Leaving Belize city couldn't come soon enough. The fresh airflow of being on the move was a welcome relief as the temperatures sored and standing around loading the up the bike in moto kit become very unpleasant. The constant harassment from street people wanting to sell drugs was becoming annoying too and I was glad to be leaving without incident as at times my safety felt threatened.
With the bike freshly serviced she seemed to be pulling faster than usual or maybe it was just that life back on Caye Corker Island with the constant beats of Bob Marley was such a slow and relaxed pace that anything was going to seem fast in comparison. I was now back on my own and heading for the Mexican border. My riding partners for the last month, Barton and Patrick had gone on ahead. Barton had to B line it home in a hurry to sort out a new housing project and Patrick was spending a week with his girlfriend before meeting up with me to take on Mexico.
I arrive at the Mexico border and am ready to had over a large deposit for the bike which has just become compulsory in order to temporary import a vehicle. Only problem is my crappy credit/cash travel card is not excepted, you can pay in cash but unbelievably Mexican peso's are not accepted and it has to be in US Dollars!! And there is NO bank! My only and last option is to go to a very dodgy Casino located near the border. I head up to the cashier and once again my useless credit card is not accepted and as I scrap together all my peso's I'm looking over my shoulder at the gambling machines and thinking oh shit that's about my next option. Turns out I have just enough to exchange for the 400US I need and head back to the customs officer. I ride into the first town in Mexico and head straight for an ATM machine.
|Barton, Me, and Patrick|
The Yucatan peninsula in south eastern Mexico is a vast limestone plateau containing thousands of underground waterways. In places sections have collapsed and are open to the surface allowing entry into these hidden swimming holes known locally as cenotes.
|Southern Mexico was in places way greener than expected|
|.... and the Mexicans aren't to concerned about roadside mowing|
Highway 200 on the remote west coast of Mexico was stunning. Beautiful deserted beaches and a massive swell coming in of the pacific made for dramatic scenery
|Highway 200, Pacific coast|
|Calling in for lunch|
|The coast was so beautiful it was hard to leave|
My front forks were well overdue for a service. Mexico is full of topes (speed bumps) and most tend to be very harsh. They don't use speed signs here, instead they construct these topes that will just destroy your vehicle if you hit it too fast!
|Typical transportation in Mexico|
|Ended up riding lots of pavement in Mexico|
|Corn, Mexican style|
I ride up the road at a ridiculously slow pace obeying the speed signs and within 15min am waved down by officer number two standing by his patrol car. I'm pretty sure he was waiving me in but I carry on down the road. Sure enough the patrol car is on me with lights blazing and we pull up again and he's not too happy with me at all for not stopping! Supposedly I'm caught on the radar right on the transition of the speed zone and after several threats of a ticket and a lot of debating with little understanding these two officers give up as well, I'm sure these guys were definitely waiting for the bribe. That was even closer.
The next run in is the following day when exiting the Baja Ferry we are asked to weigh our bikes and pay and additional fee just to exit the port. Due to the over night ferry and delays unloading I'm tired and loose my temper at weigh station and refuse to pay this unexpected fee. Eventually the port officials agree and we are told to go. We don't get far trying to exit the compound which is heavily guarded by military, this is Mexico after all. The guard asks for our exit reciept and of course we don't have one, I loose my patience in the heat, tell the officer to speak to the weigh station and ride off. I look in my mirror and see his arms waving and am expecting to be chased down by an army of military.
We round the corner and sure enough there's a military officer with a rather large machine gun and he has his red flag out and we're directed to stop, don't think I try doing a runner on this guy! We have to go back and loop around the second time but thankfully are given the green light without any drama this time. It took about 2 hours just to get of the damn ferry, definitely not as easy as exiting a Cook Straight Ferry that's for real!!
|Officer number one|
|Trying to exit the Baja ferry compound was not easy|
|lots of armed police out on the highways|
|Run in number 3 with the police....well actually, this photo was from Hollywood in LA!|
|Finally, on the go in the Baja Peninsula|
|The Baja riding was superb|
|We called in on these kids out in the Central Baja. They loved the bikes|
|We rode a nice mix of road and off road sections on the Baja|
|With temps soring it was hard not to stop and enjoy the water|
|Some of the off road sections took in parts of the famous Baja 1000 race coarse. It was awesome riding!|
|Rice and beans restaurant is one of the pit stops for the Baja 1000|
|In places the sand was deep and difficult. This section was fast and fun.|
It was a real pleasure to ride with Barton and Patrick through Central America and Mexico. Riding on your own is rewarding but it's always great to have good company. And of coarse there's many advantages to having a wing man on the road with you. The border crossings were easy with the three of us, extracting a heavy touring bike from a deep mud hole on your own is just not easy and it's nice to have someone to lift a bike off the top of you too when you're stuck under it, and flush bugs out of ears etc, etc!! A big thanks to Patrick and Barton and I look forward to seeing you guys up the road.