I´ve been struggling through vivid disturbing dreams lately. The Mexican government must be secretly mixing something into all salsa, bottled water, beer, and masa as part of a conspiracy to control the citizens.
Five miles north or Monte Gordo, Route 180 leaves the riviera that is Costa Esmeralda and turns inland for a while.
I was eating a quick morning sandwich at a gas station when a wave of reluctance to ride overcame me. What had I gotten myself into? What was the point of all this cycling? But I got myself back on track by reminding myself to take the trip one day at a time and just relax. The rewards in the form of memorable experiences and people would continue to accumulate.
Everything around is very verdant. First pastures, then a steep-walled, meandering canyon covered in dense jungle. The road snakes along the wall, and luckily does not rise and fall too much.
One last curve, and the canyon openes up and spills into a wide (2-3 km) valley of a major river that carries its waters to the Gulf.
I cross the valley and the highway begins to rise into the next maze of narrow green canyons, except this time it doesn not follow their contours. It is an engineering marvel, built via the “cut and fill” method. The builders have blasted deep trenches straight through the hils and used the excavated rock and soil to fill valleys between them. As a result, the road is straight and flat, never exceeding a 3-4% grade. The U.S. Route 50 between Parkersburg and Clarksburg in West Virginia is another example of this type of road.
The magic number 1,000 (miles) on my trip odometer would have passed unnoticed today, except I noticed it and took a photo.
My map is a little outdated, but the signs have been decent and I have been asking directions a lot, so I haven´t gotten lost yet. But today I find myself at an unexpected t-junction in a remote highway. I stop to stare at the map for clues that are not there, and two seconds later an angel on a moped pulls up and points me in the right direction.
Eventuall I cross three big valles and countless smal ones. The fertile floors of the big valleys are covered with corn fields and geometrically neat orange plantations.
The town of Tihuatlan boasts what looks like a replica of Rio de Janeiro´s Christ the Redeemer. It stands in the high saddle betwen two hills overloking the town. I find a hotel, go through my routine, and go for a tasty bite in the otherwise ordinary working Mexican small town.