Climbing on the road to San Cristobal de las Casas

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We are exhausted, just put the Dragonfly away after cooking up much needed food. The last two days have been tough, but we made it to the lovely mountain village of Jitotol. We have been climbing and the hills are relentless, from lunch yesterday to lunch today we gained 1600mtrs, a 50 kilometer ascent without a let up. We also learned not to take short cuts, the back roads here are almost impossible to cycle, and simply take you up one side of a hill and demoralisingly down the other side, aching legs realising that you have to do that….over and over again. Still, we have reached the Chiapas region, that mountaineous part of Mexico that borders Guatemala, the scenery is stunning, and everchanging. It reminds me of New Zealand crossed with Nepal. The people are poor here, the villages are very different to what we have seen; this is the heart of indigenous Mexico. You may remember the Zapatista revolution that happened in the mid 90’s, seeking independence for Chiapa.

We have followed the Teapa river from the lowlands and today climbed out of the valley from which it originates, reaching a height of 1800mtrs. We were not sure how much more we could do, you count every meter when you have a bikes loaded down with panniers, but the afternoon was great, dropping into another valley, the smell of pine needles filled the air and gave a real sense of alpine lands. The road undulated through villages that felt different, and it seemed that everyone turned their heads to watch the two strange bike tourists cycling by.

We passed the 1000km mark today, and feel a real sense of achievement, certainly confident that we can get to Patagonia now. We should get to San Cristobal in two days and have heard so many good things about that place.We hope to stay for several days and enjoy it and the surrounding area.

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