Thursday, January 24, 2008

Days 10 and 11

Greetings from hot, sunny and oh so humid, Puerto Escondido Mexico!

To describe the last two days as gruelling would be a vast understatement. They were two of the longest, hottest days I´ve ever experienced. Nerves were frayed, patience was tested and our stamina was really put to the test.

Day 10 started on a sour note because we originally planned on a very early start to beat the heat. Instead, we had a slight setback. Nothing serious in the big scheme of things but maybe a sign of what was to come. We dropped off our laundry at a local lavanderia and they promised us it would be ready to be picked up by 9:00. They lied. They didn't even open the next day. By the morning we wanted to leave we were VERY worried. There was no phone number on the door or on the receipt, and we were starting to think of contingencies IE a major shopping trip to Walmart. Luckily though, we picked up everything at 9:00 and were on our way out of Acapulco by 9:30. Just in time for rush hour and the start of the heat. It´s been around 33 with a Humidex of 42!
Anyway, we were finally on our way. It started out great. More sweeping vistas of the Pacific and some great riding. the day wore on it became hotter and hotter. Then we had our first "issue".
Now you have to understand, I´m a fairly novice rider. I haven´t experienced a lot of things. Like say, A FLAT TIRE AT 110KPH!! I had no idea what was happening other than my bike started to do the funky chicken and I was going WAY too fast for my liking. We were able to limp along to a spot where we could all pull off and then the fun began. And here I have to give a VERY big KUDOS to Kevan. If not for him, Brad, Steve and I would still be back on the side of the road looking at the tire and thinking WTF? Anyway, it turns out that I picked up a 4 inch screw that managed to work it's way right through the side wall. We had to pull the tire, remove it from the rim, install a tube as an emergency fix and re-install the wheel, all in 35 degree heat without a lick of shade. It took a full two hours and by the time we were back on the road the damage was done. I´m sure we all had varying degrees of heat stroke and dehydration and it was borderline dangerous. Later that same day we were all litterally exhausted. At one point I dumped my bike when we pulled over for a break. It was a stupid mistake and only because I was too tired to see it coming.
One final bit on the tire change. It´s quite an endeavour! After the wheel is removed you have to break the ¨bead´ in order to remove the tire from the rim. (I didn`t know what it meant either)
Now, to do this takes a lot of pressure. The easiest way is to place the wheel on its side on the ground and jump on the sidewall of the tire. Soooooo.......three of us held hands and stood in a circle and jumped up and down on the tire! Our own little Circle of Friends. But- did I mention how hot it was? And that we wear black riding pants? Riding pants that we eventually took off to stave of heat stroke. So, know you have three grown men, all in their underwear but wearing black motorcycle boots, holding hands and jumping up and down in a circle. We´re lucky we didn´t get arrested!
We eventually made it to the middle of nowhere, dusty, dirty and VERY Mexican small town of Pinotea Nacional. We pulled in to town at 4:30 - a 7 hour trip that was supposed to have taken 4 hours.
Hilights of the day. A heard of goats on the raod, wayward pigs and burro´s and Steve VERY nearly being clobered by a falling tree by some Mexican road workers that had a major chuckle while trying to kill their first Gringo on a Motorcycle.
Mileage- 269 klm

Day 11
Today started off well. It was at leat 30 when we got up and there was a heavy mist - a nice indicator of the humidity level. We were planning on riding to Haultulco. A ride of approx 250 klm but no such luck. The tube apparently didn´t do the trick because I started loosing air after a couple of hours. Kevan packs a portable electric tire pump - again, KUDOS - and we tried an emergency foam injection to get us into town. It did Ok for a while but it was slow going and the heat really started to take its toll. We stopped at a tire shop in Puerto Escondido to refill it and they were able to point us to a Motorcycle Shop. He pointed us to another Motorcycle Shop, where we were able to buy a tire. All of this sounds quick and painless now but at the time it was 35 in Mexican city traffic and we had countless wrong turns and the language barrier played no small part in our frustration. It was the first time any of had ¨words´ amongst ourselves. Some of which rhymed with Duck - go figure. Anyway, the tire eventually went completely flat and I had to push the bike the final few blocks to a hotel in order to save the rim. Long story short - we pulled the wheel - again - and I took it, and the new tire, by cab back to the tire shop. To put a positive spin on this, the guys at the shop don´t normally work on motorcycle tires. They put their heads together though and installed the new tire by hand, staying a half hour late on their own time in the process. Cab ride back, install wheel and voila!

OK - it´s not all as bad as it sounds. It´s still an incredible trip and we all wouldn´t trade it for the world. OK, maybe some of yesterday and today but only that.

Mileage 147

Now the bad news. Kevan is really feeling under the weather. He´s been fighting a cold or flu and the heat and humidity is quite hard for him to deal with. Add to that the fact that he worked his ass off today and yesterday, plus possible heat stroke and probable dangerous levels of dehydration and he´s in tough shape. He went to a local clinic and his blood pressure, which has never been a problem, is way too high and he´s got an irregular heart beat. We´re pushing on to Hualtulco tomorrow because they´ll have better medical facilities. He´s going to go into emergency and get a full check up, including an EKG, to rule out anything serious. We´ve all got our fingers crossed that it´s just the heat and last two days. They just a little stressfull!

Total mileage 3,544klm

Still no pictures - internet cafe computers just won´t allow it. Next time I´ll bring a lap top for sure.

Hasta La Vista


  1. Hey Dale!

    Sounds like you guys are having fun! It was minus 15 here this morning - so don't complain about the heat too much. Hope Kevan is OK - and tell Brad we want them back for Peachfest - Shelley is approving anything and everything so don't hurry back too quick! Branch growth has really gone up since you left!!! Have fun - and stay outa trouble!


  2. Too too funny, Dale! Sounds like you are having an absolute hilarious time! Hope your buddy is doing okay and you can continue on with your amazing adventure! What great memories, thanks so much for sharing them with us. I am getting quite a giggle out of it all!! Believe me, no need to rush back to our crappy weather!
    Take care and keep on writing!