Pushing on

12/5/16
Mexico City, Mexico to Veracruz, Mexico
454.9 kilometers
I woke up a little after nine in the morning to get ready and packed up. While getting geared up Eleanor brought Keira in to see me and I spent about ten minutes loving on the dog before I could bring myself to finish putting my boots on. I miss Woden so much and Kiera is such a sweet dane.
As I finished packing Eleanor told me breakfast was ready, a pleasant surprise as I was expecting to do an Oxxo breakfast. AKA oatmeal or anything worth eating I could find at the convenience store. I carried my bags downstairs and past where the whole family was sitting at the dinner table, including Eleanor's grandmother who had been sick and in bed since I had arrived. I walked past them trailed by Keira to go outside and load the bike so that I would be ready to hit the road and work to make up some time.
Breakfast was eggs with ham and some fried beans. The family was making sandwiches of it but I opted to just eat them by themselves with a cup of tea. It was my desire to try and stay fit more than a taste choice the led me to skip the breads.
Departing was made into a bit of a family affair as everyone came out to the courtyard to see me off. There were lots of photos and good byes.  I felt a little odd as I had only been there for a day and a half and they were treating me like I had been there for weeks.  It was touching and really enamored me to the whole family.
The ride out of town was simple enough with the help of my GPS and Google Maps as a second routing option. The traffic on this side of town was much simpler to navigate than it had been coming into town.



I rode out on the toll roads for the first 140 kilometers or so before saying fuck it and getting off onto the secondary roads. It gave me my first taste of real off-road since my Deadhorse run. It was only a few miles of the real rough stuff, and only because I missed a turn, but it got my blood pumping for the next chance get the bike dirty.

The secondary roads were certainly slower than the toll roads but I consider that a small price to pay to break the monotony of super slab.  The ever present threat of topes, speed bumps that are often completely unmarked and rarely ever the same profile, also limited the speed of travel to little more than short darting sprints in some areas. 
I was still forced onto some toll roads but at least they were through a twisty section of mountains that would have been a blast to ride if it weren't socked in with fog. It still made for a smooth section to catch my breath a bit from the rough sections of broken road.
Late in the day, and back on secondary roads, I hit a topes at a mild clip. It was enough of a jarring hit to dislodge the left side of the windshield from the mounts and leave it hanging by one set of brackets, to include the GPS that was mounted to it! Thankfully as I reigned in the bike and pulled off the road I ended up right in front of a roadside taco stand. It made stopping to fix it a pleasurable experience as I also had six tacos and a Mexican coke for just 65 pesos ($3.50 US).


By the time I finished it dark and I knew I needed to get off the road fast for safety. I looked through the GPS lodging choices and decided on a city express since the rates were good at the one I stayed in the night I crossed the border. With just a little finagling I was able to make my way there to find the rooms were almost 1000 pesos a night. I searched the area and the best hotel price I could find was 650 a night.
I tried to use the GPS to find a hostel but where it took me didn't seem to be anything. I gave up and went to a nearby McDonalds to snag some Wi-Fi and look for a place.
I ended up finding the Oyster Hostel for about 200 pesos, or roughly $10 US, for the night. I plugged it into google maps and took off. Google maps kept saying it was on the right so I kept driving loops looking for it and ended up roving the same block five times due to the one-way layout before finding it two blocks up and on the left from where my phone kept saying it was.
The place wasn't well marked and initially no one would answer the door. I would have just gone somewhere else but I had already paid for the room on-line. Thankfully someone came to the door and let me in. They weren't staff but left the door open for me to bring my gear in from the bike. I piled it in the common area before going out and parking the bike on the sidewalk in front of the hostel, covering it, and arming the alarmed disk-lock.
It took some time for a member of the staff to arrive, but he was very nice and got me checked in just fine. It turns out the price I paid on-line was more than the standard rate but only by 25 pesos and the equivalent extra taxes. Overall it was still cheaper than anywhere I had paid to stay since starting the trip.
The room was three sets of bunk beds in a room with some small lockers, a bathroom, and a shower. I was alone when I got in but shortly several Spanish speaking women and a young Danish man I had met downstairs all came back in for the night.
I showered and climbed into bed to write journals and get some digital work caught up before slipping away to sleep in my first night ever in a hostel.

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