journal

29 October 2002 - Touristy, but amusing..

We wandered around Acapulco this morning..  went down to the rich people's place (of course, we took a bus for $.40 because we didn't want to pay for the cab).  Nothing much down there, and it didn't look to be very full of high paying guests.  We did see on the walk to the bus a bunch of guys dragging in a rope from the ocean..  Six guys standing like in a tug of war, and they were pulling the rope in..  When the guy in the back ran into the back of the beach, he would walk to the front and pick up a new position.  Turns out they were pulling in a huge fish net, at least 200 yards across (there were two groups of guys).  Apparently it takes 2 hours to pull it in.

We then headed back and picked up our motos for the short ride up the hill to see the cliff divers..  It was totally touristy, they did like 5 jumps, and then they stood at the exit and collected tips..  I was thinking of jumping in myself, it really wasn't that far.  I've done farther jumps in Vermont rivers, but hey, they got to make a living..  I did get a good video of one of the guys, so check it out in the pictures section.

Plus, we got haircuts today for about $2.50..  Not bad.

We are off tomorrow heading towards Puerto Angel..  Might do some body boarding.

29 October 2002 - These drivers are f%$*ing crazy!

So, to elaborate a bit on yesterday..  We had a nice ride, if a bit slow due to all the damn 'topes'.. basically big speed bumps in every town..  We must have gone over at least 100 yesterday.  Some of them are kind of fun because if I slow way down, then wack the throttle just as I'm going over it, I can jump off them and actually get the whole damn GS rig in the air..  Course, it's probably not very good for the bike, so I don't do that often.

Coming into Acapulco was crazy..  A single lane road shared by everything with wheels, and everyone going as fast as they can..  Of course, we were the fastest, lane splitting and passing illegally trying to get downtown.  They also have billions of original VW bugs (which they may still make in Mexico, I know they did until recently) which are the taxis.. 

When Jonty and I went out later to get dinner and walk around the city, we noticed that a lot of these taxis are totally customized..  They have tons of neon all over them, custom paint jobs, wheels, horns, lights, exhausts; it's pretty funny.  Plus, many of the buses are equally tricked out.  Check out the pictures for visuals.  Plus, all the buses have curtains and paint jobs on the windshields, leaving a little tiny window for the driver to see..  Not the safest, but hey, they look cool, and isn't that more important?

Today we are going to see the clavadistas, the nutcases that jump off the cliffs into a small channel of water.  Apparently they have to time their jumps to coincide with a wave coming in, or else the water is not deep enough..  Should be interesting.

Oh yeah, the other thing is Jonty looks strangely like the Deaner..  Could be his evil British twin.

And today, I'm grooving to a bit of Blackalicious.  Check out First in Flight.

28 October 2002 - Acapulco is hot.. Jackass!

Had a pretty easy day today with Jonty..  Arrived here in Acapulco about 4 or so and checked into a hotel owned and operated by an American from San Francisco..  Small world.  Anyway, off to get a cerveza and maybe some grub.  See ya!

27 October 2002 - Mexico esta grande..

So, it's been a couple of days since I touched base.  I spent all day Friday on the road..  420 miles of mostly amazing twisties.  The section on Mexico 200 from Puerto Vallerta south is awesome... no straightaways, all curves.  I pushed hard and arrived in Melaque just after sunset.  Some day, I will come back and spend more time in this town..  It is small, right on the beach, and pretty cool.  I checked into the RV/Camping spot and set up my tent literally 10 yards from the waves.  Awesome, especially because the manager wasn't there, so his wife and I negotiated a price.  The next morning I talked to the manager, and he said the price we had negotiated was too much, so he took half (about $5.)...

I took off from there this morning, got hopelessly lost in Manzinillo, and pushed on past countless perfect beaches with palapas for rent (small huts on the beach)..  I thought about stopping often, but pressed on to Playa Azul, a Mexican resort town. I was going to go further, but the guide book said the next 100 miles takes forever, and I didn't want to get caught out in the dark (again).

I arrived in town, bargained down the hotelier, and set off for the beach for a swim and a cerveza.  When I came back to the hotel to shower up before dinner, I found Jonty parking his KLR next to my bike.  Turns out he is the unprepared Brit heading south I had heard about at Scuderia..  He would like to thank Michael and the parts folks (Sean, Mark, etc.) for helping him out.. He left San Francisco about a week before me with three people..  He is now riding solo.  We had dinner, and we plan to ride to Acapulco tomorrow together.  Once we get close to Guatemala, he has to hang out and wait for Chris (from San Francisco) who is in the process of getting his motor rebuilt (which blew up north of La Paz).

Anyway, things are good, I now have and interpreter (Jonty is fluent in Spanish), and the bike is working good.  Miss you all, but not that much.

25 October 2002 - Cheated by Kenna

Well, no storm here.  Apparently Kenna hit south of here (100 miles or so), moved inland, and weakened.  It was overcast and quiet this morning, now it's sunny and windy, apparently the usual around here.  I still couldn't go anywhere, because I couldn't ride south into the storm.  But I'm disappointed, to be so near one of Mother Nature's great storms and miss it completely..  Oh well, I'm sure I will see some wet stuff tomorrow on my way south.

Also, you may have noticed, but some folks complained about a lack of a map here..  So I made one.  It is not detailed, but it'll give you the general idea of where the hell I am.  Check it out.

24 October 2002 - Update: Hurricane Kenna

Spent the afternoon walking around old Mazatlan.. At the other end of town from all the big hotels.  Pretty cool architecture and sort of run down, just like many downtown areas in the US.

Looks like the storm is coming, surf is growing and it's windy and rainy, and it's still not even here.  Should be good!  Yee ha!

National Hurricane Center:  Extremely dangerous category 5 Hurricane Kenna moving
northeastward toward the west coast of Mexico...a Hurricane Warning remains in effect
for the southwestern coast of Mexico from Mazatlan southward to la Fortuna.  Preparations
to protect life and property in the warning area should be rushed to completion.
 
24 October 2002 - Hurricane?

So I've been hearing for a few days that there is a tropical storm/hurricane moving up this way..

I hauled ass to Mazatlan through some rain (the precursor to the storm) and am now holed up here.  Storm is supposed to come in full force tomorrow sometime...  so I may be here for an extra day.  I had to bag Copper Canyon on the way down due to the ferry schedule, the train schedule, the hurricane, etc.  My best bet to see the canyon was to ride up there (as opposed to this supposedly amazing train ride with like 90 bridges), but the roads out there and back were about 600 miles out of my way, and of questionable conditions..  I didn't want to head off into the great unknown with a hurricane on it's way.  The good news is my hotel is right on the beach, and I have a window view, so if and when the storm comes, I'll have a great view.  And I talked the guy into a discount because they are redoing the patio next to mine.

The ferry from La Paz was interesting.  I was the only tourist on it.  Everyone else was a Mexican trucker.  My little old bike parked with all this 18 wheelers.  Accommodations for people were sparse (one small room with a TV blaring in Spanish, one small cafeteria type thing, and the decks of the boat.  I rolled out my therm-a-rest and used my sleeping bag half as a pillow and half as a blanket on one of the walkways..  all the comforts of home.  But I did actually got a decent night's sleep!

23 October 2002 - Finally

** Update:  Spent the day in La Paz.  Walked around, rode around, saw the sights.  I have a system where I can lock up everything on my bike except my camelback pack, so I can park my bike and walk around in shorts and leave all the riding gear there.  Works good.

 

And a few words on tacos (I've been thinking):

 

1. If a taco costs over 10 pesos (about $1), don't bother

2. If the taco stand is on the main drag, don't bother

3. If the man or woman making your taco speaks any English, don't bother.

 

I got 4 pastor (roast pork) tacos for dinner tonight, for under $2.50..  now that's a deal.

 

Got up this morning and headed for the ferry ticket office.  Finally got the ferry, although the times were a bit different.  The other bikers are heading straight to Mazatlan on the expensive ferry.  Almost twice as much for a bike on their ferry.  I was thinking about taking that one until I heard that.  I'll take the slow boat for cheap, thanks.  Anyway, I'm spending the day in La Paz, then off to Topolobompo.

 

 
 
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