Intense light fell from a vaulted powder-blue sky that offered here and there a cloud so fat and dense-looking, it might have been full of milk. A monied seafront gleamed as much as the ocean. The coastline was lined with an assortment of majestic marine figurines, spotless sidewalks and restaurants with menus on which we couldn’t afford to dine. La Paz reeked of money but didn’t seem unwelcoming although to be fair, there was hardly a soul about. “Oh my gawd, Lisa!” Jason uttered, disbelievingly. “What?” I barked eagerly back. “There’s an osprey! Up there, sat on top of that lamp post.” And so it was, a yellow-eyed raptor known as the sea hawk ready to hunt over the water. Welcome to off-peak Baja California.
17-22 Sept 2015 – Top times in Zacatecas, undeserving times in Durango and biding our time in Mazatlán
The morning after the night before Mexico Independence Day was akin to Boxing Day in a rural corner of England. The highways were deliciously quiet, deserted even and the streets had become all but bare. Riding down the empty roads gave rise to revelling in a deep quietness. For a moment, I imagined what it would be like to be a ghost—to walk forever through a silence deeper than silence. There was something agreeably frightening about it all. The sun was a fiery orange ball in a smooth blue sky where not a single cloud blemished or blotted it.
7-16 Sept 2015 – “Houston, we have a problem,” unexpected reunions and Mexico Independence Day!
How soft the jungle air at Las Pozas was, after the molten lava of Mexico City, as soft as dusting powder, the coat of a puppy. The night sky was a sapphire blue and strewn with stars, a shower of gold dust. The pristine purity of the rambunctious, wild place that was Edward James’ secret garden was a vaccine against harm, the urban nasties coating the lungs with god knows what. May be the locals here were more clear-headed than the rest of us about what’s important: natural beauty, safe streets, clean air, the wild wood—not the wide world beyond it. Not to hustle and hassle with life.
6 Sept 2015 – Edward’s secret garden
The snaking road was silver in the morning sun. It was a perfect day for riding a motorcycle. And the moment we got going, the miles ticked away under the wheels. “Feels good to be back on the bikes, eh Jase?” I uttered down the helmet’s intercom enjoying the normalcy of a moving life. And in my mind’s eye agreeing with Robyn Yong who said, “We travel not to escape life but for life not to escape us”. “Yahp,” came Jason’s response.
28 Aug-5 Sept 2015 – The place where men become gods
Striding with a hopped-up buzz back to the US Embassy to collect our visa-stickered passports, what were the odds of bumping into the clerk who’d approved the travel permits just four days previous—within five minutes of stumbling across the Romanian chef whose restaurant we’d breakfasted in that same morning—along the same street? Too uncanny! Continue reading
27 Aug 2015 – Half a mile of Mexican boobs, knots of men in their boxers and visa victory!
An opening sequence of sweeping panoramas of metal-and-glass skyscrapers glinted in the sun, people in sharp suits carried briefcases as they vanished into revolving doors, the endless rush of traffic sped on sunlit freeways. Welcome to Mexico City. Every building had its own character and street its own identity. Peeling back the gloss, I was in a city that had a spin of its own—a wilder orbit inside the Earth’s calm blue-green whirl. Mexico City wasn’t open to the peace and tranquil that drifted around other places. Here, people raced on the roads like their lives depended on it. And cursed constantly in front of other vehicles hell bent on gaining distance first. But strangely, no one really honked their horn.
19-26 Aug 2015 – Bike-eating manholes and Karma’s divine intervention: Yusif
Scooting through the volcano studded Iztaccihuatl-Popocatépetl National Park took us nine miles on undulating hard dirt up to the cloudy top, and down quite a bit farther on the smooth stuff towards Tepoztlán—the “place of abundant copper” in the state of Morelos. Once there, Eddy opened his backbreaking sliding door to Posada La Casa De Ana B&B and greeted us as if we were one of his own. That’s what his grandfather had instilled in him from an early age towards travellers. I liked him instantly.