Monday, September 28, 2009

The Road from Creel

Nate's not as happy as he looks and neither am I

Nahrr, Nate's not happy here, either. We are both beat to shit when we find this hole in the wall with no hotel/motel, only a very small tienda:

Fer christsake, how can you be miserable with that kind of background?

Ok, so it seems that Nate lost his camera on his way home so I'm going to try to describe our quarters for the night.

We'd been riding since soon after sun-up on the trail from Creel to Choix. It was a few hours into the ride when I crashed and broke my ankle. That, of course ate up some time. The progress was slow going with endless switchbacks, loose rocks, blind turns, plus my paranoia that I would do something stupid and drop my bike on my hurt leg again.

As we come down off of this mountain...

we can see signs of civilization and we're all going "hurrah, hurrah, we're saved!"

But when we finally get there, there is n o t h i n g. I mean nada. While Nate scouts ahead for anything, this guy yells at me in English, right on! I ask him if there's an hotel, he says no. How about a tienda? Yes! right around the corner here! (A hidden dirt trail switchback. The tienda was literally 50 feet away, but down the hill out of sight). Good god, we're saved!

Nate has apparently lost his camera on the way home, so all of the pics from Creel on are gone, including the accident scene and all the pics he took of the tienda here, so I will try to describe it. Here is the only shot I have. The little girl is the daughter of the woman that's running the tienda.

Where I'm standing, taking the picture, is in front of the window where Nate and I bought a truckload of water and cokes. While we're standing there trying to re-hydrate (we were suffering heat exhaustion by now), I realized we had no place else to go. Nate was warned not to try to camp and Choix was too far, especially if the monsoons hit. I'm looking over at the covered patio thing where the girl is standing and I ask if we can rent the space. Now, the woman wasn't exactly surly, but it sure seemed as if she didn't want us there in the first place. Anyway, she says the equivilent of "welllll, I guess so." Cuanto questa? She doesn't know so I offer $100p and she accepts it. Hooray, we're saved I have an idea; I take the picture of the little girl and Nate takes a picture of the two boys. We're thinking/hoping that they belong to the woman. I break out my little photo printer, and just like the border crossing and all the hotels we stayed at, I print those two pics and give them to the woman. It turns out the boys belong to someone else, but the little girl is hers. You wanna talk about an attitude change! It was great. She was now on our side.

A little later a truck drives up with a bunch of "farm hands" and the driver bursts out of the cab and runs up to us yelling "Hey Amigos! How's it going!? You want some hash?" His hands are thickly stained from apparently cropping plants or processing or something. Wow, not what I expected. I think it's pretty cool, but Nate was a little uncomfortable. The guys load up on cervaza and stand around talking amongst themselves and with us for awhile and then take off.

We had the place to ourselves for a little while and the sun is starting to set when another pickup comes roaring up the drive and again, another guy comes running up to us. This one's a little different. He's got a bloody lip and is obviously phucked up. The first words out of his mouth is "Hey mudderfuckers, whatz happening?! You want some phucking dope? You like mexican poosy?! I blurt out "Dude, you know the real English! What the fuck's happening man!" "Man, I was just in an accident, look, I fucked up my lip and my head!" I start laughing my ass off and reply "Ha ha, me too! I crashed my bike and fucked up my leg!" We're laughing our asses off.

So we go back and forth with serious ghetto talk. He explains that he had a big operation in the states with dope and "poosy" and all kinds of stuff but he got busted and deported. When he talks with his friends listening in, he's cursing the US and his bad fortune but when he turns back to me he's all talking smack with his filthy english. I'm having the time of my life with this guy. He's certainly not the first guy I've talked with like this. Remember, the house I sold in Vancouver was a crack house - that's the kind of neighborhood I tend to live in. Anyway, Nate's a little worried but I assure him that if just checks his ego and let this guy rant and show off in front of his friends, everything should be ok. Our one hope was that after they left, they wouldn't come back in the middle of the night even more wasted and ready for a fight or something. They never did come back.

Later, a police pickup shows up and the mean-looking driver gets out of the drivers side and the two other cops with rifles get out of the passenger side. Those two cops stare us down while the driver loads up some sacks in the shape of bales. I have no idea what was going on (yes I do) and I stared off into any direction but theirs.

They finished whatever they were doing, and without ever having said a word to us, the booked. Now that, was uncomfortable!

The ex-surly woman invites us for dinner around the back of the house - frijoles and cheese. It had to have been one of the best meals of my life.

A little later on a final pair of pickups (I was surprised to learn that the spanish word for pickup is "peekup" ) shows up and the friendly amigos buy us beer. We sit around talking and having a good time while the monsoons start to roll in. They complained that they haven't had rain in 15 days and Nate tells them we'll get rain tonight because it's been following us the whole time. Sure as hell, the wind picks up fiercely and it just pours. The mexicans are happy and don't even get out of the rain. Nate and I move our gear further back in the patio because the wind is in the direction of the opening and just pouring in.

I happen to mention that mexicans don't know shit about drainage. It's now pitch black except when the brilliant lightning is flashing and we put our gear all the way back in the patio. Slowly the visitors go home for the night and all that's left is me, Nate, and Benny, the guy who flagged me down. Benny is a field hand there and he simply unrolls a straw mat, lays down and goes to sleep. Nate and I lay on a bed frame there but it's too uncomfortable for my leg so I lay out my thermorest and spend the night on the floor.

The next morning, sure as shit, our gear, including our helmets and gloves are sitting in three inches of water

Once again, I take a picture. This time of ex-surly Margarita, print it out and hand it to her. I think she appreciated it. She stood there and waved us goodbye.

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