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Cycling in Mexico.

Cycling in Mexico.

Some stories and photos from a bicycle trip from Puebla to Poza Rica in Mexico.

My favourite part of Mexico are the towns that surrounds Mexico City. Old historical towns with the kind of Mexican vibe that I have been dreaming of since I was a kid and watched Western movies on TV. Because of That I decided to take a bicycle tour from Puebla. I took the bus from Mexico City to Puebla. Easy two hour ride, where I got my bicycle with the bus for free. I stayed 3 days in Puebla, as this is a very interesting and pleasant old town.

Puebla is wonderful.

Puebla is wonderful.

On the main square in Puebla.

On the main square in Puebla.

Mural in Puebla.

Mural in Puebla.

From Puebla I headed up the mountain towards Tlaxcala and Apizaco. I got lost on the way as I always do. But that just gave me an interesting ride through a couple of small villages.And I was not in a hurry. I had decided to take all the time I needed for this bike trip. I often plan too much in advance and end up having to cycle faster than I like. But I had about 10 days to spare and decided to just see how far the road would take me and give time to shop in all the towns where I felt like stopping.

Taking it easy.

Taking it easy.

I came in to Apizaco just as a heavy rain shower started. Cycling in rainy season obviously gives some rain. But it’s usually only in late afternoon and early evening, so if you time your cycling right, then you are OK. I do not always time it right though, so I just get wet instead.

After a night in Apizaco I took a short cycling day to Tlaxco. I was suppose to cycle further that day, but I really liked the vibe in Tlaxco. After some searching I finally found a wonderful little hotel, that also had a very good restaurant. The owners were very friendly too, so that was where I would stay for the night. In the evening I went out for a walk and stumbled upon a wonderful little arty cafe called La Reliquia. They had some local micro brew and that really brined the day for the old Danish cyclist. I tried a couple of them and especially liked a black IPA called “No hay quinto Malo”.  Except for falling of the chair and injuring my arm, I had an excellent evening there. Some would say maybe one beer too many, after falling off the chair 🙂 Tlaxco is a town with next to zero tourists, but it’s really a cute little western town with wonderful people. So if you are driving in this part of the world, then make a stop there. and make sure to stay at Posada Portal Jardin. Wonderful place with wonderful owners.

Tlaxco is a pleasant little town.

Tlaxco is a pleasant little town.

Nice beer in Tlaxco.

Nice beer in Tlaxco.

Cycling over another little mountain pass I reached Chignahuapan. I was totally unaware of how popular this town is with tourists. Not foreign tourists, but Mexican tourists. I ended up spending two nights there and did not see a single gringo. But man was there a lot of Mexican visitors. This was partly because they had a religious festival going on that week. But the town in general is a little mountain retreat for the citizens of Puebla and Mexico City, who come there to enjoy the terminal baths, the cute little town and the fresh mountain air. One funny curiosity is that Chignahuapan is also one of the biggest producers in the world of Christmas baubles. The locals proudly told me that they export a lot of them to the Vatican, who use them as decoration for Christmas. I must have seen something like 40-50 shop selling Christmas baubles in Chignahuapan. Because of the festival, the town center was full of life. An interesting combination of religious things and also many things related to the Aztec past. I saw a very colourful Aztec dance show, performed by a local dance group, whom I was told, also performs around Mexico sometimes. The atmosphere was great and being the only gringo, I had several free drinks, including Pulque. The oldest alcoholic drink in Mexico, that has been popular for more than a thousand years in the region. I am not too keen on Pulque though, as it has a very sour smell and slimy consistence. But it was surely interesting to try.

Chignahuapan.

Chignahuapan.

Aztec danicng in Chignahuapan.

Aztec danicng in Chignahuapan.

There was a festival going on when I was in Chignahuapan.

There was a festival going on when I was in Chignahuapan.

Food vendors in Chignahuapan.

Food vendors in Chignahuapan.

Chirstmas baubles from Chignahuapan.

Chirstmas baubles from Chignahuapan.

After taking it easy with a few drinks in Chignahuapan, i kept going on my trusted mountainbike. Heading further up the mountains, to an altitude close to 3000 meters. I ended up getting late again, in the way that the daylight thunderstorm caught up with me, as i was pretty high up. Luckily I found a little taco shop where I could shelter. So I spend the better part of an hour eating tacos on a mountain top, while waiting for the rain to stop again.

On the road in Mexico.

On the road in Mexico.

Having tacos, while waiting for the rain to stop.

Having tacos, while waiting for the rain to stop.

I also spend a night in a town called Huauchinango. Again a town I had never heard of, but I loved the place. The great thing about most Mexican towns is that the town center is build around a little Plaza, where you have lot’s of social life. And of course many cafes and restaurants. In Huauchinango I found a wonderful little Arab cafe on the main square, where I spend the evening enjoying the wonderful vibe of Huauchinango.

 

Huauchinango.

Huauchinango.

Cycling through the clouds.

Cycling through the clouds.

After Huauchinango, it was mostly downhill. Some up hill too, but a lot of down. The road was wet and sometimes a little too narrow, so I had to take it easy and ba careful. But it was a very scenic ride down to Poza Rica by the coast, where I arrived in late afternoon, after spending a week cycling a little over 300 kilometers. Not a great distance for a week of cycling, but I stopped and explored a lot along the way, so it was perfect for me. Poza Rica is anew town that is build around the pil industry and because of that not the most attractive town in Mexico. But I was ok there for a night and spend the night in a large hotel, where I think I was the only guest who was not from the Mexican police force. I got the impression that the place was closing down as a hotel and being turned in to the new police headquarters. But I was welcomed, both by the hotel staff and the many police officers at the reception. The hotel was large, but clearly outdated and needed some serious renovation. That is probably why it was being taken over by the police, as Poza Rica has many new modern hotels that can easily compete with this old place. I just stayed there cause they gave me a very good rate and because I was curious.

Cycling down the mountains, towards Poza Rica.

Cycling down the mountains, towards Poza Rica.

The cactus that you make pulque from.

The cactus that you make pulque from.

Try some pulque at the pulque bar.

Try some pulque at the pulque bar.

Should you be in the Mexico City region and want to spend a week exploring Mexico by bike, then I recommend this ride. It’s a nice ride that takes you though some scenic towns, many of them unknown to non Mexican visitors. This is pure Mexico and I love it. Especially by bicycle.

Some Mexican street musicians.

Some Mexican street musicians.

 

No flat tires or any other mechanical problems on the trip. so this guy was not needed.

No flat tires or any other mechanical problems on the trip. so this guy was not needed.

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5 Comments

  1. Sounds like a great bicycle trip.

  2. Orlando Silva

    Such a wonderful article and pics from México!!!

  3. Very interesting, and such a nice article! I’ll give you a notice and a bunch of questions if I try something similar later (to escape from the Norwegian winter).

  4. What a cool bike trip! The colours of those cities are stunning!!! It what makes me love Mexico, though I haven’t visited any of these towns. Next trip for sure!

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