Woke up at a decent time and slowly packed my stuff, I’m still not good at this game and constantly try to change how things are packed hoping to find a perfect set-up. When I left NY I built a basic cable mechanism inside the Wolfman packs to locks them up. They are soft luggage so you can easily slash them with a knife, but I figured it would serve as an extra deterrent – point is, this system is starting to get annoying because I lock it every time and when I need something I have to undo it. I did notice last night that while I went away to walk around town, someone tried opening one of the bags and they were unable to access the contents so the system works. I told the receptionist but who knows if it was her or another employee.
Anyhow, I got everything ready and headed out to grab some breakfast at the same place from last night where they gave me some delicious scrambled eggs with tomato, onion, and beef jerky, plus beans, tortilla, and coffee, all for $70 Mexican pesos ($3 USD)!
With a full belly and a happy heart I headed out in search of new land. Even though the biker guy I met yesterday offered a place in Zacatecas, I decided to head towards San Luis de Potosi. The truth is I’m starting to feel a bit pressed on time. On the one hand I have a ferry booked to cross the Darien gap between Panama and Colombia on the 13th… of December. On the other hand I have a sister that lives in Villahermosa, Tabasco, but she is leaving for some time within the next week or so, and we reaaaaally want to see each other, so I’m trying to figure that out as well.
The road down to San Luis was beautiful, the landscape became lusher and temperatures started dropping just a bit, making it quiet comfortable to ride. I could see in the distance some very dark, unwelcoming clouds but I pressed on hoping that my “weather angels” (given to me by Motor 1) would protect me. By the time I got to the last group of mountains that would bring me to my destination I was whipping water off my helmet, still it was such a beautiful place. The mountains took over, engulfing my senses, it was half eerie half magical, fog, rain, huge trees, tight turns, drop offs, I was so focused yet hypnotized, beautiful, scary, it was all just a calming void.
As I entered San Luis the skies really unleashed their might upon me. It was around 5:30 PM and I was nervous to be in my first larger city in Mexico, in the middle of a down pour, and with very little sunlight left. To makes things worst, all the streets started getting flooded and traffic became a nightmare. This would turn out to be the worst rain storm in over 15 years in San Luis. Winds picked up to the point where plastic chairs were flying out of restaurants, and people started closing shops in an effort to prevent damage to their goods, I was completely soaked, lost and hopeless. To top it all off, both the drainage and the sewer systems are connected and they decided to simultaneously fail, causing fountains of doodoo to shoot up from the manholes and drain grates, making it an altogether no fun welcome to the place. I had picked a Hostel in the morning but in the middle of the chaos I could not find it. I kept riding back and forth between streets and water was now flooding the tiny XT’s engine so I started panicking – then I looked up and there it was, Hikuri Eco Hostal, in the middle of the beautifully flooded cobblestone street!
By this time I was exhausted and ready to hit the sack so I got a private room for $200 Pesos and brought my stuff inside. The hostel offered no parking but once they saw the state of misery I was in, the owners decided to let me park by the entrance after 9:00 PM. Here is the link to their place which I highly recommend if you find yourself in San Luis… Before going to sleep I went into the shared kitchen area and met everyone staying at the hostel, basically a bunch of like minded travelers who were happy to share a beer and some awesome stories.
But wait there is more – Some 8 beers later I realized I had drank too much and retreated into my room. This, I knew, would soon turn into an unpleasant situation.
Lesson: Planning a trip like this one is quiet challenging, I wanted to make sure I had it all right, from the gear to the destinations, I even booked the boat that would get me across the Darien gap. Now I realize that things almost never go according to planned, and when they do it’s because I am forcing the plans upon myself, preventing me from enjoying the journey itself – or even worst, making unnecessary mistakes. I could have never planned 100% for this trip, as a matter of fact every single day I learn new things that allow me to adjust to the trip and this kind of wisdom only comes from doing the trip itself – chicken or egg? … I guess that sort of thing is true for everything in life. I can never be fully ready for something, but I can always start a journey and adjust as I progress, in the end I will always come out wiser than when I started!
Daily Stats – 431.5 Km (280 mi)
Total: $751 MEX ($37.51 USD)