Sunday, June 7, 2009

To Taxco

April 20th to 22nd

The theme of the last couple of days continues.... 
We surface around dawn and tackle undulating climbs through the Sierra Madre del Sur. The gradients are more kind to us now, having scaled the cliffs that surround Acapulco. The valleys behind us are softer and pleasantly green....  



In an expression of stern authority, the sign states - "It is Prohibited to throw rubbish"


We heard so much about police corruption before we crossed into Mexico and we were also warned by the surfers we met in Aquilas del Mar who were victimised a few times. After being harangued over some "alleged" offence, an "on the spot fine" usually made their troubles go away. So I get that sinking feeling when the red and blues go on behind me and I am told to pull over. Sue is around the next bend and I cry "save yourself" as she begins to escape....

At 3mph.

Officer Ramirez is curious. 
But that's as far as it goes - he really is just curious; and the power of the bici works once more.
"These are not the offenders you are looking for"....
No, he just needs to know 
"Where are you going?"
"Panama"
"Wow - where did you start?"
"Canada"
"Wow"..... etc.

A short time later with interest satisfied, he finally lets me go.
I get 100m before he stops me again.... 
Here it comes, methinks....
But no - he just forgot to give me a souvenir! Now he presents me with an embroidered towel with the Federal Police logo and wishes me well on the journey. 
Surf dudes take note, the bici is a powerful thing.

This is officer Ramirez who restores faith in the humanity of the Mexican police force, posing for a photo with lights and sirens blaring before blazing away, tyres smoking, super charged engine growling....



We have made the first ascent and roll over the first rampart in the ascending wall of peaks that defend Mexico City. We pitch base camp in Chilpanzingo the state capital of Guerrero - and watch the stampede along main street???



More dawns....



More climbs.....



More heavily armed military check points....


The rhythms of Mexican cycle touring.

At last we see, off in the distance, across yet another deep valley, the white walls of Taxco shimmering in the sun.  
And finally, it's buildings seemingly embedded directly into the mountain side, we reach the white city.