Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 8, 9 & 10 Hola Mexico!

Well it's been a long 3 days for me and a short 3 days for Greg.

We got our tires mounted at Cycle Rider, the guys there bumped our motorcycle ahead of all the others to help us get on the road. Cheers guys! It was sunny all day in San Antonio as we waited for the bike to be ready, and the minute we mounted the bike and headed on our way, dark clouds coveted the horizon in our direction of travel. We were headed to meet up with Chuck Weaver down in Riviera Beach just south of Corpus Christi. Darkness set in and the black clouds opened up to a torental downpour which caused foaming on the road. One quarter mile from our exit to Riviera an epic lightening bolt, 3 times the diameter of an oil drum, struck down on the lamp post of the over pass we were about to pass under. Even in the pouring rain, the silver sparks showered and sprinkled down to the highway below. It was awesome.

We met with Chuck, who took us out for dinner, and we spent the evening discussing our trip plans. Chuck is an accomplished motorcycle traveler and has navigated all of South and Central and North America on his BMW R100 GS. He rode with us to the border the next day and helped us navigate our way through before saying goodbye at the crossroads. Thank you Chuck!

We opened up the throttle and headed due east to Matamoros where it began to rain as we entered heavy traffic. The powder like dust that covered the roads instantly turned to a slick film which was flung off the tires of oncoming and ongoing traffic and covered our clothes, visors and the bike, it was disgusting. As soon as we left the city and the traffic spread out, the sun came out and dried all that mud. We had to stop at a gas station to clean off our visors and windshield just so we could see.

We headed due south on the highway 180 towards Tampico. We rode with a ferious cross wind which had the bike leaned over at 15 degrees. We only rode upright when we had a wind break from a passing vehicle or a tree line. We saw our first tumble weed blow by just 100 feet infront of the bike, it was the size a small donkey. We found a highway side hotel just before dusk that had a horse racing theme. 350 pesos. We settled in for the night to the sounds of trucks on the road and the wind howling outside.

We weren't the only ones seeking salvation from the wind. Greg and I chased around a giant cockroach, a baby cockroach and what looked like a terrified spider that ran from Greg like Ben Johnson on steriods. We let them all out of the door so they could crawl back in during the middle of the night.

Day 10
We woke up before first light and packed the bike and were on the road by 7:45 and rode until dark. We went from prairies to range land to mountains and finally to the tropical forest along the mountainous gulf coast. One of the 3 military check points pulled us over to question Greg mostly about his bike and not so much about what we were carrying or where we were going.

The roads have become twisty and hilly but the pavement has not deteriorated as we expected and his dual sport tires would have been better substitued with slicks. The pavement is perfect and the rough spots are no worse than the Kingston Peninsula.

We finally pulled into Tuxpan on the coast and found ourselves a seaside motel on the beach with gekos in our room. Greg bartered the price down 25% which made me happy. We had a delicious dinner and are off to our hotel to listen to the sounds of waves crashing on the sandy beach. Tomorrow we head to Veracruz.

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