Friday, May 16...
I've been in San Miguel de Allende since April 5 as the program leader for a group of students. Alberto at Motos y Mas in SMA made arrangements for me to rent a KLR650 for a couple of 3 day trips and back in April I made a trip to Tzivanza and Bernal. Go to:
if you'd like to see that RR.
I had wanted to explore more of the Sierra Gorda range, but didn't make it that far. For my second trip Xilitla was my main destination and to see more of the Zimapan resevoir and dam area that I saw on my first trip. Started off around noon Friday and headed E out of Tequisquiapan (E of Queretaro) on some secondary roads.
It was warm and sunny and I was sweating a bit with the gear on, but not uncomfortably. Found a nice road side shrine which had some shade trees, making for nice sack lunch.
Soon I found Tecozautla from where I was hoping to make a go around the S side of the Zimapan resevoir and then head to Zimapan where I would spend the night. One map I had showed a through connection to Zimapan and another didn't. There wasn't. Had to take an alternate route. Nearly T'd a car at an intersection as I was looking for a turnoff. Fortunately, I was only doing 15 mph max. I looked down a street to my right to see if it was the one I wanted, turned my gaze back forward and there was an oncoming car about 6 or 7 meters in front of me, turning left (for her) right in my path. I hit the brakes hard and just missed the tail end of the car, I put my left foot down as I came to quick stop and it slipped on the dusty cobblestone and down I went! Arrgg! Fortunately, there was very little damage, about a two inch scar on the tank where it scraped one of the stones (will have to settle that one with the owner!). Otherwise, the bike was fine. Lady didn't even stop to see if I was ok. Started feeling my ankle a bit sore, but it was just a sprain when my foot caught one of the cobblestones. The bike started right up, no damage to radiator or anything else and I was on my way, shaken, but not stirred!
Headed back W on another road to HI 120 and found a little hot springs resort that was fed by a geyser, lots of swimming pools, family friendly place to camp the night, etc.
Once I hit HI 120 went N, then back E towards Zimapan, this time there were signs indicating how far, so I knew I was good to go.
Soon I arrived at the actual dam area and wasn't disappointed by the views. This was the same man made lake I had visited back in April (Laguna Tzibanza), but different area.
There were four separate tunnels each about a half mile in length.
As I made my way up the mountains on the other side of the dam, there were lots of spray painted, grafiti like signs that said 'no al basurero toxico' (no to the toxic dump) and later a guy in Zimapan explained that by law the government isn't supposed to OK a dump within 25 kilometers of a town with over 3000 habitants, and Zimapan has over 30,000 and the dump will only be 7 kilometers away, so the whole town is in an uproar about it, very NIMBY.
I made into Zimapan about 5pm and the grey clouds that had been threatening for the the last half hour lot loose. Fortunately, it wasn't difficult to find a decent hotel with a little gated area for bike security.
Kept replaying over and over in my mind my near miss, wondering if I could have done anything differently to stay upright. I suppose if I hadn't looked away for all of a second, I would have seen the car turning in front of me a little more quickly which would have given me a little more time to react, then not have to break so hard, but I guess it's pretty simple: people will pull out, or turn right in front of you. Not too bad...
But, it was still an amazing ride with lots of fun curves and interesting small towns. Day 2 coming soon with a switch from desert to jungle!...