Today is Sunday and we’re on the road with few cars but, lots of truckers. Up ahead and barreling down on me are not one, nor two, but three ‘ucking semi’s with just the middle one doing possibly two miles per hour more than the other two on either side, a real life slugfest in action only their going about 70 mph in my direction and I’m probably at 95 mph heading his way. Did I yet mention that this is only a two lane highway. There’s a greater than 50/50 chance I’ll soon clear the truck gauntlet up ahead of me.
Welcome to a little Madmax road warrior’s truck traffic Mexico style. Here’s a little of what we experienced this Sunday on our way to Mazatlan. The semi’s are coming at me with as much power as a full speed freight locomotive; loaded up with tons of really useful Mexican cargo such as tres hermanos shoes, furniture or highly coveted Chinese knockoff plastic merchandise.
The Mexican trucks are ripping it up like nothing I’ve ever seen before. From my vantage point I can see the middle semi’s trailer swerving ever so slightly, from side to side. There’s possibly no more than two feet between each truck. The trucks on either side are yielding to the middle guapo trucker; the shoulder of the road is completely taken up. This cannot continue for much longer as the Mexican novella is about to end and we haven’t yet uncovered which of the truckers is about to die on account of that love triangle affair. There always a woman involved.
There’s a slight downward slope to the road which means the truck has additional momentum. I’m totally committed now after passing my last semi and now I realize he’s a double trailer job.
Double trailer trucks are essentially a standard tractor trailer with an additional trailer attached to it. There’s almost no controlling them at speed. The roads today’s are filled with them.
I slam down an additional gear to gain additional speed, then dive-bomb my BMW 1250 GSA to the right just ahead of the double trailer. The middle semi took the lead while the other two fell in behind.
No one honked and no other drama of any kind. We just continued on like if this was just a Sunday drive. Mexican truckers at times are like the equivalent of my two Amigos (Joey and Todd) in their riding skills. They have one speed and it’s full bore! The Mexican truckers definitely have the road experience and machismo characteristics giving them the road warrior advantage. At times, they aren’t as lucky. There’s trucker road carnage on almost any highway we are on.
Today Todd and Joey lost me as we made our way through Guadalajara but, at the outskirts of town the road forks into the free road and the cuota (toll road) and they both took the wrong road.
I also took the wrong road but, made an illegal u turn maneuver that got me ahead of them. Joey points to the Pemex fuel and all three head to it. There’s also an Oxxo , 7/11 type store and a taco restaurant next to it. We saw this young English speaking woman doing brisk business with tacos and burritos and we arrived hungry. I explain the food choices and order for the guys. Barbacoa tacos for Joey and I and a burrito for Todd. Todd always likes to sample the food available so I also order for him two barbacoa fried tacos.
According to google Morelia is the capital of the central Mexican state of Michoacán. Last night we stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and ate at next door’s Applebee’s. This trip it’s Todd who got sick from the food. On the ride down it was Joey. I think we won’t be doing Applebee’s next time.
On the same side of the street is a McDonald’s and across the street are four banks in a row. The colonial city center’s narrow streets are lined with well-preserved 17th- and 18th-century buildings built from the region’s characteristic pink stone. Apparently this stone is the most expensive to use.
We didn’t get to see any of this as we were too busy with lane splitting the Saturday traffic to reach our hotel. The traffic is steady even now at nearly seven in the evening. Each road has a companion road or two alongside it for company. Getting anywhere by car or motorcycle can be a nightmare in this city.
Our stay a few nights ago at two separate eco lodges in Chiapas are still memorable with the three Amigos. Earlier we caught ourselves comparing the various bug bites that we’ll also soon be bringing home.
Every place has its own distinct smell and today we are in Obregon for the night. I can almost recognize the place just from the smells that somehow finds me. The beautiful lush trees and greenery from the jungle, the mango trees or the avocados or mezcal plants are now gone. We see different fields in a more arid desert climate.
We stayed an extra night in Mazatlan on account of Todds KTM1290 motorcycle having fuel filter issues. Crazy Motors Mazatlan and Juan resolved the problem in just a few hours. While the bike was getting repaired we took a segway tour with Carlos and learned allot about the area.
Dinner was an Italian place close to the Double Tree resort hotel. This is probably our last night in Mexico. I’m assuming we cross the border tomorrow after collecting our $400 deposit at the border from the Banjercito bank.
One thought on “Dispatch from Chiapas Motorcycle Ride Day 15/16”
I am sitting at home, drinking a glass of Chateau Buena vista (descriptive in your style). In my style it just a glass of red wine. That being said, I really enjoyed reading your account of the day. Thanks Ralf, and say hello to our other amigos. Joey and Todd.
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