Pachuca to Puebla Part 3
Smashing It

April 27th, 2016

Navigating the busy streets of Puebla, the busy aisles of Wal-Mart, and being led around by a friendly Frenchman.

What happened…

Amanda writes:
Today was a day of fabulous Mexican hospitality. Our morning started with coffee from our wonderful hosts Pepe and Dolores whom we shared music with last night. We again enjoyed some easy conversation and they told me how much my Spanish has improved since they first met me in Mexico City a month before. That feels good because I’ve been working at it. After we left with hugs and kisses and started our route out of Puebla. It’s a big city so we knew it would take some time. We stopped at a lovely church and ruins on our way out of town and took some more photos of the beautiful landscape that included the volcano that recently erupted. After riding some more we came across a big grocery store where we stocked up on some essential items.

After we continued on the road we were riding along and a car pulled up beside me at a traffic light. Two women rolled down the window and asked me the usual questions; where are you going, where did you come from and how long have you been traveling. I told them and they seemed shocked and amazed at our trip. The light turned green, we said farewell and kept peddling. After a few blocks I noticed they were still behind us with their emergency flasher lights on. I just thought, that’s nice; big traffic area and they’re protecting us. I pointed it out to Andrew and he looked back and they were flagging us to pull off. We stopped up ahead and they pulled off and insisted that we come to their home for a meal. Our initial reaction was to politely decline because we had recently eaten, however they were so sincere and enthusiastic; we couldn’t say no. Next thing we’re in Lupita’s home with her husband Jean from France and their three kids. As we shared a meal and conversation with the family I was struck by how wonderful it was. This is exactly why we’re traveling. Meeting people in the world and seeing the kindness of human beings. Such a fabulous feeling to meet such kind people.

Andrew writes: As often happens, I can’t remember why Amanda and I were at odds today, but it did impact the first few hours that we had hoped to spend sight-seeing in Cholula. Amanda still hiked up to the church and checked out the pyramid, but I ended up sulking. We worked it out as we always do, and then began a frenetic ride through the busy metropolis of Puebla. Puebla is Big (notice the capital B??). Yet, like the other Mexican cities that we’ve cycled through, it is definitely very bike friendly. The cars ambivalently share their car-space with us as though we were just slow moving traffic. Still, there are heightened tensions on our part that come into play, especially later on in the day when we’re cycling in “rush hour”.

Having an invitation to visit with Lupita and Jean was a real delight. I don’t know why we always say no at first, but I’m glad that we had their phone number and we were able to quickly change our minds. More and more often, we are reminded to say ‘Yes’, and hey, free food is free right? Our ability to communicate more in Spanish makes us more likely to share in these encounters too I think, even though Jean spoke some English, as did their children. Lunch was really nice, pasta with bolognese sauce, a real rarity here in Mexico, but definitely a cyclists choice of lunch. Amanda and I had already eaten before the invitation, but that didn’t stop us from consuming everything that was put before us.

After lunch, Jean offered to ride us the rest of the way out of Puebla, and so he rolled up the hem of his blue jeans and hopped on his petite 10-speed and off we went. Quite the energetic fellow, he was racing ahead of us on his skinny tired, light, road bike. Patiently he would wait for us to catch up, especially because our acceleration after a red light is painfully slow. His route avoided the busy libre for the most part, until really it was the only road available. The three of us ducked, dodged and weaved our way through the busy traffic, parked cars, and exhaust-laden auto buses. Finally he announced he could go no further, and thus we said our goodbyes on the outskirts of Puebla. The town was so large, that with one thing or another it ended up taking all day to get from one side to the other. I am very grateful for Jean and Lupita’s help today.

Our wild camp just on the outskirts of Puebla, a few kilometres from the pista is great. There is an OXXO nearby for snacks, and we still decide to cook food for dinner, despite our two lunches. We are planning on smashing it to Tehuacan tomorrow and we will need all of the energy we can muster.

Post-script: We hit a major milestone today, 15,000km travelled by bike! 15,004 to be exact, although I’m not entirely certain that the cycling computer(s) we use to keep track of such things can be considered exact. Still, I can remember the hill outside of Lander, Wyoming where we stopped to celebrate 10,000km. For the life of me though I can’t remember passing 5,000…maybe in Cuba somewhere last year? While the distance travelled isn’t very important in the long run, there are no ribbons or medals handed out, there is a certain mark of distinction internally that we use to identify ourselves as cycle-tourists, and KM’s travelled lends itself to that very well.

Today’s Photographs

Pachuca to Puebla Part 3
Smashing It