07/09/05 Mexican Motorcycle Diary
Made it to Mexico without problems. Took the Columbia toll road to cross the border and there was no wait, and no other cars. And, I didn´t even have to pass through Nuevo Laredo! FYI: if you want to save $2, bring a copy of your passport, vehicle registration or title, and your license so you don't have to pay them $2 for copies. You still need the originals, but they keep copies.
Continued on toll roads that were a bit pricey, ie. 180 pesos for the toll (cuota) from Laredo to Monterrey. But, after the free road I took from Monterrey to Saltillo, I figured it was worth paying tolls to not be sandwiched inbetween hundreds of semi trucks, slick road, and heavy winds in the foothills around Saltillo.
My a$$ really started to ache after the first 400 miles so I took breaks more regularly. It took me 15hrs to get from Austin to Matehuala, but that's with loads of smoke and a$$ breaks. And, a stop in a truck stop for a chile relleno. Quite sureal that place. Just me and a few Mexican truckers. Walls covered in small colorful semi truck paintings, various saints, and two large TV screens playing some VERY hard core pornography. Naturally, I had to sit for a bit longer...er uh.. to have a couple cups of coffee. ;-)
Made Matehuala by midnight and took a cheap room. Hit the desert the next morning and have been off-roading ever since. The road to Real de Catorce is MURDER! Its paved but with hugh stones, so the whole bike gets squirrely. Once in Real de Catorce its not much better, but the REAL fun starts when you go down the mountain on the other side back into the desert. Major inclines with large loose stones, hairpin corners, the road sides drop off to cliffs, and the road is a very narrow dirt and stone pass. I think I was in 1st gear and riding the break for the first 10km are the worst, and then the grade levels out a little. I've never been so terrified, but luckily I was so exhillerated and scrared, I forgot to soil myself. ;-)
The nut that holds the steering column vibrated loose and I don't know how long it had been like that, but after scouring the village for a wrench I could fit on the column to tighten it, I went to Matehuala and got some small vice grips that did the trick. Now its MUCH better! No more clanking over the bumps. Other than that the bike is holding up nicely.
I'll likely head into the desert to commune with mescalito, but I'll probably do that on foot.
Been hangin out with loads of Italians here in the desert. Can't figure out why that little nowhere place attracts so many Italians, but I'm greatful because those loco pendejos can really cook!
I can't upload photos from here, but hopefully when I get to Guanajuato. That will likely be me next stop with a short visit at the hotbaths near San Miguel de Allende.