Things have been so crazy; I don’t even know what to write about. So many little things happen every day, I can’t even remember them, let alone type them into an online journal. While we ride we laugh about so many things that have happened, its unbelievable. Most recently we met a Japanese kid on his way to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina from Los Angeles, California. He speaks very very little English and zero Spanish. It has been an adventure in itself just trying to communicate with him over the last couple of days. I am short on time, as always when I am on the computer, so I am going to type up some entries from my written journal verbatim.
Day 11, 71 miles
Today we got up relatively early and hammered out 33 miles to San Ignacio, where we spent the hot part of the day. In the desert it reaches about 110 between 12 and 4, the sun melts your skin if you’re not in the shade. There was a festival around the center square where we spent 5 hours in the shade people watching. We looked like vagrants, doing our dishes with the faucet in the park and eating peanut butter on tortillas, but most people stared at the drunken guy passed out on the ground next to us.
We left town around 430, but Justin hit another pothole on the way out of town and we had to fix his flat. We pushed on slowly, until the weather cooled. We had an amazing view of a 6,000 ft peak that towered above all the other mountains in the range. We climbed the small pass and hammered on for a while at a good speed. Just as it was getting dark we came upon a ‘downhill ahead’ sign and decided we would camp after it. Next thing we now we are flying down switchbacks at 35 mph + into a canyon. It was beautiful. We were able to look back and see the sun setting behind the giant peak that towered over the canyon. We had a short climb out of it and then we decided to camp across the street from a gas company. Dinner was delayed because some men showed up at the gas place and we had to hide from them for a while.
Day 17, La Paz to Mazatlan on the ferry
After our first night in a hotel, we got up early and crushed a giant breakfast at the local vegetarian restaurant. Post office, supermercado, and then a 10-mile ride to the ferry. I am stressing cause our ferry tickets cost 3x what lonely planet had them listed for. I paid $48US with student discount, but JC had to pay the full $60. Someone told us that bikes cost the same as motorcycles to put under the ferry, an additional $50 each. So basically when we bought the tickets we didn’t mention the bikes. Anyway, we get to the ferry terminal and look around to develop a plan to scam our bikes on. The first idea was to talk a truck driver into letting us put our bikes in the back. That didn’t work. The next idea was to carry them up where everyone else brings their luggage and simply ignore the fact that they are bikes with 50+ pounds of shit strapped to them. The security guy wasn’t having that. He told us to bring them to where the cars are. Damn. We walked down there like we knew what we were doing and were told to wait. We sat and sat, dreading being caught and having to pay an additional $50. It started to get late; people were beginning to board El Barco. Finally, a guy waived for the motorcyclists to drive in and for us to follow. We rode our bikes into the ferry and locked them where he pointed. We grabbed our plastic bag of stuff for the 18-hour journey and headed to the cabin. Success!
The boat was an adventure in itself. Within 3 to 4 hours people were drunk and sprawled out everywhere. It was like the beach! So much fun. We searched the boat for the two cute girls we were scoping earlier and we found them in the outside bar area on the second deck. So that’s where we chilled for the next couple of hours. We read, looked at the maps, and ate some tortillas with canned refried beans to the amusement of two drunken men behind us. They started asking us about the maps, we told them about our trip, and it just got nuts from there. I wish I had taken a class on understanding drunken Spanish cause most of the time I was clueless to what they were saying. So much fun. Ended with pictures being taken with the whole family. We were the coolest guys in the bar.
Back to the girls. Our pics were right near them, so they asked me to take a pic of them in front of the sunset. I take the pic, ask them where they are from…’Mexico City? Vamos a la ciudad de Mexico!’ Next thing we know we are hanging out with two 23 year old engineering students alone on the top deck of the ship. Nice. They can speak English, we try to use our Spanish to their amusement, and it was great. We talked about school, about life, about traveling, and about Mexico. I dropped some knowledge about Chiapas, it goes well.
Next they inform us that they are sleeping up there; it is too hot and crazy to sleep in the seat area inside. They ask us where our sleeping bags are, and we point to our plastic bag of items. They invite us to share their blanket. Score. They started to set it up and I went to rescue Masoyuki from the smelly sitting area, where he had returned to hours earlier after a lone beer did him in. We went back up to the top deck and Justin had secured a place next to the girl he was digging. Damn, I am stuck between Justin and Masoyuki. Needless to say I got a lot more sleep than Justin did. In the morning we all sat and talked, we got numbers and invites for Mexico City and all took pics in front of the boat. Goodbye kisses were exchanged in lovely Latin American style, we got our bikes, and road off into Mazatlan….First stop: vegan sweet bread from the whole grain bakery downtown….