Tehuacan - The eleventh step ... Mexico City to Cancun via Guatemala & Belize - CycleBlaze

September 10, 2021 to September 11, 2021


September 10th, 2021

Our hotel didn't have provide breakfast, in fact it had no dining facilities at all.  So we had to pick up something to eat before leaving town.  At first we struggled to find any business open apart from hardware stores and motor vehicle repair shops but, inevitably, there was an OXXO on the edge of town where we managed to buy some pre-packaged ham and cheese baguettes. 

The road was narrow with no shoulder of which to speak and the traffic quite heavy.  It remained like this for most of the day.  However, almost without exception, the drivers were courteous and patient and usually gave us ample room.

Taking a break from the traffic in a rather fancy shrine on the side of the road. The inscription below the image of Jesus was from Matthew 19 where a rich man asks Jesus what he needs to do to earn eternal life and Jesus replies that he should sell all that he has and give the proceeds to the poor.
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In Tlacotopec we spied a fruit stall where we stopped and enjoyed an enormous portion of chopped up fruit each.  With vegetables not appearing on many menus, we are pigging out on fruit to get us much fresh stuff into ourselves as possible.

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The further we get away from Puebla and Mexico City, the friendlier people seem to be.  We are starting to get hoots, waves and thumbs up from passing motorists (including from a few police vehicles) and from folks on the side of the road.  At Cacaloapan we were stopped by two young guys, Leonardo and Yayo, who wanted a photo taken with them,

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Today's ride was mostly gently downhill with a few small climbs but the fresh headwind which blew all day nullified much of the advantages conferred by the descent.  None the less, we made good time and reached Tehuacan in time for a great lunch at a small roadside restaurant.  About M$50 gets one a bowl of soup and a plate of rice with chicken or beef.  Add to that a big jug of lime juice or diluted guava juice plus refried beans, various salsas and as many tortillas as one can eat makes feeding hungry cycle tourists a cost effective task.

We are spending the next two nights at the Hotel Casa Real where I got a good deal on Booking.com after being quoted a much higher price by the later at reception.  I much prefer to deal directly with hotels but sometimes the good discounts we get through Booking.com can't be ignored.

September 11th, 2021

A lazy day today while we considered our options.

I managed to get quite a bit of work done and then we worked out a plan for the next few days.  We have given up on the thought of cycling to Oaxaca.  The combination of the hills and the lack of facilities along the way persuaded us to weeny out.  Instead we are taking an out-and-back detour into the Tehuacán-Cuicatlán Biosphere Reserve to see a bit of wildlife, primarily cacti and birds.  Once back in Tehuacan we hope to catch the bus to Oaxaca.

Then we had a very late breakfast followed by a stroll to the bus terminus to check whether we would be able to get our bicycles onto the bus to Oaxaca.  Given the thumbs up (we will see how good the official's word is come the day of departure!) we visited the local cathedral.

Tehuacan gives an impression of being very modern, despite it being an old city.  The cathedral is actually quite new (it was built in the 1970s) but is in an older style.  Somehow it works.  It retains its old-world charm without looking tacky on the one hand or worn out on the other.  It was also quite busy with many folk coming into pray on their own.  We made sure we sat quietly and as unobtrusively as obvious tourists could be.  I find it very peaceful sitting in places of worship, be they churches, mosques, synagogues or Hindu or Buddhist temples and we seem to spend a lot of time doing this in various parts of the world.  Suddenly the bells starting clanging and we decided to escape before we were roped in to celebrate Mass with the rest of the congregants.

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We strolled through the adjacent zocalo and enjoyed an early beer at one of the restaurants adjoining it before returning to our digs.

A view of the zocalo from where we enjoyed a quiet beer.
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This evening we tried another restaurant next to the zocalo.  It seems that the menu of the day is best best enjoyed earlier because there were a few items missing from our order.  None the less, we enjoyed four courses for M$75.  Hopefully enough to get us over tomorrow's hills.

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Tomorrow we have a short but hilly ride to a village called Zapotitlan Salnas.

Today's ride: 64 km (40 miles)
Total: 358 km (222 miles)

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