Boy what a difference a day makes! I started out up in upcountry Oaxaca this morning and headed down Rte 175. If Mexico was a theme park, the last two thirds of 175 would be an A ride.
A place to pull over and hang out in the shade before the road started climbing into the mountains. Nice:
These guys across the street working on the upstairs addition didn't have a ladder tall enough so they welded together some square tubing into a four legged extension to wire the wooden ladder to so it would reach. Clever solution:
This isn't the road I remember from the last time I rode it. The first part had been widened and repaved:
But soon it was climbing into the hills and the tires were chattering around the corners of varying cracked asphalt. That's more like it:
Finishing up clearing a landslide:
The road was nothing but curves in the middle section. Winding along the mountain ridges with nice views out to the surrounding countryside:
I liked this guy's budget wine and beer bottle stained glass gable end on his house:
Stopped and talked to this shy Oaxacan guy named Antonio who was building a house on the hillside. He had been working for a month on it and already was ready to form up and pour the roof. The solid cement blocks cost 3 pesos each or about a quarter:
He had just finished mixing and pouring the columns with 4- #3 rebar in the minor columns and 6 in the major center columns, and the concrete lintels that had the same. He hammered the smooth surfaces of the beams so the stucco will stick. Infilling with 4 inch wide cement bricks. He was doing a nice job. Just hope he tied the rebar together and there isn't an earthquake over about 6 or 7 on the richter scale:
The road started missing the top layer in greater amounts further on. Perfect for a Sherpa but probably not a sport bike road:
Came to a town and Tony was pulling into a restaurant on a new GS12 coming up the hill the other way. I thought he was an ADVrider pulling over to say hi so I pulled in next to him. Turns out he is a nice fun loving Oaxacan who was coming home from his vacation home down at the beach in Huatulco and loves this restaurant. Here's Tony:
We went in and sat down. He knew what was good so did the ordering and we had a nice chat as he showed me pics of the moto trip he and his wife took to Morocco last year. He also went to the MOA rally in Missouri. His whole family rides. His son up in Texas has a R12RT. He showed me a pic on his iPhone. Nice looking kid. He wouldn't let me pay so I had him sign my tank. His signature has Latin flair. I like it. Really nice meeting Tony and he gave me his card. He owns two hotels in Oaxaca in case I come back through. Tony had to leave to get home since it was mid-afternoon, so we bid each other hasta luego and rode off our separate ways.
After leaving the restaurant the road got a bit rough at the top in the pine forests of the upper elevations of the mountains:
there were beautiful wildflowers growing all along the side of the road. I have no idea what these are but they're pretty"
It was chilly up there. Maybe in the 50s. Soon the road started dropping down, down, down towards the coast on a roller coaster ride for the next 60 miles. I rounded a corner and there was a Oaxacan town parade with a band blocking the road as they marched through town:
So I took a break and rested in the shade until they marched up to a church on a side road. A few miles further I came around a corner and saw a guy on the side of the road broken down so I doubled back to see if I could be of help and met Renaldo:
Nice guy whose parents lived in the marching band town. He had come down from Alabama where he works in building maintenance which is the current euphemism for janitor. Nothing wrong with that. His muffler had fallen off and skittered into the bushes and his front header was loose as the dickens. No surprise parts were shaking off on this road. After we found the muffler Renaldo hailed a collectivo van going up the hill and gave the muffler to the van driver to take to his folks house:
So I put my stuff back that i unloaded from the duffle to get at a hose clamp big enough to hold it on. Got out my tools and tightened up his pipe and he was good to go loudly back up the hill. I didn't get a picture of his Freddy Kruger face mask he wore for cold protection or his iron cross helmet. Pretty scary looking for such a sweet Oaxacan dude to be wearing.
Soon the road was twisting through the lower canyons on a newly paved 10 mile section:
Then it dropped through the coastal puffy clouds that were rising up the mountain and streaming over the road. Pretty cool:
and down into the tropical coastal jungle where the road improved:
Stopped at a hotel up from Puerto Angel (ann-hell) and this guy drove up. Looks like I'll be able to check out rta. 175 from Google streetview in the near future:
So I am in Puerto Angel at a Seebrr cafe typing this up. It's dark out and the prices around here are inflated. No longer a sleepy little surf village. I'm heading up the hill to the small mountain town where a room is 130 pesos. Ten bucks I can handle tonight. Its three times as much down here 8 miles at the beach.