First Day, Mainland Mexico

September 17, 2011

Mainland Mexico

September the 11th, 2011 deserves its own post. It was the most enjoyable day I have had on a motorcycle ever, and one of the most enjoyable days I have had, period. I hope that as long as I live that I can recall this day.

It wasn’t exactly an auspicious start, awoken from our slumber on the ferry by loud Spanish screaming orders, we got up, but had to wait almost 2 hrs before we could disembark with our bikes – which we filled in watching the memorial service for the 9/11 tragedy.

The air was thick with Carbon Monoxide and humidity, but we were back on our bikes. We decided we might ride up to Copper Canyon, as we had heard reports from other travelers that it was a worthy detour. Heading out from the ferry terminal at Topolobampo it was as if we were in a different country. It was green, there were police checking speed, there were less waves and more stares from the locals.

Los Mochis was a large town, apparently, but one that I do not recall outside of its smelly buses. The ride out of town was strange, the road was good – very good, the scenery consisted of small towns and farmers planting fields with brand new John Deere Tractors, people seemed focused on their job, take away the stray dogs and donkeys on the side of the road and this could be any western country. It was not the Mexico I expected, or if I am honest, the one that I wanted – to uncover some of its soul, we would need to dig deeper.

Neither of us were hungry, but we smelt some chicken cooking, and it smelt great. It was great. My favorite meal of the trip so far, seasoned and cooked beautifully.

We headed off and the road began to narrow and its condition deteriorated, beautiful fields of lucerne were replaced with scrub and the occasional corn field. I started to smile. Our GPS maps ended at Choix, but according to our map there was a road that would get us to Creel and Copper Canyon country. I winged it through Choix, getting us on what I felt was the right road, a check with a local walking on the side of the road confirmed that it was correct, assuming he understood us. 10 miles out of town we hit road works and had to deviate from our path onto a gravel side road. The alternate path continued near the construction, we then came to a dead end with a gate that was closed up a hill. Magically a gentleman appeared and opened it for us – this must be the way!!!

The track was a little rough, and we shared it with goats, horses, pedestrians and cattle.

We lost site of the main road, and we didn’t care. The villages we were travelling through seemed filled with subsistence farmers, the road degraded rapidly and before long it was not much more than a goat track. A goat track with great mountain scenery. We spotted a lake over to left, hmm… according to the map, that shouldn’t be there, oh well, a swim would be nice. It wasn’t long before our road ended at the lake, we weren’t disappointed at all that we had taken an hour and a half detour through amazing scenery and decided to jump in for a wee paddle.

After about 20mins of messing around in the water, a ferry just shows up.

We take it. No idea where it goes, but to hell with it, we are having a blast.

We get off the ferry and the road is worse, we perform our first lot of water crossings, I drop my bike twice getting over the rocks.

We climb up and down mountains, the skittish nature of the animals we share the track with indicate that not only is it rare for gringos to come this way, it’s rare for anyone too. The mountains, the valleys and the riding are epic in equal measures. We don’t have maps, GPS or even people to ask for directions. We don’t care. Words can’t describe how much fun this is, so I will try with some pictures.

After about 7hrs of off-road we come to a town. We ask them where El Fuerte is – it’s the next town up. We are back with directions!

Down the road we find a nice campsite on top of a ridge and call it a day. What a day.

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2 Responses to “First Day, Mainland Mexico”

  1. Blair Says:

    Awesome stuff sir. I’m caught up on your adventure and plan to stay tuned. Keep up the good work and stay safe.

  2. David Muir Says:

    Having a great time vicariously enjoying your trip. We hope you continue to have a great time. Keep safe.


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