December 20, 2006

Tequila, Mexico

We left Taxco, determined to put in a short day and get to another mountain town called Valle de Bravo. It's a pretty hot spot for paragliding so we both were anxious to check it out. Well, we never made it. The drive from Taxco took longer than what we were told, and the weather was looking to be overcast, so no one would have been flying anyway.

Enroute, it was Doug's turn to have a flat tire. We were on a curvy mountain road and Doug said his rear end (of the bike) felt funny. So he pulled over. Although not readily noticeable, his rear tire, was indeed flat. With some investigation he found an Allen wrench fully lodged into his rear tire. We spent some time on the side of the road plugging the hole and we were on our way. So far the plug is not leaking, so we'll see how it goes the next few days. Our plan is to head to Mazatlan and ferry across to Baja and ride up Baja. So hopefully, we won't be searching for a new that would lead us into Mexico City, and we want to avoid that if possible.

We go through a town called Toluca and come across a Walmart... we have to stop. My walkie talkie has not been working for a few weeks now, and we both greatly miss Comms and the ability to talk with one another while on the move. Our hopes of Walmart having replacements are dashed. They have what we need, but way too expensive, and we are uncertain if they will really work for our needs.

We decide to spend the night at a nearby hotel and have a further look around to see if we can find some cheaper walkie talkies at some other nearby stores. After several hours of looking, all hopes are dashed. Electronics in Mexico are just not what they should be, AND what is here is quite expensive.

Oddly the new James Bond movie is playing here, so we opt to check that out. Great movie and good fun to see in Mexico, where just about anything you do is a new experience. Fortunately for us, the movie was in English with Spanish subtitles. I'm constantly amazed how many meanings a single word can be used for.

Toluca is at 8000 feet, which we couldn't believe! By morning there is frost on the grass at the local soccer field and we endured one chilly ride. It wasn't too bad keeping warm because we both have heated jackets and heated grips, but my face was to the point of almost being frostbite. We were glad when the sun finally warmed things up.

At one stop, Doug put his bike on the center stand and noticed fluid leaking from the rear shock. His rear shock is an aftermarket, custom shock that he put on right before we left. So it was with a bit of surprise that it was leaking fluid. Best we can figure is that maybe a seal blew or O ring broke with the thing being at altitude. It sure should be able to take it, but hard saying.

After several calls on the Sat phone, we don't learn much other than it is still rideable, we just don't know how long it will last. We'll continue on as planned, and when we can get to a regular phone, we'll find out what is really going on with the thing. For the moment, all we can do is ride on the thing and hope for the best.

By nightfall, we reach another quaint little town called Tequila. And yes, this place sits down in a little valley and is surrounded by Agave plants everywhere. This the plant that they use to make tequila. As expected, Tequila is chock full of tequila distilleries and shops selling tequila. The Jose Cuervo distillery is even here.

Of course we do some shopping and tasting here, well Doug does anyway. He loves tequila, so this is a good spot for him. We are amazed that this is such a busy place with the square and several streets filled with food and gift vendors, though there seems to be few tourists around. It all has a very carnival type feel. As it turns out, all this is going on just because of the holiday season. There is over a week of events planned with something going on every night. Of course, we don't learn this until later that night when talking with some of the locals. As it turns out, this is one of the big nights, complete with a big party in the main town square put on by Coca Cola. Seems the entire town is out for the events. There's a 10 or 12 piece brass band playing outside all night long. There are games for the kids with giveaways etc. Everyone seems to be having fun, and I understand why Coke is involved... late at night, while walking home, I see a small boy of about 2 or 3 years old, in his mom's arms, on their way home as well, and he is singing the Coke song. I guess marketing can never start too early.

Doug and I are pretty consistently amazed that we seem to always land in some good spots when there is some pretty good stuff going on. Hope that keeps happening, because it is proving to allow for some pretty unique experiences.

Next update we should have some news on the shock, as we hope to get a hold of the importer and service guy as soon as we can.