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quarenta casas

We leave Ejido el Largo and have more climbing to do on slick icy roads to reach Quarenta Casas, another archaeological site, which we plan to investigate. The site is, apparently, closed to the public for reasons which are not entirely clear but Jeff, the Spanish speaker of our group, manages to persuade the two officials to give us permission to walk to the cliffs where the ruins are situated.

Tiny houses sit high up on the cliff face.

Tiny houses sit high up on the cliff face.

Agave plants line the path. Agave is, apparently, the base for quality tequila.

Beautiful agave plants line the path. Agave is the base for quality tequila.

A scarred agave - people

A scarred agave - people's urge to leave a mark seems to be irrepressible.

The houses cling to towering cliffs.

The houses cling to towering cliffs.

Hard to imagine life here...

Hard to imagine life here...

...in tiny houses...

...in tiny houses...

...with odd shaped doors.

...with odd shaped doors...

...staring up at the cliffs above.

...gazing up at the cliffs above.

Jason and Cass relaxing on the way back to the bikes.

Jason and Cass relaxing on the way back to the bikes.

Investigating the ruins takes most of the afternoon and when we return to our bikes we still have forty kilometres to cover to reach Madera, where we hope so spend the night at a restaurant that Soco, Carlos’ cook, owns there. Riding in the mountains means constant ups and downs and the going is slow. We arrive in Madera just after dark and discover that Soco’s restaurant is closed which leaves us with the task of finding food and a cheap hotel.

We stop by a fish restaurant and eat our fill before finding our way to the cheapest hotel in town, which has a certain charm but it is certainly not very classy. The bed is one of the more uneven surfaces that I have slept on in over six months of camping. Still, at 200 peso a night between the four of us it’s pretty cheap accommodation.

Room 8 contains two beds and nothing more - not even an electrical socket for recharging camera and computer batteries.

Room 8 contains two beds and nothing more - not even an electrical socket for recharging camera and computer batteries.

I spent the night struggling not to fall off this wonky surface.

I spend the night struggling not to fall off this wonky surface.

Camping - hotel style.

Camping - hotel style.

The hotel proprietor feed us tamales and burritos for breakfast.

The hotel proprietor, who speaks surprisingly good English, feeds us tasty tamales and burritos for breakfast.

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