Apart from a few cars passing by with loud and to me funny Mexican music [to me it always sounds like a Mexican version of Oktoberfest music], it was a calm night. With 5 degrees it's chilly, though. For sleeping this was perfect but since I refuse to unpack my long cycling pants it's on the cold side in my shorts. Just until I hit the road and start once again pushing Klaus up the remaining 500m of elevation out of the Barranca de Batopilas. I reach the 2500m mark decently and enjoy a last great view into the canyon.
The road conditions are slightly better than between Urique and Batopilas but even more dusty. My belt drive handles almost all conditions effortlessly without any need for maintenance. However, dust is its Achilles heel. It creates an awful squeaking noise and I have to use some of my precious water reserves to clean it once per hour today.
The day continues with more pushing and slow riding through the hilly pine forest on top. Despite the big climb is behind, there are still roughly 2000m of accumulated elevation gain ahead to Guachochi, the next town. As I more or less push Klaus for the fourth day and now through the monotonous forest without much of a scenery, the idea to finally get out of this manifests more and more in me. Don't get me wrong. I am in good spirits but "slow" is probably my very own Achilles heel.
I approach my first village, Buenavista, and cross a nice little creek where I can filter water [no idea when I last filtered natural water. Has been either dry, frozen or both the last couple of month]. I still have plenty, but water always equals freedom for me on this trip. Since the tap water is not recommended to drink, Mexico is actually also the first country where I have to buy water.
The village of Yoquivo even has a little convenience store where I buy some snacks and enjoy a little chat with the locals. I am still extremely unhappy with my Spanish but at least I can say where I am from and what my trip is about. One guy asks me how much my bike costs and I answer with a fraction of the costs. Still he seems so impressed [but not in a super friendly way] that it turns me a bit paranoid as I leave the village.
Maybe subconsciously that also manifests my idea to even cut out the planned off-road detour to a view point over the Barranca de Sinforosa and instead directly push on to Guachochi. With still 70km to go that will be a stretch for the remaining day given the road conditions and still 1300m of climbing left.
Long story short: I finally reach the pavement around 4PM. I think I've never been so happy about pavement [maybe after the 10 days off-road inthe Chilcotins in Canada]. Still 50km and substantial climbing left but only 2 hours of daylight. Despite the fact that I haven't even had a proper food break today, I have to crank out everything I have to make it before darkness. With 15km to go I hit darkness when it happens again [again on pavement]. Flat front tire... Klaus! This is probably one of the worst moments you can do this. I am sorry to admit it but with every flat tire I am slowly losing a bit of confidence in you! [I guess you just spoiled me to much in the beginning of the trip]. It doesn't help. In the beam of my headlamp I have to patch the tube. Unfortunately, I can't even find the puncture [what takes forever]. Maybe I am too tired. Instead, I observe quite a huge hole in the tire itself. The rocky roads apperently took their toll on the tires. I insert a tire boot as emergency solution and with rempumping twice on the remaining 15km I am able to limb my way to a hotel in Guachochie. A huge yellow moon lighted my way but did not make the situation less creepy. Phew, more than an hour in the dark. I never enjoyed riding in the dark. Sometimes it had to be. But riding through the pitch black Mexican night is just that tiny notch more unpleasant since everybody tells you: "Don't ride at night". I simply want to avoid it at all cost. I buy myself a beer to finish the day. Even too tired to shower the dust and sweat of the day away I sleep in less than an hour after arrival.