Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 3 - Los Mochis - Mazatlan / Day 4 Mazatlan

It's actually day 4 now - I was too tired to make the effort yesterday. Not to imply that yesterday was some kind of gruelling adventure- it wasn't - it's just that after 3 days and 1,500 klm you get worn down. My bike is great but it's not a Goldwing and it's not necessarily the best for three straight days of freeway cruising.

But.....we did great nonetheless. We knew that our final push to Mazatlan was a little shorter so we didn't have to rush. We got up a little later and had a nice breakfast in the restauarant right in the hotel. First though, I had to back the bike out of the vestuble we had it tucked away in, and roll it through the lobby and out onto the street. But even that went smoothly, although there were more than a few raised eyebrows from the other business-class customers. After breakfast we loaded the bike -again, something that goes more smoothly each time we do it - and hit the road around 8:45.

When we planned this trip Rosi made me promise we'd stay at a hotel at the outskirts of town so we could avoid the heavy and often chaotic traffic in a typical Mexican city. Well, we didn't. We stayed right downtown. And it wasn't an issue. I'm not sure if it's because I'm more comfortable on a bike than in a car in traffic, (as ironic as that sounds) if it's because we're more acclimatized to the traffic or if Mexican traffic is just getting better - or a combination of the above or all of the above, but no matter the reason, we had no problems making our way right downtown and finding the hotel.

Getting out of town went just as smooth - with only one u-turn!

The drive from Los Mochis is just about all on very good Autopista's. It's a little pricey - I think we paid > $40 in tolls - but it's worth it. It turns an eight or nine hour drive through tope Hell into a 5 hour drive on super highway with very little traffic. We made great time and rolled through another 460 klm in great time. We stopped at Pemex stations along the way and again, struck up conversations and made some great connections.

It was very interesting do retrace the same route the four of us took last year. This this I had a full tank of gas, it was a beautiful sunny day and I could enjoy the ride without any of the pucker factor. It's also interesting to note that there's a big sign as you leave Culiacan - "no gas for 176 klm" - something we obviously missed by detouring into El Dorrado.

We cruised along nicely at 130 - 140 kph, but the Suzuki speedo is notorious for being out by 8% so it was really closer to 115kph - 125kph. Still plenty fast for a 650 Vstrom but not crazy fast and not difficult on a two-lane divided highway that puts our freeways to shame. The best part was the weather. It was around 15 when we left Mochis and we could forgo a few layers. As we continued south it warmed up even more and by noon we could finally shuck our liners and finally ride in just our mesh gear. We even changed our gloves for the warm weather gloves we just bought. Muy Bueno!

We arrived into Mazatlan around 2:00ish and, again, had no problems coming into downtown to find our hotel. Just one wrong turn and a u-turn to go back before realizing it was one way but we were now going against traffic. Oh well, it was only a minute to get back to the right corner. We unpacked, showered, and were ensconced in the poolside cafe by 3:00. Lunch and a few beers later it was nap time. Later last night, we went out for a walk but called it a really early evening.

It's now Thursday morning and I'm typing this from my kingsize bed. The curtains are open leading to our deck overlooking the pool and the view to the ocean. It's a beautiful clear day and the forecast is for sunshine and 29 degrees. We have nothing planned but a leisurely lunch at a sidewalk cafe on the main square and I have to clean and lube my chain.

One final note - the news has all kinds of stories about the drug wars and escalating violence down here. Ignorance may be bliss but we haven't really noticed much change at all. There are some really long lines of trucks being checked out at check points heading north but nothing that's effected us at all.

Viva Mexico

1 comment:

  1. Photos are GREAT !!!

    It really brings back some good memories of that fatefull ride last year. It must be much nicer in warm weather with fuel in the bike. Oh and in day time to boot

    Have fun and keep up the blog

    Love you guys

    Kevan and Karen