Tonight is our ferry crossing at Topolobambo, Sinaloa to La Paz, Baja, California across the Sea of Cortez, who Jacques Cousteau once described as the world’s aquarium. In the past nine days we have traveled way down the Mexican mainland through the states of Chihuahua and Sinaloa to our mecca on this ride- Copper Canyon.
Picture a town, city or neighborhood you feel comfortable in. Now picture us in all the various Mexican cities and towns we have stayed in. That’s right, you too would feel totally safe riding with us, where the only fear, is fear of the unknown and what the US media feeds you.
The roads – now that is another story- you should fear and respect these roads at all times. It only takes one ahhshit moment from your day to go from full bliss to ahhh Chihuahua.
But that’s why we come here. Back home this type of riding is unheard of. And the cost; about a quarter of what you pay back home for everything from 91 octane fuel to food to lodging.
The people we encounter along the way are priceless too and appreciative to be receiving our tourist dollars. Most have never wandered any real distance away from the place they were born.
On this ride I handed out to kids and adults about 35 pounds of candy. I left the candy easy to get at; in the back of the two sides of my Giant loop round the world motorcycle panniers.
You could see it their eyes. They light right up once you grab a handful of those sour packets of halloween candy and hand it out.
Earlier this morning we woke up in El Fuerte, a magical city. The first section of roads we traveled on from Batopilas to the first town of Choix was all dirt; rated for expert enduro riders only.
If you can ride this road then you should be able to ride anywhere else in the world.
And, if you were not fortunate enough to be able to ride this road for mere reasons such as valuing your life just a wee bit too then an escape route option was available to you.
The road is in still in its infancy. As you ride you witness every phase of its construction with death defying drop offs and boulder strewn and deeply rutted sections that will have you wondering if this is ever going to become a real road. It is a road and some locals with vehicles that shouldn’t be on roads after they tackle it, take it.
It came in the form of turning your sorry, not yet fully experienced butt around and right back to where you started from in Batopilas. That one road trip will set you back one full day. It goes up the canyon to Creel till you eventually reach El Fuerte. One Overnight extra days travel.
At midnight our ferry pulls away from the dock. Just in case someone in our group wasn’t able to complete the ride. Fortunately all were able to except for; the Triumph that rode the bed of Roberto’s Toyota and our Buffalo rider that couldn’t keep up and took a wrong turn, got confused and starting following the designated route in reverse.
And after nearly 100 miles of riding the road conditions changed again We’re now in marbly sand so slippery Baja’s got nothing on it. It felt like the creek sand was spread out over massive boulders that now serves as a road.
…………The mass of people, cars, trucks and thirteen motorcycles (KTM BMW and one Triumph) moved slowly aboard the large ferry ship and onto its different vehicle decks. The bunched up passengers also made their way aboard between the close-parked cars and trucks. Some passengers were already sporting hangovers, while others showed full concentration on the task of not getting seasick, even while the ship was still docked.
Our first task was the paperwork cha cha to hand in our boarding passes and check and double check our visa, TIP and passport. We next moved on to ratchet strapping our motorcycles onto the decks large D rings that protrude from the expansive metal deck floors.
“And the rest as they say is al mal tiempo, buena cara.” Put a good face to the bad times. Be positive.