No room at the Inn

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

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Where I stayed
Stealth Camped at Km Post 177

Flag of Mexico  , Puebla,
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Acatlan at 1222 m to Km Post 177m at 1489 m--30.33 km

Trip alt climbed 558 m
Max alt 1500m
Avg climb 3%,

max climb 9%

The Virgin of Guadelupe causes quite a stir here in Mexico during this time. Starting Dec 1st, through the 12th, she is celebrated in most towns by ringing of church bells and exploding fire crackers, bands playing and choirs singing, preferably simultaneously, till all hours of the night and into the wee hours of the morning. You cannot escape the racket.

We were on the road at 8:30 am after picking up some tortas, fruit and juice for the road. The climb started about 1 km out of town. We both felt great and are getting stronger. Michelle is counting her progress with how many meters she can climb in altitude before stopping and resting for a minute or pushing the bike for a bit. She's up to 90 m at 3% incline. Any bigger incline and it becomes a whole different story!! ;) In any case, we are progressing. The road surface was in good shape, but no shoulder and lite to medium traffic. Several different kinds of cacti are appearing on the mountainsides, the prickly pear among them.

From our ride elevation profile, we could tell when we reach the last summit and it would be all down hill into Petlalcingo, a km off the main highway 190. We had done 25 km by noon. This is pretty good for us!

We spotted the towers of two churches from the distance, then made the turn into town. The 1st church we passed was undergoing repairs and already had fresh paint. We could not help snap a bunch of pictures of the domed yellow and cinnabar building against the clear blue sky. We reached the main plaza before asking Diego and wife about a posada or hotel in town. There are no hotels with signs, but several people have rooms to rent. Diego directed Dave to Antonio's small shop and then followed in his truck. Antonio did not have room for us. Then Diego gave Dave a ride to another landlord on the other side of the square. He wasn't willing to rent to us either. And he said the guy who rents to all the cyclist (at the billiard hall) was out of town for a few days. Sure enough, the billiard hall had a padlock on the front door. Diego suggested two other prospective people that were not home at the moment but should return later in the afternoon.

We lingered near the main square. A lone cyclist, who has lived 25 years in New York, arrived in spandex on a training ride from Acatlan. He came to visit his home town and ride with 50 other riders on a 4 day pilgrimage to honor the Virgin de Guadalupe. He reminisced about when he was a small boy, he would sit in the town square selling pottery with his grandmother. He snapped a photo of the town square and rode off....

At 3PM, the people who might rent us a room, had not returned, so we picked up a rotisserie chicken (now becoming one of our favorite dishes), some vegetables, and water and rode south out of Petlalcingo. We were not in quite the same situation as Joseph and Mary, but we were disappointed that we could not find any rooms at the inns.

We found a small dirt road that led to a low bluff and pitched our tent in a secluded spot in among the prickly bushed and shrubs. A perfect spot where we would not be noticed or disturbed.
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