Cross the border at Tecate and into Mexico we go! The plan was to make it to San Felipe before dark. I wanted to hit this dirt road off of Mexico 2 near El Hongo that heads south to La Huerta & Ojos Negros.
We had our bikes filled with gas our passports ready. All of our money hidden in clothes and boots. Double copies of all the important paper work we were ready for this border check and questioning. I guessed a good 45 minutes to an hour of looking through the bikes and checking paper work then we would get this stamp on our passports that says “Welcome to Mexico”. I knew we had to get a tourist ticket or piece of paper work of some kind but I thought we would get this during the check at the border.
Well it went even smoother than that and super fast. All we did was ride right on through the toll both didn’t even stop. There was a boarder patrol Mexican official type guy sitting just inside the toll both. He was sitting on the his tail gate and he just smiled and waived us on through. I thought wow that was easy (Just like Staples) Joke laugh. Then I thought but we need that tourist sticker stamp ticket thing don’t we? Too late we were in the middle of traffic and I didn’t want to stop and look like the stupid gringo I was. I just couldn’t walk up and speak my four words of Spanish trying to find out what I did wrong not to get the proper paper work. So I didn’t tell my Wife or my Dad we needed it and they didn’t know so how could that hurt right? On we went open the throttle!
Our first Mexican road sign and Dad Hi Ho Silver and some fountian my wife thought was cool I guess.
Ok so we found that dirt road of Mex2 that headed south. The local were using it to stay off the toll roads. It turned out to be challenging with some deep sand, and mud. It should be noted it was May but hot real hot. You will see that the wife and I wore these neck cooler things and they helped alot but it was way hot.
Here are some shots of the first obsticle we came to on this dirt road headed to Ojos Negros.
Some scenery on this road, and a stop to look at the Map and double check.
We made it to Ojos Negros after more time than I would have ever guessed. Like I said there were some sections on this road that had some hard stuff for a bike 2 up with all that crap on it, but we made. We passed this husband and wife pushing a baby stroller full of what looked like walnuts and carrying the baby. It was hot and they looked like they were tired hot and thirsty. Like total tourists we rode on by and waved and thought man they look like they could use some water or a ride. We got not lost but ummm turned around because the maps and the GPS didnt match and there were no road signs. So we turned around and passed the couple with the baby again. Turned around again and stoped this time to ask directions. They asked for some water and so I gave them some water they seemed greatful. It was hot and so we sat down for a hand made ice cream stick in Ojos Negros.
Rested up and ready to ride we headed to San Felipe. On the way there out in the middle of no where in the hotest most stupid place to put a military check point they had one and we got stop and searched. The wife and I got pulled off to one side and had to open EVERY pocket or bag or box we had. My Dad sat there and shot the bereeze with this guy with a M-16 and hardly looked in his tank bag. I asked what the point was and I was told "We are looking for drugs, you know the war on drugs? And we are looking for guns and weapons". They missed my ASP baton and my pepper spray thank God or they didnt much care. I asked to take some pictures of them and they told me NO! Move on!
The Hotel we stayed at in San Felipe because it was "Too hot and Im tired and hungry".
Some shots of the town on our stroll around after we hit the BanOMex for some Mexican Money! Its realy starting to feel like a adventure now. Gun men, fake money, and Mexican food every where!
Day 3 – Monday, May 15, 2006
We woke up early to cross the boarder and to go through customs. Right before the U.S. and Mexican boarder we filled our tanks with some U.S. regulated gas for the last time for two straight weeks. There was a market and a bank. The Bank was closed and did not open until 9:00 a.m. about a 20 minute wait. We decided to wing it and go ahead and cross the boarder. There was no line at the boarder was we approached. Once at the gate, Jose just waived us on through sitting on the back tail gate of a truck 30 feet away. We joke that Mexico was going to be a synch. Not until much later did we find out that this was not how we were suppose to do things at the boarder. We were jazzed to be in Mexico and begin our adventure. Lets say that we should have done a little homework touching up our Spanish Speaking and Reading. We crossed over at Tecate, not a high tourist trap, so they do not cater to Americans. All and I mean ALL the signs were in Spanish. Our first experience to Mexican highways and signs, we got turned around, went east instead of west or vis versa. We were not on the Highway long when Cory decided we were going to take this dirt trail. It was not bad at first. We hit a deep patch of sand and we almost went down, but we stopped and the bike just about toppled over. Cory was struggling to hold the bike up so I had to slide off the seat to the left and push the bike to the right so it would not fall. This was only the beginning, and I mean it! Not too far down the road we came to our first water crossing. A huge puddle of water that cars and trucks would not drive straight through. We stopped to assess the situation and a car approached the puddle from the opposite way and hugged the side of the puddle and the edge of the road, so only one side of the car was in the water and one side of the car was on dry land. This was my que to get off the bike, also a KODAK moment. We have a fairly new camera that does videos. I should have done my homework on the camera part since Cory did all of the other homework. My plan was to capture a video of Cory riding through the puddles. Cory patiently waited on once side of the puddle while I waited on the other side of the puddle trying to get the camera to work. Well I could not pull the video option through so I waived Cory on through to get a still picture. Cory road right through the center of the puddle like a PRO. I then remounted the Bike for our next adventure.
This dirt road was about 3 hours long. It would have been shorter if we did not cross the same strip of sandy road three times. Lets me just say this early on, either the signs were not very clear or the lack of sign. The latter is the one we encountered most of the time. On this dirt road there were no signs. This area we drove through had pretty parts. Not all of it was sand, but most of it was. In the pretty part we drove past a few farms and a church. I took a few pictures while on the back of the Black Beauty. Cory saw a snake on the side of the road that he said was about average size. I am glad I never saw any snakes the whole trip. I probably would have been so scared that I would have made us crash. On the same road our GPS was telling us to go one way, but there was no road and the sand was thick in parts. We had knobby tires on the whole trip, in anticipation for the sand, and I felt like it did not help. We were doing S’s in the sand.
While on this deep sand area, we were lost and saw a family, man, woman, and a baby in an umbrella stroller walking on this deep sand road. It was hot. We stopped to ask for directions, they did not understand our broken Spanish, but they did ask us for Agua – water. We filled up their Culligan water bottle 16.9 oz. We kept on going in the same direction but began to second guess ourselves and depend more on the GPS. We turned around and headed in the direction we just came from. As we were approaching the Mexican family we hit a deep patch of sand and almost biffed it. Cory had to cross the handle bars left then right a couple of times. I thought we were goners and were going to crash right in front of the Mexican family. Cory pulled it off and waived like it was all apart of the plan. We drove to where the GPS was directing us. The road the GPS was directing us to was gated and a closed sign posted on the gate. So we had to head back past the Mexican family again. They must have thought we were “Loco Gringos”.
We continued to drive in the direction we were first heading. We made it to a small little town, Ojos Negros. We stopped at an Ice Cream stand. Cory and I had a Chocolate Ice Cream and Dad had a Coconut Ice Cream. It tasted heavenly. While we were sitting in the plastic chairs in front of the stand we saw a bus pull up and let the Mexican family out that we gave water to. We called them over and bought them 2 Ice Creams. It was such a hot day. They no longer had their stroller. So she had to carry the baby while the man carried a large bag of what looked like walnuts. While we were eating our Ice Creams we saw some kid herding some cows down the street riding bare back on a horse.
After we ate our Ice Cream we were forced to mount the Black Beauty and continue on to our destination. A short time after we left the Ice Cream stand we hit a paved road, it was wonderful. The road was not in the best of condition, but it was Paved and 100 times better than sand. We pointed our bikes towards San Felipe. On this highway there was no view, just desert and lost of ups and downs like a roller coaster. Before we got close to the coast we experienced our first search, Military check point. They were very thorough with us, but laid back with Dad. They searched every bag and every compartment, I mean EVERY! It was so HOT, we were dripping in sweat helping them unload everything then we had to repack and reload everything. The Military men had good broken English. They had automatic machine guns. It was quite intimidating. We had our collapsible baton with us, but they never saw it, thank goodness. They looked us over with a fine tooth comb, Dad only had to open 1 or 2 bags, that is. They did not fiddle through the bag like they did to us. Ahhhhh.
Once we passed through the check point we were headed towards the coast and the temperature cooled a few degrees. We stayed the night in San Felipe in a nice hotel. The room even had air conditioning. We ate at the Taco Factory. We had a combination of Shrimp, Chicken, and Steak. The shrimp was the best so we ordered another round of shrimp tacos. We then walked towards the water and had a photo moment. Don’t forget I am still nursing a blister on my right heel. I was really going through the band aids in our First Aid kit. We walked all over town and checked out the stores in search of desert, more like Churros. After walking all over town we headed to the market by our hotel and bought Coca Cola, water, and Ice Cream
(American). We woke up the next morning not quite knowing what was ahead of us.