(Baja California - La Paz - Durango - Zacatecas - México
The Baja, a brutal desert
[September 23, 2004] It was fairly easy to cross the border,
but from now on everybody only speaks Spanish. And I had to
fight my way through with the visa and the import papers for
the bike, my little Spanish grammar book will now be a must
The people around the border cities don´t look trustworthy
and I decide to hit the desert directly.
Here she is, the Baja.
And I really wanted to see and experience it, great with 125
F, now shadow anywhere and just the fu
sun. And of course,
just me, nobody else would drive it, no locals
motocross tyres are really worth it as the sand now is deep
and the rocks are sharp. A few crashes and the heat make me
drink 6 liters of water and a sixpack of Corona this evening.
And again I meet nobody, no locals or tourists in these regions.
After being in the desert for 3 days, 1200 miles and now
shadow I decided to kick back in La Paz a few days and to
organize the ferry to the mainland. And I definentaly had
to clean me and the whole equipment of the sand
The mainland differs a lot from the Baja, it is green and
offers a wide variety of vegetation. And reminds me of home
However, the basura or trash can be fund everywhere, it's
the burdain this country has to carry for the rapid economical
growth. And as there are no solutions yet the whole dump is
just set on fire - imagine the smell!
The Sierra Madre was and still remains rich of Silver and
Gold. That is why the Spaniards had a great interest in the
sites. And it let to a wealth that can today be seen in the
architectural sites of churches and buildings.
My travels through this area really gave me a good impression
of the regions history. And this week was only a big party
as the Mexicans celebrated their Independence Day, with fireworks,
loud musik, trumpets and dancing in the streets. Somehow like
Cologne Karneval, but the Koelsch missing.
And again I meet nice people, this time a Swiss couple Nadine
and Cello, being on their way South as well! And I am sure
we will meet again.
Mex City also showed the other extreme, a city with more
than 25 million inhabitants, full of dirt, emissions and traffic,
but still offering a variety of cultures and confronting you
with the gap between the Rich and the Poor.
And I was rewarded with a little surprise as the Kaefer or
VW Beetle as we call them is still present and running here
serving all purposes of life! Whether as a taxi or with tuning,
it's a great surprise to see, to hear and to smell them aircooled
Boxerengines again. My friends will understand me.
I give the KTM a quick check and service, we both have experienced
already 11000 miles, almost halftime And after 3 days of smog
and dirt I do want to move on South, to Oaxaca.
The wild and beautiful South
(Mexico City - Oaxaca - San Cristobal - Palenque)
[Oct. 2, 2004] I was really happy to leave the dirt and the
smog of Mexico City behind. The highway accends into the mountains
over a 11000 ft high pass of the surrounding volcanos. And
the air was clean again
Now I headed direction Puebla, the Volkswagen city! Every
kid knows the success story of the little sedan, and all Mexicans
are proud of it. And they do keep the beetles on the streets!
The Volkswagen plant dominates the city and gave it a prospering
wealth. One can see the streets and little businesses everywhere.
The highway towards Oaxaca runs through a mountain range,
sometimes full of vegetation, sometimes nearly being a desert
with various cactus again.
Oaxaca is right in a green flat inbetween those mountains
on 5000 ft elevation. It presented itself very lively, less
tourism, but a lot of locals and Indios going out this weekend.
As I had to continue fighting with Montezuma (the shits) I
finally gave up and went to see a doctor. Doc Luciano gave
me the treatment and was so impressed with my story that he
directly volunteered to guide me on my way to Oaxaca, at least
for some miles. And after another nice evening with the Swiss
couple Nadine and Cello I was ready again for more action.
So was the KTM, however needing after 12000 miles now another
service and new tires. We"ll fix it in Antigua, Baby!
The road in the mountains was made for bikes and Doc, Hugo
and I enjoyed the ride. And meet more of his friends, mainly
BMW later. And everyone wanted to know, Where from, Where
to, Why? And concluded, What a crazy German! Well, live your
So it really was a nice morning and I continued towards Techuantepec,
a small town on the coast. Not much being there but the heat
I continued very early in the morning to San Cristobal, one
of the nicest cities I have seen in Mexico! Stunning in the
mountains with a mixture of colors and cultures,
but also again showing the deep contrasts between the Rich
and the Poor, mainly Indios.
As the local elections are due the upcoming weekend, the
town is full of activities of the parties involved. Nadine
and Cello show up and we stroll through the city. A great
town to learn more about the culture. However, we decide to
leave the Chiapas region before the election Sunday as there
are still areas very unsafe and we repeatedly hear stories
of robberies around. So I start early to the old Maya town,
Palenque, a former capital around 500 AD and right within
the dschungle and swamps being hot and humid.
And it really was an amazing visit of an old history and culture.
They were so advanced in geometry and followed the moon and
sun to drive their life, again:
The Yucatan Island being a tourist trap I decided to directly
drive to Belize with its beautiful
sand beaches and the caribean flair.
Hasta la proxima, Mexico, you did surprise me!