Today (Wednesday) was a pretty great day. I made great time as well. While this is not the object of this trip, I was hoping to get to the coast. And to the coast I did get. That said, today was definitely the most dynamic of days. I have seen ranches, small canyons, twisties in the mountains, small towns and a rather large city (my largest yet) and have generally seen things move from arid to humid. From dry grasses and cacti to palm trees and ocean. From primarily cattle driven agriculture to coconuts and and other fruit. Limes! So I am riding down a street in Tecoman and all I can smell is limes. My sense of smell isn’t spectacular and I attributed my heightened senses to moving from and arid to humid climate. Then, according to wikipedia, I find that Tecomon is considered the lime capital of the world 😛
While today seemingly had a little of everything I will draw out some highlights. For one, driving through Guadalajara was interesting. It was reasonably fast paced, countered by lots of red lights. It had its fair share of tunnels which was interesting, if not a little tricky since daytime runners, nevermind full headlights, are not in vogue in Mexico. Guadalajara, in many ways, is like any North American city, but with a specific Latin feel. Or maybe I am getting too used to the general layout of Mexico. I passed a Walmart, several car dealerships, and several motorcycle dealerships. I would think that most things could be had here. While surely moving into the nitty gritty of the city, an outsider, especially a non-Mexican might start feeling intimidated, I am thinking that if one were to break down, in Guadalajara you would be up and running pretty quickly.
I was really quite surprised to watch the transformation. It know it was pretty bloody hot today. My pocket thermometer maxed out but it was sitting on a black tank bag. That said, I was trying to get a temperature reading with as little biases as possible. While an internet weather site said that Guadalajara had a high of 36, my thermometer read 39 or 40 while I was moving. I’m not sure what to believe but I know that I was hot. And when passing through some valleys increasingly hot winds hit me in the face to the point that I felt mild suffocation. The only time I have felt this heat was in a sauna. At some points it was simply more comfortable to ride with my faceshield/visor down. I am going to try to rig some sort of cooling device for my neck which might consist of a terrycloth towel or bandanna which I will keep soaked with water. From what I have read, the key to staying cool is keep fairly well covered and well ventilated and let evapouration, not convection, do the cooling. When temperature rise enough — and I am not sure that I am there yet — I believe it is body temperature and above — hot winds on direct skin actually warm you up — like a rotisserie chicken. This, for my northern readers, is the opposite of windchill.
I became quite eager to see the coast. Fresh fruit stands started to line the side of the road. Some road workers sported water goards rather than some sort of plastic bucket. I hadn’t seen this before. I decided to pass through Colima in favour of Tecoman, which was closer to the coast. I buzzed around town for a bit trying to see what I could see but grew inpatient for the coast. I basically looked at my GPS and headed directly for water. As luck would have it, I soon arrived in what seemed to be a aging hotel and resort area. But I found ocean. With the typical small batch of on-lookers, I did my thing. I parked the bike and wandered down the beach to document the moment with some photos. It turns out that my trials boots are as waterproof as promised.
While I figured it might be a little steep finding accommodations in this area, I did find some. I wasn’t going to stop, but the sign “Int rnet” twisted my arm. What I found was a friendly little surf oriented hotel/bar/shop/restaurant combo. My room is humble with without agua caliente, but “swimming pool” temperate water and finally some tropical sized cockroaches. I am being fetious here — but from all I have heard, I would have figured I would have seen roaches elsewhere. I cause the stories apply to humid tropical Mexico, not the arid desert or sierra regions. Dinner was nice. Fish with spicy sauce (Diablo), coconut rice, salad and tortillas. Indeed, I watched the cooks take filtered water from a bottle to prepare the food — hopefully my assumption that the lettuce was washed with the same water, is correct. It, however, was just what the doctor ordered. The place is quaint and barely populated at the moment but I don’t think that it is tourist season. I can hear the waves roll in from my room. Having strolled down there, I can see why the (presumably) owner of the place re-finished surfboards when not doing his hotel-ly duties. I am not sure whether or not the waves calm down enough to swim but I haven’t had a nice salt water swim since Cuba over the xmas holidays. So all-in-all, I personally think I stumbled over a little jackpot in terms of accommodations — or it sure feels like one today.
What else? I am pretty sure that the work performed on the bike yesterday is as expected. There seems to be absolutely no oil weeping anymore. This makes me pretty happy. That said, I am noticing that my engine is loosing a little power from time to time. I am quite confident that this is a fuel-air problem and seems to show up in the extreme heat. So while I may need to clean my air filter, I strongly suspect that one of the hoses in the fuel systems is collapsing under the heat. I have heard before that a pinched line can lead to fuel starvation and that extreme temperatures can bring it on. If I had to take a guess, I would think that my vent line under my seat is pinching. This is a fairly easy thing to correct.
I have but two allergies in this world. Dust mites and cockroaches. Let’s see how I am in the morning 😉