Thank you so much to my friend Augustine Garcia of Concord, CA
Starting on Saturday, October 05, 2002, 9:54:56 AM
I stopped at a Kinko's in Tucson after leaving my uncle's house to update my web site and took a little longer than I had anticipated. It got dark so my ride into Mexico was at night. The border town, Nogales, was quite interesting. Night time might not be the best time to venture into this place so I didn't stop. Although I'm sure it was totally safe I just didn't feel comfortable. I had been there a few years ago during another visit and went exploring around the town a bit. Lots of shops and stores to sell trinkets and little knick knacks and stuff. I recall one gentlemen trying to sell me stuff and referred to it as "good quality junk". I laughed at his humorous attempt and went on.
I had no problem getting across the border into Sonora, Mexico. As a matter of fact, I was looking around to see if anybody was going to ask me anything but there was nobody there so I just drove right on through. I saw lots of places where people were stopping to check things but I just kept riding. I figured if it was important then there would be a place where I absolutely had to stop.
Through the night I rode on and noticed that people were all over he place. Walking along the sides of the road with flashlights. Even in some of the more remote areas between towns they were walking. I was going to try to avoid eating some of the local food in fear that it might make me ill but couldn't stand it. There were little road-side places serving food all over and the smell was so good I couldn't help it. I had to stop. I stopped and with minimal communication I had ordered four incredibly delicious tacos and a Coke. All for the low price of about 12 pesos, or $1.20. Half of that was for the Coke, which they still serve in the classic refillable glass bottles. I then realized that food in Mexico was not going to be a problem. Well, I guess that was still to be determined.
All down the highway there were lots of toll booths and I thought that the tolls were quite expensive. Especially considering the poor quality of the road. Each one was about 53 pesos which is equivalent to about $5.30. I think that I must have gone through about five of those by the time I reached Hermosillo.
That night I had made it all the way into Hermosillo where I had stopped an decided to get some rest. I didn't know if there's be a place that I would feel comfortable camping out so I decided to get a room somewhere. I found one for about $15 US dollars and stayed there. It wasn't the fanciest place but it worked and all I needed was a nap and a place to lay horizontal for a while. I got up the next morning and headed down the road.
Further south I went, deeper into Mexico. The landscape seemed to change slightly as I progressed along and so did the people. Maybe it was just me but it seemed that the further south I got, the friendlier the people seemed. Maybe it was just my perception of what I thought would happen that caused me to be more receptive or maybe the fact that I was still getting acclimated with the culture. It was really hard to tell in such a short time.
I then came to the town of Guaymas and saw water off to my right. I stopped at a McDonald's there in Guaymas to eat. Then I realized that wasn't going to save me any money. I guess probably comparable to prices here in the states I could see that these places were quite a bit more expensive than the local street cafes. After I ate I headed over to the small community of Miramar, along the beach. A beautiful beach, like something out of a travel magazine. I had never been on a cruise or any tropical vacation so this was all new to me. I had figured that any of the visually stimulating places in Mexico would have already bee turned into some resort and manipulated for money. This place seemed quite quaint by my prior misconceptions.
I drove up and down the street looking for a good place to stop and get a closer look. Although yet still primitive and quite undeveloped from a resort standpoint, there were still some fairly nice houses along the water which made it a little difficult to access the beach. Down at the end of the road there was a nice beach area that was full of people. Of course I was looking for something a little less congested and more private to relax for a few minutes.
I drove back down the road and found it. It was there at that moment that I found my "lot" in life. Right there, nestled between two beach-side condos was a lot. A place where a dwelling had been but had been torn down and cleared out. Still remaining were two nice palm trees where I parked and explored the beach a little. Wanting to keep moving along I decided against a nice swim so I took a few pictures and got back on the bike.
Back again I headed through the crowded little town of Guaymas and on into the desert again. Along the road was little shacks and an occasional dwelling. Made from scraps of wood and pallets these small places were actually the occasional homes for some of the local people. It definitely makes a person thankful for what they got. But then I wondered to my self. "Self, if you don't hurry up and get finished with this trip and get a job, that's going to be your next home!!!""
I found where buzzards came from. There on the side of the road I saw a ranch. No, there were no cows or horses or any other domesticated animals there. But there in the middle of this dry field were hundreds of turkey vultures, or buzzards as I was raised to call them.
Later, while driving down the road I look up and saw this on the side of a hill, off of the highway. There up on this huge rock was painted the likeness of the Mother Mary. Under her, at her very feet appeared to be an angel riding her up to heaven and glory. Up the long stairway to this shrine was several places to sit and up at the base was places for people to worship.
Mexico is filled with the Catholic faith and signs of it can be seen all over the country. From small little shrines on the sides of the roads to the churches and to sights like these. An homage to this faith is definitely prevalent.
More pictures of the desert and I'm on. Further south I go to Los Mochis to try to take a ferry over to Baja.
I had done a little searching on the web for ferries down here and saw on the maps where there were several. I was only hoping that I could find the right one and that I wouldn't have too many problems getting on it.
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