Sunday, 3 June 2012

From southern California into Mexico.. Arriba!!

My bike has been working SO hard ever since I arrived North America.  It's been completely across the United States from east to west, all the way up to the Arctic Circle and Alaska, and back down to the bottom of California.  I think the bike deserves a little attention.

So I take it to a KTM dealer in southern California for a thorough check before I head into Mexico and Central America.


They found a problem with the intake arm rocker?  I still don't know if I say that right.  No idea what it is, something around the valve?? but they had to order a new one of which I waited for 3 days.

I was in the shop most of day 1, on the night of day 1, my own body went into total shut down.. I was so sick on day 2, I could hardly move out of bed (and those who know me are aware that I'm not one to hang around while the sun is up).  I wasn't sick sick, no throwing up. I just had a massive headache and felt like all the energy had drained completely from my body. I felt stuck, couldn't move.  I'm coughing so much it's wearing me out.. I felt whatever was happening move into my lungs, not good.  It's like my body was holding up for me on the road, but the moment it had a day off.. wham!!!!

Day 3, I checked out of the hotel and hung around the service shop (coughing away) until I could go. I rode further south, straight to my Great Aunt's house where she and her son Jay (my GREAT cousin!) were waiting.

My Great Aunt Mazie shares the same birthday as me, and we are as looney as each other.  She went skydiving for the first time when she turned 65!  I couldn't and don't want to do that even now!!



I have not seen these two in many years!  I'd guess 15 or more?  They allowed me to recuperate. Nowhere better than with family.  I was sick the whole 2 weeks I was there. I went to the health shops, a doctor for blood tests, a naturopath.. they all tried to fix me.  The naturopath gave me an IV of Vitamin C.. that's pretty full on!!  It didn't work, the doctor gave me antibiotics, which I avoid at all costs, now was not the time.  However, they didn't work either.  My body was having nothing to do with it.  I just had to ride it out, and it sucked.

My spirits were not down though and I was able to accomplish plenty of goals as well as see a bit of their world.  I have never been to the San Diego area before.


While I was here, I had time to replace things that needed replacing, get new jeans, socks, camping gear.. anything that I had been wishing for I was able to take time to get in America before heading south; out of range of getting stuff I need easily and at a good price.

We went to Balboa Park and the San Diego Air and Space Museum.. where we meet up with young James!... G'day Mate!


Need I say MORE?????



English:
English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They had the most awesome display of Amelia Earhart in the museum.  One of my favorite adventurers of all time.




















We enjoyed a good day out and I went back to spend a few more days with my family.

James had his share of things to do on his bike and gear as well.. so he waited patiently while I was trying to get well.  The day finally came where we meet up again and head toward the Mexican border.

I finally pack up and say my goodbye's to Aunt Mazie and Jay, and head down the road (one of those crazy big southern California highways!) to meet up with James where he was staying.

While I was riding, I kept smelling gas.  I pulled over, smelled it, but couldn't work out why.  So I got back on the bike and carried on.  Turned off the exit.. gas smells really strong, what the heck?  I still don't see anything.  I use my gps to find James, which I eventually did.  I told James about the gas smell, and when I started the bike again, gas was spraying everywhere out the front!!  Okay then, I found you now!!!!!

It JUST SO HAPPENS, James knows exactly where there is a motorcycle service shop just one block away. .thank the Lord!!

The guys there were so nice and helpful and took 2 seconds to see that when I had that big service up the road, they didn't tie up the gas lines when they re-installed my Safari tank.  Thanks guys!!!

So, my fuel lines were literally resting directly on the hot exhaust.  The guys were all saying that I was INCREDIBLY lucky that my bike didn't blow or burn up on the road.. with me on it!!




The whole ordeal took 2-3 hours..  and by the time we got out of there, we felt it to be too late to go through a border crossing, which is usually a timely ordeal in itself.  Some other advice we got was to cross the border and get as far south of it as possible, as quick as possible due to all the so called Banditos at the border.  Not wanting to put us in any more danger than needed, we decided not to take a chance of it getting dark once released from border paperwork.

Both James and I have been told by EVERYBODY not to cross this border.  We are going to die.. no question. Don't go, don't go. Banditos are everywhere, and they are going to shoot you the minute you cross the border.  For real??

I was watching the Travel Channel at my Aunt's house and they had a segment on "World's most dangerous holidays".  I just happened to tune in and the top story was near Tijuana, Mexico and a group of friends who were held up at gunpoint.  I'm like, crap. This makes a list of top 10 most dangerous, and the Travel Channel covers the world???!!!

I learned many months ago, when most everyone warned me not to go to Russia that they had no idea what they were talking about.  Russia was VERY good to me, and I had nothing to worry about there, completely safe.   But... there are that many warnings about Mexico on top of that program, I reconsidered.......

for about a MINUTE!  I decided to stick to my theory that it's all media bull crap, and I'm going anyway.  James felt the same.  (It's not completely bull crap, they do have their issues in Mexico, but it's mostly amongst themselves.  I still feel they have no interest in us as travelers)

The following morning after bike repairs, we chose to cross the smaller border at Tecate, rather than Tijuana.  I have no photos of this.  I also have copies of James photos and he has no photos of this.  We must have been out of the 'photographing the world' groove and in a daze of being back on the road anyway.

I can write about it though!

The border crossing was so weird.  We were in the United States one minute and driving in Mexico the next.  Nobody stopped us, we didn't get any stamps from either side!  What's going on here?

In a way we were like, hey that was easy, let's roll!  But both of us know that it will cause problems later.  So we got ourselves in line to the people LEAVING Mexico (much longer than the people going TO Mexico!), and the American guy there understood our problem.  He checked our documents and gave us our stamp out of the USA..  Which was great, but it still makes no sense why the guy on the US Entrance is who we see to give us a stamp OUT.  So then we motored on back to the other side to try to get checked "IN" to Mexico. 

We finally figured out the office door, and went through the long process.  Walking several blocks into Mexico to find a bank to get Pesos.. etc etc. I could have totally done that in a bank in San Diego, I just didn't think of it.. I've been spoiled for months not needing to think of such things!!

So... Welcome to Mexico!!!!!!!!


It hits me straight away that the things I've been spoiled with in Canada and USA are gone.. a totally different world here.

James and I were buzzing around the border town Tecate looking for lunch before we hit the road.  I know I know, the people say just get on the bike and get out as soon as you can.. but we didn't care, nor did we feel we needed to.

However, I was leading and I went right through a stop sign. It was positioned really low and sideways from being hit or whatever. I only saw it out of the corner of my eye as I went through the intersection.

A cop pulled us over right away.  He kept talking so fast in Spanish and I kept saying I don't understand in English (even though I did).  He tried and tried to get me to go to his office to pay a fine, and I kept saying I don't understand.  So he called in reinforcements.. ha!  The new guy didn't speak any more English, and did his bit.  But at the end of the day, they gave up.. told us to go.. double yay!

I so much wish we had photos of these guys.  They were on some really old motorcycle and they both looked like Eric Estrada from Chips.  So funny!   James said he felt the cops were questioning their own language skills after I was done with them.  Oh well, it worked and we can go now.

The only photo we have is from James, after they left.. darn!  Instead of continuing our search for lunch, I fall back on my old ways, having a Snickers bar to get me through 'til later.


We rode that day from Tecate to Ensenada Mexico.  So lucky to find this awesome roadside stop!!

Quesadillas.. my first real Mexican quesadillas in years.. super YUM!!!!!!  James and I agreed after many more quesadillas all throughout Mexico, that these first ones were the best even now.


And after all the warnings that we are going to die here, do these guys look dangerous!!????


The media has made such a drama over Mexico that tourism in this country is at an all time slump.  I feel sorry for the people here, they are really struggling even more than usual.  And they are only too happy to have us as visitors, especially now.  And we are glad to be here!!

James and I find a place to stay for the night, and continue south through Baja California tomorrow.

Cheers!
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1 comment:

  1. Well said! By the time my wife and I arrived at the Mexican border even we were aprehensive by the warnings we recieved from concerned Americans. We had already been travelling for well over a year including the Middle East shortly after 9/11. Well it was total BS. After crossing at Tijuana we certainly noticed a big culture change - and it was good!

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