they will only give the highway number and the next major city. That´s enough to get you places but having the direction does help and is just common sense (see more regarding common sense in the Mexican people section).
Besides location signs, other signs are missing if not utterly wrong. For example some of the distance signs are obviously wrong. Instead of the distance reducing as you get closer to the location, some cases the distance shown is farther, not sure why but it happens. In one case the two signs were within view (ie you can see both signs at the same time, about 20 meters apart) with the distance difference being 4 kilometers. Again that´s not too bad. But the most ¨dangerous¨signage problem is the notification of a speed bump. Note that many times the highways go through small towns and speed bumps are always around. One province, Guerrero is for some reason especially screwed up on these signs. Only half of the bumps were marked and something to note ¨Topes¨ means speed bump, and don´t forget it. And it´s strongly suggested to ride in the day or you´re bound to get some unwanted/unexpected air on the bumps.
ii) Shoulders, on the roads that is. Forget about it. Even the Toll roads had no shoulders. On average the shoulder is comprised of a 5 inch white line and 5 inches of space, which in total isn´t even enough for one bike. So if you have to pull over you need to wait for a section that has an inlet, which are relatively rare.
ii) Animals on roads. Doesn´t happen often, but you will get the occasional donkey herd or bull herd. Honking doesn´t work. As for road kill so far birds have been my primary victims with Iguanas not yet victimized yet very plentiful.
Best Ride: Highway 200 is a great coastal highway. Every once in a while you hit a village (aka Topes´s) but as long as the roads are not clogged with traffic, you´ll enjoy the whineding and twisty ride. I suggest Highway 200 be renamed to ¨The Whinedy One¨ or just ¨Twisterama¨..
Pay roads, are great for saving time but ain´t cheap. I calculate that you are paying around a $1 per 10-20 kms, which isn´t cheap and definitely adds up.
2) The food. Simply great. To date I have had more Tacos in the last 45 days then I´ve had in all the time previously and note that I was a Taco Bell lover for 10 years, until that fateful ¨bad taco¨ episode a few years back that ruined it for me.
Never have we not enjoyed a taco meal here. They are fast and filling and each place seems to make them differently and always so so good. We keep thinking that Montreal would be a great place for a Taqueria (Taco joint). Finally some competition for the Lebanese Monopoly, a.k.a the Amir Shish Taouk Cartel.
So in general, stay away from any North American brands and also any locations that are within or attached to big shopping centers. Stick to the corner mom and pop shops and you´ll be thankful and solid. Solid is good.
Favorite Mexican dishes: i) Anything in a Taco. Tacos here are small relative to north american tacos, so never order less then 4 or 5. Make sure to try out a Fish Taco, the Sayulita Fish Taco gets the 5 star SmokeyD and GMoney recommendation. ii) Enchiladas, like tacos, but can be better and more filling. iii) Pozole, had it only once and liked it, a cross between a stew and a regular soup. Made with corn. iv) Jalapeno Chips, found a great brand, reminds me of Miss Vicks back home. v) Great mini white powder sugar doughnuts that come in a plastic snack bag. Dangerous little bastards they are. But yet soooo fluffy. vi) and finally our favorite makeshift meal is a refried bean (out of a can) and whole wheat bread sandwich, I prefer my sandwhich with peppers, crushed chips and a cold beer (Negra Modelo is the best one soo far with Bohemia a close second, if you like darker beers that is).
Note: I will be working on fasting to releave some of the food muscle I´ve accumalated recently. So no worries about me getting fat.
3) Mexican people.
So far soo good. Even though we were told by many to watch out regarding mexicans we haven´t had much trouble except for the Lunatic who stole our air filter, I´m still miffed at that. F&ck, AGHHHHH, F&ck, AGHHHHH, F&ck!
Anyways, I need to control my anger. Okay back to the people. Really nice, friendly and generally upbeat. Our present guest house in Acapulco is run by one family which is the sweetest family I´ve ever encountered travelling. More on them from me or Smokey in a later entry.
Although Mexican people are nice and all, there is definitely a negative. Common sense. No better way to put it except to say that they lack significantly in the common sense department. Examples include; Getting your drinks first at a restaurant seldom happens, even though you know about the common sense deficiency syndrome and specifically ask for the drinks right away. Good luck!
At this time I can´t think of anymore serious infractions but there were many, trust me. Besides restaurants it happens in almost every social and official scenario. No point in getting upset, its gonna happen, right. Well, at least I tell myself that to lower my blood pressure.
4)Mexico and Bike maintenance. If you have a credit card (or plenty of cash) and you are willing to use it, you´ll have no problems getting service and parts. The Kawasaki dealership we serviced our bikes at was possibly the best dealership we´ve ever dealt with. It will get a serious plug in a subsequent entry.
So far the only concern is all the time our bikes have been spending around sand. Travelling down the coast doesn´t leave us much choice.
5) Woman, AKA Chicas, AKA Mujeres, AKA Muchachas. Definitely aggresive, yet not too attractive (in General, obviously there are exceptions).
Even coming from North America where we tend to overdo it on food, I still get an urge to yell ¨Put the fork down woman, its over, for the love of God, STOP.¨ Being serious, I´ve never witnessed women with such great appetites. I am dwarfed by their superior munching skills.
As for being aggressive, they do tend to stare and yell out and once in a while you´ll get the little touch/push or squeeze. Obviously, I don´t let myself be deamined by such behaviour and make sure I stay far away from it.
Well, that´s all for About Mexico Part 1.
Keep well and I´d like to send out a special greeting to my nieces who I´ve been especially missing lately. Big hugs and kisses to Zoe and Emma.
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 07:46 PM
December 28, 2005 GMT
Fun in Acapulco. Not!
The title of this entry comes from an old Elvis movie which we are dying to see because it takes place in Acapulco and also has a scene where Elvis cliff dives. We´re staying right next to where all the cliff diving is taking place so I feel some connection to Elvis these days. Nothing major or anything, not like I´m going to start impersonating the guy but its pretty cool.
Anyways, the pňint of the entry´s title is watch the movie and don´t bother with visiting the place. Acapulco is kinda nasty, on a good day. More on Acapulco later.
Now going back to Ticla
Ticla Dec 15- Dec 23, 2005
Ticla was great. Our setup camping was even better then in Sayulita. We had easy access to electricity although made due without any hot water. I also learnt how to sleep in a hammock, because as I might have mentioned previously, sleeping on sand (in the tent with no mattress) is like sleeping on a boulder. I probably messed up my shoulders during the Sayulita stay and the first two days in Ticla. But then we bought a hammock and it was great. Although sadly my first night in the hammock coincided with my first case of the ¨Mexican Runs¨. And it ain´t easy leaving your sleeping bag when you´re on a hammock all zipped up. There are many hammock sleeping techniques, the key one is head support and that´s all I´m going to say on this subject.
So more about Ticla. Basically a surf town and nothing more. The week we were there the waves were small for Ticla standards but still big for ours. Overall, I think I took more steps back in Ticla then forward regarding surfing. I now have fear which I didn´t have before. When that wave crashes down on you, it does with you what it wants, all you can hope for is: 1) No rocks to the head, 2) No board (your own) to the head or foot, 3) that your head\ or foot doesn´t go crashing into the ground, 4) that the guy next to you who also took the wave doesn´t lose his board which could end up in your head, 5) etc etc. All these things unfortunately have now entered my mind.
Unlike in Sayulita where you could basically grab any wave, in Ticla wave selection is critical. And also where to catch the wave, again a new concept. Maybe this is why people take courses on surfing. That´s all on Surfing for now.
The atmosphere in Ticla is special. Everyone is generally open and nice. We met a great couple from Texas (Captain Steve and Terry). They had the spot to our right. Really cool people. The Captain surfs and fishes and drinks, what else would one want from life. Although, I still think the Captain was working for the CIA in the seventees. Who goes to Nicaragua in 1976 (just when the revolution starts, see your history) and has a pilot´s license. Come on who was he kidding. I´ll probably be snuffed out for saying that, but we all have a record of it now so if anything happens to me we know its the Captain. Overall, very cool man and both of them were very hospitable. I´m beginning to really appreciate Texans, good people.
Besides Texans, Ticla is crawling with Italians and Canadians. I haven´t seen this many Italians since leaving Montreal and they are really cool. Definitely different then Italians back home. Why do Italians back home seem like they are from my Mothers generation, even the young ones? I know I´ll get hate mail for that one. Although please if you are gonna send hate mail place ¨Hate Mail¨in the subject line. Thank you.
Well that´s all for Ticla. We did nothing on the bikes there, not even a cleaning. Sorry girls (Katy and Lucille).
Zihuatenejo Dec 23-25, Dec 2005
On the 23rd for some unexplained reason, Smokey decided we should head out. And I was ready to make a move as well. Ticla had a feeling similar to Sayulita and we risked a chance of overstaying, so I was glad to keep moving.
We headed to Zihuatenejo, and on the way made some stops at Troncones (not sure why this place is popular with surfers, although we did catch one guy surfing who sadly broke his board in half, first time we saw that) and another stop at Ixtapa (the next Cancun, maybe).
Zihuatenejo is an okay place. The beaches are not much to talk about but the city itself was quite lively.
We got to hang out at a very interesting/cool/mellow bar called the Jungle Bar. A couple of things struck me about this place. First off it was being run by two women during the night shift. Two women were handling EVERYTHING for about 40 clients. Not being sexist or anything, but I´ve never seen that before. And they were good, really good. Never once were we waiting on anything and they were always around doing something. I can´t imagine two guys working the place as well as these two did. So hats off to those two. As for the second thing, the ¨bathrooms¨(at least the mens) was just a urinal. No joke just a urinal and nothing else, which obviously means no place to wash your hands. Even in normal circumstances that´s a little gross (and I´m not a clean freak by the way, I just like my hands and the hands of others washed after I or they pee), but at the Jungle bar they have free peanuts, so everyone is just digging into these peanuts, there were bowls everywhere. Sadly enough I only found out that the washrooms were lacking wash basins after I finished my first bowl of peanuts. Although to be honest I did have a second bowl, since I´m not a clean freak, but the second bowl wasn´t as satisfying.
Okay, besides the Jungle Bar, Zihuatenejo was the site of our first theft. Yes, it finally happened, someone stole something from our bikes. This guy (probably a guy) during daylight while our bikes were just outside our hotel managed to get the whole air filter assembly including the retaining bolt and frame (see clymer manual chapter 3 photo 53 for all parts stolen, I think its photo 53). This theft was mind boggling, just crazy, this guy simply messed us up. The air filter is an important part, highly required, and to make it worse he took the frame and the bolt making it very difficult to recreate the whole assembly. Sick, sick man. So we were somewhat screwed. The two motorcycle shops in the area said they couldn´t help and had no foam filter. We´d have to wait at least a week if not 2 until the parts were ordered and received. So we consulted our motorcycle guru in Montreal and got a quick lesson on how to put a make shift filter together (pantyhose and dish foam cleaners was where we were leaning towards). When we got to the motorcycle shop (second time) to get some supplies we´d need we received some divine help. Moments like what took place next is why I believe in God. Miraculously an old banged up KLR 650 (same bike as ours) was found in the back of the garage. Its as if the bike showed up out of nowhere, since the first time Smokey visited the place he came back empty handed. When I went to the back of the shop after looking over a KLR 250 hoping it has a similar filter (no way since it´s a much smaller bike) I saw Smokey standing next to the KLR and light was shining from the bike. So we made an arrangement with the guy to buy the used parts for the cost of him replacing the parts with new parts which we couldn´t wait for. Not quite sure why we didn´t buy the parts as used but spending $70 to get out of this jam felt really cheap. We learnt a very important lesson for $70. Lesson being, bike security. Till then we were either very lucky with where the bikes were staying or we were lucky that nothing happened. From now on we look for indoor parking.
The used filter had to be reworked a little (which a mechanic did) but it was more then enough to get us to Acapulco.
Ányways, I can go on about the whole theft, but talking about it makes me angry so we´ll leave it at that.
Acapulco Dec 25th
Great riding day. That reminds me that soon I´ll have a full entry on Mexican road conditions and general driving notes.
After being in Acapulco for 3 days, i can safely say that this isn´t a place I would revisit. The city itself is filthy, the beaches are primarily dirty and the heat is insane. Coming here we were hoping to find a good place to party for New Years and hopefully be around some Gringo´s (foreign tourists). But it turns out that foreinghers have stopped coming to Acapulco, we seem to be one of the few. I can say with confidence that in 3 full days of being alllll around Acapulco, we have seen less then 50 Gringo´s out of a holiday population of over a million. There was one bar/lounge that was kinda chic called Ibiza Lounge (damn you can call any club Ibiza something and people will go) which had great decor on and off the beach and even had Hukkah pipes with a huge selection.
As always there are positives to any negatives, and here in Acapulco we found a great place to stay at (Torre Effel near the cliff divers in Old Acapulco) and have found a first rate Kawasaki dealership. Yes folks, our girls are getting a full service job as I write this entry. That should take us easily for another 3000 miles.
Well, tts off to siesta time. I´ll have to end this entry.
Happy holidays everyone,
GMoney (although I now also have a psuedo name of Jamie Wolf [still under review], while Smokey´s psuedo name is Mike Jones, żwho? MIKE JONES)
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 07:58 PM
December 23, 2005 GMT
The Sayulita Crew. From Left to Right. Nile, SmokeyD, Emanuel, Sandra, Dimitri, GMoney (me), and Nancy. Miss you all.
Well, that's all the photos for now. Obviously we have tons of photos, but sadly haven't found a way to get them on a computer and this one by one thing is a little tiresome and actually slightly too educational for my present state. Maybe one of these days.
God Bless. Happy Holidays. Merry X-Mas, Happy Hannukah and a happy new year from Smokey D and GMoney.
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 04:53 PM
And this one is Smokey and a close up of our bikes. That's Lucille with the Silver hand guards and Katy with the black guards.
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 04:51 PM
This next one is us with Nancy (aka Nan). Thanks to Nan (and Michelle) we now have photos. Thank you, thank you sooo much.
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 04:50 PM
This photo thing isn''t easy. I've only found a way to place one at a time soo here goes nothing and I'll only send out one notification for all of them during this upload.
This photo (UsArriving) is the first one taken upon our arrival to Sayulita. This was after 7 days of hard riding.
As you can see, I'm happy to be alive and Smokey is just Happy!
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 04:14 AM
December 16, 2005 GMT
From Small Town to Tiny Village
Note that you can go to previous blogs from the main blog area,whatever that means, anyways figure it out.This is for the people that are just getting the blogs nowand want to see previous blogs.
First Off let me apologize for still not having any photos. I’m sorry.
I actually do have some photos, but they’re too big for a blog load. I just need to find away to size them down (Michelle when can you resend?). Really I just need some time, but not into that yet and the internet place I’m at now it’ll take forever. Damn, there’s a donkey about 20 feet away from where I sit now, not to mention the painfully loud roosters all over the place. Hate roosters (kept me up in the morning) but I love donkeys. Its great when they do that Yawning thing, if you look at them it almost looks like they want to puke, but hold it in and then just laugh.
Okay,okay, its been a while so there is much to tell. A.k.a. Long Entry Warning.
Nov 22- Dec 11 Sayulita.
Sayulita was great. We spend a week with Friends. Great to see Nancy (a.k.a. Nan), and others. There’s actually a photo with everyone, when I put that up, I go through who was around, presently, I’m lacking memory.
After our friends left we headed straight for a camp site. Which I already mentioned was on the beach. Fantastic location and they had hot water. We had a total setup, tent, table, chairs, and a surf board we could borrow from a neighbour. Unfortunately it was a short board(6'2) and was hell surfing with, I wouldn’t even call what I was doing on that board as surfing, that would dimine the sport.
Things to know about Sayulita: The handshake, simple but key. When confronted with the handshakedo the following... Simple hand slap with a slip away, followed by a soft but firm chuck. Note: A chuck is a clenched fist, knuckle to knuckle hit. Simple, yet necessary.
Besides all the handshakes we did in Sayulita, there wasn’t much of a night life. Our average bedtime was 9pm. Several days I was asleep by 7pm. While wake up was around 6 am. Nutty, very nutty. So instead of partying we decided to put our energy towards commercial real estate. Two interesting opportunities were found. One was a rundown mini-hotel (15 rooms), which was ON the beach, had serious potential but needed lots of work. But the owner wasn’t selling and his rental fee was ridiculous, won’t even mention.
The second place was also a mini-hotel (10 rooms)on the first block from the beach, great location, and is ready to go. I won’t go into details, but if anyone is interested here is the listing and if you do end up getting it, I would like a lifetime free stay (as long as a room is available) finders fee. Listing: http://www.sayulita-garciarealty.com/listing303.html
Amazingly, we spend almost 14 days on the camp site and 20 days in total in Sayulita. Leaving Sayulita is tougher then getting out of a warm bed on a cold Montreal winter morning.We even met some interesting people at the site. One kid (22), from Boston, was more concerned about helping the needy then helping himself first. Whacked, totally whacked. Not sure what hormones they put in food these days, but schools might as well have students smoking crack. Just kidding, it was refreshing to see that, weird but refreshing. Anyways, this same kid had a laptop stolen and returned during the last night we spent in Sayulita.
The whole incident was kinda surreal. Around 4 am we (our gang) get woken up, by one of our group, saying that someone is snooping our stuff. The snooper stayed on the sight and was making believe he was sleeping on a hammock. His fake yawn/stretch when “woken” was easily spotted. The kid (snooper) stuck around and the cops were called. Most of us went to sleep, but the Boston kid stayed up since his laptop went missing the day before. So around 7am (3 hours later), the cops show up, and I wake up. Not sure what exactly happened, since there was a lot of spanish spoken, but the kid almost got off. All he had to do was keep quiet. But he confessed at the last second. Amazing, that NEVER happens. He actually confessed to stealing the laptop the day before, sick, sick. Odds are in the hundreds of thousands of ever getting a laptop back after its stolen in a foreign country. Maybe even in the millions. But this Boston kid got it back.
Takeaway Lessons: 1) If you are sincere in helping the needy, your odds of getting stolen stuff back are better than normal. 2) Never, Ever, Ever, confess. If they’re asking you to confess, its because they don’t know sh$t.
The whole night robbery thing got us moving though, we took it as a sign that we’ve stayed long enough. That day we packed up, said our goodbyes and left in the dark.
During our stay in Suyulita we made a couple of trips into Puerta Vallarta. Interesting town which we ended up staying a few nights after Sayulita. Also has the BIGGEST Walmart, I’ve ever seen. This Walmart even has an Alcohol section, I didn’t even know they allowed that.
In Vallarta we mainly had our bikes worked on (see Motorcycle section at the end). And Smokey got the first speeding ticket of the trip, and can you believe it, the cops wanted money. I couldn’t believe it, cops stopping people for money! Outrageous. That’s just wrong, but Smokey assured me that that was why he was stopped and not because he was going faster than everyone else.
Puerta Vallarta- Dec 11- 13 (I think).
We were actually only supposed to be in Vallarta for a couple of days, but on the third day my bike didn’t start (see moto section) so we ended up staying another night. This gave Smokey an opportunity to experience a Foam party, which I luckily didn’t have to go to. It just sounded like the theme to one of my 3 year old niece’s birthday party’s. So I got to stay in and watch MTV, while Smokey took the hit and went out. Smokey’s experience will hopefully grace this blog later, but for now... Takeaway lessons are: 1) Go in a bathing suit. 2) Do not bring any documents, especially your passport or any vehicle registration papers. Foam parties, are 80 percent water and 20 percent foam, from what I can tell.
Anyways, Vallarta was actually quite the little town. We had a great little spot by the beach.
Dec 14- Melaque
Not much here. Basically a retirement community. Average age, 70 years old. No waves. But we got to see "A day withough Mexicans", on the TV at the hotel, so it was worth it. Great movie.
Dec 15 Ticla
We arrived in the late afternoon. Tough little place to find. Ticla makes Sayulita look like Miami in regards to size and things to do/buy. While the waves here make Sayulita waves feel like a bubble bath. I was out surfing this morning and I got hammered. One time I even knocked my head on a rock. I didn’t think that could happen until it actually happened. And not to mention the two time the board hit my head. Luckily for all that work I got on the board once, which lasted 1.6 seconds long. Anyways, no need to get concerned, I’m okay and I’ll be back in the water before the end of the day. We’ve rented a board for a week.
As in Sayulita, we’re camping. The facilities are pretty good here too and we’re also on the beach. The overall place has almost nothing. I’m at the only internet place and it has 2 terminals. There is no Laundry place, only one main mini shop, but the place has no peanut butter, which sucks and no soy milk. Wow, I am so needy. But even without any of that stuff, it’s a very cool little place. Smokey’s mind is already racing at 100 mph thinking of how to make money.
Anyways, I gotta go, this is the only internet in town. So it’s kinda in demand if you now what I mean. I’m sure I’m leaving a lot out.Sorry, if I remember I’ll add it in in the next entry.
By the way, we have limited communication in Ticla, if you're trying to reach us good luck.
We miss you all,
Smokey’s Bike: Got an oil change in Vallarta. I didn’t trust them so I did it again in Sayulita. Also tightened all the bolts except those covered by the skidplate. G-money’sbike as well had a tightening done.
G-Money’s Bike: Also supposedly got an oil change in Vallarta, but I really didn’t trust them and it turned out I was right. When I changed my own oil in Sayulita it looked like tar. I felt awful letting it get that bad. Now I just need to do another change with a filter clean at the same time.
In Vallarta the day we were going to leave,my bike had NO electrical power. It turned out my battery was almost completely drained.
What I think happend was that the night we arrived in Vallarta, I remember my radiator fan not closing, even after a good 15 minutes. I assume it drained my battery. So we placed Smokey’s battery on my bike, got my bike started and bought Smokey a new battery. Which by the way didn’t fit well at all. I’ve never had such a tough time putting in a battery, even had to bang it in a couple of times..
I wonder (anyone with ideas let me know) why it was soo hard. The battery (Yulsa) has the correct requirements as per the manual, and it looks standard, but for some reason it was just a couple of millimetres too tall.
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 09:16 PM
November 27, 2005 GMT
From Long roads to small cobblestones.
G-Money Entry. Sorry for the spelling errors in the last blog, had no time to revise.
Possibly a Long Entry Warning.
And I think its Nov 26th.
I´m seating at an internet cafe(without coffe)/general store in Sayulita. I´m about as relaxed as I can be so this entry could be more mellow then it should. Since last entry had to end prematurely, this one will have to go back and finish it off. Here goes!!
Going back to Nov 19th. Mexicali to Colorca (Initially planned to make it all the way to Hermosillo).
After arriving at the customs office at around 4pm, we began the long wait, which included the heart stopping moments where we thought we´d have to head back since I didn´t have my Bike´s Registration (only Temporary papers). The ladies behind the counter were nice enough to go an extra little bit so as to speak to the next guy higher up. Who was also nice enough to speak to the next guy higher up, who we ended up waiting for for an hour to get back from break.
Anyways, long story short.... we were royally in a bind, my smile and teary blue eyes brought forth pity, and then miraculously we were allowed to go through (and yes Smokey D´s spanish and attempted bribery were added in for good measure).
By this time it was 7pm and we weren´t going to make it to Hermosillo so we stopped in Colorca at some Motel called ¨La Casa Blanca¨ that´s The White House for you gringos.
Anyways, the place was very decent (ie we had MTV on the tube) and we finally got a little sleep. Though not much since we were right by the highway and some train tracks of some sort, probably for trains and stuff.
Nov. 20th - Colorca to Nojohoa
Great day riding. No major surprises. Except for stopping off in Hermosillo and finding ourselves just in time for the Mexican revolution parade.
The biggest pain of the day was riding like mad to a toilet so that I could seperate myself from the Subway sandwich we had for lunch. Smokey-D seperated himself at a gas stop.
Takeaway Lesson: No more Branded food, only local food from now on.
That night I had some of the best tacos in my life. One was even made with cow brains. Very good sh$t and I didn´t need to sh$t. And I also got aquainted with the equivalent of Ontario´s Beer Store, but in Mexico. These things are everywhere and they´re great. They even fill your bag up with ice if you want, how nice is that?
So overall, this was a good day and we were dead tired. I think we went to bed at 9pm.
Nov. 21st - Nojohoa to Mazatlan
Another great day of riding and at this time I should say something about the roads in Mexico.
The roads are pretty good. The toll roads are even better than the ones back home. They call them Autopista´s, which even sounds fast, and on some we´d be going 75-85 mph. Which on KLR´s is fast. As for the tolls, they were actually very expčnsive. One 75 mile stretch was 10USD$ (note everything will always be quoted in US dollar at the approximate exchange rate when the payment took place) per bike. Sh$t, I could get my ass from Montreal into Manhattan using the toll roads and the Goerge Washington bridge (6$ toll) for that much. Luckily others were cheaper (1$, 4$, 6$...) and we weren´t thinking of the cash, all we were thinking off was what´s the fastest way to get to Sayulita.
Anyways, we ended up in Mazatlan, which is a beach town about 400 kms north of Peurta Vallarta. We settled in and had a great night in town. Had tacos and beer, played some basketball with local kids/hoodlums (we took the best of 3, 2 to 1, although nothing to be proud off since we played 14 year olds), got reconnected with shtin, and ended it off with a great smoothie (banana and something I forget).
Nov 22nd. Mazatlan and SAYULITA.
Well, we got off early and headed to Tepic. From Tepic we took the 200 MEX south to Sayulita. And after 5 days off HARD driving we made it to our destination and only one day late. Our friends had arrived the previous day.
We parked the bikes in front of the guesthouse and headed straight to the beach.
Met up with Nan and got settled in.
It was great seeing Nan and the others (Nile, Doris, Dimitri, Sandra, Allison.....).
And the guesthouse is Phenominal, I can´t even explain it, its that good.
Anyways, that´s it for this entry. I have to head back, we´re going over to some San Franciscans we met for cocktails and then get some falafel.
But next Entry. G-Money and SmokeyD go surfing is a don´t miss entry. Not that they´re not all don´t miss ones. You know what I mean.
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 12:56 AM
November 21, 2005 GMT
Mexico Baby, MEXICO!
G-Money Entry - Nov.20, 2005
Long Entry WARNING. You´ve Been warned.
Well, we´re in Mexico, presently in a chill little teenage run internet cafe in Navojoa, south of Hermosillo.
Well here goes.
On Nov. 14th we finally went on our test run to Vegas. The trip actually took place because Smokey´s brother was flying in on the 15th and it was a good idea to see him before the trip. Chances are if it wasn´t for that we would have been way too lazy to go on a test run. Luckily God provided a good reason.
The day of the 14th, we ran into problems with Smokey´s KLR. The connections were acting up as they had been since all the mods were put on the previous week, but we never had them happen when we brought her (Lucille, Smokey´s KLR) back to the shop. On this day we got ¨lucky¨ and it happened at the shop. The mecanic fixed it in a jif and we hightailed it out of L.A.
We left in the midafternoon with Angela, Smokey´s friend, and ended up riding at night.
Takeaway lesson: The dessert is cold at night.
On the way to Vegas, about 60 miles out. Smokey´s mind had the urge to see what 100 miles on Lucille (his KLR) felt like. At about the same time Angela´s body had the urge to go into hyperthermia.
We ended up making an unscheduled stop at a dinky garage where we pumped Angela with hot liquids and warmer clothing.
As we were ready to leave, we found out that the garage where we had our bikes modified was VERY consistent. Meaning that now my bike wouldn´t start. I love consistency. So we´re in the middle of nowhere at about 11pm in cold weather with a bike that doesn´t start. So we decided to become mechanics at that very instant. I grabbed the tools, and within 2 minutes we had the seat and the side panels off and within 30 seconds more had the bike running. All it was was the battery connections were loose. God Bless!.
We decided to sleep outside of Vegas, 40 miles away. Amazingly, we managed to loose each other in what was only a 20 mile drive to the nearest hotel. WE SUCK!
It took us an hour and two cell phones to find each other by midnight and then we turned in for the night.
In the morning on the way to Vegas, the wind was insane. Personally, it felt like six guys were pushing me from side to side. That will probably be the worst 40 mile drive of my life. In any case we managed to get into Vegas in time to meet Smokey´s brother. After picking him up we settled into hotel rooms and then did what any young men would do in Vegas. We left Angela to do her thing and headed for the Poker room. We went for the best. The Bellagio. Sadly we all ended up as loosers but at least we got to see some of the greats in the high stakes room. We saw Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen and the great Doyle Brunson, as well as some others that look familiar but their names escape me.
Anyways, that´s about all for Vegas and the trip back went pretty smooth. I won´t bore you with the details.
So we got back and started getting ready for Mexico the following day. We were rushing because of the BAJA 1000 race taking place on Friday (the 18th) and also to Sayulita (next to Puerta Vallarta) to meet my best friend Nan.
Los Angeles to Ensenada Mexico.
We left for Mexico on Nov.17th at around 1pm. The trip begins.
We made it to San Diego, where we purchased Mexican insurance. At this point I was getting very nervous about not having my official bike registration, since it still hadn´t arrived in the mail. By the way, the whole Californian law of making you wait for the title and registration is sick and crual punishment, someone has to do something about it, its sick, sick , sick.
Anyways, my worries were not needed since crossing the Mexican border in Tijuana is like driving from point A to point B with only traffic to deal with. NO ONE even looks at you, there is NO checkpoint, I kept thinking at some point someone would stop us but noone did. Just ridiculous, but I wasn´t arguing.
Well, we were finally in Mexico, and just in time for our first screwup. We were headed to Ensenada. The sign came up fast and Smokey and I were too close. I not wanting to be hit by a pickup running me off the road choose the safer route by missing the exit. I stopped immediately and so did Smokey. It looked like we were f%&$ed. So I headed for a one way ramp, in the wrong direction, and tried to make it over a medium which was going up a hill. This is difficult to explain but picture, me on my bike in the wrong flow of traffic, Smokey off his bike running to help get me over the medium and then stopping traffic on the right side of the road. Sadly we didn´t get any footage of this, but it was my first true off road (all 3 seconds of it) test and we survived. You know you´re crazy when Mexicans look at you like you´re crazy.
We made it into Ensenada that night. The town itself is cool and has lots of potential, but way too many tourists, probably because of the race. So we headed in for the night. Sadly, sleep meant only 3 hours since around 1 am, the hotel became alive with noise. All the contestants staying at the hotel started getting ready (first race start was at 6am). And the fact that the room was freezing didn´t help either. There were moments I could have sworn I was back in Montreal in my moms basement in mid January freezing my ass off. Dont ask me why, it was just freekin´cold.
Ensenada to Mexicali, Mexico, Nov. 18th 2005.
Even though we barely got any sleep the night before, we still managed to get up for the truck starts at 9am. Now if you´ve never witnessed the Baja 1000, I suggest you do, at least if you like vehicle races. This race has all types of vehicles and the crazy part is that they allow fans to come dangerously close to the race. We got some great footage of us within feet of racing trucks heading straight for us. Its just ridiculous what they allow, unbelievable. I could have flung a loogie at a driver and no one would care... except for the driver.
We managed to leave town by 1pm which was a little late, but was also due to the fact that that night Katy (my KLR) decided to bleed some oil. Probably due to the hot\cold effect overnight. At least I´m hoping its that and she´s be fine until the 3000 mile maintenance.
To keep it short, we headed to Tecate and then to Mexicali and called it a night, we were beat, tired and tired.
Sucks to be us but the room we got had a disco behind the back wall. WHo would have thought. So from 10 pm to about 4 am, I had the pleasure of listening to Reaggaeton (Gasolina was my favorite), hip hop and even some rock. All that with a kick ass base to go along. So all in all, we didn´t get much sleep again and the next day was going to be a doosy.
By the way the toll road from Tecate to Mexicali is GREAT. There is a section that goes through the mountains which was spectacular. Sadly we did half of it in the dark, which by the way we said from the start that we wouldn´t ride at night but for the second night in a row broke the rule.
Mexicali to Colorca (I think that´s how its spelled, its south of Sonoyta) Mexico, Nov. 19th 2005.
WHAT A DAY!!!!!!!!!
It starts off well by us leaving in time. We head towards San Luis Rio Colorado, which is an easy enough drive. Sadly we hit some weird traffic just outside of San Luis. Total stoppage. Smokey hears that its a protest of some sort and for some reason I loose it. Hell, no protest is keeping me from getting to where I´m going so we decide to take a shortcut.
Takeaway lesson: Do not leave a paved road unless you really really half too.
The stoppage in traffic started at the bridge and we headed under the bridge to find a way around. Smart guys like us thinking that with our KLR´s we were money. We were wrong. Under the bridge was a small river (nothing much) but worse was the sand. This stuff was like baby powder and our wheels were fully pressurized. At one point Smokey was able to get himself sooooo stuck, his back wheel was 80% on the sand, which included his chain and back breaks. It took all our force to get him out. Which we didn´t have much too spare after two nights of minimal sleep. I also wanted to kill him for getting as stuck as he did.
Takeaway lesson: Once you are stuck in sand, trying to gas out won´t work, it just won´t.
After getting Smokey out, I ended up toppling my bike in the sand after loosing my balance, but it was a soft lay down. After getting me up and running we headed back like two defeated boxers. Him taking a shot to the ribs and me to the jaw.
Once we got back to where we started the traffic was moving and we found out after that it was only due to construction on the bridge which allowed for one way traffic at a time.
Takeaway Lesson: When someone says the traffic is due to a protest, don´t believe the hype, just ask the official standing at the front before you do something wacked.
Well, after getting past that horror, we thought our day was going to go smoothly. We were sadly mistaken.
After making it to San Luis we headed south to Hermosillo. Within 10 miles we were stopped at a checkpoint. And my nightmare materialized. We ended up spending 3 hours at customs with me begging and pleading and Smokey speaking his broken spanish to try and get me my papers for my bike. They didn´t want to let us through because I didn´t have my official registration for the bike. Well, again God saved us and miraculously we were allowed through. I would go into detail here but the internet cafe is closing so I´ll have to leave it for another time.
BUT: Takeaway Lesson: Bring ALL necessary paperwork to customs in Mexico, they don´t f&%$ around. We were lucky...
Posted by Gaby Berelovich at 04:33 AM
Check out the Books pages for Travel books and videos.
International freight shippers specialising in International Bike / Motorcycle Shipping and more. All countries,
sea or air, multi-bike shipments.
Be sure to mention Horizons Unlimited for the best service!
'Sam Manicoms new book! is a gripping rollercoaster of a two-wheeled journey which takes you riding across some of the most stunning landscapes in the world. This enticing tale has more twists and turns than a Rocky Mountain Pass and more surprises than anyone would expect in a lifetime. There are canyons, cowboys, idyllic beaches, bears, mountains, Californian vineyards, gun-toting policemen with grudges, glaciers, exploding volcanoes, dodgy border crossings and some of the most stunning open roads that a traveller could ever wish to see.