"No, only bunnies" - The Not So Long Way Down - CycleBlaze

December 21, 2018

"No, only bunnies"

Ojo de Agua de Palmillas to Chilapa

There were a lot of sleepy faces in the morning. There had been some sort of nightclub/disco playing loud music next to the restaurant pretty much the whole night which, when combined with the dogs and the roosters, had not been very conducive to sleep. But the woman had coffee and eggs, and we were soon all back in the spirit of things.

We decided to switch over to the 15, which was running through town and didn't seem too busy. And for a while it was a nice road, with a bit of a shoulder and not too much traffic. It did get busier as we went along, however, and the shoulder disappeared as we moved into a new state of Nayarit.

It was Jon's birthday, and we sent the speedy Tom ahead to the town of Acaponeta to organise a cake and some gifts. The rest of us stopped at a gas station on the edge of town, which rather awesomely had free showers that I stepped into fully clothed to cool off. 

After a while Tom arrived and we surprised Jon with a cake topped with candles. I hope he appreciated the thought, because the creamy cake was certainly not something he could eat, being lactose intolerant and all. So we ate his cake for him. Luckily Tom had also bought a pineapple, which he perhaps should have just put the candles in.

Happy Birthday Jon, here's a cake you can't eat!
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The woman in the gas station brought Jon a little chocolate gift when she saw it was his birthday. It was milk chocolate so he also couldn't eat that either.
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Jon, Dea, and I went into Acaponeta to do some shopping and when we returned there was alternative views about which road would be best to take. The other three preferred to stay on the 15, but it looked like it was getting very busy beyond the town and there was certainly no shoulder anymore. I could see that Dea was scared to ride on such a dangerous-looking road, and along with Jon, us three preferred to return to the 15D. So we agreed to split into two teams of three, and reunite late in the day when the roads crossed one another. 

Getting back on the 15D was a little tricky, as the slip road was closed. We slipped through the toll booths, trying not to attract the attention of the lone guard protecting them, and then discovered why it was all closed. Half of the slip road was missing. But we made our way down the exit slip road and crossed over to get back onto the highway.

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The 15D was still full of fast-moving traffic, but it was also a road where we could make fast progress and the shoulder did at least give an illusion of safety. A relatively rapid 50 kilometres later and we were reunited with the three amigos on a bridge over the 15D. We had hoped to beat them here, but they'd arrived a few minutes before us, despite having stopped for a big meal en route. They all claimed that the 15 had been fine to cycle and not really very busy. They said it with sincerity, and we all decided to continue together on the 15. It was time to find somewhere to sleep, and we had to put our lights on for the final kilometres until we reached a village called Chilapa.

Tired from another long day and once again unsure of where we might sleep, a miracle happened. The first building that we came to was a restaurant, and in it was a girl who could speak good English. Arlene had lived in the United States, and she introduced us to the owner of the restaurant, Luis, a man who could also speak English.

"You can put your tents in our yard if you want," he said with a warm smile. And we were soon being shown into a garden of flat green grass that was absolutely perfect for camping. It all seemed too good to be true. There had to be something wrong.
"Do you have any roosters?" I asked.
"No," Arlene said, "only bunnies."

Our crowd of cyclists pose with Luis outside of the restaurant.
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Only bunnies. Wonderful.
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Today's ride: 95 km (59 miles)
Total: 1,722 km (1,069 miles)

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