The road from Durango towards Mazatlán, called ‘el espinazo del diablo’ (the Devil’s backbone) is one of the nicest roads we have ridden so far. The first few kilometers suck because you have some kind of grooves that run in the length of the road and that make the bike wobble a lot when you are taking a turn, but after that it’s heaven. The scenery is breathtaking, the surface of the roads are good and you have one spectacular corner after another. It was so nice, that we had to force ourselves to stop from time to time so Seb could take a picture.
Enjoying some relaxation in the mountains.
Doesn’t this just take your breath away?!
It was time to cross the tropic of cancer, now we are headed to the equator next…
At one point, a trucks axle broke in the middle of a turn, so the truck blocked the whole road, fortunately we were on the bikes, so we could pass them with ease and continue on our way.
We decided not to go to Mazatlán, but to stay in a small town not so far from there in an authentic Mexican hotel with a nice patio and enjoy the fact that we could sit outside for the first time in our shorts and t-shirt.
From there on, we rode in the general direction of Tepic and we could either take the cuota (toll road) or the libre (free road) so we decided since we weren’t in a rush to take the free road. The road itself takes a while longer because you pass through all the villages, but you can still keep a good paste and do some distance. At one point, you had a cool view of some sort of wetlands and you can see the cuota right below.
The two roads cross from time to time, so you can decide halfway to switch if you wanted to.
After a few weeks of cold, we slowly started to feel the heath of the lowlands and it was time to kick off our boots when we stopped, just to get some airflow to our feet and to let our feet cool down a bit.
In the end, it wasn’t cool enough for Kim with her pants rolled up, so she took them off and put herself in her flashy summer thermal underpants from KLÍM.
In the evening we arrived in the small town of San Blas, along the western Mexican coast and we decided to treat ourselves to some real luxury. The hotel we stayed at was very well maintained, it was located right next to the beach (you could see the ocean from your room) and it had a swimming pool. The downside was the price of 700 pesos a night (off season price because otherwise it was 900 pesos a night), but hey in Europe you still get a crappy room for this price, so in the end the price was right considering the location and we were the only guests there so we had the place to ourselves!
Ah, time to relax and enjoy the cool water in the swimming pool.
After a few weeks of snow and mud, the heath outside and the coolness of the pool were a nice change for both of us!
They had some para gliders hanging around nearby and they had a lot of youth riding around on their small bikes and on quads on the beach.
They have some amazingly colorful flowers near the ocean and they smell great.
This place should have been one of the highlights of our trip, were it not that you had these annoying sand fleas that kept eating us alive the whole time and were it not for the fact that Seb started getting sick around that time. The first night we were there, he kept throwing up half of the night and this kept Kim awake also. When we opened the door to our room, the fleas came in and they kept both of us awake during the night and on top of that Seb got an infection on his respiratory system which made him cough violently all night and which also kept Kim awake half the night. The hotel itself though was heaven, the swimming pool was a nice place to cool down and you had a nice seating area outside where you could relax even though the sand fleas made such a mess out of Seb’s legs. We had a nice long walk along the beach and had a nice chat with the guard of the hotel who kept an eye on the bikes all night long. We ended up staying two nights to try and recuperate from our first sleepless night, but the second night, some people climbed the fence and knocked on our door at 1 o’clock at night to ask us where to could get a room. Our friendly security guard was nowhere to be found and it turned out that you could just push open the gate even though there was a lock on it…this made us sleep a little less secure the rest of the night. We told the people to just move in to the room next to us and pay in the morning, so they did.
Our last sunset at the beach for a while.
In the morning we had a hard time packing the bikes again and leaving because we knew that we would have to leave the ocean behind us again for a while, so with a small heart and a coughing Seb, we took the bikes in the direction of Guadalajara where we would meet up with chef Luis. Luis is a local top chef and the owner of a very nice and fancy restaurant called Talento and he got in contact with us through facebook and invited us to come and spend some time with him, so we couldn’t refuse! We had made an appointment at 4 in the afternoon, but because the libre road was very slow, we decided to take the cuota for once (and never again!). The road is very fast and nice, but it is probably the most expensive road you can take in the world. The small bit we did cost us more than 300 pesos (more than 20 Euros) and so we will probably try to avoid all the cuota roads from now on.
In the end we made it to Luis in time and he offered us lunch in his restaurant and we were treated as guests of honour. We had some appetizers, a few main courses and to round everything up, a big slice of chocolate cake made out of Belgian chocolate…it was all to die for! All the things you can eat in his restaurant are a things Luis invented himself and they are usually a combination of Oriental and Mexican food.
The place looked very modern, the food was amazing and the staff were super friendly. Luis spoiled us to death from the first moment we met him, even though we hadn’t ever met before.
Luis, his friend Liz and Kim.
After lunch, Luis took us to his apartment just outside the city, gave us the keys and told us to feel at home and relax! That first night, Seb’s respiratory infection got worse and Kim started getting down with it also, so when Kim started coughing, Seb woke up and visa versa. Next day we went to the pharmacy to get everything we could to beat the cough and just hope for the best.
In the meanwhile, we found out that we had way to much stuff with us this time, so we decided to use Luis’ hallway to sort out some stuff and we got rid of a lot of it. We gave some things to Luis, including Seb’s dry duffel bag from Wolfman, because Seb found out that he didn’t like riding with a duffel bag behind him, Kim on the other hand loves it and uses it to relax a bit while riding. A complete gear review will be part of the next update.
We had passed the 6.000 km’s on the bikes, so it was time to give them their oil change. Normally Seb does this himself, but because the bikes are new (for the warranty) and because we were a bit sick, we decided to take them to an official Honda dealer for their service. They changed the oil and they gave them a quick wash, so the bikes are ready to rock and roll again!
Luis recommended a real authentic Mexican taco place to us that was cheap and amazing. You could get 5 different types of taco, you could get freshly made drinks made out of very strange combinations (including parsley and red beets) and for dessert you could get freshly made ice cream in more than 30 different flavours! This all for less than 200 pesos total! The place is based on total honesty because you have to go and order your tacos, they come and take your order for the drinks and after you have finished eating, you have to go to a guy to pay. All this time, you can just walk away and no one would notice it and at the cash register, you have to tell the guy how many tacos you had, because no one keeps track. It is refreshing to see a place still in business when it is totally based on honesty, however Luis told us that a few people do take advantage of this and just walk away without paying, but the owner says he doesn’t want to punish the majority of the people for something only a few morons do.
There’s even live entertainment!
Since Luis is a total workaholic, we didn’t see him a lot of the time, but he made sure we had everything we needed and when he was there he was a sweet and cool guy to talk to. We even met his sister Marifer and she was very sweet and kind.
Most of the time we spent at Luis’ place, we were sleeping because on top of the respiratory infection, we both got a high fever and this made us weak and sleepy. One night we slept for more than 14 hours straight (well between the coughing of course). But today Seb finally had enough strength to venture out again for a couple of hours into te centre of Guadalajara.
The Policia Federal is also there to keep an eye on security:
There’s a huge indoor market in Guadalajara where you can literally find anything:
Some fresh meat perhaps?
Viva La Revolucion?!