Photo Feature: Southern Mexico
By the time we arrived in Mexico City we’d been in the country for six weeks. Christmas and New Years had come and gone, and the year of the bicycle had so far been mostly hot and sweaty even though it was January. On the flip side, we were eating Mexican food three meals a day which for me at least was a dream come true. After more than a week in the epic sprawl of Mexico City, and it came time to get back on the road and head south into the lush mountains of Oaxaca and Chiapas.
We continued our strategy of sticking to the main tollroad once we dropped out of Mexico City. Unlike a lot of the smaller roads, the tollroad was well paved and offered regular gas stations and tollbooths for camping.
In southern Oaxaca, we biked up into the cloud forests of the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca mountain range. This pine-oak forest is part of a chain of pine-oak forests that stretch from Oregon to Nicaragua. Every night around sunset the fog rolls in so thick that you can hardly see ten feet in front of you. It’s incredibly surreal and beautiful.
We stayed in a hostel high up in the mountains for $1.25 a night where we met some interesting individuals. In the room to our right was a Literature professor named Girardo who comes to the woods as a sort of sabbatical, where he spends his days immersed in literature, reading for eight or ten hours a day. His advice for us came from Saint Augustine: “love, and do what you like.”
From San Jose del Pacifico to the southern coast of Oaxaca is 120 k of mostly steep downhills. We arrived in the small beach town of Crucecita where we had arranged an interview with a sea turtle conservation group. As fate would have it, that group works closely with the Colectivo Tilcoatle, a local art collective. We became fast friends with the folks of Tilcoatle who took us to the best secluded beaches in the area, and even invited us to camp on the beach with them for some sunrise snorkeling.
Our new friends invited us to a scheduled release of more than 200 freshly-hatched baby sea turtles. We are extremely fond of turtles here at Pedal South and were more than stoked to get to hang out with a bunch of baby turtles.