Again the pace has been slow as I struggle to leave Mexico behind. Time seems to pass very quickly whenever I stop somewhere and I have a consistent, albeit mild, sense of guilt when I have more than one or two rest days. This guilt doesn’t seem to make much difference to my behaviour as I consistently indulge in an extra few days in various locations.
I’ve nearly hit the 2 week mark in San Cristobal de las Casas; an exceptionally beautiful colonial city. I would have stayed only a few days but unfortunately I’ve had an extended period of food poisoning. The hotel profited well since I’ve stayed an extra 10 days as a result! My first proper illness in my trip so far. It took me by surprise since I’ve been eating at some pretty dodgy places for the last 6 months without any problems. I seemed to have recovered ok in the last few days so I’m heading off tomorrow and should be in Guatemala within a few days. I had considered flying to Columbia and skipping the raining season in Central America, it’s been raining very hard all this week; think rivers running down the road. All day as well, not just 1 hour in the afternoons as everyone says about the tropics; I’m told it’s the back end of a hurricane. In my opinion, rain is the one the toughest hardships in cycle touring. Being permanently wet for weeks can be difficult to endure (I’ll be avoiding camping where possible). Dirt road options are often difficult or impossible to cycle, depending on the surface, so paved is often the preferred route but of course the traffic is much more dangerous when it’s wet. Anyway all these thoughts are going through my head as I consider what Central America might be like. If it’s too bad I’ll fly to Columbia; this is, afterall, supposed to be fun (sometimes).
UPDATE: I’ve continued along to Comitán. Climbing out of San Cristobal was pretty wet, grim and cold. After 20 km or so the road started descending steeply; I could barely see due to the water flying off my wheels. I tried wearing my sunglasses but they just steamed up. Fortunately as I got lower the air temperature heated up significantly and the rain stopped. Within about 30 minutes I was dry and the rest of the day was a fun ride. Comitán has a nice colonial feel and beautiful square, close to Cascadas el Chiflón (one of the highest and most powerful waterfalls in Mexico).
I have 4 days left on my visa but it’s only a day of riding to the border. I’m going to have to ride between the storms over the few days as I head up into the Guatemalan mountains (a lot of bad weather coming this way). I think they’re over 3000 metres so LOTS of climbing coming up!