Out of Oaxaca...
50 Shades of Green

May 6th, 2016

We start midway through a climb and enjoy a descent into Sol de Vega for lunch. Then it’s more climbing, but we make friends along the way. A group of 70 cyclists riding 800km in 5 days, all in the name of Jesus.

What happened…


Andrew writes: We were roused this morning by goats. Well goats, and the fear of getting caught out by a goatherd on someone’s land. The goatherd seemed to be a simple man, and he didn’t mind us as we packed up and ate our breakfast. The goats didn’t seem to mind either. The sun was shining on the still-wet ground (it had rained in the night again), but it wasn’t very hot yet as we set out. I thought that we had made good work of the climb last night before the storm, but we still had 14km and about 800m of elevation to climb! Then it was a super-fun downhill into Sola de Vega where we enjoyed a pizza lunch. I tried to order a medium pizza but the gal running the place somehow talked me into ordering single pieces which end up being cheaper. I think it was because she didn’t want to make a pizza from scratch. She was also selling moonshine mescal but I’m a little leery on mescal in general.

After lunch we began another 1000m climb, and as happens on big long climbs like this, Amanda and I got separated a bit. At one point I look down and I can see her huffing and puffing around a corner, and then right behind her is a spandex clad road-weenie…or so I thought. I took my foot off the gas a bit and waited for the road cyclist to catch up. Miguel ended up being a 60-something chiropractor from Mexico City. He was the first of 70 riders who were participating in a peregnacion (pilgrimage) to nearby Juquila. It’s a five day ride of about 800km total. Today’s leg for him was 150km from Oaxaca city, and included all the climbing done yesterday, plus whatever we still had left of this climb. We rode together towards the top, talking and pacing one another. At the top we shared some water, and the rest of his group straggled in for a drink or a bite to eat. There were several support vehicles, and music, and a table got laid out so that the riders could refill their energy. Amanda caught up and one of the support cars offered her a beer.

The Mexican cyclists told us how inspiring our pilgrimage to Tierra del Fuego was, and in turn I was impressed with the faith they had in God, and with themselves, to subject themselves to such a rigorous ride. For several of the riders this was the fourth or fifth year they had participated in the ride. Some of them wore crosses on their back, as sort of an additional “burden” they had to bear. Amanda and I were the first ones to leave the mirador at the top where we had all rested up, but of course we were passed many times on the ride downhill to San Pedro. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t make it, being really tired after such a hard day, but then I thought of what these others were going through, and we ended up falling in with a couple for the last few kilometres into town, and we all arrived exhausted.

Miguel invited us to eat dinner with the group at a restaurant across the street, where the support crew had been working on making pasta, and mystery meat and soup. It was all very good! He also helped us get a room at the hotel where their group was staying since we were cyclists too! It wasn’t anything fancy, but it was nice to have a bed to which we very promptly retired, as did everyone else in short order.


Today’s Photographs


Out of Oaxaca...
50 Shades of Green