Back on the (back) road - The Not So Long Way Down - CycleBlaze

January 2, 2019

Back on the (back) road

Ahuacatlan to dry river bed

It was time to  leave Ahuacatlan, but not before a long goodbye with our host, Andres. "The progress of the state," he said in his usual cryptic way, "is the process of the illustration."
"I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand."
"The progress of the state is the process of the illustration."
"What do you mean by illustration?"
"It's like the opposite of darkness,you know?"
"Oh, you mean illumination?"
"Yes, yes, illustration."

Oh, how we were going to miss these little chats, but eventually we tore ourselves away from Andres and were away. After stopping to buy juice we sat to drink it in the park one last time. The clock on the church struck eleven (at four minutes past eleven) and it was time for us to move on.

Sitting in the park one last time.
Heart 5 Comment 1
Andy PeatI think I've got some photos in this same square
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5 years ago

We took the back road south out of town and it started climbing almost straight away. Up and up we went for a total climb of 600 metres, and this was quite hard work after ten days off the bikes, but my goodness was it a wonderful ride! There was very little traffic, and consequently it was a million times more enjoyable than riding on either the 15 or the 15D had ever been. All of the way up there were green hills, and from the top of the pass a great view back down the valley where we could see various towns and volcanoes.

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Me struggling on the way up.
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Dea descending down the other side.
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The downhill was tough for me as my front brakes didn't work. One arm had completely seized up, perhaps due to getting sand stuck in the mechanism, and wouldn't move. I was unable to remove the screw because I'd managed to circle out the hexagonal Allen key hole. I really should have got this fixed in Ahuacatlan, and I berated myself my stupidity in not having done so as I struggled to get enough braking force with just my back brakes.

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The road flattened out and we passed through three or four little villages, sleepy little places where the people paid us no attention and left us to enjoy being there. It was really tremendous cycling on these quiet roads.

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"It's just like being in Germany." "Apart from that palm tree."
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Tequila plants. This is the region where Tequila comes from.
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A steep climb at the end of the day gave us a great view over a slightly bigger town that we'd just passed through, and I said to Dea that this was the first day that I really fell in love with cycle touring in Mexico. And it was true, and it was because of taking the back roads, because of getting away from the traffic and passing through the real Mexico, and we both knew that was what we had to continue doing.

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Looking down on the town. Despite there being farmland everywhere on our route we managed to wild camp shortly after by following a dry river bed.
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Today's ride: 49 km (30 miles)
Total: 1,931 km (1,199 miles)

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