Archive for March 8th, 2015|Daily archive page

Friday, March Merlin and I Part . . .

Long story short, I’m riding alone now.

Merlin had issues with his back and his enjoyment level and decided to head back. I put too much into this to abandon the plan and Merlin said he was okay riding alone. So, Merlin and I shook hands and wished each other well, and I know we both meant it.

Glenda has been a huge support, even with the added cost, time and worry she left the decision to go it alone up to me. I hope I made the right decision; only time will tell. Yikes!

I’m in Acapulco now, the ride here was a mixture of tedium and splendor. Towns with anything over ten thousand people are usually a drag (dangerous traffic, ridiculous speed bumps, pollution and poverty). Little towns are usually interesting, but the connecting roads are twisty and often eye popping beautiful.

So far, the police (and some who pretend to be police?) have been fine. However, it’s always a tad disconcerting to see twenty-something’s with automatic weapons dirty shirts and and desperate eyes.

The big cultural “adventure” today was slipping though what appeared to be a truck road block or hostage or something else. No idea. Seemed like a hundred big rigs going nowhere and all jammed-up in the middle of nowhere. Young men with heavy guns and children running around and ordinary people all hanging around with amused, concerned and confused looks on their faces.

Rather than just settle down and start a new life (people were already sleeping on the ground) I decided to cut off the road and thread the needle through the encampment – just meander through the masses. Somehow they (whoever “they were”) allowed me to pop out the other side. Excuse me, pardon me, yep, just a stupid gringo here mindin’ my own business . . .

After I reached the other side all I could think was “what the £^c(, was that about?!”

Anyway, that’s it for me. Wish both Merlinand I luck!

PS. Somehow the video showing the ride out of Copper Canyon is posted on my Facebook account, but I still can’t get it on the PEI to Panama Blog. Go figure. I’ll keep trying to update the blog when I can find the time, energy and skill – but those things are in short supply at the moment.

Saturday, I’m still “nervous” riding alone, but it’s getting a little more normal.

Today was the hottest weather I’ve ever ridden through, and that includes Baja and a few more hot spots. It was hovering among 40 on my gauge and higher than that in the towns. My socks were wet from the sweat dripping from my armpits. Even in the rare moments when I could twist the throttle between the speed bumps, it was still boiling.

Then the engine made a sound, and not a good sound, sort of like a paint can rattle, buzz clunkya, clunka. Next town I pulled over and started the charades game I usually left for Merlin. Turns out there was a motorcycle mechanic just up the road. Turns out the mechanic was trained in BC, Canada – but couldn’t speak a word of English. However, the boss’s son was a teacher who could and within ten minutes he diagnosed the problem.

Evidently, I had hit one too many topes (speed bumps) and smashed the skid plate up to the exhaust system. He had to remove the skid plate, straighten out the thing (no small task) drill out all rivets, rivet the thing together again and reinstall. It took about an hour and a half. Meanwhile the boss’s son took me around the town explaining the local history. For about twenty dollars Canadian and a few cold beers I tossed in, I was back on the road. Sweating again . . .

As luck would have it, an hour down the road I stumbled into a little place that’s magic. Pool, a few cold ones and a great meal. I know everyday won’t turn out like this, but today, life is good.

Sent from my iPad