México mi corazón

When we made it out of Barranca Del Cobre (Copper Canyon) we were both extremely tired. We rode into the nearest city Choix to find a hotel. We went around for a while and asked a few people before we found a place. It looked somewhat shabby, but the sheets were clean, there was a shower and we could park the bikes in the back yard. I paid 300 pesos cash. We spend the evening in the room doing laundry and washing the layer of dust of our bags.

At 1 am the guy from the reception was talking lout on the phone just outside our door. I was just about to get up and ask him to keep his voice down, when he knocked hard on our door. I got up and opened. He was still on the phone and the person he talked to insisted we pay him more money. I didn’t understand, so he handed me the phone and a guy in the other end repeated what he just said. “Dinero – money”. We realized that we had made a mistake by not asking for a receipt but we just kept answering “no comprendo”. After a while they gave up and went away. We didn’t know what to think of it, and it was really hard to sleep afterwards.

At 3 am it happened once again. They kept repeating the same thing “Dinero – money”. We tried to stay calm and just repeated ourselves. “no comprendo”. Same thing, after a while they gave up. At 4 pm it all happened over again. This time Lars got up and was just about to raise his voice, but he managed to keep cool and the guy finally went away. But by then I could forget to get any sleep, I was so scared. Lars was never afraid. He didn’t think the guy had a threatening body language and he was probably right, so he just went back to sleep. I had a complete horror movie running through my head, including stolen motorcycles, drug gangs with machine guns, corrupt police, us on the street with absolutely nothing and no where to go.

But nothing of all that happened. They were probably playing a scare scam on us. Don’t think they were ever prepared to do anything serious. The guy in the reception pretended that he was nice, but that he was being threatened by the guy on the phone. It was all just one big act that played on the overall “Mexico is super dangerous” hype. And they certainly succeeded in scaring me. We got up early and by 6 pm we were out of there. I was furious and could have slapped the guys face when he came out to open the gate for the bikes. And I made a mental note always to get a receipt.

We quickly left Choix and rode for about an hour. Then we found an awesome breakfast restaurant Birrieria El Apoy and the people there were so nice, that we managed to shake of the bad experience of the night.

Boiling hot meat soup, tacos, onion, lime, chili and coffee. Now this is the kind of breakfast you need after a sleepless night in Mexico.

We headed for Las Glorias on the coast. On the way we got a quick oil change in a small motorcycle shop in Los Mochis.

Finally we reached the beach in Las Glorias. There was a wonderful strong wind that kept the temperature down and the water was just amazing. It was a wide hard beach and the Mexicans were out playing with there toys. Las Glorias is a small beach resort with few hotels. We must have hit the place out of season, cause there was practically no people there, except for some locals enjoying the weekend. After 3 days of poor sleep we could finally relax.

On any Sunday!

 

Beside two American sailors, we were the only guests and we had the camp ground entirely for ourselves. The two Americans had had a scary experience on the sea. They were caught in a storm in Mar De Cortez, lost all electricity, their motor broke down and they didn’t have any radio contact. They had to keep their sail up in order to maintain some sort of control of the boat. When the storm was over, they had no wind for 4 days and just drifted in the sea. They were so happy that they survived the experience even if the boat was so beaten up, that they left it in the harbor they managed to get in to. And the boat was just 2 weeks old.

The camp in Las Glorias. It was so hot, but the strong wind cooled us down.

Hot dry wind – perfect weather for drying the laundry!

We headed out early next day to make some miles. The scenery changes and got more and more green and lush. The cactus are replaced by palm threes and thick ivy covering threes and bushes. The gophers and squirrels were replaced by bright green iguanas that cleverly sprint over the road with their heads high. South of Mazatlan we moved higher up into beautiful green hills.

Clarabelle cow is out for a jog this morning! We hope she stays put in the side of the road.

Finding good food in Mexico is easy. There’s numerous tiny grocery stores and street restaurants in every little village we pass. Local fruit, vegetable and fresh made tacos are cheap and really good.

There’s stray dogs everywhere in Mexico. It seems they don’t belong to anyone. They just live by the petrol station or at the Plaza. And it’s really sad to see that the Mexicans don’t treat the dogs very well. We see a lot of terribly skinny dogs with ugly wounds and even broken legs. They are nervous and if you move to quickly they run away. Think they know how a big boot feels. It sad really. When you give them a little love, they are so social and sweet.

We stopped in Acaponeta a really nice town with lots of shops and activity. The town plaza had an old prominent hotel – probably the place where the powerful politicians and business owner met and made big decision in the old days. Nothing much had happened since then, but we didn’t mind. It was clean, cold and the shower had plenty of warm water.

From Acaponeta we head for San Blas. On the way we stop and talk to some local fishermen catching shrimps.

The catch of the day – not too bad!

San Blas has a really nice beach, but the entire town seemed to be pretty run down. As if the town’s hey days was in the 90-ties. However we managed to find a fantastic little hotel with a beautiful patio. Everything was so nice and clean and the atmosphere was lovely. Best place so far but also a bit pricy (500 pesos). Once again we find ourselves completely alone in the hotel – and we love it!

Hotel Posada Del Rey, San Blas

Fishing boats in San Blas, Mexico

Shrimps everywhere. You can get shrimp salad, shrimp sandwich, shrimp omelet, shrimp tacos, shrimp …..

The old church in San Blas is beautiful – and we love the blue neon crosses.

San Blas is a nice place, BUT it’s haunted by tiny innocent looking sand-flies. They bite and it itches terribly!

From San Blas we drove to Guadalajara via Tequila. We ride through thick green vegetation – and see a new kind of wildlife!

Lunchstop in Zacualpan. As most towns there’s a beautiful plaza in the center with a church.

Another meal to die for. 4 tacos and 2 cokes: 58 pesos!

Yet another stop at a petrol station. It never hurts to flirt a bit! 🙂

Another place where we hang out frequently! OXXO is the Mexican 7/11. They are air conditioned and have ice, cold drinks and clean toilets. We’re fans!

Beautiful agave fields around Tequila.

Tequila is not just tequila we learned here. We got ourselves a nice bottle of vintage tequila.

Finally in Guadalajara. We were hoping to meet up with the local Roller Derby team: Roller Derby Guadalajara. They invited us to stay with them and come train with them – awesome!

Normally we avoid the big cities – and especially an enormous city like Guadalajara with more than 4 million people. But it was actually not too bad riding in Guadalajara –  the GPS is really helpful when riding in a city. And with an invitation from Patricia and her sister Barbara, the founders of Roller Derby Guadalajara, we were definitely going.

The sister lives together in a cool apartment right in the center of Guadalajara. We got our own private room and for 3 days they were the best hosts ever. They took dragged us around town to see the cathedral and amazing markets with lots of local specialties.

Barbara in her apartment.

Pat and Barb’s little kitten was the cutest ever and he and Lars became best pals

The furniture manufacturer next door works 24/7 and use most of the street to do their work. Soon our bikes are part of the workshop.

Zatu and her boyfriend Javier took us to the Parque Morelos market that is completely dedicated to Dia de Muertos items. The entire market is one big explosion of colors, materials, shapes, sounds and smells. And most of it is hand-made locally. Not “made in China”

Mexican sugar skulls.

Dia de Muertos is a day where the Mexicans remember and honor their dead family members. They make beautiful colorful alters in their homes with flowers, pictures and sugar skulls with names of the deceased. They make the food and drinks the person loved and put it on the alter or buy miniature figures of like these below. The entire family visit the cemetery and spend the day there, cleaning the graves, fixing, decorating, eating, praying and just hanging out there.

Zatu buys orange marigolds for her alter.

Ghost riders!

Zatu’s Dia de muertos alter.

Mexican contemporary art. Or just the coolest car ever.

Eh!?

Lots of pearl craft.

Guadalajara cathedral

Caña de azúcar y coco. Very decorative!

Fruit we have never seen before in the San Juan de Dios market.

Lars and Zatu (Patricia) eating awesome Mexican dishes in the food market. We especially loved Mole, a sauce of chocolate and chili.

On every corner you can buy Elote, an awesome snack of boiled corn with sour cream, cheese and chilli.

Hanging out with Barbara & Marcela. They are both fluent in English and we had some really interesting conversations with them about the Mexican society – and Roller Derby of course!

We were surprised to learn that Mexico has more than 10 million indigenous Indians and that there’s 62 indigenous languages such as Nahuatl and Yukatek Maya. Every little Indian community has their own craft specialty which they sell at the markets in the larger town and cities. As the natives in the US, the Mexican natives are also among the poorest people in their country.

The Guadalajara Roller Derby team is pretty new and I got the opportunity to do 2 trainings with them Friday and Saturday. They were all really cool and super sweet even if I yelled at them and made them work really hard.

Barb looks sharp in my CRD T-shirt!

The ladies!

Roller Derby Guadalajara.

We totally fell in love with these wonderful ladies and their beautiful city Guadalajara and could have spend much more time there, but as always, the trip must go on and we head for our next destination Patzcuaro.

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13 Responses

  1. Henriette says:

    Haha! Awesome. We were in fact in Taxco on the Day of the Dead. Oaxaca is a pretty place. Old colonial buildings and lots of people with money. If you have the time go and visit the Monte Alban ruins. Where are you heading from there?
    We are already in Guatemala now at Lake Atitlan. We’ll go to Antigua tomorrow, and then to El Salvador the day after.
    Hope you are enjoying the ride.
    Henriette

  2. Richard says:

    HEY!
    I was in Guadalajara for the day of the dead too, walking the same streets and taking the same photos. haha.
    Where are you guys now?
    Im in Mexico City.
    Headed for Oaxaca on Tuesday!

    -Richard from Watson Lake, Canada

  3. Henriette says:

    Hej Malene. Tusind tak. Så herligt at vide at du kigger med.
    Håber du har det godt. Du må meget gerne sende en mail med lidt opdatering på dit liv. Trives du i din nye skønne lejlighed på amager?
    Mange knus fra Henriette

  4. Malene says:

    Kære Henriette og Lars
    Åh – sikke skønne, skøre, udfordrende og vidunderlige rejsebilleder og ord der er til os. I føles langt væk og dog helt tæt på.
    Kærlige og småsultne hilsner
    Malene

  5. Henriette says:

    Hej Anders. Dejligt at I foelger med. Ja tror ogsaa eventyrlysten har faaet et noek upad. Man bliver lidt metaltraet ind i mellem og staerke smertestillende tabletter hjaelper ikke paa humoeret. Mexico fik os klart til at indse at det er MEGET sjovere 2 end alene og fik os til at fokusere paa hinandens charmerende sider fremfor de negative.

    Og maden – suk! Det er som regel madmor i vejkanten der laver det bedste. 2 tacos med laekkert fyld for 10 kroner – inkl. en sodavand! Det spiller 100%. Restauranterne skuffer lidt og koster 5 gange mere.

    Hvordan har I det? I hvad med lillepigen? Der maa ske saa meget med hende. Fortael fortael! Vi savner nyt derhjemmefra.

    Knus. H

  6. Henriette says:

    Haha! Michelle, jeg er helt enig. Den lille mis var en stor farlig tiger, naar den var vaagen og saa cute naar den sov. Og der var ikke noget midt imellem. Det var 0 eller 200 km/t.
    Knus til dig.

  7. Søren says:

    Whooohaaaa! Excellent reading and cool pictures :). Good thing that Lars looks a bit like a living zombie with that beard and haircut ;). I’m sure that this finally scared the bad mexican away 🙂

  8. michelle says:

    Nøøøøjjjj det lyder bare så fedt alt sammen, så dejligt med den her blog, nu ved jeg godt at der var rigtig mange flotte billeder men jeg må sige at det med lars og katten var det bedste!!!
    Knus til jer!!

  9. mor/svigermor says:

    Hej I 2 🙂
    Hurra – igen noget nyt – “zapper” jævnligt forbi siden så jeg kan følge med.
    Godt at I har hinanden, og Lars la’r sig ikke kyse 😉
    Heldigvis er Dicte ikke bange – har hentet hende i vuggestuen 3 dage og passet hende 2 aftner, og i går passede jeg hende det meste af dagen – nul problemo 🙂
    Nyder fortsat at være turist i hovedstaden, og så får Heidi og Søren mulighed for at komme lidt ud.
    Fortsat god tur – og pas på hinanden
    Knus fra Fr.b.

  10. Henriette says:

    Thanks a lot Karin. I really appreciate it. It’s a lot of work to keep the blog updated, so it’s nice to know that it’s not just my mom reading it 🙂 Even if that’s awesome too! We are making it work at the moment. Seems Mexico made us realize that we need each other and that’s not so bad at all.
    How is life in Sweden?

  11. karin sundin says:

    Henriette!
    Your blog is my favorite read. Its just sooo amazing : ) Its like the best adventure novel/movie ever. Hope you and Lars are finding some good times together again. You guys seem so good together. Keep your spirits up on this beautful and very tough adventure. All the best-Karin : )

  12. Louise N says:

    Dios mio!! You make me miss “Taquitos campechanos”, coño!!

    Enjoy the trip of a lifetime!!! …Mexico (even more) in my heart now, after having read this!!
    Your photos are phenomenal and I love your approach to people, animals and natural scenery!!

    How would I not love that you manage to give me a bit of “Mexico Lindo” crossing distance and boundary…

    Hugs from Louise