As I enter Guadalajara I have Rodrigo’s words in my head: “It’s a small city anyways”. But lanesplitting my way in between cars and on the dirt shoulder through the heavy traffic, the “Periferico” (a “ring” highway that goes around the center of the city) never seems to end. Little did I know that Guadalajara is actually Mexico’s second biggest city! The perception of what a small city is is certainly different for a Mexican and a Swiss.

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A note on lanesplitting: Of course everybody is doing it, all the scooters, motorcycles and sometimes even cars hit the dirt shoulder to bypass traffic. Hell, you would even see buses on the shoulder! Traffic rules in Mexico are meant to be broken, it’s just how it works. You could say there are no rules but only guidelines, which noone seems to follow anyways. By now after having gone through lots of heavy city traffic in the US and in Mexico, I became quite good at learning the traffic patterns rather quickly. I don’t feel it’s daunting to find traffic not follwoing the rules. There’s always a certain structure in the chaotic patterns, otherwise I would not call it patterns.

Rodrigo met my friends Pascal and Janine a few weeks back when he was out on a ride with his friends and stopping somewhere in the middle of nowhere. He later on invited them to Guadalajara but they were already in Guanajuato. However they told him that another swiss guy would soon pass through Guadalajara. Rodrigo was very kind and also invited me to visit his “small” city. As I arrive at his workplace “Rigo” gives me a tour through the presentation lobby of the company he works for. Tracsa sells really all sort of tyres, from small to super huge mining truck tyres, except motorcycle tyres. It’s very impressive to stand next to a tyre that is double as tall as I am and worth something like 40’000 USD!

I want to use the occasion to also thank Alvaro, Rigo’s dad who owns a bike shop and let me use the workshop to some maintenance on my DR. Also thanks to Hector for helping me out a little and Aida who took care of getting some lunch for a hard working amateur mechanic. While working on my bike I noticed that I had lost the nozzle from my Tutoro chain oiler. It’s that small plastic tube that feeds the oil onto the rear sprocket. Thinking about finding a replacement from maybe the more known Scottoiler, Alvaro started to unscrew a biro and handed me the plastic tube that cointains the ink saying “te sirve eso?” (“does that serve you?”). What a great idea! Cleaned out the biro tube and it fit perfectly in the oil line rubber tube! Just added some silicone so it won’t fall off again with all that off-roading on the road (the streets are full of potholes around here).

From Mazatlan I had been riding with Martin but we split ways on our route to Guadalajara since I wanted to ride the “Routa del Tequila”. But we meet again in Guadalajara after he’s got his bike back from BMW. Thanks to social media I learn that other motorcycle travellers are in town. Michnus and Elsebie from PikiPiki Motorcycle Overland Blog have been around for nearly two months since Elsebie had to have her knee operated. I meet up with the fun and inspiring couple several times, they have been travelling Africa, Europe and now they are also doing the Americas. It was great to hang out with them and talk about travel perspectives, photography and much more… By now they are back on the road and I wish them great travels and hope to meet them somewhen again in the future.

Guadalajara is a very nice city, the people are very friendly and welcoming, as everywhere in Mexico. There’s a lot of street art, a buzzing but relaxed street life and I eat the best fish and shrimp tacos on La Paz street. Heck, they are even better than the infamous marisco tacos (seafood tacos) in Baja California! By now I can say that loosing the few kilograms I put on in the US is not gonna be easy since mexican food is just so very “rico” (tasty)! I only planned to stay a couple of days but it turns out to be a full week. Although I don’t do a lot of sightseeing I really enjoy soaking up the atmosphere of mexican life in a big town by just roaming around the streets and talking to the people I meet.

I truly enjoyed my visit to Guadalajara and loved to meet so many kind and fun people!

 


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