Overnight on El Autobus
Driver-Assisted Suicide

February 15th-26th, 2016

For Valentines Day we hopped on an overnight bus to Mazatlan to see Andrew’s Mom. Now we get to spend 24x7x2 with her, in close quarters, in a foreign country. Yay!

What happened…

Amanda writes:Mazatlan was better than I had expected. Prior to our arrival I had done some research on what to expect and it seemed like such a big city. And while it is big it has a lot of charm and character. Over the two weeks we’ve done a lot of exploring and have travelled about 30 kilometres of the coastline of Mazatlan and into the historical centre. Based on our travels I would say Andrew’s Mom couldn’t have picked a better spot for a hotel. Ocean front with a beach, restaurant, pool and amenities right outside our door. The big grocery store was 2 kilometres away and it made it very easy to get groceries for our kitchenette. Andrew’s Mom also visited some time-share presentations and got some gift certificates and we had a beautiful meal at a fancy restaurant and I got a hair-cut; thanks Patti! As with any family member you always run the risk of spending too much time together or getting in each others way. After two weeks I can say we were a good match to hang out together. I’m super lucky to have such a great Mother-in-law; and no I’m not typing this just because I know she’ll read it. That’s the other cool part about Patti, she says it like it is and likes the same back.

As Andrew mentioned I was formally offered my position at the Olympics. I’m incredibly excited although basketball isn’t a sport I generally watch. However as an avid sports fan I’m sure I’ll enjoy the passion for sports no matter the game. Andrew and I started to look at flights and accommodation and have realized that going there is going to cost quite a bit of money; more money than our “around-the-world” budget includes. So it’s a big commitment and potentially one that will change the landscape of our journey in the long term. We contemplated just shelving the volunteer opportunity and continuing to ride. And while that would save us the money, we would miss what could potentially be an amazing opportunity. By the end of our discussion we agreed that yes it’s more money that we had planned, however based on our experience at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010; you can’t put a price on it. Our trip is more about experiencing the world and people and by going to Brazil we will embrace that passion with gusto! and maybe a slightly lighter wallet. Cie la vie.

Oh ya! Surfing is awesome. A friend of mine from high-school and sports when I was younger connected with me on Facebook. Lorna’s parents live here in the winter and I hooked up with them. It was nice to chat with them over a couple of beers and see someone from my childhood. Diane and Tom tell me I haven’t changed a bit since my teenage years; yippee! With their help we were able to surf at the same time which is pretty rare; thanks!

Andrew writes:I haven’t seen my Mom since we got back from Cuba in June 2015, and even then it was only for a day. So to spend two weeks with her in the warmth and sunshine of Mexico is a real treat! Of course, I’m a little worried that I’ll get bored, after all, what is there to do in Mazatlan except sip margaritas and soak in the sun? I already get as much sun as I want when I’m riding bikes around the world.

I need not have worried. Amanda and I found lots to keep us busy.

On our second day in town we spent about two hours at a timeshare presentation, which netted us free gifts including a tour to Stone Island, a city tour, and a tequila tour. This gave us three days of activities to enjoy with Andrew’s Mom. The Stone Island tour took up an entire day and included about 3 hours on a trimaran, plus lunch and other activities. The tequila tour was very interesting, and we saw some of the region around Mazatlan. Finally, the City tour ended up being later on towards the end of the trip and we had already cycled through most of Mazatlan by then, but my Mom enjoyed it. We also earned some cash from the presentation which we will put towards our airfare to get to Brazil for the Olympics. Oh, Amanda was formally offered a volunteer position at Rio, and we confirmed that I will be offered one shortly, but we don’t know when that will be.

So now we’re looking at airfare and accommodations for Rio de Janeiro, at the end of July, for two months. It looks like it will cost us about $1000USD just to fly there from Panama. There is no chance of us cycling all the way there at this point, it is just too far.

On the surf front, we enjoyed several outings to either Playa Brujas or Playa Olas Altas. Amanda preferred the latter, and I preferred the former. Through a mutual friend on Facebook we even managed to borrow a second boogie board so that we could each go out in the surf at the same time. It’s a virtual certainty that we will continue our trip south along the coast, passing through Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo and Acapulco. Most of the other cyclists we have met travelled inland from here towards Durango, Guadalajara, and other places in the mountains. Maybe we will too, but right now we want to enjoy the ocean!

Otherwise the two weeks passed in the same relaxed manner that has come to define our time here in Mexico, everything is “tranquillo” and we always operate on “Mexican” time. Did you know that mañana doesn’t mean tomorrow? It just means, “not today”.

Today’s Photographs

Overnight on El Autobus
Driver-Assisted Suicide