Who is the handsome fella?
And today we started the slow skirting of Mexico City. At the closest point we are within 100km of the city of 20 million plus people and we wanted to avoid be sucked into it by getting trapped in the motorway system leading there .
So we started the day by skirting the old stone aqueduct in Morelia and then it was into the hills on a lovely winding road up thru the dense bush of a national forest area. As we rode it occurred to me that Diana of on the back fame had never experienced getting of the bike in a slightly forceful and sudden manner. So at a little layby as I pulled up to a halt over Mella went obediently on her side and over went Diana and I into the dust beside her. It was a good test and there were no bruises or scratches to man,woman or machine. To my dying day I will maintain that this was a pre orchestrated little exercise and I have no doubt Diana is appreciative of my thoughtfulness in arranging this little exercise specially for her.
Exercise finished - you can stand up now!
Then in the afternoon we were bought to a halt by a police blockade and were told the road was closed ahead. It appeared that students and teachers were protesting over something and had blockaded the road in protest. After some wringing of hands it was agreed that we would be allowed thru the blockade as we were tourista Gringos. This of cause created a problem for our traveling ex teacher companion Ken as he was effectively choosing between showing solidarity for the teachers or breaking thru the blockade. Pragmatism rules OK. At the next stop I helpfully pointed out that he still had bits of broken teacher on his tyres from running the blockade !
The stone blockade
And so we arrived at the nice and tidy town of Ixtapan De La Sal so named after a salt lake close by .
On the trip thru Mexico I have been bedeviled by the fact that the Mexican Maps in my GPS have not been working. As a result I have been relying on maps, signposts, the position of the sun and any other helpers I could find. I have also followed Ken thru the cities and big towns as his is working. Well tonight it was a thousand Halleluias as Diana managed to nut out the correct download procedure on the computer and hey presto I now have Mexican maps.
And the final thought for the night. Can a Mexican do a Mexican wave by himself?
DAY. 71. IXTAPAN DE LA SAL TO HUAJUAPAN DE LEON 308 km
This was the second day of skirting around Mexico City and we are now well south of the mega mega tropolis ! It was largely a rural day today with lots of bucolic rural scenes again reminiscent of Europe.
There were families tending goat herds , farmers hand cutting in the fields and men riding Donkeys and horses. There were many Donkeys on the side of the road. Some were tethered and some were not. However because those that were tethered were tethered close to the edge of the road one had to also look out for Donkeys at the end of their tether !
I revelled in having a functioning GPS at last. However Liz's highbrow English vowels however absolutely mangled the Spanish place names and I thought she was going to have a nervous breakdown. The juxtaposition of saying " turn right in 400 metres onto zizxacazzituzaoaxzoaxyixz carreterra" was too much for her .
State to State
So we are now very much in Southern Mexico and there are fields of sugarcane and other tropical plantings. Then just to finish off the reminder that we are in the tropics we saw the inside of a late afternoon tropical downpour. It was our first significant rain since that which we had in Death Valley eons ago. That is pretty good going I reckon !
Black as ..........
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