My room was facing a main street. It was a laud weekend night. Mexico is loud. Dogs, music, firecrackers... All night. The morning is the complete opposite. As I set out at 8AM and make my way out of town I can barely see a moving car or person.

I am feeling good again today which reaffirms my dehydration theory. And I better do. A 160km stage to Creel with 2000m of accumulated elevation gain is ahead. It's already a bit too late with 8AM, but we'll, if I push through and there are no mishaps I should be able to make it. Otherwise camping finally might be an option.

The cloudy day makes for good riding temperatures and with two cyclist who I meet in the outskirts of the town firing me up, I have a great start. In the flat I can keep up incredibly well, but in the climbs they fly away on their lightweight carbon road bikes. At the same time I don't want to burn myself already that early in the day. I am lucky. They have a pee break after 50km and thus I can zoom by and even manage to win the 70km race to La Junta [I didn't tell them that we are racing, though].

After a quick break, I finally turn towards Creel. First nasty, bumpy pavement then a freshly renewed road with next to no traffic. The first long hills come my way that are well handled by today's climbing legs. The fast downhills are fun, too. At another break I feed a little puppy street dog that appears out of the bushes. In turn it protects me very well from another dog popping out of the bushes shortly after. Overall it must be said, that the second biggest threat to cyclists after traffic, dogs, are extremely friendly with me in Mexico so far.

As I pass a few poorly looking villages everybody greets me friendly. I also get my first glimpses of pink, eroding rock formations. By sunset I make my way up over the last pass at 2600m and descent in a beautiful pink sunset which makes the rock gloom like crazy. Just before nightfall I make it to Creel. A thick layer of smoke in the air [it's cold and everybody seems to heat and cook with wood] which makes it tricky to see in the low light.

After checking into a budget hotel I walk along the train tracks [which everybody uses like a side-walk] into town. The train track belongs to the last remaining passenger train in Mexico. The ride from Chihuahua to Los Mochis takes 4 days traversing the canyons and is mainly used by tourists.

Litteraly with a last effort I make it to a taco place. I am starving. Indeed I've been struggling with finding a good eating routine in Mexico yet. During the day I don't really stop for a restaurant and in the supermarkets I am still figuring out what works well for me on the bike. The small road side stores don't offer much more substantial than chips, candy and soda.

I have two plates of delicious tacos and a coke. On the way back I also buy a big bag of Churros from s street vendor. Problem solved for today!

As I walk back through the smoke on the train tracks and into the un-lighted and pitch black alleys [which definitely can seem sketchy with a few people just standing around randomly], I also reflect that I feel absolutely safe here. I haven't had a single moment yet where I even felt remotely unsafe in Mexico. Thumbs up!