Ramos Arizpe and into the Sierras – Dec. 31- Jan. 5

On Dec. 31st I wrote in my journal:

It’s the last day of 2015.

I feel in alignment with the movements of my soul. It’s hard sometimes, but then I remember to trust that following the directives of my soul will always point me in a good direction.

I’ve been at Ceci and Julian’s
[in Ramos Arizpe] for 3 days and I feel calm and happy.

2015-12-30 18.16.43

Dagan [a Canadian cyclist who is riding from Houston down to the bottom of Mexico] contacted me on Warmshowers and, as I had assumed and hoped, he is someone traveling the same route as me and seeking companionship.

He just finished a Vipassana meditation retreat in Houston, so combined with that and the fact that he’s riding his bicycle across Mexico, I think he’s probably a pretty swell dude.

Things move slowly here, but I like it.2015-12-30 12.27.44 

Lingering at the breakfast table, talking, visiting with in-laws, squeezing babies…2015-12-30 13.06.47

It makes me hope that one day I can stay at home gardening and making crafts, writing and squeezing my own babies.

And on Jan. 3rd I wrote:

I spent New Years Eve with Julian’s extended family, and New Years day with Ceci’s. It was nice. Awesome grandpas, lots of tamales, and some serenading with the mandolin on my part. 😉2016-01-01 13.57.33-1 2016-01-01 16.39.59

Dagan is leaving Monterrey on Sunday, and I can either find my way back into the city to join him, or I can meet him further down the road.

Coordinating at a mountain pass will be a little tricky, but the idea of going back in Monterrey after finally having escaped it is not appealing to me. 😛2016-01-02 11.29.56

Julian, Julian and Ceci became my family away from home.

Julian Jr. was like my little brother.

We teased eachother, tried to steal one another’s food, and Julian never let a day go by without quoting a Shia La Bouef youtube video (“Just do it!!”).

The whole family would squeeze on the couch together at night and watch Jurassic Park, or Forrest Gump (in Spanish!… until I complained about the sacrilege of watching Forrest Gump dubbed, at which they obliging changed it to English…).

On Jan. 5th I wrote:

Today I left the comfort and family fun of Julian and Ceci’s home. They brought me to Villa Santiago [in the mountains just South of Monterrey] to meet up with Dagan.

But first we walked around Monterrey, visited a museum (reminded me of when we would walk around Paris with my grandfather as kids), and they took me to an all-you-can-eat-buffet.2016-01-03 13.11.42

They could quite possibly be the nicest people I know.

We arrived in Villa Santiago around 4:30 pm that evening. Villa Santiago

Once we had located Dagan (which was easy to do, since his was the only bicycle loaded down with gear, including a large, Gerber knife strapped to the frame), I assembled my bags onto my bicycle and hugged everyone good-bye.IMG_1831

Ceci was crying, and I knew I had to leave before I started crying too!

Dagan and I rolled out of the crowded, downtown plaza of Santiago around 4:30 pm. The sun sets at 6:00 pm these days. He had found a couchsurfer for us to stay with in Allende, which is where we were headed.

By the time it was dark, I realized he hadn’t gotten an actual address for the host. But before I could really worry about that, a white van pulled over on the side of the highway in front of us. A Mexican dad got out and waved us down.

He explained in Spanish that it was very dangerous for us to be riding on that road at night. He wanted to follow us until we got off the highway, and bring us to his house to stay for the night.

After some consideration (and after meeting his tri-athlete son), we accepted.

He followed us in the van along the highway, then pulled ahead for us to follow him through the neighborhoods.

When we arrived at his house, he stepped out of the van and his entire family appeared from inside of it as well.

His name is Miguel, his son’s name is Miguel, his wife is Nancy, and his daughter’s name is Natti.

Miguel teaches swimming lessons during the spring, summer and fall.

He and his family set us up in a little room that was next to his enormous swimming pool. We each had our own cot, blankets, water, orange juice, and hot showers.

When we told them Dagan and I had just met that day, they quickly separated our cots and placed a plastic table between them. 🙂

Miguel, Miguel and Natti took us out to eat pizza, which we gratefully accepted.

After hearing more of our stories, Miguel said (in Spanish), “I am so glad to know people like you. It is so amazing what you are doing.

When I saw you riding on the side of the highway at night, I thought ‘cyclists? at night? that’s very dangerous!’

I want my children to learn about being kind to other people. When I told them I was going  to turn around and ask you two if you wanted to stay at our house, they said, ‘What?? Why?’

Now they get to meet you and see how amazing you are, and see that it is good to be kind to people, even if you’ve never met them before.”

We told him that we were very happy to have met him and his family as well.

That night it was a bit chilly (there are no central heating systems in Mexico that I am aware of), but after tossing and turning in my sleeping bag for a while, the ice cubes that were pretending to be my feet eventually melted.

The next day it was grey and chilly.

We ate breakfast upstairs in Miguell and Nancy’s house.

They piled our plates with eggs, avocado, tortillas, pan dulce, papaya and apples, and poured us a steady stream of ‘cafe con leche’.

Their generosity towards complete strangers astounded me.

Later, when Dagan and I decided we would find the couchsurfer in Allende to wait out the cold weather, Nancy brought us each a neatly packed sandwich with 2 cocao puff bars each. She insisted we take down her number so we could call them if we needed help or wanted to come back and stay there longer.


I will never forget them!

P.S. You can be a part of my adventure at Patreon.com/jahnavi

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