The Mexican generosity

We are in La Paz in the Arce family. They give us a room and we can use their house as we are home. The next day, we are going to the marina to place a notice because we want to find a sailboat to cross the Cortez sea to reach the continent. We stay 12 days in La Paz, by the time that Mary’s knee heals properly. We had very good time with this family especially during an impromptu evening where a lot of people from all around the world (Japan, Italy, United States, Canada and Mexico) were there

After many days in the Baja California largest city and without success about our notice we have to leave. We say good bye to Carl who will stay there for 3 more months and to the Arce family (thanks a lot to you). We take the ferry to Mazatlan. We have reserved a cabin. It’s more expensive but we think that Kayla will be better to sleep there, quiet and secure. We did well because the deck is very noisy. The boat is full and in the crowd, we meet Susan, a Swiss cyclist. She speaks French and she travels alone.

Susanne and Kayla in Mazatlan

After 20 hours on the boat, we arrive in Mazatlan. With Susan, we look for an inexpensive but secure hotel for our bikes. We share the room with Her. In a short time, Kayla follows Susan step by step.

We visit Mazatlan, a big city close to the Pacific Ocean. We stay there 3 days even if the city is not so interesting. 24 hours after our arrival, we received an email from a sailboat’s owner to offer us a lift to cross the Cortez sea. Just too bad… it was too late! .

From Mazatlan, we thought to go to Guadalajara but the weather on the coast is too warm. We change our mind. Our friend is going to Durango. She will have to bike on a quiet but very steep road. (From 0 to 9000’ of altitude). We love that idea and we decide to follow Suzan. By that, we avoid a busy and uninteresting road.

We leave Mazatlan and the beaches for the mountains. We discover the authentic Mexico country with his towns and villages swarmed with people, a lot of stands selling almost everything and different faces of poverty

If the children are always so presents in the Mexican streets, they are not necessary equal. Indeed, we see a lot of them working (selling chewing gums, display a booth) or begging.

Street child
It’s the same thing for the school. There is a public school, criticized by all the people. The teachers made what they can with their full classroom (around 40 students for 1 adult). They didn’t have a lot of money from the government. Private school exist also but they are very expensive for the low or middle income people. In that school the children learn many languages and the pupil to teacher’s ratios is less than the public school. In both school, the students have a uniform. And these who are not in school or have no access in education for a lot of obscure reasons, their future is not very good

We arrive very fast to Concordia, a very nice colonial city with Spanish and native culture. During the night, on the church place, we can smell many pleasant aromas of their dishes, or see the vendors with their colourful toy’s stand or their dulces (sweet little snacks).

After Concordia, our calves are put to the test very quickly. We are happy to leave the coast hot weather and can feel the coolness of the mountains during the night.

Carretera libre Durango

We didn’t have the same speed than Susan. She has to wait for us many times. The road is climbing continually and we make not even 18 miles a day. We must say that we didn’t have the same weight on our bike and we also have a passenger with us.

We noticed after some days that our little traveler had some fever and diarrhea. This fever stay 2 days but her bellyache is still there even after 7 days and even more she had blood in her stool. She didn’t want to eat and for those who know her, it’s a rare event.

At El Salto, we decide to take a bus for the last 60 miles to Durango. We want to go and see the doctor who tells us that she had salmonella

At Durango, our Warmshower host send another cyclist to take us at the bus station. Scott arrives and we are amazed to recognize him. We met him in Yukon almost 1 year ago.

As soon as we arrived, our host Jonathan introduces us to his friends, Abdel and Mario. We went all together to the medical clinic for Kayla. Mario talks French and English and helps us to translate the medical problem of Kayla. Thanks again Jonathan, Abdel, Scott and Mario for your help and your friendship.

At the night, Kayla is exhausted from her day and the night in the restaurant with our new friends. It’s time to give her medicine. Kayla is very agitated and Karl tries to maintain her and in the same time hurt his back… And that would be the last straw!

The next morning, Karl is not able to walk. We are with our Warmshower’s host at 4 miles from downtown; we decide to take a hotel close to the historical center. So Mary and Kayla can see the city during the time Karl takes a rest. Karl cannot move and not even cycle, we have a problem. How can we do to move everything from our host to the hotel?

Our problem is solved by our friends. Scott and Jonathan took our bikes and rode them whereas Mario and Abdel put our luggage in the Mario’s car and drove us to the hotel.

Kayla and Mary begin to visit Durango, a colonial city with Suzan. She will leave 3 days later. Saying goodbye is difficult for Kayla and Suzan. Emotion was visible and Mary cries a little bit as usual. We have big connection to the people we meet and live the same experiences than us.
After one week, the Karl’s back is not really better. We still have to move to Zacatecas. When we were looking for a hotel in Durango, we contacted Olivia. She was renting some rooms via Airbnb. At that time, she had no room left but we kept contact with her and she regularly asked for Karl’s news

The bus station is around 2 miles from the hotel and Karl wonders how he can get there. Olivia offers us to drive us with all our equipment in her sister-in-law’s pickup. On the road, she stops at her place to introduce us one of her guest. He is American movie producer. She said: you never know, that cans help you with your film project. Before leaving us, she gives us a bag of food and also some money for the “nina” (little girl in Spanish). We thank a lot Olivia and her sister-in-law for their help before to take the bus.

5 hours later, we arrive very exhausted in Zacatecas. We still have 2 miles to go to the youth hostel where we want to sleep. This time we have no choice, we have to take our bikes. Karl’s back hurts but he is able to cycle. Close to that hostel, a man stops us and tells us that some other cyclists are in town with Sandra and Pancho, a Mexican couple who leaves here. By talking with this Mexican man speaking English, we found that we know these cyclists. They are Susanne and Scott. Frederico, the Mexican man we met in the street, go to get Scott. We are so happy to see him again. Scott helps us to find another hostel because everything is full during this long weekend of 5 de Mayo (national holiday to remember the May 5th battle between French and Mexican). And he helps us also to put the luggage and the bikes in the room. Undoubtedly he is always there at the right time.

After that, we went to meet Sandra and Pancho with some of their friends and Susanne. We all eat together to see the night life in Zacatecas. At the first view, we like this city; we are exciting to look forward. During this evening, Sandra and Pancho tell us that we can sleep at their place tomorrow and as many days as we want. Their house is in a small square in downtown. They helps us to discover that city like we never be able to do by ourselves.


A few days before we leave, we are going to bring Susanne to San Luis de Potosi with them. Pancho would like to drive her directly because some road sections are dangerous (because of drug cartels). We tell her a last goodbye and go back to Zacatecas. After one week of rest and good time with nice people, we have also to leave to Guanajato. Sandra and Pancho offer to escort us. Even if they take us in their home and feed us all this time, they are generous enough to offer that. We accept because it will give to Karl’s back some more rest.

On the road to Guanajuato

Once again we don’t have enough words to thank all those people we meet and who do more than their best to help us.

Une réponse à The Mexican generosity

  1. Liz and Mark Workun says:

    We feel every emotion and pin through your writing. Thank you so much for keeping us in the loop. I hope everyone is well now, especially Karl with his back!All the best wishes to you three!

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