Acapulco is indeed crazy! (but not crazy in a good way!) More on that later…..
We have now entered our third week in Mexico and are getting accustomed to the slow pace of life here. Patience is a prerequisite!
After landing in Topolobampo on the ferry from La Paz, we checked into the only hotel in town as we arrived late in the evening and driving at night is highly discouraged (due to a mixture of bad roads, bandits and also cows that like to sleep on the road).
The next day we headed down the coast towards Mazatlan and stopped halfway in a town called Culiacan. It wasn’t really a place that tourists hang around as we found out from the hotel when I asked for directions to the nearest Oxxo store so that we could stock up on supplies (like a Mexican 7-Eleven) and they strongly advised against going later in the afternoon due to some dodgy characters that hang around the area. Nice. The bike was still parked up outside the next morning so we got on the road towards Mazatlan.
It was raining and the roads were flooded when we arrived in Mazatlan so we checked straight into a hotel after navigating the one way system. Seems like a nice place and the locals spoke English which is great for those of us still trying to learn Spanish.
On the road again towards Durango in the Sierra Madre Occidental. Great twisty roads at higher altitude. Much better! It’s called the “Devil’s Backbone” due to the amount of twists and turns as it meanders through the mountains. The Mexican government is currently building a new highway to cut the average journey time from 8 to 3 hours. We made it in approximately 6 hours, passing all the slow moving trucks along the way.
We rode around Durango trying to find a hotel that had secure parking. The one we planned on staying at was full so we checked in at the Florida Plaza instead. A bit of a dump and not cheap but at least they had a car park and the police use it as their local headquarters so probably quite safe (or maybe not!?)
The city has some beautiful old colonial buildings and nice restaurants.
We decided to stay at altitude to escape the humidity of the coast and headed towards Zacatecas, taking the toll roads there to speed up the journey. Another nice colonial city with a historic old part. The steep cobbled streets were pretty hard to navigate on a fully loaded bike however.
We ended up staying for a couple of nights as we found a nice hotel and only a short walk to the main town. Plenty of tourists here but still yet to see any Gringos.
The food in Mexico is completely different to the Mexican food they serve in the US. Tastier and healthier!
Next stop was a town called Morelia. More colonial architecture to be seen here with plenty of Mexicans out enjoying the weather.
“People watching” seems to be the pastime of choice…..that and trying to get others wet in the water fountains.
The next day we were on the road to Zihuatanejo (I can’t pronounce it either) back on the sweaty Pacific coast.
We checked into a nice hotel overlooking the sea for $45 a night but as we were the only people staying there it wasn’t the most interesting experience. The beach was pretty dirty too so we only stayed the one night.
We planned on riding down the coast to find a nice beach to relax for a few days and recharge the batteries and I thought it would be interesting to ride through Acapulco. I can only describe this place as a shit hole. Over populated, polluted, unsafe in a lot of areas and not how I imagined it would have looked a few years ago.
After riding through the manic traffic of Acapulco, we arrived in Playa Ventura. Found a room for 250 Pesos ($19) a night. The bed was tiny with a knackered mattress but it was too hot to sleep anyway.
Nice view though!
We got up early the next morning to try and get to our destination of Puerto Angel as early as possible but didn’t factor in the “Topes” (speed humps) along the way. They typically build one at each end of any small town but the locals are also allowed to build their own topes wherever they want (usually outside their shop). Some even build them out of sand while begging for money in the middle of the road but we can ride straight through those ones. 🙂
My sore wrists felt like they were about to break off after two days of stopping/starting….and that is if you can actually see the tope before reaching them. Sometimes the yellow stripy paint is so worn away that it can’t be seen until the last minute and I have to emergency break or just hit it at speed and hope for the best.
An 80kph speed limit sign just before the tope would actually be funny if it didn’t cause me to slide up the tank and Lisa take my seat as I slam the brakes on!
Then we finally arrived in Puerto Angel…
Cocktails on the beach, amazing seafood and warm sea……….Paradise!
We have been able to take time to check the bike over, visit the local markets and Lisa got herself a 30 peso ($2.30) haircut.
It looks a bit like Lego hair but for 30 pesos you can’t complain!
The bike has been parked up for a few days now and we are taking full advantage of doing not-a-lot. I’m sure we’ll leave one day…….
NB: We have uploaded the video footage taken in Canada and the USA. The link is in the main menu on the new Video page. 😀