Romeo Romeo, wherefore art thou?? (Couldn't help it.. sorry!! ;-)))
The Espinazo del Diablo is a special road, but no matter how special, we don't want to go back the same way we came. The guy we met last night on the KLR, Steve, suggested we take the route he just did through the mountains. This suggestion came with some warnings. One, no matter what, do not bush camp and do NOT get stuck on the roads out there past dark. He's an American that lives here permanently. He knows very well the dangers here as a resident, so we take his warnings. There's a fair bit of drug lord activity out there. He said we should be fine during the day, just make sure we do it right and get out in time. Second, a lot of the road will be dirt.
We decide to go for an ice cream to discuss our options.. I think it was this lady who invited the boys in the door for a 'discussion'..
We had ice cream here last night too.. is it a surprise they returned so quickly? Yep, it's a bit early for ice cream, but I'm thinking none of the boys care much about the time! ;-)
We made a group decision not to take the rougher road. If we left early enough, it could be done, but it is a little bit late and if any of us had bike trouble it would be a bigger problem than normal given the dangers that Steve told us about. Secondly, Kevin's bike is a road bike (very low clearance and smooth street tires). He's willing to do it, but if the dirt road is too rough, it wouldn't be a good choice for him. We decided to stick together and go back the same way we came..
Time to pull the bikes out of the hotel. James says, "Have you seen this morning's news?" I say "No, why.." He says "Never mind, don't look". Now he has to tell me!
The news was that they found 5 dead bodies dumped on the Espinazo del Diablo this morning. I thought about it for a minute, and I said it doesn't worry me. They are killing each other, not motorcycle tourists. The boys agreed we didn't need to worry and we continued to pack up and pull our bikes out of the hotel one by one.
Gary is the last one out. He's going to ride with us today too.. great!
I couldn't help but get a kick out of the block he uses to help the sidestand on his bike. Usually people are laughing at me, but I think Gary has me beat this time!
It takes us a while, but we finally get on the road.
I was in the lead (unusual for me!) when I spotted the "Tropico de Cancer" sign. My zodiac sign is Cancer, so I wanted a photo.. Why a zodiac sign, the name of a circle of latitude has the same name as a dreadful disease boggled me. I was curious so I looked it up:
The word cancer came from the father of medicine, Hippocrates, a Greek physician. Hippocrates used the Greek words, carcinos and carcinoma to describe tumors, thus calling cancer "karkinos." The Greek terms actually were words to describe a crab, which Hippocrates thought a tumor resembled. Although Hippocrates may have named "Cancer," he was certainly not the first to discover the disease. The history of cancer actually begins much earlier. http://cancer.about.com/od/historyofcancer/a/cancerhistory.htm
Ok then! Sorry for the diversion.. it was great fun riding with the group back down the crazy Espinazo del Diablo. Our new goal... the beach!! Must get to beach for sunset and beer.... life story, important goals!!
We make it to Mazatlan, a proper city with plenty of traffic. Not surprisingly, we lose Patrick and James. Gary, Kevin and I pull over to wait for them, hopefully they turned left when we did and are on the same road? No.. they're not showing up. We decide to try to find a hostel and if nothing else, use the wifi to send them a message where we are. Gary and Kevin are well into using the Lonely Planet book (Gary the actual book, Kevin has in his iphone.. I don't travel with one at all. I prefer the surprise!) But they are keen, so I leave it to the 2 of them to figure out which LP place we go.
Up and down the esplanade, Gary and Kevin pull over again for a Lonely Planet consult..
Luckily in the lack of finding the ones they wanted, it worked out for the best. Because during the search, we found James and Patrick..!! Good, I feel better now. We stopped in to the closest cheapest hotel we could find... parked the bikes because it's not long now until sunset. And don't you know we must meet our goal!!
Sigh... relief... we did it. Beers started flowing...!
Patrick is taking full advantage of water and sunset.. he has no troubles catching up on the beer after a quick dip. ;-)
Morning view from our room.. ahhhh.. M e x i c o !!!
The usual ritual of packing up our bikes daily. It's not uncommon to get trapped by somebody with a million questions while packing. I finally got free of this guy, now he's got Kevin... ha!
I thought I was off the hook from the American guy, but then Gary had a million more questions.. oh well! ;-) Gary is actually going to stay behind in Mazatlan today. He likes to travel more slowly, and I can appreciate that.
Now to make our way out of the courtyard of the hotel, through the lobby, over the river and through the woods...
Riding a motorcycle through the hotel lobby is fun, but dag gone those floors are dangerously slippery!! Forget the banditos, watch out for polished floors!! ;-)
We're outta here... see ya!!