Dangerous turns ahead
In Spanish the signs read “curva Peligrosa” aka “dangerous curves”. They aren’t kidding.
We spent New years with our delightful couch surfing host Rachide and her family.
Her WHOLE family. At full count there were 17 of us in one little house, and it was a great way to bring in the new year! And only two spoke any english, making for great Spanish practice for us. Along with being very well fed (Thanks!), we took in the new years tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight, coupled with a wish each at every ring of the church bell. There were also fireworks flying off from EVERYWHERE in the city! A sight to see! (sorry no photos) I’m sure the nurses in Emergency fight to have new years off down here even more than back home.
The rain continued through the night, so we stayed an extra day to “wait it out”. It didn’t work. We did have a restful sleep in and catch our first film of the trip: ‘Life of Pi’ with spanish subtitles. Many thanks to Raul who not only let us stay in his house (no room at the other inn), but also bought our movie tickets!
Onto the “curva Peligrosa” mayhem.
The road from San Luis Potosi to Ciudad Valles looks amazing. It winds its way down from an elevation of almost 1850 meters into the near sea level valley below. Lush, green trees line the roads, in places growing right overtop forming a tunnel. If only it were a true tunnel.
The fog was so thick we can’t be sure if there was a nice view or not.
Certainly appeared likely with the steep cliff drop-offs beside us. We saw a pickup that had slid off and hung precariously over the edge. Then we saw another wrecked car, and another. There were wrecked cars all over this road. The rain was like a mist, soaking us and, more irritatingly, our visors. Left hands converted to wiper blades. Cautiously we continued down the highway, Jayne notably extra cautious on the wet corners. With good cause, around the next one traffic had stopped.
Like any traffic line up, we started scooting around the outside to pass the line of traffic. Then encountered why everyone was stopped.
The Highway was coated in a slurry of Oil, Diesel, Coolant and rain. This bit was lightly uphill as well. I managed to slither up it, but Jayne couldn’t get a grip at all. A couple kind locals helped push her through it. The next 500 meters were quite hairy as oil tracked down the road on car tires. In all we probably saw more than 7 accidents in less than 150kms.
The accidents and slow, wet conditions led to even worse conditions: slow, wet and DARK.
The lights cause halos on our rainy visors, and our “wiper blades” were over saturated. Fortunately by this point we weren’t far from our destination, and soon greeted by Adolfo and Soraya at their cheese store. It wasn’t long before we were warming up and full of Quesadillas. Delicious!
We woke up to another drizzly, rainy day today. A rest day for book reading and naps. The numerous nearby spectacular waterfalls will just be extra spectacular if it dries out a little for us tomorrow.
Jayne’s bike is running fine and dandy, though since I broke the lip off her windshield the wind has been buffeting right into her forehead. Much more irritating at speed.
‘Jugs’ had been running poorly since Durango, the air filter and my poor job of cleaning and over-oiling it the culprit. I filled our rainy day off in San Luis Potosi with sorting that out.
I’m also at over 5000km since my new piston was installed, and have been on a fair number of dusty roads; well over-due for an oil-change. I used today’s rainy day off to get that sorted out.
The kind folks at the oil shop, even helped get out every last drop of old oil by using a vacuum on ‘blow’ setting… I was intrigued. It got more oil out alright: spraying and splashing over the ground, the bottom of my bike and gathering in my skid-plate. Oh well, it was an interesting method that I might not add to my repertoire. Incredibly kind folks here. We’ve been finding this everywhere.