Foothill Trails to Huayápam

A ride to the foodie haven of San Andrés Huayápam.

This short ride sees riders make their way to San Andrés Huayápam – a quiet little hamlet in the Mitla Valley – via what I call the ‘foothill trails’.

It turns out tat Huayápam is quite the little foodie haven, partly because it’s the capital of tejate – a local drink made from toasted maize fermented cacao beans, toasted mamey pits (pixtle) and flor de cacao. We didn’t actually end up drinking any tejate on this particularly ride, but had we done so, it would have been served in a painted jicara gourd.

Even wiggling out of the city on quiet, rolling backroads is fun. Then comes the trail itself, which is mostly mellow, though there’s some techy features too. For those seeking more mileage, tack on the massive climb up La Reina and then enjoy the white knucke Marimba descent. Otherwise, it’s easy enough just to while away some time choosing from a variety of eateries, from streetside, to lakeside, to gourmet.

The ‘foothill trails’.

An industrious dung beetle rolling a colossal (and smelly) turd. Score!

Two little beetles – frog hoppers – getting papped whilst minding their own business.

This time around, we decided to check out Luz de Luna for lunch and were blown away by the quality of the food and the general setting. Sure, it’s more high end than the places I’d normally frequent, but wow, what a place to go for a treat!

First came a couple of aguas de maracuya to temper the heat, followed by a complimentary amuse bouche – a tostada heaped with leafy greens, lime, queso fresco. Then, we went for a taco de setas (actually, we were expecting tacos, plural, but it was quite delicious, so all is forgiven). Plus, the maiz was mixed with beet puré, giving it a lovely pink hue. Then came a round of three memelas, also handmade. And just when we thought the show was over, the waiter appeared with two complimentary, non alcoholic cocktails! Ginger, basil, agave syrup, grapefruit, and bitters. Oh my gosh!

Theroute back was dirt and pavement. Sightings included:

  • lantana with not-yet-ripe berries (edible when fully ripe but toxic when not)
  • a new little cut through that was new to me
  • Kissing VW Combi and chopped VW Combi
  • Some kind of old US car. It’s a dinosaur I know… but just look at it!

We just got caught out in the afternoon deluge on the way back. Within minutes, the road was a river and we had to ride on the sidewalk, or we’d have been ankle deep in water. It’s the rainy season!

Here’s the route as we rode it:

All pics on the little Fuji x100V, processed in LR.

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