Random acts of kindness

Guaymas to Obregon: 130 kms

I woke up a bit early on Tuesday- 3 am. I could not fall asleep, so I packed up and left Erick’s home at 5:30. I crossed Guaymas before dawn. I loved the feeling of riding my bike through a quiet city before dawn. The sky was cloudy but the colors were a brilliant shades of emerald blue over the extension of the gulf that divided Guaymas and Empalme. Exiting the Guaymas mountains, I crossed a bridge surrounded by waters. Fisherman were out for early morning catches.

Exiting Guaymas- looking back at the city

crossing the bridge.. a view of the train where the tracks are surrounded by the gulf

The highway was relatively much better than the day I rode from Hermosillo. The route was flat and straight stretches. There was much less traffic, too. I prefer to ride early in the morning with less traffic.

About 6 hours since I began to ride, dehydration signaled and I low on water. Only half a bottle remained until I was to arrive to the next town, Vicam. A man pulled  over before me. I was nervous wondering what his intentions were. He got out and was asking me something, but I couldn’t understand him in Spanish. He switched to English to ask if I was OK, checking if I was in trouble or needed anything. I could sense he was just trying to help. Tempted to take an offer to hitch a ride- insisted that I would continue to ride to the next town to get water. I kindly refused any offer and thanked him. About 10 minutes later, he pulled up behind me, with a large bottle of water out of the window! With a huge smile, I thanked him. His name is Francisco and he use to work in Mississippi. He was on his way back home to Los Mochis. He sincerely wanted to make sure I was well. He let me know how far up the next town was, said goodbye, and drove away.

I stopped at that small town. A small family with a carna asada stand came to see who this strange visitor was on a bicycle. Although they only spoke Spanish, I understood their questions of “where (I came) from?”, “where (I was) going?”, how long have (I) been riding?” They were very amused and wished me luck.

I stopped in Vicam for lunch. I was accompanied my a little window washer name Miguel. He watched my bike for me as I went to the bathroom and sat with me as I ate my refuel lunch. The towns people smiled at me and some would ask me where I was going. They were amazed by my bike get-up. Riding though people waved and smiled. Some cheered me on and waved.

A bird peddler on the highway in Vicam.

So far, the Mexicans have been very supportive on the road. On the way to Guaymas (the scary highway ride), some of the semi drivers I made eye contact with waved, pump their fist in the air, or politely honked for support. Even the cops at checkpoint waved and smiled when passing! I wonder what the intimidating military officers – with huge guns – on the vehicles, think. They stare hard, and I can’t see their expressions through their masks, but the drivers are at least nice enough to move over.

My bike partner and one of the many hero's of the day. Juan prefered to not have his face in the photo.

From Vicam, it was the last stretch to Obregon of 50 kms (30 mi). I looked back to check for traffic and behind me was a boy on a bicycle. I recognized him from Vicam- I think I said “hi” to him. He caught up to me and asked me in Spanish where I was going. I was uncertain at first, why he followed me and wanted to know where I was going, until I understood that he was making an effort to protect me by riding behind. I told him “Obregon” and he agreed to ride until then. His name was Juan and was 25 years old. We arrived to the Obregon toll station where we parted. I bought him a coke and thanked him for having my back for 30 miles.

The cops waved me though the toll without paying a fee (cyclist usually don’t have to pay for the tolls). I rode though the small Indian village, Espernanza into Obregon. I was lost on directions to my host, Robin’s home. I asked two men sitting in front of a hardware store for directions. The one who gave me directions made an effort to explain, but I was confused by the additional street names in Spanish. He offered to dropped me off at Robins. I sensed that I could trust him because he appeared to me the owner of the shop and I think the man sitting with him was his father- didn’t appear to be a threatening guy. Indeed, he did take to Robin’s. I thinks his name was Morales, and has 3 children. The oldest is 21 year old daughter  he is proud of, who goes to the university. After we unloaded, I thanked him. He said if I needed anything, I know where to find the shop.

It was a really pleasent day thanks to some really kind folks! 🙂

I forgot to mention in the last post, that Helena was unable to meet me in Guaymas. The ferry was closed and Helena was in need to get out of the location in Baja, understandably. So hopefully, I will see her in Los Mochis.

In Obregon

Now I am staying at Robins home. Robin is a young guy who plays in an “indie music” band attending a university to study multimedia. We hung out with a couple of his buddies/bandmates in Esperanza. His friend, Juan Paublo promised to take me to eat the “best carne asada IN THE WORLD” Yes, he definitely emphasizes it’s the best because Sonora is recognized for agriculture in all of Mexico, and Obregon/Esperanza serve the best carne.. I do flex my choices of eating meat- so long as it’s not factory farmed. I also don’t expect such claims from a man name Juan Paublo could be false!

Although, now I question the famous Sonoran agriculture and compare it to my understanding of US agriculture

I looked up some information about agriculture in Sonora, and I was sad to find evidence that is far from sustainable. Sonora is the prime producer of many crops and contributes greatly to the economy. The issues with over exploited aquifiers, water pollution, neglect of public health, and so on.

I assume the dinners of cebiche and pescado came from the damaging fish farms on the Gulf of California.. 😦

This is the article that I read on the subject:
http://www.cipamericas.org/archives/1389

I’m not bashing on Mexico. It just raises my questions about the efforts and sources of “sustainably-aimed” agriculture and aquaculture in Mexico and the deeper concerns of Sonoran production.

I guess my guilt may not only be about the possibility of factory farmed but a list of other negative impacts. Shame.

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One thought on “Random acts of kindness

  1. That’s awesome you care so much about sustainability. When you research how there is NO HUMANE way to slaughter an animal, you may become vegetarian. If you were to watch even one truthful video of how carne aside is produced, you will vomit and never eat meat again. Chicken or fish either, when you consider 90% of the big fish in the sea is going extinct thanks to human consumption.

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