Sunday, March 23, 2014

To Salina Cruz by Bus

I took the bus to Salina Cruz because the road from Oaxaca to here is a twisting winding mountainous narrow two lane road that is just too dangerous to ride a bike on. The bus took just over 6 hours and it lived up to the warning from the bus company that you should not take this bus if you get motion sickness. The first part of the way was on a road with a shoulder that you could ride a bike on. It lasted 30 kilometers going through a flat valley with lots of agave farms. Then we passed a military checkpoint and the road became a narrow two laner. It also started the long winding climb over the first of many mountains. The twists and turns started. They did not stop for five long grueling hours. Up and down right and left. Hairpin curves that the bus took so fast that everything was sliding right and left including our bodies. The ride absolutely killed me physically. It was a gorgeous ride to see all the mountains and valleys roll by but I was starting to feel like a milkshake. The scenery was very arid with dull browns being the main color. I tried to take pics but from the moving bus it was not easy to capture the images I wanted to get.

When I arrived at Salina Cruz a city of 250,000 or so, I went straight to the first hotel I found and checked in to lay down with a belly full of anti-inflammatory pills to try to quell the pain I had from the bus ride. I expected to be recovered by this morning but I am not. I could not sleep from the pain and cramps. It was hot and I was sweating and feeling sorry for myself. Not a good night. I had planned on going to the beaches near here and hanging out for a couple three days but that will not happen now. I will jump on my bike in the morning even if I need assistance to do so. Riding my bike is the best therapy I have found to yank me out of the abyss I fall into when my pain skyrockets and my mind plummets into the abyss. I could rest for days and still be crippled but one day of hard riding and I seem to recover enough to keep functioning. So I will ride tomorrow no matter how bad I feel.

From my hotel I watched a parade go by last night. It was mostly young kids dressed up in colorful costumes riding on flatbed trucks and throwing candy to the kids on the street. It made me laugh especially the kid that was running alongside the parade with a bag full of candy trying to collect as much candy as he could every time they threw some. There was also a show in the town square a block from my hotel that was kids doing local folk dancing and singing songs etc. This morning as I hobbled to the coffee shop I saw a huge market that I would love to walk around if I could walk. I have seen no other tourists here and the people are very indigenous looking for the most part. On my short one block walk today, everyone said buenos dias to me and smiled at me. Very happy friendly people in general is all I have seen so far. The political graffiti on the other hand is pretty intense and violent. There were lots of ones about taxis and mototaxis, lots of election promises regarding reform and ending corruption, a few about lack of water and a lack of democracy, and some against education being privatized. I wish I could stay here for a while and get to know this place better, I think I would like it here.

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