Damn fine Durangeños: How a weekend stretches to 10 days

IMG 0185

The city of Durango, Mexico. Quickly after arriving I was met by Abdy, a friend of my soon-to-be Warm Showers host Jonas, and was swept up into his SUV for a tour of the city. We soon entered the huge public market for a much needed meal. These markets are quite a sight. There’s always a section of tightly packed eateries with beckoning cooks prodding you to stop at their counter to eat. 20 feet to the right might be a counter with huge slabs of raw meat for sale, another storefront jam-packed with chachkis including a glass aquarium filled with live scorpions for sale as pets.

IMG 0190

After settling in at my host Jonas’ house, we ventured into the busy Plaza de Armas the following day to register for a mountain bike race that would be happening that weekend. I was struck by the high qualities of bikes I saw around the registration booth, given their rarity on the Baja.

DSC06708

View of the main cathedral from a balcony cafe.

DSC06709

 

DSC06624

8AM sharp. We arrived at the main square to see a horde of mountain bikers, all geared up with their kits and racing numbers. About 700 in all. Seriously. With police escort, we rode the pavement out of town to the official race start on a small dirt road.

DSC06626

 

DSC06627

Given my lack of inclination to be a competitive racer, I was afforded the freedom to take a few gratuitous pictures…

DSC06634

Great friends. Abdy (left) and Jonas, my host (right). Jonas had just received a sponsorship from Scott Cycles and placed quite well in the race.

DSC06637

Lots of greasy food was provided post-race. Mostly gorditos (little fattys). A thick double layered tortilla filled with some variety of flavored meat. Yummy.

IMG 0207

 

IMG 0198

 No, I didn’t win. No, I didn’t try. Yes, I had a fantastic time!

DSC06733

A couple of days later, we were invited to join a group ride exploring a new route through the mesas to a local reservoir. The jeep road quickly faded into a pile of large loose rocks. Unrideable (at least by anyone in our group). But a fun climb anyway!

 

DSC06738

Sometimes you have to ask the local cowboy for directions.

 

DSC06744

And sometimes that cowboy directs you down a “trail” that really is a big boulder field. Luckily everyone was in good spirits despite the high amount of BS.

DSC06740

The reservoir. So close, yet so far!

DSC06664

Abdy and I took another ride to the beautiful Tres Molinos camping area.

DSC06681

 Fresh water to swim and soak!

IMG 0191

 

DSC06667

Begin short series of gratuitous cute dog shots. There are so many adorable dogs in Mexico. Many in this area at least seem quite well cared for, despite Mexico’s reputation of dogs being treated like street rats.

DSC06672

 

IMG 0194

 

DSC06722

The best of the bunch: Max! Jonas’ sweet German Shepherd. I love this dog and so wanted to steal him.

IMG 0202

A quick trip to the Mexican post office would take 14 pounds off of my rig for the following 1200 miles. Given the dry mountainous terrain I was planning to ride, dragging the packraft around through rough roads seemed a little silly. Luckily Mexican mail is said to be pretty reliable and was surprisingly cheap: 80 pesos (about 5 bucks) to send that big box all the way to Oaxaca!

DSC06754

Jonas hosted me in his home for 10 days. I had to pry myself away from him to continue the ride. He and Abdy and others were so kind and welcoming, continually asking me to stay longer and bribing me with possibilities of more amazing local rides. But the time had come to press on.

Muchísimas gracias por todo su generosidad y hospitalidad Jonas! Ya tienes un hogar en Estados Unidos cuando quieres!

Leave a Reply