Home into safe soil, USA at last!!

Trip Start Mar 20, 2011
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Trip End Jun 05, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Friday, May 20, 2011

20-05-11

Hermosillo(Mexico) to Douglas(USA)

What a wonderful day we had today. The journey was not too long(220miles) and it was easy riding also. However I think the main thing on everyones mind was getting out ofthis danger zone called Mexico.

We left our hotel in Hermosillo which was located in a rather rough area of the city at about 08h15 and headed out of town. Getting out of this town seemed to take forever and finally when we did hit the open road we were just opening up to 70mph when I seen Scotty's camera fall off his helmet. I stopped as quick as possible and ran back to collect it before one of the large trucks ran over it.

Just a few minutes after that we all came to a stand once again when Cas & Mechele had trouble changing gears on their BMW800. It appeared that someone had managed to bend their bikes gear lever during the night and now it was slipping on the gear shaft. A few hands on the job and it was fixed and so off we went again. 45minutes and so far we had only done 12 miles...............not a good start at all!!

Aswe werestill in the dangerous land of Mexicowwe still had to stay in one group and keep a eye in our mirrorson the riders behind. If any rider looks in his/her mirror and thereis no bike behind then the order is to stop and wait and eventually go back and find out what isthe problem. Sometines this idea just does not work as some riders just don't use their mirrors at all. A few days ago Phil who was behind me stopped. I saw him pull over and I immediately stopped and looked back. The bikes ahesd dissipeared into the distance. Just then Nick and a few others came up to me and said. Go tell the others just to wait for us, we wont be long! Craig, John and I then went on ahead to let the others know what had happened but mile after mile and we could not see a trace of them. Finally we see Pear at the side of the road about 8 miles on and the others at a petrol station bout 10 miles on. Somebody was certainly not watching in their mirrors.

The road to the US border was straight through the flatlands of Northern Mexico and was nothing great but there ahead were some mountains and this was to be a great oppertunity for me to get some photos of the bikes and scenery before leaving Mexico.

Theroad through these mountains was just magical. I as usual got right into my element and raced on ahead to take photos. My little Honda Transalp was going like a sports machine. After a few photos on the road up the pass I then switched on the video and waved all the bikes passed me while I took video. I then kicked down a few gears and raced up the winding road passing all the other bikes just to get somevideo clips for my video I want to produce.

Once at the summit of the pass the scenery was fantastic and so I stopped and filmed and took photos of the whole area as well as the others on the road below.

I was now well behind the others and had to go like stink to catch them up. Again I was pushing my little Honda to its limits along this magical mountain road. I have always been a rather slow rider when it comes to leaning a bike round a curve but this little Transalp seems to give mereal trust in it and I can simply throw it into bends and lean it right over without feeling scared. It just seems to dig itself into the road and get on with it. Now and again the back end may slip out slightly but the front is just rock solid.

I catch up with the others on a long straight and fly passed them at really hi speed and continue on hoping to find a good place for a photo ofthem as they approach. But this was not to be and I came around a corner and there ahead was a road block where police were inspecting vehicles. I waited for the others and we simply got waved through and continued towards the border.  

We stop at another town about 50 miles before the border and refill our tanks. Some wanted to stop and have lunch here at the garage but most of us just wanted out of Mexico and so we continued on with half a group to the border town of Agua Prieta.

It was along this section where I had a rather lucky escape. Ian was about two bike lengths ahead of me on the right side of the land and I was on the left side. A rather large truck was heading towards us on the opposite side of the road and just as it was about to pass us in the opposite direction one of our riders flew past me at much faster speed and pushed into the tiny gap between Ian and myself. He just missed the oncoming truck and as soon as he got into the gap between Ian and me he had to slam on brakes. I was not even expecting him to overtake at that point so now with him right in front of me with about 1 ft to spare I just had to grab my brakes. My front wheel hit his number plate and he never even knew. With both front and rear brakes on as hard as possible my rear wheel lifted off the road surface and I was virtually doing what they call a "stoppy" at about 70mph........not a great feeling when you think your going to have a accident.

Finally we reach the border town and trying to find the immigration offices to hand in the papers for our bikes was a nightmare. At one point we all stop at traffic lights and as soon as they change to green I head off straight only to look in my mirror and see all the others turning off left. A quick U-turn and off down the road I go with no signs of any of the others anywhere. I raced through the streets along the road they went and jumped through loads of red lights and stop signs as I really did not want to be alone here in this Mexican town. Finally I managed to catch up with the others who were still riding around looking for the offices. No signs or markers or anything to indicate where the offices are located, its simply find your own way!! After asking loads of people and a few police officers we finally find it located right next to some old railway yard and station at the far end of the town.

Once into the offices the staff were very efficient and had all the bikes through within half a hour and then it was off to the US immigration. What a place this was. You simply drive up and wait in a que. Here you draw forward as the vehicle ahead pulls away. First your vehicle is on camera from all angles and after that you stop with a immigration officer and he asks you a few questions. The first question I was asked was if we were the group who got hijacked and support truck stolen!! After that it was into passport ontrol for another stamp and that was it all over. The most efficient border crossing on this whole journey.

Once into Douglas it was a total different feeling, we felt safe and relaxed!! There were police around and somehow we trusted them with our lives. The last few days in Mexico we just did not know the police from the bandits.

We pull up atthis massive big white building which is our hotel for the night. From outside it simply looks like a massive storage depot but once inside it is a magnificently old and well preserved building. It was built many years ago for the rich and famous and was still well preserved with many original victorian fixtures still in place. The original lift was wonderful with all the old brass handles and switches. Most people of today would not have any idea of how to operate this machine. The rooms and bathrooms were all tiled in old victorian tiles and looked great.

The afternoon was spent in the hotel bar having cocktails to celibrate our exit from Mexico. The whole group seemed very happy and everyone was smiling. I think the last few days in Mexico had ben a very big worry to most of us and we all had a bit of fear of getting hijacked. As I said earlier we just did not know who was a cop or a bandit.

We were all on the drink and my first dring was a “Dirty Martini” which was as strong as hell and soon the world was spinning around me, it just went straight to my head!! Cas, Michelle and myself were just so happy and having a great laugh all afternoon. Allan, Andy and John were also there just laughing non stop. It was just such a relief to be back in a safe country.

Finally after a few more “Chocolate Martini’s” I thought I better make my way to bed. Getting up the two flights of stairs was not an easy task but I managed;-)

Back in my room I heard a little kitten screaming and decided to go and investigate. It was just outside by our bikes. The poor wee thing was terefied of me and ran into a small hole under a slab. It was spitting and wanting to claw me. Poor thing could not have been morethan 5 weeks old and was in terrible shape. One of its eyes was all bubbled up and just looked so painful. I did not want to get too close so I got a stick andstarted stroking it. It continued spitting but was loving this attention of the stick and finally it was rolling around in the sand and just loving the attention. I finally walked away and it began to follow me but I just had to leave it and go. I justwish I had some food to give to the poor thing. Finally again in the middleof the night it started crying onceagain and woke just about everyone in the hotel up. I just hope someone helps it.

And that was yet another day on the Pan American Hi-way
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