Ah, where to begin!?
Old Mexico man, tienes mi corazon! Te extrano. It’s been some time, indeed several moons, since we left the bosom of Antonio’s casa in old Guadalajaratown. Oh, the places we’ve been dog. It’s 2012 now and the world is crumbling all around us and yet…we venture on.
We have to.
They’re all old school now and old hat, left in my wake, like an American shark, gotta keep moving lest we die, and then to gobble things up before the end of days. I’m in old Nicaraguaville at the moment, coming to you live and laying low, riding out my visa for the CA-4, that blockbuster stronghold of nations instilling fear into the economic superpowers of Europe and Asia.
Antigua: Guatemala’s touristic gem, is alright I guess. I liked it because you can camp for free behind the police station and I still have my tent. I hated it because I couldn’t find a cheap bar. I liked it because there are ancient relics, churches mostly, crumbling and half destroyed from the great earthquake 300 years ago. Whatever, take it or leave it.
El Salvador: Crossing the border again from Guatemala into El Salvador by old Antigua way was pretty painless I guess. I like El Salvador because they don’t charge you anything to enter their country. It’s free. In Mexico I had to put down a $200 deposit on my 1975 motorcycle as a guarantee that I wouldn’t sell it. I got it back eventually after checking out of Mexico, but c’mon, how sketchy is that? El Salvador is a small country and I would cross it in a couple of days. Oh, yea they also use good ol’ greenbacks here. Not Quetzales or Lempiras or Cordobas or Balboas. They like the Sacajawea dollar coins too. No one uses them there so they send them here, said the man at the border.
Honduras: One night in Tegucigalpa makes a hard man humble. The border crossing on the Panamerican Highway exiting El Salvadorable and entering Honduro is exactly what one dreams of when they dream midnight dreams of Central American border crossings, a perfect throbbing Jungian nightmare. Hordes of tramitadores rush a man at once as he pulls up on his steed at the end of a country. They paw and yell, all in a mad desperate rush to “help” you across the border and get their grubby lil’ mits on your hard earned Lempiras. They chase you in tuk-tuks and on foot from one nation to the next, and through the no man’s land between. The aduana, or customs building where you check out/in your bike, is a plywood shack in El Salvador and in Honduras it’s a bombed out open air concrete hulk of a building. You get your passport stamped in some no name concrete shed with a broken door. Or it could be the other way around. No mind, I let the tramitadores handle everything…for a few kopeks of course. Tegucigalpa is the capital of this strange and forgotten land. A real gem. Everything shuts down at 8pm and gorgeous hookers, packs of stray wild dogs, and gangs of chicos in colorful soccer jerseys roam the streets like it’s the Warriors or RoboCop 3. This is a legitamately dangerous place and you don’t belong here. Or do you? Manchild, come out and playyyyy.
Nicaragua: Steeled for the worst, I crossed into Nicaragua this very morn. Out of Honduras and into Nicaragua in 20 minutes with a smile and no need for tramitadores. I even had my own seguro at my side, shooing away any potential trouble. Perfecto. The air was cool and the roads curvy and smooth, the CB purring beneath like a monarch groomed sex kitten. I’m drinking a Toña now behind locked doors, safe. Nicaraguan beers taste like any other beer south of the border, like a Bud or Miller Lite. On first glance and first vibration I’m liking old Nicaragua, but maybe we’ll do some more investigations mañana…
…excerpt culled from the Latin American Press Gazette written some time ago in the recent past. Latino drifter waxes on the merits of Mexican brews whilst sipping, and also supping on chicharones:
Bohemia Obscura: I’m always wary of dark beers that come from warm climates, and with good reason too. It makes no sense to me really, who wants to drink some sort of heavy porter on a burning hot tropical beach? Some sort of psychopath I imagine. It’s cold in old New York now and back there it is Guiness time, but this is pilsner country. It’s nightime in old Mexico and I’m swinging in a hammock beneath a palm tree doing the impossible and suckling, estoy mamando, on a Bohemia Obscura, a rare dark beer in this land of tropics and desert. I chose it after some sort of weird experience steaming it up in an ancient temascal. It’s good, really it is, and I can get behind it. Look, it’s no Magic Hat but I’ll take what I can get all the way down here. Dark and sweet, but not syrupy. As pilsnery as a dark cerveza can get, which is not bad at all. I’ll take it.
Bohemia: Maybe it was the temascal and maybe there is still some magic in the world left, but I’m digging old Bohemia. It’s delicious and hits the spot at this very moment in time, listening to the surf kiss the sand down old Mexico way. These are never ever good back in the states, but in old Mazunte town Bohemia rules the roost and has become the beer of choice for the hooligan adventurismo. A delightful brew. I’m detecting some hints of fruit in this thing, apricotish maybe? Tangerinio? A meady, hearty taste in a light brew. Goes well with a deep tan. Cheers.
Old Mexico man, I have deep feelings for you. They’re almost as strong as the ones I have for the American West, my first love. But look, don’t get excited because the West is the Best. Don’t you forget.
Excerpt from the writings of Miguel Noche, piloto de la moto fantastica, machista, and forastero. Musings on old Mexico…
Morelia: On first impression, this is a decadently beautiful city. The architecture is totally colonial and a stark departure from the concrete jungle that has thus far been the rest of new Spain. However, in walking the streets one is struck by the mediocrity of it’s women, a stark departure from the rest of new Spain this far, and an observation that is cemented and exemplified by Morelia’s most prized statue: 3 haggard looking Indian babes, with skirts but topless, holding aloft in their raised arms a giant tray of fruits and edibles; as if to say, we’re not much to look at, but hey, check out at all this food we have. What would you rather do?
Contrast this to the statues in Mazatlan, where you can’t walk more than 5 minutes w/o seeing a statue of a naked woman with a perfect body, like the best bodies I have ever seen on a statue. Even the mermaid, with large perfectly formed breasts and a perfect fat ass you can see through her scales. What do you do with a mermaid anyway?