After Mérida, we were on the home stretch, passing ruins such as Chichén Itzá, Cobá and Tulum, the colonial city of Valladolid and then to the Caribbean and the beaches at Playa del Carmen and Cancún, as well as the usual number of smaller, less well-known, towns. Cancún is the end for us as that’s where Peter’s flight back to NYC on the 28th of February is waiting. As far as my route is concerned, I’m going to Cuba for a month or so, although the ticket isn’t booked
The next day we rode to Uxmal, and were met by our most developed ruin to date. The entrance had a coffee shop, with a few tourists standing round at 10am enjoying their morning Coronas, surrounded by expensive looking shops selling half litre bottles of water for 25 pesos. There was also Infinitum Movil, the free wi-fi found in many town squares, McDonald’s and Starbucks across Mexico. We tried to walk in through the turnstile, our first one of those too, but were turned back. Every other
Bolonchén was the last town in Campeche and after breakfasting at the same place as the night before, due to it being the only place to eat we found, we headed up. Our eggs had been quite good, but at 40 pesos, instead of the normal 25 (or about 20 in Guatemala) they were further proof of the higher prices in the Yucatán peninsula. On the way to the border with the state of Yucatán we went past a signposted municipal dump. It looked identical to other parts of the road except instead of signs
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
I’d mentioned to Norman that we liked getting up early, well I did at least, and I was very impressed the next morning when at 5:30 I went to the bathroom and came back to find that Norman’s tent was taken apart and he was trying to pack it up. It was his first time sleeping in it, so he wasn’t going to be fast, but I was very impressed with the early rising. I’d have another person to persuade Peter that leaving earlier than he usually got up was a good idea!