SOUTH MEXICO

 

 

 

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DAY 341 LA PAZ – COLESTA LOBOSS (SEA CORTEZ)

12KM 1H23 BETWEEN DA SHEETS (08/02/16)

Well after two weeks of waiting we finally left the dock just after 10am. I am on Between da sheets a 42 foot sail boat with retired couple Rick and Sharon. There is one other crew member for the 4 day trip over to Mazatlán and his name is Mark. He is also retired, from Texas, but lives in Mexico.

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We didn’t get off to the best start after motoring around to the fuel dock. It was all a bit hectic and panic as we came in under motor. Mark throw out the bow line to the waiting dock hand. His first attempt missed as well as his second. Lucky he was 3rd time lucky because there was nothing to stop us ploughing into the wharf. I could tell things weren’t good by the share fright on Sharon’s fave and the tone of her voice. Once the front of the boat was tied up to the dock. The drama wasn’t over as the stern of the boat started drifting away from the dock and towards a supper yuat docked next to us. I am glad I was able to get the bow line to the dock hand in one go and in time to advert danger. We motored out of La Paz for two hours before we reached our mooring for the night in a small bay, with 4 other yachts.

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DAY 342 COLESTA LOBOSS – LOS MUERTOS (SEA CORTEZ)

92KM 9H17 BETWEEN DA SHEETS (09/02/16)

Just after 7:30am we left our sheltered bay and ventured out into more open sea. We started by motoring for a couple of hours before we put up our main sail while maintains motor power as well. The wind got up as well as the waves. It was pretty rough for a few hours as the waves came in from the side and tossed us around. Mark and Rick were sick. I was just constantly drinking water trying to fight it off. We certainly got tossed around because the main cabin flour was a mess with everything that had moved. Today we were in constant view of the coast as we headed south before starting the 30 hour crossing. I was glad we made our mooring with out been sick. We shelter in a large bay with 10 other yachts. 5 of which will sail with us tomorrow.BOAT TO MAZATLAN 2016-02-11 008.JPG

We got a nice sunset

DAY 343 LOS MUERTOS – MIDDLE SEA CORTEZ

130KM 12H12 (10/02/16)

We were the last boat to leave this morning. While we were having breakfast a dolphin swam just meters from the boat. Rick was still feeling a bit rough and mentioned we might stay another night. I’m glad we didn’t and we made a move around 8am. With some perfect sailing conditions. 10-12 knot winds from behind with flat seas. In the afternoon we raised the jib and gave the engine a rest. It was so peaceful to be moving by sail alone. We passed a sleeping seal in the water and by lunch time we had also passed two other boats. We have two fishing lines hanging off the back of the boat with the aim of catching something for dinner.

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We got a strike and a 15 pound Dorin was pulled over the side. While the guys were taking the hook out it made a escape over the side. Few hours later another bite and this time it made it to the dinner plate. I had to do my first watch shift, a 4-8. Got to see the sun go down. Wasn’t too eventful. Starting to feel real grotty with the feel of salt on the skin. As soon as I finished my watch I went straight to sleep. Will be back in 8 hours for the next 4-8 shift.

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DAY 344 MIDDLE SEA CORTEZ – MAZATLAN

222KM 19H55 (11/02/16)

My day on the yacht started at 3:45am when

I got up for the 4-8 shift. Sharon sat up with me in the cockpit. We continued to sail with both sails up and the engine. There was no moon and it was pretty dark. Tho the sky was clear and the stars were out………..I saw one shooting star and the water came to life every now and then with the elumanesiance. It was a long two hours before the sun started to come up. Not a bad sunrise

A strange thing happened in the night. In the morning we found Half a dozen squid had jumped on board the boat. One even went through a open hatch and made it into the main cabin.

 

I was glad when my shift ended. I was struggling to keep my eyes open. With the rising of the sun. The winds lay down. The water was nice and flat. Just after 8am we had a big pod of dolphins come over and swim with the boat. I went up to the Bow to watch and it was awesome. We had two more strikes with the lines and this time pulled on board two yellow fin tuna.

This been the 4th day on the boat everyone is getting a bit tired. It was a long old afternoon as we sailed towards Mazatlán. Nearing the coast we could notice the difference in temperature over here. It is a lot more hot and humid. We got into the Marina around 4:30pm. Rick and Sharon have cheeked into a 5 star resort. I will stay with them on the boat for a few nights while I put my bicycle back together so I can start pedalling again. It was great to get off the boat and have a proper shower again. MAINLAND MEXICO 1 2016-02-12 033

DAY 345- 347 MAZATLAN REST DAYS

Friday. I have really struck it lucky to find myself back in a resort. I am really getting use to this life style. Could be dangerous . I had good intentions to leave Saturday. Now looks like I am staying till Tuesday. Rick and Sharron are happy for me to stay as long as I want. In fact they are trying to talk me in to sailing with them to Puerto Viarto in a week. Would be nice. I am actually craving getting back on the bike. This morning we had to wash the boat down for a few hours and in the afternoon I took the local bus into the centre of Mazatlán (pop500 000). Cheeked out the turn of the century cathedral and small plaza.

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Saturday In the morning I went with Sharon into the centre to visit Municipal market to pick up some fruit and veggies. Its about a 30 min trip in on the bus. In the Afternoon I went back in to town and wounded around the back streets.

Saturday afternoon there were small brass bands paying at all the small restaurants. It was a another hot and humid day.

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Around 4:30pm when the temperature was a lot more pleasant I started to walk the 10 km along the Melacon back to the Marina. I passed the local beach full of local family picnicking and swimming for the day, A fishing fleet of small punggas. Along the Mulacon were lots of monuments and statures as well. It took me 2 ½ hours to walk back. I was just back in time to see El Sids weekly fire works display.

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Sunday I accompanied Rick and Sharron to a local ex pat nondenominational church. I then walked back to the Marina and finally reassembled my bike. With the hard work done. I caught the small ferry across the marina over to the beach and spent the afternoon relaxing under the polapo’s on a sunbed.

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Monday This morning I had to help move the boat to a new mooring. I then enjoyed the beach for the rest of the day while listening to coffee break Spanish……………..

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DAY 349 MAZATLAN – EL ROSARIO

START 09:00 FINISH 17:00

DISTENCE 85KM RIDE TIME 5H20

I woke up this morning and thought I’d quite like to lie by the pool all day and I could. Rick and Sharron have asked me to stay another week. I tell you I was pretty tempted. Just after 9am I got away. It’s going to be a hard day. Straight away I could feel the legs strugling to get the peddals moving. It was a nice ride out of town firstly along the Malcon beside the beach and then out past the port before getting on the old High Way which then ran through some small towns with modest houses and shops. After 50km I hit the wall. I was over heating. The legs were aching and my butt was sore.

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When I arrived in El Rosario I got my picture book out for the first time and it was a success. I pointed to a fire Engine and very shortly after had direct directions for the local Bomberos. They were very welcoming and I have set up my tent inside the fire station. They gave me a shower. It was cold. It was great. The ambulance here has come from Grande Prairie Canada. Kindly donated by the local rotary club.

 

After I got myself set up I walked up to the local Plaza for some Tacos. The streets were full of people coming out and socialising now the temperature was more pleasant. It was a walk back in the dark to the fire station……..I felt perfectly safe. Next to the Plaza was the Cathedral which I quickly visited.

DAY 350 EL ROSARIO – TEPIC -94KM

START 9:00 FINISH 17:00 (17/02/16)

DISTANCE 115KM RIDE TIME 6H15

I was really humbled this morning when one of the young Firemen gave me a watch as a present. It would have just been a cheep knock off. It is the thought that counts. It probably wouldn’t have been as cheep to him as it would have been to me. I didn’t know how to say no and I didn’t want to offend him.

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Before leaving town, I did a quick 1 hour tour around the back streets. It must have been a big colonel town once. A lot of the building or at lest partial remains are visible. I came across the remains of a old Cathedral up on the hill. This morning I jumped on the 15 toll road. Good thing is it is free to cyclists and it has a wide shoulder. Since coming across to the Mainland, I have noticed there are no Catus. It is very green and now mountainous. As the day goes on it gets extremely hot. I have been over heating a few time and have had to stop to cool down. At the toll stops you can ask for cold water and I went inside the a/c office. It was twice as bad when I came out. In some spots it is difficult to find shade to rest. The Mexicans are not silly. I would see a shadow on the road. When you got up rthere it is usuall taken by a local resting.

Come evening I found my self out in the middle of nowhere. I went down a bank and camped just off the road. I was slightly hidden by the trees. Not completely. It was still very hot so I left the fly off the tent. At about 4am I started to get driped on by the due running off the leaves.

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DAY 351 TEPIC -94KM – TEPIC

START 06:30 FINISH 17:00 (18/02/16)

DISTANCE 93KM RIDE TIME 6H48

I was up and on the road before the sun came up. It was so nice riding the first two hours in cool conditions. I watched the sun rise and listened to the birds. There was even a little bit of mist I had to cycle through.

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The first two hours I did 40km and the next two 30km. At midday it was stinking hot again and I stipped for lunch at a small resturant. Afterwards I had a seaster in the old hammock. MAINLAND MEXICO 2 2016-02-18 008

 

 

What was coming next was a real shocker. It took me 4 hours to cycle the last 23km up a steep and winding hill. I was overheating and had to make many stops. I ended up consuming so much water. I was feeling sick. I arrived on the outskirts of Tepic feeling completely exhousted. I spoke to some young guys who said the fire station was another 8km away. I didn’t have it in me to go on. They offered to drive me. I was happy to set up camp in the gas station. The young guys came with me. They were University students doing engernaring.

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They were pretty intrested in what I was doing. After they left they soon returned with a 5 ltr bottle of water. I had mentioned I needed water and they had very kindly gone off and found some for me. In the past two days I have seen more then 10 dead snakes on the side of the road and a number of Eguanaus. More sadly is the number of dead owels and other birds of pray.

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DAY 352-354 TEPIC

My plan was to go into Tepic, cheek out the town and then that evening go and camp with the Bombareos. Instead I cycled into the old town. Stopping at a few of te parks to cheek ou some monuments before arriving at the huge catherdal. While I was walking around the Plaza. I started talking to Tim, a Japanise/Americian and his Mexican wife Lucia. They rent a house in the city and offered for me to come and stay. I took them up on there kind offer and cycled the 1.5km out to there house. Fantastic……….I got a shower, was able to do some washing, have some lunch and relax. It is another supper hot day. That evening we went into the plaza for a Beer and a bit of a wonder round.

My plans change so quickly. I have now been invited to go with the family tomorrow down to there house at San Blas. Will stay over night. So it won’t be Monday before I start cycling again. A patten of 3 days on and 3 days off. Saturday morning Lucia cooked fried bananas for breakfest. Which were yummie. Then we went to the market to get fruit and veg. Tomatoes were so cheep. $1 for two killos. In Alaska I was paying $1 for just one tomato. You could also get 5 corn for a $1.

It was a 60km drive down to the coast. Through some buetiful mountianous country side. Just before town we stopped at the mangrove inlet to look for Cayman Ailligators. There were a few about.

 

Tim fixed me up with a bicyicle and I went off for the afternoon and did a tour of the town. I cycled up the hill to the old spanish Fort and ruins of the old church. Close to the church I came across a Armidillo. He was cool to watch. I am having a good day on the nature front.

From the fort was a panoramic view over looking the town. I finished the day cycling to the plaza, down to the river and through the old part of town.MAINLAND MEXICO 3 2016-02-20 051

 

Sunday Tim kindly organised for me me to go kayaking for a few hours on the river. I went up the river past the fishing village. I was paddeling against the current. Coming back was a lot easier. Not having to paddel nearly as much.

Lucia’s family own a resturant on the beach and we hung out there till about 6pm before we drove back to Tepic.

DAY 355 TEPIC – IXTLON

START 8:30 FINISH 16:30 (22/02/16)

DISTANCE 100KM RIDE TIME 7H09

After some breakfest I said good bye to my accendantal hosts Tim & Lucia. I then took the slower but more intresting route through town. The main blvd was full of monuments. Mostly for the Revaloution and war with America. There was also a Brass Band playing on the main street.

 Instead of taking the toll road I took the Libre. Nice road. Shame it had no sholder. I was also glad it wasn’t as hilly as the previous cycling day. I run into a few americans living down here. At my morning tea stop I meet a guy from Oregin who had been living down here for 20 years. He gave me a good history leason. I asked him what he does and he said sells hamburgers on a sat night and a bit of sign writing. Said he like the way of life down here.

There are lots of Volcanic areas on the mainland as well.MAINLAND MEXICO 4 2016-02-22 033

As I cycled in to Ixtlon, a lady waved at me. So I stopped and went over and said hello. Next minute she had sent her sun off to get me two cold bottles of water. I asked for directions for the Bomberos

I found the Bomberios………..not much of a station. No one there. So I went and set up camp in the back of the Pemex. All was good until I had a homeless women come and set up camp next to me.

I am going to have a restless night now

DAY 356 IXTLON – TEQUILA

START 7:00 FINISH 17:30 (23/02/16)

DISTANCE 93KM RIDE TIME 6H37

This morning I pack up quickly from the gas station and cycled a short distance to the P;aza to make breakfest. It was nice to watch the comings and goings of the local people. The church opened on to the plaza and many people were visiting. I also had a look.

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A few km out of town I stopped to visit some ancient ruins dating back to 700 AD There was a thumb we were able to visit with some small artefact’s. But All have been robed in this area.

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I continued to cycle on the Libre, by 10am was making good progress and had done 28km. For the next 3 hours I only managed 20 km I climbed and climbed. I am still not coping well with the heat. At 1pm I reached the top. I stopped at a restaurant for a much needed cold drink x 2. I couldn’t eat. I was feeling exhausted. Afterwards I had a lie down. It turned into a good sleep. Waking up an hour and a half later. The day was disappearing and I has pushed on. I could have very easily called it a day then. I enjoyed the flatter road to Magdalena. This is the start of the growing area for the plant they use to make Tequila. A few disterllliers started to appear as well. I cycled through Magdalina only having time to take a few pictures around the square. The next 20km was a real treat as it was all down hill to Tequlia. There were fields and fields of the Tequlia plant. Which takes 6 years before they can harvest.

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In Tequila everything revolves around the drink…..This is where it comes from. I tried to find the Bomberiors. 10Km away and up hill……..so I gave them a miss. The gas station wasn’t very appealing so I left town. As I cycled out. Both sides of the main street were lined with Tequila shops and large distillers’. I left town with out tasting a drop. 5 km out of town I was eyeing up a camping spot when I spotted a roadside stall with some room. I pulled in. One of the guys spoke English which helped. It wasn’t a problem to camp. The guy who spoke English was from Salvador and had had a interesting life or hard life. He grew up in gangs in La, spent time in jail before been deported before finding God. He is on the run from El Salvador after persacution. He now has resadince foe r Mexico and has lived at the the roadside stall for 4 years. It was intresting talking to him and he told me about the local drug cartels and marfia. He is a fan of El Chapo and had the T shirt to prove it.

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DAY 357 TEQUILA

START FINISH (24/02/16)

DISTANCE RIDE TIME

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I had left my bike rest up against the fence and again unlocked…………I haven’t locked it once since I have been on the mainland. I always trust it will be there when I wake up in the morning. In the night a herd of cows came over. They took a shine to my bike and started licking the salt on the handle bars. So I had to jump out and rescoue my bike. That was the first disturbence the one was at 4:30am when a pick up truck turned up. They were trying to get the El Saladorian guy out of his hut. I just kept quite and stayed in my tent. In the morning I asked him what they wanted and he said they were after protection money. He told them he didn’t need protection and they left.

After breakfast I said goodbye and cycled a short distance to Amatitan. A lovely small colonel town with small winedy coluble stone streets with colourfully painted houses.

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I wondered through and found myself at the Plaza. The good thing is there is lots of info boards translated to English. So I discovered Amatitan claim to be the first town to make Tequila. The quietness of the square was broken with the arrival of a couple hundred school kids I watched with interest as they preformed a cermonary to celebrate the day of the flags. They sang the national anthem and there was some marching as well.

By the time I had gone and visited the church I was hungry. So I stopped for tacos at a small street stall. When I went to leave they noticed my water bottle was empty and kindly filled it for me. If your wondering two days later I am fine and side effects from the water……It came out of a puerfied bottle……who knows.

Bull Fighting must be extremely popular here because nearly every small town I go through has a Bull Ring. The other day I passed a van with a trailer broken down on the side of the road. They had off loaded a dozen boxes so they could access the spare wheal. The boxes contained Rosters. They weren’t happy. It made me wondered if they were desterned for Coak fighting.

 

The last 20km into Guadalajara was on a busy, busy road with hardly any shoulder and a steep drop off into a gutter. Wasn’t much fun. Took a lot of concentration…………some parts I jumped on the footpath where I could.

I was really happy I was able to find a warm showers host in Guadalajara and also in a huge city  Michel and his girlfriend  Jeanette were surprisingly was easy to find. Michel has cycled from Mexico to Vancouver and previous through Central America. So I have been able to get some good tips off him.

 

DAY 358, 359 & 360 GUDALAJARA REST DAYS.

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Thursday. I cought the bus in to the centre of Guadalajara. It was old school. You still paid with coins and you got a paper ticket.The bus stop was anywhere you were standing on the street or any time you puled the buzzer. I jumped off the bus a little early when I saw a huge Church and I thought it was the Cathrerdal.

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It turned out to be the the very grand Templo Expiatorio. On the way to to the Temple Expiatorio I passed the university and it was graduaction day with all the students very dressed up. Guadalajara is a city of Churches. I only had to go 3or 4 blocks before coming across another church.

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They were all just as grand and well crafted. I was looking for free stuff and went into the old University library……another well crafted building. There wete just as many Plazas as Churchers The Plazas were all well kept and mostly named after a event like libaration or revalousion or University. All had a mixture of trees, fountains, monuments, and sculptures.

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Friday Guadalajara is a huge city and I still had plenty to see today. Jenette gave me a lift to her work and I walked the rest of the way in to the city covering new parts of town. I found loads more churches and the museum of Journalisium and it also housed a photo exatation. Passing along the pedestrian mall. There was a group of guys with old school typewriters typing letters for people for a small price.

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Lunch times the Thertare is open to the public so I went in to the aordatorim for a look. It was grand with ground flour seating and then 75 box seats standing 5 levels high.MAINLAND MEXICO 5 2016-02-26 126 My last stop for the day was the cento Market, which was huge. 3 levals high and had everything and thousands of it. There was a guy sharping knives.

 

 

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In the evening we went to a art exabition.

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SATURDAY Slow to leave the house. Went to the munisapile park which was close by. Full of family activitys. Flying for 30 paso would take you across the lake. The kids were luving it.

I called into Walmart and outside there was a que for free flu & Polo injections. I thought about queing up, Decided to give it a miss.

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I got the bus into the centre rather late. Enjoyed a walk around the inner nabourhoods.

Heading home I got caught in a evening thunder and lighting storm. Had to shelter in Costco from the rain.

DAY361 GUADALAJARA – AJIJIC

START 11:00 FINISH 16:30 (28/02/16)

DISTANCE 69KM RIDE TIME 4H11

Been a Sunday. It was a bit of a late start. Worth staying for the Meician breakfest Jennete prepared.

I got away at 11am and Michel kindly acompaied me. So as to help me navagate my way across the city. Every Sunday. 66Km of streets in Guadalajara are closed to cars and then opened up for cyclists. It was good to see so many people out on bicyicles Once Mihel gotme to the main road out of town we said oue goodbyes. By now the traffic started to pick up. It was a nice flat road as I headed west towards the Largo Chapala. Mexicos largest lake. Shame it is poluted and you can’t swim. Good fishing. On the out skirts of the city I went through the more basic nabourhoods. 8 Km short of the lake I had a good old mountian to go ove. So I got a good work out to finish the day. It was a good run down to the lake. Got a shock when I saw a wallmart in the middle of nowhere. This area must be well populated and it was full of expats.

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I cycled 3km past Ajijic to a quite nabourhood on the lake. Here I have a warm showers host Eduardo. Who previously cycled from Bankock to China. He owns a Cautus Nesuary. He’s got a really nice house with nice good for camping. The garden was full of birds. I got to sleep inside on the upper mesanine flour. I was very quickly talked into staying another night.

DAY 362 AJICIC REST DAY (29/02/16)

It was Edwaldos day off so I had some breakfest with him before I walked down to the lake. There was a small fishing camp and a few boats. One boat had just come back and they were cutting up the catch. There were lots of birds around. Mostly very white Pelicans.

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I walked along the lake edge towards town. There was rubbish everywhere. Big flash houses backed onto the lake. I eventualy reached town after a 15 min walk and continued along the nice looking promanarde.

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Then I turned and walked up into the town along the cobble stone streets. Its a bigger town then I thought lots of Gallaries, botiuque, resturants and shops for the tourists and expats.

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Its a town of art with painted muerals everywhere. I visited the two churches and the plaza before going up stair in the culture centre to have lunch in the small resturant that over looked the square.

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