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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Teotihuacan

December 25th, 2008 by sunflowers

TeotihuacanTeotihuacanTeotihuacanChristmas day was spent at Teotihuacan, 49km north of Mexico City, which has the third largest pyramid in the world and is a pretty impressive site.

I must admit that I am beginning to think that riding a bike around is a lot harder work than I had imagined it would be. I conveyed to my family and my brother in-law said that if I hadn’t have tried it I wouldn’t have known. I am hoping it is just a temporary low. Probably the Christmas blues.

TeotihuacanTeotihuacanTeotihuacanTeotihuacan

Posted in Mexico | No Comments »


10,000 Miles and First Fall

December 24th, 2008 by sunflowers

TulaTulaWe headed towards Mexico City stopping at Tula a Toltex site with ball courts and four huge warriors in black basalt. We then decided to follow the GPS which led us into a field on an non-existent road. Following a road between the fields and houses which was to gutters strewn with garbage I had my first off at 10,095 miles. The Mexican bloke and his wife who came to help me pick up my bike took photos of me and the bike. I would think it was pretty funny too if two foreigners were riding behind my house in a gutter full of garbage.

We didn’t find a hotel until after dark which was a bit nerve racking. But the hotel had wireless so I was able to skype my family in New Zealand on their Christmas day.

TulaTulaTulaTula

Posted in Mexico | No Comments »


Guanajuato

December 23rd, 2008 by sunflowers

Guanajuato

Guanajuato is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Standing in a narrow gorge the city is a network of cobbled pavement and stoney walled underground streets. It is very European with outdoor dining and plazas to relax in. The main thing I wanted to see was the Valenciana mine which is suppose to be a working silver and gold mine as the city was built on the profits of mining.

We caught a taxi up there and it appeared to be closed but someone who worked there said something about waiting for the taxi to leave and gave us a private tour which seemed all a bit cloak and dagger. I don’t think it is open any more but we then did a city tour which included another mine. It also included a museum of mummies which if your crypt wasn’t paid for and your relations didn’t claim the body it went into the museum.

At night they have groups of minstrels (troubadours) that take groups of people around the city singing with a wine barrel on the back of a donkey.

GuanajuatoGuanajuatoGuanajuatoGuanajuato

GuanajuatoGuanajuatoGuanajuatoGuanajuato

GuanajuatoGuanajuatoGuanajuatoGuanajuato

GuanajuatoGuanajuatoGuanajuatoGuanajuato

GuanajuatoGuanajuato

Posted in Mexico | No Comments »


Mexican Roads

December 22nd, 2008 by sunflowers

Mexican RoadsAirports offer a chapel for passengers to pray for safety. Today I noticed a small chapel at the service station and it doesn’t surprise me if drivers here are doing the same.

In Mexico you can either take the free roads (libre) or the toll roads (cuota). The toll roads are extremely expensive. We did 300km on one and it cost us 407 pesos in tolls ($32US or £20 for 200 miles). If you take the free roads you are constantly having to over take big trucks with no passing lanes or side verges. Between all the curves in the road and the trucks I am getting lots of practice in corning and overtaking!

Posted in Mexico | 4 Comments »


Tequila

December 21st, 2008 by sunflowers

TequilaThe town of Tequila is surrounded by miles upon miles of acres of blue agave used for making tequila. The cactus looking plant takes ten years to mature a pineapple like centre which is baked, milled and distilled. The best tequila is 100% agave. Tequila used for mixing is 51% agave sugar and the rest cane sugar.

We went on a evening tour of a distillery and had a personal tour. I thought that I wouldn’t be able to try any tequila as the first time I was ever drunk it was on tequila and I usually dry retch at the smell but the incredibly knowledgeable and friendly tour guides showed us the correct way to drink tequila and I managed to try white tequila and aged tequila.

TequilaTequilaTequilaTequila

TequilaTequilaTequilaTequila

Posted in Mexico | No Comments »


San Blas

December 20th, 2008 by sunflowers

San BlasSan BlasWe got up at six so that we could be on the bikes at first light to ride back up to San Blas as I had read that they did a jungle tour. It turned out to be a mangrove swamp tour to a crystal clear watering hole were I jumped in and swam with the fish. We also saw a couple of turtles sunning themselves on the way back but I was too slow with the camera.

Btw the swimming hole was fenced off from the crocodiles. The US has a lot of alligators as they can cope with colder weather. The main difference between alligators and crocodiles is that when you look at them is an alligator has a rounded snout as you can see from my photo my croc doesn’t.

San BlasSan BlasSan BlasSan Blas

San BlasSan BlasSan BlasSan Blas

Posted in Mexico | No Comments »


Not Enough Time

December 19th, 2008 by sunflowers

Los AyalaLos AyalaThe rest of the time in Los Ayala was spent swimming in a warm ocean, kyaking over to an island, drinking pina coladas, reading and hiking around. It still seemed like I didn’t have enough time to recuperate from the hard work of the road. This is my cut after a week of healing. A big thanks to Greg for letting us stay at his place.

A friend told me that one of the skills of photography is knowing what not to show. I don’t think that I have the hang of that yet.

Speaking of religion. 90% of Mexican’s are Roman Catholics of whom 47% attend church weekly. I might try and go one Sunday.

Los AyalaLos AyalaLos AyalaLos Ayala

Los AyalaLos AyalaLos AyalaLos Ayala

Posted in Mexico | No Comments »


Los Ayala

December 18th, 2008 by sunflowers

Los AyalaLos AyalaMark’s sister’s boss has a place on the Pacific Coast of Mexico just north of Porta Vallatra which we decided to stay at for a couple of days. Originally it was only going to be 1 day but we spent most of the first day putting heated grips on my bike, deciding between my gel seat which I was still packing around and doing laundry. The second day I spent typing up my blog and the third day back at the internet cafe researching where to go next.

We are debating whether to go into Mexico City. The traffic is suppose to be atrocious due to the city having a population of 20 million.

Here is some interesting population statistics for you.

In 1940 Mexico was 20 million and now in 2008 it is 109 million. In comparison the US was 131 million and now 306 million, UK was 28 million and now 60 million, New Zealand was 1.6 million and now 4.3, Australia was 7 million and now 21 million. The world population in 1940 was about 2.3 billion and now is 6.7 billion. I wonder if the population in Mexico increased as much before they became Catholics?

Los AyalaLos AyalaLos AyalaLos Ayala

Los AyalaLos AyalaLos AyalaLos Ayala

Posted in Mexico | No Comments »


El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Spine or continuous curves)

December 17th, 2008 by sunflowers

El DiabloRiding from Durango towards the coast is 200 miles of curves winding through many vertical-sided canyons including a narrow bridge with vertical drops on either side called the Devil’s Spine. Sometimes there are pine trees on either side giving you an illusion of safety but then you will come around a corner and be staring straight over a 2500 metre (2.5km) drop. There are times you go around a corner and the road is so tilted and the corner so tight you feel you are horizontal. We stayed the night in a ‘German’ hotel. The only thing German about it was the sauerkraut and spareribs which was delicious after a never ending diet of tortillas.

At one stage I stopped and sat by myself looking out over the canyons which was magic. The other points of note are all the trucks on the road and these little restaurants perched on the side of the road overhanging the cliff.

El DiabloEl DiabloEl DiabloEl Diablo

El DiabloEl DiabloEl DiabloEl Diablo

Posted in Mexico | Comments Off on El Espinazo del Diablo (The Devil's Spine or continuous curves)


Durango

December 16th, 2008 by sunflowers

DurangoDurangoDurangoDurango is noted for being the backdrop to numerous ‘wild west’ movies due to the wide thoroughfare of the main street but personally I can’t see it. It was a bit of a mission driving in at night but in the morning the walk through town was worth it. I was pretty impressed with the use of the empty drink bottles as christmas tree decorations and the traffic wardens were using electric three wheelers.

Also Mc Donalds delivers 😉

DurangoDurangoDurangoDurango

DurangoDurango

Posted in Mexico | 1 Comment »


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