Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 5 Mazatlan - Rincon de Guayabitos

Our day in Mazatlan was great. We went downtown to do a little shopping and on a whim we popped into a local ReMax office. We’ve had our eye on real estate in Mazatlan for quite a while and we’ve often wondered if the reality of a home would live up to its image and description on the internet. With this in mind Rosi hoped to take a look at house we’ve had our eye on for a while. Low and behold, it was a listing of the ReMax office!
We spent the afternoon getting some sun and well deserved cerveca around the pool and then, at 4:00, the Realtor picked us up to go look at the house. It’s a 1,000 sq ft rancher in a very nice neighbourhood and it’s as cute as a bugs ear - and it has incredible potential. It was every bit as good as it appeared and it was a great experience to be able to talk to the two different realtors and get actual numbers for taxes, legal fees, offsite management etc.
We ended the day with a really nice spaghetti dinner at a sidewalk café right on the square. Dinner, four drinks, two glasses of wine, a beautiful salad for two, coffee and two after dinner liquors all for $50! Muy Bueno!
Today, day 5, however, was officially gruelling. It was a long, hard, hot, tope ridden 390 klm, that took a full eight hours and Rosi REALLY earned her stripes. She’s been a real trooper and after today, she can hold her head up with the best of them from Horizons Unlimited or Adventure Rider.
The day got off to a good start. We decided to hold back and have a full breakfast again. Even if we get away a little later it carries us through most of the day and means we don’t have to look for a place later on. We hit the road around 8:30 and immediately ran up against “leaving a Mexican city syndrome. What should have been a 10 minute straight run turned into a series of wrong turns and weaving our way through various neighbourhoods desperately looking for a way out of the maze.
Imagine trying to get from Richmond to Abbotsford in rush hour, with no signage, no map, only the vaguest idea of which direction was right and no one to ask that speaks English. Well, forget that part. You’d have that problem anyway.
We eventually hit the freeway south (free is a wholly inaccurate description however) and it was smooth sailing for almost three hours. The Autopista south of Mazatlan is very expensive but well worth it. The road is a very well maintained divided highway and we made great time. We stopped for a break at a toll booth and had the first problem of the trip. Not a problem really, just a PIA, and all my fault.
I use a small dry bag as a duffle bag to hold our rain gear and the cover for the bike. It’s bulky but not heavy so I bungee it to the lid of my top box. It’s now on the side of the autopista somewhere between Mazatlan and the first or second toll booth because my bungee cords didn’t hold. Oh well, hopefully the Mexican that finds it needs it more than us. I can replace the cover at the first Walmart we pass and I can probably pick up some cheap rain pants in Mazatlan before we head too far north and hit the cold again. We can get by without the jackets until we get home [ Dad, I may ask you to take us back to the motorcycle gear store you took us to last year. The prices are MUCH better than Canada]
Where things fell off the rails is our decision to leave the Autopista early and detour through San Blas on the way to Guayabitos. At first things went smoothly. Or at least as smoothly as you can get between topes that alternate between aggravating and Oh, my God! I really put my “skid plate” to the test a few times! The road was as winding as anything the four of us experienced in Mexico last year - and as we made progress towards the coast the heat, and humidity climbed. Then, after an hour of this, and literally five minutes from San Blas - and just as my gas gauge started flashing empty - we came around the corner and hit stopped cars due to a construction crew. They had a crane parked cross ways and all traffic was blocked both ways. We had to wait for an hour before they let cars through again. We could have turned around and taken a different route but our gas situation wouldn’t allow it.
We eventually made it through, gassed up and stopped for a coke but then - as the heat and humidity took it’s toll and yes, we had a “moment” or two - we couldn’t leave town. You laugh, but it’s true. Between a maze of conflicting signs, one-way streets heading the wrong way and road construction everywhere, we were TRAPPED! It took us another half hour and the decision to ignore one-way signs and simply buck traffic, before we were on the road again but then we hit the construction again! This time though, we jumped the line and when we got to the front there was JUST enough room for me to squeeze past the corner of the crane. The foreman said I could try so Rosi got off and walked and I gingerly made way around and past the truck. We both loaded back up and we got back under way, except now it was two hours of very secondary roads and tope hell until we eventually hooked back up with Hwy 200 leading to Guayabitos.
We arrived around 4:30, hot, tired, and a little frazzled. The good news though, is five years from now all the uneventful days will be faded memories but we’ll remember this one for quite a while.
And don’t even ASK how Rosi likes traffic on the secondary roads. We had a few “words” about the relative merits of passing Mexican five-ton trucks and about the best time to do so………OK, so an intercom wasn’t necessarily my best decision.
All is well now though. We're settled in a nice hotel, fed and watered and tomorrow will be a beach and/or pool day. Adios mi Amigos, Amigas Y Familia

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