The “heart of Texas” is what I am riding through now. Leaving Austin, my path goes quickly through Cedar Creek and Bastrop. I go into a “Chick-fil-a”. After I finish eating, someone asks how my meal was and offers to refill my soda cup — a new experience in a fast food restaurant.
Desolute, dreary, bleak, barren… Just when I am about to give up on Texas, I hit the Hill Country. Scrubland is replaced with juniper, oak and maple stands; desert scene with gentle rivers and lush valleys. White tailed deer jump around. Armadillos — flat, half or quarter — sleep by the side of the road.
Yes, there are hills, too.
The El Paso hostel is a bit run down. I think the clerk put me in the noisiest room. No matter, I am sound asleep. The town has a few decent bike shops and next day I hunt for a couple of spare tubes and spokes. Shop owners seem friendly and helpful. I buy a bus day pass to explore the city, but end up using it only once and walk everywhere. The other side of an avenue south of downtown is all Mexican; shops, produce, signs, people, everything, even the dogs. I thought I passed the border by accident. The waiter in a Thai restaurant keeps asking me how my food is. It got a bit colder since you asked a few minutes ago.
It’s election day in the States. Not that it matters; just an observation.
Before leaving Silver City, I ride to the downtown area to see it in morning light. There is hardly anyone on the streets in cool bright morning. After a delicious coffee in “Diane’s” bakery and a quick grocery shopping, I check out from the motel and head east.