Today I ate a big breakfast of eggs, beans, tortillas and coffee before leaving my hotel to hit the road. I decided to take the toll road despite the bike sign that says no bikes. Entering the toll road there was a police car sitting there so I asked him if this was the right road for me to take and he said yes so I took that as permission.
The ride started out with a big steep grade that got me sweating right off the bat. I rode on and after some rolling hills another big grade came along that had me wondering what I was getting into. i could see the big mountains in the distance in the direction I was heading. I was starting at 7000 feet so I had to be careful about my health at this high altitude. I stopped to cool down and catch my breath whenever I was feeling the need. I kept riding over rolling hills and then hit a really big grade. I sweated up it in the 90 degree heat wondering if I had enough water to make this ride today. It took me about an hour on this climb and my knee that I hurt during my seizure in Puebla three days earlier was starting to bother me a bit. I was wondering if maybe I bit off more than I could chew today.
About 40 or 45 miles into the ride I came to another toll plaza, number 77, and was resting there next to my bike when a Mexican man with his two daughters came over and started to talk with me. He told me the road ahead got harder and that he would give me a ride if I put my bike in his pick up truck. It did not take me long to say yes with my doubts I already had about the ride today. I loaded my stuff in and we took off. Glad I did as we immediately climbed a couple thousand feet up on a long steep grade of two lane highway that was under construction. It would have taken me the rest of the day to make it to the top of just this one grade. Then the grades just kept coming one after the other. This would have been a very difficult ride in this heat with limited water available for me. We stopped a couple times for his daughters to get drinks and stuff and once for him to have a short business meeting in a small town.
My generous driver refused gas money and dropped me off about 15 miles from my friend's house in Oaxaca. I had the gps for her house but it was still tough to find her place mostly because the streets were rarely marked with names.
I eventually found her place by stopping and asking for directions from lots of people on the street. I asked a lot of people because I had to use a consensus approach because the people will give you directions even if they have no clue where something is. In the end I found her place and that is where I am not. I will rest up here a few days so that my knee can rest a bit more since it told me I was too early to ride on it today. a few pics of the mountains and one of my driver...