Oaxaca is long history and I don’t miss it at all. It would have been great to stay longer, but I am in the travel mood now; thirsty for what’s around the next bend.
Sunday morning Alex and I left at 9:30am after the free breakfast and the usual goodbyes. We wanted to end up somewhere a few hundred miles southeast from Oaxaca; a point where we can decide between the Yucatan Peninsula loop or a straight shot into Guatemala. Still in the mountains, there were only two viable roads to get out, one leading northeast and one leading south towards the Pacific.
Well anything leading north sounds like trouble on a trip to the bottom of the world… so we went for the ocean. One hundred and eighty more miles of mountain weaving was just what I needed. As we left Oaxaca, the road climbed back into the hills and started winding through the valleys toward Tehuantepec. This ride was much like the previous and again we were leaning hard into each and every turn to make it there in only four hours. The scenery was fantastic as well, although a lot more arid on this portion. Less jungle and more cactus, but still beautiful.
On the final elevation drop towards the sea we followed a river valley for about forty miles as it meandered to a delta. We had aspirations to ride far past Tehantepec, but as soon as we hit sea level the thermometer spiked up to 100F degrees. Even at 80mph, it’s still like peering into an open oven even with the facemask up and all vents open… absolutely unbearable. We got into town around 1:00pm dying from the heat and called it a day.
After finding a cheap hotel on the outskirts of town, we got some food and then spent the rest of the day in the air conditioned room. We went to bed early that night. The heat had worn us out and we realized we need to be up when the sun rises to cover ground in this climate.
Monday morning the alarm was set for 6:00am, but neither of us had the energy to actually get out of bed. We eventually got on the road around 8:00am moving directly east towards Tuxtla Gutierrez and then north towards Villahermosa. By the time we made it to Tuxtla, Alex’s guts were awry and he needed to get off the bike. It was breaking 100F degrees again by then so I didn’t mind. We’re now hiding in the shade of our hotel as the afternoon heat keeps ramping up.
Today’s ride finally threw us back onto the open, straight roads so we made very good time. The path kept us mostly at the base of the mountains although we did run through some extremely lush green vegetation. Jungles are new to me so I of course was thrilled. I saw some critter that looked like a hairy anteater rifling through garbage on the side of the road and also a lot of geckos sunbathing on the blacktop. Much better animal life than the all the dead livestock on the shoulder in Northern Mexico. After that section, though, we started passing more farmland on the way into Tuxtla and I think it will be more of the same for a while. Tuxtla for one night, and then we start north tomorrow very early.
More importantly, here are some photos of the last month dating back to Mazatlan. Enjoy!
|The Mazatlan motorcycle parade. Four miles of this in 90F degree heat. Alex and I were the only ones wearing helmets.|
|Jim riding his big BMW R1200 GSA. The following night was the tequila attack.|
|On top of the Devil's Backbone. The third bike by the taco stand is Sergio's. This is when he started riding with us. Also when the three semis raced for first place around a blind curve.|
|Cintia and her darling family of professors. I really enjoyed drinking mezcal and watching the NBA playoffs with her dad.|
|The insane water slide loop at El Rollo. I wasn't allowed to go down because I had zippers on my trunks. More like because I'm white.|
|The native dance at Xochicalco. Look at the lumbering giant.|
|Hanging out with my GU Spanish professor Luis outside of Uninter. Not much different from four years ago, except that I have motorcycle this time.|
|Gonzaga party in La Plazuela for happy hour. I hope we didn't corrupt them too much.|
|Looking down at Tepoztlan from the pyramid. Far in the distance you could see Cuernavaca with a better camera.|
|The river bed leading us out of the mountains down to the Pacific Ocean... and into the triple digit temperatures.|
|This bird reminded me of Kermit. He belonged to the hotel, but he hung out in the tree all day.|
|This picture doesn't do the mountains justice around here, but it's all I got. They all have that rock face look with vegetation growing everywhere possible on them.|
|A classic road warrior shot of me taken by Alex from a handlebar camera mount. Just one of the hundreds of turns we've made in the last few days.|
|A little lagoon that some lucky Mexicans get to call home high up in the mountains.|
Ta ta for now!