Seems like the bug I’ve caught (and for that mater Marcin & Anna too) is pretty strong and is not giving up on me so easily. I slept fitfully and the cough kept my up in the early morning, as a consequence, I stayed in bed till 8:30. Almost looked like I might take a day off. Marcin and Anna decided to rest out their flu, but the only way I know to get rid of it is to work out and mentally zone out the thoughts of it. So I decided to ride on today. Bummer I wouldn’t get to ride with the couple yet.
Fernando’s mum cooked up a storm in the morning! It was nice to chat with them as we munched on the b’fast and I again felt like I should stick around, what with our host being so awesome to us.
Finally I decided to get on the road and it was almost 11 when I was ready to leave. The route started with a steady climb out of town and got up to 1900m. After that it was mostly rolling hills sticking to 1900 and sometimes getting to 2000. It was not a pretty ride, the scenery was flat and dry and mostly going thro farm lands.
Initially, the chicken farms smelled very familiar. They smelled like a childhood home I used to live in, behind a chicken butcher. The diary farms brought back memories of NZ and the occasional pig farms smelled so bad, I had to speed up to get away from them.
The libre was alright to ride on, the traffic had thinned in these parts and the occasional truck would pass me with enough space. I was zoning out in the morning so I decided to stop for a cup of coffee at a petrol station. I took a siesta and that refreshed me a bit. The next stretch was again boring and I just rode along gently cranking out the distance.
In the morning I had noticed a slow leak in my rear tire, duh. I hoped it would be fine till the evening, but of course, I had to get a flat in a treeless section. The air ran out quickly and I had to push my bike along looking for a clearing to work in. After a bit I found one and patched the flat. Incidentally, I think it’s the first one where the schwalbe tire was penetrated. And it was a tiny wire from the truck tires. Ah well.
I rode up to the next town, San Miguel de alto, which had a pretty church, but I didn’t bother to take pictures. But I did stop for a bit of food before heading on. As it would turn out, I’d learn two lessons about patching tubes.
1. Not to patch a flat by the side of the road. And if you did patch, not to use the same tube to ride immediately
2. The park tool stick on patches are rubbish even if you used additional glue.
As I started, I noticed the rear tire deflated and I had to fix it before moving on. I still had about 24 km to get to San Julian and the sun was scheduled to set in 45 mins. I figured I’d as well ride as long as I could with available light. As it had to be, the next section was an uphill too! Awesome.
I rode on and was scouting for motels or restaurants where I could ask to camp. There were many houses, but not much else. Eventually when the light got too low (I can see stars now), I was at the crest of some hill and I spotted a rancho (farm house of sorts). A couple of dogs were barking and some kids were plying. An old man, probably the grandpa came out and I asked him, in my awesome spanish if I could stay there. After taking a bit, he figured what I wanted and let me stay. Ain’t that cool, a random house call, and it works all over the world!
He didn’t want me to stay on the floor since he said there are lots of rats round. Hammock to the rescue! Yay. I found a spot to hang and he asked me to put my bags inside his car to keep away from the rats. Absolutely sweet. His son came by in a while and didn’t bat an eyelid at me, instead he smiled and I had to tell him my story and he was like, “ok, sleep here” and went off.
Faith in humanity, restored!
Route: Tepatitlan to Farm house near San Julian
Distance: 71 Km
Ascent: 980 m
Descent: 510 m
Comment: A pretty blah day, made good by random kindness!