A Departure and a Downhill
Pachuca to Puebla Part. 1

April 21, 2016

Pachuca formally known as Pachuca de Soto, is the capital and largest city of the Mexican state of Hidalgo.

What happened…

Amanda writes:
Side note for Margaret. Right now we are two hours ahead of you in terms of time zones. And a huge thanks for all the wonderful support, we love it!. And check your email – we sent you something.

After all the climbing we’ve been doing recently I was excited to sleep in and enjoy the morning. We shared a wonderful breakfast with our host Enrique and exchanged some more cycling stories. He road across the USA a couple of years ago with three friends and had some great stories about his adventure. Enrique is quite involved in the mountain biking community so he ‘talked-the-talk’ with Andrew about bikes and specs and stuff. He also talked about the possibility of us going for some mountain bike riding which would be awesome! Wait, we don’t have health insurance anymore … maybe it’s not such a good idea.

Enrique runs a family owned construction company and while he keeps busy, it also affords him some flexibility. Prior to this he was an art instructor and English teacher. To hear him talk about his contacts and experience reminds me its such a shame Jean and Gareth didn’t join us. Originally when we arranged with Enrique we told him it would be four people and he was cool with that. Enrique inquired about where the other two were and we just told him there was a change of plans. When he talked about his teaching experience we mentioned that our friends were hoping to stay here for a week and rent an apartment and maybe look into some teaching options. He told us he had lots of contacts he’d be happy to share and confirmed English teachers are pretty sought after. Maybe if Jean and Gareth get in touch with us we can share the information with them.

So here’s what I like about warm showers hosts. Firstly they’re awesome 99% of the time. Enrique fits in this number very well. When you stay with a host they know you’ve likely got some things to take care of, you may want to rest or you might want to sightsee and they offer you all of the above. Enrique showed us where the washer was for our clothes, allowed us to use the kitchen and he shared his work space with Andrew to play video games. So after we cooked breakfast, Andrew and Enrique went upstairs to do computer stuff. Then Andrew and I did the laundry in a washing machine which is so nice because washing by hand doesn’t do as good a job as a machine. Then we hung the clothes to dry and Enrique gave us some tips on sightseeing and where to buy new brake pads since ours were completely shot after all the climbing. We mapped our route, confirmed we’d like to make him dinner and off we went.

After our wonderful day of sightseeing and enjoying bike routes we came back, finished the laundry and made a lovely dinner. We chatted more with Enrique and he gave us more sightseeing options via car that he was happy to share with us. After dinner Andrew settled into video games, Enrique invited us to a party that we naturally declined being the lazy cyclists we are and I watched the Yankees game. For some reason I loved today! Totally chill, saw some shit, watched my boys play ball and our host rocks.

Andrew writes: Pachuca is pretty neat and has lots to offer for a tourist. Enrique took us to an English-style pub that offers beers from all over the world…except I was more interested in trying a locally brewed porter. Strangely enough, they had no Canadian offers, not even Labatt’s Blue or Molson. Ahh well…

Sightseeing around town included a trip of Ben Gurion plaza where they have installed a gigantic tiled frieze. Then on our way to La Palmitas (a community mural project) we met Rafael, who guided us first to the bike shop and then to the best place to view the beautifully painted homes in La Palmitas. We navigated our way back to Enrique’s along two of the city bike routes. Pachuca bills itself as having Latin America’s first bike-share system. It doesn’t seem too popular amongst the locals however, since a credit card is required to join and not a lot of Mexicans use credit cards at this point (which is good!).

Enrique had to drive to nearby Tula, about 90 minutes at the hell raising speed of 160km/h, and we joined him so as to check out the pyramids there. Unlike Teotihucan, the site was not very busy, and while it was smaller, I definitely enjoyed these ruins more than the previous.

Mostly our days off involved sitting in the cool shade of Enrique’s home, enjoying a decent WiFi signal and doing some interwebbing. Enrique invited us to go out to a party one night, but I just didn’t have a lot of “get-up and go” in me. I don’t think we had planned on staying with him until the weekend, but we did, and he invited us to go camping and mountain biking in Mineral del Chico nearby, except I wasn’t too keen on camping in the rain (it was raining). Perhaps I harbour a certain regret about not taking up this opportunity, but since I camp most of my life, to do so in the rain, just for the sake of it being the weekend, just doesn’t seem very worthwhile to me.

Nonetheless, Enrique was such a great host and I’m glad to have spent the time getting to know him. His rescue animals, Lucy, Dash and Falcor were such a delight. Dash, a golden retriever who has lost the use of his back legs, had such an energetic spirit, and whenever I would go outside, he would “dash” across the yard on his front paws, looking so eager for human attention. I’m really starting to enjoy having animals lavish love and attention on me wherever we go.

Today’s Photographs

A Departure and a Downhill
Pachuca to Puebla Part. 1