For the past two week I’m gradually but surely making my way towards the central, the most heavily populated part of Mexico. Wide, open spaces of northern deserts are making their way to more and more frequent towns with some corn fields in between. More often than corn fields are industrial plants, endless warehouses, stores, mechanical and tire shops. All in all, lots of built up areas.
The roads are getting wider, having more and more lanes with more and more cars, buses and trucks of all shapes and sizes. The noise they are producing is intrusive, omnipresent and is hard to get away from it. There are some side roads but they might turn to be more of an adrenalin experience than I’m willing to get. As a rule of thumb they do not have a shoulder, which is something you can get on a multilane and can give you a false sense of security as you normally ride it alone. And without this small strip of tarmac by the side of the road you are more exposed. And when there is a truck behind you that is being overtaken by another truck (cross the full lane, but I really do not know why I’m paying attention to this here in Mexico) for a while you hope it will slow down. Soon you realize this is not going to happen so the safest thing to do is for you to go off of the road and let them pass by.
The alternative in the form of a multilane has a narrow strip of tarmac by the side. At least for most of the time. There I can in the relative safety put the earphones in my ear and I listen to music. This way I can at least for a while escape the noise. But there is something I cannot escape from.
Yesterday I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning. Cloudless sky. After breakfast I “prepare” Lou and head out of the city. Six lane highway is packed, but I can retreat on the shoulder and listen to music. Looking at the horizon I notice a strange brown haze lurking. A thin layer of smog is covering the city and the surroundings. This is the price of all the traffic and industry. And I’m in the middle of this traffic. Right next to the truck that rush past by me in a cloud of smoke. The smoke itself is dense and filling. At noon I actually am not hungry. I think this is not really healthy. Anyhow, I lit myself a cigarette and I realize that in all this smoke even a cigarette does not taste right.
Given the fact that I have just entered the central part of Mexico I expect that days like yesterday will become more common. Also this is a part of travelling by bicycle. As well as the days when you lose yourself on some backcountry road and in the evening end up somewhere isolated and enjoying a cup of coffee and a cigarette you watch the sunset.
With a Smile on my face, until next time!