I packed up and left my really cozy room to be back on the road. The general idea was to head towards a place called Lagos de Montebello. I had been in touch with Alex, from Oaxaca and he was heading there on his big tour with Julia and another friend. I figured it might be really awesome to sync up. So that’s the general direction I should be headed. Of course the road thinks different.
I had been pretty impressed with the hills around San C and really wanted to spend a while riding thro them. I scouted a small town called Altamirano which would take me on a roundabout way, but still in the general direction. The roads to this town didn’t exist on my gosh maps, but Google pointed to a small road, only when I switched on walking routs. I should have had bells ringing in my head, but I figured I’d swing it and follow it anyway.
I hit the road after b’fast and headed up the hill, San C is in a bit of a valley and the only way out was up. The route led me to some really quiet country and I really enjoyed the ride though I felt like I had climbed more than I ought to have. The place was stunning john with very quiet indigenous villages and small communities with small farms and few animals. At some point the road turned to gravel and my new Mondial tires seem to grip better than the older Duremes. Though the tires seem to have a bit more road buzz on asphalt. Guess you can’t have everything. I would take better grip on gravel any day.
Once I was back on the highway, it seemed like Google had sent me on a pretty convoluted route. I was looking for a turnoff to the small road and eventually when I got there, It was a really small gravel road. Would have been fun to ride, but I wasn’t ready for 50k’s of downhill on gravel. So after thinking and asking people about it, I decided to take the highway to palanque with a promise of finding the other turnoff.
There was more uphill along the day and I pretty much rode up and down hoping not to end up in palanque, heh. I stopped for a bit of lunch and the lady assured me there is a turnoff a little while down. I eventually found it and it was a really quiet road with many tiny villages. The views had been stunning all day, but this last bit of road was just unbelievable. I was in a narrow valley with tall hills around and the landscape was full of pine trees. There were many places, I could have hammock’d at, but decided to go a bit further till the light ran out. The kids and even adults were pretty psyched to see me on a bike and I got tons of waves and whistles. I used my ice cream horn to good effect and whenever I’d toot, people would be so amused that they’d run around giggling. It was a great bit of riding all day long.
The downhills were rad, but every once in a while there would be a Tope (a speed bump) and I’d have to screech to a halt to avoid flying off into the valley below. That made the downhills pretty slow and I had to be a bit too wary all the way.
It had been overcast all day and I was even rained on a few times, but perfect for biking. But around half 5, the light was fading soon and I really wanted to camp in this patch of forest. I met a couple walking back home and I got chatting a bit. After a bit of talking, I asked them if they knew any hidden places to camp in. The guy, Miguel, said I could camp behind his house and we walked down to his place. He was building a new place behind his house and allowed me to sleep indoors! Awesome. On top, his wife was cooking some dinner and hey shared it with me too. People never cease to be lovely! I chatted a while about the time he spent In The USA and I shared my stories with them. Random encounters with nice people is the best part of travels I reckon.
Route: San Cristobal to Altamirano
Distance: 93 km
Ascent: 1195 m
Descent: 2063 m
Expenses: $ 14.80
Comment: Chiapas is now one of my favorite places to ride