5.2.10 Soto La Marina, Mexico
Apart from the towel, with which a 14th century Dutch farmhand would have been embarrassed to be caught wiping off a sow's teats, Hotel Meda in Panuoco isn't too bad. OK - it stinks, inside and out, but the food's excellent. If you're wondering how it's possible for a hotel to stink outside - guess what? so am I - but I assure you it is.
Fog, hailstones, constant rain, potholes and greasy hairpins are the order of the day for 200 miles north of Mexico City, but eventually Her Indomitableness and I glide out onto the sunlit lowlands along the Gulf coast. I get to enjoy the relief of it all for a short while, and then Constable Shitlegs comes along and spoils it all by fining me 35 quid for jumping a red light. I mean really! Well yes, I did do it, but couldn't you forgo on just this one occasion? I've come an awfully long way etc etc.
He takes me up a back alley (so to speak), and before writing the 650 peso ticket, seems to imply that an "arrangement" might be entered into. I'd love to pay him a 200 peso bribe rather than the full-price ticket, but - damn your eyes man! - he's just not quite specific enough for me to be sure that's what he means. Oh well. 20,000 Latin American miles, 200 miles from the US border, and that's the first legitimate fine of the trip.
His 2008 V-Strom looks absolutely knackered, by the way. Her Maj - a full 10 years older - gleams smugly in the background (under a thickish layer of mountain grime).
It's fashionable in Adventure Motorcycling™ circles to dismiss the USA - half a continent! - as "rubbish", and just a place to be got through on the way to somewhere good. Maybe that argument sprang from the shame and humiliation of the George Dubaahyaaaah Bush years; maybe the millions of US citizens who believe in the literal truth of the Bible (the Earth is less than 10,000 years old [sometimes just 4000, which leaves Sumerian civilization in a bit of a tight spot], Noah's Ark actually happened, Jesus wasn't a Jew and he looked Danish, etc etc) must take their share of the blame; but now, with one day left before the border, to try and explain how excited I am about entering the US would be like trying to nail a fried egg to a horse: stupid, pointless, extremely painful and quite probably illegal.
My plan is to cross into Texas tomorrow - Texas! - and head for New Orleans, then Bill Hicks' grave in Mississippi, back to Dallas, up into Colorado to pay my respects to Hunter S Thompson (in the form of Wild Turkey, peyote and automatic weapons); then the Grand Canyon, Vegas, "Frisco", Redwood Country and up the coast to The 'Couv.
If I end up eating Dunkin' "Donuts" three times a day, or I get shot by a seven-fingered pig-shagger in a grubby vest and skinned for curtain-fabric, I'll eat my words, but when I think about what's ahead right now, I get so het up that a bit - just a couple of drops - of wee comes out. Hoo-Zar.
Here's how the argument goes:
Mr A: America? Pah! Rubbish!
Mr B: America? Isn't that where Al Green comes from?
Mr A: Well, yes, I suppose...
The point, quite obviously, is that if Al Green had been the only human being ever to have lived in the USA, and had somehow contrived also to do all the bad stuff (Iraq, Subway etc) it would still have been worth it.
Now add Bill Hicks, Stewie Griffin, Stevie Wonder, Beavis, Fred MacMurray, Mark Kozelek, Mark Eitzel, The Monkees (if you think you don't like The Monkees I suggest you listen to Pleasant Valley Sunday right now), Jon Cryer, Chuck D, Dr Sheldon Cooper, PZ Myers, Billie Holliday, Carl Sagan, Fred Quimby, Oliver Hardy, The S1W's, Lt. Uhuru, Robert Johnson, Steve Buscemi in Trees Lounge, Leland Palmer, Lois Griffin, Ella Fitzgerald, Kate Hudson *experiences recurring dream* and Telly Savalas. End of chat, as my friend Neil would say.
Next HU Events
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- HUBB UK: June 19-22
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- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
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- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 14-16
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