Archive for Februar, 2009

Long bus ride, beach and good food!

Donnerstag, Februar 26th, 2009

Puerto Escondido

Tuesday night I cycled to the bus-station in Mexcio City. It was only a 15 minute ride. There I met Barbara and Alexandra who took a taxi. Though the woman who sold us the tickets said it wouldn‘ t be a problem to take the bike the guy who put the luggage in the bus had a different opinion. It wasn‘ t really a problem but I had to pay for it. It was no big deal (100 pesos/ca. 6 €), but the way he said it made us wonder if he put that money in his own pocket;-).

So we got on the air-conditioned bus, left Mexico-City, slept a lot and arrived in Puerto Escondido about 18 hours later. There we found out that other busses would have been faster – it didn‘ t bother us too much, though.

When we got off the bus in the afternoon it was hot!!! I was sweating like crazy. We looked for a hostel and got the last 3 free beds in the Mayflower Hotel, which is a big hostel. We got something to eat (fish-filet in garlic with beans) before walked down to the beach which was just down the road and jumped into the pacific – wow, that was great!!!

After the sunset we went back to the hostel, took a shower and had some fish for dinner at a different restaurant. Sitting there we watched the carneval-parade which didn‘ t impress us too much. At night we walked to a place where there was supposed to be a firework – but nobody could tell us the time. After hanging out there for a while we decided to head back to the hostel, we were all pretty tired and didn‘ t care too much to miss the firework.

The next day we enjoyed the sun and the waves and had a great dinner consisting of nachos with guacamole, tacos and beer.

Since we liked the dinner so much we went there again for breakfast today, then we were off to the beach again. Since we had enough sun yesterday we rented an umbrella and beach-chairs. 2 dogs were sleeping under our chairs the whole time. Every few minutes someone came along to sell something: clothes, hammocks, food or boat-trips. Kind of annoying after a while if they don‘ t take “no” for an answer.

Noe we‘ re about ready for dinner – at the same restaurant. Tonight we‘ ll take the bus to Oaxaca where we‘ ll arrive early tomorrow morning. It‘ s another bus-company – I‘ ll see what‘ s the deal with my bike this time.

Alexandra and Barbara have to be in Morelia on sunday ‚cause they‘ ll start teaching at the university there on monday. And I guess I‘ ll be back on my bike, soon.

Hasta Luego


Goin‘ to the beach!

Montag, Februar 23rd, 2009

Hi there!

Just a short note: after 1 1/2 in and around Mexico City I‘ ready – for the beach. I‘ ll leave in a few minutes and take the overnight-bus to Puerto Escondida, together with Alexandra and Barbara, the two germans I met here at the hostel.

More later


Teotohuacan, relaxing, mexican and italien food…

Donnerstag, Februar 19th, 2009


15 km, Coyoacan/Mexico-City

Hey there!

I spent a week with Luca and Ara. It was nice to have a safe place to stay for a while. We went to Teotihuacan (a 3 hour drive from one side of the city to the other with a lot of traffic). It was the first time that I saw pyramids. It was impressive to see but I wasn‘ t thrilled or anything. Maybe my expectations were too high because of all the positive things I heard before – or am I actually callous because of all the things and places I‘ ve seen before??? I hope not!  But I was glad that we went there, it was definately worth it. We walked up the pyramid of the sun and enjoyed a fresh breeze in the (luckily not so hot) afternoon sun. On another day we drove to a „pool-club“ near Cuernevaca where we relaxed in the sun und swam (Ara and me) in the refreshing pool. I had a lot of time to rest from those hard days I had before and enjoyed some very good food, mexican as well as italien. 

It took me a while to decide if I really wanted to go into the center of the city or not. I didn‘ t really feel like it but some friends kicked my butt via e-mail and said that I would regret it later if I didn‘ t go. Well, I figured I could as well go for it.

So I was back on my bike around noon, trying to go with the traffic on the roads Luca marked on my map before. The downhill-ride started with something like a traffic-jam, but I was in no hurry since the hostel I wanted to go to was only about 15 km away. Traffic wasn‘ t much different from what I had experienced in Tepic, Guadalajara, León, Guanajuato and all those other cities I‘ ve cycled before. The most dangerous part was talking to people in cars next to me while concentrating on not hitting one of the many potholes in the road!

About 1 1/2 hours later I was at the street the hostel was supposed to be at, but I couldn‘ t find it. Cycling up and down the road didn‘ t help – but it was my own fault since I didn‘ t write down the house-number. After asking a bus-driver, a taxi driver and at a store a guy who cleaned the street could finally help me. The hostel was only a half block away. It‘ s in Coyoacan, a part in the south of Mexico city. I‘ m sharing a 6-bed-room with 5 other people – it‘ s pretty crowded! The hostel itself is very clean, there is free internet, wi-fi and a garden.

When I walked around the neighborhood to find something to eat I saw a pick-up full of fruits which they were advertising with a loudspeaker. Fruits, good idea I thought. The guy cut an orange in half right away for me to taste it. It was very good and I wanted to buy some. But he didn‘ t want to sell me 5, he wanted me to buy a bag of 20!!! Finally I convinced him to sell me 5 (he gave me 7) and a Canteloupe (I think that‘ s what that melon is called) for 10 Pesos (that‘ s about 0,54 €)!

After taking it easy today I‘ m ready to explore the city tomorrow. Don‘ t know how far it is from here, but I‘ ll find out.

Maybe in the end I‘ ll become a city-fan!!!


Mexico City – I made it!!!

Donnerstag, Februar 12th, 2009


Toluca – Santa Fe

50,6 km, 3:38 h, Ø 13,8 km/h, 631 hm

Again I had a late start. Breakfast at Mc Donald‘ s, checking e-mails in an internet-café, packing… and it was already 11:15am when I left. Following the signs to Mexico it wasn‘ t hard to get out of Toluca (I only got lost once!!!). The first 20 km were easy rolling, then a long climb started. I had to cross a 3200m high pass. Slowly I was going uphill, the steepness varied from 1 % to 10 %. I wasn‘ t sure if I was on the Cuota or Libre, heard before that the police would stop every cyclist on the Cuota. Didn‘ t happen, several police cars passed me, some even waved to me.

Somehow I managed to get up there and was rewarded with a fast downhill-ride. When I tried to get on the cuota to Santa Fe they didn‘ t let me on but that didn‘ t matter too much because it was all downhill. I asked some people for the “Centro Commercial Santa Fe” which was the meeting point for me and Luca. There 2 guys started to talk to me about my bike and they let me use their mobile phone to call Luca and Ara. I met them a few month ago on a rest-area in the Yukon and they invited me to visit them if I‘ d ever make it to Mexico-City. They picked me up a while later, so I didn‘ t have to cycle in the City.

Well, and here I am. I can‘ t believe it, another leg of my journey is over, Guadalajara – Mexico City! Me, who never had any interest in visiting big cities spent a fair amount of time there during the last weeks – and enjoyed it! And now I‘ m in the (maybe even) largest city of the world! Staying with Luca and Ara, my very welcoming hosts – thank you!!!


Donkeys, horses, cows and sheep…

Mittwoch, Februar 11th, 2009


Atlacomulco – Toluca

88,5 km, 6:13h, Ø 14,2 km/h, 654 hm

I woke up (really, I did!!!), ate some breakfast, walked over to the internet-café to check my e-mails, went back to the hotel, packed my stuff and hit the road by 10:30am, it was sunny and 20 degrees C “warm”.

First I cycled towards the Cuota, then stopped at a gas-station to get some air. There I decided not to try to get on the Cuota because I knew that other cyclists weren‘ t allowed to get on there and I didn‘ t feel like making a detour all the way from the toll-booth. Well, it was a detour already, though only about 2 km. Maybe not trying to get on the Cuota was one of my worse decisions. Once on the Libre it was going all over. North, south, east, west. I felt like a snake, moving without sense! I cycled through a lot of dry farmland, saw farmers plowing, people watch their sheep and cows, saw donkeys and horses along the way.

After only 18km I was totally exhausted, I felt tired, weak, didn‘ t have much energy left – and szill a long way to go. I guess the long climbs yesterday left its marks.

Just when I was about to get off my bike and through it in the dirt I saw a woman running towards me. I stopped, we chatted a bit and then she gave me a bottle of Sprite, she said I might need it! After saying goodbye and thank you I waved to her friends who stood a bit further away and watched the whole scene. They all waved back and shouted something to me.

This was a great motivation exactly at the right time. It didn‘ t last very long, though. But I just had to keep going. And I did, cycled through many small villages where some people starred at me with disbelief, others waved, laughed or shook their heads – guess they didn‘ t get to see very many cyclists there.

After 48 km I stopped for a while in the shade. I knew that I had to eat something, but I wasn‘ t hungry at all – a few cookies was all I could eat. Sitting there a cyclist on a racing bike passed me who seemed to be practicing.

Back on the road, the show must go on… No shoulder the whole day, traffic was moderate. The last 20 km I cycled parallel to the Cuota, easy rolling. Finding a hotel was a pronlem, though. The first hotel I checked charged 350 Pesos, the next 220 but without internet, the third 550 Pesos, the fourth was just being remodeled … After more than an hour I finally cycled back to the first hotel to ask if they had internet and if I could take my bike inside the room. No internet. Ok, back to the second hotel, I passed the same policeman the 3rd time, he was still greeting me friendly. Checked into the hotel, parked my bike just outside my room, inside the building though. Took a very hot shower, it felt good. Then I practiced my spanish asking for a place where I could buy a map of Mexico-City. The first bookstore didn‘ t have one, they sent me to another bookstore. (I have to learn the words for directions!!!) There they showed me some maps that were all too big and heavy (guess Mex-City is a big City, heh???) and asked me a couple of times if I was sure that I didn‘ t want to buy a map of Toluca!!! However, they sent me to a kiosk that was selling magazines where they didn‘ t have maps at all, I checked 2 other kiosks which didn‘ t have the map I wanted. I gave up, went to Burger King and had a Whopper meal for dinner. It was good, I was starving! Only breakfast and a few cookies the whole day. On my way to the internet-café I saw another magazine-selling-shop and stopped there. There I finally bought my map. It was a challenge for me, and I succeeded. After an hour on the internet (5 Pesos) I went back to the hotel. Very tired, just wanted to sleep, but couldn‘ t. I switched on the TV and watched “Happy Gilmore”, the whole thing, ‚till well after midnight!


Endless climbs, great view and bad pizza…

Dienstag, Februar 10th, 2009


San Juan del Rio – Atlacomulco

83,3 km, 6:26 h, Ø 12,9, 1330 hm

I was on the road by 10am, that was the earliest I could do expecting a long day with many climbing! It were only 18 degrees when I left, but I liked it. The climbs where long, never-ending.

It felt like I wasn‘ t moving at all. Going uphill in my lowest gear at a speed of 5 km/h isn‘ t that exciting! After 40km and 3 hours pedaling I already climbed 700 m. After 53 km and 4:23h it were 1000m I climbed. I passed several small towns, bought a coke for lunch and didn‘ t eat anything except for some cookies.

Suddenly I was at the top of the pass and had an awesome view down a valley – that‘ s what you get for sweat and pain! I rested there for a while before enjoying a great downhill-ride on a shoulderless road with some potholes. There was a lot of traffic the whole day, careful and patient when passing me, as usual.

And as if a lot of traffic, no shoulder and heat isn‘ t enough there was also a strong wind blowing, coming out of every direction, just not from the back:-(.

10 km before I reached Atlacomulco I couldn‘ t believe what I saw: another climb!!! I almost cried when I saw it, but I had no choice and just kept pedaling! Lumberjacks were working there and when one started to talk to me all of them stopped working. They asked me what I do at night!!! What‘ s there to do??? Maybe sleep? Well, the climb was almost 5 km long and followed by a downhill-ride into Atlacomulco.

I stayed at the first hotel I saw (220 Pesos), put my bike in the garage, took a hot shower, got the worst pizza of my life(so far), drank a beer and though I was totally exhausted it took me forever to fall asleep.



Samstag, Februar 7th, 2009


Celaya – Querétaro

65,3 km, 3:56 h , Ø 16,5 km/h, 378 hm


It was a pretty bad night. There was a lot (loud) traffic just outside my window, it was freezing cold in my room and there were people talking long and loud inside the hotel at 3 am!!!

I ate breakfast at the hotel-restaurant. The beans were too dry but the scrambled eggs with bacon were pretty good. While I was eating a guy who worked at the hotel talked to me about my trip so far and the route I‘ ll take. He was very patient when there were things I didn‘ t understand (he spoke no englisch at all) and brought a road-atlas for Mexico so we could figure our some distances. All the people at the hotel were very friendly, helped me with my bike and my trailer.

By the time I left it was already 11:30am – it‘ s getting later and later… But in the early morning it‘ s just so cold, even thinking about leaving at 8 or 9 am makes me get goose-bumps!!!

It was easy to find my way out of the City. Today I didn‘ t try to get on the Cuota and stayed on the Libre the whole day. I guess this route was about 10km longer but it was nice to ride through some small towns and have the opportunity to buy food and drinks (though I didn‘ t need anything) or use the restroom at the gasstations once in a while.

Only some easy climbs today and a head/cross-wind. At 3pm I already arrived in Querétaro. I wrote down the address of a hostel I found on the internet, but at that address there was only a closed garage-door! Great! So I rode around the city forever, trying to find an affordable hotel. Everything I saw on the internet was VERY expensive, except for the hostel that wasn‘ t where it should have been. After 1 ½ hours of cycling around I asked at a hotel and the price was 350 Pesos. More as I wanted to spend, but cycling around the city so long stressed me so much that I didn‘ t really care, I just wanted to be there.

They don‘ t have wi-fi here but you can use the internet for 10 Pesos/hour. Walking around the city, which has many plazas and a big park, I saw a sign at one of those plazas that there‘ s an internet hotspot. Maybe it‘ s not too smart to sit there with my laptop after dark, but I‘ ll see what the atmoshere is like there. Usually there are many families out there in the evening.

My destination for tomorrow is San Juan del Rio.


CU Anja

Another flat tire:-(

Mittwoch, Februar 4th, 2009


Guanajuato – Irapuato

When I got up I knew that I was ready to leave – but not sure which way to go. When I stood with my bike outside the hostel I decided not to go to Dolores Hidalgo, my original plan. I was didn‘ t feel like climbin all those hills I had to expect there. Instead I was going south.

To get out of Guanajuato I cycled through a tunnel. The traffic wasn‘ t that bad, the cars waiting patient behind me until I got a chance to pull over. I guess they are used to cyclists, rolling Taco-Stands, dogs… on the road and I was just another obstacle in their way, nothing to complain about, though. The air in the tunnel was pretty bad, it was uphill and I was glad when I was out in the sun again. A long downhill ride followed. I cycled on the Libre today, sometimes there was a shoulder, sometimes there wasn‘ t. Since Irapuato, my destination, is 200 m lower in elevation as Guanajuato it was an easy day. I really enjoyed a day without much climbing. A strong crosswind was blowing during the last 20km. I think I cycled right through “strawberry-country”. Strawberries were sold everywhere. I didn‘ t have any though. Just stopped for a restroom and icecream-stop at a gasstation. That‘ s the nice thing about cycling on the Libre. There‘ s more life, you cycle through small towns that aren‘ t even on the map, people are selling food and there are gasstations. On the Cuota there‘ s usually is a wide shoulder and less traffic, but you are pretty isolated there. About 10 km before Irapuato a car stopped and a guy asked me about my trip. He said if I go to Morelia I should give him a call, that‘ s where he lives.

Cycling through Guanajuato to find the Centro was quite amusing. Uncountable people waved at me, pulled down their windows and chatted to me during a stop at a red traffic light. I got so many “thumbs up” – it was incredible!

I found a Hotel with internet for 220 Pesos and stayed there. It was only 2pm when I got there. So I took a quick shower and went to the “Lavanderia” to get my laundry done. Later I walked around town. Irapuato is not great but quite nice. But I‘ ve seen so many cities I really liked a lot in the last days (Tepatitlán, León, Guanajuato) that it‘ s hard to top that. There are some nice plazas in Irapuato. The big one I didn‘ t like too much because it‘ s too open, but there were some smaller plazas, too, with many trees and benches to hang out. At night I met those street musicians again who I talked to in Guanajuato already. I was too tired to listem to them, though, and walked back to my hotel after I finished my very good Strawberries with cream!

Earlier, when I carried my trailer up into my room I saw that it had a flat again!!! But at least I have enough patches now!


Dienstag, Februar 3rd, 2009


Another day in Guanajuato.  Scrambled eggs with bacon and beans for breakfast, reading at the plaza, strolling around…

Guanajuato II

Sonntag, Februar 1st, 2009



I‘ m still here, walking around, enjoying and being lazy. I guess I should fix my two punctured tubes before I leave though…