January 11, 2019
From Monterrey to Guanajuato, Mexico
Mistakes are part of every journey, and I hope not to repeat this one.
The morning started out great, so it’s natural for me to feel confident that all else will follow suit.
I woke up Fernando, the hostel keeper who sleeps in the lobby/entrance area, as I brought my gear out to the motorcycle and said my goodbyes. I then met another gentleman, this one was Wayne from San Antonio, Texas, who asked "the question". After a brief discussion about motorcycle journeys and appreciating family, I set off.
My first stop was a gas station, where of course I met another wonderful human being. I never did get his name, however, after filling my tank with gas, he asked "the question" and we had a brief discussion about the roads down south and the motorcycle’s long range abilities. Although I never met him before and we communicated with my very broken Spanish, his ear to ear smiles and two handshakes given with excitement made me know he was genuine in wishing me safe travels. He left me with a warm feeling as I rode away.
The morning in Monterrey was cool and the streets were wet due to the continuous rain. I turned on the helmet camera and rode out in rush hour traffic which flowed rather smoothly. Riding out of the city, I looked out at all the beautiful buildings the city had. The mist cleared and the sun came out to reveal the tall mountains that surround the city. Soon, I was clear of all the traffic and I rode the scenic roads cutting through the mountains. Eventually reached heights where I once again was surrounded by mist, this time in low clouds. I thought this was great footage. Exactly what I believe slow-tv is meant to be; where the viewer can simply sit back and enjoy the beautiful views as if he or she was riding.
But of course, this actually felt too good. So I reached up to touch the camera and found that I did not remove the rubber lens cap! Damnnnnnn! So, once again, this is a mistake I hope never to repeat. I am certain there will be many more scenic rides. However, I did get some footage along the smooth toll highways. Hopefully that will provide viewers some enjoyment and relaxation.
As I neared my destination, I noticed that several vehicles at the gas stations were filling up containers along with their cars. It was a little concerning then and became a bigger concern as I reached the city of Guanajuato. There I saw several cars lined up at a service station. Something was definitely not right.
My GPS worked perfectly and even took me to the steepest cobblestone road I’ve ever been on. It was very nerve wracking with a heavily packed motorcycle. Unfortunately very few of the houses in the packed mountain side had numbers, so I could not figure out which one was the hostel I needed to find. No one in that neighbourhood knew about it, so I decided to move on to find a nearby hotel. The ride down the hillside community was even scarier… tapping my rear brake and staying in 1st gear, this ride was very far from stable.
After settling in to the hotel, I did a little research and discovered that there was a public panic in certain parts of Mexico due to the new government’s decision to reroute gas distribution in an effort to curb the $3 billion of gas that was stolen by organized crime in the country last year.
I stayed in Guanajuato another day so that I could enjoy the warmer temperatures and assess the gas situation. I went for a walk the next day and saw cars lined up for more than a kilometre. Actually it was likely much more, since I didn’t walk to the end. I spoke with a man who was about 100th in line. He had been in line since 6 AM, and it was about 3 PM when we spoke.
So, tomorrow will be another venture. Apparently the panic and lineups are not as bad in other states in Mexico. I have 3/4 of a tank of gas and a two gas bottles. I definitely won’t reach the next state with that fuel, so I’ll likely have to get in line at a station along the way. I hope to make it to Mexico City, however, I am ready for a few more surprises.
Wish me luck!