Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Leaving Acapulco

April 18th and 19th

Incredibly we see the dawn!

There just no time to waste in the mornings now as the temperatures soar to around 35 degrees by midday. Unfotunately we are thwarted by the hotel owner who has a more tranquilo approch to mornings and prefers a lie in....

When we finally get the doors unlocked, we are thwarted once again, this time by several hundred orange clad Mexicans shuffling along the city streets. It's the annual Acapulco 10km fun run, and the main routes out of town are blocked off. This is definitely not fun!

But what can you do and there's nothing for it but to set up at the roadside for a second breakfast - an act which draws the interest of the camera crew filming the event. Maybe the 2 gringos sat in the road eating a bowl of cereal made the evening news?

Around 10am, we finally weave our way through the crowded streets and the sun is beating down. We leave heading North for Mexico City. This means another crossing of the great Sierra Madre mountains that seperate these 2 cities and peak at around 3000m. The road is keener than us to tacke those 2 miles of altitude and sets off at a dizzying angle. 

Frequent traffic lights are welcome in that they allow time to load up the lungs for the next onslaught, yet we fret at the delay as time is a-wasting. We melt, sandwiched as we are between sticky black tarmac that flings off heat and the overworked car engines that boil.

A final hill top view back over Acapulco's faded glory....

All bad things come in threes and we are thwarted once again by the machine gun toting guard who point blank refuses to allow us on to the "cuota" or toll road. His grenade belt is quite persuasive, but I do my usual dumb act in the hope we can pass. This just wastes another half hour as they eventually find an English speaker to repeat what we already understood Rambo say in spanish. Now it's scorching.

We ride in search of the "libre" or free road and patience is severely tested when the only road is sign posted for Manzanillo - a city 800kms back the way we came along the coast It really should not be this difficult to find the main road to the nations capital! Seemingly bad things do in fact come in threes, but thwartations definitely come in fours! OK there's no such thing as thwartations, but we are getting a little vexed by now and new situations demand new words. 

Finally we decide to take the Manzanillo road - there's no other option and frustration mounts as the road immediately divides and signs suddenly appear for Mexico City. It's definitely not been our day!

We need diesel.
Unfortunately not for the mile munching engine of a car that could whisk us effortlessly up these hills. No we are still peddling grimly on the bicis, 15 miles and 3 hours later, but we do need fuel for the stove. We stop at the petrol station, and it dawns on both our heat addled minds that that building over there looks just like a hotel..... 

The look that passes between us is telepathic, and before either of us gets that ruthless streak of dedication back; the one where one of us explains to the other that we do not stop after just 15 miles..... we have checked in, taken refreshingly cold showers and are sipping ice cold frappes on the "balcony"....

The next day is more successful and we again beat the dawn

Criss crossing a series of rivers zigging and zagging their meandering path between hill spurs. It's a nice ride and the temperature begins to abate slightly as we climb. Not sure where the demand for all these riverside restaurants comes from though.... 

And this guy obviously knew nothing about them....

Can anybody explain this??? 


BrĂ¡ulio Bhava said...

wow!!! good to see you are still on the road. and nice to see amazing photos.
i see you're having great time.

i'm still cycle touring, but only for the weekends and holidays. still need more time from the university.

miss you man!

Sween in SAmerica said...

Hey Braulio - my man. How's it going?

Great to hear from you again. How's Santiago, still hounding those women? Good to hear you're still riding - still planning the big one? Are you getting any good pictures? You'll have to send me a link to your photo album and I'll have a look.

Keep riding man. Things are just amaaaaaazing here and we're just going to hit Guatamala...

See you in Brazil
The Sween