Monster Climb

Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
Trip End May 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Camped at Restaurant Playita San Rafael

Flag of Mexico  , Jalisco,
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

San Luis Soyatlan to 4 km before Manzanilla de la Paz, 30 km /19 miles, 551 m alt gain,

We were sent off from Los Crotos after a 5 course breakfast. Arturo waved us goodbye in his robe and slippers. It was a beautiful day, cool but sunny. The ups and downs in the road along the lake warmed up our legs for what was to come. After 12km, at Tuxcueca, where the road turned inland and up, we took a fruit and juice break. A nice treat.

The newly completed highway #405 had wide shoulder. Traffic up the big hill was light. We slowly made our way up and up and up for 10 mi/15 km. We took frequent rests and pushed our bikes a fair amount of time. But there never was any urge for Michelle to go "horizontal" on the asphalt. We enjoyed the hazy views of Lake Chapala until we reached one of 4 false summits after 13 km of steady steep climbing. The mountain sides were covered with cattle, corn and wild flowers and an occasional field of agave or onions. Alas, after a good 3 hours, we finally enjoyed an all too brief downhill followed by another stiff climb. Our legs were feeling it by now. Another exhilarating down hill stretch gave them some relief.
Just then, Michelle noticed her flat front tire. If there is such a thing, this was perfect timing. Right in front of the first restaurant we had seen since our climb started. Restaurant Playita San Rafael is on a large ranch, with a play yard for kids, cattle, chickens, ducks and rabbits running around. It was 3:30 pm and we were the only customers. It felt great to rest our tired butts and feed our hungry bellies.We were about 4km from the small town of Manzanilla de la Paz. But looking ahead to yet another climb didn't get my enthusiasm up. So we asked the owners if we could pitch our tent on their property. No problemo!
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