Santa Maria Jalapa del Marques - The eleventh step ... Mexico City to Cancun via Guatemala & Belize - CycleBlaze

September 25, 2021

Santa Maria Jalapa del Marques

Some days you end up going further than planned.

When I first looked at the route from Oaxaca to Tehuantepec I thought that, because of the big hills and the heat, it might be best to take three days from El Camaron to Tehuantepec.  Going by this plan it meant that we should have wild camped somewhere tonight.  But last night we thought that if we nailed the big climb early enough it should be OK to push on to Magdalena Tequisistlan.  This would have meant a longish day by our fitness levels - seventy odd kilometers with almost 1700 meters of climbing.

The first hill started within a kilometer of us leaving the sad little Hotel America.  Leigh was sure that the lethargy we observed the day before was due to all the time the three ladies had spent on their backs the night before.  It's not the first time we have spent a night in hotel that does other business on the side.

The first climb gave us a net altitude gain over 629 meters but over fifteen  kilometers with an even gradient was it rideable  the whole way.  We even had time to do a spot of birding.

Russet-crowned Motmot (Momotus mexicanus).
Heart 4 Comment 1
Lots of this species of Mammalaria growing on the side of the road.
Heart 1 Comment 0

We reached the top in just over two and half hours and then enjoyed a magnificent downhill until the hamlet of El Cayul.  El Cayul seemed to be the truckers preferred place to stop for nosh and we should have done the same.  But it was early in the day so we augmented out simple breakfast of cornflakes with a few bananas and started another smaller and gentler climb which was followed by another nice descent.  This brought us to the hamlet of Asuncion Lachixonase but the comedors here didn't look appealing at all.  Leaving the settlement we started the third climb.  Not as long as the first but a bit steeper and in the heat of the day.  At the top lay the hamlet of La Reforma which would be our last hope of lunch.

Leigh had been riding strongly all day but a kilometer and a half from La Reforma she hit the wall and started walking her bike.  It didn't last long because a cloud burst appeared from nowhere and she got back onto the bike to make sure her saddle wouldn't get wet!  The rain lasted less than five minutes but we were soaked and the road had turned into a river.  We found the first comedor in town and had a small lunch - better ones were further down the road so we should have been more patient.

Then another great downhill, but now a strong and hot headwind had picked up.  The descent ended with about seven kilometers to the turnoff to Magdalena Tequisistlan and they were hard work into the wind.

Bad news greeted us at the turnoff.  A police officer manning the road told us that the village was off limits due to a COVID outbreak.  The next hotel was almost twenty kilometers way in Santa Maria Jalapa del Marques.  Leigh was feeling tired and bilious and it wasn't the news she wanted to hear.  The only other option was to wild camp somewhere but we were now in a more populated area so that would have been difficult.

We reached Santa Maria Jalapa del Marques at about five thirty and checked into the very simple and spartan Hotel Marques (only a cold shower but a friendly lady at reception and  a clean room with  aircon, fan, window and balcony so much better than last night).

Tomorrow's ride to Tehuantepec is now almost twenty kilometers shorter than we expected.  We will rest there for a night or two before deciding where to go next.

Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 92 km (57 miles)
Total: 659 km (409 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 2
Scott AndersonBilious. Good word choice. I’ll have to remember it for that special occasion.
Reply to this comment
3 weeks ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Scott AndersonIn retrospect, it wasn't the word I wanted to use. It was a word we used when I was a child instead of nauseous yet it doesn't have quite the same meaning.
Reply to this comment
3 weeks ago