Thursday, September 17, 2009

"Running" the Boarder is easy, just follow the yellow brick road...

I get up at 6 AM, take a shower and spend all of 15 seconds with a dryer on my hair, only to be pillaged by Oscar on an early morning ADV post. Frankly, I don't know where he found the time... and I warned him that paybacks are a bitch and also not to hate me because I have hair and I'm beautiful!

So, Oscar, errr I mean Arno, FINALLY gets up and we head over to grab a bite to eat. He returns to the room not feeling too well and proceeds to spend the next half hour on the porcelain throne. That was round one.

Then came rounds two and three, and FINALLY at 10:30 (!!!) we are leaving the hotel, fully 4.5 hours after I got up.

Hey Oscar, how was round three?

We made it 2 blocks down the road and we stop at the store for round #4:

Here's Presidio on the way to the boarder crossing, FINALLY.

At the boarder crossing, Arno went in first and I watched the bikes. He comes out a couple minutes later saying that he forgot to get an exit stamp last year when he was in baja and they won't let him in! God, he needs a smoke! Oh, and round 5, we still haven't made it into Mexico and he already has Montezuma's revenge!

I, on the other hand, go into customs, process myself and my bike and am wham bam done, no problemos. Hmmm.

Back in Oscar goes and he is such a pest that they let him in just to get them out of their blow dried hair.

Now it's nearly 12:30 and we are, needless to say, way behind, but that's okay because we have many days to get to Panama City.

We head out of town and one of the first things I see reminds me of Arno, I don't know why a burrow would do that, do you?

A little farther down the road I spotted about a dozen ostriches!

Cows and horses alongside of the roads, animals are not controlled like we're used to thus reminding us to be careful 'cause it's a real zoo out there:

Also, there are a lot of dogs running around... This one is much more compliant and friendly than Oscar:

Riding across the high desert went like this; across the valley, up the hill, down the other side, across the valley, rinse, repeat:

Oscar and Felix on the Edge:

Oscar going over the Edge (paybacks are hell):

Much more beautiful scenery:

And some not so beautiful artwork:

Right after that canyon area we went down the hill and were stopped at an immigration checkpoint where an agent had us open our right panniers to show all the illegal substances we were carrying. Not but a couple miles down the road we ran into a Mexican Army checkpoint in the middle of nowhere, defending against who knows what:

My less than terrific Espanol brought out Cesar, the one on the left in the T-shirt. Cesar is a terrifically nice and good humored individual - seriously, and he can speak English very well. We got to talking about out journey and soon all were joining in. We asked if we could take pictures and they were all for it.

Arno did a great job by breaking out his portable printer and gave them a couple of hard copy pics.

And a demonstration of how long it took him to get out of the hotel and across the boarder this morning... it took thiiiiiissss loooong and I was THIIISSS STRESSED:

The town of Chihuahua was much larger than I expected. The streets and sidewalks were packed, the roads were under construction and it took some maneuvering and some time to get through the city:

A stop to get a drink and a snack:

Across the street... many of the street vendors look like this:

Hmmm... I wonder what inspired this gigantic statue?

As we were getting towards evening and closer to our stopover, we were at elevations well over 7,000 feet - our hotel tonight is 6,850 feet above sea level according to our gps. We passed what seemed like several miles of covered orchards. It was interesting how they had what had to be thousands of acres covered like this:

As the storms rolled in and darkness approached, here was our queue that we had found a good place to overnight:

The hotel we found is practically brand new, one of the nicest rooms of the trip and it obviously has internet service. It cost 500 pesos and they could not be talked down, even with Arno's charm... that's about $45 or so as the exchange rate is about 13 to 1 now.

And that is how you have the runs across the boarder and wind up smelling like petunias... or whatever the heck those flowers are somewhere over the rainbow, why oh, oh, why can't Oscar?

No, don't worry, I wouldn't play Judy Garland, but I would spin some Styx...

Styx Renegade:

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