Previously on the Pineapple Story I left Darren in Tijuana and set sail for Ensenada. It was really amazing realising that I was riding in Mexico, by myself, on my own bike. A smile appeared on my face. It’s also crazy how soon the landscape changes as soon as you crossed the border into Mexico. Sometimes I wonder where they draw the line to make a border… Anyways, I arrived in a hostel in Ensenada in the crazy madness of the Baja 1000. A legendary race (you can compare it with Dakar) trough the peninsula of Baja California. The finish line was in Ensenada and I arrived just a little bit too late to witness that. I saw some cars coming in so that was pretty cool. I met Jeff here, a guy I also met in Alaska and I brought him a spare tire from the US because its cheaper there. Together we rode to San Felipe, a small coastal town on the east side of the Baja. Olaf, one of the two Germans I travelled with in Alaska was waiting for us there in a trailer.
The ride there was amazing, actually like the whole Baja if I look back at it. I had my first military checkpoints (now I’m kinda used to it). Three guys with machine guns stop you, ask for your passport and ask if you carry any drugs, and after some time you can carry on. Most of the time they just let you trough. We stayed with the three of us in a trailer for a week, getting used to the Mexican rhythm. I liked that town.
It was time to start riding again, heading south on the peninsula. The roads were brilliant! This was something new, you see gigantic cacti EVERYWHERE!!! As far as you can see. There is not even a place to pitch your tent if you want to. Wow. In Bahia de Los Angeles we camped for two days because of some nice people we met. This is also where I saw my first moonrise. I didn’t know these things existed! It’s like a sunrise, but then with the moon. Well I think you get the picture. After some beers around the campfire, I walked to the ocean because I needed to piss. I was standing there, watching the full moon over the ocean, when a pack of coyotes was running over the beach in the moonlight. One of those moments I will never forget…
We continued south and made it eventually into Loreto. A beautiful, relaxed small coastal town. I decided I was staying here for a week because I wanted to do some diving. We had our first Margarita’s (damn I love those things) and explored the small town. One nice thing I won’t forget about this, was that the church played ‘Ave Maria’ every hour with the fake church bells. It made me think of my grandma. One funny thing here was that I had new neighbours on the campground so I went to say hello and meet them. As soon as I lifted my head to greet, I was like, “Bram?” Exactly! I met a guy that I was in primary school with in the small town of Klerken, where I grew up!!! Population: 1831 people. What are the odds… This was pretty cool. He is travelling with his girlfriend Lisa in a really nice car (Toyota Dolphin) and their sweet dog Sam.
We went for beers of course on several evenings. One evening we were having a fish barbecue on the other campground when Jeff texted me if we could come back, because he was feeling really sick. So Olaf, Bram and me walked back at midnight to the campground when we were stopped by the police. Olaf was holding a beer and the police said all three of us had to go to jail for this. For several minutes we pretended we couldn’t understand what they were saying and explained our friend was sick and we had to go back. They kept on arguing, and all of a sudden I just said ’25 dollars?’. “Si Si” they shouted in choir. Normally I would never pay for something I didn’t do, but our sick friend was waiting for us. So far our first contact with the Mexican police. The stories were true :-). We felt really bad after this situation, but there was not much we could do…
Olaf and I went diving in the nature park of Loreto. We saw two humpback whales from the boat (one baby one with a rope around his neck) and we dove with Sea Lions. I mean Sea Lions! Seriously? Thats pretty fucking cool!!! On the second dive we were in a gigantic school of barracuda’s. Not bad for diving again after two years. At the end of the trip we went to a white beach on the nature reserve. This must be paradise.
Loreto is where we split up with Jeff and Olaf and I continued our own ways. we wanted to work a little bit in La Paz in a hostel because we were waiting for Marcus. Olafs travelling partner that I also met in Alaska and in San Diego. I found two hostels for us. I figured I would get my own private room (which I was craving for for a long time), but that wasn’t the case. I knew I couldn’t sleep in a dorm for 6 weeks so after one week we gave it up and went travelling again. I met some cool people in the hostel, one of them was Manuel, a crazy French guy with the energy of a Duracell rabbit with fresh batteries. I liked that guy. One night we were drinking beers in Olaf’s hostel when the rain was pouring down. We still had to walk back to our hostel and I never witnessed anything like it. La Paz is on a hill next to the ocean and has no sewer system. So all the water came down from the hill straight to the ocean. Really impressive. We were finding our way trough the water, knee high at times. I loved it!!!! This was really funny. I had the keys to the hostel, but couldn’t find them when we arrived… So we figured to climb the gate. We were completely wet to the bone. We both jumped the gate and when I came down, my keys fell of my pocket. We laughed our asses off. This was like a scene from a movie.
We left La Paz for what it was and went to Todos Santos on the west coast of the Baja. We met with Bram and Lisa again here, went to a shitty gringo Jazz festival, and the best of all was going to the beach to spot some whales with our binoculars. I expected to maybe see like two whales if we were lucky? And oh boy, were we lucky!!!! We must have seen something around 20-30 whales squirting water in the air and some big tails. All from sitting on the beach. There were some rays jumping in the air too, the cherry on the pie. Also, a moment I will never forget.
From Todos Santos we went to Cabo San Lucas, which is the Monaco of Mexico. We were in a hostel, that was more like hotel, really fancy and a lot of stupid people. Everything in Cabo San Lucas is also in dollars. I mean, that says it all for me and no good words for this place. The day after we left for Cabo Pulmo, the most southern tip of the Baja and a nature reserve. We met up with Michelle and Melanie, a Swiss couple that I met in Ensenada and in La Paz again. They just bought a van and we were invited for Michelle’s birthday party on the beach and had a huge jackfish on the barbecue. The day after Olaf and I went to Arbolito beach to camp for a few nights and do some diving again. This whole nature park was astonishing and really beautiful. I would go back immediately!
This is where we met Andrea, an Italian guy who does everything on foot and hitchhiking. A hardcore traveller. Has been on the road for 7 years now and earned his last money trimming weed in Humboldt, USA. We did a 5 kilometer walk on the beach, found a dead seal and the shell of a turtle and saw no one else. Heaven. Olaf and I went diving again, this time with bull sharks. You go straight down from the boat to 15 meters deep and you just sit on the sandy ocean floor surrounded by 20 bull sharks. And trust me, they come pretty close. Bucket list!
Leaving back to La Paz on the sandy dirt road (I’m getting used to dirt roads), Olaf almost crashed with some dogs chasing my bike and he was riding behind me. Close call… We booked a cheapskate AirBnB in La Paz, outside of the tourist area. I liked this more as it was real Mexican. We booked a snorkel trip with whale sharks. André was also coming with us. Most boats take 8 to 10 passengers for this, we were only three on the boat because we did our research. I was happy to pay the 10 euros extra. In the end we saw something like 12 whale-sharks and swam with them for at least 20 minutes. It is really amazing if you are next to a creature in the water thats 12 meters long. Its hard to describe what you feel at that moment but you feel really small. We laughed a lot afterwards about this trip because our guide, Benjamin, was incredibly funny. He said we had to stay calm, but it was him who was freaking out the whole time. Money well spent!
It was time to leave La Paz and take the ferry to Mazatlan, mainland Mexico. Or how Olaf like’s to describe it: The Motherland. After waiting for 4 hours to buy a ticket we finally got on the 13hour ferry ride. I loved this trip!!!! We had beers on the car deck with local truck drivers and we slept right next to our bikes. After being so long on the road now, you are not surprised by stuff anymore and you can really sleep anywhere. I love this shit. It was also possible to go true Titanic style on the front of the big ferry. Witnessing the sunrise on the front of a huge vessel is really remarkable. Oh yeah, right, I almost forgot, we saw some whales in the morning too in front of the boat. ;-).
Arrived in Mazatlan we went straight to San Blas to help out a girl that got attacked on the beach and keep her some company. Again, the mainland in Mexico was a huge difference compared to the Baja peninsula. It was more genuine. I liked it.
San Blas was nice, but a lot of sand flies. It rhymes! We went to a remote waterfall which was really cool, because this was none of the tourist stuff. It was mesmerising. Marcus was able to join us here and brought a friend, Yair, he met on the ferry. Really cool guy and one of those persons you know thats a friend for life after 5 minutes talking. We were four bikers now so we could form our own biker gang! In San Blas there is a lake thats full of crocodiles. No Shit! Crocodiles! And big ones too! We rode together to San Pancho to celebrate Christmas here. It was pretty touristy, but the waves in this place were amazing. We are all 30 are older, and we ware playing for hours in the ocean like 5 year old kids. We had so much fun here.
Christmas was over and time to head to Tequila. Yes, there is a town thats called like that. The road here was really cool, we took some off road to avoid the toll booths, Yair crashed his bike here, rode trough small Mexican villages where tourists never go. And that all on our bikes. Imagine four bikers cruising trough the Mexican rural landscapes. Things are normal now after this time, but if I think about it its pretty cool!!!! I’m really proud I’m doing this and can do this.
Like Champagne, Tequila can only be called Tequila if it comes from this region. So this is the real stuff. We went for a tour in two breweries. They really pour you up on those visits, and we had maybe 12 small shots of Tequila? I started to feel pretty sick in the evening (not from the Tequilla shots to be clear, this was a different pain, trust me, I know). I decided to split up from the guys and go to an AirBnb in Guadalajara. Things didn’t get better so I went to the hospital. Turns out I have a viral infection and parasites. I spent the past 5 days by myself in bed, feeling pretty bad. I wondered a lot about this trip, why I’m doing it and how far I can go. I realise I need to move a little faster, past month I’ve been riding one day and staying somewhere 4 days. Thats a little too slow for me. I also realise more than ever what I miss at home. I miss the seasons, I miss family and friends more than ever, I miss the food, I miss the good parties,… I knew this moment would come though. Extreme highs and deep bottoms. Those who have a lot of great luck in their life, have some bad luck sometimes too. And celebrating New Years Eve by myself being sick, isn’t the worst thing in life to be honest I imagine. Up to new adventures and some more road tripping!!!!
I wish everybody a wonderful 2019 with lots of adventures. If there is one thing you really want to do in life, just do it! No regrets, just go out there and explore. Go on hikes, put yourself out of your comfort zone and learn. It’s all about experiences, at least for me that is. :-). Love you all! Especially my mom, dad and my brother and his crazy kids that I cherish. You guys rock!