Tuesday, February 1, 2011

As we reached the US-Mexican border, we were held up by the guards and an extremely long check on our license.  This would have been no problem had the guards not filled the time with horrific stories of the antics of the murderous cartel.  If they were guarding piece of mind, they should be fired. 

We went as fast and as far as we could.  We passed several convoys of trucks carrying troops in camo, helmets, bulletproof vests, and ski masks.  The last guy in the back truck always had a tripod sub machine gun that he pointed right at us.  Needless to say, we didn´t follow them for long.  The scene that moved us the most was when we passed a miltary truck like the ones we had been seeing in the convoys filled with extremely young stone faced soldiers.  It was on the side of the road, shot up, and burned to a crisp.  Then, there were 3 other cartel pick-up trucks looking the same way, mutilated by a random firefight encounter.  In the middle of nowhere was the ruin of extreme violence that had been just pushed off to the side of the road.  The damp, grey drizzle over a haunted empty street was like a the horror movies that have no music. 

The rain came, and I found out that my bike still does not like the rain.   When the coil gets wet, it stutters and well...quits.  There we were, stuck on the side of the road over and over again, in the rain, with endless stretches of empty farmland as far as one could see--in northern Mexico, very near a town where the guards so generously shared with us that 86 Guatemalans were gunned down.  We made it as far as we could go and we found nothing. 

As it always does, the sun fell out of the sky leaving us in quite the predicament.  Just in time, a sign for a magical hotel and restaurant appeared.  We booked it as fast as my crippled steed could carry me.  Sure enough, the hotel had closed long ago.  Grass was growing through the concrete, the windows were smashed, and the food was long gone.  The funny thing, Mike had been here before and eaten, now there were only ghosts.  We were close to nothing.  So we did the smart thing, we squatted an empty room and left our light off all night, cooked our food, and clinked our beers together for our edgy situation.

We awoke to another grey day.  I had spent the night wrapping a plastic bag around my coil and electrical taping it til I´m sure I had smothered it.  We made tracks and hoped the coil rig would hold.  Sure enough, it did.  We rode and rode, the sun came out, and the flat farmland began to undulate into rolling hills, then into ridges and valley, and then into mountains.  We found a motel, a taco stand, and welder next door.  I forgot to mention, in the hesteria of the last night in Texas when the the engine got taken out and put back in, that Mike´s kickstand had bent into an angle that was impossible to use without jamming a screw driver between the stand and the frame.  Anyway, the welder straightened that out in a few minutes and for only $2.  Back in good shape, we hit the road for another day´s ride. 

Eventually, we made it to the coast and saw the ocean in Mexico for the first time.  We found a camp spot in someone´s backyard and called it a day with a hammock and a coconut.  For the first time, we felt safe.