Thursday, May 7, 2009

Colonial Mexico

Please forgive me for it has been many weeks since I have updated my blog.  I must say I am not very good at this. Time off the bike quickly gets apportioned out and there isn’t always time to write, and/or a decent internet connection available.  I apologize.  

Since being in Mexico, I have clocked over 5,000 miles, missed out on any cartel syndicate massacres, and to date-avoided the new pandemic. I have zigged-and-zagged across the country and now find myself near the exit. Since we spoke last I have been on a bit of vacation.

San Miguel Allende is a couple hours north of Mexico City and more or less is in the middle of the country.  This is where I spent the climax of Holy Week. I was fortunate enough to have spent an incredibly relaxing week at my friend Tom’s compound right outside of town. We had been introduced just before I left Seattle our mutual friend, Sue, and he had offered up a place to stay if I were make it to the area. Unfortunately, by the time I was there Tom had just left. Generously, he had the staff refill the pool for me and hand over a copy of the keys. I swam everyday in the hot springs fed pool, caught up on the non-profit’s work, and other communication with the excellent internet connection, and for the first time on the trip picked up a book.

Visiting San Miguel and neighboring Guanajuato gives one a good taste of colonial Mexico. So many vignettes reminded me of the hill towns of Tuscany, but with more donkeys on the narrow cobblestoned roads.

While in San Miguel, I befriended Steve, Sandy, and Jane – all from Seattle. Steve, Sandy, and myself hired a driver and guide to take us to nearby Guanajuato for a day trip. With its colorful hillside homes, underground tunnel system for in-city driving, and an interesting history of the town flooding, all gave this town a quirky vibe. I liked it! The local University explained all the internet cafes, and bohemian feel. Not to mention the presence of Diego Rivera’s birthplace.

Back on the road, I was heading back to the west coast to meet my buddy Dave in Sayulita. I had always heard so much about this quaint surfing village, I was eager to get there. However, after lunch, the day I left San Miguel, I found a guy with his young son checking out the bike. I let his son sit on the bike, but I think it was Dad who wanted a go at it. Jorge Carlos was an instant fan of the trip and wanted to offer a suggestion as to where I should spend that night. Within minutes, he had run across the street to his hardware store, deposited his son, and brought back some literature about some cabanas on a remote lake in the state of Michoacan. The town wasn’t even on the map. I had no real plans, and Dave wasn’t to arrive for four more days, so what the hell?   I diverted, and headed due south and four hours later I was in a cabana by serene little lake at sunset.  It was a perfect days driving down the through the middle of the mountains, until I dropped the bike on a steep dirt road and “tweaked” my right SI joint (my low back’s Achilles heel). No worries-an ice pack and a homemade dinner by the cabana’s manager, Meche, were just what the old body needed.

The next morning I continued down to the coastal highway and then a turn northwest (both "wrong" directions for the journey) towards Sayulita (an hour north of Puerto Vallarta). 

Sayulita was true treat, not only was Dave there, but my friend Michelle was there with her company, ViaYoga, giving a yoga retreat. Her boyfriend Bruno was also there. 

Bruno has been a major source of inspiration and source of knowledge for my trip. Two years ago he spent three months riding his KTM motorcycle from San Diego to Tierra del Fuego. I have called on him many times for advice, in fact, one to the panniers on my bike is his - making it's return journey.



  1. Mike - the updates are great - sounds like the trip is going fantastic! Thanks for posting and sharing the photos. Hope you are well.

  2. Mike - Glad to say hello again, you are right when you said "I think it was Dad who wanted a go at it"

    Thanks for posting about Zirahuen, Michoacan and sharing the photos.

    Hope you are well.