Friday, October 8, 2010

6. Getting stuck in the sand (10/06/07)

Today was full of experiences to write about. I started the day with a fresh bowl of fruit at a roadside fruit stand! I did my best to explain to the fruit stand man that I too am in the fruit business, and that his fruit tastes excellent. I do not think he understood anything I said in Spanish but he seemed pleased with me because  he kept bringing me spices and flavoring to try on my fruit.

After leaving the fruit stand it took a good 45 minutes of driving through Santa Marie before I could find the road I was looking for. Little did I know that this was going to be a small headache for today. After 2 hours of driving I came upon beautiful natural beaches off to my right hand side. I decided that I needed to take pictures, but the highway was a little far away for pictures. There was a rough road that looked like it led to the beach. I nervously followed this road which ended up being 2 deceiving miles of twists and turns to the beach. This beach was worth the risk of getting stuck though. Other than 2 rickety wood rock sorting tables this beach looked uninhabited for thousands of years. There were hundreds of Pelicans on the break water rocks at both sides of the bay. This was the perfect spot for a picture of me with the bike.  The only problem was there was high enough to set the camera on top of to take the picture! grrr

I left the beach slightly frustrated but happy at the same time and proceeded to follow the winding road back the way I had come in. Very close to the highway I make a wrong turn and this leads me to the home of the rock sorting people. No problem, I think to myself, I will go around their gate and down their driveway back to the highway. As I approach the gate I realize that this is going to be more difficult than I had thought. To either side of the gate there are long rusted metal tire popping bars. (Is the rock business really this lucrative?

Twenty five yards to the right of this gate their is a barbed wire fence going through the sand. The sand next to the fence has a few tire tracks but is mostly loose. At first things are going good, but than the tire track ends that I was following and I can feel my back tire sink into the sand. I took everything off the bike, dug the rear tire out and put rocks underneath the front. Than I turned my bike around and followed the same track that I had made out of the sand. After cleaning the sprockets and chain I go back to find the main road and finally get to the highway after this 3 hour ordeal.

You would think that after this experience I would have enough knowledge not to get stuck in the sand again (at least on the same day right?). Apparently not because 2 hours later I found myself stuck in the sand at the shoulder of the highway. I pulled off the road into a parking type area to check my tire pressure and after adding air with my compressor I went to get back on the highway crossing what looked like packed sand, but turned out to be lose sand.  This time, I did my best not to let the rear of the bike sink in and I dug a whole around the rear tire and than used old highway markers laying at the side of the road as miniature ramps to drive over. Just as I was proceeding to drive the bike out a couple of Mexican guys stopped in their Ford F150 and helped me to push the F650 out. I wanted to buy these guys a beer, but they had to leave to go to work. It is a rare thing that someone stops on the road to help you in these countries.

I think I have finally learned by lesson about getting stuck in the sand and for 4 weeks of riding after this I have yet to get stuck in the sand again.

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