Day 20 & 21 – La Paz – Mazatlan – Puerto Vallarta

On the 20th day – wow – can't believe it's been that long already!
The dreaded bureaucracy to import the bikes and get on the ferry was
completely unfounded. We got to the port in and it all went smoothly.
We headed back to a small beach we saw along the way to hang out and
wait for the departure time. As we pulled in we saw the sidecar
motorcycle and a KLR 650 parked there. It was Kevin and his wife
Albana, their dog and Ari, who turned out to be going on the same
ferry with us. We ate some and then headed to the ferry close to
boarding time.
The ferry was a true cargo vessel. Only truckers maneuvering their
massive trucks into the tight quarters of the vessel's bowel. The best
part was going up the elevator from the bottom level to the open deck
of the ship – you can see that on the video. We tied down our bikes
with the help of one of the deckhands and started exploring the ship.
Well… not much to see there… there was the "restaurant" where they
served a dinner and a breakfast… and a sitting area with airplane
seats, no windows, a TV and many people sleeping. The smell of Doritos
and the loud snoring sounds dominated the ambience… we realized we
would have to find a place on deck to sleep.
The scenery was beautiful and it felt good to be at sea – reminded me
of my previous big adventure – sailing from Miami to Brazil via
Portugal – something about the water and the gentle swaying of a boat
is very soothing.
When night fell we found a place on the top deck and laid out our gear
which consisted of a tarp, an air mattress, a sleeping bag and a
pillow. I actually just brought a cotton liner I have because I knew
that the sleeping bag would be way too warm for me. Turns out that the
cotton liner was perfect – it allowed the breeze to go inside keep me
cool. I also brought the GPS out to keep track of where we were. I
wish I had a telescope since the sky was cloudless and full of stars.
Saw shooting stars, satellites zooming by and even a nocturnal bird I
could not identify.
The boat cruised at around 15 knots – half of what it usually does –
one of the engines was not working. By 7am the sun was up and the buzz
of people waking up started to grow. We had our breakfast and started
to gear up for the ride. Once the boat docked in Mazatlan we were hit
by the heat – no more breeze from the boat moving – just stagnant
humid air.
Because of the heat the ride to Puerto Vallarta took a little longer
than expected. We stopped more often to take breaks and drink water. I
also ditched my jacket and rode with the body armor – was a little
cooler but still incredibly wet.
The change in scenery was dramatic – from desert like conditions in
Baja to lush vegetation on the mainland. Reminded me of Brazil –
driving along the Rio-Santos road – very similar look.
We stopped around 5pm for lunch/dinner at Punta de Mita and then
headed into Puerto Vallarta to find a hotel. All three of us were
exhausted but found a place – Los Arcos Suites – we wanted a room for
3 people – no problem, they said. When we got to the room we saw that
it would be impossible to fit a bed there so we asked if there was a
bigger room. We must have seen about 5 different rooms until we found
one that did not stink, had the AC working, and was big enough for 3
beds. Up and down stairs and around corridors carrying our gear… We
were exhausted… but we still needed to park the motorcycles!
As we were waiting for the guy who had the keys to the garage we asked
the concierge for keys to our new room – 423. We thought she was
joking when she said we could not stay on that room because it was
reserved!! Some lady comes every year and wants the same room… I
started humming the Twilight Zone theme… surreal… the lady must
have lost her virginity in that room or something!!
In any case, they found a room close to it – 425 – they moved our
stuff into that new room and put in the extra bed.
Ari and I then went down to the pool for a well deserved swim only to
be told that the pool was closed!! Hehehehe… at that point we were
laughing about the entire situation.
We ended up in a small taco stand drinking some beers and laughing it
all out.
Today we're off to… we don't know… Acapulco is the next big
tourist spot but we want to avoid it. Preferably find a nice smaller
surfer town along the way.

3 Replies to “Day 20 & 21 – La Paz – Mazatlan – Puerto Vallarta”

  1. great text! a good escritor está vindo de moto from NY to SP! one question – Albana & Ari left?
    as fotos tbem dão ótima reportagem! keep going 🙂 p

  2. amei a descricao de toda travessia.
    principalmente o ceu estrelado, satelites, estrelas cadentes e um passaro desconhecido.
    um ceu assim fica gravado na alma forever!
    conhece puerto vallarta e acapulco.
    estive em costa careyes, pacific coast…
    muitos bjos

  3. Albana and Kevin live in La Paz – or close by – they moved from the US and are building a house there.
    Ari stayed with us for a little bit… the full story coming shortly 🙂

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