Page 8: - No Return Ticket - Just a Ride Report /w Pics - From the beginning
La Paz, Mexico: Saturday we devote a day to a walking tour of the city while looking for a gym we worked out at 2 years ago. After an hour of walking we finally find the gym. Since last time they have cut the gym in half to accommodate internet terminals. The gym part looked so small and the music was blasting so loud we decided to skip it. We were getting enough of a workout with all the walking.
Saturday seems like the biggest day for shopping. We enjoy being part of all the action.
Sunday we head out for another mega walk. Less then two blocks from our hotel we see some adventure motorcycles. Heidi says “They have advRider stickers” I ask if they are adventure riders. I get a definite –Yes. I say “I’m cavebiker” Get this, I tell them we meet FlyingAdvanti yesterday. The guy says he has ridden with him and his brother worked with him. (Are we in the Twilight Zone?) Unreal!
We talk for a while about the rides we are on and some rides we have done. This couple did Panama with their daughter last year. How cool! And hope to do South America soon. We mentioned we did Scorpion Bay and had an H of a ride.
A few blocks later we stop for some breakfast. A couple of bikers were there eating. These guys were super nice and said they are from Cabo. After they left we were sure we have met one of the guys before, when we were on the ferry from La Paz to mainland Mexico two years ago with our jeep. To say this is a ‘small world’ doesn’t even come close to what we are thinking now.
We like La Paz…..
La Paz to Mazatlan: We arrived at the ferry terminal early to clear customs for the motorcycle. One two three, everything went smooth. We are now set to enter mainland Mexico.
Across from the ferry terminal are a few taco trucks. Antijitos Juanita. These are the best tacos de carne asada we have had so far.
The bike is staged to go into the ferry. I have fun chitchatting and practicing my Spanish with the dock workers while I wait to board. Nice guys. They have me board last so I’m the first to exit when we arrive in Mazatlan.
I park the bike tight against the wall of the ship. The panniers are almost touching the wall with the bike leaning the other direction on the kickstand. I’m confident I have the bike secured for the 18 hour journey across the Sea of Cortez.
A new rule allows only one person per vehicle to enter the vehicle hold. While we were apart Heidi met Matt. Matt is from San Fransico and quit his job to travel to Columbia to be caretaker for his neighbor’s house there. It’s right on the Caribbean Sea. Matt is taking his time busing through Central America and learning Spanish along the way. He says we have a free place to stay in Columbia. How nice is that. For $36 we rent a cabin on board with bunk beds, bathroom and shower, well worth it.
The ferry in the photo below is heading for Topolobambo. This is a much larger and more modern ship. Heidi and I enjoy the character and abundant outside deck seating of our smaller older ferry. The Topolobambo ferry has no outside seating and only a small amount of standing room on deck.
The boat was rocking big time. It was difficult walking around the ship. I had a hard time sticking the key into our cabin lock. While in our cabin two glasses flew off a table along with some other stuff. I’m having concerns about the bike. The vehicle hold is locked down until we dock in Mazatlan so there is nothing I can do to secure the bike better. I’m wishing I parked the bike leaning toward the wall and secured it with rope or chain to the wall. It’s not going to do any good to worry about the bike so we just enjoy the cruise, sitting on deck watching the sunset and the waves.
Enjoying the sunrise.
Pulling into Mazatlan.
Local fisherman coming in with their catch.
Docked. Heidi lines up with the on foot passengers to exit the ferry, I line up with the people waiting to go down into the vehicle hold. I have my fingers crossed.
Heidi lines up with the on foot passengers to exit the ferry, I line up with the people waiting to go down into the vehicle hold. No AC here, you can smell the heat. There were about 8 or 10 of us, just waiting. I take a seat and proceed to enjoy the whole scene. Most people remained standing, just like when an airplane finally stops at the terminal and everyone jumps up so they can just stand in the airplane’s isle. Anyway, some more people came down to wait. One guy with light colored hair and a light colored jacket sets a small tan duffle bag down on a seat in front of him. He opens up a ridged top on the duffle, pulls out a 38, crams in a clip with the palm of his hand, then jams the gun back into the holster inside the case. He straightens up duffle bag and tucks the piece inside the bag, as if he were tucking in a baby. After closing the duffle he acts as cool as ‘James Bond' Shit, we are in Mexicooooooo……
I get down into the hold and see the bike upright on its kickstand but in a slightly different position. S, it fell over. I knew it. I immediately scan over the bike to look for damage. The left front blinker was bent back, some rubber was ripped on the left foot peg, the handlebars were bent back and the steering column was cockeyed. I proceed to straighten the blinker. Good, no problem. I raise the handlebars, they raise way too easy. The bolts holding down the handlebars must have loosened from the ride. The handlebars were not bent, thank goodness. I’m sure the loose bolts saved the handle bars, YES. After tightening down the bolts I press the front wheel up against the wall of the ship and crank on the handlebars to straighten the steering. After several attempts I get the steering straight. Woosh, The bike lives...
Heidi and I spent over three weeks in Mazatlan two years ago while we were jeep touring Mexico. We like Mazatlan. We tool up and down the malecon checking out several hotels, all expensive. Next we head to Hotel Del Sol, the same place where we stayed two years ago. Super, we get a large room with kitchenette, pool and a quiet courtyard offering great bike security. We pay for two nights.
Heidi didn’t sleep much on the ferry ride over so she settles into a well deserved nap. I head out on the bike to look for an internet café. The temperatures were hot. The traffic was slow. The bike kills. I get to the side of the road and shift into neutral. Looking at the dash I see no neutral light. Someone posted on advrider.com saying that the circuit breakers on Harley Davidson motorcycles reset in about 5 seconds. I stare at the dash lights. A couple seconds later the neutral light pops on. I hit the starter. The bike fires right up. WOW, this is huge. I replaced the ignition circuit breaker with a fuse, it can’t be that because fuses don’t reset. Any other possible problem, ignition sensor, ignition module, ignition coil would not cause the lights to go out. IT HAS TO BE THE MAIN CIRCUIT BREAKER. I’m not sure where this circuit breaker is but I need to replace it, ASAP. I am one happy dude, knowing I have a solid idea of what the bikes problem is and we are in a comfortable city and won’t mind staying here until we get a new part.
I answer a few emails and upload some photos. A guy sits down to a terminal next to me. It’s Matt from the ferry, unreal. Matt shows me some internet photos of the beach where he is going to caretaker a house. The place is beautiful to say the least.
OK, again I’m not making any of this up. I hop on the bike and ride up the road toward our hotel. I pull into a store to buy some water and pop. After when I get back on the bike, the ignition key will not turn to run, it only turns as far as accessory. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS. I try for about a half an hour and no luck. I’m thinking it’s possibly the key, it looks pretty worn. I didn’t want to do it but I finally get out my tools and proceed to take part of the bike apart to retrieve the hidden key I have buried deep inside the bike. I should have taken a photo but I was just too frustrated. I get the key. I put the bike back together. I stick the key in the ignition. Same thing, it only turns as far as accessory. What is going on here? No one could have tampered with the bike while I was in the store. It was parked right in front of an all glass store front and I was only in there for a few minutes. No one could have tampered with the bike while I was in the internet café, the switch worked fine when I left there. What the heck!
I stay calm, thankful I’m only a few miles away from our hotel. I proceed to push the bike first along busy touristy store fronts then along the malecon. The temperatures were hot, the sun was blazing and I was sweating bullets. I’ve pushed many bikes many miles in the past but never a 1200 Harley Davidson half packed with gear. At this point I was glad I still lift weights and compete in marathon events. I made it. The bike is not leaving this hotel in Mazatlan until I get it fixed. The adventure continues…….
A day in Mazatlan: It was a bright hot sunny day. We walk to the big mall and grocery store. Their food alley has Wi-Fi, I need to get our buddies back home started on getting us some part numbers. We stock up at the grocery store, preparing to hunker down for as long as it takes and get this bike issue resolved.
I walk back to the mall several hours later to look for email responses, I have 2. One part, the part numbers agree. One part the numbers disagree. Crap, but cool. If you are trying to get critical parts shipped to you, in a foreign country, you need to have at least a double confirmation of the numbers, preferably 3.
Yes, the part number error is found ‘I have a double confirmation’ I assume I can just have the package sent to the DHL office here in Mazatlan but I’m not sure. I will feel more comfortable walking down to the DHL office tomorrow to get their exact address and all the correct info. ‘Been there, done that’ with international shipping. If it isn’t done just right, it can go sooo wrong.
It’s almost dark when I walk into the hotel courtyard. Heidi is talking with a couple ‘adventure’ looking dudes. Kenny (left) and Dick (next to Heidi) These guys are great. They ran into Conchita, Brian, and Dan (2-up South America’ people) they told them they were hoping to see the cave couple. Rocken. Conchita, Brian, and Dan are staying next door at Hotel Acuario.
Heidi and I are the only people at hotel Del Sol tonight. There are plenty of chairs in the court yard, for us all to hang out and rap……. All Right. Let the high level, high energy, ‘adventure / lifestyle / technical’ discussions begin. We are all ‘ Fired Up’. Either ‘Been there, done that’, ‘doing it Now’ or both. My brain is tingling. I want to hear what everyone is saying. Adventure verbiage is flying back and forth like wildfire in a wind storm. Dick and I should have done a flying chest bump right away and got it over with. I love talking with people like this. Everyone has good information and advice about just exactly what Heidi and I are doing. How Cool is that.
It is an honor to have this group of people, along with our ‘Adventure Rat Bike’ in the same photo.
Later, we all went out, a nice place that’s about a block away. The high level discussions started All Over Again. O yeah! We all seemed to have a great time.
I need to make my pitch to hotel Del Sol for an extended stay. I like to have ‘cash in hand’ for closing the deal, if the deal is right.
On the way back the ‘2-up South America’ gang was getting ready to go. I had to rap a little.
Sweeet looking rig and adventure couple…………..
Dan’s automatic chain oil system got lose while riding through Copper Canyon. He is methodically getting it all just right again. Loooooking Good.
Stopping by to say goodbye.
OK, Adventure Power, Let it Role………
Returning from a 3 hour walking marathon of Mazatlan Zona Dorado area we run into Kenny and Dick. They were kind enough to offer to buy us dinner (how great) but we were too ‘toast’. Later we all meet for a beer and some more great talk.
Today Heidi and I walked down to the south end of the beach, toward old Mazatlan centro. We were looking for a breakfast place on the malecon and a walk into Mexico….
Lots of construction around Mazatlan.
We find a (Great) place ‘La BamBa’ Super breakfast, big portions and right on the malecon. Recommended but at the wrong time of year you could pass out from the heat…
The more we walk away from Zona Dorado the more it turns into ‘Real Mexico’. We like it…….
Getting close to Old Mazatlan Centro. It’s still early. The venders are all getting ready.
These guys look like they carry this entire operation on the cart. The cart has a motorcycle front end.
I think this is a delivery truck / bike. Heidi hopes this isn’t the fate of our bike. I bet her, this motor is coming back and it will ride again. I wonder? If there is one thing Mazatlan has, it’s police presence. Squads, motorcycles, bikes and on foot, new town, old town and in between, No One asks you to buy drugs. We have a ‘good feel’ where ever we walk in Mazatlan.
Heart of Mazatlan, Centro.
I gotta have it.
How much? (?cuanto cuesta?), (veinte) $1.90 OK…..
I decided I am not going to gut and peel anymore papayas while we are here. A big bag of fresh cut papaya hunks, 12 pesos ($1.09) We are liken Mexico.
Tacos are 12 or more pesos in the new part of town, 8 pesos here and 7 pesos other places. Some of the smallest stands have the best tacos and fixings.
We decided to take a city bus back home.
75 cents for a ride.
We get back to our hotel room and find this.
We remember almost the entire staff from two years ago. Hotel Del Sol, the people here are very professional and pleasant, the rooms are clean and spacious. We get nothing but help and smiles here. If you get a room around the pool you can pull the bike right in front of your room. Bike friendly parking is number one for us. Pool - number two. A super value even without an extended stay ‘special deal’
I read a reply on a thread in advrider from the strikingviking. He mentioned wide clear tape on road maps so they won’t get destroyed during a rain storm. We are ‘On that’.
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