The last post had us in, “The Valley, man”, the neatly trimmed outer suburbs of LA, staying at Casa de la Gozz, while we patiently waited for Ferg to complete his battle with The Paperwork Phase. We can now confidently say that The Paperwork Phase fits in the same category as rectal and fluid mechanics examinations. There were phone calls, there were hours spent on hold, there were tracking numbers, there were bank cheques and there were USPS money orders in pre-paid express envelopes. There was miscommunication, there was misspelling on important documents and overall there was a general disinterest from everyone he dealt with, to actually help. Thank you California Departmentof Motor Vehicles and The Stupid Insurance Company He Used, for your relentless ignorance, misinformation and lack of customer service. And what a perfect test for the young man to undertake as Step 4 of 27 of his MattAndAtleyShow Inititation Period! Alas, as you’ll surely understand, the majority of the other initiation events were, are and will be unsuitable for a mass communication medium such as this, so you’ll have to think back to your own school boy, frat house or stonemason events to colour your imagination on this one.
|The New Guy|
We spent 3 days in the waves of Malibu and Ventura beaches, lurching around on longboards, trying to learn how to surf, but we just couldn’t seem to master it like the army of attractive young ladies out there at the Leo Cabrillo break were. Needless to say, we watched attentively as these girls paddled out to the enormous rock feature in the middle of the beach, and caught their waves only a foot or two from the jagged, sharp rocks that started the wave breaking. Clearly not really a beginner surfing location, but we still had a blast.
We toured the Californian Museum of Natural History where we stumbled around many different fully assembled dinosaur skeletons, such as Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops, which wandered these very same North American landscapes as TheMattAndAtleyShow, some 65 million years prior to our own epic adventures.The Edmontosaurus made me shed a tear to be reminded of the West Ed Mall, but I quickly moved on to the Velociraptor to hide my tender emotions from the eager and mewing museum-goers. When we exited the museum we discovered a traffic cop parked beside our bikes, ogling the various long-distance touring mods the internet told us to bolt onto our bikes. He pretended he was trying to enforce some kind of parking law, but had Dual Sporting written all over his face in great dirty big letters. We nodded politely and agreed to move our bikes from their illegal placement, all walking away with the clear understanding that this guy was most definitely just about to get into Dual Sporting.
|Some kind of weird goats in the Sahara|
Not limiting ourselves to purely day time activities, one particular Friday night we journeyed out to the local Mexican Cantina, to see how the people of The Valley spend their evenings. We were not even finished our first beer, when a drunk old lady swaggered up to our table and cried, “You boys are coming dancing with me!” We politely smiled, hoping she’d go away, as the dance floor was empty and we’d just arrived, but she knocked into the table like an old war horse ready for battle, and none of us could say anything but squeak,“Ok.” There’s something awesomely awkward about being led through a room full of leering people, by a stumbling old broad, as she puts down her cocktail on the table of a man who would certainly appear to be her husband. He grimaces at the three young Australians in her wake, who all put their beers down on his table too, with a smile, to then go open the dance floor at a Mexican Cantina LA. And in that situation, there is only one possible thing one can do..... dance your little heart out!
As The Paperwork Phase was scheduled to draw to a close, we readied our bikes, equipment and souls for the next chapter of our travels. And it was on the second last day in LA that Ferg set off to go pick up the all import motorbike ownership and insurance documents from our secret underground mail receiving facility at David and Elizabeth’s place. Alas he was not so excited on his return, as he held out a hand written note from the DMV that stated the ownership document was still a month away. Stressful news for the new guy, as he felt he was holding us back from the dripping taco’s of the Mexican Baja, so very close away, but luckily Photoshop and The Internet saved the day, and we just made our own ownership document. Thank you Swinburne Multimedia Bachelor Degree!
With the real document arranged to be FedEx’d to our other secret underground mail receiving facility in Guadalajara, Mexico, we said our teary goodbyes to our new family, The Goslow’s, and departed LA in a blaze of lawn-mower-like, KLR650 glory, and headed to the place of perhaps the best weather in the world: San Diego!
“San Diago, a whale’s...” did not disappoint, and we were soon basking in the friendly company of travellers from near and far by a nighttime bon fire on the beach, organised by the hostel in which we were staying. The revelry went long into the night, and even to the house of some locals, and we quickly decided in the morning, with very foggy heads, that San Diego deserved another day of assessment. This assessment involved $2 fish tacos, $2 pints, swimming in the amazing ocean in both day and night, and meeting more awesome people genuinely eager to support the Dual Sporting mentality.
Our crossing into Mexico the next day was as smooth as a well-broiled bean paste. They tried to shoo us through, but we stopped and obtained the correct stamps, paperwork and insurance the internet told us we’d need later on. We sampled our first taco stand, with excellent reward and after little to no English being spoken by locals, Ferg astutely observed, “My interest in learning Spanish just went up about a million percent.”
|Have you ever ridden in the back of a truck or ute and come to the same realisation as the Mexicans, that it's awesome?|
We put in some long hours of riding that day, eager to distance ourselves from the apparently-troubled border town of Tijuana, and found ourselves that night at a lovely hostel on a cliff in the town of Erendira. Having nothing for dinner, Atley and Ferg set out onto the night time beach to gather us a seafood meal, on the recommendation of the hostel manager.They came back with fearful expressions and a bucket full of big black mussels!It turns out the waves were big, and the rocks were pointy, but the mussels were abundant, so into the pot they went and soon enough we were dinning on fresh mussels on rice – as good a meal as any hobo motorcyclist could hope for.
|Dinner of mussels found by Atley and Ferg on the beach by the hostel|
|Moustache guy flicks hair casually in the scented ocean gusts|
|So it turns out if you hang your dirty washing in the sun and wind, the smell goes away and you're back in business.|
|Mark Ferguson: "You said throttle right?"|
|These wooden structures in La Bahia de Los Angeles proved an excellent device to wee behind|
|Mark Ferguson: "There's something sticky on my hand and i don't want it."|
|Thank you unknown Arizonians for hosting us on your deck and cooking on your awesome outdoor kitchen!|
|The resting mules|
|We generally plan our daily route that morning if we have a sweet pirate map like this one|
|Hand basins make adequate temporary cooling bathes.|
|This is actually us about 2 hours out of Vegas and still 2 hours from LA. 38 degrees even after a super early get up, it was mucho tiring.|
From there, via some cow brain tacos (mmm mmmmm), we rode tobeautiful Loreto, where I sit now, on a huge balcony, sipping icey-cold cervezas and completing this here blog post. Tomorrow we will stay here, as it is time to rest our weary bodies from the desert assault, and bask in BajaCalifornia Sur. Sorry if this post was lengthy and verbose, but it’s hard not to get carried away when all I hear is a lingering voice from the street crying, “Dual Sporting, Dual Sporting, DUAL SPORTING!”
|The cow brain tacos from this taco stand in Loreto created uncomfortable gastrointestinal events, without invitation.|
|The terrain just north of Loreto is lush and green, a stark contrast to the huge areas of rocky desert.|
|Matt: "And then you get the sockets, do up the bolts, and it's all good man."|
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