Our monthly collection of snaps from the digital cutting-room floor. Previous months can be found at this link.

 


 

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To our shame, we became a little blasé about Mexican churches after a while, but our eyes were still regularly caught by the breathtaking detail on the best of them. This is the cathedral in Dolores Hidalgo, a town famous as the cradle of Mexican independence.
Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Mexico
3 February 2015

 


 

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After dark, the labyrinthine streets and alleyways of Guanajuato are lent extra ambience by the nightly callejoneadas, for which a troupe of musicians in 17th-century get-up sing folk ballads and perform well-worn historical skits as they lead a pack of mostly Mexican tourists through the city. It’s rather hokey, to be sure, but we’re suckers for this sort of thing and enjoyed it immensely.
Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
4 February 2015

 


 

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Guanajuato has come to claim a strong connection with Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote. We spent a wide-eyed hour at the Museo Iconográfico del Quijote, a likeably eccentric operation with nearly 20 rooms containing nothing but portraits of the crazed knight.
Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico
5 February 2015

 


 

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This is Claudia and her mother Yola, a fabulous duo who run a little sandwich stand in the small town of Villa de Reyes. The food was great and the conversation was a hoot. When we think back on our time in Mexico, it’s half-hours like the one we spent with them that we’ll remember above all others.
Villa de Reyes, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
7 February 2015

 


 

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We met José and Jessica on the streets of San Luis Potosí, just hanging around and showing off their bikes to passers-by. Jessica’s is a classic Schwinn, kept in excellent nick. But it pales next to José’s cruiser, which he built himself – including that impractical but magnificent chainring.
San Luis Potosí, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
8 February 2015

 


 

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Inverted commas are used with gay abandon in Mexico. However, they were well merited at our lodgings in the truckstop settlement of El Huizache, where the baños (bathrooms) lacked running water.
El Huizache, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
10 February 2015

 


 

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This monument to the Tropic of Cancer, a short ride south of Matehuala, marked our ultimate departure from the tropics. We’ve hardly seen a blue sky since.
between El Huizache & Matehuala, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
10 February 2015

 


 

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Musicians hanging around a bar during the day – a common sight around the world. At least these guys were working.
Matehuala, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
10 February 2015

 


 

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Named by the Spanish in honour of 14 soldiers killed by locals, Real de Catorce was founded in the late 1700s in the isolated hills of Nuevo León. It enjoyed its heyday around a century later, when the discovery of silver turned it into a mining boom town, but most of its 15,000 residents deserted the place when the the treasure ran out. A few hundred people live there today, many making a living from the tourists who trek up a lengthy cobbled road to see this eerie, crumbling ghost town.
Real de Catorce, Nuevo León, Mexico
11 February 2015

 


 

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‘Y Griega de Arriba’ translates, with a little poetic licence, as ‘The Y on High’. When we asked a local how on earth his town got such a peculiar name, he pointed out that the road forks here, hence ‘Y’. A few miles down the hill, he continued, there’s another fork in the road – at ‘Y Griega de Bajada’, or ‘The Y Down Low’. Simple, he said, with a massive grin.
Y Griega de Arriba, Nuevo León, Mexico
13 February 2015

 


 

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The road north from San Luis Potosí to Monterrey wasn’t just a bleak sprint through the desert. On a whim and a hunch, we turned right off the highway at San Roberto to follow what we hoped would be a quieter road to Linares. It turned out to be a real beauty, rolling hills followed by a winding descent through a river valley into Mexican farming country.
between Iturbide & Linares, Nuevo León, Mexico
13 February 2015

 


 

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The morning after a skinful of strong local beer at the Phoenix Saloon in the company of our old friend Ross, our ride through the Texas hills proved a little testing. Our reward? A vast plate of barbecue at the legendary Salt Lick.
Driftwood, TX, USA
17 February 2015

 


 

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We didn’t know what we’d find when we left the highway and turned into Bastrop State Park, but we certainly weren’t expecting endless acres of burned, blackened pines, their hollowed trunks whistling in the wind. We learned later that in 2011, this was the site of the largest wildfire in Texas history: more than 1,600 homes were destroyed in the blaze, which burned for fully three weeks.
Bastrop State Park, TX, USA
22 February 2015

 


 

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Although Carol Montgomery spent her working years in Houston, she always had a passion for the countryside. In 1972, she bought a plot of land in the sticks outside Austin and built her own home on it, eventually moving there full-time after she retired in the early 2000s. In the bunkhouse above her barn, she’s been hosting touring cyclists for more than ten years through the Warmshowers network. We were honoured to spend an evening with this quietly remarkable woman, watching the Oscars and hearing stories from a life well lived.
Carmine, TX, USA
22 February 2015

 


 

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Even normally balmy Texas hasn’t escaped the fierce winter weather this year. We’ve been riding all week through a brutal cold snap, freezing air made worse by spiteful, biting headwinds. This picture was taken shortly before Ruth robbed a bank.
near Navasota, TX, USA
23 February 2015

 


 

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A particularly fine ghost sign.
Navasota, TX, USA
23 February 2015

 


 

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Ruth could barely contain her excitement when we passed by the Texas home of her all-time hero, Chuck Norris*. About half a mile down the road is another ranch, this one owned by the great Lyle Lovett. The mind boggles as to the conversations the two of them might have over neighbourly dinners.
near Navasota, TX, USA
24 February 2015

 


 

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Farewell, Texas…
near Bon Wier, TX, USA
26 February 2015

 


 

* Just kidding. As everyone knows, Ruth’s real hero is Bruce Willis.

from Lafayette, LA, USA