Days 4-7, chilling in not-Mexico

The use of the word “chilling” is definitely a stretch.

Day 4 was travel to Mazatlan, and I arrived just after 1pm.

Day 6, I traveled to Puerto Vallarta (PV) and arrived around 5pm. And tomorrow I’m heading toward Guadalajara, but will cut north just prior to avoid running through the large city.

So, pictures.

I stayed at the Ramada hotel in Mazatlan, and it was nice (but of course touristy). Strangely, it was mostly Mexican tourists! I did meet a nice pair of couples from Veracruz on k1300-something BMWs, just starting a trip to Alaska. Best of luck to them!

The beach was quite nice, and I even took a waverunner ride for 30 minutes 🙂

The town itself, though, is a bit depressed. The entire area along the beach is filled with still-open shops, containing sole sad-faced owners sitting at the doors. Half-built buildings litter the entire beach line..

But hey, you can still bury a girl and give her sand boobies:

Also, the market in the city center is WONDERFUL:

 

Also, birds (white-winged doves, in this case) like to nest in bananas:

And there are great sunsets, to test your tripod and long-exposure skills:

 

And on to the important part: the road south, to San Blas, and then on to PV. Amazing blacktop with tons of twisties:

And it’s basically THE point where Mexico transitions from arid desert/grasslands to full-on jungle:

San Blas is an amazing little town! I can see why so many gringos live there:

More lovely jungly lands, from the seat:

And apparently, I could have hopped the little-known SF-PV wormhole to get here!:

 

I don’t really have many pictures from PV – a few cell phone pics that are fun, but this is already really long.

Tomorrow: into the highlands and away from this heat!

 

Days 2-3, learning and burning

I think the heat isn’t as bad now. Or I’m getting used to it.

My ass and back, however, are quite sore. Today (#3) was only 300 miles, but included a policia detour 25+miles off Mex 15.

Learnings #1: If you are ever faced with a detour, it can go a *long* way… but when local police are stationed at an intersection, that’s where you turn.

Learnings #2: (ok, this isn’t new, but I needed more than one to make a list) if you see a sign like this, and are hungry; stop! Most delicious tacos I’ve had yet.

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Day 2, was a desert run down to Hermosillo. It wasn’t nearly as far as the first insane day, but the heat was brutal 🙂

Day 3, I took my time getting to Los Mochis (300 miles), taking lots of detours. There wasn’t much to write home about, but it was great to see a some countryside and rural villages. Every time I stopped, some 20-something, speaking perfect English (and, it turns out, has lived in California before), would run over to ask about the bike. They are shocked to learn the displacement (1200cc), as most bikes in Mexico are less than 500.

That reminds me,

Learnings #3: not my own discovery–I read about it on advrider long ago–but if you have a choice to pay for the toll road, or take the free road: libre all the way!  It’s slower, but so much better to take a rural road than a freeway. The turns are all marked, and as long as you know the name of the next major town, just follow the signs! If you’re dodging potholes so numerous and large, you start to think the dirt next to road looks better, you’re on the right track.

I’m on a roll now:

Learnings #4: GPS. Turn it the fuck off. OK, not off off. But don’t input your next destination – navigating via road signs isn’t that hard. There is something about that voice telling you “go here, 45 miles.. etc” that makes you keep riding when stopping is a much better idea. I think I stopped at least 10 times today.