JK and I decided to do a lateral trip to a more weather friendly site, Colima, Mexico. We arrived but our wings got delayed.
After three days in Colima, we found that people make up the area, not the government. Granted, there are big F-350s fortified more than Reaper's on Red Bull, but the feeling is safe and secure.
All the locals tell us what we already knew. Don't go to Michoacán, the state just east of Colima. It's out of hand there. Just google it and read about the news there. Colima seems to be quiet and peaceful, but you still need to be careful. We are low key and have found nothing but good will and friendly locals. In fact, I dropped about $100 worth of Mexican pesos at a pizza shop. The next customer found it (a young man with his girl friend) and returned it immediately. I bought their meals to say, "mucho gracias."
We happen to be here during a big festival. Saturday there were dancers and a Mariachi Band going through the Streets. Sunday a parade of dancing horses with beautiful Latino Lady Riders that caught the eye of many Mexicanos and at least 3 gringos.
Monday, we now had wings and it was going to be our big day. We are here with Paul 'Motorhead' Kunzl who will (for this story's sake) be dubbed, "The Mayor of Colima". He knows everyone, almost to a point where we gotta drag him away. But we don't.
We took a taxi to launch for 20 pesos (about $3 bucks each).
Money goes a long way down here and after our site intro from the Mayor, JK decided to go first and was destine to go along way. I just thought, being as good as I am, I would also go far.
JK launched first. Oh, the launch at La Cumbre is under construction and is still better than the knob at Nanakuli. From the pics it will be a first-class site when completed. He got off and up and I followed.
Pierre, one of the Mayors friends from Quebec, went next, then Paul followed.
JK was up circling with the locals (big vultures). I was chasing him up and back and lost the battle. I pushed back out front and never regained elevation. I was destined for Piscilla; a paddock, and very thermic LZ. After several up-and-downs, I was on the ground with 2 mules. They looked up, slightly interested, but just kept chewing.
I radioed up to JK to keep going; "I'll see ya back at the hotel." So he and the Mayor turned right to see how far they could go.
I was on foot, in the middle of nowhere, but it felt good. I made it to the kinda main road where my second ride took me right to my hotel. Score!
JK and the Mayor made it to a soccer field near the hotel. By the time they walked there I was on my first Victoria (beer) in Colima Centro.
They caught a cab and beckoned me to a saloon just off the main drag. I found it, still wearing my radio harness and buff. I swung the saloon doors open like I owned the place. With 20 pairs of Mexican eyes staring at me I said, "2 gringos!" They all pointed to the back set of saloon doors. I thought I was dead.
Feeling pretty cocky and not wanting to stop the heir that I started, I threw the back doors open. They kinda slammed, getting the attention of all the back room Mexicanos. I scanned! No JK or Mayor. Just as I was ready to turn and run, someone grabbed me and pointed to an even further in the back room. There they were; the Mayor and JK. Apparently the Mayor ranked so high here he was sitting with the owner and his son.
After way too many cervesas, home-cooked tacos, ceviche and soup (for 9 bucks) the debriefing got a little blurred. But we did get invited to a dinner with the 'Family'.
We will let you know how that works out and hopefully another good fly day tomorrow.
So far, this an epic trip - all mules considered.
Pictures coming soon.
I was so confused: I had to read this a few times to realize that the Mayor in your story was Paul. I'd been wondering how come I hadn't heard anything about Paul over there. He has a Mexican code name. Wonder what yours will be Thom!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the story Thom! Sound like its an adventure. Alex, I say we call him "el Hombre Mula"ReplyDelete
Glad you got a flight - a sledder is better than no sledder.ReplyDelete
I was in Colima in '93 with my paraglider looking for a place to fly, but back then nobody had even heard of a paraglider down there. Drove up a sketchy 4wd road that went up a volcano. Plenty of altitude but only jungle below.
Did you get a nickname yet? You should stick with Lado de al colina, much better than Puto.