Colombia: Cruising, Cops, and Cartagena

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The police escort through Cartagena to my hotel was an unexpected touch after two long, beautiful, and exhausting days of riding through the Colombian countryside. At this point, I’ve come to expect the unexpected.

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I had left Bogota the previous day. After spending about a week in urban noise and crushing traffic in Panama City and Bogota, getting back to the road was an imperative. I wanted to reach Cartagena, which lay 750 miles away to the north on the Caribbean Sea, by Friday night. It was a great distance to cover in two days, especially through mountainous roads, but I just wanted to ride. I made great time, despite the huge number of trucks on the twisting mountain passes. I rolled through the cool green forests of the high altitudes, eventually stopping for lunch at a restaurant in a beautiful setting adjacent to a ranch for a lunch of churrasco and fried plantains. The only delay there was a surly goose in the parking lot who was determined to keep me from getting to my motorcycle; first honking angrily, then lowering his head and rushing at me, then raising his neck and opening wide to show the jagged edges of his bill. The proprietor thought this was highly amusing.

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After evading the goose, I was on the road again. I passed the stripped airframe of a DC-3 cargo plane, impossibly situated in the middle of the mountains behind a tiny farmhouse, a reminder that maize is not the only crop grown in the region. It began to get dark, so I kept my eyes open for a hotel.

Hotels were few and far between in the rural Colombian mountains, so it was well past dark by the time I found a gas station that advertised rooms. I pulled over and was led to a windowless cinderblock room with a padlocked corrugated metal door, but for 20,000 pesos (about $7), I wasn’t expecting much more than a place to sleep. I only watched a few minutes of Scooby Doo en Español on the black and white TV hanging in the corner before I was fast asleep.

I rose to a rooster crowing at 5:00 in the morning. I slid the bolt back on the creaky metal door and peered outside, only to discover that this rooster was sunrise-challenged, as it was still well before dawn. I decided to get on the road anyways, since I was already awake.

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After descending from the mountains, I found myself on flat, straight roads between ranches, farms and palm plantations. The posted road signs and solid no-passing lines are treated more like largely ignored safety tips rather than enforced traffic laws. Motorcycles are apparently given carte blanche when it comes to following these “rules,” using shoulders and centerlines to circumvent traffic whenever possible.

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I was reminded of the potential dangers of this free-form style of driving by a colossal wreck. As I passed a line of cars and trucks along the shoulder, I came upon a semi-truck, its mangled cab nearly unrecognizable and trailer on its side in the ditch, with its full cargo of what appeared to be rice spilling into a field. Groups of locals surrounded the trailer, scooping the spillage into sacks and metal dairy cans. By the looks of the trailer, the driver was in no shape to protest, except possibly from the great beyond. The rice, or whatever it was, covered the highway for about a hundred yards until it reached another grisly site. A car-carrying semi truck lay on its side, its payload of used cars still on the trailer with the front end of a pickup truck sticking out from underneath. I made a mental note to increase my vigilance on the road.

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At 3:00 pm, ten hours after my dysfunctional rooster alarm clock roused me in the morning, I arrived at the old walled city of Cartagena. I had planned to arrange a hotel the previous evening, but my cinderblock accommodations had neither a window nor a door handle, wi-fi or a business center was right out of the question. I opted to ride around the old city until I came across something suitable.

During this search in stop-and-go city traffic, a young woman ran out between cars, forcing me to hit the brakes suddenly, stalling the engine. I tried to get it started, but to no avail. The starter labored, acting like the engine was flooded. I’m not mechanically minded enough to know why this happened or if this is even a correct assessment, but it has happened before and I know enough to know that the only way to fix it is to wait 15 minutes or so and it starts right up. This time, however, the problem occurred on a narrow, one lane, one-way road directly in front of a brothel. I spent the next fifteen minutes standing on the sidewalk, nervously checking my watch, surrounded by prostitutes and listening to cars honk as they tried to pass the temporarily disabled bike. It fired up again, as expected, fifteen minutes later and the search for a hotel was on once again.

The search continued, that is, until I was flagged down by a duo of motorcycle cops on the side of the road. They asked to see my paperwork, which I was sure was in perfect order. After all, the air cargo company in Bogota had arranged everything. I turns out that this was not exactly the case. Pedro, the young-faced smiling cop who spoke very good English, informed me that I did not have proper Colombian liability insurance. In previous countries, I needed this insurance before customs would issue my import permits, so I naively assumed this task had been handled in Bogota.

“No, problem,” Pedro said. “Leave the moto with my partner, I’ll go with you for insurance. You can buy it at the bank.” We walked through the old city of Cartagena while Pedro gave me a brief history lesson of the city. Unfortunately, every bank was either closed or didn’t provide the type of insurance I needed. After we stopped to help an elderly woman figure out how to use the ATM, Pedro radioed ahead to his partner who was waiting with both of our motorcycles.

“Okay, I will find a safe place for your moto. You can walk to the insurance when they are open,” he said. “I know a good hotel. It is nice and not expensive.”

They climbed two-up aboard their yellow Yamaha police bike and directed me to follow through the thick traffic, with their cop lights flashing and the occasional squawk of the siren to get cars to let us pass. We arrived at a private parking structure where I left the Triumph and loaded my luggage into a cab. I rode with the partner in the back of the cab while Pedro rode ahead on the police bike, providing a continued escort. His partner wrote down the addresses of insurance offices while we drove and soon arrived at a pleasant and clean hotel. They helped me out of the cab with my bags.

“There is still a problem for the violation,” Pedro said. “And we have been very helpful.”

I knew where he was going with this and said that I appreciated them taking the time to help and that I’d like to give them something for their trouble. I offered them about $50, which they seemed more than satisfied with.

“Let us know if there is anything else you need while you are here,” Pedro said as we shook hands.

I climbed up the stairs to my bed, too tired to even watch Spanish Scooby Doo episodes.

Crossing The Gap

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In this part of the world, the “Darien Gap” does not refer to a retail-clothing store in a Connecticut mall. This particular Darien Gap is a swampy 100-mile stretch of land between the border of Panama and Colombia and the only gap in the Pan-American Highway. Neither country seems too keen on building a road through the region for a number of reasons. Part of that is due to the geography. Building a road through 100 miles of swamp would be prohibitively expensive and could have devastating effects on the ecosystem by restricting the free movement of water. The indigenous Embera-Wounaan and Kuna people are not amenable to the idea of trespassers on their lands, and there are malaria-carrying mosquitoes to contend with. The climate is awful and, as if that weren’t enough, much of the area is home to the Marxist FARC rebels who have been known to kill or kidnap perceived interlopers. As one might imagine, this presents a challenge to those of us who wish to cross North and South America by land.

That’s not to say that it is completely impassible. People have tried with varying degrees of success. A loony but determined pair, one former British SAS member and an Australian engineer, crossed in a Land Rover in 1970. It took them 136 days at and average of just over 200 yards of progress per hour. Since then, people have crossed by motorcycle, bicycle and foot, with one evangelist even walking across the region carrying a wooden cross.

Not everyone makes it, however. Several visitors to the area have been kidnapped by FARC rebels and later released. A number of missionaries have simply disappeared, and earlier this year the skeletal remains of a Swedish backpacker who disappeared in 2013 were discovered. The evidence suggests that he met with a violent end and the incident is under investigation. For these reasons, I spent most of my time in Panama trying to find an alternative route around the Darien Gap.

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The two only real options are by sea or by air. I spent a number of days running from freight offices to the airport to hostel bulleting boards searching for cargo companies, container ships or other vessels to move the motorcycle from Panama to Colombia. None of the vessels I found were leaving soon enough and even then, some of the process sounded sketchy. Some charter sailboats apparently bring motorcycles across, contrary to the laws of Colombian customs. That was not a risk I was willing to take, so I decided to bite the bullet and take the more expensive, but much more legitimate route of arranging for air shipment to Bogota. I left the motorcycle with the shipping company at the cargo terminal of Tocumen Airport in Panama City and booked myself on a commercial flight to Bogota.

As we flew over the Darien Gap later that night, there was a spectacular lightning storm far off below the starboard wing. As I admired the beauty of nature’s light show, I was also glad to be sitting in an Avianca Airbus, dry and eating a mediocre ham and cheese bun, while leaving the rain, lightning, malarial swamplands, angry natives, and Marxist rebels of the Darien Gap 30,000 feet below. This also means, however, that I landed several hundred miles south of the point from which I took off. In the spirit of the journey, I know that I wouldn’t forgive myself unless I backtrack for a couple of days on the Colombia side of the border to at least the latitude of Panama City, as this is not something I can return to and easily rectify later. So now, with this logistical mambo behind me, I plan on riding north towards Cartagena tomorrow.

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Potholes and Pura Vida

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In future days, the old men will sit around the campfires (or plasma pits or whatever future people sit around) and tell frightening tales of the man-eating potholes of Honduras.

“And then the pothole swallowed up the motorcycle and the rider… and they were never heard from AGAIN!” they’ll say, and all the children will cover their ears and shut their eyes tight from the sheer dreadfulness of it all.

Okay, maybe not. But the potholes of Honduras are dreadful. I was specifically warned about them while still in El Salvador. I was told that the distance from El Salvador across Honduras and into Nicaragua was only about 130 highway kilometers, but that I should expect it to take at least two and a half hours to cover because of the condition of the road. It took me just over three.

The road across the country more resembles the lunar surface than anything a sane person would attempt to negotiate, but since I had no other option and my sanity is questionable at this point, I gave it shot. It is not only that the potholes are nearly bottomless vertical pits and that there are so many of them, it is also that all of the other drivers on the road in opposing lanes of traffic are constantly swerving wildly to avoid them. This means that semi trucks, cars, mopeds, coach buses, and “chicken buses” loaded down with people, their roofs piled teeteringly high with cargo, are all zigging and zagging into each other’s lanes while trying to avoid both each other and having their axles ripped off.

There is an added level of difficulty to this manic choreography. That is the kids who set up traffic cones every few miles and arrive with shovels and buckets full of sand to fill the holes in a ten-yard stretch of highway, whch is about as effective as putting a band-aid on a shotgun wound. They then run out in front of traffic while sucking in their cheeks and rubbing their stomachs in an attempt to gain sympathy and coins from passing motorists. This is obviously very dangerous not only for the children, but for the motorcyclist who is now trying to avoid a “chicken bus,” a pothole, a traffic cone and a vehicular homicide charge all at once. I felt bad for the children, who all seemed to be about elementary school age, and I have a hard time believing that this is the Honduran version of a lemonade stand. I have to imagine that these kids are put to this task by their parents in an effort bring in a little extra income.

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I stopped at the first hotel I came across on the Nicaraguan side of the border to get some rest after this bizarre obstacle course and woke in the morning to head to the historical town of Granada on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Since it was a Saturday night, I spent the evening partying in the streets among the street performers and weekend revelers. I even ran into some familiar faces from my last visit five years previous. The next morning I extricated my motorcycle from behind the pool table, where the hotel had let me park it the night before, and headed for the Costa Rican border.

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I’ve gotten these border crossings down to the point where I now need very little hand holding throughout the process and so it wasn’t long before I reached Playas del Cocos, a fun beach town on the Pacific, popular with beach bums and backpackers and wayward motorcyclists. I found a mechanic to help me locate some replacement screws for my front brake fluid reservoir, the previous ones having been destroyed by an overenthusiastic mechanic in El Salvador whose only tools were a pair of vise-grips, a hammer, and a misapplied sense of determination.

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At the sports bar down the street from my hotel, I met James and Heather. They’re a truly sweet newlywed couple from San Jose, California who share a true love of travel. Their month-long honeymoon itinerary reflects this. Costa Rica was their first stop, which was to be followed by Peru, a jog over to Brazil for a time with a visit to Iguazu Falls in there somewhere, then back up to Belize with a final stop in Las Vegas for a weekend on the way back to California to catch a Jimmy Buffet concert at the MGM Grand. These are not the type of folks that never leave the resort and we hit it off immediately.

Sitting there, speaking English with a plate of Buffalo wings on the bar and the Colts playing the Jets on Monday Night Football in the background, it felt a little bit like home and I suppose that after these months of being a nomad, in a way it was… until the next stop.

Happy Birthday, El Salvador! I SAID… HAPPY BIRTHDAY, EL SALVADOR!!!

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I have mixed feelings about border crossings. On one hand, they represent progress, milestones to be passed and checked off the list. On the other hand, they are hurdles, bureaucratic mazes of forms, road taxes, and officials. I’m convinced that in this region the only business more profitable than narcotics trafficking is owning the company that makes rubber stamps and inkpads for government officials.

At each crossing I’m required to get my passport stamped out from the country of departure and into the country of arrival. This is generally easy and takes only a few minutes. Travelling with a vehicle, however, complicates things immensely. At each crossing I’m forced to hire an agent to help navigate the sea of paperwork. I must first close out my permit from the previous country, which generally requires visits to three or four different windows and officials, as well as a bank to pay the inevitable fee. This is interspersed with multiple trips to the photocopy store and occasionally a guy in a gas mask and a bug sprayer will appear and spray my tires. Then the process is repeated for opening a permit in the next country. Crossing the border into El Salvador took three and a half hours and without Angela, the paperwork agent, I would probably still be standing there with a fist full of documents and a blank look on my face.

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Luckily, the ride down the El Salvador coast was worth the hassle. A majority of the road runs directly along the mountainous coast, much of it within sight of the Pacific Ocean, through a mixture of Salvadoran towns and funky surf enclaves. I stopped the first night in Playa Mizata, just such one of those enclaves. There I met up with Bob, an expat and writer who also volunteers to teach English to the locals. Bob is friend of Eric in Guatemala, who had told him I’d be passing through. Bob graciously offered to put me up on his property directly across from the beach, among the coconut palms and fruit trees in one of his cozy, circular cabana-like structures. I was looking forward to a peaceful night’s rest when Bob made a curious comment.

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“I hope you have earplugs or some kind of earphones,” he said. “You’re going to hear some of the loudest and most awful music you’ve ever heard.”

He explained that it was Independence Day in El Salvador and, as is tradition, this is celebrated by blasting music from banks of enormous speakers the size of refrigerators, making roofs vibrate and rattling the windows out of their frames in the surrounding homes.

The manager of the hotel across the street, whose terrace we were sitting on, chimed in. He explaining that his daughter was in town and he had moved her into a house farther out from town.

I retired early, as I was exhausted from my border crossing, and wondered if it could possibly be as bad as I’d been warned. I could hear some music up the hillside, but it wasn’t too offensive, certainly not bad enough to require the evacuation of family members. I was just drifting off to sleep at about nine o’clock, thinking that the description was overblown. That’s when the first drum beat hit, rattling the corrugated metal roof and shaking the mattress.

“My God! What the…” I sat upright on the edge of the bed.

The assault of bass and drums pounded on at a throbbing 120 beats per minute. Occasionally, there would be this long sliding bass note, arriving at some sort of harmonic and sending the metal roof into a sustained buzzing. Within the round building with the vibrating roof, it was like living in a giant timpani. I buried my head under the pillow, which muffled the sound somewhat, but could still hear and feel the music coming through the walls and floor, through the bed frame and into the mattress. I slept in fits and starts until 1:30 am when the music went off like a light switch and it was silent except for the soothing sound of surf across the street.

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The following morning I rose early and followed the coast to another beautiful spot on the beach called Tuco. It’s in the extreme southeast corner of El Salvador so I can get an early start on riding across Honduras tomorrow. That’s two border crossings in one day, so I’m going to need my rest.

Guatemala, Getting Lost and Loving It

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After barreling through Mexico at a record pace in an attempt to minimize my time there, I have decided to ease the throttle back a bit and spend a few days enjoying Guatemala. In some ways, I have no choice in the matter as I have given up on trying to get anywhere fast here. Although every route looks pretty manageable on the map in this country, the reality is that I have had to create a highly scientific system whereby I take my estimate of how long it should take, multiply by 2.5 and figure on it taking somewhat longer that that.

The same features that make Guatemala such a beautiful place also make for some difficult navigation. I spend about half my time lost and the other half not knowing where I am. For example, I tried to visit some friends of a friend in a town called San Pedro, on the shore of Lake Atitlan. On the way to the shores of the lake I ran into another protest roadblock. This one was in a farming community where the farmers were angry about the results of the recent elections. They had blocked the road with rocks, boards with nails in them, and rope. While this was an inconvenience, they struck me as genuinely disenfranchised indigenous folks from an agricultural community for whom this was the only means of protest so it was hard to be too annoyed with the delay. I turned around and attempted another route to the lakeshore.

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The GPS indicated a road running along the shoreline to San Pedro. Unfortunately, my GPS did not get the message that rising lake levels had swallowed this road up. I headed back to the highway to try another route, an insane series of switchbacks that drop 4000’ in elevation from the chilly highlands to the edge of Lake Atitlan. I considered giving up. In hindsight, I’m very glad I didn’t.

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Eric and Angie are a great couple who recently relocated to San Pedro from the states. While volcanoes and grizzly bears and Dennis Hopper’s grave are all well and good, the real pleasure is in meeting new people and making friends along the way. I spent a couple of days in San Pedro with my new friends, eating and drinking, being merry, and swapping stories.  As an added bonus, Angie, a massage therapist, was able to work thousands of miles worth of knots out of my arms, shoulders and back. It would have been an easy place to spend a week or a month, but I have a lot of miles left to cover so I said hasta luego to San Pedro and got back on the road.

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Guatemalan Independence day is September 15th and the festivities in Antigua have already begun. I’m sharing a hotel with the Buffalo Motorcycle Club from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. They are a rowdy, but fun and friendly bunch that likes to stay up late and get up early, fire up their motorcycles, ride to the town square and whoop and holler. Their club leader has an old cruiser-style motorcycle that is upholstered with cow fur, has a skull for a front fairing, an actual cow tail hanging from the rear fender and a saddle for a seat. It is also equipped with a high decibel horn that sounds like he may have gotten it off of a lighthouse and is designed to sound like the world’s loudest cow. Neither getting to sleep early nor sleeping in are options for me at this point.

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Tomorrow morning I plan to wake up early to the sound of Harleys and foghorn mooing and head to the border of El Salvador. I figure it should take about four hours, times 2.5 plus an hour or so.

Here Today… Guatemala

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I saw the mysterious flying insect about half a second before it hit me in the Adams apple at 100 kilometers per hour. First there was a smack, then a sting, then a burning sensation that spread across my neck and along my jaw line. As the burning intensified, I felt something on my nose. When I slowed down to wipe it and looked at my riding glove, it was spotted with blood.

While wondering what kind of hell-spawned insect causes spontaneous nosebleeds, in a sense I was glad to get it out of the way. After all, at least one colossally weird thing seems to happen every day on this trip and I was glad to get this one out of the way early in the day. Little did I realize at that point that the day had just begun.

About 50 miles from the Mexico/Guatemala border at Tapachula I ran into traffic.

You know you may be in for a long wait when the truck divers have their engines off and are standing around on the highway. You know you may be in for a very long wait when the bus drivers have strung up hammocks under their buses in the cargo areas and are fast asleep. Luckily, I was able to circumvent the stoppage by riding the shoulder on the motorcycle. I checked the GPS maps and found a series of dirt roads that took me 30 miles out of my way and deposited me back on the highway ten miles further on. When I arrived at the highway, the scene was the same.

I sat there looking befuddled. A man in a red shirt and white baseball cap must have sensed my bewilderment because he walked over and said, “Ingles?”

I answered, “Si,” and he motioned for me to follow.

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He led me to a battered blue pickup truck under which a thick set, heavily tattooed 30-ish man was lying in the shade, his shaved head resting on a spare tire. The red shirted guy spoke to him in Spanish.

Juan Carlos, the guy under the truck, looked over and said, “Hey man, where you going?” in an accent that sounded like he may have grown up in East L.A.

I told him that I was trying to get to the border at Tapachula. He said that he was as well and I asked him what the problem was.

“The problem is all these people can’t go nowhere, man.”

As I had already ascertained this, I pried for more details.

“See, the politician guy in this town area here,” he continued, “they sent him money to fix this bridge. But dude took the money and he’s gone and so now they’re all pissed off and they blocked the bridge. Some dude tried to drive through and they beat him up and broke his windows, smashed up his car, man. But we ain’t got nothing to do with this (expletive) bridge.”

I asked if he had any idea when this would clear, as I didn’t expect the mayor to return with the money any time soon.

“They say, maybe like noon, they might let people through. Or they might start charging money to go across. I don’t know, man. There’s a lot of rumors.”

Noon was two hours away so I told Juan Carlos that I was going to try some more farm roads on the bike to try to get around.

“Cool, man. If you come back, bring me a beer.”

I could see the river on my GPS and there were some one-lane dirt roads that led across it. Across the river, past the bridge, problem solved, I thought. I crossed the river and came to a town where half the road was blocked by rocks, the other half by a red Ford pickup truck. A group of people was standing around, some with machetes and others with baseball bats. I doubted that they were there for Little League practice.

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There were only a couple of cars in front of me and an older grey-haired gentleman, whose expression said to me that he was simply over the whole thing, motioned to the driver of the pickup truck to back up, creating a lane past the rocks. He motioned us through. I soon rejoined the highway and sped toward the border at Tapachula.

I finally arrived at the border and, due to some paperwork issues (which is another story), had to leave the bike at the border crossing and take a taxi 25 minutes into Guatemala to find an ATM. We ran into more traffic.

“The people are mad about the elections. They block the road,” Manuel, the taxi driver, told me.

“This could be a long trip,” I thought.

Mas Tranquilo

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I will stick to descriptions of the positive aspects of this beautiful and unique country in this post, since in my last post I made my feelings for the Mexican authorities sufficiently clear. I also did some digging and found the name of a Mr. Gerardo Llanes Álvarez, the Executive Director for Marketing of the Mexican Board of Tourism. I printed, addressed and mailed a respectfully worded letter wherein I expressed my displeasure. I also suggested that the behavior of his country’s police force may be diminishing the return on his department’s outlay of tourism advertising dollars. Now I feel I’ve gotten it out of my system and so away we go.

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There are two routes to Acapulco, “couta” and “libre,” or “toll” and “free.” I can’t speak to the condition of the free road, but the toll road, the Autopista del Sol, is a brand new, highly maintained very high-speed highway through the mountains between Mexico City and Acapulco. While zipping and winding over the terrain, one crosses a number of impressive cable-stayed bridges, the crowning achievement of which is the Puente Mezcala which spans the Mezcala River a dizzying 600 feet below.

I made excellent time, left the toll road near the city of Acapulco and was greeted at a checkpoint by no less than 25 soldiers and police officers carrying automatic weapons of varying calibers. Others armed with .50 calibers were ensconced behind sandbags. I immediately and sensibly pulled over when they flagged me down. This crew was very professional and I dealt with a middle-aged, no-nonsense gentleman in a polo shirt, baseball cap and chinos who spoke excellent English and struck me as the type that may have picked up some of those language skills in classes at Langley. He examined my driver’s license and asked if I was travelling alone. When I said that I was, he returned my license and, after giving me directions, suggested that it would be in my best interest to proceed directly to the hotel zone and enjoy the beaches there.

I followed the directions and made it easily to the hotel zone with the exception of turning up an unmarked one-way street which caught the attention of a traffic cop. I was informed that this was a $100 ticket, but $25 now would make it go away. This was an ordinary traffic cop without even a gun, therefore his rates were much more reasonable.

At this point, a tropical squall kicked up, reminding me that I’d passed the Tropic of Cancer many miles ago. I have now ridden from well above the Arctic Circle to well into the tropics and I couldn’t help feeling some accomplishment in that.

When I arrived I found the Grand Hotel nearly empty. I was definitely the only anglophone guest there and the fact that the halls were big enough to drive a car through made it feel even more empty. I decided to check out the neighboring karaoke bar, but it was even less populated. The owner, bartender, DJ and I were the only ones in the place and since the prospect of singing karaoke under such circumstances seemed preposterous, I sat with the owner for an hour, drinking tequila and watching 80s videos on the big screens. We decided that Phil Collins is pretty great, Toto is pretty ridiculous and that we would both like to have a canary yellow suit like Rod Stewart. I decided i’d had enough tequila at that point and headed back to the hotel.

The road out of Acapulco follows the Pacific coast on an inland track with occasional glimpses of the ocean through the trees and over the hills to the right.The route is lined with palms, thatched palapas, tiny restaurants and roadside roadside fruit stands. This slower pace gives it a distinctively more laid back Central American or Caribbean vibe. Both are places where I’ve spent a good portion of my time over the past decade and I immediately began to feel more at ease.

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The roadside fruit stands selling bananas, melons and coconuts are a treat. North of the border(s), when I was feeling tired and dehydrated, I would pull into a gas station for a Cliff Bar and Smartwater, an engineered pre-packaged energy food and a synthesized electrolyte drink in a plastic bottle. This seems like a very American thing to do. Now when I feel tired or dehydrated, I can pull over for a banana and coconut milk, a naturally prepackaged energy food and an electrolyte drink that comes served inside the nut where it was born. I also got to ride my motorcycle through both a river and a hotel lobby in the same day, therefore it was pretty good overall.

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So, Señor Álvarez, if you did receive my letter and are reading this right now,”Esos días en su país eran muy tranquilo. Muchas Gracias.” I’m still serious about you needing to rein in those crooked cops, though.