My goal for the day was to ride from Oaxaca to San Cristobal de las Casas, in Chiapas, Mexico. Sounds simple enough. It is only 400 miles of twisty mountainous roads. The temperatures were steamy hot from the coastal plains. This area has very strong crosswinds blowing from the isthmus. The mountainous area around San Cristobal is normally covered with mountain fog.
This was my third journey through this section of Mexico. The first time I had to deal with two flat tires and I did not make my goal of reaching San Cristobal in one day. The second time my motorcycle was hit by a car somewhere in the State of Oaxaca. I managed to make the trip in one day, but overall it was not a good day.
This being my third attempt I was determined to travel it in one day, without incident, and also enjoy the ride; therefore, I prepared for a very long day. The first 150 miles of travel were in the mountains. The day started out cold, and I rode on a very curvy road that worked the body hard. All that exercise helped keep my body warm.
As I approached the coastal plains, I crossed another amazing cactus forest. The rocks in the area had a green hue. That explained why many of the stone buildings in Oaxaca were green in color.
As the elevation dropped to sea level the temperature rose, and by the time I reached Tehuantepec, the temperature had reached the mid 90s. At this point I also started to cross the isthmus. This is an 80 mile section of road with very high crosswinds. The crosswinds are strong enough to blow you over if not careful. I have seen large 18 wheelers on their sides from the strong crosswinds. Being able to stop is another concern in this section because, if not careful, when stopping, the wind can blow you and the bike over. The best way to ride in this area is to stay low to the bike, hang on, and hope for the best. On this, my third ride in the area, the experience was much better then the previous two times.
After crossing the isthmus I started climbing back into mountains and away from the heat. My challenge was the heavy cold rain with high winds ahead of me. This was the case for the next 100 miles. I managed to reach Tuxla, Mexico, my final fuel stop. It was only 50 miles from San Cristobal, my final destination for the day. However, since San Cristobal sits at an elevation of 9000 feet above sea level, the last 50 miles are almost always covered with heavy mountain fog late in the day.
After 400 miles of hard riding through fog, rain, very strong crosswinds, heat, and cold, I finally reached the magical place called San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.