From Mazatlan to Comitan
After sailing for approx. 18 hours, the ferry arrived at Mazatlan, main land Mexico. By 11.30am, I had already exited the ferry and trailed behind Mario’s small truck. Mario bought me an awesome seafood lunch. I tasted the famous cerviche (raw seafood in lemon and tomatoes), fried fish and tortilla with shrimp. It was delicious. Then we continued on our way. I had to pay tolls 5 times. It is funny that the system in Mexico is you pay a toll and after a few kms., you have to pay a toll again. It was not like in Malaysia and many other countries that you get your toll card upon entering the highway, and paid the toll when exiting. It was almost dark when I reached Tepic and said good-bye to Mario, with the promise to meet again some day. I found my hosts house without any problem. My host, Pablo was down with dengue fever but he offered his place for me to stay. How kind.
Then I continued to Orizaba. A friend of Pablo’s hosted me. I met James Bombond, my host and he brought me to meet some of his biker friends. Later we visited some attractions in Orizaba. James linked me with his friend, Javier, who hosted me in Minatitlan. I stayed for 2 nights, just relaxing and getting to know the family. Later I head further east to Palenque, a heritage site town which houses some very ancient Inca pyramids and ruins.
The last town in Mexico for me was Comitan. It was a very tiring ride to reach this town as the non-toll road I’m riding was in a bad condition. Not only it was narrow, winding, with lots of broken parts and pot holes, but also with unmarked sharp speed bumps. I really hate it as there were a few times that my GD went flying when I couldn’t manage to slow-down as I didn’t notice the bumps. However, the view at La Margarita was pretty. I also managed to find the Agua Azule waterfall, which was beautiful.
Pablo shared his Central and South America riding stories and tips with me. His lovely beautiful wife, Gabriela brought me to her kindergarten. The kids were excited to see me. The staff were busy preparing for the Celebration for the Dead. This celebration was popular in Mexico and quite similar to Halloween. After staying for 3 nights, I left Tepic and rode to La Piedad via Guadalajara. Pablo had guided me the easiest way to cross this 2nd largest city in Mexico so I didn’t face any problems. The Celebration for the Dead mood can also be seen in La Piedad. The next day, I rode to San Miguel de Allende. Mario, the guy whom I met on the Baja Ferry had a ranch here and he seriously asked me to drop by. I accepted his offer without knowing that he was actually out of town for a week.
The highway to Mexico City was quite crowded with fast trucks. It was a relief when I finally entered Arco Norte Highway (the ring road to bypass Mexico City to reach San Miguel), which was in very good condition. However, it was a nightmare for me to ride on the pebble stone street in the old city of San Miguel as the road was steep and very narrow. It was really scary when I had to stop on a steep junction as my GD’s tires always tend to slide when I brake. I couldn’t manage to reach Starbucks, the place where I’m supposed to meet Mario, as the old city was filled with one-way streets and my GPS didn’t recognize which one was one way and which one wasn’t. Since I didn’t dare to leave my bike unattended, I had to park GD behind the famous church. After waiting for quite a while, Mario’s wife, Holly, arrived. Only then I knew that Mario was out of town. I followed Holly’s car to Rancho Del Sol Dorado, which was about 10kms away.
There was a 4kms off road with one stretch of thick gravel that I had to ride to reach the huge ranch. I can’t believe my luck when Holly stopped her car in front of a house and said that I will have the house all to myself during my stay. The ranch, apart from being a place to breed horses, goats and sheep, was also an eco-tourism place, which Mario made for tourists. He had several houses there for tourist to rent to experience living on a ranch. The two-bedroom house that I got was very nice and comfy. The sunset view from the ranch was heaven. I stayed for 4 nights and managed to take a tour around the ranch. I also witness Celebration for the Dead, which was happening at the old city of San Miguel. Everyone dressed fancily and put on horror makeup. At night, the locals visited the cemetery. They put flowers, candles and had some performers playing the dead’s favourite songs. I felt a bit funny when visiting the cemetery when at one side, there were songs by Elvis Presley, and at another side, I can hear a soprano type of song being played. My next destination was Puebla, a historical site. I stayed two nights here and visited the famous cathedral and the old city.