David, Milo and I are relaxing along side the dam in Jalpan de Serra, Queretaro with a host from Warmshowers.org. After climbing up to 1600 metres in the last few days, my bottom bracket is ready to wobble my pedals right off. So we have 3 options. 1.expensive, 2.slow or 3.do without. We don't know what to do.
What we do know is that this is a nice place to wait. We have been touring around, seeing the sites and scoring kilos and kilos of mangos. What a beautiful state, Queretaro. I highly recommend a trip through the Sierra Gorda especially if you go by bike, just make sure to bring a small chain ring and pack light because there will be climbing involved!
The beautiful Huasteca, breath taking. Not just the views but also the climbs. We did 1200 altitude meters since yesterday morning. Hannah had her first crash of the trip after slipping into a shoulder on our way up to Xilitla. Reason enough to make it a short day we thought and the friendly paramedics of the Proteccion Civil offered us a room for the night in their base. We got a little disturbed in the night when the same paramedics brought in a handful of village drunks (mayors orders) to keep them out of the rain. We were awoken to drunken cries, screams and song throughout the night. I'm glad I had a shower in the night because one of the drunks rolled a huge turd in the shower, despite the toilet bowl right next to it. Maybe he hadn't seen the toilets because of all the rubbing alcohol he drank. A BIG thanks to Protection Civil in Xilitla, you guys work too hard! Below some more pictures of the spectacular ride.
We biked 75 or so kms yesterday in what te Mexicans call chippy chippy (light rain), to arrive with our friend John in Papantla. Along the way we stopped to score some road side nopal from the fence line of a beautiful ranch. They had peacocks that were frightened by our arrival and flew away! It was the most beautiful thing I have seen! I didn't even know that peacocks can fly. So we got to Papantla and searched for our friends new house. In town we asked some chavos (teenage boys) where the steet we sought was.. They laughed and sent us to the steepest street I have ever seen I thought it was some kind of a joke but apparently no, our friend just lives on a mountain. I will upload photos of the climb to John and Diana's house once I have access to a computer.
After a delicious lunch made by Diana we spent a lot of time catching up. It's so nice to see a familiar face on the road, we can laugh about the same old things and celebrate each others successes and just be together, it was really nice.
Just when we thought our day couldn't get any better, I got an email from our friend Carlos who came with his charming mother, Adelaida and took us out for a night on the town in Poza Rica (the name means rich well, rich with crude oil) but they should change the name to comida rica (rich food) because boy oh boy did we eat well!! I will not rest until I have recreated the recipe for pinchos which are like corn dogs only cheesier and crunchier and ohh I'm getting hungry again! Carlos dropped us off in Papantla (much faster by car) and Carlos, his Dad Don Carlos and us exchanged Mexican legends about the poor heartbroken princess who was turned into vanilla by the God of celebration and of mountains and volcanoes. Beautiful traditions and histories that I am proud of as I feel a bit Mexican. Fun fact courtesy of Don Carlos, the name Papantla is totonaco (a native language) for town that will perfume the world. This because Papantla is where vanilla comes from.
We parted ways in Papantla, it is always hard to say goodbye to our new friends because often it's a year or two or three before we cross paths again. I wish much love, joy and friendship to Carlos and his beautiful family. May we meet again. Xo H
We departed from the beautiful beach in Santa Ana quite late today because the crabs were keepin us up all night. They beach was filled with these tiny baby crabs that snuck into the little tears still in our tent from Milo the terror and crawled on my legs and my face and my arms all night. Luckily they hadn't developed enough pinching power to really be a nusence. So we got up late and totally SCORED when we found all these beautiful green limes beside the road. So we grabbed all we could carry and headed into the next town were we sold them for a very reasonable $10/bag which would be 2 or 3kgs. So if that wasn't enough our first customers gave us each a beer so we could relax and watch a bit of the Mexico vs holland World Cup game then they cut us off a giant hunk of the most delicious cheese ever so we thanked them and headed down the road another minute and scored a pop and free lunch along with the sale of more limes! But that's not it, a minute later and we were gifted another 2 pops and a pineapple! So after making $80pesos in lime sales we bike some more, overflowing with joy from our fellow man. scored some road side mangos. Shortly after Casita, Veracruz we stopped at a Pemex station (gas station) and were given permission to camp for the night under a roof!!! I then scored free Internet (which I am now using) and electricity which is powering this upload. So sitting here a family asked if I would like to share their sandwich. Yes I would! We got to talking, super nice family. I really enjoy meeting interesting, educated people and just enjoying coming up with common interests and that. We parted ways and they handed me $200pesos with their business card!! I am overflowing with love from my fellow man! You guys make life worth living. So show a little love today because who knows, that scruffy traveller just might be ou one day! It's bed time for us. We will try to bike to Papantla tomorrow. Hope you are livig your dreams. Xo H
David and Hannah - cyclists extraordinaire