Juchitán, OAX

Its been many weeks since my last update, but I hope you’ve been checking in once in a while to see my progress on the map and my Twitter updates which show up in the right column on the homepage.

Thank you all for the birthday messages! I have fond memories of birthdays in years past with family and friends, and this year was a little different but I was still able to celebrate and be thankful for another year of life. I think it was a year ago on my birthday that I decided to give my ‘three months’ notice at work, which pretty much sealed the deal that I’d be going on this trip. It is crazy to think of everything that has happened in the last year.

For the past many months I’ve been in the mountains of Mexico, pretty much since the long climb from the coast to Tepic in December. The past few days were a climb out of the Oaxaca City valley which was ridiculously curvy, but with very little traffic which was nice. Here is a satellite view of part of the road, with the line Google has used to represent the road. Usually Google has pretty accurate representations of roads, but it looks like they just gave up on this one:
[EDIT July 21st, 2011. It looks like the Google map has been updated and now shows all the curves in the road]

View Larger Map

Once I got to Tehuantepec, I had 15 miles of perfectly straight and flat road to Juchitan. Juchitan is marked on the map below. I came out of the mountains today, and will be heading along the coast for a couple days.


This is the narrowest part of Mexico, only about 125 miles, and the lack of tall mountain ranges (the lowest point crossing from one ocean to the other is only 750 feet) means that all sorts of weather makes its way through here from both the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. I’ll be going through a town tomorrow called La Ventosa, or “The Windy”. I got a taste of that wind today, and know it is just a little of what is to come as I head east. Supposedly trucks get blown over!

Cyclists will tell you that they would much prefer a hill than headwind, but worse than those two is side winds with gusts. With hills you can find a rhythm while pedaling and you know that you’ll get to the top eventually. With headwinds you just have to pedal through it and hope that the next day treats you better. But side winds can make biking impossible. But many cyclists have survived the isthmus. It’ll be challenging!

I should be in Chiapas in a few days, and then will head up to San Cristobal de las Casas, which is up in the mountains. Its a 6,000 foot climb in about 40 miles!

1 comment to Juchitán, OAX

  • Cooper

    Rad update Matto. Didn’t realize how narrow that part of Mexico is. Good luck with the side winds. I bet it will be nice to get some sea level air again. Keep truckin’

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