Day 51: Topes and Tacos
Todays ride had way too many topes.. What are topes? They’re Mexico’s solution to keep drivers from going too fast. Imagine this.. You’re traveling at about 70 mph and you’re on a major four lane highway in the United States. You’re just cruising along, enjoying all of the scenery, when suddenly you see this sign:
Now imagine that Interstate had enormous and frequent speed bumps all along it. Remember, this is MAJOR HIGHWAY! With randomly placed speed bumps… that force ALL traffic to come to a COMPLETE STOP. And they’re not just any speedbumps, they’re rock-your-world-like-crazy speedbumps. Some are so large that even Trevors V-Strom dual-sport motorbike bottomed out on a few! WTF is going on here!?
Topes are the worst part about driving in Mexico. If you’re lucky, you’ll be warned with the sign that you see above, but sometimes there isn’t a sign. That’s when it gets really exciting.
The topes throughout Mexico vary. There’s no set standard. Some are pipes covered in concrete, some are metal or plastic domes and others are wide flat top ramps. The worst are the ones that are made by the locals.. I pretty sure they just slop down some cement anywhere they want along the road and poof!.. a new tope is born.. worst part about these is that they usually don’t have signs, so you really need to pay attention to the road.
Some examples of Topes:
Today I must have ridden over nearly 1000 topes. My bike probably hates them more than I do.
So anyways, back to a regular blog post. We started off by leaving our beach hotel at around 0730, figuring we would beat all the traffic through the city of Acapulco (since it seemed so far that most places don’t open till 0900 here in Mexico). MEX200 routes right through the middle of the city and it’s not a highway or anything.. it’s just like any other road. We spent the next TWO HOURS trying to get out of the city in the worst traffic (and tropical heat) I have ever experienced. It thoroughly sucked. It’s my fault though since I ignored previous advice to backtrack and take HWY95 which goes North of the city. Oh well, lesson learned.
The rest of the day was spent riding along a section of HWY200 which parallels the coast but is too far inland to actually see the ocean. It was mostly thick jungle with the occasional small town to pass through.. and of course with small towns come lots of topes. A fairly uneventful riding day..
The ride from Pie de la Cuesta to Puerto Escondido took much longer than we had expected.. probably because we wasted 2 hours in city traffic and our lunch break was longer than we wanted..
Another short story from the road: we stopped at some small restaurant along side the road and saw something new on the menu, so we figured we would try it.. ‘Taco al Arabes’.. WTF is that? Our lunch ended up taking nearly an hour to get. I’m pretty sure they were out of what we ordered but instead of just telling us they didn’t have it and to order something else, they sent their son to the store to buy some more.. 😆 I’m still not sure what it was.. Goat meat? Lamb meat? No idea.. It was kinda like chewy beef but different?
We ended up getting into Puerto Escondido around sunset. It’s a very touristy beach town that’s popular with the surf crowd. A few of the hotels we checked were pricey, so that wasted more time. We eventually got settled in and walked down the main strip looking for dinner.. of course Fish Tacos were still on our minds..
We asked 3-4 different taquerias if they had fish tacos and they all said no.. We asked one last place and they referred us to another restaurant down on the beach, assuring us that they had them. We get there, see them on the menu, ask if they do in fact have fish tacos, and are told ‘Si, Si’.. Ok great!
So our tacos come and what do we get? That’s right.. more canned tuna tacos! WTF? I don’t know about Trevor, but I’m giving up on Fish Tacos. 😡
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