01-31-2013, 03:56 PM
T plus 16 months
Joined: Jul 2006
South then east or Where the heck am I.
I headed out of Guanajuato west and then south. Had to stop at this place along the road.
I decided to push on into my reserve fuel and see how far I could get with the new engine. I probably came very close to running out as I went 25 miles on reserve before finding gas. Good info to know though.
Not many pictures of this day as I just hammered it down the toll roads past Mexico City and on to Puebla. I made good time but spent somewhere between $40 and $50 US on tolls. At one point I paid a toll, went up on an overpass and less than a mile later had to pay another very high toll. The MX toll roads are pretty ridiculous in their prices and thus are often empty. The only other option is the smaller roads which are full of speed bumps. More on that later.
I didn't have a guide book that covered Puebla so I just followed the signs towards Centro. Once I got near I figured most hostels are about 2 blocks from the center so I just jogged left 2 blocks and found a hostel about 3 blocks down. A nice town center and met some very friendly people at a couple bars. I just spent one night there and then began my journey east, this time off the Toll roads.
I saw my first active volcano as I left town.
I headed out of Puebla SE and then through Tehuacan on nice roads. I had a rather good but large scale Michelin map of MX which made this look like large roads. As I got further SE the roads became smaller, more potholed, and less well marked. I traveled though a couple towns that were what we in the US would call Reservations for the Native Americans. Only nicer.
I was only sure I was on the right road because there were no other options. When I reached Teotitlan de Flores Magnon I knew I was still on the right road. I turned left and wound my way uphill through town. Here, just outside town, I passed one of the most beautiful native Mayan girls walking into town. Beautiful eyes and a happy smile. I continued on just briefly uphill. The road quickly became rough gravel winding up switchbacks. It was at least 60 miles to the next town and potential gas.
I stopped and looked up the narrow winding gravel road. I looked back down at the town and paved road. I looked at my map for alternate route. Then I looked down at my tires. Knobby TKC 80s. I thought to myself "This is why I'm here. This is why I have this bike. This is why I have these tires. Fuck it." and I headed up. The road wound up. And up.. And up but eventually turn back to potholed pavement. A few buses passed me coming down so I knew I was going somewhere.
I pulled off to look back down and check out some graffiti.
I came from the flat bit down there.
Some things are universal
As I got higher and higher the heat disappeared and as I drove into black clouds I had to stop and put on my jacket. I finally reached the peak in near darkness because of the clouds and dropped down the far side in heavy fog. I figured I'd climbed 6 or 7000 feet from the valley below. The landscape changed from dry scrub to lush green. I realized I'd just passed over the Continental Divide and entered the wet, warm Carribean side of MX. I quickly lost the jacket and started a very long descent.
At one point on the ride up I thought "Oh, hello 3rd gear, I haven't seen you in a long while." The way down was similar with constant 1st and 2nd gear twistys and and occasional 3rd or maybe 4th gear straight. After hours of this I finally came out onto straighter roads with a huge smile on my face damp face. Evening was coming on so I drove into the first town I came to, San Felipe Jalapa de Diaz and got a room at the one hotel there. This was the Hwy 182, one of the Best Dual Sport rides I encountered in 15,000 miles on this trip. I Highly recommend it for anyone riding MX.