January 10, 2003 GMT
All them nights down in Mexico..

"...a woman alone? - on a moto! - that only makes it worse."....

I crossed into Mexico at the end of october through Nogales. Vehicles had to go 21km past the actual border to be processed. The paperwork only took 10mins but i had to wait in a queque for two hours!! Managed 150km before sunset on such a shitty road.
I did some hard miles to get over to the Pacific, just making over-night stops, until i found a secluded campsite near Mazatlan and relaxed for a few days.
A hurricane had ripped through San Blas and Puerto Vallarta, everyone i spoke to said the road was blocked. It had been 10 days though and i thought the road should be open now. The crews were still clearing some sections but it was passable...you never know ītil you go.
There was a lot of damage close to San Blas and the left side of the road was missing for 2kms. To be honest though, sometimes i couldnīt tell what was hurricane damage and what was normal rubbish!
I woke up in Puerto Vallarta to an earthquake. Five on the scale apparently. I thought i was imagining the bed rocking, but the jacket on the chair back was swaying too.
The coast road is a good ride (once outside of P.V. w/ potholes on every bend). Hardly any traffic and lovely ocean views. The 'down side', of course, are the freaking TOPES!!....killer speed humps that blend in with the road and are rarely signposted.

night of iguana.jpg

Finally cheap camping at Boca Beach, Boca de Iguanas. Palapa covered brick patio and a brick runway for the bike! It turns into an RV village in december, but now was nearly empty.
Thunder and lightening brought the rain; clammy and chilly. It continued all night and until 8:30 next morning. Tried to get dressed, but had to pee so bad, i couldnīt move. In desperation i filled and 8x5 zip bag! Donīt leave home without them. Maybe i could advertise for the company...101 uses.
I abandoned my camp for a night when i was taken in by Alaskans in La Manzanilla. Joanna and Michelle invited me in for breakfast, the best one i had in Mexico.
We walked to a waterfall and there were a lot of spider webs blocking the path. The spiders were 3" long (banana spiders?). As nominated web wacker, i left an unusually large and strong one intact; only to walk straight into it on the way back down!! Blood curdling scream and lots of 'twitching like a fiend'.

camping Mexico.jpg

After three days of good laughs and good food i made my way along the lumpy potholed roads. And those damnable topes are driving me insane.
People are so surprised that i am travelling alone. All through the States it was..." oooh you're so brave". In Mexico it's...."youīre alone? All by yourself; no companion in the toilet?"....Or...."a woman alone? - on a moto! - that only makes it worse".
Then there is the riding gear. When i put on the jacket and pants, the boots and gloves, it looks and feels like getting dressed for toboganning.
Crossing the isthmus and continental divide to Chiapas, i encountered wicked, wicked winds. Day one on the lowland was difficult but not such a big deal. Day two in the mountains was terrifying. The curves became wind tunnels. I was held in place, and in little time it took to gear down i was blown toward the cliff edge. Be brave and breath! My nerves were stretched.
"...all them nights down in Mexico, that's one place i'll never go, in my life again.."
San Cristobal de las Casas was just what i needed. Live Cuban jazz and The 20th November Revolution celebrations.
Adios Mexico.

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith at January 10, 2003 12:28 PM GMT

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