Into the Fire / 50 miles 80 Kilometers
Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
163Trip End May 10, 2011
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Where I stayed
Hotel San Luis
Up before the crack of dawn and by 6 am we turned on our bike light flashers and Jason led the way out the door. The sun would not be up for another 20 minutes and the temperature was almost pleasant. Escuinapa town center is a creative grid of one-way streets so it is no small task to navigate to the toll road entrance. About 10 minutes after riding down several streets, then slugging down a bumpy dirt road, I said, "Hey, there is the road Dave and I came in on" (not the toll road). Jason said, "I'll get it right this time!" and we doubled back to the big church and down a paved road that winded along the mostly dry river landmark that Jason was looking for in the dark......It began to get light as we passed many people doing exercises in the cool of the morning (cyclists, runners, and walkers)
Our faith in Jason was restored as we reached the toll road entrance 4km later. The toll road has glorious wide shoulders and little traffic.The next 30 km whizzed by in no time but that party came to a screeching halt when the intense sun broke through. I had the hardest time with the heat and humidity and because lack of other options would lay down on the boiling asphalt at breaks which became increasingly frequent as the day progressed. We sucked through water like there was no tomorrow and it seemed to drip out of every pore on our bodies as fast as we could replenish.
At around 1 pm, Dave and Jason fashioned a shady spot from Jason's tarp anchored to our bikes on an emergency phone platform on the side of the road. The air was still and there was no escaping the heat and humidity. Jason insisted on cooking us pasta with canned tuna, the sweetheart. He assured me I'd feel better. The thought of hot food only made me more nauseous. In the end it seemed wise to listen to the person who was able to ride through the desert and up and down mountainous terrain as if it's nothing. And he was so right indeed! After eating the best mushy noodles with canned tuna I had ever tasted, I perked up a bit.
The 3 of us squeezed together in the shade and relaxed for an hour or so.
Then with renewed energy Dave and I got a little head start from Jason. About 4 miles up the road that burst had fizzled and we were elated to spot a covered produce inspection station on the Nayarit & Jalisco state line. To our delight, there was even a stand where we were able to purchase cool drinks. Police with guns guarded the operation.
Again purely exhausted I laid down on one of the inspection tables and no one uttered an objection. Jason caught up with us and had been convinced we had hitched a ride when he didn't see us before then. "You took off like arrows", he said.
We watched large trucks come through being sprayed with who knows what to kill any critters clinging to the outside. Those guys had it made in the shade.....the only spot we found all day with actually A COOL BREEZE!!!
Eventually we had to pull ourselves away from there, we had another 20 km to go. One of the police gave us a big smile and said, if we liked, we could take a picture with them.
We told Jason to go on ahead while we would follow slowly.
We lost energy again quickly. It was 3 o'clock by now,we had had a long day and little reprieve from the scorching sun.........Between stops it took me longer and longer to recover enough to continue. Close to the tollbooths, as we found some shade under an overpass, a farmer came by riding an old bike. He took one look at me and opened up the jute bag he was carrying and handed us a huge mango. He said that town was only 5 more km's.
At the emergency medical office near the toll plaza, Jason had taken shelter while awaiting us. I was not the only one looking pretty battered by now. Dave was at the end of his tether too. And Jason admitted this was one of his hardest days as well. On his own he would have covered the distance a lot faster and would have had less exposure to the harsh elements.
The guys at the tollbooth didn't give us a hard time at all. They just wanted us to take the bikes across the grass in order not to trigger the counter. I hate to sound dramatic but by now every meter was an effort for me. We stopped at the first small roadside shop where I laid down on the tile floor. I was beyond wasting time thinking what the people in the store must think about this lunatic lady spread out on the floor. After some cool drinks, Dave decided to take my bike and head into town while Jason stayed with me.
About 30 minutes later I felt a little better and sat up and proceeded to talk Jason's ears off. He just commented that I must be feeling better. We laughed and I told him to go ahead and find Dave then find a hotel for us.
I must have sat there for 2.5 hrs wondering what was taking the boys so long. If I could have ridden Dave's bike, I would have given it a try. But not only is his heavier loaded than mine, his also has the roll handlebars and shifters on the end of them. So I patiently waited. I was relatively comfortable after all.
Finally around 6pm a truck pulled up and Dave and Jason jumped out, loaded Dave's bike in the back and off we went. The manager of the nice hotel San Luis the boys had booked, arranged the truck for them and didn't accept any money for the favor.
We had a large spotlessly clean room with 2 queen size beds, air-co and private bath. And all that for 333 pesos ($26). We all got cleaned up and ventured out to get a bite to eat. That nice clean feeling didn't last long, the moment you set foot outside, you're drenched in sweat. Food-wise, nothing looked that interesting. We sat down in RinRin pizza but it was hotter inside so we took slices of pizza to-go and ate them on a bench outside. It turned out to be the worst pizza we ever tasted. We rounded the meal off with what turned out to be an awful hot dog from a street vendor.
This had been quite a day......we turned in early,