A run in with the Law...literally.

Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
Trip End Sep 03, 2008

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Flag of Mexico  , Pacific Coast,
Wednesday, July 9, 2008

For the first time in a while I (Malin) feel completely recuperated...but not ready to have sea food yet! We left Pie de la Cuesta still discussing what a great choice it had been to stay out of big Acapulco and find this nice little seaside town...The  beaches were beautiful and the people very friendly!  The ride itself was pretty uneventful...except for the part where Jess completely ignored my very clear and direct comment : no it won't work...you will scratch the car!!!... afterwards, I thought the Federales would hunt us down and make us pay for destroying parts of their property. You never know, you hear all these crazy stories, which I'm sure are not even half true...Jess will fill you in on the whole story...
Riding into Puerto Escondido after hours of riding in the rain(and worrying about the Federales),  I was ready to relax and have a beer or two! We found this great hotel with a nice bar/restaurant and wireless internet. We realized quickly that pretty much everyone here are tourists, mostly surfers and backpackers. I was excited to find that many Norwegians frequent this town and they were everywhere, so were the Brazilians. It was fun watching great surfing as well as boogie boarding and the waves were huge! I mean huge! I thought they were big in Pie de la Cuesta but no, I was wrong. This made me think of Hawaii and the North Shore! Jess and I made sure we got a full day in the sun because we are heading inland after this. So here we are...sun burnt, sore and happy!
Hey Jess here....man, we're pretty far South!  More evidence that  any huge undertaking can be tackled by dividing it into small manageable chunks and tackling it with gusto!...anyhow, Malin left out all of the crazy details from today's journey!  Let me fill you in...first off, we got some local intelligence that construction in Acapulco was causing 2 hour delays- coupled with the normal snarl of city traffic, the decision to circumvent the city was an easy one. 
Once again, it rained on us the entire time...and by the time I actually was ready to pull over and put on my rain gear, I was already soaked, so what's the use...keep charging forward...if Noah could do it, so can we!  This was another long day in the saddle...7 hours total, with only one 15 minute break for gas...281 miles total, about 40 mph on average.
A few hours into our rain-soaked ride,  traffic came to a standstill - there was a huge line of parked cars on the road with everyone was out of their cars sitting on the side of the road...in Mexico, this is a very bad sign and could mean hours of delay...so without hesitation, I cross the double yellow line and ride on the wrong side of the road towards the front of the line to see what's happening.   Of course, as we slowly make our way to the front, we are the center of attention...some people just checking out the bike, perhaps others giving us the stink-eye for cutting to the front of the line, and then over the intercom Malin tells me that she's so embarrassed that she closed her helmet and has her eyes shut!
Okay...time to assess our internal situation...first off, we are on mission (maybe even from God) and we have to make serious geographic progress.   Second,  the Sledgehammer (the bike) can go on and off the pavement with ease, therefore uniquely designed for such "jack- moves".  Thirdly, and most important, my passenger,  although embarrassed and catatonic, is secure and ready for said "jack-move".  Okay good, we check out fine.... time to assess the external threat...weather is horrific and could get worse, traffic could potentially delay us to the point where we could get caught out in the storm, after dark, with nowhere to stay.  Okay...the nanosecond is up, we continue cutting to the front, but then I start to think...what if this is a bad car accident where people are hurt or even worse, dead?   And here I am, the a-hole opportunistic moto-tourist trying to stay on schedule?   I then made up my mind that if it was an injury-accident, I would stop and help...put my Eagle Scout first-aid skills to work...however, if it was a non-injury accident, I would skirt my way around it, yell "Estamos en mision de Dios (we are on a mission from God)" and ride like hell!
At the front of the line, we realized that there was a landslide and a tractor and dump-truck duo were working to clear the muddy mess...but they weren't alone...among the 50 to 60 onlookers was one huge hombre - a Federale (Mexican Federal police officer....the highest law in the land) with a big Nacho Libre  mustache, who was visibly  upset with me for cutting to the front...in Spanish he yelled for me to stop, and then pointed to the double-yellow line and said in Spanish "in Mexico, we do not cross the double yellow line!"  He then told me to back up, but since we were on a down-hill slope, and the 1,050 pound Sledgehammer doesn't have reverse...we were stuck there, with front row seats! 
I asked Malin to get the camera to take a nonchalant picture of Nacho Libre and the entire mess, and then I realized her eyes were still shut underneath her fully closed fishbowl helmet!  Ok, Malin was able to snap off one picture, and just then a worker motioned me forward...I glanced over at Nacho Libre, and he wasn't paying attention, so I gunned it across the mud, but just then the dumptruck pulled forward and cut me off!  We were pinned between the dumptruck and Nacho Libre's Federale squad car! What now!  No time to assess the external threat, I wiggled the bike and gunned the throttle, just as the right side case scraped the police car and bent the front bumper forward!  Oh crap!!!!  I twisted the throttle and banged the gear-shifter past all of the traffic on the other side...I knew the Sledgehammer was faster than any machine on Mexican roads...so I had to put some distance between us and Nacho Libre!  I kept glancing in my side mirrors to see if he was following us...and then Malin reminded me that he could have radioed ahead...there could be a blockade around the next corner!  All of sudden I felt like we were international outlaws...fugitives from the law...as I glanced around at the different inhabitants of each town, I wondered...are they cooperating with the Federales...are they spies, out to get us?   Then a sign for a military checkpoint, 200 meters ahead...I warn Malin to duck...Nacho Libre may have tipped them off and who knows, they might open fire with the 50 caliber Howitzer!
After about an hour or so the paranoia wore off...Malin and I were just a couple of friendly moto-adventurers who happened to accidentally vandalize a Federale's police car...I'm sure this thing happens every day down here, right?  That's what I thought...no big deal.
So with the drama fading, we suddenly found ourselves in Puerto Escondido, Surf City Mexico, The Mexican Pipeline!!  The swell was huge!  The whole town is setup for surfing and the place was crawling with professional surfers and photographers from all over the world...especially from Brazil.
The beaches are big and pretty similar to Hermosa or Ventura beaches, with the difference being that the waves are huge!  Double to triple overhead seems to be about the average and when they curl over it's a huge explosion!  Wherever you are in town, you can feel the rumble of the surf...it's amazing! Oh yeah, don't try to swim or body surf...if you do, the Mexican Hasselhoff Lifeguards will blow their whistles and motion for you to come out...the riptides and undertow are just too strong ...you really need to be strapped to surfboard or bodyboard.
Malin and I decided to stay for a couple of nights and to keep a low-profile...just in case Nacho Libre was still miffed about his squad car and he had the lynch mob out looking for us.  So we got some serious rest and relaxation in Puerto Escondido!  All day on the beach was great, but after a day of sun and fun (no rain for the first time in weeks!), my butt was missing it's motorcycle
Our next mission, if we choose to accept it, is to leave the Pacific Coast behind and climb the mighty Sierra Madre mountain range, into the Mexican Highlands and to the beautiful colonial city of Oaxaca! (pronounced wuh-hawk-ah).  By now, and after everything we've been through,  we're  feeling pretty capable...in fact, Malin has nicknamed our three-piece moto-crew "The Unstoppables!"  I told her we can't count our chickens before they're hatched!  This is only our first country and have many more countries and thousands and thousands of miles to go!!! ...but I like the idea of seeing if we can live up to the name!
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lisamckinley on

International incident?
Oh great, now you're fugitives! I should've warned you about that checkpoint scenario/trick...one guy (usually the Gilligan of the crew) will motion for you to move forward, but the other person (usually the armed one, the one who seems to be el jefe) doesn't see it, and thinks you are a disobeying his orders to stop. But to hit-and-run?!?! Cajones muy grande, mi amigo!

jloder on

Oh Dang!
Cajones!...on the run in Mexico, love it! Been looking for your updates daily. I'm amazed at how far you've already traveled. I've been checking out some Guatemala Websites, let me know if you would like some intel on the road ahead. Keep the blogs coming!

trichtrich on

Oh Double Dang
Is there a word for more big than cajones grande? On another note, was wondering if you guys had started to give any thought to your theme song, because you definitely need a theme song at this point.

nancylmckinley on

Here It Comes!!
Reading this post, my heart was racing like crazy and I thought, 'Oh no, here it comes...all my fears are being realized and I'll be visiting Jess and Malin in the pokey in Mexico.' Sounds like you got your 'adrenaline fix' for that day. Take care, Sweeties,


braden on

Whew! What a tale!
I am with your Mom's view on this one. My heart was racing too! I've heard the stories where the gringos get incarcerated just for a dirty look, but damage to the Big Guy's cop car?...and you escaped capture...so far anyway. Maybe shaving your face they wouldn't recognize you? Did you have your helmet off at the roadblock? You are the 'Unstopables' for sure! You've got prayers on this end! Love you both and stay safe!

Your Pop

~karin~ on

So typical...
...men, who have to be first in line and not obey the laws!
Jess, I don't like that you make my sister into a fugitive in Mexico... No wonder she hides beneath the helmet, she may get deported!!!! ;-)
Also, you should always listen to her, even though -or maybe because- she's the backseat driver...
Needless to say, you had my thoughts traveling all the way to a Mexican prison and how we would all have to come and visit you during Christmas and maybe even before, if you're lucky. (just watched Midnight Express last night!)

Stay safe on your mission and keep running from the Federales!!

Love ya.

lisamckinley on

Theme song suggestion
'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head'...wasn't that the theme for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?

donw on

Midnight Express
Be sure to rent it at your next stop.

scorpagirl on

Loco Americano
Geez, you ran past a Federale after scraping his car and bending his bumper?? After all the stories one hears about the Federales?! I think all the hours in the saddle have addled your mind--though I'm happy to see it's still sharp enough to make sure pics are taken at appropriate moment ;-)


taralorena on

Malin, I can imagine you sinking down and hiding in that helmit of yours- but pretty impressive to take the photo opp! Glad you are both well and survived the run with the law. Wish I was there on those beaches with you! Can't wait to hear about city life...

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