Tuesday, April 7, 2009
what a wonderful 1st day in Mexico!!!
From Sunday: Odometer (since SF): 800 miles
What an insane crazy 1st day in Mexico!!!
Everybody told me: "Don't ride at night in northern Mexico"
I told myself "You better bring a tire repair kit just in case, because by destiny it usually will not break. Like bringing a rain suit helps that it usually will not rain. I surely didn't want deal with tire fixing on roadside.
until it got dark.
Let me tell you, it really sucks! Took me 4 hours (that's why I had to ride at night) with my limited tool kit to get tire of rim, the tube out in back in, tire back on and the bike together. Partially in the dark! In the middle of the Baja desert. (Thanks Deb for the hint at your place! My suitcase (which is a toolbox) got turned into a bike stand, it worked!!!) Now try that with a Givi box! ;)
I was still a little worried since it's not too far from the drug roads. I passed 3 military road block posts on the way down, heavy machine guns bolted on Hummers, I saw about 30 soldiers). At dusk a beat up car stopped 100 meters down the road and 2 guys where watching me. That was a little scary, since it was getting dark and almost no car was going by anymore.
Jason told me "I never got pulled over in Mexico"
A corrupt cop. Locals with Baja plates pass me like crazy, everybody speeds! I'm pretty sure I did not (And even if, at least not nearly as fast as 99% of the others). However, I have a foreign plate. That's the reason. The cop was putting all that crap on me like "bringing you back to the police station, you pay at least $90, confiscated my (copied, thanks Jason) documents,..
I was not offering any bribe. But he was straight forward asking for it!!! After he was in his car taking off, he made in additional stop and asked out of his window "do you want to pay right here?" I gave him $40.
What really sucks is that I got the nail in my tire after I took off from the offroad spot where I got pulled over for that cop. aaaaaarrrrrrrrrghhhh!!!!
Oh, I almost forget how Mexico started! A jackass in the tourist office at the border sent me the wrong way. Which resulted after I got my tourist card (easy) and my bike permit (insane! Don't want to go into details here, ask me later), I had to cross the border by foot back to the US, immigrate, and back by foot to Mexico to get back to the area where my bike was!
But wait... ...happy end: I fixed the tire, drove back to the village I came from and met the nicest people!!! It's a motel only (no food) little place owned by a guy with tons of good stories. His wife cooked an awesome free dinner for me, I got served at the little checkin desk sitting on the owners chair. And I got a compressor from the owner to add some more pressure to the tire. Wow! They offered maximum security: My bike is away from the street and IN my hotel room next to me! :)
Beautiful roads with twisty stretches in the hills through the desert in middle of nowhere. Funky dirty little villages, with only the major road paved, everything else are sand roads. Very scenic!
Arrived in Mexico, Aaaaarrrrrrrrrriiibaaaaaaa!!!!!