EMMANUEL’S 40% REPORT
25, 1999 - Day 125 /
Route covered: Muleje, Baja California Sur, Mexico to Zanatepec, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Dear great people,
This is the first report which covers only one country. Mexico is big, beautiful, and has many aspects to discover. Let’s check out this recipe first to refresh our memory.
Bike It Solo Stew
Top of stove directions:
After my last report, I continued to head south in Baja California Sur. I went through the hottest day there, and over the steepest hill. The heat of the road claimed my one remaining original tire, the one belonging to my B.O.B. trailer. I had a spare. I wondered what B.O.B. meant for quite some time, only guessing Back Of Bike. However, I was wrong. Another fellow B.O.B.er informed me of the meaning of the acronym: Beast Of Burden.
I reached La Paz, where I would cross the Sea of Cortez by ferry. The ferry runs Sunday through Friday. I got there on a Saturday. After waiting a day, and sleeping by the ocean, I boarded the ferry. I got a room, which were shared. It turns out my roommate was a hitchhiker from Holland. He had met Jan, the German I rode with in Alaska and Canada, some four days after we split. Even the world of travelers is a small world.
We arrived in Mazatlan 18 hours later. My bike needed some maintenance and a new rear derailleur. Since this was a big city, I looked for a good bike shop. I stayed in Mazatlan for 4 days with the Veseliks, a family which owns a publication for tourists, "Mazatlan’s Pacific Pearl". They interviewed me, and the story will appear in the November issue, also found at www.pacificpearl.com. My bike was treated well at Kelly’s bike Shop, while I was adopted with much kindness by the Veseliks. I even got some Monday Night Football action at their newly opened Sports Salon. With my bike at peak performance, and after 4 days of much food and great rest, it was time to continue on.
The weather changed compared to Baja California. The heat is still present, but also much humidity. The lack of vegetation is also no more, with many different kinds of flowers and green plants covering every patch of moist-rich dirt.
I entered Mexico on September 16, and have cycled the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Nayarit, Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, Guerrero and Oaxaca, where I am at present. Tomorrow I enter the last state of my Mexico crossing, Chiapas. I have gone through world famous places, such as Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco and Puerto Escondido. Of these, my favorite was Acapulco, where I enjoyed McDonalds and Domino’s pizza. Both Mazatlan and Acapulco are big and organized cities, the view of Acapulco from far is what impressed me the most.
The roads have narrowed. Traffic has increased. Tall grasses grow by the side of the road, most of the time covering that friend of mine, the white line. When semi trucks have the option of going 4 inches from another semi, or 4 inches from an 18-year-old cyclist, they opt for the least massive, biker. I have learned to appreciate every inch. I no longer skip a heartbeat when I can stretch my arm and tap a driver on the shoulder. A driver who is moving at 80 MPH.
That is why I like Physics. It is what I plan to study upon completion of my trip. From Mazatlan I sent in the last of my Stanford application paper work. I will know the decision in mid December and will let you all know.
I have been rained on a few times. My raingear, however, has seen no action. For two reasons, before it begins to rain I am already soaked with perspiration, and if I wear raingear it gets too hot. Every shower is refreshing. I’ve discovered cheap rooms available for rent, about 5 dollars a night. Here I have a bed, a fan, and a one-size-fits-all shower. This is the name I have given to the one faucet with one water temperature.
People have remained friendly, giving me much chance to talk and listen. I have encountered roadblocks twice, with protests regarding politics. I have remained neutral, highlighting that I am just a traveler, and have been given permission to pass. On the last of these protests, one lady did not want to let me through, and tried pulling me back as I continued my way.
My bike is doing well; I have become its best friend. Tune-ups have been made by me, with the helpful knowledge passed on to me by Dave and Joe at Sports Connection in Sonora. As repairs are needed, I remember the things they taught me before leaving. I am also doing well, not having taken a rest day since leaving Mazatlan almost 3 weeks ago. The humidity and heat, however, have acted together to remind me of the place where I sit the most, my bike seat. Yes, saddle sores have caught up to me. I was told necessity is the mother of invention, and have applied this saying to my situation, Huggies Supreme. I trim and cut and pull and downsize to get 4 beautiful and absorbent pads from each diaper. When buying some the other day, a lady claimed that they were too small for me when I told her they were not for my nephew, but for personal use. "Depend, you need Depend." I told her these where just fine. "I am a mommy, I know, you need Depend." I explained further and we all had a good laugh.
I’ve been looking at everything in a positive way, or trying at least. A couple of teenagers from the back of a truck threw what I thought were rocks at me while I rested by the side of the road. They were peanuts. Positive thinking: "Thanks guys, I could use a snack." So I cracked those shells and enjoyed the fresh peanuts. Every thing has a positive side; we just have to take the time to find it. By looking hard we find a lot more positive than negative things.
I have seen many lizards and geckos, with terra colors all the way to neon green. Tarantulas have also caught my attention, specially the black and orange ones. It would be a great mascot for Summerville High since these are its school colors.
Road damage due to the earthquake in Oaxaca and also flooding in the area have been noticeable, yet still bikeable. Some times it is a bumpy ride, but it just helps to loosen me up, relax, think, enjoy the ride.
My hair continues to grow, covering my eyes. My next report will cover Central America. Countries will now go by like states. Thank you for all your support and prayers, I couldn’t do it without you, and you, and you, and also you behind me. God Bless,
Bike It Solo
Look inside specially marked packages for Emmanuel’s 50% report.
"For by Thee I can run upon a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall" (2 Samuel 22:30). If this is possible, I know He is helping me to Bike It, Solo.
Consider the following:
• Sonora area people: Tune in to KKBN The Cabin FM 93.5 Wednesday at 8:40 AM. I am trying to call in every Wednesday.
• Please forward or make copies of this report and post them where others may read it as well.
• Due to the fact that I have close to 270 people on my mailing list, please let me know if you have E-mail. You will receive the report sooner. Send your name and E-mail to:
emmanuel.gentinetta at bikeitsolo.com
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Bike it Solo
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Sonora, CA 9537050% Report
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