12/27/09

Mexico... we are alive!!!

he trip started with a 28 hrs marathon thru ice and snow. trying to beat the storm, SURE!!! with the help of our loyal Dolphin and our great ice pilot, joel we made it safely to phoenix where good beer, friends and the mexican market set us up for the country of the "topes" (bumps), Mexico. Down thru Nogales and all the way to Mazatlan things weren't all that exciting, although the places where we slept were definitely better than any 5 star hotel you can put us in. As soon as we left Mazatlan we got onto the most amazing road I've seen so far. Steep cliffs right off the road made the landscape even greater. At times it felt as if the Dolphin all of the sudden got wings and we were suspended a couple of thousand feet up in the air, but the feeling only would last until the next dangerous turn (there's a reason they call the road the "spine of the devil"). To do this couple hundred km of sierras took a whole day and one of the main reasons for it was the amount of accidents. one of the most impressive accidents we saw was a semi that had rolled over. The roof of the trailer came off and some how the merchandise, shortly after the incident, was "gone." We drove thru some beautiful cities until we got to Ciudad Valles. Here we ran our first river, a very short section call Cascadas de Micos, and couple of days latter a Argentine named Che from Fede's home town brought us to the rio Tampaon. After some asado and vino we rode down to Jalcomulco, Veracruz, where we meet with Pitico, Alfa and our new best friend, Rio, their 4-month-old boy. By now Joe was three days sick, so there was not gonna be any Night surfing at the olita or running a class 3+, 4 section call Pescados. That didn't stop Joel and Fede from tearing it up. By the time we left Jalcomulco our next victims fell. Joel got a mild case of food poisoning and then Fede, with a little bit of the same. And on the 23 rd, that same night, the dolphin got some disease called Bad Alternator Syndrome. We made it to a gas station and soon after that Fede found a electric Mechanic but obviously was closed, probably because it was 11:30 at night. The very next morning, as Fede is working on getting some charge to the battery a very short guy call Sergio show up at the dolphin saying he was... THE MECHANIC! We manage to get the car to his shop after got lose and ran out of battery. The shop had a tool box smaller than ours, but with his three tools Sergio manage to get the alternator out and found the bad part. The best came when Fede ask him if he could accompany him to buy the parts, his answer was almost not surprising, "Not a problem, lets go catch the bus." They rode the bus for about 20 minutes until they got to the city where we would find the parts. After one and a half hrs of walking and riding buses looking for the parts they decided to buy a new alternator and head back. This was the day Fede got sick but so much work made him forget about it. About a half hr of amusing drama went on around the dolphin, first Sergio trying to fit the alternator, then a neighbor, than a friend, even a little kid came over to try to figure out the dilemma. finally Fede with almost less than a clue got underneath of the car an got it on. then Sergio though the belt adjustor screw wasn't going to be necessary, but we got that on to. definitely, one of our highlights of the trip. Spent christmas eve somewhere in the mountains next to a corn field and on christmas day rode into Guatemala. That night we got lose once again after the dolphin got altitude sickness and made us push it up a hill, barley made it to a camp. we woke up to the sound of the indigenous riding donkies right by camp from where we could view a maya village and behind it an imposing volcano. We're here in guatemala, in the half-gringo town of Antigua eating bagels, and we'll be heading southeast, continuing through central america.
hasta pronto, syotr, gdtrfb...