Miguel had let me sleep in a new house he was building and I was happy to sleep under a roof, given that it rained on and off all night. I guess I am lucky, on a warm day, this place might be scorching. I was up early and made some coffee for me and Miguel’s family. I hit the road running at 8. Glad for an early start. I figured the couple of hills along my way might need some time.
I started the day in a bit of drizzle and pretty chilly weather. So on with my rain jacket and a flat road until I hit the highway. I skipped visiting the town of Altamirano figuring I might get lucky with food along the way. This part of Chiapas was like Laos. Everyone seemed to be cooking at home and finding a restaurant proved futile. However I was running on my bread and biscuits pretty well. I stopped at a tiny village and the only shop luckily had some oats and bananas. I cooked a bit of b’fast by the side of the road and that kept me going for a while more.
The first hip out was a bit of a heavyweight. It had an average slope of about 10-12% and topped off at 17%. Ouch. It was a bit of a slow work, but hills always end and I knew it was a matter of 600m and I’d have some plains to work with. The views were stunning though and the dense unspoiled forest along his stretch was well worth pedaling for. It was pretty nice to observe that all of the villages along the way were indigenous, I suppose Mayan. Most of the houses were built with local pine and the simple houses with large tracts of farmland between reminded me of Arshan in Siberia. And what I really liked was that they were utterly clean. I couldn’t spot garbage at all. Well, sometimes I’d see a pile here and there, but for the most part, they seem to keep the place super clean. Nice.
After the first hill, there was a bit of a quiet time, but still rolling and I was looking for a turnoff that Google had recommended. I stopped for lunch at the turnoff, at the only restaurant I could spot. The lazy made me lunch and coffee for 35 pesos. I asked her about the road ahead and she said it was generally downhill and good asphalt. I had a plan B which was to head to comitan, but that would mean that I might stay there. Comitan is a “pueblo magico” and might be well worth a visit. But to be honest, the place I’ve been riding all day is where the real magic is.
Given the good roads, I decided to bypass comitan and head to las margaritas. It was generally downhill and It was a beautiful ride thro some stunning country. The views reminded me of being back in NZ and I would gladly ride around Chiapas scouting every possible road. I got to las margaritas around 3 ish and decided to look for some wifi. The only option I had was a Internet cafe, without wifi. Ah well, I just had to get in touch with Alex, who’s a day ahead. It was super cheap though, I paid 2 pesos for 20 mins of access. Dang!
The road out was going to be gravel, according to my research and I braced myself for 25k’s of bone rattling. It was hard packed gravel however and though it was bouncy, I gently made my way thro. The Mondials worked well under the conditions getting a positive bite on the mud. It lasted for 10ks or so and opened into a pretty nice road. It was pretty flat ride into el truinfo and I got to town around 5:30. I decided to call it a day and scouted for a place to sleep. I stopped at a small shop and chatted with the lady and she talked to her neighbor and they let me sleep under a sheltered space. Sweet. The lady even cooked dinner for me. That was a bit of a bonus!
Tomorrow would be a short day to the Lagos de Montebello and hopefully I’d catch my mates there!
Route: Altamirano to El Truinfo
Distance: 92 km
Ascent: 1230 m
Descent: 1040 m
Expenses: $ 6.80
Comment: I’d take overcast over sunny anyday.