We ate our Frosted Flakes in the hostel room and got rolling. As we headed through the city, we noticed an Italian Coffee Company shop, so we decided to stop in for a good cup ‘o joe.
The road outside the city involved some mild climbing, but it was good riding. Finally, we enjoyed the final run out of the mountains, with an incredible, continuous descent of 25 kilometers. Not long after reaching the bottom, we passed a small roadside cafe, and stopped in for one of our best lunches. Their specialty was ceviche, sometimes called “Mexican sushi.” It’s fresh shrimp, mixed in a salad of chopped tomatoes, cucumber, celery, and spices. I’d like to try making it myself someday at home…
The second half of the ride was easy; mostly flat with some mild climbing near the end.
The town of Cuautémoc is small with not many services; it functions mainly as a last stop before crossing the border into Guatemala. The hotel we chose was attached to the bus terminal; it had a very nice enclosed courtyard in the middle, with a row of rooms with shared bathroom in the back. It was clean, cheap, and functional, but the rooms were very Spartan; I could not help thinking that they looked like jail cells–bare walls, bare concrete floor, no windows, solid steel door.
We had been doing our laundry just by rinsing it out in hotel sinks for the past week and a half, and needed to do a “good” washing. We noticed the hotel owner and her helper doing laundry in the courtyard, so we asked them if we could get ours done (we showed them the two grocery bags that we had our dirty clothes stored in). The helper said sure, it would be 50 pesos. The owner asked her, “You mean 50 pesos bag?” and she said no, 50 pesos for it all. The owner apparently didn’t think that was enough, so she added, “And 20 pesos for the soap!” We told them that we wanted to leave early the next day, and asked if it would be dry by then, and they assured us that is would be ready in the morning.
It was still early in the day, so we walked around town a bit and got some snacks at a convenience store. In the owner’s living room beyond the counter, we noticed there was a soccer game on the TV. Ray was interested to watch it, so we looked around town some more until we found a restaurant and bar with a TV where we could tune it in. It was still rather early, so we just had a few drinks as we watched the game. That game ended, but another came on, so we continued watching, until eventually it became time for dinner, so we just stayed there and ordered.
After dinner, we returned to the hotel, and went to the courtyard to check on our laundry. We found that it was hanging on the clotheslines to dry, but drippinging wet as if it had just been put there minutes before. We wrung out each of our items to try to help the drying process along, but didn’t hold out much hope that we’d be able to pack it first thing in the morning.
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