So here I am in Pinotepa Nacional in Oaxaca. So far it seems like a nice city. I am pleasantly surprised. I have left the coastal area for small mountains and ranches again. I wasn’t sure what I was going to run into. Pinotepa has a beach town feel to it, and it may well be considered a beach town, although I’m pretty sure you actually have to drive to the beach. While I won’t be in the position to do any nocturnal exploration, I think I would feel comfortable walking around at night here. I figured out why people were giggle and staring at me. I saw myself in the mirror and I looked just shy of a chimney sweep or coal minor. The days dust and diesel exhaust had done a number on my face.
I pretty much swore off of Mexican cities today (haven’t we been through this one before?!?), although small cities like Pinotepa are welcome. Acapulco did not make me happy. Actually I was happy to arrive there in terms of it being a segway to the coast, and it is one of those places one hears about since being a small child — “we vacationed in Acapulco again this year” — or what have you. I admit upon entering the ciudad, it looked nice, and the shoreline was beautiful. That said, it took me damn near as long to get through the city to the egress, as it did to get to it that day in the first place. Acapulco was horrible to ride in. The aggressiveness of drivers was equal or higher than previous cities and the traffic at 2pm was horrible. It was like taking the worst intersections of Toronto during rushhour and making just about every intersection that way. It seems that many Mexican cities don’t have an express throughways and force you to head directly through it. And the drivers. What is going through one’s mind when they are honking at the guy on the motorcycle who has obviously been justed IDed by the cop with the gun (in holster). But why are you honking?!? Helmet is going back on. Police offer is getting back into the truck with the other office holding the machine gun. I just don’t get it.
The general rides today and yesterday were varied. There has been a lot of stop and go and I am not making nearly the time I expected. These coastal roads can be quite twisty and there are a lot of small villages, all armed with a couple of “topes” (Espanol for transmission remover). Another thing I don’t get. 60, 110, 60, 30, bump in the space of a kilometre. And move over donkeys, horses and dogs. Today is official stray pig day. I had to slow for quite a few porcine road warriors today. Cute little buggers.
I also dug into some fresh bananas and mangos today from a roadside stand. Delicious and cheap. And messy. All over my face and hands and not hose to clean me off. In fact my jacket and pants made it into the shower, in part to get the mango off. Strange bananas to me though — kind of fibrous and strandy — not bad though.
As mentioned that terrain has been pretty varied over the last two days but some of the fews of the ocean from the coast have been outstanding. While I didn’t stop, there was some have were some quaint looking restaurants with a million dollar view. OK — lies — I stopped for photographs, but not food.
While Acapulco frustrated me to no end — I had sweat seeping the seams of my Cordura nylon riding jacket — Zihuatanejo (the prior day) topped the list for most frustrating Mexican city. I arrived there at sundown having found nothing in Ixtapa except for super sheeshee resort estates. I kid you not, it took me two hours to find an ABM and cheap motel. My rule is not to ride on highways after dark. Actually I try to apply this to in-town as well, but when I am trying to find a place to stay, I pretty much have to ride around until I find something. So I got to know the city pretty intimately by getting lost after dark some four times. Lost as in “I’ve been here twice before but how do I get back to that first road”. Eventually I stayed in a crappy place which had hot water which was nice. Nice in that I was sweating in the 30+ post- sundown temperature while buggering around all sorts of urban terrain. There King Roach and I battled unto to his imminent demise. For some reason it seems that the is one-roach-per-room policy. Strange.
Well, I’m not sure but I think I am two more sleeps outside of my Guatemala crossing. I am looking forward to Guatemala and all its volcanic glory. That’s it for now.