Note to self—Believe advice shared by the custom officer... I’ll get into that story a little later.
I met a fellow Canadian when leaving the hotel. He noticed the Ontario licence plate on my motorcycle parked directly in front of the entrance door. Turns out, he was a long-haul truck driver waiting to pick up an airplane fuselage being delivered from Mexico headed for the Bombardier plant in Quebec. Small World! I never knew this iconic Canadian company makes their airplane bodies in Mexico.
Kind of confusing, isn’t it? But Maybe there’s more to the story.
I then started my journey to Mexico. Using my very poor Spanish, I communicated with a Mexican Customs Agent who provided directions to the building where I could pickup a permit to ride my motorcycle in the country. The directions did not feel right as I missed the actual street and wound up on my first unintended adventure in a Mexican neighbourhood. It took a little doing to figure out where I went wrong, but after asking a few people, I finally figured it out. In my defence, it really was a weird turn.
For your entertainment, the border crossing and the riding around in the neighbourhood is on the vlog… not quite the relaxing slow-tv it is meant it to be, but feel free to laugh at the Canadian Gringo.
The Federal toll road was uneventful, until the rain that is! Usually my heated hand grips feel like I’m holding a cup of hot chocolate as I look out onto the road in front of me. Unfortunately, this was not the case today as it was cold and the lack of
visibility led to many vehicles using hazard lights to make sure they could be seen.
At one point the road took me to a bridge on top of a mountain. I’m sure the views would have been spectacular, however I could hardly see 70 feet in front of me.
One of my other discoveries is that sewers in the streets outside Monterrey do not disperse the rain water very effectively. Luckily, I like splashing through mini lakes on my motorcycle.
By the time I arrived in Monterrey, my skepticism in the accuracy of my GPS grew as it said it was a 5 hour drive from the border while Google Maps said it would take less than three hours. Unfortunately the battery on my phone died out. I rode around the old town to find my hostel, which was actually very pleasant. The streets and architecture are very… Mexican. The only nerving part was the slickness of the cobblestone streets. I felt more stable riding in the snow around Albuquerque.
The hostel, La Casa Del Barrio, is very charming! Rustic with old stone walls, and several plants throughout. The young man who works there is very friendly and even said I could leave the motorcycle in the open court in the middle of the hostel. Unfortunately, he wanted me to wheelie the motorcycle up the sidewalk and three steps, and through the front door. As crazy as that sounded, I was up for a try until I saw the small door I had to go through next. So, I would not be able to get the motorcycle past the small lobby area. I parked on the street, and could not take the motorcycle in the hostel with me. (insert sad face here!)
After a walk around the old town, I decided that this place is worth another night. So friends, no travel for me tomorrow.
Still don’t know where I’ll be next… I’ll decide in the coming hours.