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    Day 1.119 – A Devil, Free Cokes, and Intestines

    Tampico -> Aldama
    Distance (km) : 118
    Time on bike : 5h 01m
    Brutto time: 09.30 – 16.00
    Avg : 23.5 km/h
    Max.speed: 70.9
    Total (km) : 46.155
    Altitude: 50 m
    Difficulty: 3 of 5

    Hmm, another flat day at the office...

    iPod is fully loaded, I’m the same when I leave Tampico this morning. Traffic is heavy the first 20 km (Tampico, together with Ciudad Madero and Altamira, has more than 1 million inhabitants), but the road is good and I have a nice tailwind from the start, so mood is good (and how come that doesn’t rhyme?).

    I start the day by giving myself a thorough peptalk. Speak out loud to myself to get just a little extra energy down in them legs. I have (again) a long asphalt serpent ahead of me, 500 km, to Matamoros and the U.S. border at Brownsville. I expect flat, relatively fast, super-hot and not very exciting cycling. Therefore the peptalk.

    The Junction:
    While I am waiting for green lights (for such am I) at a traffic light a car filled with chicas Mexicanas passes me, girls smiling and whistling and shouting papi! (Little Daddy! (which I liked)) after me. I am just looking for way out of Tampico and ask a man dressed as the devil, that (hopefully) earn his living swallowing fire in front of motorists who wait for the green lights. Poverty, but fortunately also creativity, has many faces.

    Cowboy hats on sale in Aldama, Mexico.

    Shortly after I ask a taxi driver who waits for the green lights, about the way out of town. He gives his advice and we part. A few minutes later the man has stopped his car with the window down and tells me through the traffic noise that I have to keep going straight for 8 traffic lights, then turn left. 8 traffic lights! This cute little man has been counting traffic lights in the Tampico suburbs just to be able to give me the right advice. They are so friendly, los norteños, here in north-eastern Mexico. 8 traffic lights down the road it is, I turn left, and am soon in the middle of the Mexican country side.

    Tune of the Day: My Party – Kings of Leon

    Out in front a Oxxo convenience store, I sit in the shade and eat raw wheat tortillas and tomatoes. The assistant comes out and asks me if I want my tortillas heated in the microwave oven inside. Nice people, those Mexicans, but no thanks, I prefer my tortillas au natural.

    Weird looking church in Aldama, northeastern Mexico.

    The Coke Break:
    I have just parked the bike next to a curb at a small kiosk to get a cold coke. Am exhausted in my head because of the midday heat and need a rest. A man gets out of his car close by and I sense that he’s up for a chat. Oh no, I think, and the man comes over and asks all the usual questions. I take a coke from the refrigerator, and yes, I have biked for the last 3 years and Mexico is my country number 37, and he says he’ll pay for the coke, and I say thank you, and the man has heard about me on television and I think “it wasn’t me” but just say “okay” because I do not want to talk, but the cold coke makes me glad, and he now tells the whole family that I’ve cycled around the world for 3 years and “uhh”and “ahh”, and then they get in their car again and I thank them and I take a business card from my wallet and give them as a “thank you” and the car leaves, just as I will soon be leaving.

    I’m still thirsty and the lady in the shop lets me fill my bottles with her “private” water from a large bottle, although she also sells water and I say thanks, and am still thirsty so I take a new coke from the refrigerator and this time it is the kiosk mama who is my happy saviour and I say thank you again for that is all I have to give her, and I sit back on the little plastic stool with my new coke and I think that I just wanna be sitting here in the shade drinking free cokes all day…

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

    I hit 100 km today, after 4 hours and 90 seconds, 24.8 km/h on average. Is there a lot of caffeine in Coca-Cola Light and Coca-Cola Zero?

    Number of the Day: 21. The total number of hotel soaps, I have gathered over the last months, in my heavy toilet bag.

    Aldama main square.

    I reach the village Aldama early afternoon and find Hotel Aldama (180 pesos). Walk around town and is being stared at like an animal from zoo in the quiet siesta streets. When I think that I’ve been stared at enough for today, I find a small eatery where the kitchen mama has a soup-like thing simmering in the pot. She affirms that it’s carne de res, beef, so yes please, ma’am. It soon appears to be a big mistake. In front of me is a bowl with guts and intestines (in a tomato sauce, which had hidden the “meat” just minutes before), served with tortillas and rice and a pile of raw onion!

    The intestines soup...

    Not exactly what my hungry stomach needs. Like a cat licking all the gravy from the cat food in the bowl, I go for all the sauce and leave the scary looking stuff aside. The intestines and the cow-stomach stare incomprehensible at me from the bowl. Feeling neglected, I suppose. The Corona Beer wash it all down. Bad choice this evening, Zülle. Bad choice.

    Eatery, closed.

    On this day..

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    One Response to “Day 1.119 – A Devil, Free Cokes, and Intestines”

    1. Brian Perich Says:

      Good one Nicholi…^_^ Love the part about the cow innards staring at YOU! hahaa!

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