We headed out for a lovely 25km edge-of-the-city spin today… towards Tlalixtac, to the east of Oaxaca, on backroads, broken roads, and dirt roads.
Ron provided his guiding services. Now 70 years of age, Ron has been a cyclist for all his life and is a part-time transplant from Burlington, VT, where he’s still actively involved in the Old Spokes Home bicycle co-op. As it turns out, we have a mutual friend in the form of illustrator Julia Vallera, who I rode with on the Baja Divide – her artwork and details of her Surly Pugsley Baja Rig can be seen on bikepacking.com.
Our destination was the remains of an old, ramshackle, and roofless hacienda that Ron had come across during one of his regular two-wheeled, exploratory outings. Situated close to the well-preserved Molino (and near Los Molinos Trail), the ruins are accessed via an open gate from a dirt road. Set in a pasture beside a mighty ficus tree, they’re surrounded by fields where donkeys hee-haw, farmers guide oxen into working the land, and dogs languidly lounge (or take up chase in rare moments of vigour, given the midday heat).
Now overgrown and surrounded by rubble, the colonial-era hacienda is made from adobe and very much a doer-upper. In the meantime, various flora and fauna have taken up residence.
A small organ cactus, a prickly pear, and even a couple of oaks precariously balance atop its remaining structure, their root systems clearly visible. Appropriately named mason bees have burrowed their way into its crumbling walls. And spiders and birds appear to be comfortably settled in too.
We poked around the area for some time and spotted, amongst other things: mushrooms, a mango tree, a sizeable horned lizard, a mesquite seed pod, and a big pepper tree. Then we pedalled back into town for coffee, sitting on the steps outside the small but perfectly formed Cafe El Volador.
Route and downloadable gpx file below.