Before meeting Pedro, Miguel and I had figured that we’d ride from Topolobampo down to Guasave on our first day on the mainland, but Pedro’s knee was feeling sore and so he wasn’t thrilled with the idea. He preferred going 25 km down the road to Los Mochis and calling it a day there. Being only a short day, there was none of the usual sense of purpose, and so we didn’t head out for a relaxed breakfast until past 10:30. It was almost noon by the time we checked out and tried to send a package at the post office. Being around lunch time, the post office was closed and would be open again in maybe 30 minutes so we headed off.
I was frustrated that we weren’t heading out until so late, because we hadn’t seemed to achieve anything in the morning and had missed the best time of the day for riding. We had a brief discussion in the street, but decided to talk about it later, somewhere slightly cooler.
The ride to Los Mochis was almost completely flat with a light tailwind and, having been in the desert of Baja for the previous month, it felt a bit strange to see so much vegetation. By the time we were getting towards Los Mochis, there had been a few large fields of corn being grown and signs of the agriculture that we would see in the following days.
Our first task in Los Mochis was to find a post office. In the US that’d simply involve looking at my GPS and following directions, but with my GPS display being broken, and the Garmin maps in Mexico having much fewer points of interest, we got the old-fashioned approach, talking to people. It’s really easy to ask for directions in any language, just say the name of the place you’re looking for with a shrug of the shoulders and, understanding the response is a completely different thing. Even when we’d understand the words, we’d follow the directions and not end up at the post office. Eventually, a guy ended up drawing a map for me and we made it.
We’d been needing a post office, because Miguel had to send a package back to the US of things he didn’t need anymore. Most of them had been things we’d forwarded on day 1 back in Guerrero Negro, but he’d been able to refine his packing further yet as the trip had continued. He handed the backpack of things to the guy at the post office who opened it to check and was slightly shocked by some of the things that were inside. Of course the first thing he pulled out was the longer-than-my-forearm machete, which he immediately shook his head about before asking why we had it. We mentioned that we’d come through Baja and his eyes lit up, it turned out that his favourite channel was The Discovery Channel and so he seemed to have an image of us being Bear Grylls in his mind that I was willing to let fly. However, whatever he thought of us, there was no way that the postal service was going to let it go through and it would have probably just been confiscated at customs. After that, everything else was easy to explain and with a bit of umming and ahhing he said they’d be OK. Just before we left, Miguel gave him the machete as a present, and the man’s face lit up before wishing us a good journey and telling us how to get to our next destination, a bicycle shop.
Again, the directions we were given needed to be supplemented by more people, but about 10 minutes of confusion later and we were at Kiko’s bike shop, the place to go in Los Mochis. I’d seen it mentioned on crazyguyonabike as the place to go, and it proved so. Kiko, the mechanic, looked at Mike’s bike which was still having some issues shifting, and worked on it more than any of the other bike shops we had been to. While that was being done, his wife was asking us about our trip. I mentioned that I was from Manchester, and she excitedly said her daughter had been there. We spoke for a bit longer and then I went back to watching the bike getting fixed and before I knew it Frany, her daughter, came in. She was 18 and her photo is all over the store. She’s one heck of a cyclist, and has been to Asia, Europe and South America racing. Her goal is to go to Rio in 2016 for the next Olympics, and with the passion she talks about cycling and her current level, she may well be there.
After the bike shop it was off to find some food, and then a place to lay our heads. A family at a store by the road said we could camp outside their place, but being right by the major highway it would have been a little noisy, so we went to the hotel across the street. The hotel also had the advantage of being next to an Oxxo, think 7-11, and so had plentiful amounts of beer.