We hit the road just as the morning Mexican air was turning from morning fresh to late morning seasoned exhaust. I radio to Kev…"Navi always seems to take us the most interesting ways out of town!" "Yeah, I don't get it, this way is a little bazar", he replies. As we continue our way through the busy neighborhood streets, me following, I have become pretty darn good at reading bike body language! This time I can almost see the lightening bolt hit Kev's brain…Ahh I think he has figured it out! "I'm pulling over baby…I think I know what is wrong with Navi!", Kev states. I pull in behind Kev, kill the engine and figure that I have a couple of minutes to mess with my music selection for todays ride. I'm thinking that today is a Dave Matthews kinda day and set my playlist. My bike ignition is still on, ready to communicate. "It just hit me", Kev confesses…..Navi was set to avoid toll roads! I think I programed it that way when we left La Manzanilla, so it would take us the most direct route north!" Ha ha ha…Now I understand why we have been riding through some pretty out-of-the-way towns. I don't know if that is always a good thing, anyhow…but the rides have been lovely and toll free! I started the bike, pulled out behind Kev and 4 turns later we were on a freeway!
The roads were wide open, spacious and clean. Sparkly clean! Today the Mexican road authority was out pressure washing the highway guard rails. It was a great riding day, somewhat choppy and that did cost us 79$, approx $6 per bike in tolls. I was very thankful that we were not un-tolling it. When you looked out over the impressive vastness of this high desert I was hard to imagine another route. It was desolate, quite mountainous and tall cigar style lime colored green cactus blanketed the area. It was a change from the table-tennis paddle type that I had been seeing recently. We pulled over at a Pemex and saw several bikes parked outside a restaurant there. A lady from the group approached us…"We saw you two in San Miguel de Allende the day you were leaving! Come in and meet the group. Have you had lunch?" Kev and I entered the restaurant and were kindly greeted by all in the group. "We were just talking about you guys,…. I could not believe it when you pulled up to the gas station just now!" Carol happily states. Fancy that! I love it when these things happen. I just with that we had met this San Miguel de Allende group when we were there! Oh well better late than never! Kev and I enjoyed their conversation, kindness and camaraderie, and ended up tagging behind, following the tail end of their convoy the remainder of the way into Oaxaca. Keep in touch SMA bikers!
Approaching the central area of Oaxaca, we broke from the San Miguel troop, and continued on. Something was going on, the main street was completely choked with cars, buses, trucks and taxis. I just happened to glance over towards the opposite side of the road and viewed a show of Federal Policia all decked out in riot gear… Whoa…immediately my spidey senses were activated! We continue through the river of steel, weaving our way in and out of people out of their vehicles and avoiding obstacles, following a delivery guy on a moto. We arrive at the end of the disruption, it is a strike demonstration. Semitrailers are parked front to rear blocking access into the centro area of Oaxaca. "Don't stop Cat!", Kev radios…Kev rides up onto the walkway, and I find a narrow opening behind a semi and barely squeeze by….we are through!
Some of the large old Jackies are still in bloom, it is a pleasure to see. I could just imagine how spectacular it would be to ride through all the blooming Jackie lined streets! We check into a friendly hotel with secure underground parking, un-load, clean up and head into the old centro area of Oaxaca hungry for Mole, a regional specialty.