November 18, 2006

18 November 2006, Acapulco, Mexico

After watching the sunrise from a nice swim in the ocean, we packed up and bid Moloque goodbye. This has been a beautiful spot. Doug seemed to agree, even though he was up most of the night throwing up. Not sure what he ate that disagreed with him. We have been eating about the same things, but he tends to utilize more of the sauces and such, so possibly something in one of those from the tacos the night before.

We get an early start, which seems to be necessary if we are going to log some long miles in a day. It is a real treat to get some miles in before the heat of the day. Again we travel unbelievable roads with even more spectacular views of endless beach coastline. The surf in some of these spots looks world class, and several spots the surfers there prove it. The road just gets crazy for most of the day. The wildest we've been on. Fortunately it is all good pavement and we make ok time.

By mid afternoon we are thinking of places to camp. The one spot we're told was pretty good, Playa Azul, gave us both a bad feeling... so we decide to press on to Ixtapa. We get to Ixtapa just before night fall, and realize is is very touristy and everything there is high dollar, all inclusive resorts. Way out of our budget. As we leave this area, a cop pulls us over for apparently going the wrong way on turning around. We don't believe him, and end up having to bribe him $30 each to let us go. That is an outrageous amount. By now it is dark and we travel to the next town, Zihuatenajo. As we are looking for a place to stay on the outskirts of town, Doug and I get separated and can't find each other. It was a bit tense, but after about a half an hour we come across each other again, and pull into a nice hotel, or so we think. We are told the cost is 150 pesos for 3 hours. Certainly not the kind of neighborhood or hotel we need to stay in. We head back into the city center and full on traffic and find a decent place with secured parking for the bikes. We both have never been more relived to be done for the day. We logged too many miles and rode too late today, but learned some good lessons. Only 158 miles for the day, but they were hard won miles with over 8 hours in the saddle.

The next day we are up and have a nice breakfast in town, and meet some Americans who tell us there was a earthquake in Japan somewhere, and there are tsunami warnings out. In addition, there is a hurricane brewing off the west coast of where we are at.

We are bound and determined to get to Acapulco today. After some long miles through some really neat one horse towns, we arrive in Acapulco in the early afternoon. We are confronted with full on traffic like we have never seen. And on top of it all, there are steep hills and curves and seemingly a madhouse of VW taxibugs that don't seem to notice we even exist. In no time we get hopelessly lost as the bikes approach overheating. We find our way to the strip of high rise hotels right along the beach. Some amazing buildings and they seem endless. We both realize that we will never afford something on the beach but we are both tired enough that we realize we need to be out of this traffic for the day. We take some side streets away from the beach and are quickly stopped by a Mexican lady wanting to help us. She introduces us to Dan, who is a guy from Canada that just moved here and has a house down the street with a garage where we can park the bikes. Dan has been coming here visiting with his grandparents since he was a small boy. They are no longer well enough to come, so they sold him their house and now he lives here. He turns out to have a great house, a few blocks from the strip and beach, complete with a swimming pool in the living room. Doug and I cannot believe our luck as we wheel our bikes into the safety of his garage.

Dan turns out to be a pretty good friend, as does the lady that stopped us and her husband, Lucy and Joe. For several days we think we are going to leave Acapulco, but are just having too much fun here that it is hard to leave. And the hurricane has affected the weather enough that it has been pouring rain since we arrived. More rain than Acapulco has seen in a very long time. Dan has been a great host, and has shown us around Acapulco by day and night. He's fluent in Spanish and knows a lot of people here, so it's been a pretty neat experience.

Last night we were guests to an Immigration party at the local auditorium, thrown by the Mexican Government. Doug and I sat there with Dan, Joe, and Lucy and couldn't believe we were listening to the Acapulco Philharmonic Orchestra!!! We never imagined we'd have the opportunity to see them!

We got up early this morning and were all packed up ready to go, when we decided to stay another day. Doug isn't feeling so well again and it was pouring rain. The last thing we want to do is try to negotiate Mexican roads in pouring rain. We'll try again tomorrow and will head south for Puerto Escondido, a small surfing village about an 8 hour drive south of here. Should be two more days and we'll be into Guatemala, barring any difficulties or problems on the road.

One thing that does have us concerned is that Lucy just had Dengue fever not so long ago, and was in the hospital for 3 days. With all the rain, apparently Dengue is going to be an issue the rest of the way down the coast. I've had Dengue fever, and I can only hope neither of us come down with it.

Although we have had no accidents or problems with the bikes as of yet, we both have set the bikes down. Mine, one day in a campground when I was parking it, and it got a little off balance. Fortunately Doug was there to help me right it. Doug set his down in Acapulco traffic on a busy street corner, when he was turning around to come back to where I was. He didn't have any help to get his back up, but he managed. No damage on either account.

So far this has been an amazing experience, and the people we have met along the way have been very warm and friendly. Acapulco is a pretty wild place, and certainly bigger and busier than what I remember from 20 years ago. One more night in Acapulco should be just what we need to get us down the highway.