|A new Mexico, from desert to lush tropics....rising up to 10,000ft from the coast|
The good thing is that I am living with a friendly Spanish speaking family in the middle of this beautiful town called San Pedro La Laguna. I will furnish the blog with more photographs next time round, as it has been a bit cloudy since I arrived yesterday.
My last post had Batty and I arriving on the mainland of Mexico. What a change from the desert and high temperatures of Baja California. Immediately it was lush green and prone to a daily deluge of rain. This seemed to be a fairly predictable occurrence in the afternoon, so a little planning or acceptance of the fact was all that could be done.
|An unintended wild camp, a bit off the road. Alas the local hotels were full so it was forced, but always fun and very freeing. However it did not drop below 30 degrees, so not the most comfortable sleep.|
|A view from the harbor fort in Acapulco|
The next thing that happened was that I got done over like a good'un at the Talisman, Guatemalan border. Basically I fell for one of the oldest tricks in the book and handed over US$160 to my “fixer" who was helping me through the rather vague import procedure. He asked for this money to buy the permit to drive in Central America. Although I questioned him vigorously, he persuaded me that it was essential to drive any further. Off he toddled to get the form, whilst I was kept occupied by his conniving pal for half an hour. When he got back he had all the paperwork and rushed me through the final gate saying he was about to close. Of course at this stage I was none the wiser, and thanked him profusely giving him a generous tip on top of his US$20 pre-agreed fee. Again it was at the end of the day, after 5 hours of steep mountain roads that I thought I better put all the paper work in the right folders etc. To my horror my more thorough look at the receipt showed that it was 160 Quetzales, about US$20. Of course I was livid, with myself as much as anything, and planned to head back the next day to confront the rascal. After a night's sleep I realise that there was very little proof and the chances of him being there for the next month was highly unlikely, as it amounted to several weeks pay. Why is it that some of the most lovely countries in the world, are so let down by the treatment dished out at Borders. I know it is up to the individual to look out for themselves, but in saying so, it has to be in the interests of the country at large to try and safeguard visitors from robbery, particularly at an easily policeable spot.
|The beautiful city of Morelia...one of the first universities in the Americas, and had the feeling of Oxford about it|
|For some reason I did not seem to take many photos of the town of Tequila...but I enjoyed it. This is the Agave plant that Tequila is made from.|
|Huge pineapple like fruits are harvested and then left to steam in these great chambers for 2 days, before the juices are distilled.|
One tries to create as many routines in an ever varying circumstance, to help against forgetfulness etc. For instance I always put the same things in the same pockets, I have a bike packing procedure and a mental check list when leaving a hotel.
|A days snorkeling and being toured about in a local guide's boat was an opportunity to try my camera out underwater (it has a 10m limit, so alas not for scuba)...limited success, but fun to try|
|We were joined in the sea by this chap after octopus, that you can see straped to his waist. he gets about £5 per kilo, about 2 octopuses. We did a bit of fishing of our own and caught a tuna each.|
|Julian and Violin, my companions on the boat tour, and our lunch of the fish we caught.|
Yesterday was a challenging riding day. By the time I had left Quetzaltengo, where I had stayed and was able to return my Carnet (the sort of international vehicle passport needed in many of the countries I've been to, but not the Americans) by courier to the RAC, it had started raining. Not a problem I thought as it was only about 60 miles to San Pedro. Minute by minute we climbed many thousands of feet up the side of what is a huge volcanic crater (I am assured it is benign, unlike the one blowing its top 100 miles away) on steep twisting roads. It was a lot of 1st and 2nd gear work, but the horror was coming down the stunning road into the crater to the lake and San Pedro where the roads were incredibly steep and twisting. I know for a fact that I won't be able to get out of here. Much to the amusement of others, the only way Batty could make it up the final hill into the town was by offloading all my luggage boxes etc (about 50 kg) into a passing rickshaw.
|Gloria, my landlady in San Pedro La Laguna, preparing dinner. A happy family that are most welcoming and home for 2 weeks.|
A few Months back I was in touch with Andrew Charnley, who was planning a similar trip to mine and on a diesel Royal Enfield. In fact his plans changed and is taking a Scooter. He is writing a good blog and has interviewed me about the trip, the planning, some technicalities and practicalities. Here it is: http://www.andrewcharnley.com/?content&module=read&id=337