Woke up….not really because I didn’t sleep all last night. Totally exhausted we gear up and get on the road by 7:00 AM. First I check the internet and my little sis sees that we are close to Acapulco and warns me to avoid it. Shit! We were planning on staying in Acapulco for 2 nights to rest up, change oil, etc… This is probably the 5th person that has told me to stay away from the once party/money/vegas style mecca.
Acapulco is 180 miles away and this is a solid days’ ride. We like to keep it around 200 or less if possible. The next town on the list is Puerto Escondido. Another 240 miles past Acapulco.
We roll into Acapulco around noon. Large houses on hilltops that appear to have vegetation sprouting through the windows…..abandoned. Deeper into town it doesn’t seem like a friendly place but not too bad. Eventually it gets super busy, hot, and the commuters are fussy. I make a wrong turn and lead us off the highway and into the center of Acapulco.
Problem 1: our GPS maps are not very good. There are new roads/HWY’s/etc…. that are not always shown. (I’m using OSM maps)
Problem 2: Signs are not posted in Mexico until you are right at the exit/turn/etc… No ¼ mile warning luxuries here.
Problem 3: We are too busy trying not to get run over to pay much attention to where we are actually going.
Center of downtown is not moving. Horns blaring and heat radiating off every surface distorting vision that is already poor due to sweat running down the inside of my glasses. We are stuck and not happy. Everyone is glaring at us and we are sitting behind a large school bus from the 70’s hauling unhappy folks. Two younger guys walking down the side walk eye balling us pretty hard. One steps into the street, I nod to him, no reaction, keeps going but a little close for my comfort. Alex sitting right behind me. They stop about 5 feet behind Alex just milling in the street talking looking over at the back of Alex’s bike. I’ve got the handle bars cocked, left hand holding the clutch in, right hand down on the extendable baton strapped just behind my right calf, watching the rearview waiting for some action.
Talking to Alex on the intercom and ask him if we should just try to go around the bus. “Yeah dude this isn’t cool let’s get out of here these guys are watching me hard”. Sharp to the right then left and I’m alongside the bus. I can’t fit between the bus and car parked on the side of the street. Now we’re sandwiched in next to a bus with a bunch of people staring at us. The guys behind us take a few steps but keep talking with each other still looking our way. “Hey Al should I jump the curb”…”Uhhhhhh, I don’t think so”.
Granted, the sidewalk is full of people but I will say that I am much more willing to make illegal maneuvers on the bike than Alex. With all the traveling I have done I feel that bikes for the most part have their own set of rules….and I’m not sure I could name a single one.
After what feeling like an hour the light changes, the bus starts moving, and we zip away. Only a few blocks later we reconnect with the highway. “Fuck I need a cigarette”, “I’m not stopping in this shithole Alex”.
It’s half past noon and we’ve decided to ride all the way to Puerto Escondido. We gotta move quick because arrival time is right around 6:30 and that means dark = not friendly people.
We drive as fast as the bikes will allow us = not very fast. We make up time in two ways. 1) corners, twisty sections, etc… 2) Intercity (explanation below)
The highways (2 lane roads) run directly through the center of all towns. Exits are not required. There are speed bumps called Topes. They vary in size, shape, and quantity. Usually at the beginning and end of town as well as a few dispersed throughout depending on city size….sometimes. They also have them in the middle of fucking nowhere. I know you are picturing a nice yellow sign 100 yards prior to this nicely painted bump in the road but you are mistaken. Picture no sign. Picture no paint on said bump. Picturing hitting said bump at 50 mph with no warning whatsoever. I’ve looked at my rims more than once looking for dents. Many of them are painted and marked but a few of them can really jump up and scare the piss right out of you. The good part about these is that all vehicles come to a halt when crossing them. This allows us to zip right past large sections of traffic rather easily and somewhat safely. Much better than doing it in the winding hilltop roads.
About four in the afternoon we exit Guerrero and enter Oaxaca (wah-haka). I have read good things about Oaxaca and am quite pleased to be here. The landscape isn’t quite as nice but the towns are obviously more upbeat and a positive vibe is radiating. I feel good. Only 3 more hours to Puerto Escondido.
My ass feels like I went down a 100 foot water slide that had 4 feet of sand paper glued right at the exit chute. Wet and raw I ask Alex what he thinks about trying some Maxi pads in the future.
The last 30 miles before hitting PE were gorgeous. Rainforest vegetation, cattle, people working in the rivers, lagoons, etc…. still a little shy on wildlife but we’ll get there.
Drive into town, sun is gone but still putting out a bit of light. Thank God we made it. Now to find a hotel. We try to head for the beach, get a little lost, then spot a large pink hotel that looks good. We are going to spend a little extra today because we’ve been camping and we just drove 420 miles on dirt bikes. They want $75 for a room. I get it for $40. Score, first room with air conditioning. Pool right outside our room, decent WiFi, decent parking, and beds that don’t have springs sticking out. To top it all off the bar serves great food with prices matching most of the ‘street’ food we have eaten. Sign me up for at least two nights.
We deserve Tequila shots:
...AND Nachos and fried chicken tacos