Rolling on a river.

We made it to Guatemala, a little bit later than we expected, as we all got sick and had to spend 5 days recovering in the small town of  Ocosingo. As we entered the Chiapas region of Mexico both the people and the scenery changed. The  tiny villages we passed through were friendly and the people wore more traditional clothing, the landscape really became jungly as we headed towards Palenque.

The morning as we left San Cristobal.

Having both left our towels back in the hostel in San Cristobal, Russ had to hitch hike back. It gave me chance to wonder and take  pictures of the epiphytes while we waited for him.

With Chiapas being the center of the Zapatista rebellion, many villages have signs in support of the left-wing movement which fights for indigenous rights in Chiapas.

Morning mist over the mountains.

Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional.

Our first day cycling in the rain since mid October. Even after all that time without rain a rainy day is still a rainy day!!

The water falls of Agua Azul.

Cascadas Misol-Ha.

There was a great walk that passed behind the waterfall. A good way to cool off.

Beer o´clock?

Looking out over the Palenque ruins. Even with the wet weather it was lovely here. With the clouds hanging in the forest and the howler monkeys in the trees, it was very atmospheric.

Palenque.

Climbing all the steps was tough on tried cycling legs but well worth it.

“evidently chicken town”

Feeling the strain of the 170 km ride from Palenque to the border town of Frontera Corozal. With the over cast day it made cycling a little easier. We weren’t sure of places to stay along this road but for other cyclists coming this way there were hotels at around Km65 and Km72 and lots of friendly villages to camp.

Crossing the river to Guatemala and the border town of Bethal. After a little cycle around to find the tiny immigration office, getting the visas was very straight forward and we were soon on our way.

Our first road in Guatemala, 60km of bad gravel!!

One of our favorite roadside snacks, Spongys!

Lago Peten Itza, Flores, Guatemala.

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Off to Central America………..

Only have a few more days cycling left in Mexico before we cross over the border to Guatemala, we have had a brilliant time here, although our spanish is not good enough for us to understand the conversations, the smiling faces are easy to translate and we have felt really welcome, but we are excited about the next stage, off to Central America!

San Cristobal de las Casas, a fantastic little town, having a few days here, getting ready!

San Cristobel, we didn′t stay down on the levels for long, and were soon climbing back up into the mountains, but it was worth it.

Panam Riders!

Cooling off!

Back up to the mountains.

Cycling in really strong cross winds, when I stopped to take this photo is was hard to hold the bike up!

Canon del Sumidero at Chiapa de Corzo

Chiapa de Corzo

Coconut stall, yummy!

Its always hard cycling in the mountains but the views make up for it.

Early morning colours.

The market in San Cristobel, you can get lost here for hours.

Everything has its own section in the market, this is the candle section.

Candles ,candles and more candles.

Fruit and fresh veg is the thing we miss the most when we are cycling, so its great when we see this!

Now we are in basket street!

Not the vegetarians favorite part. ‟The sun ain′t yellow it′s chicken!‟

One of my favorite images from Mexico, Virgin de Guadalupe, you can see her everywhere.

down to the ocean….

We have swapped the cool mountain air for the hot tropical coast of the Pacific . After a month and a half of cycling through beautiful colonial mining towns and through arid mountain desert, it took us a two day journey over a high pass and a long down hill descent to Port Angel back on the Pacific coast (which makes easier navigational skills for Lorely to keep the ocean on her left again!) We left Mexico city after a really good week walking and exploring the different galleries and suburbs some of which were surprisingly peaceful in such a busy city. We checked out the local sports of wrestling and football at the Aztec stadium. Cycling out of the city was easier than at first thought and we soon found our selves on the long up hill to Puebla but were rewarded with a lovely 30km down hill.

Cycling through Mexico City.

The cool shady tree-lined square in Puebla.

In every square in every city in Mexico there are people selling balloons, some times we have seen up to 10 – 15 people selling all the same balloons.

Oaxaca, we decided to catch the bus here as we both picked up colds and figured a few days rest in a relaxed but well stocked town was what we need. There was also the best stocked bike shop which we have found since America with all the little things we needed.

Russ wandering through the food stalls, Oaxaca.

The local speciality here were ‘grasshoppers’, you could even get them on your pizza.

The church of Santo Domingo de Guzman at night. The most impressive interior so far of the many churches we have seen.

Back out on the road again. Which felt better after our rest and to be heading towards the coast.

Views of the mountains as we headed up over the hills.

Making friends with all along the road!

We reached the top of the pass after a long climb and descended over 2500m to the little town of Candelaria where we camped in the garden of a hotel. It was a hot sweaty night as we had come down into the tropics but it felt new and exciting with the buzz of insects and new bird songs.

So after 6000 miles and the mountains of Mexico a well deserved cerveza on the beach.

The sea port town of Puerto Angel.

We had a great couple of days here snorkeling, swimming and just relaxing.

Early starts are a must as the temperature soon rises and gets hot to cycle. Once we have dragged ourselves out of bed it is lovely to cycle in the sunrise.

A shady rest stop for lunch.

Still the mountains follow us!

Russ, Megs and Jules.

..the road to Mexico City

We have arrived in Mexico City after passing some of the best colonial citys and towns we have seen on our travels anywhere. The riding has been mixed, some lovely days riding through the countryside and some that felt we were riding into London on the M4!  Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende and Queretaro each had their own charms and wonderful cobbled back streets to explore. For our last part into Mexico city we managed to cram five bikes onto the bus and miss the busy section, we then had good fun winding our way into the centro district taking all the little streets to avoid the traffic.

The square in Aguacalientes looking christmassy.

“Calaveras del monton” by Jose Guadaulpe Posada

Government building Aguascalientes.

We ended up taking over the Hostel Posada in Aguascalientes! It was a great place to stay and lovely owners.

Guanajuato.

We had a really lovely couple of days in Guanajuato, just wandering around, it was very busy for the New Year but think that added to the charm of the place.

One of the many coloured buildings along the winding streets.

New Year, Russ and Jules laughing at the rest of us dancing.

I liked the little wicker bicycle.

New years day and a needed coffee!

Most main roads of Guanajuato run under the city, it was cool cycling through the cobbled tunnels and popping out in the centre of town.

Back on the road again after the festivities.

San Miguel de Allende.

Dried flower market in San Miguel.

Lunch by the lake.

San Juan del Rio, more churches, more buildings!!

“The history of Mexico” part of the mural by Deigo Rivera in the Presidential Palace in Mexico City.

Frida Kahlo´s house, Mexico City.  Really enjoyed this it was a great insight into Frida´s life.

Club America v Pachuca at the Aztec Stadium. A really great atmosphere but not such a good game. 2:0 to Pachuca (we were cheering for CA!)

La Caterina.

¡Feliz Navidad!

After a few days rest in Durango we headed onto to Zacatecas, an old silver mining town, although we had done much of the hill climbing on the way to Durango, our legs must have been tired as we found the next couple of days quite hard, however arriving in Zacatecus really made it all worth it.

Even in the mountains the landscape was still very desert like.

The small town of Sombrerete on the way, gave us some idea of what was to come, there seemed to be more churches than anything else, a lovely little place to wander around after a days cycling.

The holy town of Plateros.

Hot chili peppers in the blistering sun…

Zacatecus, the view from our hostel’s  roof top terrace.

Wandering the back streets of the old town, sometimes felt like you had stepped back in time.

The old town Zacatecus.

Fresh fruit stands in the market.

The colourful houses creep up the slopes, out of the heart of the old town.

 

Most of our time was spent in the market places, just taking everything in, as with Christmas at home the streets got busier and busier in the build up to Christmas Eve.

More churches!!

It seemed like Zacatecas had cast a spell on us, we had planned to spend Christmas in Aguascalientes 120km down the road. On the morning of the 23rd, got up early, carried our bikes and bags down the hostel stairs, packed up and set of. We made it to the bakery at the end of the street before all deciding that really we didn’t want to leave at all! So back to the hostel, much to the amusement of the owner and Christmas in Zacatecas instead!

Christmas Eve, The team all ready for dinner!!

Christmas dinner, we all joined in, to prepare a huge feast!

Merry Christmas!

Zacatecas.

 

We are bound for Durango, to find Pancho Villa, we hear that he’s paying in gold.

We have arrived in mainland Mexico and up up and up into the mountains we climbed! From La Paz we took the cargo ferry across to Mazatlan, a 16 hour night ferry, quite basic but with a good dinner and breakfast included in the price. Arriving into the town was great it was early morning and we really felt like we had reached Mexico with the brightly painted houses and little streets, we soon found a hotel and went wandering!

The ferry to the mainland.

Russ, Jesse, Megs and Jules being loaded onto the ferry.

Mazatlan.

Megs working out on the beach!

Colourful Mexico.

 

Musicians on the beach.

Fresh coconuts, yummy!

From Mazatlan we began the five day ride up to Durango, Megs and Jules from Australia had decided to join us rather than taken the coastal route. We were really pleased to have their company and felt like a little team as we set out. Over the next five days we climbed more than 7000 meters, it was a tough ride but well wort h the effort, it was lovely to see the change in the vegetation as we climbed up from sea level to the highest pass of 2800 meters.

The first night we spent in the sweet little town of Copala, with tiny cobbled streets and a beautiful old misson.

On our second day, as the sun was setting we passed the Tropic of Cancer before finding a place to camp.

The views were fantastic and helped us on upwards!

Lorely and Megs buying fruit from the truck as it came through the town.

Riding the Devils spine.

The Devils spine, a series of switchbacks running along an amazing cliff face.

Catching our breath!!

Durango, we made it!  With our warmshowers host Frida.

Pancho Villa. Durango.

 

Don’t think to slow in the syrupy sun…

We have arrived in La Paz our last place on the Baja penninsula after a month and around a 1000 miles of desert cycling. As we came into Baja Sur the desert gave way to old oasis towns such as San Ignacio and Mulege, which had little town squares and misions, giving us an idea of what was to come in Mexico. Our ride has followed the main highway one and although busy with traffic in places we are nearly always greeted with waves and friendly horns. We have really enjoyed trying new foods and trying out our very bad Spanish! Our next stage will take us across on the ferry to the mainland, where we will begin our big climb up up and up into the mountains to Durango…….

 

Giving the Mexican truck driver salute!

Lunch time with Megs, Jules and Adian and any shade will do.

Beer in a Mexican cool box.

Camping in an orange grove makes easy picking for breakfast.

The Mision in San Ignacio.

Down the hill Megs goes!

The evening of Jules` birthday, sunset over San Ignacio.

The Three Virgins Volcano just before Mulege.

Because flowers are important even in the desert!!

Our little bit of paradise for 4 nights.

Russ chopping wood ready for the evening fire.

Looking out to the Sea of  Cortez.

Coyote Beach.

Warming our bums by the fire after an amazing night swimming with phosphorescents.

Back out into the desert.

Loreto, Baja Sur.

A well deserved rest!

Relaxing has been a much needed part of the trip, check out my lovely sock tan lines!