Look Out for Flying Children: Mihuatlan

Look Out for Flying Children: Mihuatlan

How do you get four people and all their worldly possessions onto three motorbikes? Well it’s just like Tetris. Pile all the pieces up and then fit them in where they fit best.

The Motorcycle Gang all loaded up

The city of Oaxaca and the surrounding area had provided a week and a half of entertainment, but it was time to move on. We’d decided to travel mototrcycle gang style with our new friends Alexander the Russian American and Ida the Finn, and our only challenge was Ida’s lack of wheels.

Alex had arranged for us to couchsurf with a guy called Eduardo in the city of Mihuatlan, which was only a couple of hours South of Oaxaca. We decided to pack Ida and her stuff onto our bikes, and so headed off loaded heavier than ever before. As we were packing Phil noticed his rear tire looking a little soft, and when he checked the pressure it was down enough to require a tube change. It’s times like this when one really appreciates a shady area to work in. The sun is HOT down here.

Phil almost fits into the shady area to change his tire

Looking for the hole.

Tire changed and bikes loaded we got just outside of Oaxaca when Alex noticed his rear brake making worrying sounds. Luckily we had a spare set of brake pads, for when we pulled his rear brakes apart, this is what we found:

There should be a minimum of a millimeter of brake pad on this metal…

One of these things is not like the other…

Luckily that was the end of the maintenance delays, and we arrived in Mihuatlan without further incident. Eduardo is a fellow biker, and lives with his parents and younger sister above the family sports wear store almost right on the town’s central plaza.  We unloaded our many bags, and Eduardo took us to park them in a secure garage a few blocks away (always a good thing, to have the bikes somewhere where they cannot be messed with).

Eduardo with his lovely family

Eduardo’s mother had made us dinner, and then we were shown our room, which was a suite with two double beds and a shower with hot water. Private rooms, beds and hot water are underrated by the general population, to us they are highly prized, and we were all very happy.

Ida and her new best friend

Eduardo’s sister Luz is five years old (her arrival was a surprise to all involved it seems) and had an enviable amount of energy. She commandeered Ida as her playmate that first evening, well, until the boys got a hold of her.

Watch Out for Flying Children

The next day was market day and all the roads in the area were completely rammed with stalls and goods. We went off on a mission to buy supplies for our next stop and to explore all that was on offer.

The road outside our window was transformed on market day. Full of “functional rubbish” for sale.

Discerning tomato selection – I think he ended up buying five different varieties.

You can even buy baby chicks. Might not want this one…

Think I can fit it on the bike?

I realised that many items were being sold in bunches for 10 pesos (under a dollar) and so I had a go working in a stall with a smiling man.

On the other side of the stall.

While we were tasting freshly made cheeses, honey, fruits and much more, Phil received a text message from our Morelian friend Ricardo who we had randomly reunited with in Oaxaca. Guess where he was?

Introducing Alex and Ida to Ricardo and Claudia

Just around the corner. It’s a small world.

Ricardo has been living with his grandparents in a small pueblo called Santa Maria Coatlan – where he and Lettie and Claudia, who we also met in Oaxaca, have been researching the various uses of herbs, plants and natural remedies. They were in town for market day to buy supplies for his grandparents’ shop.

Phil, Ricardo and Alexander

We spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the market with them, and they invited us to stop by the pueblo on our way down to the coast. We shared some muffins we had been given in Oaxaca, and then they headed back to Santa Maria.

Claudia, Ida and Juanita

That evening we ate a delicious meal of mole (a complicated sauce Oaxaca is famous for) served by Eduardo’s generous mother, and then we all passed out early.

Mihuatlan had given us a taste of “small town” Mexico. Next we were about to experience “tiny village” Mexico.