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01.05.09 Mexico
Today 5 months ago we started our trip. I lost every feeling for time. We are having the time of my lifes and sometimes it really hits me, it seems to be so unreal. During the night we listened to the ocean and to the crickets, watched the palmtrees and the stars. Went for a walk in the morning. In one restaurant they cut off the legs of the plastic chairs to make beach chairs out of them. Cool idea. We had the whole campground for us and then there were two cars coming. It was a big campground and we realized that they set up their tents right next to our one, only 1.5 meters away. About 12 people were unpacking, right next to us. The Mexicans love people and they feel drawn to other people while in other cultures people try to have their own space and keep the distance. Interesting... The beach was filling up today, it was a holiday. We had breakfast at the beach and the hammocks in the restaurants looked really inviting, but we pulled ourselves together and started packing. We left Tenacatita at about noon. Back to the main road into the dryness, into the hills and into the heat. Our destination for today was La Manzanilla, which is located on the other side of the bay where Tenacatita is located, it looked close. We rode up and down the hills and it was further than we thought it would be. After 24 km we got there. A part of Bhinti's extended family lived there and we wanted to visit her. Linda is a good friend and a gracious host giving us free run of her substantial digs. While we were riding through town, many restaurants seemed to be closed, it was very quiet. We stopped at one restaurant. You only could order food for take away because of the Swine Flu. That's what we did. We moved the chairs of the restaurant and were allowed to sit in their back yard. The owners of the restaurant told us that in the rainseason the crocodiles come up until where we sat. Then we rode back to Bhinti's family. It was nice to see her again. We were offered a beautiful accommodation in the garden. It had a roof made of palm leafs and it was screend all around, very open, very beautiful. It was nice for us to be there and we were grateful.
Resume: Tenacatita-La Manzanilla, 24km, 39 degrees.
LINK: Photos 0582-0586 , videos 084-085
11.05.09 Mexico: La Manzanilla
It was not planned but at the end we stayed here in La Manzanilla for 10 days. Because of the Swine Flu, the whole country had been shut down for several days. No school, all restaurants were closed, lots of partys had been cancelled, nationwide. This is hard to imagine. The teachers had to go back to school earlier to clean and bleach the schools. They wore breathing masks, gloves and had protective clothes on. The busdrivers wear face masks. It was so quiet in town, you could see hardly any people. We were at the right place at the right time. We spent time at the beach, I played my ukulele in the hammock, Bhinti cleaned our bikes, I did some stuff at the computer, we had lots of ice creams and two times we took the bus to Melaque, a town about 16km away. Lots of dogs were barking during the night, also roosters did their songs. The chickens and the rooster sit in trees during the nights. During the day, sales people walk or drive along the road and stopped at our fence. With their loudspeakers they blare out what they have to offer. Once a furniture truck stopped. Imagine, he doesn't need to have a shop, he just drives around with his furniture and people can shop out of his truck. Things get brought directly to your house. Amazing! One shop had 3 parrots. They all could speak one word: 'Hola', which is Spanish and means 'hallo'. So they kept greeting each other without stopping. It went on and on and on. 'hola', 'hola', 'hola', 'hola'... I found it really funny. Of course I took a video which you will find on our website later on. We also enjoyed having a kitchen. Bhinti is an excellent chef and he went crazy with his cooking. We went crazy with the food he made. The last evening felt strange, it felt strange to leave. We felt very welcome and had a really nice time. Thank you dear Linda!
Resume: Stay in La Manzanilla.
LINK: Photos 0587-0614 , videos 086-087
12.05.09 Mexico
We packed, took photos of each other and said good bye. Back on the road again. Right at the beginning we had two big climbs. It was really hot and humid, rainseason will start soon and I could feel my legs, after being off the bikes for 10 days. After 1.5 hours of climbing we enjoyed a really nice and long downhill. The downhill didn't seem to end and all in a sudden a huge valley with lots of beautiful palm trees opened up in front of us. In that moment I felt so much bliss and freedom that tears were running down my cheaks. I so love what we do! I was just so overwhelmed and was so grateful. Then for a while we rode on some flat area. It didn't take long and the road lead us into the hills again. We stopped in a city in the mountains called Cihuatlan. At a sportsclub we found a grass spot in the shade and had an hour sleep, we both felt so exhausted. We filled our tummies and decided to stay here in Cihuatlan. While we were walking through the city we saw a truck with 2 boomboxes in the back. They were about 1 by 0.5 meters big and played one of the Mexican party songs, of course really loud. I love Mexico! The crazy party songs that we heard in Guayabitos for the first time are following us...
Resume: La Manzanilla-Cihuatlan, 33km, 38 degrees.
LINK: Photos 0615-0618 , video 088
13.05.09 Mexico
We left Cihuatlan quite early in the morning. It was still nice and cool, 26 degrees only. We passed some more beautiful valleys with oceans of palm and banana trees. There was hardly any traffic. We left without breakfast. After 15 km we saw a fruit stand on the other side of the road. We yelled across and asked them if they have breakfast. No. We kept riding. After another 5km we saw a street restaurant and started shouting again from a distance as we got closer. They had breakfast. We started shouting at them what the menu was. while we were still riding our bikes. By the time we got there we knew almost already the whole menu. I love this simplicity! After we filled our tummies we rode back to the coast again. This area was quite developed. For a while it even felt like riding through the States of America. There were many big American shops and restaurants like Walmart, Office Max, Starbucks, Burger King and KFC. There were hardly any people on the streets, which is quite unusual. The holidays are over, the Canadians and Americans had left Mexico in March and on top of it, the Swine Flu.. We stopped for food and decided to stay, back at the ocean. It really felt strange, no street life and no people in the restaurants. Our hotel where we stayed was also almost empty and there were no retaurants close by. Everything was built for the Americans and Canadians, so there were no Mexicans in this area. We found a restaurant. It was a big one, there were lots of tables and chairs, but no people. We were the only ones. A man was playing the guitarr,without audience... For me it felt like being in a ghost town. The good thing is when we stay in hotels we just move our bikes into our room, without unpacking them...
Resume: Cihuatlan-Manzanillo, 38km, 39 degrees, humid.
LINK: Photos 0619-0620
15.05.09 Mexico
We stayed one day in Manzanillo. The nights are getting warm now. During the night we sleep without bed sheets and have the fan on. We left at 8am. The city traffic was quite heavy, lots of trucks, but after 20 min we escaped it, riding out of town up a mountain range. On top of it we had a beautiful view to the other side. There was the ocean in its full beauty. We enjoyed the trafficless road with a nice wide shoulder, so we could ride side by side. When we left the mountain range behind us we had water on both sides of us. We saw the mystic mountains in the distance and lots of palm trees. As we left withouth breakfast after 15 km we stopped at a place. On our map it looked like a little town, but it was a truck stop. One restaurant, one pool table and lots and lots of trucks. Almost all of them left their engines on. The drivers played pool and filled their tummies. After we also filled our tummies we left. We rode on a nice, wide and flat road. The tailwind pushed us into the right direction. Having tailwind really has its advantages but there is one thing... you can smell yourself! It gets quite intense after riding in the humid heat for hours and hours...Being back at the beach we stopped at a place called Cuyutlan for more food and a siesta. Everything was closed, there were hardly any people. We rode our bikes right onto the beach and some lounge chairs smiled at us and we moved our tired butts in there and had a nice snooze... The sand was black here. We noticed that the sand had been orange in Manzanillo and white in other places. After lunch and a good rest we left Cuyutlan in the early afternoon. We had the beautiful mountains on our left and hoped not to ride through them. It was nice and flat. We arrived in Tecoman in the early evening. Tecoman is a modern city away from the beach with lots of agricultural area that we rode through. We were looking for a cheap hotel. After we left having checked out an expensive hotel a guy on his bike started a conversation with me at a traffic light. At the end he was so nice and brought us to an nice and economic hotel. We stayed in a nice big clean room, where we could also store our bikes, and it was quiet, dark and secure. The windows could be opened, the lock was not worn out and there were moscito screens on the windows. Also the bed didn't have any springs stucking out and we didn't get any electic shocks when we touch the fan switch!. Nice! And so cheap! We walked throuth the city center and sat at the square right next to the fountain, watching the people...
Resume: Manzanillo-Tecoman, 62km, 39 degrees, humid.
LINK: Photos 0621-0622
16.05.09 Mexico
We made use of the wake up service, had breakfast at the market and left, heading back towards the beach. Again, the road was flat and had a shoulder. We passed many palm tree and banana plantations. Lots and lots... It was so green here. In a tiny village on the main road we stopped for some fruit. There was a little stand and a young girl was selling all sorts of fruit. The Mexicans eat the fruit in a different way. They put lime,salt and chili pepper on it. Why not. They had a hammock and it didn't take long and I saw myself lying in there. It feels good to put the feet up. We kept riding and rode into a new state "Michoacan", left "Colima". All in a sudden the road was narrow but also the traffic was gone. Where has it gone? You cross the line and everything is different. The people are so friendly here in Mexico. When we are riding, lots of them toot their horns or give us thumbs-ups or say somthing nice. Even the police soluted us with his sirene! We rode into the foothills of the mountains and had one 30 min climb. It felt more like 2 hours and I could feel my muscles, my legs didn't want to work anymore somehow. Exhausted we arrived at the top and enjoyed the downhill that took us directly to the beach town where we wanted to stay for the night. We were really hungry and had something at a beach restaurant, found a nice accommodation and I was happy that I didn't need to move anymore. I felt so exhausted. I just made it into the ocean for a swim, that was it for me. It was a beautiful natural beach town, it was a town where Mexicans come here for holiday, hardly any Americans and Canadians. The beach was wide and the water was shallow, lots of huge waves rolled onto the beach. Many palm trees were waving their leaves, they were right at the beach, behind them were the mountains. There were some hotels but not many. They were not big and they were tucked away behind the palm trees. The beach had space, it was not covered with tables and chairs. It was the weekend but there were hardly any people, the restaurant, where we ate, was almost empty. In the distance we saw sting rays jumping. The water was clear. I was so glad to get here as my legs were shaking. There was that hammock at the restaurant calling me... What else do you need than a simple room at the beach, a restaurant close by, an icecream shop next door and some hammocks... I was just glad not to move.
Resume: Tecoman-San Juan de Alima, 48km, 39 degrees, humid.
LINK: Photos 0623-0634 , videos 088-090
17.05.09 Mexico: San Juan de Alima
We stayed here for the day. We had our nice simple room almost at the beach, hammocks and tables and restaurants we could use and we had the wide natural beach with its big waves right in front of us. When I write my diary to reflect the day, often I have to think in which location we started in the morning as we see so many things and pass so many places. During the day we saw lots of jumping fish, some of them were sting rays. We used the day for bike maintenance and laundry. It started raining in the evening. This was the first rain after months. Oh, the air smelled really nice.
Resume: Stay in San Juan de Alima.
LINK: Photo 0635 , video 091
18.05.09 Mexico
We ate our own food in the still closed restaurant and packed. I was scared to touch the outlet and light switches as I got an electro shock earlier. You never know... Actually we both had this experience. Back on the road again, not even 5 minutes passed and we were climbing... The reward was the view to a beautiful beach down there with lots of palm trees. In the next village in the valley we saw from above we stopped for lunch. Then we just kept riding in the humidity and in the heat, taking on more climbs. We passed lots of trees. The seeds of these treese were popping and the shell around it fell on the ground. It was quite loud and I immediately thought of pop corn. The sound was everywhere. Pop, pop, pop...We had another rest in a small village, sat down in a closed restaurant, moved the chairs next to a tree and put up our feet, preparing ourselves for a snooze in the shade... What comes after the snooze? More climbing. We saw beautiful valleys. At 6.30pm we finally arrived in Maruata. What a long day we had. People that Bhinti knows had told him it is a beautiful place to stay. So we did. It was a very basic town with mainly straw houses and hammocks. No gringos! The village was located right at the beach in a beautiful palm tree valley. Rock formations and coves seperated the beach and little bays. After we filled our tummies at a beach restaurant we set up our tent on a family property under a straw roof. There was a TV, 2 hammocks and some tables and chairs. It was their living room. I actually have never camped in somebodies livingroom. The bathroom was simple. It was a little building with curtains as doors and a built in garden hose as a shower. You never know what to expect. Michoacan is less developed and quite remote, natural and untouched. It was so hot and humid, we were lying in our tent without clothes on, no sheet, without moving. Around us was a crying baby, dogs were barking, chickens did their songs, children played. Good we had the earplugs...
Res: San Juan de Alima-Maruata, 60km, 44 degrees.
LINK: Photos 0636-0644
19.05.09 Mexico: Maruata
The dog almost barked the whole night and Bhinti was tempted to shut his mouth with duck tape... We smelled smoke during the night. People are burning stuff. Mexico never seems to sleep. We got up as early as we could and started packing, then decided to stay for another day to rest. We looked to the mountains in front of us and unpacked... It was so nice to stay with the family. They had a simple outdoor kitchen. The baby was lying in the hammock. A man passed with 2 big tables on his back, trying to sell them. He was shouting while he passed. We went to the beach. Kids went fishing. They only had a speer, a net with empty plastic bottles attached. They spend about 6 hours in the water, every day. This village is stuck in time. We talked to the family. They told us they are Native Indians. Everybody here in Maruata is Native Indian. We were in a Native Indian village and we even didn't know. I was quite overwhelmed and touched. They have a strong bond and refuse to sell any of their land to the white people. This place would have been sold and changed in no time! The woman, her name is Praje, told us that they speak 73 different languages in Mexico. That explains many things! Often when I started talking to people they just gave me this blank look and I doubted my language skills. Or when they talked to me I couldn't understand a word. No wonder, when they speak a completely different language... We went for a walk along the beach and climbed the rocks and had a fantastic view over the beaches, rockformations, coves and the village with its straw houses. Even the walls were made of palm leaves. What a paradise! What a different world!
Res: Rest in Maruata.
LINK: Photos 0645-0673 , videos 092-093
20.05.09 Mexico
We packed and left early in the morning. It was sad to leave this paradise. Back into the mountains. About 2 km before we stopped in a village for lunch we passed 2 donkeys that took themselves for a walk on the road, mother and son as it looked like. After 16km we stopped in a tiny village for breakfast. We saw the restaurant sign and sat down. It looked closed but it was open. There were only 2 tables. Where we sat was actually a living room. People get restaurant signs and guests can come in and the people start cooking. Easy! Again, we were sitting under a straw roof, which was their living room. There was a TV and a hammock. They had one straw hut as a bedroom. The kitchen was also underneath the straw roof. On the back of the house was somebody eating an iguana. He just put the whole thing in a tortilla and wrapped it. A little piglet was running around in the living room. Why not... Beside the 'restaurant' was a gas station. A man sold petrol in plastic tanks. This is the simpliest gas station I have ever seen. By the time we left this little village we saw the 2 donkeys again on another little road. They obviously knew their way... We left and we were in the mountouns. That's for sure! It went up up up up up up up down up up up up up up up up down up up up... That's all we did for the whole day. Our destination for today was Tizupan. Finally we made it! We stopped at a restaurant. There was a parrot in a cage. He was lying on the floor and had his feet up. He juggled a ball in his feet. Just another thing I had never seen before. 2km to the beach, I didn't want to move anymore after all these long uphills. Exhausted we arrived, hot and sweaty. The first thing we saw was a swimming pool. There was also one restaurant, a little playground, a big palapa (straw roof) with hammocks underneath and straw roofs at the beach. The beach was wild, there were rocks and lots of driftwood. We sat up our tent underneath one ot the straw roofs at the beach, right next to playground. It felt being in a resort. Lucky us! They were also in the process of building a RV park for campervans. After we pitched our tent we jumped into that pool. Nice, to to feel so much gravity anymore. From our tent we could see the main road and another uphill... The rest of the day we were lying in the hammocks.
Resume: Maruata-Tizupan, 47km, 43 degrees.
LINK: Photos 0674-0692
21.05.09 Mexico: Tizupan
We spend a day in Tizupan and rested our tired legs. I could hardly move in the morning, my body was so tired. What did we do? Lots of nothing, a bit of eating, and we went for a walk at the beach combined with yoga. We saw an empty turtle shell at the beach. The woman who worked in the restaurant was also responsible for our little campsite. She was so relaxed, she never was after the money for food we ate or for our accommodation. So much trust. At the end we had to tell her what we ate so she could charge us the right amount. The wind picked up in the evening and it was not so sticky like in Maruata. We had the wild beach filled with rocks, showers right next to our tent, a playground for Bhinti, the pool, a grass field, mountains in the distance, a restaurant, a shop, hammocks and shade. What a nice place to rest.
Resume: Stay in Tizupan.
LINK: Photos 0693-0699 , video 094
22.05.09 Mexico
We left early in the morning, more climbing. But after a while the mountains became hills and we also had flat areas. We had some nice views being on top of a hill, overlooking the coast line. In the valleys we passed lots of coconut, papaya, banana and mango fields. When ever we stop we throw our riding shirts in a bucket of water and wear them wet, so much nicer to ride. At about 3pm we arrived in Caleta de Campos. The city itself was not at the beach. We stopped at the beach. There was only one restaurant and a palapa with hammocks and some straw roofs at the beach. We pitched our tent underneath a straw roof with chairs and a hammock. The waves were huge. We have been told that these waves were only so high in the time before the rainy season. Where is the connection between the waves and the rainy season? It was windy and the salty mist got blown all over the place. We wrapped our bikes in our silk tarp to protect them from the salt and sand. The sand underneath the palapas was humid from all the mist. The tent was salty in no time. Here we are, camping at another wild beach, having seen so many beautiful places. Sometimes it hits me and everything appears to be so unreal, like a dream.
Resume: Tizupan-Caleta de Campos, 54km, 42 degrees.
LINK: Photos 0700-0707
23.05.09 Mexico
When we opened the tent in the morning we saw a big crab whole right next our tent. A crab was digging a little tunnel underneath it and almost covered Bhinti's shoes. So funny! We were sticky, salty and sandy, so were our clothes. The tent was damp. Let's get out of the salt! We packed as fast as we could and left.The scenery was hilly. Rocky hills seperated the beaches. We saw a rattle snake on the side of the road. We enjoyed breakfast and a great view on top of a hill, later in a coconut tree valley a big jug of coconut water. As the map showed a wrong distance we rode 20km more then expected to get to our destination. The last bit was flat. We also had headwind. We arrived in 'Playa Azul' in the afternoon. It was a beach town with lots of cement houses and with lots of traffic, noises and people. Back to the civilisation... The last week we have been almost the only ones on the road. That also has changed. We checked in in a cheap hotel, had a snooze and walked to a restaurant for dinner. On our way to the restaurant we saw the chickens climbing up their tree, getting ready for a good night sleep. They showed a good movie at the restaurant so we kept staying there for a while. While Bhinti kept watching I walked to a shop and came back with ice cream. Watching a movie with ice cream. We are getting really good at making ourselves home. The Mexicans don't mind, they really are relaxed. At the beach were lots of restaurants, chairs, tables and hammocks. It was hot and humid. We had the fan on and our door open during the night.
Resume: Caleta de Campos-Playa Azul, 62km, hilly, 42 degrees.
LINK: Photos 0708-0710
24.05.09 Mexico: Playa Azul
The night was hot and sticky. We had the fan on and didn't use the bed sheet. Bhinti told me that last night a crab was in front of our door. He watched the crab walking to the left in front of our door, then walking back to the right. It couldn't come in as our room was a bit higher. At the end the crab crawled into Bhinti's shoe. So he left his shoe outside for the night. What was a crab doing here? It must have walked over the wide beach, crossed the street and walked through the courtyard of the hotel.... We stayed for a day, washed our bikes, tent and clothes, sewed some of our clothes, rested in the hammock and watched the professional surfers.
Resume: Stay in Playa Azul.
LINK: Photos 0711-0712
25.05.09 Mexico
We left at 7am. It was still nice and cool, 23 degrees only. We rode into the sunrise. There was lots of traffic, we saw lots of children on their way to school. Finally we took the offramp towards Zihuatanejo and the traffic almost disappeared. We left beautiful 'Michoacan' and entered a new state 'Guerrero'. We rode over a big dam and then through a beautiful tropicl and rural area, the hills got less and less. Lots of birds were singing. As we started without breakfast we started to get hungry, but there weren't any restaurants. Strange. After 40km riding we finally found one. We passed a small city and heard tuba music. We haven't heard the tuba for a while, the Native Indians don't seem to listen to tuba music. Welcome back to Mexico! Michoacan had been so different; so quiet, so untouched, so remote, stuck in time with its straw houses, and we hadn't seen any Gringos. After a while riding we saw a toll road disappearing in the East which is the right direction for us, but the road was not on our map. We went for it hoping it lead us to Zihuatanejo. The good thing is, toll roads have wide shoulders but then they don't go through villages and towns, there is not much life. We asked some street workers that were snoozing under a bridge in the shade. Yes, it is going to Zihuatanejo. We had no idea how long it would take until we hit an offramp heading to a village to get more water. We kept riding and riding. After a while the toll road ended and we arrived in a village. We road already over 70km and were exhausted. It was so hot, being in the inland. 60km to Zihuatanejo. We were in a tiny village and Bhinti got the idea to hitch hike to get back to the beach, to Zihuatanejo. Bhinti had been there before and he really loved it there. And really, after a while a pick up truck stopped. Two men were on their way to work and offered us a ride. We threw the bikes without unpacking them on the back of the truck, secured them with ropes and left. The guys were uplifting, they sang songs and were really happy. Wow, we were so much faster this time, I even didn't start sweating. After one hour we got there and said good bye to these lovely people. We rode to the beach and found a nice accommodation. We had Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner, a non-Mexican dish. Yeah! Despite the hitch hiking I was so exhausted. I didn't even remember how I got into bed.
Resume: Playa Azul-Zihuatanejo, 77km riding, 60km hitch hiking, 42 degrees.
LINK: Photos 0713-0718

31.05.09 Mexico: Zihuatanejo
We stayed 6 days in Zihuatanejo. It reminded me of a European town with its nicely decorated restaurants, little cobble streets and shops. It is tucked away in a beautiful bay, surrounded by green hills with houses on them. There are lots of fisherman boats in the water and at the beach. The restaurants buy the fish directly from the fishermen. Nice and fresh. It is less humid here and the water has a different colour. There are no big hotels here. The bay is sheltered, there are no waves and the water is clear. The owner of the hotel where we stayed had a parrot. His name was Lorenzo. He could talk! 'Hola', 'Hola Lorenzo', 'Lorenzo', 'Hola caracol', 'buenas tardes'... He even could sing long songs with 5-7 lines lyrics. What a cool bird! He was 20 years old. These type of birds can get up to 80 years old. He also sits outside in the plants and doesn't fly away, although his wings are not cut. I enjoyed the nutella crepes in the morning. So nice to eat different food. The restaurants were empty. Everybody is so hungry for business. People go to work and there is nothing to do. On one night we went to the movies. 2-3 year old children were running around in the theater. There don't seem to be any age-restrictions at all. They were watching shooting scenes really loud on a huge screen... It made me wonder. One day we took the bus to 'Playa Linda', which is about 15 km far away, to take the boat to 'Ixtapa Island' and did some snorkeling. Lots of fishes. There weer these blue ones, it looked like they wore bright blue flash lights. So beautiful. And the little yellow-black ones came so close that I thought they would swim into my t-shirt that I wore. You think you can touch them as they are only 1 cm away but they are awesome swimmers... In the afternoon we took the boat back and explored Ixtapa. Ixtapa is a tourist town. There are these huge 5 star resorts, one next to another. On the other side of the road were some restaurants and some expensive shops. All the resorts were mainly built for the Americans and Canadians, but it was not the season, so there were not many people, no Mexicans anyway, you saw them only working in the restaurants.
Resume: Stay in Zihuatanejo.
LINK: Photos 0719-0728 , videos 095-098