As always it was hard to get going after a couple days off in the cute town of San Cristobal. Saying goodbye to our nice, quiet hostel with a good kitchen, reliable wifi and no party crowd wasn't easy. But the rainy season in Central America is approaching and we don't want to get stuck in it too badly. So we once again packed our panniers... this time trouble and ruins were waiting for us.
Andrea's a tree hugger, and when we left the Oaxaca coast we ended up cycling through a number of massive wind farms - Andrea was very pleased. Unfortunately she was blown into the ditch a few times which didn't put a smile on her face. 2 hours of bike pushing later we were in a forgettable town with the worst hotel we've had the pleasure of staying at. So we both got super sick and stayed there for two days... The lowlight of our hotel room were the separate twin beds, Andrea was basically sleeping on a box spring (she put her sleeping pad on it so it wasn't too terrible) and my bed was built out of two thick slices of foam that were probably produced the same year I was, thus my body sunk a solid foot into the foam in all the wrong places. We should have taken another day off but I couldn't take another night in the foam hammock.
To keep our sanity (and stay alive) we took a bus out of busy Mexico City into the next town, Puebla. Sitting on the bus watching the traffic chaos pass by, I was more than glad to not be in the middle of it. It was stimulating enough to cycle to the bus terminal from our hostel. Even Nyle was confused by the multiple lane roundabout/ intersection with upper and lower levels. The fact that there are often no lanes painted on the road only adds to the confusion.
Riding out of Guadalajara was about as stimulating as riding into it, not a ton of fun. We eventually made our way to the countryside where cacti outnumbered people. We stayed off the toll roads in an attempt to find a more tranquil route to get us to Guanajuato. That was a total failure, there’s too many people in this part of the country for quiet roads, we ended up riding some dirt along the way to get away from traffic. That was nice, and very slow.
After Jill left us, it was back to the same old. We (ok, mainly I) needed a bit of a change of pace. So we decided to take some time off the bike, heal our butt sores and get away from the busy and loud cuotas (toll highways with a rideable shoulder)…The next big city on our route was Guadalajara, the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco.
We made it to mainland Mexico, where it get’s so hot that we wake up at 5:30am to avoid the heat. We are not morning people, 5:30 should never be followed by “am” but here we are, a week into this new routine, and… we’re surviving.
Cacti are really cool plants – I love looking at them, such alien plants. They are also really, really mean. Cacti needles are very attracted to bicycle tires – this encounter often results in a flat tire. Also, do not attempt to either set up your tent in a field of cactus prickles (cactus prickles are very good at being invisible) or put your camel bag full of precious water into a cactus needle.
33 pesos to be exact, the price of the “professional barber scissors” we found, there was no going back now.
Hard to believe it is Christmas in a few days! Hope you are all eating lots of delicious Christmas cookies and drinking mulled wine. Bit hard to get those things around here, but there is always an endless supply of tacos and Tecate beer once you hit a pueblo or town. So we are doing good...
The last time I was this scared Andrea was screaming as a wolf was on her tail. I didn’t use my bear spray this time but it was in my hand just in case.