Hot and Sweaty in Southern Mexico

It’s been an interesting week. I’ve taken a series of buses over 700 miles to go from Mazatlan in Sinaloa through Nayarit, Colima, Jalisco and Guerrero states. I’m glad I did. As I mentioned, I rode this same route in 2018 and looking over my notes on many days I wrote “tough hills, hot and humid, terrible traffic, 2 lane road, no shoulder.” So not repeating that misery was high on my priority list. Especially since Acapulco the weather has gotten so hot and humid it’s uncomfortable to even go outside. It is typically over 90 deg F and 70-80% humidity. When I did ride for a few days I was drenched in sweat from the beginning. Even with ice water poured over my head I still felt faint a few times struggling up some hills. So even if i wanted to ride I don’t think my body would allow it.

But taking the bus is fine. It’s relaxing and comfortable for the most part. Here’s a few pix.

I spend some time just waiting for the busses to arrive. One day these kids were playing. The girl was just a goofball, running around and being silly. Cute.

Typical bus depot waiting for the bus.

My bike fits in the bus cargo compartment but I need to remove the bags and take the wheels off. Sometimes they charge me an extra $5 for the bike.

Obesity is a problem in Mexico. According to the OECD About 73% of the Mexican population is overweight (compared to one-fifth of the population in 1996). Mexico has one of the highest rates of obesity in the OECD. In addition, 34% of obese are morbidly obese – the highest level of obesity. According to projections, overweight-related diseases will reduce life expectancy in Mexico by more than 4 years over the next 30 years. This is the largest projected reduction among OECD countries. But the greatest tragedy is the growth in child obesity, which has doubled from 7.5% in 1996 to 15% in 2016.

The government is taking some steps. Many food products have these labels warning “excess calories” and “excess sugar”.

Since I’ve been bussing it more I am staying in hotels every night. So I get to go out and sample the street food. Here’s a stand making tacos and quesadillas.

One of my favorite meals is tacos al pastor. Al pastor is a taco made with spit-grilled pork. The cooking method is based on the lamb shawarma brought by Lebanese immigrants to Mexico. Al pastor features a flavor palate that uses traditional Mexican marinade adobada.

When I did ride I had to go on some toll roads, cuotas, where bicycles are prohibited. Fortunately in Mexico, rules are more like suggestions. The cuotas are busy but they have a good shoulder so it is mostly safe.

One thing you notice right away about Mexico, and really all of Latin America, is the garbage. I can’t get used to it and I can’t understand the mentality of a culture that is ok living among piles of trash. Frequently they burn the trash so a common odor on the road is a mixture of garbage, smoke and rotting animals.

I crossed dozens of rivers which take the mountain water from the east and flow it to the Pacific Ocean.

Just outside of Acapulco I met John, an Australian cyclist. He was staying there for a month or so. He is a racer and has traveled extensively racing for different teams.

Here I am all hot and sweaty on the road.

I had a great cabana one night in Pie de la Cuesta, just outside of Acapulco. Here are a couple sunset photos.

Family strolling th beach

Rider and horse at sunset.

That’s it for now. Here is my current location in the town of Marquelia.

7 thoughts on “Hot and Sweaty in Southern Mexico

  1. raymond e taarnby December 14, 2021 / 4:07 pm

    Great stories keep it up and be safe be healthy and have a happy Xmas

  2. Anonymous December 16, 2021 / 7:42 am

    How often do you come across roads like that, covered in trash? That’s almost unbelievable.

    • Kevin Koski December 27, 2021 / 6:14 pm

      Unfortunately it is common, especially on roads that are highly travelled. On small back roads it is not that bad but on major roads the trash is constant. Maybe not all piled up like that but every few feet there is something. Sometimes it seems people create an informal dump where everyone throws their stuff.

      • VJM January 12, 2022 / 9:28 pm

        I’m sorry that’s been your experience, Kevin.

        I have lived in the state of Oaxaca for more than 35 years. I’ve traveled quite a bit in the state (both main/major roads and out-in-the-boonies roads). I don’t know that I’ve ever seen trash as in your photo.

        Oaxaca is an amazing state in many ways, not the least of which is the indigenous people and their cultures. I hope someday you can spend some time in Oaxaca (that’s not on the coast!) and see what it’s really like.

        • Kevin Koski January 15, 2022 / 3:56 pm

          Hi, I actually did visit Oaxaca city in 2018 when I biked through Mexico last time. I agree, Oaxaca is a captivating place.

  3. Richard January 12, 2022 / 10:23 pm

    Is there much difference in people, road surface, scenery, accommodations, etc between the coastal ‘tourist’ areas (e.g. Acapulco) and the interior?

    • Kevin Koski January 15, 2022 / 4:00 pm

      Hi Richard, I have not cycled much in the interior but other than geographical differences (Sonora is desert and dry and the coast is humid) there is not a noticeable difference. Some areas seem to have more indigenous flavor, and there are fewer roads in the mountains than in the desert. Hotel prices vary a little but pretty consistent. People are friendly everywhere (with one exception as I noted.)

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