Monday, January 12, 2015

La Paz and following "signs" to our first wonderful homestay in Mexico.

Overnight the temp dropped down to freezing, as evidenced by the frozen water in cups from the night before. We delayed crawling out of the tent until the sun had risen and I delayed until the coffee had been brewed.

As you can see, first things first.

We headed in the direction of La Paz, making sure to obey EVERY SINGLE traffic sign in Ciudad Constitucion because we’d heard rumors that the cops be a little on the shady side.

Once in La Paz, we hit up Walmart for some supplies and began riding down the Malecon - the scenic road that goes by the waterfront, in the direction of one of the free camping areas that was about 20 kilometers out of town.

One of the many statues lining the Malecon of La Paz

At one stop sign, we heard shouting and looked over to see familiar faces gesturing to us from a truck - it was the family we had met at Mision San Javier! We pulled over to chat and they re-extended their invitation to camp in their backyard.

The three of us felt it must be meant to be as they had found us in traffic in the middle of the city, so we followed them back to their home and immediately felt very welcome.

We spent the night chatting with Gilberto, who spoke very good English (he was visiting his family in La Paz as he works in Guadalajara representing Heineken - amongst a variety of awesome Mexican beers - so he and Roel had a lot to talk about there). The rest of the Medina family was very patient and forgiving as I slowly recalled the more conversational Spanish I could remember from my high school Spanish teacher, Mrs. Brody. I may have cursed her weekly quizzes, but I’m certain grateful for them now

We pulled out the map and the Medina brothers pointed out which routes to take and which routes to avoid on the mainland.

Roel communicated through the language of futbol and there were many jokes made about las ballerinas de Hollanda (Dutch ballerinas: i.e. Robben) and muchos penal.

We had a lot of errands to run while in La Paz and some friends who we wanted to meet up with, so we stayed for a few days and thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Medina Family.

We managed to get our Motorcycle Permits for the mainland, so once we decide when to take the ferry, we should be all set to ride aboard.

Roel had met Ben, a fellow Dutchie, in Ensenada and they made plans to get together on Dual Dragons, Ben and his partner Nannie’s catamaran in La Paz. Quite an inspiring couple… we could easily see ourselves traveling this way, one day, though we’ll likely have to rob a bank to buy a cat. They can store up to 400 bottles of wine at a time on their boat - this could definitely be the life for us!!

It took the better part of a morning due to a very, ahem, well-used rear tire on the Africa Twin, but with the help of Chris and a couple of the Medina Boys, Roel finally put on his set of Heidenau tires from Adventure Designs. It’ll be really nice not to have to drag those around anymore.

We were not able to find a rear tire for me, but we did manage to find someone who could put a new pad on Chris’s rear brakes. And we did find oil for the Transalp, which is unfortunately still guzzling the stuff… This oil is blue, though… Hmmmmm.

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