Good-bye to Aurora and Ruben

December 13, 2009
Monday

Alas, I was feeling better. My stomach evidently just needed a “rest”. Aurora helped me “cheat” a little bit by making my carrot juice one afternoon, and another time chicken broth. filled my tummy, gave me some nutrition, and gave me strength.

Strength enough to roll out of Oaxaca.

I met Ruben at the blood bank.

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Ruben was nice enough to lead me out of town. He’d been doing some errands that morning and found out there were roadblocks on the way out of town. Evidently the indigenous population wanted something from the government, and to make their point they parked buses at the major entrances to town.

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Ruben led me in a crazy zig-zag all though back streets, and finally got me to the road on the way out of town, in the direction I needed to be going.

We said good-bye, and I headed on down the highway towards San Cristobal. The road was pretty flat at first

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Now the other thing this region is known for is its Mezcal–

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Evidently it was quite potent, because there was a drunk guy laying in the street at the tope. I t Stopped to ask this moto-taxi driver if the guy was dead…
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The mototaxi driver was chatty and told me that someone had stolen the horse’s legs…

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Agave–the basis of Mezcal.

And it was growing *everywhere*.

The road started to get a bit curvy, which I like

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Yeah, trash is a problem here, but sheesh! Look at the view!

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Me likey curvies

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Beauty shot for the magazines

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Yup, I had to pass a lot of this

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But got to see stuff like this

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And this

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The terrain had changed, although it was still desert. Now cacti were growing rather than agave.

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back to agave

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back to curves!

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with great views

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Meow!

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A roadside chapel

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Just endless beauty

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And from the main highway I saw this church in the distance –I figured out how to circle back and navigate the city streets to it

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Inside

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One of the alcoves

I took a leisurely break there. Ate some pan tostada (toasted bread, which had been my staple for about two weeks)

I was feeling really great–glad to be on the move again, really enjoying the riding, looking forward to the rest of the trip.

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I had t go around this particular traffic circle three times to capture this beauty

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And then the road got really flat. And straight. Now to give you an idea of the driving obstacles, this is a main roadway, complete with people traveling on horseback.

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In Mexico there are all manner of people, livestock, slow cars, potholes, debris, etc. in and beside the road.

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I came to my destination for the night (where I’d calculated I could make it before dark), and begain the nightly ritual of looking for a hotel.

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I was taking it pretty leisurely, doing my usual loops around the city, thinking I’d just “wing it” and see a nice looking hotel an stop, since th Lonely Planet Guiide seemed to list only expensive stuff (that should have been my clue…)

I could not find a hotel for under $40. Yowtch! I finally decided on one, (after de00gearing three times at three separate hotels, going insie, asking the price, whether there was parking for the motorcycle, etc) but they gave me such crap about the bike, telling me I could park it in their car park down the street, etc. but I’d have to leave my luggage at the hotel…grrr…I had to round the block, but through a maze of one-way streets I had to actually travel about 7 blocks…finally I said scrub it, I am going to the next town.

Well, my mood was sour.

And it was getting dark

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Further soured by seeing a cow get hit by a bus…

And then it got windy…

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So windy that the bike was blowing all over the road. Duh. Ruben had told me about this stretch of road, but I’d forgotten.

I tried to muscle through, but there was no town in sight.

And then it came full on dark.

And I was breaking the #1 rule of riding a motorcycle in Mexico.

1. DO NOT RIDE IN THE DARK

Sheesha.

Could it get any worse? I was so sad seeing the hit (and not dead, which was what was haunting me!!!) cow.

So I tucked in behind a semi. and let him be the animal killer if if came down to it.

Well, about an hour later I cam to a town (sorry, I did not write own these names in my journal–stressful day!!!)

There was a hotel. I was so happy, I would have paid ANYTHING!

Sorry, lleno. LLENO? FULL? OMG! I was near panic. would this be like the nightmare night I had a couple of years ago in Italy where we looked for a hotel room until 2:00 and finally ended up circling the bikes and throwing our sleeping bags down on the pavement in a parking lot?

Ah, but then he tells me there is a (truckers) hotel down the block…it’s really bad and he apologizes for sending me there, but I thank him and go.

Well, at least it was cheap (ish) And they let me put my bike in the lobby.

See the wind?

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Oh, and here’s my deluxe bathroom.

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Yup, that would be the shower over the toilet.

I did not go out, I just ate more pan tostada and finished a trashy novel I’d been carrying from Rhode Island. The wind kept me awake all night banging the building. At one point I thought there was an earthquake the wind hit the building so hard–I jumped off the bed.

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Yup, I did see a cockroach in my room in the morning. First one of the trip.

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