Time to get moving again as I’ve been a lazy girl for more than two weeks in Mazatlan. It’s been wonderful to meet so many fellow riders and all-around nice people. Lots of options as to where to head next and south along the coast seems like a good one. Several town names are suggested – San Blas, Sayulita, Puerto Vallarta (PV)…San Blas is just under 200 miles via the free (libre) roads so that’s the destination for today. A local rider who Brian met through ADVRider.com stops by to chat the day before we plan to leave. Super nice guy, and he thinks he may come back on the day we leave to ride with us for a while. Sure enough, Jim rides in bright and early and leads us out of town and out to the free version of Mex 15 and then toward the beachside roads that lead south to San Blas. He leads us along the two-laners through farms, over bridges, through a few small towns and in general gets us pointed the right way before he turns back toward Mazatlan.
Some of the land here is still dry. I see skinny cattle and horses and other stock along the way, presumably because there is so little grass on the land here. I see a dead horse on the side of the road, and it looks like it’s been here a while. Then I see a couple of horses over the next 100 miles or so that sadly, in a way I wish were dead also. I feel so bad saying that but they are so thin and boney it hurts to look at them. I see a few stray dogs again, and they catch my eye since I haven’t seen very many in the last couple of weeks. One dog is so skinny it breaks my heart. It could be disease, worms, starvation….who knows.
And although the land is drier here and seems to not be able to provide as much for the livetstick, in only a few more miles the landscape gets greener and more lush. And by the end of my ride today it feels like I’ve ridden into a jungle. There are vines everywhere. Cactus gives way to palms and dry river beds give way to slow-moving rivers. I wish there was a way to cut the grass along the sides of the road and take it back to the starving cattle and horses just a few miles back.
After nearly 200 miles today, we arrive at San Blas, known for its surfing beach. When I had mentioned the town name in the past week or two, every person mentioned two things about the place – the horrible no-see-ums/small black flies and Stoner’s Surf Camp. I’ve been told the flies are exceptionally bad around full moons. And gee, I’m in luck, since the last full moon was only two days ago. Should be a bumper crop!
Stoner’s is a chilled out restaurant/drop zone on the long sands of the surfing beach here. They have cabanas for rent, but I choose to pass on that this time. Instead I head back into town and get to have my bike stay in the hotel with me. I’m not feeling very confident about the ride up the curb on a board, so thank you, Brian, for escorting my baby inside for the night and back out in the morning. San Blas is a cute little town, with cafes and shops and several hotels. The beach looked incredible, and I think it would be a great place to go take surf lessons for a week or two….someday.
The next morning I try to lead us back out of town, which includes a detour the wrong way up a one-way and a few turns until I find the right cobblestoned street to lead me back out of town. Off to Puerto Vallarta.
It’s getting really humid these days. It’s both the oncoming spring and the indication of how much the land is changing. More crops and vines and forests today. Palms, banana plantations, a pineapple farm, seaside seafood restaurants, beaches, oyster fishermen…..
On the way south I pass turns to towns like Sayulita and Bucerias, which friends have mentioned are lovely places. But I am headed past the Riviera Nayarit (I think that’s probably my loss) and on to the city for the night. Next stop, Puerto Vallarta, in a new state (Jalisco), and just in time for an umbrella drink.