Imagine a Mexican telenovela or novela for short whereby, the novela starts off with “us” at home watching the world news on television or online, and contemplating the world wide pandemic of Covid, and the spread of the newest Mexican variant called the pacifica; it’s supposed to make you feel thirsty for margaritas and copious amounts of tapas and guacamole.
That was “us” before today. “Us” now are already checked into the Fiesta Inn, located in Ciudad Obregón, a city in southern Sonora in northwestern Mexico. It lies at 330 feet above sea level where the climate is hot and dry. Yes, we’re already consumed our quota of guacamole, pork cracklings, guacamole, Sonora beef, and an assortment of exquisite Mexican cuisine. This place doesn’t disappoint. Earlier today lunch asada tacos and drinks for four was 460 pesos or about $5 per person. Dinner and an assortment of drinks, entries, Sonora beef, surf and turf and other specialties for seven extremely hungry and thirsty gringo came in at slightly more than 5,570 pesos. Thank you Joey.
It was a scorching 80 degrees outside as we rolled into Obregon, and this is Tuesday, January 18, 2022. By “us” Im now referring to the seven motorcycle riders that dared to venture this far on a planned Gpskevin ride that starts in Oaxaca on Saturday.
Today was a near 500 mile day for each of the two separate groups that came together earlier. Thankfully we can cannonball it this side of the border without much consequences. At least that’s what I’ve been telling the guys; Mexican radar guns don’t work without batteries. We cruised at anywhere between the high 90’s US and 100+.
The roads and Mexican drivers can take you out, faster than Covid if you aren’t careful. At dinner Big Jim shared how a van almost took him out today and Frank shared how a small truck pulling a panga almost made his mark on him. Todd and I encountered a long puddle of spilled diesel on the road that we needed to avoid and a loose black horse on a long leash was a mere feet from my front wheel today. Thankfully we didn’t connect or i wouldn’t be writing this.
So, as we cross the border at Nogales we park our bikes and meander towards an official looking office in search of a visa and temporary import permit for Joey and Todd. I walked along as the unofficial group translator, in case one was needed.
The military attired guy said to our group what do you want? I said a visa. He said, wait a few minutes, the floors are being waxed or the guy is on break, I know not which.
Soon we’re allowed to all enter. The guy behind the counter is wearing a mask so is also hard to understand. For about five minutes we talk about nothing. Then he said, we’re at the wrong place. It’s Km 21 where we need to go. I said the surf spot? He said yes. I was only kidding I said. Mexican culture is such that they don’t want to tell you No or that you are wrong.
We now step out into the rain again that was earlier a downpour. The streets through the little cities we pass on our way to KM 21 are nearly two feet deep with water. I ask two more taxi drivers to verify the information I was given. They confirmed that 21 Km out of town is where we go.
Since I’m leading the other three riders I also don’t want to disappoint; soon after a toll booth or two or three, I also now forget, I pull into what resembles a rundown truck stop. This is the place. The first gringo we encountered in the parking lot reminds us that if you don’t want to catch Covid wear your mask; two officials inside have all the classic symptoms – and one is not even bothering to cover up.
As we continue down the road today we also encountered other things that would make some people a little nervous. At around the largest Mayan statue I’ve ever seen a group of protesters barricaded and blocked the major four lane roads. It was easy for us to get across but not the trucks and other traffic.
I’ve already had three Covid shots. Is this now not enough? Do I need an annual flu shot also to keep me going? The indigenous peoples of Mexico were also once warriors themselves. They had conquered and been conquered many times over before Cortez showed up, so they know the price of losing. Covid so far doesn’t seem to be stopping them. Maybe it’s that centuries old immune system that’s been well refined over the past 5000 years.
Mexicans are not as interested in the pursuit of perfection and control as we are back home. They accept the world as imperfect and do not attempt to constantly try to change it. Instead, they allow and embrace everything including our Gpskevin riders.
Here’s to day one in the books. Several misses but, no hits.