After Laguna San Ignacio, we camped out one more night on a beach just south of Mulegé before heading inland, making our way towards La Paz. 

The four of us (we were still traveling with David and Raquel) caravanned to Ciudad Constitución, where we got a hotel for the night. The next morning we met up with Gary (whom we had met at the HUBB traveler’s meeting in California, then ran into two weeks later at the border crossing) and the five of us went for breakfast. We then split off from the couple in their Land Cruiser, whose destination that day was further south, and rode to La Paz with Gary.

Spending two days in town to get our bearings, we secured our ferry tickets and made our way to the port at Pichilingue and loaded ourselves onto the boat to Mazatlán around 5:30 p.m. It was an overnight ferry service, which provided both dinner and breakfast onboard. Offering various accommodation options, we decided on a standard cabin so we could get a shower and some shut-eye. In the cafeteria we chatted with some fellow motorcyclists who had been loading at the same time as Gary and ourselves; we turned in for the night soon after. Before we knew it, we were waking up in mainland Mexico.

After dealing with a few bike issues upon arrival (Britt’s bike had an electrical connector meltdown and one of our new moto friends’ bikes was having some throttle issues) we headed for our hotel. We stayed in Mazatlán for two days; during which we met up again with David and Raquel (who ferried over a day after we did). The five of us were then invited by a vacationing family from Durango to a lovely afternoon of carne asada and beers on the beach.

Coincidentally, we left Mazatlán the next day to head north to Durango along the Espinazo del Diablo, or Devil’s Backbone, a winding mountain road connecting the two cities. We didn’t ride its entire length, however, as we were enticed by the newer highway and, more specifically, wanting to see the Baluarte Bridge—the highest bridge in North America.

The three of us (Gary had planned to take the northern route from Mazatlán and we decided to tag along; David and Raquel went south towards Tepic) stayed in Durango for the night, in a hotel next to an American-style shopping mall. Strolling through the bustling shopping center, we were brought back to the mid-90s when malls were having their heyday in the U.S.

Zacatecas was our destination the next day. Having not researched anything about it before arrival, we were pleasantly surprised by the colonial architecture that comprised the historical center (designated a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1993). We got to our hotel in the early afternoon and went out for a walk about town. Approaching the Zacatecas Cathedral, we stood in awe before the main façade—covered in such intricate detail as to almost be visually overwhelming. Afterwards, we wound around to Independence Plaza (where we witnessed a mini-parade of dancers and drummers) and back again to our hotel.

Gary had been given a suggestion on a good restaurant so we went in search of our next meal, finding it down a quiet residential street north of where we were staying. After dinner we headed back in the direction of downtown to wander the place at night, which was very nicely illuminated in hues of orange, blue and purple.

The next morning we grabbed a bite to eat at a café down the street and made off for the next stop on our meandering route to Oaxaca, where the five of us had decided to meet up again for Dia de Muertos.