Sunday, 9 December 2007

Mad in the mainland....

Back on the road at last, it was a fifteen hour ferry journey but the time passed fast enough, it´s amazing how a belly of beer can help you settle down and sleep on such a boring journey. There was doubt about getting a ticket, I didn´t worry; very few ships are too short on room to fit in a motorcycle. I only had to wait for six hours at the ferry port, a good lesson in patience! Why is it that whenever I leave my camera packed I see something great to photo. As we pulled out of port I missed a superb chance! An Osprey swooped down, grabbed a fish and shook itself free of water in midair, a bit like your friendly Labrador. It then flew within two metres of where I stood on deck! How lovely was that?

The ride from Mazatlan was tremendous, incredible gain in altitude, and phenomenal numbers of bends. OK, so the road is called the road of 1000 bends, that really is an understatement. I fail to believe there is only an average of three bends per kilometre, it was a wonderful ride. The bike is as good as ever, my enjoyment riding has not diminished in the slightest, not that I expected it to! I meet up with another rider, on a 1200cc BMW, shame his big heavy beast meant the ride was a touch slower than I would have liked. I felt sorry for Mike having to heave the beast around, I definitely feel I´ve got the perfect bike for me. I couldn't pick up anything heavier, and couldn't afford anything else new!

After Baja the mainland feels massively different, no hot desert so far for a start. High, lush hills with deep verdant valleys abound. The amount of domestic agriculture is considerably more than I ever witnessed riding through Baja. The only domestic planting I saw there was plantations of Cacti, I believe these were for consumption, they looked like prickly pear. But the people here are as friendly as ever, forever smiling, wishing us well. whenever parked up the passing drivers would be waving out their windows, big smiles and lovely attitudes. It made us feel like celebrities! I have to admit though, the city of Durango is a nightmare riding around at least compared to La Paz. It took ages to find a hotel, the first few were auto hotels. But with names like Viagra we thought they were not your run of the mill hotels, really did look more like knocking shops too. Oh well, it worked out fine eventually! We got a nice hotel, secure parking and twin beds; phew!

So far all the roads have been in good condition, well tarmaced and not overcrowded, except the city, of course. In fact we ended riding off road round some squalid part of the city, trying to find our way back onto the road we´d arrived on. I know I wasn´t going to ride off road yet, but felt obliged to follow the other guy, he had GPS and was leading the way. They do tend to make you lazy though, push a button and rely on that. It got us lost in Mazatlan, not badly though, and I also got us lost; or did I just find our way back to the dock? So in the end common sense prevailed and we followed the coast until finding the correct road sign. It was only a short spell trying to orientate ourselves, and it was all done in good humour. I felt glad to be riding again, it would have been difficult to feel otherwise.

I quickly found myself in a relaxed mood, content, relieved even; I was surprised not to be overly excited! The feeling pervaded almost straight away, which is why I didn´t mind getting lost in the city. Each time I stopped, I felt relieved, peaceful; the only time I felt really buzzing was reaching the Tropic of Cancer. This brought out a bubbling enthusiasm, a photo session at the sign ensued, a sense of achievement flooded through me. And when we pulled away, I was awash with grief! Cai should have been here to share this, that would have made it right. I don´t think there was any guilt at feeling full of excitement, it was purely how deeply I would have liked to share this with him. I cried for miles, couldn´t stop myself, didn´t want to! It feels the depth of grief will never go away, not that I want such deep feelings for Cai to diminish, in fact I don´t know what I want. It means so much to feel the depth of grief I have, isn't it purely a mark of the love I hold for Cai!

But my mood has taken a nose dive, I lost the power supply for my laptop, so this is using the last 20% of available power. I'm going to be lost without it, I've grown so used to it in my weeks on confinement. It's been a lifeline to everyone, and now I feel so distant, so isolated. I keep reminding myself that I'd planned the trip without a computer, that I'd intended to use Internet cafes. Another lesson in how much you take things for granted, only when you lose it do you really appreciate what you had. So take heed, cherish those things that bring you joy, don't take them for granted. And I course it's obvious, I don't really mean material possessions; it was the contact with all those who mean so much to me.

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