I awoke Wednesday morning to rain. I knew that meant slower traveling and a 10+ hour ride would be made more difficult with a curvy mountain pass to tackle. Thankfully my riding jacket, overpants and boots are quality gear; th rain isn’t so bad if you are dry. It took a while, but I finally reached the city of Linares. Signage is somewhat confusing sometimes. So after motioning down a road and saying “Galaeneas” to a man at a corner,I took off after he with a concerned look, used his right hand making motions to express curvy.
If all roads were easy and straight,I wouldn’t own a motorcycle. Thankfully the rain had let up; it was now only slightly dreary. Something wonderful happened after just 15 minutes- the sun appeared and it was kinda warm. So in no time I was having curvy fun. After 20-30 minutes I realize that I have a go pro. I put it on and took off. Unfortunately the best curves were behind me. But it was warm at least. I would find out later that I had passed into semi arid high desert.
The rest of the day was ride,ride,ride through the cities Matehuala, San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro til I reached San Juan del Rio where I was greeted in the home of Alan and Beth McManus with their kids Cameron and Dayton. Beth’s mom too I should add.
I hadn’t resolved how to get funds yet; so, coming to another friends home was comforting.
Speaking of needs bring met, I was remiss to not share earlier that during the troubling early days I was encouraged and emboldened by many people’s sharing. Thank you Wes, the guys on Advrider, Luke and Bethany, Alan and Beth, and more for sure.
Tuesday morning- time to put on my big boy pants and plunge into Mexico.
*Actually on Sunday I crossed the border to get my paperwork for what I’d hoped was a next day crossing after making a fast trip to San Antonio for a second tracking device. We already know that didn’t go fast enough.
So saying goodbye to Luke, I departed looking for a final gas fill up, pesos and hopefully a quick crossing. All these went well and I made the crossing into Nuevo Laredo in the state of Nuevo Leon. I felt strange and slightly on edge since I don’t speak any real Spanish and was trying to learn what many street signs were conveying. I had some good info; more like info overload.
But I was on my way to Santiago in Nuevo Leon. Hank (of Hankmoto in Dilley Texas) suggested this city as a overnight; it’s one of many older, colonial architectural designs. You may have seen the photos on Facebook. It was on the way that I realized my international debit cards didn’t work. YIKES!
It was good reflection riding again; I reflected many times throughout my long riding periods actually. Questions like “what am I really hoping to accomplish,” “what is my faith in God really like,” and more were swirling around such as “is this trip really going to have positive return benefits?”
I found my first daunting task in Mexico when navigating through Monterey. Now I had to see signs for a city called Linares. I found that I could maneuver my bike quite nimbly when I had to. Traffic was snarled there. I ate beef jerky and chocolate; I was hungry anyhow. I eventually found my way out of the city and was quite impressed with the mountains and the very modern lifestyle. Of course I knew each was there; but I felt like saying to folks back home -see, they are just like us.
In no time it seemed I found Santiago. Found my recommended hotel, my first Mexican meal and settled into what would become rain all night.
*I’m pretty new to blogging. I’m also getting used this android tablet. Some spellings and missing words are gonna be common.
So my family saw me off on Friday,frigid morning. It felt kinda wrong to leave them; it’s Christmas! Gotta go though; my journey awaits.
I was very cold til Gadsden Alabama. Warmed up at Cracker Barrel. Pushed through into warmer temps and then rain. Louisiana was interesting- gambling and industrial at night. I felt like I was in a computer game and the forces of good and evil were all around. I eventually pushed through to Beaumont Texas for the night. Happy to be out of the weather, but lonely.
Leaving the next morning was good in that it was warm; but, it was humid and was trying to rain. Pushed hard through Houston’s terrible traffic in rain, cold and fierce winds. Thankfully only the fierce winds (seriously fierce) lasted til San Antonio. Easy trek finding Luke and Bethany Booker’s home. They were so good to me during my extended stay-remember the tracking device?
Yep, I’m well into my trip which started the morning after Christmas. It was supposed to be the Mexico/Guatemala trip blog.
Here’s what happened to remove Guatemala:
-I lost my dedicated GPS phone somewhere near Birmingham Alabama;
-I dropped my tracking device which allows you all to track my whereabouts; it was only a 3 ft drop. The device seemed fine, but found it wasn’t. So, I couldn’t enter Mexico without one; long story short, I drove back to San Antonio from Laredo. It initially didn’t work. Delay cost two days. Guatemala was already a tight schedule. Finally (and happily) riding South into Mexico.
I attempted to buy pesos with my international debit cards; they didn’t work. Yikes! These things and numerous warnings not to enter Guatemala alone was convincing enough to say, “another time perhaps.”
Part of my purposes in this trip is to freshen my faith in God. Thankfully I managed to stay calm and wait for solutions. It wasn’t easy. When the second tracking device didn’t initially work, I about packed it in to be honest.
So I didn’t know if I had the fortitude if things when bad crossing into Guatemala.