Today was a total buzz! A total flip from this date 1 year ago! Today is the anniversary of my "Off" breaking both of my arms on the Oonandatta Track, just outside of Coober Pedy Australia!
We departed the Mision early this morning and were on the road by 8:30am! I think that it has been quite a while since we have hit the road that early! The sun was shining, the air crisp and it just feels good to be moving! Today we have a decent 8 hour ride ahead of us, via the long route, we are not traveling through Mexico City! It has been drilled into us…"Stay away from Mexico City…Whatever you do don't ride into Mexico City…Are you riding to Mexico City…Don't!" Ok Ok…I think that we have got it! We will be traveling some back roads up and around until we hit the main toll road bypassing Mexico City.
The riding today has been truly diverse and spectacular….We wound our way across large impressive switchbacks then up an over mountain ranges, through dusty passes and cactus covered valleys. Progressed through small colorful lively bustling towns, through bone-dry poorer, scanty communities as well as eager, engaged lush farming communities. I watched many willy willy's kick up over the dusty plains and funnel their way across the dry brown earth until petering out. I even saw one start up from behind a horse!…Gas? Sometimes you just see the most amazing and darndest things!
We were approaching our first via point, Atitalaquia, programed into Navi…it was around lunchtime. Gosh there had been so much going on around us this morning I was oblivious to the time. Kev radios "If you spot a good lunch spot let's stop, grab some food and check our route. We are about 1/2 way!" I am riding slowly down the main street of the small town of Atitalaquia trying to spot the Pollo Asado, roast chicken, place…I can smell it and it is making my mouth water. I spotted several on the way into town, and know that there has to be another. Just as I spot a small rotisserie shop a enthusiastic biker on a custom tricked out HD comes roaring up to Kev and I. His clear bright brown face had the biggest smile, his body language auspicious, as he gestures for us to pull over. No sooner had we both come to a complete stop, and landed both feet on the found, the HD biker, who had parked across the street was by our side expressing his favoritism of our lifestyle, journey and actions. We shook hands, smiled widely, nodded our heads, and hugged. He wanted us to follow him to the juice shop. We did! Manny ordered Kev a fresh squeezed jugo de naranja, orange juice and me a fresh squeezed jugo de guayaba, guava juice…my favorite juice in the whole wide world! Manny's juice shop friends were just as friendly, enthusiastic, and welcoming. We spoke in very broken spanish accompanied with exaggerated body movements. We all listened, chatted, laughed and smiled over the next hour. Manny's custom Harley, complete with trick paint, chrome skulls, rooster claw kickstand and mounted tequila barrel was his pride, freedom and joy. He loved our bikes and snapped many shots standing by them. He insisted that we climb on his bike to continue with the photography session. Learning that we had sold everything to be on the journey we are on, the eldest man in the group said to us "The world is your casa and Mexico loves you!" Manny then proceeded to remove 2 rings from his fingers and slid on on Kev's and another on mine! "usted tiene grandes cojones!", Manny said to me! It was a very moving, generous and brotherly biker moment that I will never forget. "You were just told that you have big balls!", Kev laughed. ha, ha, ha…I smiled, and everyone was laughing!!! All I could think of to give back was a couple of our stickers and some of our tequila….Well, that went over very favorably! After all finishing a shot of Don Juilo, another round of jugo de naranja con tequila was offered to us. Wow…I guess this is lunch today. We finished up, saddled up ready to be escorted out of town when the older man of the group hugged me and said in broken english "I admire you, baby!", I chuckled, slightly embarrassed, then turned and planted a kiss on his cheek. He had disappeared for a few moments as we were packing up and asked a fellow how to say his sentence in english…it was an ultra sweet moment! Manny pulled over before the entrance of the freeway, we revved our motors and waved in appreciation. We soon found ourselves zipping down the highway on a cloud, basking in the wondrous moments that had just unfolded.
The warmth of the intervention lasted and before we knew it we were arriving in Puebla. The traffic was beginning to build and we needed to be on alert to avoid the sporadic movements of the crazy taxi drivers. Waiting to turn left a lady driver, who I had noticed had been following close behind pulled up beside us, impeding her flow of the traffic, warmly smiling rolled down her window asked to take our picture then proceeded to bless us. What a fantastic way to be welcomed to a city. AND….What A Day!
Kev and I really enjoyed Puebla, and the young vibe it carried. It sort of reminded me of Patzcuaro on steroids! We got caught up in our first Justin Beber rally vivaciously circling the town square, fossiked through interesting open air antique markets, marveled at the lavish churches, appreciated and explored the young artistry and talents of the area and enjoyed deliciously good cheap food! I definitely could have stayed here longer!