Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last Day in Baja - Ferry to Guaymas (mainland) - San Carlos and Mountains

Now that I have my ferry ticket, I need to find a free place to sleep. My plan is to drive out of town and find a dirt road going to a beach, and sleep there. I drove by some military building.

Found a dirt road and explore a bit. There was a small cimetery that caught my attention. 
It was so nicely arranged, with tables, chairs, flower, etc. Seems like Mexicain have great respect for the defuncts.
And then this smiling dog came over to say hi.  
I went at the beach and saw thoses 2 dogs playing in the water, the two happiest dog in the whole world. They were chasing crabs or other animals. This place look like a good place to sleep! 
Actually, it belong to Carol and George, on the picture, and it is for sale.
 I asked permission to camp. They invited me over for a beer and watching the game on tv. They ever offered me food but I was full after the half chicken I just had. 

Then to the ferry.  
Met this guy; Marcel. I've been able to practice a bit of Spanish with him as we had to wait for some reason, he was very patient with me as I was alway looking in my tiny dictionnary. 
Strap the bike up good, right in front of the fire hoses, but we wont need it. 
We had to be there at 8:00am and suppose to leave at 9:30. Then they say 11:00, then they say 1:00pm, then  2:00pm, then 4:00pm, etc etc,  so we could not go far and had time to kill, took more picture of that Copper Smelter.

I like Mexico, you can do anything, no fence stopping you from exploring the falling appart Smelter. In US I've seen "Tee-shirt and pants Mandatory" signs, and "Careful the coffee is hot", in Mexico you can enter a building and there is a hole in the middle with a 20 feet drop. Too bad for you if you're stupid!

This was actually a beer pick-up drive tru. I did not realize it before. You got there with your car, they give you beer and the open it for you, and then you go drink and drive. You come back later, bring your empties and get some more beer.

Well, it was night and the ferry still hasnt left. Too much wind apparently. I spent some time with this american and his nefew Andre, actually from Indonesia. Stop at this little house for a due haircut.

The ferry left at 10:40 pm, it's good they were saying 11pm... Spent the whole night on the ferry and I had to sleep outside right there. I was see sick. The ferry was moving so much sometime I was shifting around while trying to sleep. 

Then we got to Guaymas, be careful with the pronunciation. I've been told I could find maps in mainland, but not in Baja, so I go searching for maps. Tried a few Pemex, coner stores, pharmacys, ask the locals. They all know what it is, but have no clue about where to find them. Try the Pharmacy, got there no map. Ask again: try the Palacio Municipal, gop there, no maps. After a few hours I gave up. Mexicain don't use maps and I wont find any till Mexico City, dam!
Near the Palacio, met this guy: Phil. He was speaking English and confirmed about map, it does not exist here. He invited me over the get some Spanish learning tapes as I've lost all my notes from my teacher. Met the little family: Maija and the son: Quanah. They were great people to meet with, they gave me infos about an hostel in Creel, where I wanted to go, just North of Copper Canyon. They were going to buy a catamaran sail boat and go for travel, great!! Hope you'll find the right one for you.

This is the impossible to find Mexican Road atlas: had a picture taken before departure, but never bought one, had to little space at the time. 
Then I headeed to San Carlos, near Guaymas, because it's near the ocean and I could probably find a free beach to camp. 
A free place to camp, which I've found. Between a poor little fisherman village on one side. 
And on the other side: very expensive villas, hotels and marinas.
I met a guy named Jesus at the grocery. I looked like the owner, told him about find map here. He tried to help me, he made a few calls; to his friend, director of tourism of Guaymas and to his friend trucker. Then he said he'll go in town the next day and try to get some infos for me, where to find what I need. He asked me to come back the next day and he'll tell me. I am still seasick, might as well relax a bit. Came back the next day, spent time at the marina using wifi. Talked to ther guy, he said I'm Mexican I go where the wind goes. Then met Jesus and confirmed I won't find any maps, so I decided to go and do some exploring and I'll be leaving the next day.

Canyon de Nacapule: 
Went down this little path, with my bike. 

Until I could not go further with the bike.

Went on a little hike, heard of a oasis in the middle of the desert where some native tribes where going millions year ago. I heard of a waterfall, ect, I wanted to see it.

But it became very hard to go tru, it was late, I wasnt feelling good so I headed back before sunset, to go camping a second night to the same spot, near the beach.

Some pictures of San Carlos, mostly very wealthy houses, hotels, the touristic stuff.

The next morning I headed towards the mountains. The guy at the marina showed me where some cartels were and I'll be driving in between, in the mountains. It's probably too cold to grow drugs and it's a good way towards copper canyon.

It was an awesome driving experience. S's everywhere. I've spent more time scrapping my footpegs than driving straight. I've learn fast to lift my foot in the corners. I made some videos, I tought I did till I get my laptop and found nome, I am a little disapointed since I havent taken many pictures. 

Stopped about half way between the Ocean and the Creel for gas. Saw a little food stand with people. Waited there in line til I've been told the lady ran out of food. I've met some Mexican there. Mario from San Carlos, he was speaking English, he was heading towards Chihuahua meeting his daughter. Also Dennis was with him, he gave me a Torta from the food stand lady, it was nice to eat food. And Sergio, the driving the truck to Chihuahua.

Sergio was driving amazingly fast tru the mountain with his truck. I was catching up with him as we drove tru small town. In village and town they put "Topes" to force people to slow down. Otherwise speed limits in Mexico are just suggestion. You drive as fast as you want, slow down when you see a town and when you see people. The tope don't slow me down very much with my bike....

Anyway I've caught up with them at a military checkpoint. And we stopped there a little while, asking about where to find a hotel as the sun id getting low and the day will be over soon. He told me about a town that wasnt on my Mexico country map. He showed me on his Mexican Atlas!!! An Atlas!!! How much????  He sold me for the price it was worth. I've got an atlas at a military checkpoint in the middle of the mountains, just because I was asking questions!! It was worth a picture. 
We headed to the Cascade de Basaseachi for pictures.

Took a funny picture, those guys were awesome! They showed me that nice spot I would have missed, let me put me valuable in their truck, and showed me a short way to Creel. About 140km wich means about 2 hours as you cannot drive fast, the are no straight line. I'll be driving at night. I had to be fast. To never stop or go slow because because it's risky being robbed if I do. The military told us to be careful, and they told me to be careful, but i'll be ok, so I risk.

It was sketchy. I drove tru many construction zones. Sometime in the middle of the curve you get very solf gravel, then construction, then nice road and so on. You see many road worker camps by the side of the road, trucks, people and fires. Turned ABS off and ripped tru. I've bottomed  my suspension and lost something, I was too afraid to stop as there were people there.

I made it to Creel at night at the hostel. I paid a little boy 50 pesos to show me where it was, didnt have smaller change and was tired.

Picture of what i've lost: some suspension plastic protector and mudguard. It doesnt stop me from driving I mighjt fix that in Mexico city, or not. 
The hostel was quite nice, and very cheap: 100 pesos (about $8) for a bed and 2 meals!!! Wow!
The old lady made some good food for me just before bed.

It get very cold here. Below freezing at night, it was nice to have a bed instead of camping. I've met with a bunch of French people. Some were on bicycle, some backpaking, one was studying in Guadalajara. I didnt expect to be speaking French in middle of Mexico!

Had my inclueded breakfast. Gave the old lady a tip, she brought me lots of food, as I was the 1st person up. They have Internet so good time to update a blog
Next: Creel and Copper Canyon

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  1. Allô Simon,
    Ouf ... un autre bout de chemin de fait.
    J'avais hâte de voir tes photos. Reste sur tes gardes quand même. Il se peut que tu rencontres aussi des personnes malveillantes. J'espère que tu vas retourner sur la grande route bientôt. Ça fait déjà plus de 30 jours que tu es parti. Crois-tu pouvoir te rendre à l'extrême-sud à ce rythme? Le temps passe si vite. Reposes-toi avant ton autre départ

  2. Allô Simon
    Contente que tu reprennes la route! Ne va pas au bout de tes forces pour ne pas agraver ta blessure. En regardant le blog de Rémi, il a besoin d'un visa pour sortir de l'Argentine. Son passeport n'est pas suffisant. Est-ce que tu le savais? Tu peux t'en procurer en cours de route...mais c'est toujours plat de rebrousser chemin quand tu n'as pas tous tes papiers. Alors, un homme averti en vaut deux!
    En passant - pour ton public francophone -
    qq mots en français de temps en temps seraient le fun (si tu peux). On est nombreux de ta famille à te suivre.
    Bonne route

  3. simon,i found today in my wallet a little sing whith your blogsspot and is great we faund you,are names is sergio,dany and mario from the waterfall in basaceachi ,chih.we are the one gift you ATLAS in the middle of the mountains in mexico,when you going to copper amazing your trip to patagonia,i send the pictures to my friends of your trip.can you answer me back.besos simon!!!jajajaaja!

  4. remember life living....and living is life......from dany ,mario and sergio from chihuahua,mexico