« Day 5 - Caborca to Bahia da Kino, Sonora, Mexico (Fri 11/27/15) | Main | Day 7 - Bahia Del Kino to San Carlos, Mexico (Sun 11/29/15) »

November 28, 2015

Day 6 - Bahia de Kino, Sonora, Mexico (Sat 11/28/15)

Update: I am alive and well and resting peacefully in the Casa Blanca motel on the shores of the Sea of Cortez in the town of Bahia de Kino, in the state of Sonora, Mexico.

Starting Odometer: 34,845
Ending Odometer: 34,855
Miles Driven Today: 10
Miles Driven This Trip: 1,235

This is a map of where I drove today.

So, I'm reasonably sure that I can never leave this place. Haha. Just kidding. I know I have to leave. But it's sure been a nice little place to hang out. I decided to spend another night here because I can't imagine finding a more secluded white sand beach that's any better than this. I can drive my KTM on the beach. Drink on the beach with open glass bottles. If this isn't paradise, it's not far from it.

And, I'm sitting here at the bar, drinking my margarita, thinking how clever I am for finding this place, when a couple of Americans come in. This older couple. And he starts telling me that, if I think this place is nice, then I should see the next place down the coast. It's down just past Gauacama.....I think it's called Santa Rosa? Or something like that.

These two Americans..I ask them...how did you find this place? Like, in my mind, we're in the middle of nowhere. I've never heard anyone say the words "Kino Bay" in my life.

But, apparently, if you lived in Arizona, back in the day, back before Rocky Point really took off, some people would bypass Rocky Point in favor of Kino Bay, as the surf fishing was better here, apparently.

So, it was however many hours to get to Rocky Flats, and for a few hours more, you could get to Kino Bay. In theory, anyway. I sort of feel like it took me a LONG time to get here.

And I woke up this morning and I was like...yeah...trust me I'm not leaving this place. Not today, anyway. It's too nice a place to run from.

So, I get up and start moving around noon or so. And decide I'll walk down he beach. So I slather myself in sunscreen, and start walking down the beach wearing a bathing suit and a t-shirt. And 2 cameras. And it's just spectacular. Soft sugar white sand beaches. California Pelicans, and other birds I can't quite identify.

Gentle waves crash on the beach. This is the Sea of Cortez, of course.

And we're surrounded by mountains.

The owner of the hotel, John, comes by. And we talk for a bit. Apparently, they have two seasons here. The Mexicans come here in the summer. And the Americans/Canadians come here in the winter.

Like...John comes and sets up these two outdoor patio heaters, and when he leaves, I turn it down as low as it will go.

Now...to talk about what Mexico is like. For people that haven't been here. It's like this.

Imagine if civilization ground to a halt, and all construction projects just halted, for no discernible reason, midway through completion.

Imagine if dogs walk the streets alone, unafraid.

Imagine if, instead of a license plate, you just taped a $ in place of where your tag should be.

I don't know how or why it is this way. But a large portion of Mexico always seems to be abandoned. Unfinished. Decrepit.

You know....I mean....I'm drinking tequila, looking at the place across the street thinking...I could buy that place. I could do this. I don't need to go back to the United States.

So...I'm driving down the road today, and, for some reason, I can't get my bike to change gears. It's stuck in like...2nd gear...and this is a bad feeling. This is nightmare fuel.

Like...granted...it's not like I'm about to die, but then again, if I can't get the bike to change gears, my joy-ride through Mexico is about to come to a grinding halt.

Like....I can't change gears. WTF is going on?

Now, if I have to be honest with myself, then I've known there was a problem since Chambers, Arizona. That was when I couldn't get the gear shift to work right. And I looked down at it to see what my foot was caught on. And it was the shift peg.

Now, I don't understand how the shift peg works. And by that, what I mean, is that I don't consciously understand what my left foot does that makes this journey possible. Like, if you type at a keyboard, it's fairly well documented that most people don't know where the keys are on a keyboard. It's in a sort of rote-memory stored area that's different than the conscious level. And, people have to look at the keyboard to find the letter, even though they can type 60 wpm.

So it is with the shifter. I could not tell you what my left foot is doing or why, only that I don't have to think about it.

And now. it's not working. And it's not the fault of my left foot. I can't change gears. Something is majorly fucked.

So, I pull over on the side of the road.

I'm in Bahia Del Kino.

And I stop, on the side of the road, and begin to think. Maybe this is something beyond repair. But then again, maybe the shift peg is just loose. And, I look and reach into the gook in the bottom of the engine. And I find that, as one might imagine, the shift peg is loose.

Now, I reach into my Givi case on the back of my bike. This is what it is for. It holds my tools. I pull out my socket wrench set. It's missing the extension, but other than that, it's complete. And I figure that the nut is about 8mm. Turns out it's 10mm. Close enough. So, now, I have the socket wrench and socket. But the extension is missing. And i need it. So I root through the rest of my tools in the Givi case and find it. Now, I just tighten up the shifter, and I'm rolling again.

Now, I'd like to point out that, for all of the people second-guessing me at home, get in line. For everyone thinking "I could never do that", you're right.

I'm not a mechanic, by trade. But I was able to repair a problem in a 3rd world country on the side of the road, and keep going

Like...that's the best feeling in the world. I'm not a mechanic. Never claimed to be. But I can fix minor issues, and keep rolling.

Now, I get to the PEMEX gas station which John has assured me has 2 functioning ATM's. It' has none.

And now, there's a guy here on a Honda...125cc? dirt bike, with a chic on the back. He has a $ for a license plate. I dunno why, but somehow, he figures out that I need an ATM and a hat that says "Bahia Del Kino".

Like...I couldn't make this shit up. I guess I told him that. In broken spanish. But somehow, the dude figures this out.

So first, he takes me to an ATM. Sure enough, there's an ATM. And we wait for the chick in front of me to finish her transition. Eventually, she leaves, defeated. And it the machine gives me something absurd like $1,500.00 in Pesos. We both use the same currency symbol. THat's not confusing at all, is it?

So now, I follow this guy and his chic through the parts of Old Kino (Kino Viejo), and he stops at a tourist shop. And his chica goes in to make sure that they have a hat for me.

And they do. And she comes out.

And now, he tells me to park, across the street, directly in front of the store, so that my bike will be safe.

And I go in to buy my hat.

And I'm wondering what I owe these people, right? Like....what's the deal here? Do I owe you a kidney? Or a $20.00?

And instead, when I go in to buy my hat, they just drive away.

And now, I feel bad. Like... for being suspicious of their motives. They were as pure as the driven snow.

And now, they're gone and I never got to even thank them. They took me to an ATM, and to a store that sold me a Kino Bay hat. And they left without me even saying thank you.

Like...that's what Mexico is like that people don't get.

Thats the sad part.

It s that people don't grasp how freaking cool everyone is down here. It doesn't come through on the news at night.

THat's not the stories you hear.

But that's what it's like.

And so, I'm driving around old Kino, and I find them again.

So, I stop and talk to them for a bit. They take some shots of me on the KTM. I drive it onto the beach, drop it, and he runs over to help me stand it up, which is nearly impossible.

Uno...dos....tres! And we push up as hard as we can. We do this at least 3 times. And I'm begging the chick with the camera to take some photos. But I suspect there are none.

But, like, who the fuck cares if you dropped the bike? It's all part of the adventure. A photo of it in the sand would be perfect. But the strangers helped me get it upright.

And this is not the message that America gets about Mexico. And that's sad. Because the people down here are the sweetest people on earth.

And somehow, we miss that in the translation.

Posted by Rob Kiser on November 28, 2015 at 4:57 PM


Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)