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Ride to Mexico City…

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It rained heavily for most of the night… By early morning, it was still drizzling and while I loaded the bike, I wondered if Eloy would still be willing to ride in the rain, and lead me out onto the road that would take me north towards Mexico City…

Minutes later he arrived on his Vulcan, and the only change he had made to his usual riding outfit, was to don a tweed cap to keep the rain off his head…!!

1.2 Ride to Mexico City…

Eloy and elder brother Martin have a final photo taken with the Big Fella…

2. As a concession to the inclement weather Eloy wore a cap... 300x261 Ride to Mexico City…

As a concession to the inclement weather, Eloy wore a cap…!!

Martin had the previous evening made contact with a good friend of his in Morelia, who headed up the Manosos Motorcycle Club, and had arranged for them to host me when I passed through their city…

“Send greetings from the Venados to the Manosos of Morelia, and remember that you have a home here in Huajuapan…!!” were Martin’s final words as we rolled out of his front garden and into the street…

We roared through the early morning traffic and then headed out of town along the same road we had used for our breakfast run the day before…

3.1 300x225 Ride to Mexico City…

A narrow, but newly laid surface allowed for a fast ride to the highway that would take us to the outskirts of Puebla…

About 30 km later, Eloy pulled over to bid me goodbye…I was surprised that he had ridden so far with me, and was more than happy to have the company…

We hugged and promised to keep in touch, and then with a final wave to him, I kicked the Big Fella into gear and headed north towards Acatlan de Osorio…

I passed many small settlements that seemed to exist on subsistence farming only, and remembered the people I had seen the day before, queueing for medical attention that they would not be able to receive anywhere near their homes…

4.2 300x254 Ride to Mexico City…

Cattle fodder, being transported in small trucks like this one, make overtaking on some of the narrower roads, a bit tricky…. The drivers seemed to have no idea when other vehicles came up from behind them…

Osorio was a small dusty town, its main street lined with small shops and general stores and a hotel that seemed to have been shut down…

The rain that had fallen in and around Huajuapan had not reached this part of the country, and I was told that the entire region had been experiencing a drought that had affected the lives of many…

We barreled further north, through a range of low mountains and rode into Izucar de Matamoros, and then onto Atlixco, before hooking up with the MEX190, a two-lane highway that was filled with traffic heading to Puebla…

Puebla is Mexico’s fourth largest city and for the first time in days, I began to see signs of heavy industry and modernization… The largest Volkswagen assembly facility outside Germany, is located right here, and as I got closer to the city, I began to see the tall highrise buildings associated with large cities…

I was keen to avoid the traffic, and refueled on the western edge of the city, before heading north again, and looking for the main turnoff that would take me onto the Arce Norte, a huge ring-road that rounded the eastern side of Mexico City, and avoided the massive traffic snarl-ups that this city is famous for…

7.2 Ride to Mexico City…

From the Arce North, I looked out over thousands of hectares of land that had been prepared for the next planting season…. The region serves as one of Mexico’s few large-scale farming zones…

9.2 300x211 Ride to Mexico City…

I stopped under a bridge soon after reaching the Arce Norte and took a short break to confirm the exit I would be taking to reach Teotihuacan…

Over 30 million people call Mexico City “home”, and the city is more than 100 km long and 80 km wide…!! There was no way I was going to try to make it through the city to reach my destination of San Martin de Teotihuacan, and chose the rather expensive Arce Norte toll-road instead…

After riding on single lane country roads for the better part of the last few days, I was initially taken by surprise by the speeds that vehicles were travelling at on the toll road…!!

Despite riding at over 130 km/h almost all the way to the turnoff to San Martin, I was frequently passed by cars traveling at least 160 km/h…!!

I never saw any traffic officers or speed cameras, and assume that the toll roads are not as well patrolled as the lesser important roads are…

11.2 Ride to Mexico City…

The rather grand entrance to the small town of San Martin de los Pyramides…

12.2 225x300 Ride to Mexico City…

The Posada Sol y Luna, would be my base for the next few days…

The road leading off the Arce Norte was made up of rough patches of tarmac laid over areas that had disintegrated under the wheels of the many heavy trucks that entered Mexico City from the east… After the smooth concrete of the freeway, the Mex132 was like riding on a gravel road…!!

13.2 207x300 Ride to Mexico City…

The Sun and Moon theme extends to a bright green wall on the upper level of the hotel, where a large swimming pool and a small garden can be found…

I took the turnoff to San Martin and found myself on an even bumpier road, made up of smooth stones cemented together…

All the vehicles ahead of me were driving at less than 30 km/h, to avoid being shaken apart, but I was able to ride much faster on the Big Fella and rode down the centre of the road, splitting the traffic…

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed what I first thought was a small mountain… I took another quick look and saw that it was a Pyramid…!! A very large one…!! I was amazed at the size of the structure, having not had an opportunity to do any research on the Pyramids of Teotihuacan…

I rode down a narrower and smoother road and came to the centre of the little town of San Martin… I saw a sign for a hotel and decided to stop to get a handle on prices and availability…

The Pyramids are one of Mexico’s most visited archeological sites, and I fully expected to have a little trouble finding a place to stay…

14.2 300x231 Ride to Mexico City…

Securely parked right outside the reception of the hotel…

At the Posada Sol y Luna, I was in luck… This small but very well-appointed hotel is only a ten minute walk from the centre of town, and has secure parking adjoining the reception area… The hotel is built above the underground parking and within minutes of my arrival, I was being shown into a room where I was assured the internet signal was strongest…

And for once, management did not disappoint… The signal was indeed better than most I had experienced recently, and I spent the afternoon replying to emails and updating my blog…

The town centre was gearing up for a fair of some sort and stalls were being erected in the main square and the all the roads leading into it… I was happy that I had decided to walk rather than take the bike, and passed many cars stuck in a long line of traffic, trying to get closer to the city centre…

I found a small restaurant, and sat on the upper floor where I could watch the comings and goings on the square below me…

I was excited by the prospect of visiting what would probably be the last ancient site I would see in Mexico… I had seen the remains of the ancient Incan settlements in Peru, and that of the Mayan’s in Guatemala and on the Yucatan Peninsula, and now I would visit what was thought to have once been the capital of the Aztec Empire…

I planned to get to the main gate just 2 km away, by 8.00 am, the following morning, before the busloads of “turistas” arrived… I knew that the site was once of the largest in Mexico, and that I would be spending most of my time climbing and walking, so I opted for an early night, rather than accept the invitations of a few locals to join them for drinks…!!

I was still getting over the effects of my visit with the Venados…!!

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