Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day 2 - Sanata Ana - Los Mochis

What is love? It’s a very hard question to answer but an easy one to define by example. I love my wife; with a depth that can only come from the passage of time and a journey travelled together. I love my son Brad, not the same way of course, but certainly no less. To a lesser degree - or rather, a poor choice of the word, I love riding my motorcycle, sunrises, and Mexico. So, at 8:30 this morning, as we were riding south through the Sonora desert highlands, I had one of “those” moments; the moment that sometimes defines a vacation. Or at the very least, will be something to focus on later on when I’m back at work or shovelling snow. I was cruising along at an easy 130kph, no traffic on a divided highway in Mexico, great conditions, a beautiful sunrise well under way, with Rosi on my bike with me and Brad’s band, The Garyoaksmen, blasting from the intercom.

It just doesn’t get any better than this……..well actually it does. Dexter could have been along for the ride and it might have been an improvement if it wasn’t absolutely FREAK’N FREEZING!
Oh well, 5 out 7 isn’t bad at all.

I wish I could now pass on stories of an arduous trip through the Mexican border states, plagued by banditos and an out of control drug war - but I can’t lie. It was a fantastic ride but not too much to write about - although uneventful is definitely better than the alternative.
We changed it up slightly this morning because of wanting to wait until full daylight before leaving. So, instead, we went for an early breakfast at a spotlessly clean restaurant right next to the hotel. It was fairly quiet at 6:00 but there were a few businessmen and a couple of families travelling - but no banditos or drug lords to be seen. We hit the road around 7:30 with our first stop at a gas station and convenience store in Hermosillo for the obligatory coffee and donuts. The one thing we noticed right away is the bike and our gear is a calling card for friendly chat and inquiries. We didn’t get a lot of this last year and Kevan hit it on the head when he said it was because we were in a group. People may not have wanted to impose themselves if we were already talking amongst ourselves etc. or we were too intimidating. Not so this time. We had a great chat with what we assumed was a rep for Pemex. He was definitely white colour and may have been a salesman etc and we talked about the bike and where we were from. He has a sister in Vancouver and he absolutely loves Canada and Canadians. Not to be outdone, we also had a chat with a salesman from the local Chevy dealer. He gave us some good advice and gave us his card and made us promise that we’d call him on his cell if we had any problems - anywhere at all in Mexico.

From there it was another long push to Navajoa - and it finally started to warm up. You’ll see we’re in our rain gear in a lot of the pictures. It wasn’t because of rain it was to add layers. It was only 3 degrees when we left the hotel!

In Novajoa we stopped at yes, another Pemex, for a sandwich and coffee. This time it was a friendly gentlemen in his 60’s (?) that started up a conversation. We soon learned that he; owns the Pemex, has 18 grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren and two grandsons currently studying English in Canada. Did I mention he loves Canada? Or that I have flags plastered everywhere? We wanted to get going but he just HAD to take me next door and give me a tour of his Briggs and Straten shop. He sells engines and water pumps and has three mechanics to fix them. It started to get a little embarrassing though, when he took me out back to meet the crew and his son had a WTF look on his face. He put on a smile though and told me it was one of his sons in Toronto currently studying.

We finally got geared up and hit the road again. It was only 2:00 and, even though we’d done a good day, it was too early to stop. Plus, by pushing on today we’ll get into Mazatlan tomorrow around 1:00. The last two hours were nothing, if not routine. The toll highways aren’t busy and my bike absolutely purrs along at 125-130 kph. We arrived here in Los Mochis at 4:00 and , surprisingly, we didn’t have too many problems with traffic. Rosi is starting to relax and is a great and welcome second set of eyes. We eventually made our way to the Hotel Fenix. It’s where we stayed a few years ago when we did the Copper Canyon.

It’s a nice Mexican business class hotel - but one problem, no off street parking. Problem you think, no problemo! Viva Mexico! Throw open both doors, weave through the cars angle parked out front, jump the curb and voila! Lobby parking! I had to take off the panniers though, to get it through the hall to the spot they picked by the lobby pay phones :-)

It was a long 650 klm today and we’re tired - but it’s the good tired of the fight well fought and a job well done. Tomorrow, Mazatlan!

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