Feeling that it was time to move on again, we left the good care at Luis’ place and we rode in the direction of Morelia. Sadly enough we left Luis with our flu and he is now so sick that he even can’t go to work for a few days.
The ride to Morelia went ok, since we took the Cuota (toll road) all the way there, not risking the side roads since we weren’t feeling too good. From time to time our couching would be so loud that it would activate the VOX in the intercom and we would be either spontaneously talking to each other or the lady in my head would say ‘radio on’ and I would hear static in my head because I wasn’t receiving any Mexican station. After this we tried not to cough into our microphones anymore!
Since Morelia is a World Heritage site, we decided to dump all our stuff in our room and go for an evening walk around the city. Like in all the Mexican cities we have been to before, the police presence was strong and obvious, but they are always very friendly and willing to help.
If we wouldn’t be used to seeing so much police power, we would probably feel scared at this point seeing the police in full combat gear, but it’s like this everywhere we went the last weeks.
The streets were alive with people and artists, trying to make some money by entertaining the masses. Here in Morelia it was apparently very popular to dress up like clowns, because we saw a whole lot of people dressed up like that and entertaining the kids. They also had some people doing a funny dance in authentic clothing where they would make a lot of noise with their feet, dancing behind each other, holding on to each other through a stick. When the music would become more rapid, the dancers would go faster, making the last one in line (usually a small child) getting flung all over the place or making him let go of the stick. This spectacle went on all night and it always made us laugh! The small figurines in the picture are wearing the same clothing.
The thing we haven’t figured out yet is the whistling technique most police use when they are ordering the traffic around. They all tend to have a unique whistling technique with different types of sound they produce, but we can’t for the life of us figure out what they are trying to ‘say’ with it. They normally just stand there, in the middle of the street, operating together with the traffic lights, so we don’t even know what the hell they are there for anyway! It is funny however that the guy selling whistles to the children only has one type of tune he blows the whole day but the police have at least figured out a few different ones.
The architecture of the buildings in Morelia is at times very spectacular and the vibe of the city makes the experience complete.
The inside of the church, were we took a picture during the evening mass.
Some local beauty spotted in the streets.
Some more police presence in the streets and notice the whistle in his hand.
This guy knew enough English to make this funky word game.
The streets are lined with people trying to sell you things and most of it involves food in all different types and flavors. Sometimes they have very strange tastes that we don’t understand though. We bought some pieces of melon on the street and before I could say or do anything, the woman selling it pours some salt on it and some lime. At that time we didn’t know it was salt, but after the first bite, expecting sweet and getting salty, we found that out the hard way. Well at least we found out that melon and salt isn’t a taste we would like to repeat any time soon, so from now on we steer clear of the fruit stalls in the street.
Morelia nightlife. As in all the rest of the Mexican cities, we definitely didn’t feel unsafe in the streets at night, it was actually just the opposite. The city becomes alive after dark and all the people come outside to enjoy life and watch the local artists.
The inside of a restaurant. At least you know what to do when waiting for food…
Are you looking at me?
What the artists won’t do to get some money, but at least these two can say they feel like a princess for one day.
From Morelia onward, we decided to skip the Cuota and take the Libre (free road) again to go towards Tula. The good thing about the Libre is that it is free, the downside is that the road tends to go through all the local small towns, slowing you down quite a bit along the way. We never mind, as this is what we like about travelling, but then if you want to make some distance in a day, it’s nearly impossible. In other countries city limits do not really tend to slow us down, but in Mexico they do. The topes in and around the city make your life a living hell and they will ruin the bike if you don’t watch out! Someone had told us that the topes get bigger the further south you go, and they were right, but that isn’t the main problem since the bigger ones tend to be a bit more flat than the small ones. The biggest problem now is that they have found a brilliant way to camouflage the buggers so you don’t see them until it is too late! Seb is riding in front most of the time and he has managed to take two of them at 60 km/h without scratching the bike (he wasn’t paying attention both times), but there have been others that he took at 5 km/h where he left half of his exhaust on the street.
Halfway during the day we saw a whole bunch of motorcycles in the streets of a town called El Oro and we figured out that they were all on their sunday ride. You could see that you were getting closer to the bigger cities because of the types of motorcycles you saw along the way, all big and expensive bikes and not just the small 150cc bikes anymore.
Shiny expensive bikes that come outside on a sunday cruise.
In Tula we took a wrong turn somewhere because we ended up in a way too expensive hotel inside the center of town. We had seen some signs when we entered the city that there would be a temple nearby but it wasn’t until the day we left that we found out that we had been looking for it in the wrong place. In comparison to Morelia, Tula was an ugly town with less of a positive vibe, although they also had some street performers lining the streets at night.
Mexican drivers are never very courteous when it comes to bikers, but sometimes they are just plain stupid. At one time we were riding along on a main road when we saw a truck coming from a side road. The truck was obviously planning on crossing the main road without stopping, until he must have seen us in the last split second of time. In stead of braking, he just flipped his steering wheel, drifted over some sand, almost slamming into the pumps of the nearby gas station, just missing us by a few meters to continue on his merry way. Kim’s hart almost stopped beating at that time but I guess that is just Mexican free style driving…