Garmin Info and Map: Villahermosa to Cárdenas
Garmin Info and Map: Cárdenas to Comalcalco
I really enjoyed my stay in Villahermosa but, after 4 nights, decided to move on. After the tremendously high temperatures over the weekend, I was relieved to be riding on a cooler day. The roads were busy at first getting out of the big city and then I turned onto a road that followed the Rio Carrizoll. After a few miles it was lovely. This was the first quiet road I had taken in a long time and it felt great. Occasionally, I had glimpses of the river but mostly I was riding passed a lot of banana trees. The terrain was lush, green and very humid. I think the temps were only in the low 80's but the air was still very wet.
|Open hole warning|
Unfortunately, I had to get back on the highway to cross a river. There was a construction zone and the lanes in my direction were blocked off to traffic. The diverted traffic was on the lanes in the opposite direction. There really wasn't enough room for the trike with the big trucks. Riding with traffic would be very stressful. Since I couldn't see any machinery or workers in the blocked off lanes, I decided to take a risk even though I had no idea how long the construction zone was. Well, my empty road ended just before it merged back with traffic after about 2 miles. There was a huge bulldozer and a giant gully where a large pipe was being installed. There was no way I could get across. I was really disappointed that I had to ride back the way I came and then would have to ride in the heavy traffic. Ugh! While I was sitting in the trike, absorbing my situation, a construction worker approached. After first, he said yes, there was no way I could get through and I needed to ride back the way I came. I pointed out that there really wasn't enough room to ride with traffic and asked if there was anyway we could get the trike across the break in the road. First he said no and then he showed me a possibility on the other side of a large mount of sand. He suggested we roll the trike around it. Great, fantastic. The construction guy moved the trike so quickly all I could do was show him how to steer and get out of the way. Next thing I knew I was back riding. It was like presto chango and my problem was fixed.
|Construction worker rolling my trike beyond the break in the road.|
A day in Comalcalco
After leaving Cárdenas, I went through a tiny little town to check out the Light of the World church and then turned to what looked like a sweet back road. Unfortunately, as soon as I left the little town, the road turned to sand and was impossible to get traction on. So, it was back to the highway. While looking at the map I saw there are 2 highway roads next to each other. I figured each went a different direction but, instead, one was the new road and the other was the old road. I took the quieter old road. There were lots of little towns and I really enjoyed this road. At one point, I came across what I think was a political rally. There were lots of different groups waving flags and chanting songs. They were all excited to see the trike and I became the center of attention as I rode passed. It was really fun.
|Light of the World Church|
|Comalcalco North Temple Mayan Ruin|
Not far after the political rally a taxi driver stopped to ask where I was going. He said this is a dangerous road. I asked how and he made the sign of someone shooting a gun. He said there were bandits on this road that might rob me. I have no idea if he was joking around but he really spooked me. A little bit further there were some transit police parked and I stopped to ask if it was true. Their answer wasn't reassuring. In fact, it was very confusing. At first, they said the road was dangerous and then they said I didn't have anything to worry about. Well, in the next mile I, somehow, made an unexpected turn and found myself on the new highway. This is a much busier road but now I didn't have anything to worry about.
It wasn't much further to Comalcalco which is about the same size as Cárdenas. A motorcycle policeman pulled up to ask what I was doing. I decided to ask him for a hotel recommendation. He escorted me to Hotel Xochimilco which is very close to the city center. I got checked in for $16 to a very basic room. The people that run the hotel were super nice and excited that I was staying there. The owner gave me lots of ideas for things to see and places for food. This town is famous for Mayan ruins that are close by. The next day I rode the 4 miles. The site is small with about 10 buildings. Comalcalco means 'Home of the Comal' which refers to the bricks that were baked for the construction of the buildings. The mortar was made from crushed oyster shells. This construction is completely different than any other ruins I have visited. The time frame of the civilization is the same as all the other sites, 600 bc - 700 ad, but the buildings at the other sites are mostly made of limestone. In the morning, I took my time enjoying the mercado in town and I got to the ruins so late it was very hot while I was walking around. The Acropolis wasn't the most attractive but the most interesting of the buildings. A crude ramp had been built to make it easier to walk to the top even though the railing was missing in sections. From the top of the acropolis it is possible to walk within the walls and see the construction up close. The view of the site from above was also very nice. There is also a museum showing artifacts discovered at the site. It is small and didn't take long to get through.
|Selfie at the ruins|
|Walking on the Acropolis|
|View from the top|
I took a ton of photos, some video and spent the rest of the day processing and uploading using the very slow wifi. Slow wifi continues to be a very frustrating issue. I really like the town of Comalcalco.