Leaving San Miguel was bittersweet. The morning was very clear, cool but not too cool. The perfect day for a ride in the beautiful mountains of central Mexico.
My bike, a 93 BMW R100GSPD, had not been ridden for a full week but it started immediately and ran great the entire day. I got up early but had to say goodbye to several old and some new friends. I finally departed San Miguel at 10:00 AM heading for Queretara, on to Mexico City and then finally to Puebla, one of the great and beautiful cities of central Mexico. Puebla, while one of the colonial cities also has a very European look and feel. The people are friendly and most caring, something I find about all of the folks in Mexico, except when they are behind the wheel of a car (more on that in a few sentences). Tonight will be cool but tomorrow should be pleasant.
The Beemer and I are now focused on getting to the border with Guatemala. Today´s trip almost required that I go through or around Mexico City, one of the largest and most congested cities in the world. I elected to attempt to go around the city, but as my luck would have it, someplace I made a wrong turn and actually traveled through about half of the city. Smog, congested traffic, heat and a hundred near accidents--that was my experience in Mexico City.
As I rode between Queretara and Mexico City I once again had to virtually do defensive battle with the aggressive drivers, both the trucks and the cars. The Mexican people are among the finiest in the world. Caring, quite, non assertive and they simply cannot do enough for you. However when the get behind the wheel of a car they immediately morph into a cross between Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhart, Jr. Right on your tail until you give room to pass. Passing three wide on a curve. Passing to the inside, when there is no lane on which to pass. The only thing they did not do was to bump me in the rear to spin me out. Wait until tomorrow!
As I departed Mexico City, I erroneously ended up on Highway 191, a narrow two lane road that goes through the very high mountains to the south of Mexico City. While I do not know the altitude, there were a couple of snow covered peaks. I do not think I have ever ridden at that high of an altitude before. Guardrails were almost non existent, The road was the curviest on which I have ever riden and the right shoulder (what shoulder?) was a shear dropoff of hundreds, maybe thousands of feet. To add to my anguish, I am mortally afraid of heights. After telling myself to just relax, I began to actually enjoy ride. The Beemer was made for this type of riding, it performed perfectly thoughout today´s trip.
I actually did not arrive here in Puebla until 5:30 PM, or over seven hours after I left San Miguel. Had I not gotten lost in the D.F. (that is how we local folks refer to Mexico City) I would have made the trip in about five hours.
Sunday will find me heading on south towards Guatemala, although at this time I really do not know by what route or even where I will stop tomorrow night. That is what makes this adventure so great.