July 02, 2009 GMT
The Road of Death!!

The ride started as normal, and we found our way out of Mexico city without too much trouble, the problems started later on. The road was glorious. We rode up, down and round mountains, through the forest, twisting and winding our way along in the sunshine, and after a few hours, we were ready for a stop.
road of death.jpg
Spectacular views on the road to Altamarina( The Road of Death)

We pulled into a little taco stand on the side of the road and ordered some grub. There was a Federale eating beside his pursuit car next to us and we waved hello. These are the guys that we were warned about; the Federales are the hard-core cops, no messing, so we were a little wary. We were half way through our meal when he ran to his car and sped off. 10 minutes or so later, we also got back on the bike and started making our way down the mountain. A couple of miles down the road we hit a tailback, and cruised along the side of the queuing cars and trucks to the front, where the same Federale was in his car, blocking the road. I parked up and went to see what was going on. deputydan.jpgThis Federale was a really cool guy. He wanted to know all about our trip, where we came from, how much the bike cost, what did we think of Mexico and so on. He apologised for the delay, told us there had been a tanker spill a little further down the road, and it would all be cleared up soon.
Sure enough, a few minutes later he motioned for us to pull ahead and pull over to the side of the road, where he deputised us as Federal Deputies, and handed us both Policia Federale badges. To say that this made our day would be an underestimation!
We continued towards our destination, huge grins on our faces, narrowly missing a herd of cows crossing the road, then narrowly missing a herd of goats, then donkeys, around every corner it seemed there was something living that shouldn’t have been there.
Some of the animals we encountered on the road

The scenery as we rode around the winding mountain road was gorgeous, and had to restrain myself from pulling over every 5 minutes to take photographs.
As we descended one mountain, we came across a town, and another roadblock. We waited on the bike for a few minutes before dismounting to see what was the hold up. One of the townsfolk told me that there had been a shooting only moments before, and a man was dead; the police had to close the road to gather evidence, and were also interviewing witnesses. It looked like we would be stuck for a while, then an old local farmer told us there was a back way around the block. Brilliant, we backed the bike up and headed down a narrow road, only to get stuck in traffic again. I got off the bike and walked a little way down the road to investigate. On my way down, I stepped on a round concrete drain cover, which promptly gave way, leaving me with one foot on the ground and one leg knee deep in the water. There were 2 ladies in a pickup truck next to me who looked down at me in horror and jumped out of their truck to help me out of my hole. I had a couple of grazes, but was otherwise fine, and everyone in the traffic queue had a good laugh, myself included. As it transpired, a coach had decided to have a go at this back way round the road block, and had managed to wedge itself in good and proper on a tiny bridge, and couldn’t go forwards or backwards, so I was forced to go back to the bike, turn around, and head back up to the main road. Fortunately, the road had been re-opened, and we were able to continue what we had named “The Road of Death” to Zihuatanejo and the beach.

Posted by Dan Shell at July 02, 2009 05:29 AM GMT

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