I’m writing this post while in the middle of Puebla. I’m surrounded by 3 volcanoes and all around me is the vast agricultural altiplano.

I made it here today since arriving into Hidalgo a few weeks ago. The day I entered Hidalgo, I stayed at the famous hot springs of El Geiser. When I was in Cadereyta a couple days before that, one afternoon, for the first time I tied out Roxy on a long picket line and she got her hinds tangled up in the rope that night. She got some rope burn that in my mind seem to affect how she moved out. I noticed this on the day out from El Geiser.

I left El Geiser and made my way to visit a friend of Maya Pedal. Alfredo Feregrino is a businessman, charro, and philanthropist. He owns the Lienso Charro Boveda. He had invited me to stay for as long as I wanted. Considering Roxys’ gait being a little off, I took up the offer. I rested up a few days and enjoyed the hospitality.

While at Alfredo’s we went to his ranch and watched Charros practising. We hit the farmers market in Huizache and we went to a bar in Ixilmilpan and I got to listen to an awesome band play ALL THE classics. I also did a lot of studying online. More on that in a bit.

After resting up with Alfredo, I made my way towards Pachuca.

First I stayed at a nice eco resort in Chicautla, where in the morning I got out of my Hennessy Hammock and saw that the bag holding the sleeping bag stuff sack, hammock stuff sack, and hammock fly was gone! I looked for a while but couldn’t find it. It must have been dogs. When the manager of the resort showed up right before I was going to go, he yelled out, hey is this yours? I guess dogs had ran with it and left it by the entrance when they noticed there was no food in it…

I then made my way towards Rancho El Rosal in Pachuca. I had a wonderful stay with the Esquivel family. I even visited the famous author Laura Esquivel in Mexico city. We rested up Roxy a little more while enjoying my stay. While staying with Salvador, his brother Carlos, his mother Rosalia, and his wife Maria, I visited Mexico City for a few hours one day with Rosalia and saw lots of cool places. Rosalia also does a energy therapy which she performed on Roxy and me for positive results. Thank you! I also visited some of the local sights around Pachuca.

From Pachuca, I made my way south east at altitudes above 2300 metres. The rainy season started in that region the day before I left.

It was now time to leave early, and arrive early to avoid the rain.

I made my way to Zempoala to a lienzo Charro for 3 escaramuza teams! The stables were 2 floors high. That afternoon I ate the best tacos ever yet in all of Mexico…

Then I made my way to Tepeapulco, where I met some really cool people. I met a saddle and tack maker named Onesimo. I gave him a deposit to make me new saddle bags.

The traffic in that area really sucked tho.

I left there after a day off and went to a very old hacienda just south of Apan. Very cool, I should have taken more pics.

Then I headed off and found a place to stay beside the strangest church u have ever seen. La barca de la fey, it is a huge concrete boat-church?!?!

Then I made my way to a small Lienzo Charro with the sweetest family ever. The Nava Family were great. This was one of the few times where I didn’t want to continue on the trip. But I did. I’d like like to see my new friend Jessica again at some point in the near future, whether at her ranch or somewhere further south.

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I left (sigh) towards Huimantla, where I stayed at a nice little ranch.

The next morning I left with Gustavo Sr and his friend and we rode to Santa Cruz del Bosque.

It was a sweet ride and we peaked over 2500 metres. During that day I made it into Puebla State.

Then I rode to Acatzingo where I met a really cool farrier, named Concho and we had a great bbq.

The next day I made it to Xochimilco where I am now writing this. I am taking a few days off and talking with Concho about saddles and hoof boots. He wants to make cheap hoof boots from tires for the poorer people of Central America. Also, a blend of western and Charro saddles. I will write an upcoming post about this.

Throughout this part of the journey, I was above 2000 metres pretty much the whole time. It was really refreshing to be up this high. When the rain started, it was actually cool out! Great riding weather.

I don’t know if it was the people I was hanging out with, but there was way less drinking in Hidalgo and Tlaxcala than previous parts of Mexico. I was glad to take a rest from the excesses.

Still, the food was awesome everywhere I went so I am still eating way too much.

One of my main goals of the trip was to lose weight. Yeah right. Not in the southern states and especially Mexico!

BUT, I have begun to achieve a new goal which to me is very worthwhile. I am back in school! I am taking an online English teaching course, so I can have a certificate for when I get to Guatemala. I’m pretty excited.

Another thing of note, I stopped smoking the pipe tobacco when I entered Hidalgo! Between that, drinking less and the natural remedies I’ve been taking, including bee propolis, I’ve been feeling great!

Finally, it looks like I’m still way ahead of schedule, even after taking extra time off. I’m re-evaluating my ETA or time of arrival to the headquarters of Maya Pedal. I love Mexico, but I also am getting antsy towards reaching our destination. I can’t wait to start making bike machines with Maya Pedal in San Andres Itzapa.

www.mayapedal.gt

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