Leaving Guadalajara and heading to Guanajuato has brought us into an area called The Bajio with rolling hills and fertile valleys. Much of the countryside is cultivated or for grazing cattle.
We are on the highway again. Even though it is convenient (wide shoulder, gentle grades), as well as traversing through beautiful countryside, there is something sterile about it, like something is missing. By taking the highway we bypass all the small villages and even the larger towns are a mile or more off the highway. So once we’re on the highway, we’re there for the day.
Cornstalks cut by hand and beautiful stone walls:
Part of the fun of bike touring is dreaming about what’s ahead. Most of the time, I’m wondering about snacks and tasty things we’ll find. But on the highway there are no villages, therefore there is no food, just mile after mile of road and a never ending river of passing traffic. No bakeries, no roadside coconut or date stands, no cold juice drinks, no Coca-Cola made with real sugar, NO TACOS! I can’t be on a road with no tacos.
So we exited the highway to take a secondary road to Guanajuato. Within 10 miles we were rolling into our first town since leaving Guadalajara yesterday morning. I’m giddy with excitement. The towns are more colonial now, with the associated architecture and town squares or plazas bustling with activity. We head toward the tall spires of a church we see reaching above the rest of the buildings as they usually serve as the focal point for the town square. Once there we find all variety of vendors from food and drink, to clothes, and tack for horses. We decide on ice cream from an old man with a pushcart. As we enjoy our icy treat (it’s hot today) some people approach us to ask about our trip and the bikes and it’s a great opportunity to practice our Spanish. We also miss this on the highway, the chance encounters and seeing everyday life in Mexico.
We have to watch behind us a bit more now that we don’t have a shoulder and are sharing the lane with traffic. I’m sure this will get old and we’ll jump on the highway again for a break, but our stomachs and curiosity will eventually lure us back to the old country roads.
Any arachnid enthusiasts want to identify these spiders for us? The tall grasses and trees are crawling with them. Then we’ll know the likelihood they’ll try to kill us in our sleep.