Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tuesday July 5th, Zacatecas to Mineral de Pozos (via San Luis Potosi)

It was a bright clear morning as I left Zacatecas. The temperature dropped as I rode toward San Luis Potosi. For a short while I was riding through clouds at what I assume was a high elevation. I was cold, but the road soon decended and I warmed. At the higher elevations the landscape consists of scrub, prickly pear cacutus and huge joshua trees. On the ring road around San Luis Potosi and south towards San Luis de la Paz there was a lot of truck traffic and a few rim busting, kitchen sink sized, potholes I narrowly avoided. The road through San Luis de la Paz is a typical, nondescript street with concrete buildings either side. Upon entering Mineral de Posos the typical modern Mexican town disapears. The street becomes rough, loose cobbles. The buildings are a mix of crumbling adobe, and fixed up adobe. It feels like a small, low key, San Miguel de Allende.

There was no electricity for many hours this evening. Reading by candlelight may also be evidence of a civilized place.

Wednesday July 6th and Thursday July 7th - Mineral de Pozos

I spent two days in Mineral de Pozos grappling with a nasty case of turista. After a bout like that I feel more "at one" with Mexico, much more aclamatized and "in tune." Hotel Su Casa is a lucky place to be stuck for a couple of days.

Friday July 8th - Mineral de Pozos to Jalpan de Serra

Feeling a little less like Port Moresby, in "The Sheltering Sky", I left Mineral de Pozos. Heading south and then east on the narrow, well paved, road lead me past corn fields and open air factories where workers were handmaking bricks. Generally these brick makers worked next to some ancient looking colonial brick ruin, standing alone in the landscape. When I reached highway 120 the traffic and the curves increased significantly. I twisted up over a cosiderable mountain, then down into Jalpan. The BMW loves this kind of road, although the heavy traffic kept me from over doing it. The Serra in Jalpan de Serra is for Fray Junípero Serra who founded five missions in the area between 1751 and 1766. He and his burro did some serious traveling.

Saturday July 9th - Jalpan to Xilitla

I rode east on good roads and stopped at two missions. Mision Landa de Matamoros is in a beautiful, small, un touristed, not fixed up, adobe town. The plaster and paint work on both of these missions is outstanding. Mision Tancoyol de Serra is a detour, the road winds down into a small valley between the mountains. The landscape is beautiful as are the fluries of yellow butterflies. Riding through clouds of butterflies, like driving through snow fluries, is hypnotic.

Xilitla is surrounded by rain forest, waterfalls, huge ferns, big bugs, and dramatic mountains. Edward James built, while naked with his workers, his surreal masterpiece nearby. More photos in "Down to Mexico on an Airhead".

Mision Landa de Matamoros

Mision Tancoyol de Sierra


Sunday July 10th - Xilitla to Pachuca

It was market day in Xilitla as I left town. The town was packed with mini-buses delivering people. The roads were busy with more families walking to town.

Most of the day was spent riding in clouds between giant rain forest ferns. I bypassed Huejutla de Reyes on a narrow road through indigenous villages and towering mountain peaks. Theses mountains are exaggerated in their steep pointyness. Near the tiny town of Molango I experienced a gentle shakedown. A Policeman on each side of the narrow road waving drivers to a small pullout. I explain in english that I don't speak spanish well. In spanish the friendly cop asks for my documents. He didn't seem to wonder why I could understand him but only answer in english. He looks seriously at my vehicle import doc, my licence, my licence plate. Returning the docs, he asks if he could have one dollar in his best english. I appologize for not carying any US cash and am on my way.

Nearing Pachuca the landscape turns to cactus filled canyons. I drop down into the small canyon or big hole that is Mineral de Monte. The streets are crazy, narrow, twisty, steep cobblestones, that turn unexpectantly into stairways. Not finding any attractive hotels in this deserted, cool, old town, I climb back out and go to old Pachuca, five minutes down the road. This old part of the big city Pachuca seems to be a favorite of Mexican tourists. Lots of hotels, shops and restaurants.

Monday July 11th - Pachuca to Morelia

I made a good run, but I run too slow............

I was going towards Oaxaca, I have an inclanation for that place. Of course, destinations are only tricks or excuses to move in a particular direction. It is the quality, or style, of the movement that is important. Days of rushing, and time spent hoping for a particular, expected, experience seems a waste. So I find my self in Morelia, no longer heading towards Oaxaca.