I want to be a surfer dude, with a surfer chick, hanging ten on my surfboard, which is tied to my surfer dude van. I’d take said chick and board, climb into the van, and cruise way down here to Puerto Escondido, one of the few towns in Mexico where surfer dudes like me are king. Once in Puerto Escondido, I’d ride my board or buy a new one in one of the surf board shops, get even more tan, and prance my surfer chick around. Then we’d hang in surfer dude bars that play videos of surfer-dudes-who’ve-eaten-the-big-one and hang out with dudes and chicks like me and talk about today’s waves. I’d be a king in Puerto Escondido.
In the meantime I’ll settle for being a biker dude, with a biker chick, hanging out with all the dudes and chicks in this once sleepy surfer town gone wild. Eight years ago when we first started to think about a place in Mexico, we researched Escondido. We concluded it was too remote and small. It might still be remote, but its reputation is international as we saw surfer dudes from all over the world. Unfortunately, I think it’s on the way to being a surfer dude version of Cancun.
(As of Friday) We’ve gone south roughly 1000 miles from PV and the border is still nowhere in sight. This is a bit of a surprise as KR and I thought we’d be at the border in a couple of days, but then again everything is a surprise given our extensive trip planning regimen. We’ve taken Hwy 200, which shadows the coast but rarely reveals it, which cuts through really thick jungle and small, luscious farms mostly growing coconuts (first fun fact that KR screamed into my helmet speaker: the state of Guerrero is the premier coconut producing region of the world. I can’t tell you how much this running commentary through my helmet speaker adds to the scenery).
Every few miles there’s a small town — village really– that usually possess the bane of our existence: topes. Topes are raised bumps in the road constructed to slow traffic. Much cheaper than traffic signals and just as effective, provided you see them or know where they are beforehand. If you don’t see them, then one slams over them and I get a “uggggghhhh!” in the helmet speaker. We’ve developed a staged Tope Alert System in which KR announces: “Potential Tope,” “Tope Alert” Tope!!” Pretty exciting stuff, but it’s the little things that make travel safe:)
These first five or six days have all been twisty motorcycle-friendly roads. No more than 10% were in a straight line. This makes for great motorcycle riding as one is quickly forced to find the “rhythm of the road.” An impossible task if one’s passenger wasn’t into finding that rhythm, but I’m very lucky here, as for some reason, KR and I got into the groove of traveling by bike very quickly. There were still early-trip adjustments that needed to be made (think seat, think clothing, etc.). All’s well with biker chick, biker and bike.
Well, not so fast, as what Walti motorcycle trip would be complete without motorcycle problems? 30 miles north of Acapulco, Now Voyager began stalling, especially in traffic and when its hot. Riding a full loaded motorcycle in rush hour we’re-going-to-party-all-day/night Acapulco traffic brought up butt-puckering images of a certain tunnel in Argentina. Nursing NV to Acapulco was a challenge on all fronts — keeping the bike running, avoiding the kamikaze drivers, trying to find our hotel, and keeping the biker chick informed of when NV stalled so she could become an immediate Caution Flag was fun. Not.
To save us, our International Rescue Crew sprang into action again! Bruce Conrad, Ryan Reza and Sam Hershfield. First was a roundtable discussion (via email) on what the problem was (probably something to do with the fuel pump), then a city-wide search for a mechanic (on the internet again), then a wider search for BMW expertise in ANY city close by (there were none) and finally all kinds of advice on how to replace said fuel pump/filter by Yours Truly. Which I did in the front of the Holiday Inn Resort in Acapulco. More on this in a bit.
We stayed in Acapulco for almost two days making repairs. We’d never been to Acapulco, not heard anything good about it on the news (its full of Narco Gangstas!) and no one we knew had ever been. Well, its still not our cup of tea as its too big and too commercially touristy, but the physical place is stunningly beautiful, rivaling cities like San Francisco and Rio for beauty. Aside from the mechanical problems with NV, we had a thoroughly great time.
Next day we headed toward SurferVille, which is where this post was started. Here’s a recap in pictures of the first week on the road.
This just in — we made it to the Mexico/Guatemala border on Sunday night! According to our official GPS-oligist, Sam Hershfield, we’ve made it 3100 miles from LA. See below for route. Sam’s sent me a link to monitor live-on-the-ground trip progress, but I don’t know how to imbed it yet 🙂
Today — Sunday — has been a challenge on all fronts. We broke pushed our mileage record to 275+ miles at a record short 6 1/2 hours, due mainly to all straight roads allowing 80+MPH speeds. Unfortunately, once our speed got back down to earth as we entered the border town of Tapachula, NV went into fits. We then went to three — count them three– hotels to no avail and finally ended up at the Holiday Inn Express. All of this was happening as our first CoronaAdobe guest was having the visit from hell — five days of rain, no hot water, etc.,etc. It’s almost as tough being an Innkeeper as it is being an Adventure Biker Dude. Almost:)