... which was a bit interrupted by some problems with bike’s fuel pump
Actually when we crossed the border riding together with our friend from California we met in Nicaragua – Mexico welcomed us sincerely with wonderful, shining sun. We made some papers for a bike and paid the deposit. The amount depended on the year of the bike and its value, they promised us to give it back without any deduction, which was not maybe 100% true, because exchanging the money you always need to realize you will lose something. These times it didn’t really matter because passing the sigh “Mexico” on wheels was our dream! The feeling we are in the real North America for the first time was amazing. We signed everything, paid and jumped on the bike to hit the road.
Bacalar – the “Caribbean – color” sweet lake
On the way the “must be” point was Bacalar – the place we knew German bikers we met few weeks before in Panama.
By the way - have a look at the picture and guess which one is Tanja and which one is me! That is the riddle for you today (there must be a picture of 2 girls in Touratech gear we took ).
Tanja and Philipp said that the lake is one of the most amazing places they have ever swam, and that time it wasn’t really crowded, because people arrived in Yucatan don’t know about it much. When we arrived – they didn’t lie in one single word. The tent was pitched in 3 minutes by us and we started relaxing, looking at that water and swimming.
Mayans places – Tulum and Cancun area
As we always joke with travelers met on the way – we all don’t like touristic places and crowds. Cancun with its whole atmosphere was the place when we arrived we didn’t even want to stay longer it was necessary. Hotels and resorts next to each other, all beaches closed and forbidden to camp and crowds swimming in the water made us a bit disappointed and nervous. Visiting only few cenotes (a natural pit, or sinkhole, resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater) we escaped to the amazing dirt area in the north of Yucatan – Rios Lagartos and Las Coloradas. Nobody there, small city with local food only, few small churches, big, wide, white beach by the ocean totally for us as private and exclusive and new-built pier “going” straight into the ocean - there wouldn’t have been, we think, a problem to ride a bike there, but as polite tourists we decided not to try and just walked on pier to explore and have a jump into the ocean. Next day riding along the beach, despite the fact burying yourself with the bike into the sand – you have the pink lake on your one side and the ocean on the second one. Between them
the water is mixed and has a purple color. Just flamingos are accompanying you around, and nothing except flora is around.
Travelers’ share and plight (misery)
Everything went off without a hitch, but many times the misery loves company. First of all - our friend Jeff has a problem with his bearings and we needed to catch the mechanic to repair it. Luckily he knew what is going on, but we stopped in a small village to take the tire off the bike and ride to another city to another man who had some special tools. (the picture with Lucas and Jeff riding with the tire).
Missing two days wasn’t really big problem, but heading Merida – the place where we know the BMW shop is and we need to change oil there – our fuel pump with the mileage of 70 000 km started to fail. Actually we suspected that, but nothing was clear. The bike started to choke, so Lucas was riding keeping the throttle a bit turned off not jumping like a kangaroo. At least we were moving, but over the long term it was frustrating. When we arrived in Merida guys from BW dealer cleaned connectors and said they were just dirty and the computer got crazy. Okay – we said, and after oil service we started riding further.
In Merida we met one of our big friend who also visited us later in Poland – the great traveler Victor Cousi who as the first Mexican did all capes from west to east and north to south in Europe, Asia and Africa.
The happiness after cleaning connector haven’t last forever. After about 100 km we had the same problem, so having the knowledge, on each pit stop we opened the lid and cleaned our connectors. After the 10th time we were just tired and we realized it’s all about making the petrol colder. The temperature outside was about 30 degrees of Celsius, inside the tank was much more, so when we stopped – it dropped down few degrees and the bike stopped chopping for a while. After some time the temperature in Mexico was under 30 degrees, so the problem has gone. But we knew it would appear as the temperature will be growing up.
Mexico means cactuses, tequila and tacos!
Tacos are for eating, okay, that’s all we know. Tequila – oh everybody knows that it’s a drink. But we didn’t know that cactuses can be eaten and there is a juice which can be drunk as well!
Mexican people say – we love our desert – there is plenty of food and you won’t die being lost. True. We tried to eat some flowers from cactuses and the pink juice from it just snacking some insects and dried worms. Hard to write it now, but they were delicious and crunchy, we just couldn’t watch into their eyes, so I was eating their backside and left the rest for Lucas.
We also visited Tequilla City having the original sour drink with salt and egg white inside. Lots of places because of the situation with fuel pump we missed and cut the road. Some of them we also missed, because local people told us the north-east part of Mexico isn’t perfect for travelers. We like adrenaline, but staying reliable - when they didn’t recommend us to ride somewhere – we don’t do that. If clans are fighting between – better not to be on their territory.
Baja, Baja California!
To get there we were in hurry straight from Mexico City (we skipped it actually and rode next to it with the ring road) to Mazatlán – the small city with port where we got in the last possible moment and bought last tickets on the ferry. That meant: we didn’t have a cabin to sleep and the 12-hour cruise shaped up to be very, very long. Luckily we found a place to sit inside, because almost everything was busy. More – we found a place on the ground and having all of our camping stuff – we repacked mattresses and slept a lit in a busy and noisy hell having duties with our friend Jeff. Remember – being careful in those countries is just a good habit.
Next day, despite the fact we slept a bit on a ferry – the off road ride – as the recommendation of our friend who was riding there with his light Suzuki 4 month before – was a nightmare. Okay – the nature created for us wonderful landscapes – precisely grooved stones: green, white, red, brown and blue colors and huge almost 6 meters high cactuses were surrounding us like in a forest.
That time after our 7-hours ride in dirt, when we felt down another (probably 100th time!) we decided to give up. Most of the road was very rocky, because after some floods in the last 3 months the ground and terrain totally changed into impassable. I was walking and Lucas was fighting with the bike riding uphill and trying to keep the bike straight riding downhill. Our 400 kg (without the passenger) bike was bumping on rocks like a ball and every sharp or bigger stone bounced the bike and it fell on the side. Lucas was exhausted and powerless. For the first time in my life I saw him so helpless when he sat on the ground and started almost crying. That wasn’t my Lucas! First time he offered – let’s turn back and back on the road and asphalt. That wasn’t normal, it was really bad – he has never ever decided to came back the same way! He hates that!
We came back another 7 hours to landed on the paved road.
Baja was beautiful, but we will remember those peninsula as the one which won with our skills and strength.
Being on the normal road we passed it through Baja easily reached appointment moto-travel friends in about 2 hours. And again we tasted Mexican spicy and diecious food which every time made me feel sick because I decided to eat the spiciest sauce they had.
It was April and the Saturday before the Easter we reached the border with US in Tecate instead of Tihuana which is maybe bigger but people warned us that the line is long and the whole city is dangerous with gangs.
Late evening caused that officers and customs said we don't have any option to receive our money back from the deposit we gave entering Mexico.
Can you imagine that the only visa as Polish citizens we needed riding from Argentina to Alaska, was the one to enter US? We were not even sure if they let us in once, much less twice, so the option of crossing it that day and come back the next one was irrational. We didn't want to take that risk.
The only option was to take a hotel and stay the last night in Mexico. It meant we could eat for the Easter Breakfast tacos, tortillas and very, very spicy habanero sauce! Just not to forget the Mexican taste for long time!
Marta and Lucas