After our day in Calakmul, we were tired and had a short riding day. The wind was still blowing and we had 3 ruins to visit, Chicanná, Becán and Xpujil. Thankfully, they were all close. I’d read about Chicanná (House of the Serpent Mouth) in the Lonely Planet and it was on my must-see list, mainly due to the serpent-mouth door. Being in the Yucatan peninsula, which has a long dry period, there were plenty of Chac (rain god) sculptures around. He’s very easy to spot with his Gonzo-like nose although lots of the noses have fallen off.
After the ruins, we started a little on the way north and were glad to not be riding into a headwind. The east-west road had been a decent size, but with minimal traffic. Heading north, the road got smaller and the traffic dropped off even more. It was a straight shot, but only 15km to the small town so we didn’t notice it too much.
The next day, we kept going north and the road just seemed to go on and on and on. I was glad to have my iPod and a ton of podcasts to listen to keeping me entertained. Peter took to learning to hands free riding to keep himself going.
The road, being so quiet, had no towns on the map for long stretches. The last one for 70km is where we stopped for lunch. We looked around and found a couple of very small stores, chose one of them and Peter ordered the one bottle of coke they had in the fridge. That is especially surprising, considering that Mexico is the place where they drink more coke than anywhere else in the world, and most places have more bottles of coke than everything else added together. We asked what they had for lunch, and the 12-year-old kid, who was busily watching The Smurfs while in charge of the store, told us that he had to ask his mum. He came back and told us to wait, we assumed he meant his mum would come and speak to us, but 25 minutes later a bowl of rice and eggs came. It wasn’t the most delicious thing we’ve eaten, but it was the only thing in town so it worked well.
That evening we made it to Dzibalchén and immediately noticed the number of tractors driving round the town centre. After a few, we realised it was because there were lots of Mennonites living in the area. I guess because it’s so sparsely populated there is a lot of cheap land for them to farm and get away from others so they can set up their own communities. It was Mardi Gras, so in the town square there was a concert going on, a guy running round in drag, and it looked like there had been fighting with paint and flour.
The next day was pretty short, we got to Hopelchén and spent the afternoon there. I was busy working on the blog, Peter was reading news. Even though we’re travelling, he spends 3+ hours a day reading the news and so has things to keep him occupied whenever I’m taking downtime, a very patient man!
Time flew by organising things and before we knew it, it was 4:30. We still had about 30 km to go to Bolonchén so had to head out before it got too dark. We got split up when we were riding and I got to town around 6:15. I sat by the side of the road and after about 30 minutes was getting slightly concerned. Peter finally rolled in around 7:30 and had apparently got so exhausted riding, due to barely sleeping the night before as we’d had noisy birds singing throughout the night, that he stopped and looked for a field to camp in, but couldn’t find phone signal to let me know so had to keep going.
Camping in Dzibalchén