Saturday, February 14, 2009

Last Post ( About this trip, anyway)

Now that I'm back in Summerland I thought I'd address a couple of questions that just about everyone asks at one point or another;

Did I feel safe?
Yes! All the news reports aside, we didn't notice any more safety concerns than any time in the past. Right now in Vancouver the news reports a drug war or gang-related shooting every day - that doesn't mean all of Canada isn't safe. Likewise in Mexico. Yes, there are areas and unsavery characters to avoid, but my experience is no more than here, and in some respects a lot less. We've had no problems what-so-ever, in this trip or any of the others, and I'd recommend travel in the country without hesitation.

Was it safe to drive?
Yes! Ironically, in many ways I felt safer driving in Mexico that back here, or in the US when I crossed the border. For the most part the drivers in Mexico are better, more courteous and MUCH more aware than the zonered out, Ipod listening, cell phone talking drivers up here. On the freeways drivers stay in the right lane except to pass and in the cities all it takes is a look and a point to get traffic to open up to make room for you to move into a lane. Yes, in the cites it can sometimes look like chaos and anarchy, but it works for them and I'd suggest they're better drivers for it.

Were the hotels safe/clean/easy to find?
Yes, yes and sometimes.
Hotels are plentiful, clean, safe and inexpensive by our standards (but prices range greatly closer to the tourist hot spots) While every hotel we stayed at was spotlessly clean though, bed quality can differ greatly. For <$50 there's not a pillow top mattress to be found! As for easy to find, in some ways the guide book was a hindrance rather than a help. By this I mean we often found a hotel in our Lonely Planet and then spent time and energy trying to find it. If we didn't have the book we probably would just have grabbed the first decent looking place and had less hassle. One tip for riders; especially if you're looking for a specific hotel - follow a cab. When we arrived into Zihuatanejo we had a reservation that was going to allow us to check in at 9:00am and we were REALLY pressed for time because Rosi had to get to the airport. Nerves were frayed and we hit the town at rush hour and we didn't have any luck finding our place. On the contrary, all we did was get lost and ended up in the market area with narrow roads and LOT's of people. Rosi came to the rescue - she flagged over a cab and asked for directions to the hotel we were looking for. Half way through his Spanish directions she just held up her hand to stop him and said for him to lead and we'd follow. He took us right there in less than 10 minutes. Total cab fare; $2.00 Can - WELL worth it and food for thought for next time. I hope some of this helps. Anyway, thanks for following along. This'll be it for a month or so. My bike is now in Phoenix and Ward will be bringing it back at the end of April. I haven't entirely ruled out flying down and riding it back though, but I won't decide for quite a while yet. I'm hoping to get the Goldwing out of storage towards the end of March and we'd like to do a ride to Wenatchee in late March or early April to give it a good run. Rosi really likes riding and does well - and we need to replace our lost rain gear so a US trip will be in the cards fairly early in the year.

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