A big trout at the end of the rainbow

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

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Flag of Mexico  , Michoacán,
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ciudad Hidalgo at 2086m via Irimbo to Aporo at 2316m

22.39 km/ trip alt 331 m /avg climb 3%/ max climb 11% /max alt 2331m

We got good news in Ciudad Hidago. The monarch butterflies have arrived and the sanctuaries are open, two weeks earlier than projected in Morelia. This excited us because the sanctuaries are nearby and this fits our schedule perfectly.

Starting late this morning, Michelle Skyped with Yolan and Dave fixed another flat before we headed for a great breakfast down the street at a restaurant/bar. There, we found out that huge portions are the norm. We watched in amazement as a young Mexican couple a few tables from us sat behind a table full of food with shocked looks on their faces. Apparently, they made a mistake and ordered "a little side dish" to go along with breakfast. The plates that arrived were surprisingly big. Initially, they looked a bit embarrassed but soon we all had a good laugh. Dave couldn't resist taking a picture.

We planned on a short day and at 12:30 pm we were rolling through town. Still in town, we had to push our bikes up a steep neighborhood hill. The hump was so steep, it was almost impossible to even push the bikes up, much less ride them. After reaching the ring road, we turned onto highway 34. That road is in bad shape and continued to be quite steep up into, and though, Irimbo. Here we stopped for fruit gazpacho; a finely chopped fruit mixture of papaya, melon, pineapple, apple, jicama. Michelle always likes orange juice over it but many people here like to add chilli powder, onions, ketchup or salt. They think we're a little weird for not adding anything else.

In any case, we were climbing steeply but only 9 km out of Cd Hidalgo. We were told there are hotels in Aporo (another 8km away) by several people and made that our destination.

Just out of Irimbo, the road splits and we took the flatter fork to the east where the surface improved. It is still narrow with no shoulder. But, at least, not so many potholes. And traffic this way was relatively light. The road winds through rolling hills and farmland, always with the mountains within eyesight.

At the entrance of Aporo, we were greeted by a huge eyesore of a sign advertising the 'Hotel' in town AND mentions 'English Spoken!' We climbed the steep main street to the zocolo and parked our bikes. Dave was told that there are two hotels in town. And the other hotel is down that street, as she pointed across the zocolo. (We always like to compare). Dave went in search of the 'no name' hotel and struck out. No one else in town was aware that there is a 2nd hotel in town. Oh well... We then followed the signs to the advertised hotel. We arrived to find the gate locked. Bummer. A guy passing by in a truck confirmed that the place is closed weekdays during low season and is open only on weekends. But he knew someone who rents rooms. We followed him around the corner where he stopped at nice looking house and asked if they would rent a room to us. No, not tonight. A lady selling tamales on the next corner came over and walked us to a guy who's family rents cabanas (cabins), located just outside of town. The cabins usually rent for 700 pesos but they took Dave's offer of 250 pesos. ($22.50) Fine. They said it was 5 minutes away (it wasn't). We followed on our bikes as the van drove ahead to show the way.

About 20 minutes later, we were well out of town riding on a dirt road and, at last, reached a fish farm with a cluster of a dozen nice houses. This was Rancho Arcoiris (Rainbow Ranch). Our "cabana' was a decent size two bedroom brick house with a fireplace. We asked about a restaurant and they said they have fish. We cleaned up and went to the cantina shortly after 6. We saw them netting tonight's dinner. The fish were big but Michelle's eyes were bigger! This was going to be great. The kitchen staff was busily preparing plates for 10 people. There was a table of other customers anxious be fed too. When the humongous fish arrived, Michelle annihilated the well prepared monster, picking every bone clean. Dave even managed to enjoy his.

We returned to our cabin to a blazing fire in the fireplace. How romantic!
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chick on

great to travel with you guys, glad to read all the things you've come across.
But all them flatsLOL

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