On Monday February 2nd after nearly two months off the bike, I ventured out into the world once more. I never intended to stay in Mexico’s capital city D.F. so long (short for Distrito Federal and similar to the US capital Washington D.C. It acts like a state; although, it is not). One week in a hostel turned into two. Staying the third week week meant the fourth week was free, an offer to good to refuse even for a wandering nomad. The fifth and sixth week? Pictures must suffice for now. They speak volumes as it is…

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The universe providing is an overriding theme of my journey and always when I need it most. A long goodbye led to a late departure. Hoping for an easy transition back to vagabond, and using the excuse of still being within city limits, I searched for a hotel. Searching high and low along the steep hillsides of Milpa Alta revealed nada. Questioning the police verified my findings. The nearest hotel he said, was ten miles back down the mountain.

I messaged Stephi, “No hotels here. Thinking of riding back to Xochimilco.”

“No!” She responded. “Be an adventurer!” Easy for her to say.

I stood pondering my plight in the main square of the pueblo when the universe did its thing. Two women approached and began asking questions of my trip. I asked where I could sleep. Is there a hotel? No. A fire station? No. Police or municipal building? Maybe, but wait.

I followed Candy and her mother to a booth where I was introduced to a short, stalky woman selling baby Jesus for the holiday Rosca de Reyes. Lula (I could not pronounce her real name) hosts people from around the world for an international festival held every summer. She was more than happy to host this dirty traveler. She scooped baby jesus swaddled in blankets into her arms. I followed to her house where I was fed and invited to sleep in the most comfortable bed ever. In the morning, I’m forced to suck the flesh from the toes of a chicken’s foot. Chewing the grisly pads off the bottom of its foot may have been worse.

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Lula and Alejandro’s son, Emanuel, plays the harp and Ukulele.

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After my nurishing meal of chickens foot soup, Alejendro rode with me to the outskirts of the city. “Thank you for everything my friend.” We snapped a photo and climbed the remainder of the mountain. The descent was worth EVERY agonizing minute of frustrating headwinds.

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A snow-capped volcano.

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For my second night outside of the city, is settled into a hotel. I wasn’t ready to leave my life of comfort quite yet.

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My third night out, after crossing into yet another state, I finally camped. My tent feels so much like home. I really did miss it.

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I didn’t sleep very well though. Camped in a mountain pass on an old road bed just bellow the new road, the sound of braking trucks and the vibrations they produced constantly woke me. That, and the fear of discovery with my proximity to the road. Luckily, with each subsequent camp I slept more and more soundly.

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The picture does not show it well, but I touched a plant that irritated my skin. I would be constantly scratching for nearly a week.

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In this small pueblo I stopped for food. Beautiful and welcoming, I was greeted with smiles by everyone. It’s amazing the different feel of each city. Some I pass through receiving only nervous glances. Others angry stares. Emotions must be contagious.

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The state of Oaxaca. Only one more to go!

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Pueblos in Oaxaca are filled with these tiny three-wheeled cabs.

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And, of course, giant churches.

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Getting closer!

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I love finding money.

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Welcome to Oaxaca! It’s Sunday February 8th and I await the arrival of Stephi! Before I left D.F. (pronounced day-effay) Stephi and I joked about her meeting me here. As days pedaled by, talk of our reunion became more serious until it finally became reality.

The rest of the story must wait. It is time for me to leave once more. In the next week, I’ll enter my last Mexican State before crossing another international border into the mountainous country of Guatamala. See you in San Christobol de las Casas!

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