Mexican Mountains

Mexican Mountains

This is more like it, with wiggly mountain roads and a cooler climate for this sweaty gringo, the lush-green inland mountains of Mexico are stunning, both aesthetically and in terms of riding.

It was way too hot by the coast for someone of English/Scottish/Irish descent who spends all day wearing a heavy black leather jacket. Blurgh.

For the past couple of days I’ve cruised some very long and very straight highways to get to Mazatlan and what I’ve been hoping will be the start of Mexico proper. People along the way have been saying that Mazatlan is a fun city, with lots of beaches and beautiful women (the guys out here are always talking about beautiful women). I’m sure it is indeed a fun city, but with its distinct split between the rich American/Canadian tourist bit and the poorer locals’ bit, it reminded me of New Delhi in India (a previous non-biking holiday). Lots of chaotic driving, with small motorbikes nipping in and out of the traffic – everybody on their way to, or coming back from, something – earning a living. Definitely not a place teeming with possible sneaky camping locations.

I didn’t fancy the idea of a big (and likely drunken) party on the beach, or a poky little hotel on the other side of town, so I’ve taken some advice and set out east, towards the road known as “Devil’s Backbone” (Espina Diablo).

The road is not terribly devilish, but on a map it looks like Richard III’s spine, and as it zig-zags its way through the mountains it takes one through small village communities teeming with independent little restaurants and workshops.

This is the ‘old road’ – MEX40. The new road takes a more direct route, with modern bridges and tunnels, and that’s where most of the traffic is. I assume that the new road taking a slightly different route has adversely affected the small communities that still hang on to the mountain slopes, but the whole package is making for some great riding for me and miss Yamaha!

A quick note on second-hand advice: Bandits? Where are they? I’m getting lots of conflicting advice out here. Some folk say ‘nah – no problem’, some say ‘don’t ride at night’, and the army folk (who are all over the place) say ‘be very careful, muchos banditos aqui’. Tonight I’ve secured lodgings in a workshop garage that’s next to a little restaurant, and the chap who owns the place says there are no bandits around here. He lives here, with his family and their business – I choose to believe this chap’s advice over that of the others.

There are definitely things out here that would be ‘against the law’ in most of Europe though. I’ve been in Mexico for three whole days and so far I’ve turned down two prostitutes and two offers of cannabis. By the way, you can also read that as me having turned down ALL offers from working girls and those who carry weed! 🙂

Tomorrow I’ll get to Durango where I’ll update the blog and do some emailing – it looks like someone has cloned my credit card and is running amok on it. I must sort that out. The plus-side of using a prepaid card is that they can’t go over-the-top with it, but it’s annoying nonetheless.

After Durango, I’ll likely wiggle and wend my way down towards Ajijc (an artists’ town near Guadalajara) over the course of a few days. So far, it’s top marks to Marcos – the guy who sorted out the bike’s insurance in Rio Rico. He’s the one who sketched out the current set of Mexican waypoints.

Right, Quesadilla has been munched and coffee has been drank. It’s time to smoke a cigarette and then proof-read this. I’m determined to get at least one blog post up here with zero typos in it!

Update:: I went past Durango and through more gorgeous mountains. I’m now in San Blas, on the coast – update to come soon.

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