At the time (we were in South America), I thought the note
was from some folks from a small village (pueblo), with a paved main street, about 120km
from Mexico City. The difference between an "O" and an "A" can be
quite dramatic. In fact, we are in Puebla, the capital city of the province of
Puebla the city has a population of about 2 million! We did figure this
out several weeks ago.
We were met on the road about 50km before Puebla by Joaquin and Jose, and brought to
Joaquins home where he had a spare room for us. Joaquin, Jose, and some
other friends tried to meet us about a month ago -- they came down to the Yucatan, but we
were still in Guatemala. We parked the bikes in his bike garage, along with
about 8 trail bikes, an old Harley Police bike, several KTMs, and his R1150GS. We went
from Oh to Ahhh again, the difference between an "O" and an
A delicious dinner was waiting on the table, prepared by the cook. After stuffing
ourselves, we unpacked the bikes, had a quick shower, and went into the city center to
listen to live Marimba music across from the zocolo (main plaza).
Sat, April 4th: Joaquin took us to Cholula, a neighboring town and site of
an interesting pyramid. As you approach the town center, a beautiful old church built by
the Spanish can be seen atop a large hill. Apparently, in the 1920s there was an
earthquake, and they discovered remains of some ruins below the hill. As it happens, there
were 3 pyramids below, 1 built on top of the other by conquering tribes. The top pyramid
is supposed to have the widest base of all known pyramids in the world (including those in
Egypt), measuring some 400 meters by 400 meters. When the Spanish came (and conquered)
they covered the top pyramid with dirt (it became a large hill), and built their church
above it. Today, tourists (like us) can walk through some of the many tunnels through the
mountain which were dug by archeologists.
We returned to the house later in the day and spent the evening drinking wine and/or
scotch, and nibbling on wonderful dried ham (like Italian presunto). Joaquin was
actually supposed to be in Tunisia for 2 weeks, participating in the famous Tunisia Ralle,
but he had a last minute medical problem (all better now) and never got on the plane.
His son, Pedro de Uriarte, is participatiing (21 yrs old) and after the first day,
is #32 -- and ahead of Richard Sainct! http://www.tdcom.fr/spdt/tunisie2003/index.htm
Note April 14th: Pedro finished his first rally, #20 overall, and #10 in his
class -- pretty amazing stuff!
Sun, April 5th: We loaded up 3 bikes on the trailer, another bike was in the
pickup, and 4 of us headed into the mountains for a bit of a play. The truck was parked at
about 2,300 meters, and we rode up to a (dry) lake above 4,200 meters. Joaquin and his
friend Carlos are excellent riders, and do this trail often. The lower section felt, to
me, like riding an equestrian trial, with jumps every 30 meters or so. Some I did
beautifully, others, with much less grace, barely keeping the bike under me as my
appendages flew everywhere. About midway up the mountain, we got hit by a passing rain
shower, which while chilly at altitude, also did a wonderful job of matting down the dust.
The upper trail was rocky and very sandy, but the little (250cc) bikes we had just plowed
through as easy as riding a bicycle in the park. After a few hours, we came down from the
mountain and Joaquin was teaching us how to do wheelies. We returned to the house for
another delicious meal prepared by the cook, then went to bed, exhausted!