Saturday, May 17
Awoke to a cloudy morning, which was a first for me since arriving in San Miguel de Allende. Spent the morning walking around the main plaza area.
Gachupines refers to Spaniards, so maybe they're the ones who are contracted to build the dump that the people are protesting against. ('damn spaniards [foreigners?] and traitorous dogs want to kill us little by little we prefer to die fighting').
Inside the cathedral:
The most appropriately named sandwich shop ever: 'CORNER SANDWICHES'
Was on the road by 10:00 and the skies were clearing. I headed E towards HI 85, which if taken S would run in to Pachuca. But I was heading N on 85 towards Tamazunchale, after which I would reconnect with HI 120 and take it E to Xilitla, where I wanted to stay the second night. Looks to be about 125 miles, maybe 150 tops, but my maps don't show the curves and the hills, and they don't point out that I was about to enter some serious drizzle and fog. Started out nice enough, rolling easily through gentle curves, perfect temp and weather.
This little critter was actually in the middle of the hiway when I zoomed past him. By the time I had doubled back to get a better look he had already made it to the side of the road. He was about as big as your palm and fingers up to the first joint or knuckle.
Little by little I was leaving the dry desert behind and getting into more pine forest topography.
Jacala, not quite half way between Zimapan and Tamazunchale. Sadly, all too often when I would stop at a nice look out point I was reminded of the difficulties of trash disposal.
Started gaining elevation and more clouds. Soon the first wisps of fog appeared, then the drizzle and soon after I was engulfed in a very drippy, thick fog with visibility of about 10 meters. I slowed to about 15 mph and just took my time. On a clear day I'm sure the views would be spectacular as every now and then the fog would lift for a few seconds and you could see the side of the road drop sharply off into nothing. Kind of spooky with nothing really to keep you from going over the edge—did I say that I slowed WAY down? Had to wipe my visor about every 3 seconds to add to the fun, but fortunately it was a warmer drizzle than not, so I wasn't uncomfortable. Didn't meet a lot of cars, just pedestrian traffic.
About 15 miles before Tamazunchale I started to descend and soon was out of the fog to be greeted by the verdant jungle views. Other-worldly ride from then on into Tamazunchale.
Filled up for gas and, wow, it was alreay 3:00pm. 5 hours to do about 100 miles. I was told Xilitla was only about 50 more to go, so even though more rain was threatening I decided to keep going because I was already as wet as I was going to get and the traffic wasn't all that bad. Sure enough, soon after filling up, the rain started again, but this time not much fog. Still, I made it to Xilitla before 5 and had to ask a few times but found a decent hotel for $20. Roamed the streets until evening and then holed up in my room, hoping for a sunny Sunday. Day 3 coming shortly...