A Rural Route
Days off in Pachuca

April 20, 2016

What happened…

Amanda writes:
Today again was a nice slow start. We hung out in our room and enjoyed breakfast. Jean popped by to say that her and Gareth were going to find internet. Andrew and I continued to enjoy our room and snuggle and get ready for our day. After some time we headed out to find Jean and Gareth. We found them holed up in the internet cafe joined them for some online research and a cup of hot chocolate. Gareth was pretty stoked to learn that this little town had a link to his family history. He was keen to check things out as I would be too in the same situation. While he was researching he shared a backroads route to Pachuca with Jean. Something like this stands out for me as a change from the Gareth we first met. At the beginning of our travels he would share it with all of us (as we’re all traveling together) to see what we would think about the route. On this day he was only showing it to Jean as Andrew and I sat beside them. It was then that my instincts were affirmed that today would be the day we would part ways with ease and no hard feelings.

Andrew and I went up and packed up our bikes and Jean and Gareth did the same shortly thereafter. We all stood by our bikes in front of the hotel and with very little needing to be said, it was determined that we would be parting ways here. As I knew it was going to happen I gave Jean a big hug and a card I had written for her and Gareth. I wrote the card for them after the internet cafe and invited them to connect with us when they arrived in Pachuca so we could have dinner; however I feel it’s unlikely they will. I was suddenly struck by how much I was going to miss them. While Gareth became a bit stand-off-ish toward the end, he’s still a good guy. If anyone has the chance to travel with them; do it! They are very fun people who are not in a rush and can be so inclusive and enjoyable. As a woman it was so great to travel with another woman. Jean is so kind, accommodating and strong as a rider. Not once did I hear her complain about what we were doing and she was so positive, even when there was some tension; she said how she was feeling and put it behind her. I have so much respect for her and I’m going to miss her contagious laugh. We learned so many things from them both and fun little terms that I’m sure we’ll use for years to come. Safe travels my friends and I will continue to hold on to hope that we will travel with you again.

Okay so Andrew and I climb out of town and stop to visit the mining museum which is pretty cool. Prince Charles and his current wife visited here in the last five years; cool! We continued a bit further and found many hotels which is unfortunate because the one we stayed at last night was expensive; the most expensive price we’ve paid yet in Mexico. Oh well. Then after we climbed the little hill it was a fabulous descent into Pachuca. It’s such an impressive view of the city from the mountains above. It’s much larger than I thought it would be. And it’s beautiful and reminds me of Mexico City from the perspective of hillsides covered with houses. We stopped to take a few pictures along the way and then continued into town. We found the historical centre with no problem because it was so large and beautiful. We rolled into the park in the centre and took some more photos with silly tourist grins on our faces. We also noticed some big bad clouds moving pretty quickly toward us. We decided we should figure out where to take cover from the daily rain. Just as we were considering it our warm showers host sent us a message to say he left the key under the mat for us; perfect timing! Andrew mapped it out and off we went and arrived just in time to put our bikes inside and take cover from the rain.

Warm showers hosts rock! Not only did Enrique open his doors to us, he told us to make ourselves at home and gave us the wifi passcode. Warm showers hosts know what cyclists want and it rocks. He told us which room was ours and we settled in while we enjoyed listening to the rain storm. After the first bout of rain we walked down the street for some lunch and bought some groceries. A little later on our host arrived and we got to know him a bit. Then we went out for some amazing hamburgers and international beer. Again I am so grateful to be part of this wonderful community of cyclists. For years we had the pleasure of hosting cyclists and showing them our neighbourhood and while I thought that was a good feeling; being on the receiving end feels good too. I can’t express enough how much gratitude I have for the community and the wonderful people.

Andrew writes: Gareth didn’t seem too sure of what he wanted to do today, whereas I had lined up a Warmshowers stay and was planning on a few days off in Pachuca, so as we stood in front of the church in Mineral del Monte, we said our awkward goodbyes. Amanda left the ball in their court to reconnect with us in Pachuca, but after all of the hurt feelings we’d caused them, I don’t think that it is likely. That’s too bad, G&J are cool cats, and definitely cycling compatible. Ciao for now!

So here’s a funny thing, we are seeing advertisements everywhere for “pastes” (pahs-tes), which are basically english meat pies, or pies, or european empanadas. I tried one this morning at the cafe while internetting with Gareth and Jean. It was alright I guess…more of a local curiosity I suppose.

If only I had known how close Pachuca was, I think that I would have just cycled here yesterday. After all of the climbing we had done, the downhill was truly rewarding. Sure, we had to climb a little bit to get out of Mineral del Monte today, but as always, it was worthwhile. The town just seems to stretch on forever when cycling down from the mountains high above. A few things caught my eye, such as a big shiny pyramid (sport centre), and giant Mexican flag atop a hill, and the Christo Rey (statue of Jesus) which also stood atop a hill.

Cycling in Pachuca, like most busy Mexican cities is way less stressful than cycling in American and Canadian cities of similar size. We navigated our way to the centro historico for some tourist time, and then it was about another hour for us to find Enrique’s house. He wasn’t home, so we found the key under a rock and let ourselves in. Now I’m ready for a few days off!

Today’s Photographs

A Rural Route
Days off in Pachuca