Google doesn't know about it, but my Guia Roji map shows a dirt road that runs between Puebla and Mexico City right between the two mountains in the picture above. The entire area is some sort of Mexican national park. I had to ride through.
Finding the road wasn't too hard with the GPS (I bicimpapas
). The road itself was fairly well maintained, with only occasional soft bits. Sometimes a car or truck would come down the opposite direction; one subcompact filled with kids asked me what was in this direction - "Puebla", I answered.
My bike was getting progressively more and more sluggish. I checked altitude on the GPS - about 11,000 ft. I
Near the top I saw this beautiful building perched on the side of a cliff:
I couldn't tell what it was but I had to find it. I found a turnoff and started exploring. The road started out pretty reasonable:
Then it got worse:
Then it got worse:
Then it got *worse*:
About this time I realized I took a wrong turn.
Eventually I found the building. It's some sort of monastery, not necessarily catholic - there was only one small cross. Unfortunately it was closed, but the structure and grounds were beautiful. There were waterfalls coming out of the rock face behind the building.
At this point it was getting late. I liked the idea of staying the night up at this altitude so I found a cabin at a small "eco-resort" in the valley below the monastery.
Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the spicy foil-wrapped baked trout I had for dinner. A Mexican family invited me to sit at the dinner table with them; I practiced my spanish while they practiced my english. I'm getting better.
Here's the view out the front door of my cabin (which cost 450 pesos):
My cabin had no electricity, but it did have a fireplace! I spent the night reading by fireplace:
It's COLD at 12,000 ft elevation!