Maya Rally, GTO Offroad

The Maya Rally kicked off in full force this morning with all teams rustling around camp setting up their rigs/doing final adjustments to their engines and strapping everything down.  We all meet in a parking lot south of the city and then caravan into the centro with policia escorts.  Very otherworldy.  The same town whose streets function by the hair of a thread because everyone works together agrees to shut down several roads for us to pass through midday.  The convoy takes us through town and into the main street in the middle of the centro where we stop and stay for about 2 hours.  

We spend the time talking with the locals who are intrigued about the trip and what its all about.  As always, each person we talk with is primarily concerned with whether we have enjoyed their city and country and in making us feel welcome. To add to the fun its 12.12.12, cool on its on but December 12 is also Dia de Guadalupe which means that all the children are dressed up as the virgin, or as the peasant who carried her roses.  A feast for the eyes as we drive back out of town and wave at everyone that is gathering for tonight's big events.After a lemans start with all of us running through the square to our vehicles, the rally is officially on.  A few vehicles peel off for other locales, but most follow Ponce up the hill to Calderones and the GTO offroad center for a bit of offroad action.  We know our days are tight and we should really be heading due south, but this event (and one more evening with our new friends) is too hard to pass up.  We climb the same hills as our picnic days before, but this time turn towards more difficult terrain.  Half way up the first hill the back hatch pops open and our garrafon and other items pour out and roll down the hill to the other cars (very hard core offroaders we are).  A quick hop out and Jen spends the rest of the day hanging onto a rope that now holds our back door in place...but since she was white knucking it anyway, why not?E handles great and kept up with the 4x4s and their crazy suspension as we pick lines and crawl over the rocky terrain.  Looking at us in the pack (during momentary stops in between difficult stretches) it seems impossible given our ground clearance is a small fraction of everyone else's.  Regardess, the bus somehow makes it work and rumbles on.  At the final uber-steep pitch jen begs me not to attempt it and thoughts of our home rolling down the hill make me easily comply.  We watch as the 4x4s ascend the hill and as a few spin out and have to roll back down in reverse.We all share a photo and a beer at the top taking in the postcard-worthy view and then Jen and I follow Team Astrid back down the hill so we can all check a few other challenges off our list.  Jen and I (and i think everyone else) is in complete awe that we somehow make it out of the GTO offroad park without being towed or breaking something.  We enjoy our last day in Guanajuato grabbing lunch, picking up some groceries and then heading back for our final night at camp and a nice evening at Katie's.  We just cant get enough of Katie or Guanajuato and look forward to seeing both again!

Special thanks to Bryon from Exploring Elements for some photo/video of the bus today. The shots of the bus (from outside) are his great work.