We tried to make it to the ferry on four separate occasions during those three weeks. Of those, three of them afforded us a view of the ferry as it departed; one of those times with our new friend, Ben, on board.
Ben stuck with us for two days and was overjoyed when Lucas mentioned taking the boat to see whale sharks. Sadly, we did not see any… actually, the boat had some issues and I was, of course, blamed. There was about a month there where I was simply labeled “bad luck” and a curse to the whole mechanical world. We parted with Ben and promised to meet up later along the road. We never did end up in the same place as him after this, sadly. We took a different route from him after the ferry and he ended up getting dangerously sick near Acapulco. He’s fine now.
After we left, Lucas wrote to us saying that he saw six whale sharks. Sometimes timing just sucks.
About a week and a half into the wait, we started to think it could be over. Aaron’s always wanted to ride a motorcycle to Tierra del Fuego. This hasn’t always been a dream of mine, but I wanted to finish what we started. At the same time, if me heading home made the trip possible for Aaron, financially and time-wise, then I was prepared to do so.
At just about that point, I asked for help from friends and family on Facebook. The support we received was overwhelming. Financially speaking, we had an indiegogo.com campaign from before the trip started to help fund the journey. Through this we received enough money to repair the KLR, which by the end cost about $1000, and kept us from going broke while living in La Paz for three weeks. Thoughts, prayers, and general support from friends, family, and even friendly strangers played such a key role in getting us through this that I can’t imagine getting to where we are now without it.
As our angel of mercy who got our paperwork in order for the ferry predicted, we were disappointed by the ferry. Aaron ratcheted the DR to the bottom floor of the enormous ship while I tied the KLR down with rope provided by the ferry, as I did not have ratchets. Later I found that Aaron had an extra ratchet he did not use then that I could have used, but that would have been too easy.
We climbed the five flights of stairs up to the cafeteria and the deck and met a couple more travelers. One of those people was Dima. Dima was traveling throughout America and Mexico on a 1992 KLR650, which is basically the same as my KLR. All KLR’s from 1987 to 2007 are essentially the same bike and parts can be interchanged. In fact, after all the work on my KLR, I had parts from a 2001 and a 2002.
Sitting in the coach seat on the ferry, I rifled through my tank bag and found Little Red. I broke it. Not on the ferry, but back at Cabo at Pelican Rock. The camera boasted “Water Proof” on the case, but it did not stand up to the test. There are several seals that you need to close before it can sustain any water pressure. I thought that was taken care of. It opened up in my pocket while I was swimming and in that moment we lost a good number of pictures and videos from earlier in the trip and the video resolution continuity of having the same camera through the whole trip. As of right now, we still haven’t replaced her.
There’s not a whole lot to do on the ferry. They provide a couple meals during the 12 hours and they play movies in Spanish, usually without subtitles. At night, they crank up the air conditioning to an unreasonable degree. This caused Aaron to sleep most of the night out on the deck while I huddled on top of our valuables in the coach seating area. We swapped spots halfway through the night and Aaron found out that you can get a blanket from the front desk if you give them your ID. This marvelous discovery occurred at about 4:30 am, though, and was really rather upsetting.
By the end of the ferry, Aaron felt sick. He’s not sure if it was the pork from the first meal or freezing through the night, but he was not in good form when it was time to depart.
I, however, was in high hopes, until I reached the KLR in the hold and found a puddle underneath it.
So many separate problems were addressed on that bike in La Paz: electric, fuel line, and engine issues. On top of that, it’s always taken an alarming amount of oil. For two thousand miles I had a 5 liter oil container strapped to the bike and checked the level a couple times a day. I asked the Motos Baja guys to check the oil problem, so they sealed it up tight and filled it up. While riding around town, I saw that it was still leaking oil, but I was told that this was just blow-off, as they had likely overfilled it. When I saw the puddle on the ship, I was sure they had misled me.
I was wrong, though. It wasn’t oil, it was suspension fluid.