David Johnson's Travel Blog
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Desert to Pines

2015-11-28

tl;dr: I climbed from the desert into the mountains and back down to near Oaxaca with my cobbled brakes.

I made my way out to the road around 6 AM. Eight hours, forty kilometers and three ibuprofen later I topped out at 2300 meters. I left the desert behind and was again into pine trees. Now to see how well my cobbled brakes would work. They worked, although it wasn't much fun.

This area doesn't have as many small villages, but you can still find places to buy water occassionally.

About half way up the mountain there is a sort of rest area. A small caravan of trucks had taken it over and a group of people were preparing for lunch (or something; I wasn't clear on that). I stopped to eat my own breakfast. They tried to load me down with oranges, apples and those little bananas ("the fruit of Mexico"). They also filled my water bottle from a giant water tank in one of the trucks. I was suspicious of it all, but I ate and drank. Let's see how tough my stomach is. They wouldn't accept any money, even though I pointed out that I was a tourist here to spend money.

In the afternoon I stopped at a roadside shack where two women were cooking something over a wood fire. I decided I could probably only get so sick in one day. I typed "whatever you are serving. I'm not picky" into Google Translate. I received some sort of baked flour tortilla folded over melted cheese with some sort of marinara on the side. It was surprisingly good.

I've seen more big pickup trucks on this road than I've seen so far in Mexico. It may be a function of the agriculture in this area. Or it may be because there are more tourists here.

I dropped out of the mountains in only about an hour. At this point I was in dense urban Mexico again, but I was still some twenty kilometers from the hotels of Oaxaca, and it was getting dark, and traffic was horrible. I peddled until I found a motel. $250 pesos with hot water. I went next door to the Oxxo to buy water and junk food. There was a black American guy named Steven there who asked how long I've lived here. He'd just gotten out of the military and was planning on buying a house in Oaxaca. Apparently a lot of Americans live in this area, and there's a town farther west where Germans live. The weather right here (which is different than the weather thirty kilometers away) reminds me of southern California, so I can see a little of the appeal.

good morning Mexico


trucks




the men are hanging out


the women are working


the caravan from afar




some sort of fox?


crowded by turkeys






farm


at the top


shrine maintenance


waiting for lunch


begging cat


Motel Cupulas



contact me at le@liverworks.com
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