Sea of Cortez

Trip Start Aug 04, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Mexico  , Northern Mexico,
Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sept 15

Today I took the ferry from La Paz to Topolobampo, and spent the night in the nearby city of Los Mochis.  The ferry was pretty damn big, mostly 18 wheelers and some cars.  I had the ONLY bike.  They tied it to the side of the hold with a couple of tie-downs.  The ferry had four levels for vehicles and cargo.

Once we got loaded, the travelers all filed upstairs to the passenger deck.  There was a cafeteria on one end and a big seating area with a bar one one wall on the other, everything in 70's cheesy hotel decor - low swivel chairs covered with brown vinyl around solid-mounted little tables, and upholstered benches along the sides.  Both rooms had large flat screen TVīs showing subtitled US movies. 

The ferry ride was 6 hours - 330 to 930 PM.  It's a big sea!  Again the clouds and sun were dramatic and beautiful.  Right after sunset there were orange clouds in the distance that occasionally were illuminated by internal lightning, which looked weird and incongruous, like a painstakingly prepared stage backdrop being lit up by the flash of a faulty backstage spotlight.    

I met an American couple on the boat, Ryon, who is a sculptor and former amateur motorcycle racer from Santa Fe, and his wife, who teaches art there.  They were also heading to Copper Canyon, and I'm hoping we'll overlap there for a day or 2 when Jesse and I get there. 

When we docked, I got down to my deck and freed my bike, and fairly launched it out of the hold and down the ramp with a little excess enthusiasm.  Felt good though.  Los Mochis was celebrating Mexican Revolution Day, so there were many people in the streets and random fireworks and other loud pops, which I hoped were really big fire crackers.  Fond a nice cheap hotel, then off to sleep.

Sept 16-17

North to Bahia Kino, the beach near the city of Hermosillo, about 3 hours south of Tucson.  The first day, the beach was overrun by Mexican day trippers celebrating the holiday, but since then it's been empty.  The beach front houses are owned by mostly Americans and some Mexicans, but seeing as it is the hot season here through September, with daytime highs averaging above 100 degrees, who in their right mind would want to hang out here? 

On the 17th I went running in the morning, hung out under a palapa on the beach during the day, and waited for Jess, my co-traveler to arrive.  He finally got here about 6:00 (I was starting to get a little worried), and we went out to dinner to catch up.

Sept 18

Jesse has been basically riding for 10 days straight, so we took a day off.  Tomorrow it's west to Baranca de Cobre, Copper Canyon, which should be amazing.  In the meantime, itīs nice to have some company.  We caught up about our trips, rested up, and he spent some time getting his own blog set up.

Unfortunately I came down with something on this day I think.  Our room is air conditioned and outside it's a hot world - hot sun, hot breeze that is constantly blowing, and even the water is warm and barely refreshing.  In the afternoon we hung out by the little pool by the hotel, and chatted with Greg, an expat from Tucson, when he took breaks.

Greg sells health insurance over the phone to individuals.  He looks a bit like Bill Murray but younger, with lighter hair, and without the irony.  When someone does a Google search on health insurance, the info goes to a call center phone bank that he leases who then call the person, and if they show interest they pass the call to him.  This works out quite well for him, in his estimation.  Greg works in a small office next to the hotelīs office, and the AC isnīt too good so every several hours he pops out, puts his headset down poolside and jumps in, in the bathing suit he wears in his office.  Greg is married to Elizabeth, a charming Mexican woman who works for the current state administration, in finance.  Their house is down the street, and they've bought a lot further down the road, in what will be a marina development.

Before Greg met his wife, he had already been looking for a way to support himself in Mexico.  Among other things he tried 'fishing' for oysters and callos, a local huge type of mussel that you eat raw, with onions and lime juice (which I had that night on his recommendation - very good!).  So he's basically got things set up to his liking.  The town is pretty poor and doesn't have much to offer, but I guess if you like your job and have a happy home life, that's a lot.  Hell, liking your bike and looking forward to a good road and a new town is a lot.

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