Crossing Guadalajara by bike was a high-energy activity. One has to be aware of everything around and ride a bit more aggressive to assert oneself in the lane so as to not be squeezed into impossibly small corners. After 2 hours of this I needed to seek refuge in the “sanctuary” of an A/C and quiet hotel lobby. This is not for the timid rider… The biggest city, Mexico City, I won’t try to cross by bike. Instead I plan to ride into and out of it by bus; I think this will be a safer proposition.
After Guadalajara I reached the first big lake, Lago de Chapala. I stayed at the town of Ocotlan, where I was able to camp right on the lake shore. The folks in a hotel / restaurant took me in for free one night and even invited me for dinner, very generous of them (I donated in their name to my cause).
Then I continued on the cuota for another 125km or nearly 7h until the sun set. It’s not always easy to fidn a good spot, as sometimes there isn’t an exit for some 40km or so. Yesterday I got to a toll booth and exit, so I rolled into the little town of Panindicuaro. There I found Internet access, some food and a small, quiet and clean hotel room.
Today I continued on the cuota for another 75km or so – this was one of the toughest head-wind stretches of my entire trip. Also ongoing big hills – I reached 1900m altitude for the first time. The first 40km took 3 hours! That’s tough on your mind. One nice aspect was that I crossed the 10.000km mark here. Ten million meters under pedal power from Alaska to Mexico. Beautiful scenery, though, with clear air at higher elevations and cultivated farmland.
Then I got to the second big lake (Lago Cuitzeo) which was scenic to look at. From there it was another 20 hilly km to Morelia. This town is very attractive, with a large historic center, cathedral, museums, cafes, and just lots of people everywhere. A very immersive, Mexican experience.
Only 250km to go to Mexico City, where I will catch a plane next Tuesday back home for 1 week vacation in FL…