Rough riding to ZACATECAS!

We spend our second and last evening in Durango, doing gringo touristy things.

We took the Teleferico (urban gondolas) up to a hill to check out the view.

Walking up the hill, on the way to take the Teleferico.

the view from the Teleferico.

Then we got lost in the markets. I got a new blankie made of wool to keep me warm at night.

While making dinner at our hotel, we got a surprise visit from our Durango friends, Adolfo and Enrique- with dinner! Enrique prepared ceviche and homemade pickled chilies, with tostadas and salsa. It was an excellent addition to our guacamole, egg burritos and rum!

Aldofol enjoying a ceviche tostada

We were additionally spoiled by Adolfo. He gave us clothes for the road. I got black yoga pants for the cold mornings, a knitted cap, a head band branded with the Jamaican flag, a kickstand, and a sleeveless jersey.

Aldolfo and Enrique rode out 50 km with us out of Durango the following morning. They love biking, and they were excited to take us to lunch at a restaurant that serves gorditas chiquitas (small gorditas).. Indeed, the gorditas were muy rico! (delicious!) Aldulfo and Enrique were so kind to us. We loved having them ride with us, with Adolfo’s sound system playing cinema adventure music and their help repairing two flat tires (mine and Chris’s). Many thanks to our new friends!

The 5 cyclist getting ready to ride out of Durango

The cook line preparing our little gorditas

We said goodbye to our new amigos in the town Nombre de Dios… I had to check the name..
“Hey Chris, what was the name of that town that we had the small gorditas?” “Nobre de Dios=Name of the town” “O yea, I need to practice my espanol- but what is the nombre?” “That’s the name!” Yes, quite literally, the “name of the town” IS Nobre de Dios. And on the way out of the “name of the town”, with the tiny gorditas..  there were many mescal stand, selling clear liquid jugs of what apparently is what the locals like to sip.

Being on a bike tour is definitely NOT a glamourous life. Day two to Zacatecas justifies this. Waking up to cold mornings, legs were burning. from long climbs during the first two hours. We had ruthless west side-wind that nearly blew us across the highway, slowing us at 8 kms per hr, lasting us hours of the late afternoon. Riding through the smoke from burning fields of municipal trash dumps off the side of the road, was not pleasant. When sleeping on the hill in my tent, I wake up to the racket of my tent being destroyed by the night winds. I moved it behind a tree that effectively blocked the wind. Then there was something under my back. I reach under my Thermarest, and scratched my hand by a prickly cactus piece that I dragged over with my tent. I have a bothersome stomach ache- wondering if its gas, or a food parasite. Maybe, too many gorditas…

Perhaps, it was the full moon that made it a wacky day.

It's been a long day- but at least there is a cute baby cow wandering around our campsite.

The day before we arrived to Zacatecas, was a better day. More downhills into lands where there were more cacti and palm trees. The warmer weather gave us a taste of the soon to discover tropical side of Mexico.

Views from the road

We crossed the Tropic of Cancer line.

The day ended with another strong side wind. We ended the day with 30 kms left to Zacatecas, setting up camp next to a cemetary it had a long wall that blocked the wind. A cowboy discovered us as he rode his horse across. He did not mind that we were camped out next to his cemetery. He engaged in conversation mostly with Chris, because he can speak spanish. I got a horse riding lesson! I mounted on the horse and the cowboy walked the horse and I along the fields as the sun was setting.

I needed some assistance getting on the horse

Maybe I’ll take a horse across the next country! Seems much easier than pedaling!

how about riding into Central America on a horse?

We arrive in Zacatecas noon the next day. We were almost lost by riding into Guadalupe. The city is hilly, there is much traffic, and the roads are rock tiles. It’s a bit of a challenge to ride in the city. We got a dormitory room in a hostel located in the downtown-no need to ride our bikes we can enjoy walking around instead. We also share the room with Rob, who Chris met in La Paz, Baja Cali. Rob is on a bike tour from Alaska heading for South America. He could possibly be my next riding companion for Central or South America!

Ahhh! Finally made it to Zacatecas!

Zacatecas is a magnificent and attractive city. What makes this so is due to much of its rich history, founded on silver mining- a continues economic activity to this day! Narrow winding roads run though representative colonial architectures. The Cathedral nearby our hotel is grand with incredible detail sculptures.

After shopping in the markets, we made dinner and sat on the terrace of the hostel. It’s was a more spectacular view compared to the hotel rooftop in Durango.

our view from the terrace

Later in the night, the owner of the hostle, Ernesto, invited Chris and I out to have drinks, since we were the only ones still awake. At midnight, we went to a local cantina where artist hang out. It was a small crowd singing to the live mariachi music. The cantina had been serving since 1906- it was open during the Mexican Revolution. We discussed the history of Zacatecas and Poncho Villa. We even were told that the streach we did to Zacatecas is the number one area in Mexico for rasing fighting bulls. Good thing we only ran into that cute white baby cow!

Las Quince Letras Cantina

We cheered with shots of Mescal and beer.

Me, Ernesto, Chris, and above is Gordito, also goes by Santa

There was a student couple from Chico, California (Nearby my hometown). They joined us for beers.

NOR CAL! Nadia and Willy go to Chico State.

The bartenders announced that they had a special shot on the house to serve to us.

The bartender clears the table for the shots on the house...

The bottle looks nice... ready for shots...

The bartender brough out what looked to be a special bottle. Just as I licked the salt and lime off my hand- the bartender flashed out a surprise!

EW! Dirty trick! AHAHAHA!

We all had a big laugh over that. They ended up bringing out a real shot of Tequilia.

Good times in Zacatecas! I heard that the guys at the next table singing along to the mariachi music were narco’s… EH! Were all just having a good time. No harm done!


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