Maya Rally, Oaxaca
We spend most of our day driving to make sure we keep on track for finishing the rally. We wake up well rested and fueled with the eggs from Senora Mariposa and then backtrack to the highway to head south. Our plan is to camp somewhere around Puebla, but the city and smog are bigger/thicker than we might have thought.An hour or so break to update the blog and we are back on our way heading south for Oaxaca. We refuel again using our jerry cans and wonder how long before someone decides to build a gas station along the cuota. As the sun starts to set we cross the state line into Oaxaca and marvel at the beauty of the rolling mountains on both sides of us. We momentarily consider ditching the rally to backpack but realize our current backpacking gear consists of flipflops and a camera bag, and keep moving. As we cross over one of the higher ascents we hear honking and see our good friends from Team astrid pass us with Bryon hanging out the window for the best shot. We trail behind them and and pull into the Pemex as the sun sets fully. We chat about where we've been, fill our tanks and decide to caravan through darkness the remaining hour to the city of Oaxaca. The Team Astrid vehicle has a bit of trouble starting due to a vapor lock but nothing that cant be resolved by waiting it our and removing the lid. We did assist with a push and waited them out, so hopefully the rally judges will throw some points our way for throwing our competitive natures aside and selflessly helping another rally team. The remainder of the drive through the mountains is a bit sketchy simply due to Mexican driving habits and the darkness (not uncommon even on a 2 lane road through winding through mountains to see cars 4 or 5 wide as everyone passes everyone else at the same time). We remember why we have our no driving at night rule and discuss adding a clause about "even with others", but roll into town without a problem. We follow Team Astrid and their GPS through town and back up the other side before heading offroad and down some steep rocky roads into a ravine.We aren't thrilled when they stop and make a u-turn and we have to navigate the the uphill in complete darkness. Another few misdirections from their GPS (maybe this is why we don't own one) and we finally pull into the driveway of the campground they found in the Churchs' book. The gate is locked solid and a neighbor lets us know they've been closed down for a while (maybe why we don't own that book either). We all revert to the Danger method and start asking directions and the neighbor leads us down the hill to the other campground in town.
We pull in late, gasp at the price that the caretaker wants for a few hours in the campground. Not many other options at this point, so we pay the fee and head out on foot for a some quick Al Pastor Tacos and beers.