Day 5: Bad Planning

Back home, I thought I wouldn’t need to get a paper map of Sonora – there wasn’t any at REI and I thought I’d just get one at a gas station in Mexico. That was a huge mistake and pretty much cost me a day.

It started out pretty well – breakfast at a nice restaurant in Golfo de Santa Clara. It’s a fishing town so I had the omelette with camarones, which was excellent. The local fishermen and the fat town cop were also eating there – they spoke too fast for me to understand, but the fishermen were asking the cop for advice regarding some fishing permit or boat permit, and had quite an animated discussion.

I went back to my hotel and planned the day’s route by looking at Google maps. I wanted to make it to Caborca via some minor roads, set up the GPS and set off.

I didn’t even make it out of the town when the GPS started rebooting every 30 seconds. Very annoying because I didn’t have any other map. So I went to four different stores I’d expect to have maps, but lo and behold, Mexican gas stations, book stores etc do not carry maps, and nobody had any idea where to buy one.

So I headed in what I thought might be the right direction, but after a while I decided that was a bad idea, and decided to fix the GPS instead. It was noon and hot as hell, so I wanted to use the shade of this little chapel next to the road.

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I rode down to it, and got the GPS fixed after a while. Then I wanted to continue, but before I could get back on the road, this happened:
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I couldn’t get the bike out again, so I had to unload it and shovel sand with a pointy stick for about half an hour. Instead of putting it on the shoulder I put it in some harder sand, loaded it up again, and wanted to continue. Not 5 meters later I got stuck again and had go through the entire process once more. In the process the windshield for cracked.

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So when I was finally able to continue, I didn’t notice that the stupid GPS had chosen a terrible route – 100 km and an hour longer than necessary, and most of it on a highway along the Arizona border.

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Halfway there I tried three more stores for a map, and was finally able to buy the only available one – all of Mexico on one sheet. Not particularly useful (most of the places I’ve been to aren’t even on it), but at least it will get me somewhere when the GPS fails completely, which it probably will.

My butt was too sore to make it all the way, so now I’m in Obregon, a crappy border town. Tomorrow I’ll probably go to Santa Ana.

On the plus side, I’m in a rather nice hotel and used that to do laundry in the sink. Right now my clothes are hanging on chairs, the heater is turned up all the way, and the window is open.

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