• Adios Mexico

    Posted by Loren on February 4, 2011

    Our two week sojourn in Mexico has drawn to a close, and we are a little sad to be leaving. We have finally thawed out, been impressed with the friendliness of the Mexicans, eaten way too many tacos, had some truly awesome rides and seen so much in two weeks. As a final goodbye, Mexico turned up 120km of crosswinds so strong our bikes were being gusted up to 2 metres off course. This is not a relaxing way to ride, and recommended finding a different route when you see wind turbines.

    A scary sight the first days in Mexico was that of a pickup truck with armed troops or police standing in the back, pointing their machine guns in our direction. After a time, we were able to assess the security of an area by the amount of headgear the troops were wearing. If just hair then all is peaceful. If scarf covering chin then we wouldn’t be camping in a paddock tonight. If balaclava then become much more alert. The scariest was a full black helmet with black tinted glass worn by a gentleman riding in convoy, escorting a fuel tanker. We decided against taking photos that afternoon, and to get to our destination quickly.

    We have been frequently stopped at roadblocks from varying levels of authority. Most of the gun toting men are more concerned about how fast the bikes go, and what our top speed is, rather than what we are carrying. 80 km from the border, a man waved Murray over in what would be our final roadblock. No surface to air missiles were training on us as we pulled to a stop, which should have been our first indication that something was array. A quick flash of a laminated ID declaring “touristica officale” and a conversation with Murray ensued advising how difficult it would be to get the bikes into Guatemala, how we needed assistance, etc, etc. The penny finally dropped when Mr Officiale said that he would hop on the back of Murray’s bike, and go with us to the next town. I think Murray should have gone with it purely for entertainment value. The site of our new friend sitting on top of Murray’s bags would have been worth the price. Our first fixer, and 80 km from the border! From now on, we will only stop for men with guns.

    Our first view of Guatemala was obscured by a tidal wave of 30 men, some running towards us, some with us, some holding up large wads of cash, some whistling, some on bikes, some throwing small children. Our Fixer friend from earlier in the day made us wise to what they were up to, and we kindly ignored them, which takes considerable skill, and pulled up to the Guatemalan border. 3 hours of banal paperwork from both sides of the border followed, including queuing, stamping, copying, paying and becoming exasperated in 35C heat. The gates finally parted and were in to Guatemala.

6 Comments | Leave a Reply

  1. Carmen on February 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    What, it wasn’t more difficult than that?? What about ropes stretched across the road, fixers attacking from above and the reception on the other side of the border? Don’t hold back any stories, guys, we are ready to hear everything;)

  2. Ash & Jules on February 5, 2011 at 10:54 am

    Hey guys! Thanks for great laughs! Absolutely hilarious….even bub is chuckling! :) Actually one would’ve thought Muz’s snores could keep those bulls away! We look forward to more!!

    • Murray on February 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      Ah yes, it is amazing what the fear of a bull can do for snoring issues

  3. Luis Braz-Ruivo on February 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Great story guys. I am glad you crossed Mexico without major incident. You guys are doing my dream ride and if it wasn’t for work always getting on the way of things I would be picking up the GS in Buenos Aires and come back to Canada with it, I will keep monitoring your progress. Do you have GPS tracking?

    • Murray on February 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm

      Hi Luis – thanks for your comment. We have a Spot GPS tracker, you can check out on the Tracker section of the site.

  4. marlene on February 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    if I wasn’t technologically challenged – I could just check out the Tracker section and see how close you are to visiting us??? but, due to advanced age—- I’ll stick to sending a note….remember we are only 20 minutes off the main interAmerican highway – turn off at Grecia…… that is if you have time to stop for a coffee…..