August 7, 2015
James had been having some issues with his bike since before crossing into Mexico, and it was weighing heavy on his mind. After some serious discussion and consideration, he decided to head back to Texas this morning. Guanajuato was a bit of a “turning point”, as once you go south from there, it’s a bit more difficult to get back to the States. I don’t think it will be the last I’ll see of him on this trip. Thanks James for the week and a half of travel together. It was good to ease into Mexico with a partner.
So I am now solo. This is kind of what this trip was about to me. I’ve noticed that people (locals) approach me more easily when I’m by myself. They want to know where I am from, where I am going. I mostly just tell them “Guatemala” because it’s hard to explain that I’m riding around the world and the route in my limited Spanish. “Todo Mundo” works, but I can tell they don’t really get it, or don’t want to believe it. It’s easier to take little bites. They also raise eyebrows when they see that I am riding a “dos cincuenta” (250). Even though most bikes around here are 125s, they understand that the 250 is still relatively small for a long ride.
The little 250 continues to do well. I am actually amazed that its’ tiny 428 o-ring chain hasn’t yet needed adjustment in the last 1600 miles. Though I will probably adjust it in a few more days when I change the oil.
I’m moving quickly again, in order to gain some down time down the road. Tonight I’m staying in Teotihuacan, northeast of Mexico City. At one point I was within about 25 miles of Mexico City. I noticed around Pachuca and the Arco Norte road that bypasses Mexico City, that driving seems to have changed. The closer I get to Mexico City, the more aggressive the drivers become. I suppose this is a good introduction, or easing into what to expect further south. Actually, the drivers around Mexico City drive well, just aggressively. Lanes are optional. Overtaking without changing lanes at 100 kph is normal. Making a lane out of a shoulder or area marked as off-limits is routine. As James told me last week, before and as you begin to pass someone, look to see who is passing you. It happens a lot.
I’m sharing a campground with a very nice German couple (Gunther and Ilka) in a large overland rig who also just arrived today, but are staying longer. They’ve been on the road for about two and a half years so far, and expect to travel for around 10 years. Thus far, they have been through Canada, Alaska, the lower 48 and now Mexico. Slowly, and enjoying it. They had previously stayed in the same campground in San Miguel de Allende where I stayed, and said that the other German couple there (that I mentioned in an earlier post) have actually been there for six years. Now THAT’s traveling slow.