Back on the Road

A rare, car-free moment on the Panamericana

March 8, 2016 | Posted in Musings | By

A rare, car-free moment on the Panamericana

A rare, car-free moment on the Panamericana

After almost a month of vegetating on the beach and then in San Cristobal de las Casas, we are finally back on the road today. For those that haven’t heard yet, we were robbed while sleeping on the Oaxaca coast in a town called Mazunte. We’d gotten a little bit lazy from being in Mexico so long and in non-touristic places where people are a little less… uhh, trashy, or as they say here, desmadre. We were camped on the beach and had our bag of valuables bungeed to a chair that was right next to our heads in our hammocks. The waves masked the sound and he was able to pull it away and then go through the bag and got some expensive crap. He also went through our bikes and stole Brandy’s shoes, which was especially annoying, and a couple tools. Worst of all, he got an avocado. There was supposed to be a night guard, but he didn’t do shit, or he did it, or whatever. Either way, we were sloppy and got burned. From what we heard from others after the event, theft is quite rampant in Mazunte. Needless to say, this put a bit of brakes on our trip, especially the shoe situation. We ended up just hanging around Mazunte for something like two weeks figuring out what we were going to do next and trying to get some enjoyment out of the place. After all, it is the kind of place that we probably would have loved if we didn’t have the negativity. We made some new friends and re-met someone we’d volunteered with over the summer, and also helped out at this crazy Italian guy’s pizzeria. I really wish we had a camera because the image of him sticking pizzas into his outdoor wood-fired oven with his shirt off, tied around his head like a turban while smoking a joint in front of a palapa full of customers is classic.

We did finally get over our negativity and had some good times and really good food in Mazunte and Brandy even managed to find the best hammock ever, which is hopefully on its way to Wisconsin right now. We finally decided to get moving. We’d been trying to decide if we’d ride or take a bus to San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas. We finally chose the bus because we’ve heard nothing good about the hot, boring, wind-blown ride between Mazunte and Chiapas and we wanted to try to go shopping to replace our stuff nearby San Cristobal and the cycling would have meant we’d skip it.

We were very glad that we did the bus because we immediately loved San Cristobal. In fact, if we hadn’t met so many great people in Oaxaca city, we’d have been mighty disappointed that we spent over a month there instead of San Cristobal. It’s nicer in almost every way. We also managed to replace almost all of our stuff, including randomly stumbling across the exact model of Brandy’s missing, beloved camera. We hadn’t expected to find it because they hadn’t been selling it in Mexico when we bought it last year. They had released a newer model in the US and sent the remainders down here, apparently. We snagged the only one they had at this huge department store called Liverpool.

We so wished that we could spend some more time in San Cristobal, but not only is our Mexico visa running out, but Brandy is signed up for some total immersion Spanish classes at Lake Atitlan in Guatemala and I am signed up for a 10-day silent meditation thing that I’m still on the fence about. Not only that, but we have been in Mexico SO long that it really is time to just get going if we are going to be able to spend any time enjoying the rest of the countries we’ll be in.

It felt really good to be moving again, even if the climbing really kicked my ass because I wasn’t feeling very well. We left in the afternoon because Brandy was helping a girl at the hostel to make this nose warmer thing she’d been dreaming of, so we didn’t get too far. It doesn’t matter. The scenery was beautiful and we had a wonderful long downhill at the end of the day, even if it was riddled with topes (speed bumps). The change in feeling between sitting around and being on the bike is exhilarating. We’re almost regretting our commitments in Guatemala, but they will both be great experiences and, oh boy am I looking forward to Brandy leveling up in her Spanish.

It’s good to be moving and we’re excited to finally be entering another country after so long. Take care, my friends.

And, I was about to post this when the power went out, which of course meant, no internet. It’s good to be back in the middle of nowhere.

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