Leaving Krisztina at the farm, I picked my next destination at random. I had a flight out of Mexico City on the 20th, about four days away. The Lonely Planet had nice things to say about Morelia, so I plotted a roundabout course through the mountains to get there. It was about four hours away, on top of the four hours that morning from PopocatÚpetl to Yolitia. A long day, so I hit the road.
Highway 15 (libre) east to Morelia is a wonderful road. It twists, it turns, it carves through mountains and forests. The pavement is immaculate and there is little-to-no traffic. It was getting late in the day when I noticed my steering start to get sluggish, about 45 km away from my destination. Uh oh.
A tiny puncture created a slow leak. I was in the middle of nowhere and daylight was fading fast. Someone must have paged Mr. Murphy, alerting him that I am - for the first time on this trip - not carrying spare tubes. Ugh.
I have a CyclePump I can run off bike power. I reinflated and rode another 2-3km, stopped, reinflated... I kept this up for about 15 km (long past dark) until I reached a small store, which was sadly out of fix-a-flat. The owner of the store took pity on me and her husband drove me all the way into Morelia to buy a can. I have to admit that the ride, while much appreciated, was terrifying - he drove his pickup at speeds that I would have considered reckless even during the day in a sportscar.
1.5 hours and 500 pesos later (120 for the can, the rest I gave to the driver) my tire stayed inflated long enough to get me to a hostel in Morelia, at which point it oozed the last of its goop into a small puddle on the floor and quit.
I don't have a lot of pictures of Morelia. It's a very pretty town but it feels a bit like Disneyland. There are thousands of perfectly preserved colonial buildings (including a picturesque aqueduct) but there seemed to be relatively few stores and restaurants. There are no street vendors. It really doesn't feel like Mexico, more like a living postcard.
I stayed three nights in an inexpensive hostel near the center of town, the Hostel Allende:
I had dinner with my neighbor, a cute french girl on vacation from working in the consulate in the DF. She does human-rights work.
We had interesting conversations about world politics, and even more when her boyfriend and a a friend of his showed up. Spanish was the only language all four of us could understand, but fortunately beer improves my conversation skills:
More food porn, trucha al mojo de ajo
This was an oddity, the first female mariachi band I've seen in Mexico:
Finally it was time to head back to the DF. I found a Motoaltavista shop in Morelia, my tire staying inflated just long enough to get there!
They patched it up in less than an hour. Total bill was 115 pesos, about $10 US.
Morelia is the first town I've seen that uses KTM 640s as police bikes! There were about a dozen in the shop, waiting for repair:
The ride back to the DF was uneventful. I dropped off the bike at Motoaltavista, spent one night at the Hostel Mexico City, and got on a plane to Atlanta the next day. Since I've spent so many nights in this hostel, it seems like I should have at least one picture (look for the tiny oval yellow/blue sign):