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Nr.72 Bicycle touring Mexico – The long way to Guatemala

Jul 16, 2017 | America, Blog, Mexico

Let’s make it short. I don’t like Mexico, although the cities are really worth seeing and therefore it actually is unfair to come to this negative conclusion, especially since I had a brilliant time on the Baja California. But I simply can’t get used to the people. A few brief friendly moments, for which I was very grateful, but overall not enough to make me feel welcome.

In addition, I find the landscapes between the sights not very exciting and the distances are too far for a bike trip – overall there is not much happening between sightseeing spots – at least where I have been.

I got my front panniers sent again, which I had left with friends in the USA, because I was not quite happy with my bikepacking set-up at the time. In addition, a mosquito net to be prepared for the coming Malaria and Dengue fever areas was in the box.

After about 2 days trudging along the main road and trying to get into a pedaling rhythm again, it was clear “it’s time to leave”.

Sure, I would have been able to ride on back roads somewhere in the mountains again, but I had no desire to do so. I’d rather stick to the flat hot Veracruz main roads to get out of the country more sooner than later and simply make kilometers.

At first unfortunately, the main road was without any shoulder. The bushes grew to the roadside, and every side of the road was just as wide as a truck. If there were 2 trucks at the same time and on the same level, it was tricky, if not to say, life-threatening, because there were no jumping off to the side road possibilities. In addition, the roads are also extremely curvy and there is no way to see what’s beyond the next bend.

But Mexicans overall are not bad drivers. The trucks usually drive past me with enough space and they also slowdown in time. Even the normal car drivers are really okay. Only the taxi and bus drivers are jerks, but the problem is world-famous among cyclists, these kind of drivers are always the worst, except of course the bus and taxi drivers in Japan.

Where I also need to praise the Mexicans is that they usually don’t cheat, at least not where I was. Prices are everywhere marked or clearly visible and you don’t pay more, just because you are a foreigner. I find this very positive.

It was mainly urbanized everywhere. River banks, a lot of houses and almost no way to camp somewhere and often I had to pay for the night and not only that it became more expensive, no it became even more tedious than it already was, because who wants to sleep so often in an accommodation?

Hotels are often noisy, lacking windows and if they have a fan it’s rarely enough to deal with the heat. Something they often do have are endlessly barking dogs and street music late into the night. Pretty frustrating to have to pay money for this!

If I were honest I would have liked to just get a lift to the border, but I was too stubborn. I was on a bike trip and that’s how it should stay!

But I wondered why? Why do I not just pick the beautiful areas and leave the other, less interesting corners aside? I haven’t found any answer yet – somehow it is also the feeling of being successful. To look back and say, yes, I made it, it was no fun, but I did it. It is somehow a bit stupid, but I can’t change it, that’s how I am.

I also wondered if I might have gone wrong with my route selection? Would another corner of the country have been much better?

Easter and hell was going on. The roads were full of cars and the prices for overnight stays doubled. If I had bought a bus ticket to the border it would have been cheaper than staying somewhere for the Easter period. But I found a stinky garage hotel room where I waited until the Mexicans were all back home and the roads were manageable again. Then I kept going.

Tlacotaplan was a great village. UNESCO World Cultural Heritage and, as so often, one can rely on UNESCO. If there is something under monument protection it’s for a reason.

And not only that the village was beautiful and also full of friendly people. Suddenly I was greeted by locals and a lot of them smiled at me. Great.

A Mexican who had lived in the US for a quite a while wanted to offer his totally chaotic room for $ 10 a night and also showed me the whole village.

However, I stayed at a hostel for less money, in which I felt really welcome, probably because I was the only guest and had the whole room to myself.

I stayed a few days and had a great time in this beautiful little town.

The heat was the killer. The temperatures were every day at 38 degrees, the nights hardly cooled down. How is this going to be in Central America? As soon as I cycled a kilometer, I looked as if I had just showered. Nothing dried anymore. The clothes were as wet the next morning as they had been when I pulled them off the night before. Everything stuck.

Traffic increased, my mood worsened. I fought every morning with my inner devil dog to really get out and hit the road. I listened to music while cycling and gave myself positive thoughts. But such a stretch can be like an over chewed gum ball when there is nothing positive to experience all day long.

I camped at a gas station and was protected by a security guy with a machine gun. Another day the military post right next to the Autopista let me stay next to their military compound. But the trucks ran all night past my tent and the extreme heat in my tent was no fun at all. My Hilleberg 4 seasons tent is simply not suitable at those hot temperatures. If it is 34 degrees at midnight in the tent, then it was simply too hot for me.

I was often told that you can stay at the fire brigade or at the Red Cross while cycling in Mexico. Yes, very interesting and where is the fire brigade and the Red Cross? Sadly, I haven’t seen them once.

Probably it is also time for me to get an iPhone. So, I can experience all the hidden information that other travelers benefit from. But just the thought that I always know beforehand what there will be would take the fun out of the exploring – especially the result would be less contact with the people – why bother to ask if my telephone gives me the answer immediately.

If there was no other way to camp in the wild in other countries, I often knocked on people’s doors.  But this is hard for me here in Mexico. It may be that some of the Mexicans would have taken me in, and certainly a few of them would have been helpful and nice, but there was something that has been holding me back from doing so. Something I cannot even describe.  

In front of an Oxxo store, the Mexican 7-Eleven, two children examined my bike down to the last detail and asked questions of which I didn’t all understand. They kind of wondered what was going on with my language?

But it was a great meeting for me, because they were the first children in the entire time I’ve been in Mexico, who looked at my bike. Actually, incredible and everyone cycling around the world will most probably think “what is this”? But that’s exactly how it was, even if this is almost impossible to believe, but they were really the very first curious children.

The two gave me proper motivation, such a sweet encounter often helps me through the entire day.

On the same day, I had another nice meeting with field workers. Really cheerful and friendly Mexicans.

 

I saw the first big lizards, a few parrots but that was it. The country is dead. Beef farms, sugar cane, pineapple fields and concrete. There is no wildlife here. Nowhere.

Suddenly, besides the normal tacos and the endless beans and rice with eggs, there was also pasta on the menu. Ha, what a great pleasure and my favorite choice from now on.

The women kept ignoring me. I’ve also noticed that I didn’t take a single picture of a woman. Sometimes I cursed them, then I felt sorry for them, then I ignored them and then again, I looked for an explanation why they behave in such an unfriendly way.

I simply belong to the people who want to understand it. What am I doing wrong? The more I think about it and the more I try to find an answer the more it bothers me. But I am particularly happy when I meet someone who shares some time with me or just gives me a simple smile.

You probably can’t imagine if you have never travelled for an extended period alone, how very important it can be for one to have contact with people. It can be quite lonely if one is ignored so much by the locals.

If there was a group of men who were among themselves, I was treated quite often friendly. They greeted and now and then they smiled or laughed. Was it a mixed group – women and men – it was very difficult. Were only women among themselves, I was completely invisible.

I was 5 months in the country and didn’t understand anything. I have not seen a single house from inside, except that at Tuly’s in La Paz. I also didn’t have a serious conversation with anyone. To get to the point, I have no idea about Mexico!

Difficult for the Mexicans is surely that they will not be accepted by the huge rich neighbor to the north and otherwise they don’t want anything to do with the people to the south. They are kind of by themselves.

My days were very similar. I cycled during the day and was alone, then sat mostly alone in a small hotel room and chatted with someone over the Internet who lived in the same time zone, so I had at least some connection to the outside world

The next day was again the same and did not bring anything new.

I hadn’t taken any pictures for days – why should I – there was nothing to take pictures of? Often this shows exactly my inner wellbeing and my attitude towards the country.

Love hotels are available at every corner. You drive directly into a garage, the gate or the curtain hides the car and the couple has a few hours secretly to themselves. There are so many of those Love hotels, like I have never seen anywhere else.

Palenque, another UNESCO site was reached. I got there totally sweaty and asked if I could possibly park my pushbike right next to the ticket booth so it is within sight of someone. The answer couldn’t have been any better. “20 pesos” was thrown at me. It almost sounded like “meiyo” in China. (Meiyo in China means – no way or not available or bugger off.

I was now already in Chiapas, where the true and great Mexico is supposed to be found.

So, I asked at two other places where people were just sitting around and didn’t seem to have much to do, but also here, it was not possible to leave my bike and I should park it at the parking lot. But there were too many people running around and everyone seemed to be busy selling the tourist something.

But so far, I never had much fear for my things and not about myself. Mexico has never been a danger to me at any time, even though I was uncertain in the Copper Canyon, because I was warned by the locals, but I have nowhere noticed anything negative.

I need to say it again, we shouldn’t look at all the negative and often wrong media news, which in most cases simply focus on the horror and never show anything positive from the world.

But back to Palenque. Actually, I was almost at the point of turning around, because I was so annoyed, but then gave the ruins a chance and locked my bike at the fence of the entrance in the hope that there is still everything there when I come back.

The ruins didn’t impress me much, but I met a few nice foreigners with whom I could chat for a while. I also saw a toucan, which saved my day absolutely.

I met Elisa from South Africa. And that was the absolute lottery win, not only because she was extremely fun to be with, no she also had her whole suitcase full of clothes and gave me a T-shirt, leggings, a long wide cool pair of pants and some shorts.

They were much too big for me, but that didn’t matter. I had already been looking for clothes everywhere, but I couldn’t find anything, because which Mexican woman has legs as long as I have?

Not only that my pants were much too warm, no, they were, after 1.5 years of continuous use, completely worn out and simply embarrassing to wear any longer.

The tourist nest where I had landed brought some variety in my daily routine. However, I am in a sometimes-difficult age when traveling. Either they are all young guys and gals or they are tourist groups who are almost all in a retired age and in a big group anyway.

If I meet German backpackers, then they will use the polite form while talking to me, which is the absolute maximum penalty for me. You could also say to me, “Ey granny”. It is also amazing that I seem to have more in common with people who are 20 years older than those who are 20 years younger.

There was the new backpacker generation. The iPhone, credit card and Samsonite generation. Some of them find it seemingly awesome when they find a cheap flight so they don’t have to travel to their next destination in a bus.

Many of them seem to book their accommodations in advance via the Internet to get a shower in time when they arrive from their air-conditioned bus trip in a new city. But there are also the others, the backpackers, who even have a tent and turn around every penny three times. The mix made it interesting here.

Joints are smoked, partly the hippies run half naked and are tattooed all over their body, some of them seem to be stoned all day. Then the long-term travelers who are trying to finance their trip through jewelry sales. Blokes that dress up totally feminine and wrap their long hair into a knot. Some embody Bob Marley, others Boy George. Additionally, all varieties of travelers you can imagine. Really great fun.

And then of course the questions from where you come from where you go to and what you have done so far.

Banana pancakes with Nutella and even Kässpätzle (a German dish) on the menu. Just something really different.

The last time I was confronted with such a backpacker hamlet was more than 2 years ago, somewhere in Laos. I found it really nice and stayed a few days in the “oh we’re all so extremely cool” community.

Of course, I asked everyone with whom I spoke the question of how they find the Mexicans and what their experiences were. The opinions went very far apart. It seemed like either you like the Mexicans or you don’t, I didn’t hear anyone saying so so.

Of course, you always have to consider, if you are a couple, or you are going from hostel to hostel then it is another way of travelling, you simply see the world quite differently, as if you are on the road like me.

But I have also heard from cyclists, whether as a couple or on their own, no matter if man or woman how well they liked Mexico.

I’m curious how this will go on. If I am honest I am beginning to ask myself if I will really like Central America and what the alternative might be if I don’t like it?

Many cyclists don’t like Central America and somehow, I never really understood why. But I’m starting to get behind it. If I still have to stay in a hotel because there is no hospitality or not enough space where I can camp, or it might be not safe to do so, then this won’t make me happy for long.

However, I hope for a lot of wildlife and national parks, volcanoes and nicer people. The food will most certainly not be any better. The heat will get worse.

I was finally in the jungle. I heard and saw the first howler monkeys swinging from branch to branch and entertaining the world with their extremely loud roar. Just great and so important for me to stay on the ball in this difficult country.

The rainy season is almost at the start. One night it rained nonstop and so intense that it was a real natural show.

Two more days left to get to Guatemala. Finally. And to my big surprise, the last kilometers were completely different. The houses turned into simple run-down sheds, the children suddenly ran to the street and waved to me and called “Hola”. I was allowed to sleep in a restaurant for one night and was guarded by a 16-year-old boy with a gun and he told me there were lots of wild animals.

The next night the officer of a military post let me stay in a small hut. The conversation with him was very interesting because he told me that this road was the main connection for the drug smugglers. All the drugs that are being shipped from South America to the USA are largely passed by his post.

To my question, why they don’t use drug dogs, he didn’t have a clever answer to give. But I was at a safe spot, the compound is occupied 24/7 all year.

The next morning, I had breakfast with a group of guest workers from El Salvador and Honduras who were super fun to be with and I really looked forward to be in Central America soon.

Garbage is a huge subject in Mexico. Frightening how much trash there is thrown into the ditch. The further south I came, the worse it got.

At the ticket booth for Bomapak, another historical site, the cashier came from the toilet and slammed the toilet door in front of me and ignored me completely. The door was locked. She ran away and when I asked her if she could please open the door, she said to me, “5 pesos.”

Any more questions? No, thank you Mexico, and never see you again.

31 Comments

  1. This is interesting thank you for the honest report. I would encourage you go measure your success by your happiness, not how many kilometers you’ve pedaled. You’re not in a race, the rules are yours to make. If you feel you’re not just having a bad day and don’t like a country I say hop on that bus (especially if you are in one as big as Mexico)!

    Look forward to reading more about your travels, so glad to have found your website.

    Hope your next leg is filled with happiness and great humans!

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle,

      thanks very much for your nice words and encouragement!

      Did you read this? https://www.pushbikegirl.com/inspiration-2/how-many-kilometers-are-you-cycling-a-day/?lang=en that’s where I am explaining quite a bit how I am feeling about making kilometers. It is not my style at all. But busing around is not the right way for me either. If I want to see the world, I also need to see the unhappy places to get the full view point. It is not always sunshine and hard times are part of a life on the road. I know it might sound silly. And I also get your point of view……

      Thanks…..enjoy your day, Heike

      Reply
  2. Wow, that was rough! Thanks for sharing. I hope that feeling of being left out fades away soon. I understand how it feels to be invisible when traveling by bicycle. It’s hard to reach out to a different nationality when all they do is look at you with fear or judgment. It must be very demoralizing… However, this write up has to be the most honest I’ve seen to date. No glamorous selfies near monuments, or self serving comments. Your photos are amazing, such clarity and attention to detail.

    I hope you find that connection you are craving for, in which I must admit, is the greatest obstacle to overcome when traveling.

    -Alberto Clemente Flores

    Reply
    • Thanks very much Alberto for your great and supportive comment!!! And thanks for the big compliments and wishes.
      Happy day for you…..Cheers Heike

      Reply
  3. Thanks for a great post. I arrived in Mexico on my bicycle in December 2016 and spent 6 months. While my experience of the people was more positive than yours, I totally understand about the lack of wild camping and some of the roads.

    Having planned to keep cycling through Central America and beyond, I had a change of heart and ended up selling my beloved bike in Oaxaca and continuing on my journey by bus and boat. A big change after 20,000 km of cycling.

    All the best for the next part of your journey and I look forward to your impressions of Central America.

    Reply
    • Thanks Alison for your comment, always nice to hear how other cyclists experienced the same country.
      All the best for your new way of travelling…..have fun and all the best, Heike

      Reply
  4. HEIKE……..As always excellent photography and brilliant descriptions of your journey. So enjoy following along with you. Trader Joe’s is still alive and well here in La Cañada, California. If you make it back this way please let us know and do plan a few days here with us. Be safe and enjoy all the discovery and adventure.

    Reply
    • Robert, thanks very much 😉 For now I am not planning on coming back soon, but I am sure one day I will be back in the USA. The American West is still one of my favourite places. THanks for the invitation…..Enjoy life and it is so nice that you are still following me….Cheers Heike

      Reply
  5. Hello Hieke,
    I have 3 questions for you, if you do not mind.
    1. How do you get such bright and saturated colours in your photos? Do you use software for this?
    2. More a tip than a question: EVERYWHERE in Mexico, Central and South America has a fire department (Bomberos) and a Red Cross (ambulance station and clinic). People there are VERY service minded towards the public and I was able to stay with them everytime I asked, I was never turned away. I cycled for ages there.
    3. Has there been any country or population yet which you DID like?

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Greetings from Jan

    Reply
    • Hi Jan,

      1. The colours in Mexico are often very intense. In general I am using Lightroom for the last few months now.
      2. I believe you. What I said in the blog post was that I didn’t see them – so I wasn’t able to ask in the first place. I found Bomberos outside of Mexico and stayed with them.
      3. Many.

      Cheers Heike

      Reply
  6. Thanks for sharing.
    Glad things started looking up towards the end.
    Your pictures are always so vivid, it’s to bad you didn’t feel you had to many to take in some areas. Love to follow your blogs, hopefully to get insights on how it is to travel alone, since l’d like to do more myself. Not having the experience you have with the actual camping and cooking. I will probably find a mentor to help me with that before I try any ride with several days of no where to get food.
    Good luck
    If you’re ever online and bored and see me on you can always send a chat. ? We have before but it was me with the question not you. I may be different but always open minded. I gather that you are too.

    Reply
    • Hi Robert,

      thanks for your nice comment 😉
      Don’t worry too much, just start and try and you learn while doing it !!!!
      We are all different and my style might not be your style anyway….
      Thanks…..all the best….Heike

      Reply
  7. I just love the colorful pictures you have taken on your epic journey! I am kinda like you in a way; if I start something I stick to it until the end unless my safety is threatened. Bullheadedness I believe they call it 😉

    Reply
    • Maybe you were also born in March 😉 Haha……..thanks Bob for your great compliment…!!! Cheers Heike

      Reply
  8. Dear Heike.
    My boyfriend showed me your blog some time ago, he’s also bike traveller, he said “look how amazing pictures she make. She’s complaining a lot but don’t pay attention to this, look the photos”. You’ve got also a lot of useful tips about countries you’ve visited. I have to admit that I didn’t read all your posts but I read a lot and somehow every of them makes me sad cause in every of them you’re complaining so much. You make such an amazing, colorful and happy photos but you’re somehow not so happy like your photos and it’s hard to read for me. I just read this post cause in two month we’re starting our Mexican, Central and South Americas trip and I was so excited about this and after reading this post my excitement have gone. You don’t like people, places you just make kilometers- that’s how it look like. Of course there are positive sights you showed but this negative makes such an influence for the content. And of course not everything is pink and amazing and we can’t write only about good sights. but Did you ever thought that it’s you not the other people? Try to think about them, why they behave like this, the environment they grown up in, country, society, maybe some personal reasons. Maybe speaking Spanish will help and being more open? German people like to complain, and we’re always laughing about this (my boyfriend is also German) but don’t be stereotypical German. Someone can say about you the same as you’re saying about Mexicans and other and it’s not fair. Try to change your attitude and focus on the good sights and bad sights makes you only stronger. Cause now it look like you don’t like traveling so the question is why are you doing this? And you can’t of course writing only about good sights but remember that we are traveling to share it with other people so let’s give them the best we can to make them happy. If you will try to make your content as amazing and happy as your photos are, this blog will be perfect and maybe it will make you happier.
    Best regards and keep going 🙂
    Daria

    Reply
    • Hi Daria,

      first of all, thanks for your thoughts. I am sure you meant it in a nice way and you can be sure that I will think about your message. But I would like to add a few things to it and leave a few things out because I won’t agree with some of your points.

      In what I have to agree with you is that Germans are complaining a lot! Nothing to be proud of, but something which is not as negative as you might think it is. There is one thing I learned, you can’t get away from your own culture – it sticks to you all your life. There are other nations who are trying to be as positive as possible about everything and anything – I am calling this superficial. As you said yourself, not everything is pink and great. Then there are nations who are trying to balance things out, those are probably the easiest to deal with.

      But I am a person, I am not representing my country. I am here by myself.

      I also agree with you that I wasn’t able to find happiness in Mexico and therefore I lost my own. Other travellers might have been able to deal with it much better than I was, but as you mentioned we don’t know their circumstances and you don’t know mine, nor do we know the Mexican circumstances.

      But how can you possibly think that I don’t like travelling when I am saying that I didn’t feel happy in Mexico? I have been to 91 countries and I can compare – we all compare. I said that I questioned myself and that I know that others had a great time in Mexico…
      But it simply wasn’t my country – no one of us can be happy everywhere.

      There is in any country some good and some bad things. Same as with yourself. Some days are great, others are not.

      Some bloggers leave the bad things aside to make their journey more positive, to show the people how great and unique they are and how easy they can deal with their journey and the circumstances they are exposed to. Why should I present something which is not reality and not true? Why do other bloggers tell me “I didn’t like this or that” but when I read their blog they don’t mention it? Do you prefer that people are telling you a fake story?

      Most people travel for a few weeks or months – I am on the road for a long time and solo. I am not pretending that everything is always superb.

      Next thing is, how can you possibly think that I am just making kilometers if I only cycled 50.000 Kilometers in 4 years?

      I don’t see a reason why I should make my readers happy? I am showing them my life and how I see the world and might entertain them, but I would never even dream about being able to make someone else happy by showing them my life thru a blog and a few pictures.

      Encouraging is the better term and I am sure I encouraged a lot of people to ride their bikes further than to the supermarket. But I am also giving them the chance to understand that a life on a bike is not always sunshine.

      And you can believe me it won’t make me happier if I am just saying it was great if it wasn’t. But the good thing is that I can write what I like and you can decide if you read it or not. I put quite a lot of effort in this blog and I present you my life on the road free of charge.

      Have a great time in Latin America….Cheers Heike

      Reply
      • Hi Heike. Od course I didnt write it to hurt you. I just always have this feeling while reading your blog (it wasn’t only about Mexico) that this complaining part cover this positive part and somehow amazing, colorful pictures are not compatible with what you’re writing. It’s just feeling, impression, probably if we want to do statistic and count positive and negative parts things will look different.
        I know that solo travelers after a while are struggle with loneliness and long term traveling is difficult and in one point you asked yourself “why am I doing this”. I know traveling like this is not holidays and it’s difficult. I’m also traveling now and with two dogs and sometimes I’ve got really bad moments and bad thoughts, sometimes I’m depressed. But anyway I try to stay positive cause I choose this way by myself and I love it. I try to share with people not only positive part of traveling, also this bad sights but maybe my way of writing about it is different. When shit happen, after surviving this I try to make it positive and funny and write about it in the funny way. But this is my style, of course, as you wrote, everyone got his own style and best part of having blog is that we can write whatever we want.
        So probably my first impression was wrong, if not I’m just wishing you to stay positive and enjoy life and traveling, trying to see goodness in other people. I really love your photos and I believe that the photos are real reflextion of your soul 🙂

        Ps: about Germans it was joke but there is something true in this stereotype. I’m polish and there’s also a lot of funny stereotypes about my nation, for example that we are thieves. I’m not like this but yes I stole cookies from synagogue in Israel some weeks ago (we were very hungry)… ?

        Best regards and maybe see you somewhere in the world.

  9. Hi Heike,

    I always enjoy reading and seeing your blog. I think Daria misses the point completely. I enjoy your honesty and understand the feelings you are describing. Traveling alone can be very difficult if the place or people are not open and accepting of you. However, you have described and had experiences where the people were welcoming and how different that one quality can make in a traveler’s day.

    Be safe Heike. Be well. You are amazing to so many of us who read your blog. Keep sharing!
    Tim

    Reply
  10. I’ve got to agree with Tim. Keep on keeping it real Heike. I believe veteran travellers like yourself understand better than most people the usefulness ,the limitations, and occasional falacies of national and ethnic stereotypes. Discovering by your own direct experience that some culture has it’s characteristics, and that most people who belong to that culture share them, is a valuable discovery. You can’t understand the World at all without that insight.
    People who lack your experience may have make believe illusions about other peoples, cultures, nations. When they come across information that conflicts with their fantasy world they become defensive and find fault with the truth teller instead of listen and learn from others experience.
    Love your posts, Heike!

    Reply
    • David, thanks very much for your support and the encouragement to keep blogging the way I do.
      Enjoy life….Heike

      Reply
  11. I am very glad to hear your real feelings in Mexico. Good luck.

    Reply
  12. Heike,

    Finally I had time to read your blog entry and as usual I was not disappointed – you are writing from the heart and making just amazing pictures, which always make me envious.

    I was reading your post on my mobile phone but once I read Daria’s comment I felt .. angry. Yes, actually angry so I had to take out my computer to express my feelings, as I treat you as my soulmate and what I read came to my heart .
    But this is to Daria. Daria, you have a right to have your point of view and express it, just as you did. From what I understood you found Heike’s posts full of colourful pictures but with a lot of complaining. OK. You came to the conclusion she does not like people, that she is just pushing hard on the road just to make kilometers .. well, OK.

    But then, you give advices what she SHOULD do. Or what you encourage her to do. She should be positive, happy, change her attitude, try to find godess in people.. to name just a few. .. then you and maybe some others would probably enjoy reading her posts.

    What you have noticed even might be true, who knows.. this is just for Heike to judge. But she is not writing blog to please readers! She is a long distance solo traveller, she shares her thoughts and experiences from the bottom of her heart and truly, I much prefer it to be that sincere way then reading “Top ten places in the world you should cycle” (anyway, I never read them).

    Well, personally I do not share your point of view that it is all about compaining, absolutely not. I am solo bike traveller too often behave in a similar way. When I love a place I say it, when I don’t and I suffer I say it as well. I left Vietnam which many people loved just after 3 weeks as I hated it.
    Right now leaving China for the same reason and my posts are same complaining. Shall I hide it, write just positives?

    Daria, you had a courage to write what you do not like about Heike’s posts just as she has the courage to write what she feels, I am sure she will give it a thought, but again – it is better to stay away from all kind of “shoulds” and advice.

    Hope you will enjoy all the roads ladies..

    Ewa

    Reply
    • Thanks Ewa, always great to receive a supportive comment from a like minded cyclist.
      All the best for your next adventures……HUGS to China, Heike

      Reply
  13. Dear Heike, Catching up with your blog and in awe yet again of your photography–what an amazing body of work you are building. Sending love from Vancouver!

    Reply
    • Dear Catherine…..thanks very much for your nice words…..
      I wish we could sit together and talk for a while 😉
      HUGS from Nicaragua….Heike

      Reply
  14. Dear Heike, I just wish I had more free time to read your posts, but I am so busy leading life on a bicycle. I am now at the Shell station but busy with showering, laundry, finding my onward route into Uruguay. I would love to talk about the way you make your photo’s for example. Some are very ‘low on privacy’ for the people you catch, I wonder how you make them. I like them a lot! It seems you have plenty of contact with the locals, are they easy to chat with? Wishing you less garbage along the road, how horrible, and much fun. Big hug Cindy

    Reply
    • Dear Cindy – thanks so much for your nice comment.

      Mexicans are easy going with taking pictures. An eye contact was enough and I knew they were okay with me taking pictures of them. They are not talking a lot but as mentioned they never showed me a sign of dislike when I packed out my camera. So I took my time and made the best out of it…

      Yes the trash is crazy, much worse in Central America……..Cheers and big hugs…Heike

      Reply
  15. Hi Heike,

    I’m sorry to hear you didn’t have such a great time in Mexico because it’s one of my favourite countries. I cycled there extensively both on and off road. I wonder if you had chosen a different route that might have been better.

    Myself and a few other cyclists who travelled in Mexico contributed to a basic website called Cycle Mexico which is resource hopefully other cyclists will find useful. The website can be found at http://cyclemexico.wordpress.com if any one is interested.

    I dedicated a section to cycling solo in Mexico as a lone female – if you have anything you’d like to share I’d be happy to include it on the website. Hope central America picked up for you.

    Best wishes
    Ross O’Toole

    Reply
  16. Outstanding photos again. I am always looking forward to them and I think my travel photography has improved a bit since I have studied yours. It’s nowhere near your level though. You just have an eye for pictures and you own the technique, just like all artists. I also like your genuine style of writing.

    If you ever return to Latin America, try paniers with a German soccer theme and the word Alemania.

    Reply
    • HI Ingrid 🙂
      I am happy to hear that I have giving you some inspiration for your own photography 🙂
      Soccer, well no – but maybe I could live with ALEMANIA.

      Cheers Heike

      Reply

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