Welcome to the Jungle Baby!
Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
35Trip End Sep 03, 2008
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Hey it's Jess, and I just have to say - Adios Culiacan! Today we did a fantastic 315 mile ride...a nice mix of scenic toll-roads (40 bucks worth), and twisty new tarmac layered through the dense jungle. That's right...welcome to the jungle baby! I'm a desert lover...so I'll miss the grand vistas of Baja's deserts, but to think that Malin and I have ridden our motorcycle over 2000 miles south of the border, through two time zones, and into the tropics!!...this adventure is becoming too legit to quit
Ok, back to the road...Malin and I are tooling along, minding our own business through the twisty jungle roads, when we run into a line of trucks over two miles long going the opposite direction! They are honking their horns, screaming, hanging out of pick-up beds, and flying yellow flags...what the hell?, is this a military coup? Nope, just grassroots campaigning in progress...this was a fierce campaign for state superintendant.
The yellow flag was for a candidate from San Blas and representing the PAN party (same as Vicente Fox), the blue flag is for his rival from a neighboring town representing the conservative PRI party, which had been in power for over 70 years before Vicente Fox broke the stranglehold in 2000. Anyhow, it turns out that these were the guys from San Blas, going to the neighboring town to raise a little hell and showcase their political might. I wondered if thee would be anyone in San Blas when we got there?
Ok...I feel a little better...I thought they could have been head-hunting cannibals there for awhile. So Malin and I get to the outskirts of town and it's time to eat (remember lesson 1 from last blog entry?)...we find this incredible fish smoke-house and pull over for a tasty morsel or two...I had a huge piece of salted, smoked Marlin that was just oozing with caramelized mc-goodness
All of sudden, mid-meal...déjà vu! Trucks, yelling, loud mariachi music, the only difference...they had blue flags! It was the campaign from the neighboring town coming to San Blas to give us hell! It was loud and obnoxious, but completely non-violent...unless one of the drunk flag bearers fell out of the back of the pick-up....we'll check for road-kill on our way of town in the morning.
That night the entire town of San Blas was closed down for the yellow-flag rally at the zocalo (town square). They had a hip new-skool mariachi band, hundreds of those inflatable bangers for the crowd to make some noise, and every single person from the town was there. It was a sight for us outsiders to see, but at the same time, we didn't get a chance to see San Blas in it's natural state. I counted 6 gringos in a town that usually has a thousand, all scrambling for boat rides through the mangroves and surfing the winter swell.
Oh well...I love politics, and it really makes you feel proud that we have the luxury to be relatively apathetic when it comes to voting...but here, they have to vote...they don't have the luxury of relying on checks and balances to ensure the overall collective good will be pursued...here, if the wrong candidate make it into office, nepotism and corruption could mean that a family's land is lost, a business loses it's biggest contract, or worse
Enuff about politics...we weren't the only new kids in town...so were the mosquitoes! The tropics in the rainy season means one thing...mosquitoes the size of humming birds every morning and every evening! Malin and I slathered up in 100% Maxi-DEET for the first time this trip...let me tell you, that stuff is strong! I was running around like Fire Marshall Bill with my skin burning...I think mosquito bites might be less harmful than this stuff! Anyhow, I was a little too late with the DEET...I got eaten alive...so did Malin. We decided then and there that if our first born was a boy, we were going to name him Skeeter.
Later that night, more geckos (Bleep's cousin's from Baja) kept us company in our little hotel...we were the only guests! Tomorrow...we fire up the Jungle Jammer (the bike, which is running like a charm by the way) and aim our way to Puerto Vallarta!