From the very beginning, when we booked our flight to Cancun, seeing volcanoes, maybe hiking on some of them, has been a big wish of all of us. In the last couple of weeks we were able to fullfill this wish.
Sierra Negra (4580 m) and Pico de Orizaba (highest mountain of Mexico, 5636m)
Sierra Negra and Pico de Orizaba have been first. In between those two volcanoes leads a road up until 4000 m. We cycled, pushed and walked up in two days. We slept on 3500 m the first night to make sure to acclimatize well. Once on 4000 m Peter walked down to the last village to buy food and water for five days. He payed somebody to drive him back up to our camp.
In those five days Peter reached the summit of both mountains and Ben and I reached the summit of Sierra Negra. Ben walked everything himself from our camp on 4000m until the summit. It took him 7 hours. He was very happy to see the huge telescope on the summit.
The first two days Ben sometimes had a headache and difficulties breathing but as soon as he lied down it was over. Therefore we have not been too concerned and stayed. On the last day, when Ben reached the summit of Sierra Negra, he was completely acclimatized and had no problems at all.
Cycling down the dirt road on the other side of the pass has been an interesting story too. Because of the dry season the earth was extremely dry with a lot of sand and dust on the road.
After the downhill Ben looked like this:
Once down in Ciudad Serdan we stopped at the main square to buy fresh food (we have been eating cookies, old bread and hardly any fruits or vegetables for some days) and get rid of the sand and dust in our shoes and on our clothes and panniers. Suddenly a woman came to talk with us. Maria Remedios (73) invited us to her house, offered us to have a shower, a bed, food and she washed our clothes by hand for two (!!!) hours. I felt very thankful and happy for everything.
Our angel Maria Remedios
Next volcanoe to visit was La Malinche with 4461m. This time we stayed on a campside on 3100m and therefore didn’t need to take a lot of food or water. The kids enjoyed the playground and Peter hiked up to the summit. Other than Pico de Orizaba, which was difficult to walk up due to a lot of loose stones and rocks, La Malinche was easy to reach.
Probably the most famous volcanoe is Popocatépetl (5500m). He is still active and it is forbidden to climb it.
Popocatépetl (5500 m) and Iztaccìhuatl (5230 m)
But, again, there leads a road up until 4000 m in between the two volcanoes. This time we took all the food (for 6 days) up ourselves which meant much more weight than we normally carry. The dirtroad has been quite sandy and therefore I had to walk big parts of the climb. But the exhaustion and all the sweat was totally worth it. We found the most beautiful campsite of this trip until now.
Next to the tent flowed a little river which was perfect for drinking, cooking, washing and for the kids to play. Peter hiked up the Iztaccìhuatl until 4800m. There was too much ice to reach the summit without crampons. Furthermore the weather had been unpleasant in the afternoon every day (we had rain, snow and hail) but seeing the Popocatépetl every morning made me feel small and happy. Staying on this altitude is very special. The vegetation, the sounds of the animals and the light are so different than what we are used to. Furthermore every volcanoe is surrounded by a national park and here, at the Popocatépetl, we have been alone for 3 days. Such places feel so strong, calm and natural that I feel nervous, irritaded and a little bit angry when I have to go down and back into civilisation again.
More magnificent pictures of our volcanoe adventures:
After those days near the Popocatépetl we descended from Paso de Cortes into Mexico City. The biggest contrast one can probably imagine: from loneliness in nature into one of the world’s biggest cities. But we were lucky. We found paradise for a touring cyclist: Casa de Ciclista of Xocimilco. We also participated in the World Bike Forum 2017. Those days felt great because we were part of a big cycling community and shared our passion with a lot of other cyclists.
Now we are with a friend, Elo. With her we share our passion for volcanoes, hiking and cycling. We will not stay for long in Mexico anymore. In two days we will fly to Vancouver where we will continue our trip. The bikes and trailers are already packed and our friends in Vancouver await our arrival.
¡Adios Mexico! Thank you for a lot of magic moments.