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    Day 1.116 – Le petit voyeur!

    Papantla -> Cerro Azul
    Distance (km) : 115
    Time on bike : 5h 45m
    Brutto time: 10.45 – 18.20
    Avg : 20.0 km/h
    Max.speed: 65.0
    Total (km) : 45.896
    Altitude: 100 m
    Difficulty: 3½ of 5

    On the local bus to the (closed due to flu scare) El Tajin ruins - note the surgical mask...

    Just to finish yesterday’s Marco Antonio mystery, I can tell you that at bedtime I noticed some pubic-looking hair in my bed. It is seen many times before, and it is one of the things I never want to learn to get used to. Moreover, there was a floater swimming in the toilet, so all in all I do not know whether I actually made a good deal by saving 30 pesos and then pretend to be this Marco Antonio dude. 🙂

    Another river crossing...

    I wake up early and catch a local bus just before 09AM to the El Tajin ruin complex (6 km to the west), which is the great, historical crowd-puller in this part of Veracruz state, and which I have looked forward to. After 30 minutes the bus drops me off at the entrance. And it was about as close I came to the pyramids, for the site turns out to be closed today. Until May 6th, a guard tells me. I can not believe it. Why?, I ask and should have known the answer. The swine flu has caught up with me and what a bummer. Back in the saddle without my ruin fix.

    At the El Tajin ruins...

    In the outskirts of Poza Rica, a truck passes me for a second time. Men sit in the back, shouting greetings to me. In the passenger front seat sits a man with a broad smile from ear to ear and hands out a porn magazine to me. All the colored pages flutter in the wind, and I laugh back to the guy and sort of thanks him for the fine gag. Jesus, I think to myelf, is it really so obvious how needy the Silver Munk is?

    Having a Coke break in the Oxxo convenience store...

    The day is like a long jump from one Oxxo shop to the next. The concept is similar to the familiar 7Eleven. I love everything at those stores, from the driveway suited for disabled people (perfect for my Koga baby), the air conditioning, the prices, the cleanliness, the product availability, the cappuchinos, the little table/chair arrangement inside the store, that is perfect for cooling down with a little coke/coffee taking diary notes, the ice cubes the open freezer (for cooling the water in my bottle). There are so few of them along the road which make them desirable and just enough of them to find them reliable when you most need them. Love it!

    Tropical cycling in central East Mexico.

    It is a pretty hot day. Even at 5PM the thermometer shows temperatures that lie entirely outside the Danish summer temperature range. There are endless fields of orange trees. I am tempted to go fruit munching but remain focused in the saddle.

    Taking a leak...

    The village of Cerro Azul is today’s terminus. Hotel Los Pinos (pine trees) is night’s pitstop. I am being treated like a rock star here in the village (too), that probably hasn’t seen a white tourist for months. As soon as I go out into the street from my hotel after a shower, I hear whistling from across the street where a girl sits on the curb/kerb, giggling.

    Cerro Azul is a nice Mexican acquaintance. Am very surprised at the ease with which life seems to go by in these villages, devoid of foreign tourism, surprised at the calmness that seem to prevail in the towns (this is obviously a rather superficial view, I know).

    Monument

    The only bump in the skating rink is the universally annoying group of younger men (18-35?) that drive around in too fancy cars with windows down, music up. They always have something stupid they feel they just have to yell. As with most universal annoyances (I am not necessarily talking about swine flus and the like) total disregard is the best remedy.

    You can buy this day here – and become a part of the WT Hall of Fame 🙂

    Taco-party (2×5 pieces) in a small food stall at the market, where I’m seated in a cramped cage-like booth with a fine view of the street life behind the chicken wire grid. For once, I enjoy being the observer and not being observed. Le petit voyeur!

    Supertienda in Cerro Azul, Mexico.

    On this day..

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