March 20, 2008

San Juan de Los Lagos 2008 Cyclist Pilgrimage (Queretaro, Guanajuato, Jalisco), 16-18.03.08

Photo Set ----- GPS Track

This cycling ride is one of those must-do in the whole year. It is a three-day almost 500 Km odyssey surrounded by lots of cyclists along a pilgrimage that took us to the holy town of San Juan de los Lagos, in the eastern (conservative) state of Jalisco.

This travel starts annually in Mexico City each Sunday previous to the Passover week. Hundreds of cyclists prepare themselves at the toll station of the Queretaro highway. Approximately at 07:00, hundreds of cyclists start this phenomenal ride. Although the pilgrimage nature of this ride is by definition religious, being a religious person is not a prerequisite perse. In fact, I could estimate (risking incurring in blasphemy) that the only true deity of this pilgrimage is the bicycle :-)

Along the road my gf and me decided to pay a visit to the beautiful town of Tepeji del Río, being it a small and picturesque town. After that visit we continued the ride towards Queretaro, destination of the first leg of the travel. At our arrival to Queretaro we decided to stay at the Hidalgo Hotel, in the center of the city. Apropo, it was 200 km long that Mexico City - Queretaro ride.

The second day ride had as destination Leon, in the state of Guanajuato. It is a 180 Km ride, mainly plain. As the second day of this pilgrimage is carried on Mondays, there was a little fewer cyclists along the route, but anyways, it was always fun to ride in the companion of fellow cyclists. Along the highway there were several trucks that gave away water bags and pieces of fruit to the thirsty cyclists. The weather was inclement as there were no clouds in sight. At our arrival to Leon we decided to stay in the same hotel we occupied the previous year.

The third and final day had as its destination San Juan de los Lagos, already in Jalisco state. From Leon it is only a 80 km ride, with some ups and downs along the route. The highway is in pristine condition. We arrived at our destination at about noon. The church was already packed with locals and strangers queuing in the main corridor of the church to gain a place to stay momentarily in front of the image of the virgin oflos Lagos.

We decided to pass the night in San Juan, staying in a cozy hotel just one block in front of the temple. Next day we walked along the busy market streets of San Juan. In the afternoon we took the bus that transported us again to Mexico City.

Thank you for reading. Till the next travel !

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