We spent three busy days in Mazatlan working on the bikes and planning our moves south, it was nice to collect ourselves for a minute after our Baja fiasco. With fresh oil and some new seals we were pointed south again. Riding on the mainland was a breeze, wide roads, newer cars and for the most part no major surprises hidden around corners.
Our route took us down the coastal highway with a couple detours here and there. The first of which did not work out as planned. We had bought a crappy map that showed what looked to be a nice route through some remote fishing villages on the coast north of Sayulita. We went for it, and over the course of a couple hours the road went from secondary pavement to dirt and finally sand before dead ending at a dump on the beach. The map showed a magical road that did not exist unless our bikes were going to transform into jet skis. It was around 8 pm so we figured we would be best off to sleep on the beach and backtrack in the morning. Too tired to set up our tents, we just layer down a tarp and a poncho and passed out. The wind was kicking up the sand pretty good and soon we were well coated.
When the wind decided to stop around 10 pm we thought we were in the clear. There was about 30 seconds of peace before sand was replaced with hordes of vicious sand flies. It was the fucking worst thing ever. We where hating life, and miserable. Eventually passing out again briefly only to be awoken by a herd of cattle grazing a little too close for comfort. Nothing like waking up to a massive shadow breathing over you. Before the sun could rise we were ready to get out of what was easily both of our worst night of camping ever. We backtracked to the highway and headed for Sayulita, found a spot above the city to camp and suited up for the beach. The rest of the day was spent in the water at a great beach south of town that we had to our selves. The night brought good pizza and a quick sleep.
We got a few warnings heading south about the states of Michoacan and Guerrero. They are generally regarded as lawless and have a fair amount of activity between the civilians and the military. We didn't want to make the big detour recommended around them since it is some of the most scenic coastline in Mexico so we just kept on. The first big military checkpoint had me second guessing our route but things worked out just fine. Our way of judging a town is by the kids, if there are kids playing in the street and families having a good time then you will be fine. Its the towns where you ride through and there are no kids that you keep moving. We made a couple wrong turns and ended up in some uncomfortable scenarios that had us whipping U turns as quick as possible but for the most part, it was kids as usual.
The coast line was amazing and for the most part there was no traffic or police so we could ride as fast as we wanted. We found plenty of nice small surf towns to set up our hammocks, and it was the start of the festival of Guadalupe while we were cruising through. The communities in Mexico go all out for Guadalupe and it made the nights real fun with lively community parties in each little town.
It wasn't until we hit Zipolite that we posted up for a couple days. It's a tranquil spot on the coast with good surf and a nude beach full of leathery snow birds. Jordan left the NW with a full blown beard but the last three weeks of dust,sweat and humidity have had him hating his face so the first order of business before hitting the beach was to clean up his face. For a solid hour I had to listen to his poor beard trimmer bog through the nasty mess. Before Zipolite knew what hit them two pasty mermen where flailing in the waves and getting tossed. It didn't take long for us both to get completely lobstered and work up a serious appetite.
Zipolite was our last stop on the coast before heading into the state of Chiapas and turning east. The ride to the hills was hot and boring, nothing but fields of wind farms and the blasting sun. Off in the distance mountains began to appear and our excitement grew. Perfect banked corners had us gaining elevation with switchback after switchback. Each one bringing cooler and dryer air till finally it was time to put some layers back on.
We raced the sunset towards San Cristibol getting an amazing view of the landscape bellow. The mountain road passed through tiny indigenous villages and terraced farms filling the hillsides before dropping into the colonial city. We explored the historic town and wondered the alleys taking in all the beautiful architecture. After blowing it on our Mexican boarder crossing we made sure to spend some time that night getting our facts straight on Guatemala's procedures.
The variety of riding we got in Mexico was amazing, and we were sad to say goodbye.