I booked two nights in Guachochie right away. I knew I had to properly fix my front tire to make it work for another 2000km [a brand new set of tires and self sealing tubes will await Klaus in Mexico City]. But there is another problem to solve...

For the very first time of the trip I have absolutely no clue where to go next. I always had something in mind. Not so this time. I know that I'll have to be in Mexico City in about three and a half weeks where Ilma will join the trip for four weeks [🎉🎉🎉]. I have a rough idea to enter the city from the east riding through some nice natural parks in Hidalgo before. But that's roughly 1.500km to go without a vivid idea what to see in between.

After the slow progress and wrecking my tires in the canyons I at least know that I want to make some milage on pavement for a while. After almost three weeks of slow going in Mexico I also feel like I'd enjoy some bigger riding and seeing my dot on the map moving a notch faster. That being said, I procrastinate on this issue and postpone my route planning to the next town, Parral, where I have to go anyway. Instead, I take care of Klaus and go on a little walk through Guachochi including a visit to the local water falls.

Still being moderately frustrated with my Spanish, I also realize that this issue apparently will not solve itself. I kind of thought, I would just pick it up by translating step by step what I need on a given day... And tada, I will be fluent in no time. Didn't work well so far.

Also, I realize that I would just be incredibly stupid if I don't use this [maybe once in a lifetime] opportunity to properly learn the language while in its natural habitat. It's definitely my goal to develop a decent level of Spanish while in Mexico. I download a language learning app and also an audio class that I can do while on the bike! Vamos!

The next day it's time to hit the road again. It's quite chilly. The night had - 4 degrees [Am I really in Mexico?]. I leave Guachochi on a very well established bike path [!] and have a foto stop at a cool bicycle sculpture. Muy bonito!

I enjoy two hours of listing to my language course. Muy interessante!

Otherwise, the day passes by quite uneventful. Not much traffic on the small country road, drivers are friendly as always, some climbing, pine forest, dogs, cows, using gears I haven't used in a while and seeing speeds on my bike computer I haven't seen in a while. Uneventful...

I enjoy this uneventfullness [does this word exists?] and settling into my beloved zen-mode. The ride through the canyons has been intense. Physically, mentally, almost constant over stimulation of senses by the scenery, by the people, the exhausting end pushing through the dark to Guachochi... Today is the perfect contrast. In the afternoon rural Mexico finally decides that I had enough uneventfullness. From 2.600m I drop down to 1.600m on a beautiful winding road. Wide, grey yellow landscapes, beautiful trees, the next mountain passes for tomorrow in the distance, no car. It really surprises me. I thought, Mexico would be much more densly populated. Instead I cover 100km between two little towns today with only one tiny village in between. Me gusta mucho! What I don't like: Everything is fenced. I would love to camp but simply can't even find a single ungated exit on a dirt road to hide somewhere. I had a few nights in the canyons but overall I really do miss wild camping. Maybe I also still don't have the full confidence do camp where ever here in Mexico. I hope this will change soon. Just before sunset I reach Balleza and find a cheap road side hotel. I am the only guest and with its metal doors it has a bit of a prison atmosphere but the room is nice. 8€ a night, hot shower, comfy bed... Nothing really to complain about. Buenas noches!