Colima to San Jeronimito
Monday, March 29 - Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Colima to San Jeronimito (some tiny little town along the way)
Coranda Hotel, Colima. 300 pesos per night
I have to say that I really love Colima. I went downtown and quickly found a convenient parking spot by deliberately going the wrong way a few feet on a one way street. I patted myself on the back for this fortunate find and went for an expensive breakfast at the Best Western. After more than an hour I returned to the bike for some more exploration. A traffic cop approached me and wanted to know if it was my bike. I proudly replied in the affirmative and he advised me that I actually wasn't allowed to park there. There was a courtesy warning note on my handlbar and he politely informed me that the tow truck had already been called. In my zeal to grab the spot by going the wrong way I had missed the "no parking" sing. I apologized to the officer over and over and considered myself lucky to only have received a warning. The officer was a bit miffed but very polite and professional.
Park in Colima
Later in the day I went searching for Lithium batteries. They don't seem to be common in Mexico and I finally found some for 200 pesos at Radio Shack, after once more not seeing a sign and parking illegally.
Off I went in search of a good view of the Volcan De Fuego (Fire Volcano). It's the most active volcano in the Americas from what I hear. I took some photos and feeling a bit bummed out that there was no smoke emanating from it. As if some volcano god was listening, a plume of smoke started oozing out from the side of the volcano near the top ...thanks volcano god!
Volcan De Fuego (Fire Volcano)
Earlier in the day I saw a young couple getting ready to get on their vintage BMW bike. I chatted them up and we admired each others' bikes before exchanging contact info. I was looking for a particular vegetarian restaurant and they guided me to it on their bike. Claudia and Luis are both teachers in the nearby town of Tecopan.
Luis and Claudia in Colima
Cool tidbit about Colima:
One of the parks has wireless Internet with chairs and "desks" right beside electrical outlets. How cools is that. A small gaggle of students were doing their laptop stuff in the shade with the fountain splashing away in the background. As I was taking to the tourist information girl on the sidewalk a somewhat unhinged woman walked by shouting and muttering something about plastic. I immediately felt like I was right back home in downtown Victoria, while the information girl was laughing her head off.
Internet Stations in Colima Park
Church in Colima
All day in Colima I felt very safe and never felt that anyone wanted anything from me, except the occasional genuine interest in my bike and my travels.
It's now Tuesday morning and time to move on. "We take a break once every hour" Luis told me yesterday. I decided to try this today and forced myself to stop every hour. OXXO and Kiosko came to the rescue. Those are the two national convenience stores which are often associated with the Pemex service stations. They're air conditioned, usually have a little table or two and sell the usual junk food ...Mexican versions thereoff. So today I managed to do over 500km's without feeling too tired. Thank you Luis and Claudia for reminding me to take breaks.
The coast south of Tecopan becomes more and more remote with only small villages along the way. Mexico Hwy 200 winds and twists like crazy and the going was slow. But I enjoyed the solitude and lack of traffic. It also wasn't as hot as some of the other days. I was missing out on some "curve enjoyment" since I desperately had to pee. Each bump and curve just aggravated my bladder and there weren't really any places to pull over and walk into the bush. I finally found a spot out of desperation and squatted behind a pile of gravel. Some plant brushed up against my lily white behind and I immediately felt a burning sensation. I quickly pushed the branch aside with my hand, then realizing that I probably shouldn't touch it at all. But I guess the road grime, sun block, enging oil and insect remains on my hands protected them since I felt nothing. But my bum did burn for a while longer as I rode on after a short break in the shade.
Lonesome Coast Towards Ixtapa
While In Lazaro Cardenas I took another OXXO break after realizing that Playa Azul was a dump not worthy of having a break. Earlier I went down to the beach and there was a "one way" sign and I would have had to go out of my way to reconnect with the road about 30' away. How silly I thought and went through anyway. That's when I noticed the "Policia" pickup truck parked by a restaurant and three cops looking at me. They all smiled and sent admiring looks towards my bike as I rode on. No one cared about that silly "one way" sign.
As I was leaving the OXXO a helmetless BMW biker drove in. I stopped, killed the engine and chatted him up. We had a great conversation about my trip and his bike and I drove off. A few minutes later he pulled up beside me and told me I was going the wrong way. He offered to take me to the proper road for Ixtapa. Another very nice Mexican going out of his way to help. He obviously got right back onto his bike, rather than doing his shopping and chased after me when he saw me going the wrong way.
Ixtapa is a sterile, artificial resort community where everything is green and it might as well be some high end California community. Zihuatenajo (Zihua for short) is a real town with resorts added to it. I didn't really want to stick around there either so I rode on since the sun was still high on the horizon. I pulled into a "motel" and asked if it was a "regular hotel" or a "auto hotel". She advised me that it would be 150pesos for 3 hours. OK it was an "auto hotel". They can be found on the outskirts of town and rent by the hour. Couples go there for some "personal" time. Sometimes they're even married to each other. I finally found a "hotel familial" (family hotel) for 150 pesos. It's very basic but it's clean, has hot water, a safe gated courtyard for the bike and even a little swimming pool. Unfortunately I was not permitted to have a drink at the nice little bar. The female owner of the hotel advised me that the bar was for men only. Must be a gay bar ...yeah right!
Hotel Quinta Ma. Pia, San Jeronimito, Guerrero, Mexico
Well! 22 days, 1 Canadian Province, 4 US states, 9 Mexican states, and 7375km's so far. Many, many more to go. I still can't believe I'm actually doing this!