Seasickness? No, not I! ...by Nick
Updated: Dec 6, 2022
It has to be noted that myself and boats usually ends up with me inspecting the paint on the side!!
It seemed prudent then to purchase some seasickness pills and learn some more Spanish by doing so as I ended up trying to buy said sea sickness pills in the pet shop that was next to the pharmacy ...doh!
We had also by this time secured the kind help from our fluent Spanish speaking, NORWEIGIAN friend, and fellow CB500x rider, Loke ( the only way I remember his name is because it sounds like Floke off “Vikings” ...you’ll be pleased to know he’s not that mad!)
After a few hours of wasting time in town we went to the port around 15 minutes away went through customs managed to score a cabin (again aided by our little Viking friend) and loaded onto the boat which was packed to the gunnels.
I popped a couple of sea legs with our "slops" dinner in the canteen and virtually fell asleep there and then …….pretty sure I’d asked for sea sickness pills and not sleeping tablets but they worked a treat.
12 hrs later it was time to disembark and we got chatting to some other Mexican bikers who it turned out where best friends of the Mexican bikers that we had met 3 months earlier in Canada, the world is a small place.
The unloading took ages, Bec and Loke went off almost immediately but muggins here was stuck packed up against truck trailers with a bunch of Mexican riders who made it obviously clear to anyone that would listen that they were NOT happy with gestures and banging on the roofs of the unloading trucks .
1 hr later we were finally released, I had consumed a litre of water in the ever increasing heat and was glad I hadn’t put all my gear on.
For some reason Bec found it really funny!!
Because by now we were behind on time it was decided to split the planned ride up to Durango and stop at a town called El Ciudad for the night.
What a ride it was (thanks again Loke, for the tip) along the twisty mountain road Mex40 libre, a road renown with bikers, this road ran virtually next to the Mex 40 cuota or toll road, with spectacular views all around, the area was only to be described as jungle like with a blueish tinge given to the area from the haze.
Enroute we trundled through sleepy villages rode over countless topes (bloody great big sleeping policemen, some of which we didn’t see until it was too late ……BOoooooING !!!!) dodged a heap of tree felling and stopped for a quick Gordita or two in what looked like an old lady’s front room, where she made the Gorditas from scratch and then proceeded to watch the equivalent of neighbours in front of us whilst we ate.
Suitably refreshed we continued on getting into El Ciudad on dusk there were quads, motorbikes, dogs, people and cars in various degrees of dilapidation all trying to share the same road. The place to be honest was “a s&#t hole" and we found, much to our relief, a fairly new motel on the outskirts and they did lock the gates at night ...but I still locked the girls up.
Dinner was a quick walk into a local restaurant, aka someone else's front room, where we ate the only dish they were serving ...beef (at least we think it was beef ...lets say meat of some description) soup. It must have been tasty as Bec who doesn't like soup even ate it!
We slept quite soundly until we were awakened at daylight to the (and those hunters or farmers of you will only know) sound of a pig being killed and butchered next door .
We left fairly shortly after with the bikes covered in frost, we were quite high up, for Durango making good time arriving at midday.
Bec had done it again and had found a beautiful place to stay in Durango where we had to ride our bikes through the front door and park in the courtyard/reception.
We now had time to explore and wander through this historic town with its cobbled streets, colourful churches, and tree lined parks where you could sit and people watch whilst cooling down in the shade (not unlike many of the older European cities in appearance).
Fully rested this time we decided to avoid our chosen route where it had been advised that there was high levels of cartel activity and went back along the way we had come but on the toll road. Other than the expense of the tolls (cost us a nights accommodation for just 200kms of road!) and lack of curves it was an outstanding road with so many tunnels and vast bridges I lost count.
We traversed the mountains and then farmland to our destination of Tepic, beautiful it was not! And was only beaten to the top of the s#&* hole list by Ciudad!
So the next day we had an early start and were on the road by 6 am, we found a bank atm after negotiating the back streets past people going to work, people going through and sorting rubbish to earn some coins, and tiptoed our bikes through overflowing sewerage!!
We then had a 10.5 hr ride to San Miguel Allende. We rode through vast agricultural areas with maize, sugar cane, tequila plants and distilleries. Went through some really poor areas and some quite prosperous ones too. We we’re amazed at the stooks and men cutting maize by hand to the big combines working further down the road .
Lunch was had in a market town called Madgelen at a street vendor who was just packing away and fed us for free with stuff he had left over!! people just never cease to amaze us.
We honed our urban riding and learned to be forceful but not stupid to make headway when we went through the city of Guadalajara, the amount of traffic on the road here was insane and we actually had a friend who passed this way the following week knocked off his bike by a bus here.
Police and the army were noticeable now more than we had seen up to this point and was an indication of the increased cartel activity in this area .
We had also learned now that to make any real progress on the open road you had to drive / ride like the locals who all thought they were Sergio Perez from Red Bull F1 fame (he’s Mexican).
And so it was with very sore bodies and particularly our backsides, we rolled into San Miguel de Allende just on dark, which is one of those "though shalt not do" things in this neck of the woods i.e. drunks, animals, kidnappers, cartel etc... they can come in all or none of the above but we weren’t keen on finding out.
We were greeted to church bells going left right and centre and fireworks!!!! All quite normal apparently.
Showered and out by seven we hit the town in search of food. We had now grasped enough Spanish that we wouldn’t starve (we have in fact enrolled onto a course in Guatemala for a month so prepare yourselves for an update on that in later instalments).
The town is centred around a not so large but beautiful cathedral on top of a hill / rise depending on how you think which looks over a large plateau in the distance , with narrow cobbled streets that apparently are so narrow in places you can have a good snog with your neighbour across the street from your bedroom window!
After an early night and suitably refreshed we awoke to a hot sunny morning and trundled into town to get our tourist fix, wandering up and down endless amazing streets, some sporting large ornate doors and entrance ways, it was busy but not packed and we sat for a while in the (not unlike Durango) large tree lined plaza .
The pictures do not do it justice.
We went for another walk in the evening, passing as we did a mother with a baby in a chest carrier doing Uber Eats delivery on a moped!!! You really do realise then how spoilt and lucky we are!!
By chance, we entered the plaza where, it can only be described as a Mexican music stand-off ? about 30 plus musicians with trumpets, guitars, violins, and wonderful voices took it in turn to serenade the crowd. This was a real highlight for us and something completely different.
We went to bed with big smiles on our faces from all we had seen and done...
Or was it just too much Tequila.