T – We were up early today and ready to ride. The road we had picked looked to be a dirt one so we weren’t too sure as to how long it may take us to get through it.
We fueled up, bought our selves a yoghurt for breakfast and then climbed on the bikes and immediately became lost. We were riding down alleys and one way streets that didnt even appear on our GPS. So around and around we went eventually circling the main square twice before somehow we fluked the exit and we were out of there!
C – We were both excited about the ride today. Dirt roads, through the mountains, on roads that didnt appear on our GPS! We could see on Google Earth the road existed and got confirmation from ADVRider that road at least existed!
T – It was a lovely cool morning and the bikes were humming along nicely, as usual really! We started to climb slowly as we headed for the town of Tolatongo. The road we had picked for today is called the Lib. Al Cardonal. We couldn’t find much information on it other than it was ‘a bit rough’.
As we got to the beginning of the mountains we were met with some of the most incredible views. Mountains just pushing up so steeply from the ground, full of deep valleys and tiny tracks criss crossing them everywhere! Wowsers!
C – The views were simply breathtaking and the riding was superb. So far, it had all been bitumen and in relatively good condition.
T – We followed along the road and soon began a series of steep down hill switchbacks. The corners curved back so tightly on each other. What a ride! We were so excited to have a day of this! Then we realised we had missed our turn. Way back at the top of the mountain and now we were on a deadend road to nowhere. So we swung around and began the gruelling 2nd gear climb back up to the top. Poor Mabel.
C – There was a construction crew working on this section of the road, transforming it from dirt to concrete. They were busily working on one lane, which left us riding down the wrong side, with no traffic control in site. We passed quite a few cars on the lane bit and thankfully didnt have to find out how we would go trying to pass a car on the single lane in the construction zone!
T – Once at the top we used the phones GPS, as ours appears to not have any maps of this area, and we soon found the start of the actual road we wanted. It deteriorated rapidly from smooth hard dirt to rocky washouts and eventually turned into someones driveway. Errr… Again we had taken a wrong turn and had to back track over some fairly mean ground.
C – Despite the wrong turns and incredibly rough terrain, all the wrong turns led us to some amazing views. Definitely some of the best wrong turns we have made yet!!
T – Finally, and this time we had it right, we found the proper road. It climbed up and over a hill and then we were in the valleys of the mountains. Our road stretched away beneath us, draped like a piece of limp spaghetti across the mountain side. Curving back and forth all the way down into the distant valley floor. No guard rails, just a very long plummet down. It was brilliant!
C – The road was rough, but easily rideable and again, gave us some spectacular views. There were a few moments were we stopped and looked at the drop offs with a ‘wooahh’! Vertigo inducing!
T – We curved back and forth slowly as we headed down. There was evidence in some spots of fairly recent landslides and the road was rocky and slippery. We hit the bottom and passed through a beautiful quaint little village before we began our climb up the other side.
Then it was down that set of mountains and into one of the most fertile and lush valleys I have ever seen. From above we were greeted with a patchwork of greens and browns from the farmed land. It was damn gorgeous.
C – The greenness of the valley is indescribable… just beautiful. The fields were full of workers, performing manual labour tasks. Everyone stopped and stared at us for a moment, then came the big waves and the massive smiles!
We noticed what we thought were spider webs in the trees. On closer inspection, we saw millions of caterpillars in these webs. Some kind of silk worms maybe?
T – We stopped in the little village in the valley for some tortas. OMFG! The best tortas we have had and possibly the best food we have had in Mexico yet! These puppies were huge, and stuffed full of pork, egg, cheese, avocado and jalapenos!
From there our quiet slow ride ended and we were back onto some major and very busy highways all the way through to our end point of Huauchinango. By the time we got there we had donned our wet weather gear and we rode down into the city in thick fog and drizzling rain!
Tomorrow we should hit the coast! Woohoo and hopefully we will find some nice camping spots.