Troncones to Taxco
Finally, driving along the coast and seeing the ocean! From Manzanillo to Troncones (a small town just outside of Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo), we enjoyed views of the emerald Pacific, and tight, clean turns. The most amazing part was probably the complete lack of traffic for the majority of the day… only as we came into our destination did we see any other cars. It felt as if we had the entire road to ourselves… except for the incredible amount of burros running around.
We stopped in Troncones to visit our friends, the Long family (they own Cascade Raft and Kayak in Idaho, and spend a month or so every fall surfing… check out their site). They were welcoming and invited us to crash at their beautiful house on the beach for the night, and enjoy some super home-cooked Mexican pounded chicken. Right after we rolled in, the weather took a turn for the worst, and we were able to watch the sea get rough. We had ominous thoughts about this morning…
Our plan was to get up and leave when all the Longs went surfing… at 6:30AM. But, when we got up, it was dumping rain and they had decided to cancel. We decided to wait until it was completely light out, as we did not want to fight darkness, rain, and puddles. When we did leave, at 8, it was still raining hard. We took it slow, but even with our great gear, got fairly soaked.
From Troncones up to Cuidad Altomirano was supposed to be 186 kilometers, with no gas stations in between… that is pretty much the range of our bikes, so we were a little apprehensive. We filled at the first gas station we saw, then again at the next one 8 miles later. The ride took us up, up, and finally after two hours of suffering in the weather, past the rain. We rode along one ridge for most of the time, and came into sunshine when we began to descend down the northern side. We entered a new range of ecology as well, different from both the coast and the high altitude pine forests of the Creel area.
We got stopped briefly at a military checkpoint, but they only wanted to see our passports. One of the guards asked us how the Mexican people were treating us. The funny thing was that he seemed genuinely surprised when we said they had been very friendly. I asked to take a picture, but was denied.
Finally, at around 5PM, we arrived in Taxco, without knowing what to expect. The twisting highway carves into town and the buildings are stacked like Legos up the hills. There does not appear to be a single level plot of land, or a true two-lane road. We asked around at a bunch of hotels, and benefitted from this being the slow season, finding a very cool place with an enormous terrace.
We walked up to the ¨center¨of town, the church. Everywhere there are silver shops… that is what the town is famous for. And, fortunately for me, paleterias. Oh, and I found churros! You could spend days shopping for affordable jewelery here… if you´re into that sort of thing. We are going to move on tomorrow.