7/13/05 Mexican Motorcycle Diary pt.1
A couple Cubans from Miami and four other Mexicanos from D.F. arrived a couple days ago. They seemed pretty cool and left two cars at Don Thomas' place. I asked Don Thomas' where they were headed and he told me Tanke Nuevo for three days. Told me I could get there by driving straight out into the desert for about an hour on the motorcycle. So I packed the essentials and headed out into the desert.
About 2 hours later I still hadn't found it and began to see my own tire tracks again. I hadn't really packed much water, and to add insult to injury.. my speedometer cable had come loose so I was no longer tracking kilometers or my fuel use. Started getting pretty nervous, especially with the water situation. I'd see a desert farmer and ask directions, but he'd just wave his hand this way and that mumble something about going straight and around the white mountain, etc.
The terrain shifted dramatically from soft powdered dust to sharp rocks to mud. After I'd seen my own tracks for the 6th time I started heading back toward the village with my tail between my legs, but then I decided to try one more time and took the only path I hadn't taken yet. Had to find some big rocks to hold down a partially fallen barbed wire fence to ride over it and kept going. Finally I saw some campesinos on an old Honda and asked directions once again. The Tanke was only about 5km away and I could now see it.
When I arrived the trees opened up to a lovely oasis of soft grass, large mesquite trees, and a small body of water. There were wild horses grazing and a herd of goats lit by late afternoon gold sun. I saw about 4 bohemians sitting cross'legged watching the vista and stopped to ask if this was Tanke Nuevo. "Si! Welcome amigo". Their eyes were all wide from Peyote with huge smiles. I noticed one other camp and it was indeed the Cuban and Mexican group of six. The were well set up with coolers, tents, fire, a big boom box, etc.
They welcomed me offered me water and asked if I wanted to join them for peyote hunting nearby. I was pretty exhausted so I hung my hammock nearby and relaxed for a bit. Soon, they were off into the desert with knives in hand so I joined them.
I wasn't sure if I was crashing their party unwelcomed or not so I held back a bit and kept to myself. After I'd found 3 peyote plants I went back to my hammock to take a break from the sun and prepare my heads for consumption. I ate all three with an orange and laid back in my hammock. Started to drift away when one of the Cubans, Russ, came back from the desert. He said he'd hit the peyote matrix and had cut over 40 plants!
(continued in part 7/13/05 pt. 2)