Mexican Mountains and Coast

West Coast of Mexico, on the Pacific

Mountains and coast. Lots of mountains and coast. Central Mexico is stunningly beautiful, with its distinctive volcanic (post volcanic?) landscape, its coconut-tree lined beaches and seemingly happy (if relatively financially poor) people, I can see why a lot of Americans and Canadians choose to retire down here.

The past few days have taken the bike and I along some wonderfully wiggly roads, down into valleys, up into mountains and down again to sandy beaches. Some of the roads have been sealed, some have been dirt, some have been cobble-stoned and one even turned into a proper stream for about 20 metres of its length.

I also made my biggest water crossing to-date.

I took an unplanned turn somewhere (read ‘wrong turn’) and ended on the bank of an enormous river. There were kids playing in it and several people doing their laundry there, too. Judging by how far up the legs of the children the water came, it all seemed fairly shallow. All I had to do was ride through 20cm deep water for a distance of about 30 metres. It didn’t look too bad, until I considered that the bottom of this river was likely covered in very smooth and very slippery stones, mixed with loose gravel. A quick cigarette and a self-to-self pep talk and we were off.

No problem! Yeah!

Needless to say, this was all after the wrong turn that, after a hairpin-heavy steep ascent over cobble stones followed by some trail riding, lead to me being completely off-map… I had to turn around and do the river-crossing again in the morning. Shame (it was quite fun really).

You can probably find it on Google Maps. It’s just a fraction of a mile north of the town of “Jesus Maria”, which itself is 80-100 miles north east of “San Blas”.

San Blas was a fun town. A nice RV Park meant I could shower, and there were bars and American ex-pats, even though the town was still relatively unspoiled. It would’ve been very easy (and cheap) to hang out there for a week-or-so. If the Mexicans made a good beer, then I may well have just done that – there’s only so much Corona I can drink (one or, possibly, two).

After a couple of days in San Blas it was down to Puerto Vallarta and then back into the mountains.

The scenery had changed by this point. Fewer cacti and much more greenery.

The tropics!

Palm trees, lush, thick jungle, lots of vibrant colours and butterflies by the dozen.

Anyway, I’ll keep this post short as it hurts my left hand to type – I… well… had an intimate encounter with the ground today but it’s OK. The bike is fine, and I’ll heal. It’s just a sprained wrist and I think I’ve pulled a muscle in my side. The trail riding today was the cause, and was reminiscent of the perilous riding in Georgia (the country, not the US state – I haven’t been Georgia USA yet). The roads were… knackered. Hairpins on exposed bedrock that’s been water-worn into deep gullies, gravel made of rocks the size of tennis balls, deep muddy water traps and otherwise beastly oomska (Heinz, is there a German word for ‘oomska’?).

Anyway, I feel truly alive for having survived it and not fucked up the bike in the process, so I’ve got a hotel in Ajijic tonight and I’m looking forward to exploring this town tomorrow.

Bring on Halloween and Day of the Dead!

PS. Sorry for swearing, but I’ve been reading Iain Banks and I think he’s polluted my vocabulary a bit, as well as caused me to miss a good single malt whisky from the home isles – good book though.

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