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With our rush to get to DF, we only had one day to spend in the beautiful Zacatecas. I wished we had had more time, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if I somehow ended up back there after leaving DF. We even managed to go close to the church of the Virgen de Guadalupe, but missed it too.

After getting out of the small back streets near our hostel, we got onto the main road and it took us to the toll road to Zacatecas. It was the first time that we saw a no-bicycle sign before the toll booth, and I was a little concerned, but no-one said anything and we went through.

An hour later, I was sat by the side of the road waiting for Pedro to catch up. He rode past me, over a nappy pin and punctured his tyre. He suggested I go on ahead as I was in need of a TV to watch the England v Ukraine game. I sat round, waiting to make sure he got it fixed, and then rode off. Apparently, although all seemed fine when I left, it failed again, and he switched to a spare tube that I had lent him.

With a gentle downhill and a light tailwind, I made great time on my way towards Aguascalientes. With Pedro’s only way of being contacted being via email that he can’t get unless he has wi-fi, I left a few Post-it notes on kilometre markers to let him know where I’d be pulling off to watch the football.

45 minutes before kick-off, I saw a black car parked to the side of the road and a gentleman waving me down. I stopped and found Arturo who was intrigued by my bike trip. He was particularly interested as he wants to ride a bicycle to his daughter’s place in Colorado. We spoke for about 15 minutes, only in Spanish, until at the end when I realised that he spoke much better English than I did Spanish. He was a lovely man and I look forward to hearing about his future trip.

I arrived in a town, and pulled into a restaurant. I pointed at the TV and explained my Englishness and thus desire to watch football. They had cable, with a crystal-clear picture, but apparently the game was on regular TV. That proved a slight hindrance as their reception was horrific and, while I could see the game, it was mixed in with a soap opera from the next channel.

By the time England and Sweden had won, ensuring England’s progression through as group winners, Pedro hadn’t arrived. We had a backup plan of a place to meet in Aguascalientes, and so I headed off to find him. Not much later, he sent me an email to let me know he’d arrived at the McDonald’s. I rolled along quickly, under threatening clouds, and made it there to wait for our host, Cain.

Cain turned up to show us how to get to his house, a few km down the road. I followed after his car, while Pedro went with the easier option of holding onto the car and letting it pull him along most of the way. We got to our place for the night, and then met Sergio (the owner of the place) and headed out for a few drinks in what ended up somehow being our first cantina. How we have avoided them for this long is beyond me, but it was an enjoyable ending to the day.

Riding along (Windy)

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