Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Reunion

I want y'all to see the get together with the good Dr. Jose Luis Vasquez, who I rode to Mexico to visit six years ago also...

Jose gets the news that Charley Woods died while signing the Memorial TAG book He was noticeably moved since he had correspondence with him while having bike trouble. Lety, Jose's wife, is baking delicious smelling deserts for Christmas.

We are at Carlo's, Jose's brother, penthouse condo in the PV heights.

Jose and Rodrigo, his son in Edmonton, Alberta, Skype for the Christmas Eve Holiday. So much wonderful emotion flowing and being expressed at this Christmas reunion.

Joy permeates the holiday at this traditional get together. Everyone very happy to have G and me there to share it.

A tradition is to share a bit of nice words with humor about the person you are giving a gift to.
A good opportunity to tell all how you really feel.  :)
The two guys in the foreground are Jose's brothers and the one on the right is the manager of the Hotel Belair where we are staying.

Some of what was funny was translated for us. Some didn't need any translation.
Jose and Lety make a point.

More pics- click below

Friday, December 24, 2010

Stuck on the beach...

Well, G and I were mounting up for a day ride to the mountains when I discovered there were no electrons left in the battery. Seems I left the bike in ACC. mode for 20 hours. It won't take a charge from a car jump now. The folks at the hotel desk got their hands on a skimpy looking but new jumper cable...It was apparently not heavy enough to start the bike, only the dreaded clicking sound of the solenoid. So we kept in on there for what turned out to be 1/2 hour with the car running. Never got it to a charge sufficient to turn the starter more than a split second. A heavy set of cables should do it but lacking a charge on the battery after a 1/2 hour causes me and others here to doubt the viability of the battery.

Jose is coming at 6:30 with a charger we'll see at that point what the deal is.
Here is where we had to spend the day...

Merry Christmas all...

I didn't want to bypass Mazatlan as we off loaded from the ferry. I stayed there 6 years ago at the Hotel Belmar, a crumbling relic of the city's hayday years in the 50's. Quite a few famous folks have stayed there including John Wayne. Parts of the giant hotel are condemned but they keep certain parts of it up and running. Very friendly service....$30 a night. To say it could use a coat of paint is an understatement.

Anyway in order to stay ahead of schedule, I hung with Jeff from Santa Cruz, CA, who shared his two extra cabin beds with John and me.
For two days I enjoyed his antics and dry humor. His skill with the many travel books he totes was fun to observe. He reads them while at home for pleasure all the time.
Between his books and my GPS we found Novellero beach and Ricon de Gauyabitos, two great places to relax and enjoy the Pacific Ocean.

Jeff's plan doesn't match mine after the two days...he wants to ride to Argentina and fly the bike back to Santa Cruz from there. An ambitious plan for a guy who has only been riding for one year so far, but hey, Ted Simon set out to circumnavigate the world a few days after learning how to ride.

We both wanted to ride further together but my 14 day commitment in PV is an obstacle that can be overcome. He rode south and I am here at a fancy-pants hotel on the beach with Georgette. Jeff and I are going to try to connect again in Central America somewhere.
Meantime, G and I are off to get some breakfast and talk about a ride in the country somewhere. Good to have her on board...

Tonite, BIG dinner with Jose and his family here in Puerto Vallarta, MX...


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Silent Night...

Update: La Paz, ideal, traffic: heavy....Atmosphere: Festive...Locals and travelers: happy...burocracy at the ferry and Aduana: Very frustrating

With all the good shtuPH (George? spel chech pleese...) going on I am ambivalent to report the 1.5 hours I burned to get a vehicle permit and ticket for me and el Moto for Mazatlan tomorrow.

The schedule is for a 17:00 hours tomorrow cuz there ain't no ferry on Monday (or it's full, I can't tell which)

Riding out of that silent night camp last night was a little sad cuz it was SOOO peaceful you could hear the whispers of the folks on the boats out over the water. Many of the sailing vessels were lite up for Christmas, SOOO beautiful, so different.
The fish active at the waters surface...shined my headlamp into the water late into the night and something that could've weighed in at 25 lbs. got a good startle as did I.

Three quarter moon illumed the mountains outline both east and west of me.
It was scary pretty.

Wonder how far Birgit and Jeurgen got to? They'll not be on the ferry tomorrow, I suspect.

Now I'm at a coffee shop W/WI FI right at the corner of the Centro Park.
Traffic, pedestrians, pretty, smiley waitress,

Friday, December 17, 2010

Puerto Escondido

Today, after riding only about two hours out of Mulege through some of the most spectacular mountains, I was surprised to see Birgit and Jeurgen, the bicyclists from Germany, who pedaled out the morning before.
They were struggling up a steep hill at the time so I only checked on them as I was still rolling trying to match their speed.
Jeurgen was sweating profusely with drops continuously falling off his nose.
Birgit looked in OK shape but to get to La Paz in four days at this rate will be a task.

Jeurgen mentioned a beach up the road about 30 KM but I couldn't find a turnout at that distance, however, I did roll another 80 or so and found a beach that was perfect. I even was right on time to see a fishing boat unload it's shellfish into a truck right at the shoreline. Even got a scallop nearly the size of a cue ball cut from it's shell for me to sample. Hope that picture comes out OK. It's a classic.

Rode out to the shoreline in soft sand but it was to early to stay out there without food so here I am 16 KM north again at a fancy restaurant, the ONLY game in the town of Puerto Escondito. There is a slealth spot about a klick from here where I'll pitch tent right at the waterline anyway. Don't have to cajones to redo the softsand in the dark.
It's really quiet here where boats are overnighting from all over. Very scenic.
Wish y'all were here. I'm the only one in the reasaurant and it's 6:15 PM.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mulege, Baja

Took a day off to wander around Mulege, a small but very Mexican town with quite a few non Mexicans passing through, wintering and living here fulltime.
Here is WEE eastbound out of San Ignacio toward Mulege...

And here is my ST1100 westbound out of Mulege toward San Ignacio 6+ years ago...

Richard, from S. Africa and Gabriella from Austria were easy targets to help do honor to the fallen riders here in front of the 18th century mission in downtown San Ignacio, Baja. They get together and travel only once per year. Other than that, they live entirely separate lives.

Birgit flew in to meet Juergen and bicycle together for a four day ride to La Paz, Baja. Juergen will continue into his sixth month of his two year bicycle ride to Ushuia, Argentina. Birgit will take a job and go to school in Mexico City. They are "just friends"  I may see them again on the road to La Paz.

They are ready to pedal out to La Paz here...

A view from above Mulege at the future museum. The building at upper right is where the next shots are taken looking back.

Talked to a guy just before stepping into the Mulege mission church. He used to live in the Bronx...small world.

Here is a Frigate bird in a dive. There are more Frigates in the album link below.

Mulege is a great town to sttle into a long term ride through Mexico. The slow pace and smiling faces make it feel more like home...not exactly, but a little.
Hope you enjoy the pics here too...:D

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baja, MX

Well, I caught a good draft in my sails this morning after I left northbound Cheri.
Click this bar to view the full image.

She is a retired pilot and a very interesting traveler who settled in Baja on the Sea of Cortez.
We shared a dinner and conversation last night before she turned in at about 9PM.
She left the motel in El Rosario at 6AM. I set my alarm in order to say goodbye and get the predawn picture. Even got her to "bless" the PAN World MEM TAG.

Click this bar to view the full image.

See here for more on that:
She had been living in Mexico on and off since 1956 and had plenty of good info.
Until now, I had been feeling a little like the first BIG ride I took in 98'. All push and drag ... with thoughts only of what I left unattended back home, such as did I leave the stove on, are all the preparations indeed done? ...and the like. Pushing pushing, pushing the trip forward. Then there is some unseen line crossed where suddenly home is at all compass points, like a switch was thrown. Why I had such a time of it off and on for the first month, I don't know but Terry's untimely death could be part of it. Just glad I am experiencing that old familiar "at home on the road" feeling.
What helps to no end is the four Road Angels I encountered so far. Those people who just seem to appear right when you really could use a friend.
Terry rides with the wind now so he is there in it with me.

It's as if, well, when you think to far ahead it seems a daunting undertaking.
What is really happening is the red carpet is unrolling just a short distance ahead of me and not the whole distance.

Cheri told me not to think about things that probably will never happen. I replied, "I spend my whole life thinking about things that probably will never happen." She laughed.

Anyway, had a great ride if being pulled mentally and not "pushing" the trip like a sack of potatoes.

Even needed to get gas from a Jerry can on the side of the road at 6 bucks a gallon. Beats running out again and paying $22.50 per gallon.
And then there is David, who I started talking to while rolling down the main drag in Guerrero Negro in the left lane. He is bicycling from Anchorage to Argentina over a two year span. We are sharing a campsite in town.

Click this bar to view the full image.

Just when I think I am doing something great, along comes...
Humility Man!

Capped pics: