We spent 6 days with our girlfriends seeing in the New Year in Puerto Escondido and then taking buses up to the city of Oaxaca, a beautiful colonial city although thw cathedral looks less pretty than those in places like Puebla and Morelia because it is an earthquake zone so has a different, more blocky, architectural style. They had to head back to DF and we needed to keep going so we said our goodbyes early morning on the 6th. While in Oaxaca, Pedro had stayed with a relative of his girlfriend who has done a lot of motorbike travel around Mexico. He let Pedro know that the road heading from Oaxaca south to Huatulco was the best in Mexico, beating the Devils Backbone, and so our route was set. We couldn’t go directly because east of Oaxaca there are some interesting ruins that we had to visit.
Heading east out of town we went past what claims to be the largest tree in the world and 4 ruins of varying quality. The final one we went to that day, Mitla, is famous but we got there late and were unimpressed by the Mexican punctuality of closing at 4:45 even though officially it was meant to close at 5 giving us 15 minutes to see it. To get across to the other main highway, Eduardo, our host the following day had told us about a new road that wasn’t on our maps. To get to it, we took a dirt road as the sun was going down. Pedro tried his luck asking the police if they wanted to drive us the 10km down the dirt road, but we had no luck so rode along slowly bouncing on lots of rocks. The most ridiculous part was the 10 minute downhill bouncing into rocks of varying sizes, including some very large ones that Pedro crashed into and came off his bike. Thankfully there was no damage, just a very dusty bike.
Arriving in San Dionisio we made our way to the zocalo and met a group of local police, not in uniform, who were carrying around large wooden batons. They introduced themselves to us and we asked about a place to eat mentioning how police seem to know the best places to eat. They always seem to love to hear that line, and showed us to a place to get tacos and tortas and let us know to find them after we’d eaten. We did so and, after sitting round in the town square for a while, they introduced us to the president of the town who said we could stay at his place. We threw our things in the official town pickup and got driven down to his house where we were shown to a building that he had spare where we could stay.
The next day we headed out continuing on our way to the other road via a newly built road that had some beautiful views and fun rolling hills. We seemed to go along quickly and made it across to the other road for lunchtime. We weren’t that hungry so kept going down the road, and just after Pedro saw a fruit stand so we pulled over. It was run by a mum, her daughter and then there were 3 younger children running mayhem. We had a fun time talking with them, and they gave us some watermelon to eat. When I told them that Pedro was a babysitter the mother joked that he could stay there for a couple of years getting to eat all the fresh fruit he could ever want while looking after her kids – somehow he turned her down!
We stopped at the next town for a real lunch, and my stomach was feeling a bit off. I’m still not sure what caused it, but thinking back it probably had something to do with a dirty water bottle. My white water bottle had had some green stuff at the bottom for at least a few days, but I’d been unable to clean it. We were still a good distance from our destination of Miahuatlan, and combined with a headwind, terrible roads and my stomach it seemed to go on forever. About 6-8km short of arriving, I saw a couple of pickup trucks waiting to turn into the road. I stopped just in front of them and thumbed them down. They both stopped and offered us a lift into town.
15 minutes later we were in Miahuatlan at the house of our host, Eduardo. He and his family run a toy shop and a clothes shop and live above it. We left our bikes in the clothes shop which was just about to close and took our important things upstairs. After a shower we were invited to eat dinner with the family who were really interesting to talk to. I even got to talk a bit about Porfirio Diaz, the president of Mexico between 1877 and 1910 (leading up to the Mexican revolution) who splits opinion a lot. I’d taken a class about him at UNAM so I was interested to see if they agreed with my teacher, and the opinions I’d formed during the course, and they basically did.
Pedro talking about the wise men
Pedro talks about the tree
At Yagul with Akira
Pedro explains Yagul
Dirt road riding
Riding along in another pickup!
A view from Yagul
Spot the cyclist