My Cycling Tour in Oaxaca, Day 4

August 2 Wednesday, Puerto Ángel to Rio Grande

Day 4 map

Day 4 elevation profile
41 miles, 728 feet of climb, 279 ft max. elev. (200 ft/div)

I was up before the sun this morning and on the road shortly after sunrise at 7:00. There are several nasty hills on the road west from Zipolite. I was glad to be doing them in the relative cool of the early morning. After the turn onto highway 200 it's rolling terrain with the occasional drop to cross a stream and a short steep climb on the other side.

Thatched-roof 'palapa' with bike in front I stopped at a palapa out in the middle of nowhere for a few minutes to cool off. About 10:00 I stopped at a roadside store, the first one I had seen. I bought a one-liter Coke (8 pesos, which is less than a 12-oz can at home) and sat in the shade drinking it and cooling off. Riding the southern Mexico coast in August is really not such a brilliant idea, especially for a big person like me who has trouble getting rid of body heat. I stopped in shady spots two or three more times to lie down and cool off before stopping one more time at a store on the way into Pto. Escondido.

Road with ocean in the distance I had been hoping to push on to the town of Rio Grande, 50-60 km down the road, so as to shorten the long day with climb at the end tomorrow. But my stomach was having trouble handling the large quantities of liquid I was asking it to process. My cooling-off stops were getting closer and closer together. 30-40 miles of gently-rolling terrain may not sound like much but I was afraid I wouldn't make it.

So I flagged down a passing taxi. It cost me 350 pesos ($32). It would have been much cheaper by bus but I didn't want to hold up a busload of people while I dealt with the bike. After I removed the panniers, the taxista strapped the bike on the roof rack and off we went. He delivered me right to the door of the Hotel Rio in Rio Grande. I got a clean air-conditioned room with bath for 250 pesos (less than $23).

I waited while they cleaned the room. They opened the windows to help the air conditioning. As I was shaving after my shower I got bit several times by mosquitoes. The little buggers must be very small because they sure are hard to see. For some reason they seem to find my ankles especially tasty. Last night I suspended my Campmor mosquito-net "tent" over my bed. I'll probably do the same tonight.

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