Mazamitla to Yurécuaro | 75mi (120km) | 2 days of riding
Day 26 – March 4, 2016 – Mazamitla to Sahuayo de Morelos
We woke early and Erin was feeling ok! We prepped a delicious breakfast of chilaquiles and a banana peanut smoothie. We pushed our bikes up the steep hill getting out of El Granero and departed from the lovely streets of Mazamitla, beginning our rolling descent to Sahuayo de Morelos and into the state of Michoacán. Shortly after leaving Mazamitla, we crossed into the state of beautiful Michoacán. We were greeted by hand waves, smiles and fist pumps throughout the day – so encouraging! Our first impression of Michoacán? Friendly people, beautiful landscape of rolling farmlands and exquisite architecture. The ride was gorgeous but Erin's fever seemed to return mid-day, once again. We rode hard all day to be rewarded by an enormous descent into Jiquilpan. Just before our drop, we stopped to pick up some produce and made tostadas at a tienda where the very kind owners gave us limes and washed our dishes for us. Erin had a hard moment with all the stress, sickness and intensity of it all. We will make it cariño, let's go! I love you!
We had a wonderful descent into Sahuayo and found the plaza central without a problem – just a lot of traffic! It is Friday and everybody is out. The Plaza is full of life here and this seems like the biggest city we've traveled through since Colima. Hotel Plaza de Sahuayo, a great hotel in the middle of it all, would be our home for the next two nights. The owner, Armando, loved what we are doing and allowed us to stay free of charge. Again, the hospitality and generosity is astounding. We stashed our bikes near the front desk and hauled our gear up to our room. We both were hungry, so we wandered around and found an incredible little restaurant a block off the Plaza, where the owner and his father fed us tacos de papas and showed us 100+ year old photos of Sahuayo hung throughout the restaurant. It was such a great way to end the day. Tomorrow we will begin the process of trying to find Erin a doctor to get to the bottom of what has been causing her mid-day fevers, chills, headaches and more.
Day 27 – March 5, 2016 – Sahuayo de Morelos
Today we took the day off to get Erin tested and find out what's going on with her, once and for all! After picking up some fresh fruit from the market for breakfast, we taxi'd to the laboratorio and she received tests for dengue, H1N1 and the common flu. Nothing came up. The friendly chemist spoke with us about our travels. After mentioning our route through rural farmlands at the beginning of our adventure, he asked if we were eating the local cheese. Uh oh. He told us about a bacterial infection – brucellosis – that is contracted from eating unpasteurized dairy from infected cows. He also mentioned that mid-day fever and chills could very well be linked to this, so we had him test her for it. Sure enough, Erin tested positive for brucellosis as well as a mild case of typhoid fever. We were so happy to have some answers and finally, treatment. We took the test results to a doctor who wrote a prescription for antibiotics. Spirits are high despite the circumstances! For most of the day, Erin rested. At dusk, we went to the top floor of Hotel Plaza de Sahuayo where we had a splendid view of the city.
Sahuayo, we learned, has been a major hub for the arts (poetry in particular) since the early 1900's. It is situated on a major trade route, and on the Southeastern corner of Lake Chapala, the largest body of water in Mexico and the third largest in Latin America. It is also where many of Mexico's huarache leather sandals are made! Erin picked up a cute pair for the road – a lightweight and worthwhile buy.
Day 28 – March 6, 2016 – Sahuayo to Yurécuaro
We had a good, strong start out of Sahuayo this morning. A quiet, side road led us out of town. The overall terrain was flat for almost the entire ride and we covered good ground – 40+ miles. It was a beautiful day of riding with no wind, mild temperatures and feeling great. As usual, people showed tremendous generosity to us on the road. For lunch at a tienda, where we bought avocados, the owner gave us tortillas, jalapeños and cheese to add to our lunch. What a treat! Sadly, Erin can't eat dairy for the next couple weeks.
Throughout the day we stopped and passed through several neat little towns and agave farms. We cycled through a town called Cumuatillo, where we found an abandoned farm with cone-shaped grain silos.
It was a pretty much ideal cycling day. Not too hot, lovely tail wind, mellow terrain, and some really interesting little towns along the way. The scenery was gorgeous and it felt great to have a strong cycling day after Erin has been sick these last few weeks.
We cycled past La Barca, which our Airbnb host from Colima, Karl, told us was extremely dangerous due to drug cartel violence and to avoid at all costs. We did not encounter any problems, but there was a strong military and police presence in the area. Moving right along...
We arrived in Yurécuaro in the afternoon. After hanging out on the Plaza for a few, we met Angelica, whose cousin Ricardo reached out to us. Erin and Ricardo studied photography together at CalArts. Angelica lives right on the Plaza and gave us her entire studio apartment to stay in for the next few days. Incredible generosity! We showered and enjoyed relaxing after a long day and in the evening met several of her friends and neighbors who were very interested in our travel plans and offered a lot of great tips on places to check out.
Day 29-31 – March 7-9, 2016 – Yurécuaro
We took a few days off in Yurécuaro to catch up on our blog, edit photos, and to wait for Erin's antibiotics to kick in so we can get a strong start out of here as we head to Pátzcuaro. There's an international dance and art festival going on here in Yurécuaro, and Angelica's apartment has a bird's eye view! We spent our afternoons off enjoying mariscos, wandering around town, enjoying the market, and visiting a local mechanic/bike shop. Within minutes, a local mechanic fabricated a lightweight rack which Mehedi jubilee clipped to his front rack for more strength and carrying capacity.
We intended to leave a day sooner, but rain prevented us from doing so. On our last day, Angelica took us to her uncle's pomegranate orchard. We rode there with our bikes not loaded up for once and it was so nice to enjoy simple riding through town – no heavy cargo, just us and our bikes. It was a beautiful ride through a beautiful orchard on a beautiful day, and a perfect end to our stay here. We are looking forward to getting on the road and Erin is feeling a lot better now that she's several days into antibiotics.
Until next time!