• Somewhere on the Mexican Coast

    Posted by Loren on January 27, 2011

    A bit of R&R does the body wonders, and we were itching to get back on the bikes and get some distance behind us. OK not that keen, as we lounged around the pool until the afternoon, just when it was nice and toasty, perfect time to leave a hot, dusty city. Motorbiking with the full gear in the heat is not too bad when one is moving, but really quite awful when sitting behind a bus which is missing half its back end, and all of its pollution control. Out on the city and on the freeway, we wondered where all the cars had gone. We soon found out. 60 km into the ride, we came to a tollbooth, paid our $8 each, and off we went. 60 km, another tollbooth, and this time $12 each. 60 km after that, another tollbooth, and this time $18/each. These aren’t 4 lane expressways we are riding on, but single lane, regular roads, and we just paid $38 each to go 180km. As the dinner budget had now been substantially reduced, we decided to seek the non-toll road. It is here we found the vehicles. In someones wisdom, they built new roads to reduce congestion, then made the toll so high, nobody could afford to go on them.

    The vegetation has started to change, and is now becoming quite tropical, with palm trees, tall grasses, differing air currents, and the occasional smell of dead donkey. Our raised hut on San Blas beach provided a bed in the canopy, which incidental was also a sandfly breeding zone. Don’t feel too sorry for us, as the view in the morning was magnificent. “Sandfly bites go away, memories don’t”. Loren Vercoe – January 2011.

    Our suspicions about the motorbike group that has infiltrated the Mexican road planning department has nearly been confirmed. Four days of exhilarating coastal roads follow, with interruptions for fuel, food and ocean swims. The only complaints, is the speed bumps, or topes. Words can’t explain how annoying these things are. They are 2-3 times bigger than usual speed bumps, and are supposedly at the start and end of every town. Supposedly, as they are at the start and end of every town, every 70m within the town, before roundabouts, in the middle of roundabouts, hidden in the shade of a tree, and there are topes on top of topes, giving an almightly crunch when you inevitably don’t see one. We decided to count them one day, in Spanish to keep ourselves entertained, and got to 168. No wonder we need an ocean swim.

    Puerto Vallarta provided us with a feeling of celebrity. It is a town where Canadians and Americans hibernate for the winter. We pulled up our bikes in the middle of town, and were the subject of an impromptu media circus as people snapped photos, questioned us on our trip, slapping our backs and shook our hands, amazed that we had ridden from Canada. Can just imagine the excitement for their friends back home on slide night.

    Not having our fill of beach camping, we took an early mark at Playa Ventura, camping at La Tortuguita, staking our tents about 50m from the waters edge. Laying in the hammocks pausing from reading our books to look at the ocean, we realized we had made a correct turn somewhere. This truly was paradise. The owner, Abierto, is a member of the the sea turtle conservation program, where they dig up sea turtle eggs, hatch them, then release them back to the sea. Baby turtles, it turns out, and extremely cute.

    We now make a left hand turn, and head up into the mountains enroute to Oaxaca. A bush camp is on the cards!

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