Ok so it has been a while since I last updated my blog and I am sorry but rest assured I have been having a fantastic time! But it hasn’t been without its challenges.
After an amazing crossing from La Paz to Chacala and a rest period of about 15 days I have had to readjust to a life of running. The Baja Peninsula was hot, dry and flat – a desert! Well over here on the mainland it is hot, humid and very hilly – a jungle! This, coupled with getting back into running is proving harder than I thought. The humidity sucks the energy from your very core and my muscles are constantly aching. You also sweat a lot… the sweating means you are dehydrating and losing minerals and to add to that there is chaffing in places that best not mentioned here…
To add to all the above I have been having technology issues – phones, computers and cameras all deciding to die at the same time. This has been financially challenging and also means that once I finish for the day I am constantly in admin mode (something I will touch on in a future blog). And when I thought things couldn’t get worse a spoke broke on one of my wheels! But you don’t want me to bore you with all of this…
So here is a quick rundown of the past few days.
I arrived in Chacala on the 29th of December aboard the Andante. As it was so close to New Year’s Eve I decided to stay and enjoy this beautiful beachside town. Chacala is mostly occupied by Mexican tourists and while there are Gringos around they are a minority. The village mainly consists of a long palm tree lined beach and a single cobbled street of shops and restaurants. There are obviously more residential parts and a gated area for those with a little more money but we didn’t venture there. Our first day basically consisted of sitting in a restaurant eating and drinking with the odd swim to cool down. On New Year’s Eve we had a relaxing day as we prepared for an evening of festivities. When the evening rolled in we made our way ashore and grabbed some food to line our stomachs for the evening ahead. This was especially necessary for me as I was set to depart the next morning… After a delicious pizza we made our way to the beach with a few beers and got chatting to a local family. The beach was chaotic with families everywhere mixing their own drinks, lighting Chinese lanterns and setting off the most amazing amount of fireworks. There was no safety involved. You could be standing innocently on the beach and then a firework would explode behind you. I think many would have been appalled but luckily they probably wouldn’t risk a holiday to such an amazing place!!! At midnight the whole community gathered round a handmade structure dripping in pyrotechnics and watched as it was set a light. It was a fantastic evening and a very fitting way to see in 2015.
The next day I managed to brush aside the hangover and make it onto the road though it was very tough. The road out of Chacala was narrow and meandered up and down hills. The humidity was a killer, magnified by the hangover. However it felt good to on the road again, running free with the music blaring out of my speakers and sweat running down my forehead.
When I hit Highway 200 it became apparent that I was going to have to concentrate more than when I was on the peninsula. The road was very narrow and the traffic intense. That being said the majority of drivers seemed to be good humoured towards a mad runner and gave me both wide birth and smile or toot of the horn.
It was also great to find coconut stalls all along the road and reminded me of my run through Vietnam in 2013. Hopefully I will now be able to depend on these more than Gatorade!
I finished the first day in a town 32km south and managed to find a cheap motel full of holidaying locals all splashing around the pool with music blaring. While not the more comfortable nights sleep it was nice to be in a bed rather than rolling on a sofa.
The next day I set of to Sayulita, about 30km south again. Following injuries at the beginning of the expedition I have decided to ease myself back into running – no point in getting Achilles problems for no reason. Sayulita is a crazy, hippy, surf town that is buzzing. After a bit of hunting around I managed to find a delightful hostel and explored. This place will definitely be on my itinerary for my return trip to Mexico.
Day three of running saw me make it most of the way to Puerto Vallarta. I tried to hook up with Kevin and Zac at the marina that they were anchored but didn’t have any luck contacting them. All I needed was a radio but everyone seemed reluctant to help out….
It was just before I entered Puerto Vallarta that my wheel spoke decided to give way. Luckily for me it happened two minutes away from a bike shop run by two lovely ladies. The job should have been easy but after over 4000km on the road the piece we needed to remove was fairly stuck. The lady in the shop would not give up and took the wheel to her father’s shop in another town. Within the hour she was back and the stroller was on the road again. Once all this was completed it was getting dark and I decided to find a hotel for the night. One of the great things about forced stops is that you have no control about where you are. Normally we are drawn to areas where other like mined people are and we perceive it to be safe. But this was not one of those areas. I was the only gringo around and everyone was just going about their daily lives rather than being on vacation. This is the part of travelling I really prefer and strangely feel most comfortable.
Day four was a shopping day. I covered the 20 odd km to downton Puerto Vallarta and found a new computer and camera on the way. I ended up in a charming part of PV with beautiful restaurants and charming streets.
I really want to get some proper mileage in today but there is an awesome looking village about 12km south of here so I think I may have another chilled day..