Yesterday night was lovely. I was invited to join Nora’s family dinner and Claudia prepared some really lovely spring rolls and sushi with Avacado and cheese. The girls were also vegetarian and we ended up eating a big portion of the home made goodies. Near midnight, we walked out to the town square and they had a pretty roaring party going on, this was with traditional music, very similar to the fandango I attended in GDL. A very different genre though, the Veracruz folk seemed to be very gypsy influenced, very post Hispanic. But this one sounded different. Every one was dancing in the town square. Here’s something I noted… Everyone knows how to dance, simple steps it may be, but everyone was moving to the tune. Nora pulled me in to dance and I hopped along and did my usual routines. It was fun. I guess I like these small town shindigs.

So I woke up late, heh. All the story is to explain why I started the day at 11 am 🙂 I had a nice bit of b’fast and eventually bid farewell to the lovely family and their dogs too. Today was supposed to be a bit of a climb in the early part. That is about 50 km of uphills. With the late start, I figured I might not make it to xilitla and planned for a stop around 60 km point.

The day was gorgeous for riding, overcast and cool. The views were good and I crunched my way on. About 15 km in, I spotted a turnoff to a archeological site. If you didn’t know already, Mexico is choke full of pre Hispanic ruins, similar to, may be, Thailand. If I started looking at ruins, I might be fed up after the third site. So I have not been actively looking for them. This one was just a couple of k’s away and I figured, I might as well start the process. I rode thro the village and walked about the site. All the information was in Spanish, so it didn’t help much. But it was fun to walk about places which talked of dental torture and cranial bashing.

After about 40 km the climb started properly. I stopped before for a bit of lunch at Landa, which is one of the five big churches in Huasteca, including Jalpan. The climb was awesome, at 5% I could crank on all day. The views were stunning and I loved it. Someone stopped and asked if I wanted a ride. Sweet of them, but not today mates, I was in the zone.

Once I got to 1700 m, it rolled a bit and I was already looking for places to camp at. The place looked ideal, easy to push the bike thro, and tons of trees. However, it was all fenced and I had to keep looking for some public land. When I spotted some people in front of a open gate, they asked me not to camp, for fear of Panthers and lions. Wtf. May be Cougars is what they meant. Just a couple of k’s down, I found a small settlement and they let me camp in their backyard. Nice little spot this.

Route: Jalpan De Serra to Small village near Xilitla
Distance: 58 km
Ascent: 1302 m
Descent: 502 m
Expenses: 5.45 $
Comment: Lovely day of climbing. Easy hills and stunning views.

Track Notes