Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Tizimin, Vallalodid and Back to Cancun

GPS Info and Map: 

Rio Lagartos lagoon is exceptionally beautiful and I hope to return some day. The lagoon is peaceful with many birds and large flocks of flamingos to enjoy. I stayed at a fabulous hotel with a wonderful view of the water too. Rio Lagartos doesn't have a bank or ATM so, if you come, make sure to bring enough cash. Luckily, there were a few restaurants that take credit cards. The hotel needed cash for my 3 night stay which didn't leave me much left over but, in the end I had enough. I found a French couple that were hiring a boat with a guide and asked if I could join them. This brought the cost down for all of us. 

The road to Tizimin, like much of the Yucatan, is incredibly flat. This is hurricane country and all the trees are short all growing to the same height. My ride was very hot with few places to stop and take a break. Tizimin is a beef town and I rode passed many cattle ranches. In Tizimin, I stayed at the same hotel as the last time. The people are very nice, the room is clean and the wifi is pretty good. I walked to the mercado for tacos. Tacos all over Mexico are different. In Tizimin, tacos are served with roasted potatoes. Yummy!

Sunset at Rio Lagartos

Church in the morning sky

Feeling sadness leaving Tizimin video

The rain felt sooo good
My final ride of this tour was into Valladolid where I settled into a lovely hotel. $40 gets you a beautiful room that would cost $150 in the US with all the amenities. The weather on this tour has been hot since I started but the last couple of weeks have been extra hot. Even though I was sad the tour was coming to a close the heat was getting to be too much to carry on any further.  There was one more point of interest to check off my list and I made plans to visit the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza. There are many tours to choose from but I took the local bus that goes every hour from Vallodolid to Merida. The bus dropped me right in the parking lot of the ruins. There was a section of the parking chocked full of tour buses. This place was crazy busy. The ruins are exceptional and it was easy to see why so many people were visiting.  I also spent a day exploring Vallodolid before taking a bus, with Myrtle, back to Cancun to prepare for my flight home.

Main Temple at Chichen Itza

Jaguar head carving in the pelota courta

Backside of temple

1000 columns

Video of my visit to Chichen Itza on a ridiculously hot day

Colorful mercado

At 20 pesos to the USD, this food is very inexpensive

Smiles at the mercado


Last video of the tour

San Servicio, Valladolid

4 tacos and a watermelon juice for $2, oh baby baby!

Ex-convent San Bernardino
Ex-convent from the air

Cenote across the street from my hotel in Valladolid

Good colors in Valladolid
I stayed at the same hotel on my last night in Mexico as my first. The hotel is directly across the street from the bus station where I easily took a bus to the airport with Myrtle folded and ready for my flight. On my e-ticket, my flight was leaving from terminal 4. The bus dropped me there but I quickly learned that AeroMexico flights depart from terminal 2. I waited for the airport shuttle and got a ride to Terminal 2. My flight is actually a Delta flight and left from terminal 3. Luckily, I arrived to the airport early and had tipped the shuttle guy very well the 1st time. He was excited to see me again and made the 2 shuttle ride stress-free. Delta had no problem with the trike and didn't even charge me extra. I had a uneventful 5-hour flight to Los Angeles where a friend picked me up. 

Another tour has come to an end. I'll be spending my summer in Portland. There are already many rides planned. Pedalpalooza is a month long bike festival every June in Portland and there are hundreds of rides to join in included the world's biggest World Naked Bike Ride. I'll be at TOT in Idaho during that ride, darn! And then I always ride to the Recumbent Retreat every September. This is my 13th year riding there and it is the 20th year of the event.

Alright everyone, thanks for following along! There will be a few updates over the summer as I decide where my next tour will be.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Coastal Roads of the Yucatan Peninsula

GPS info and map:

This is an area of the Yucatan that I've been looking forward to seeing since the beginning of my trip. The great astroid that resulted in killing off the dinosaurs crashed in this area of the Yucatan. The astroid made a huge crater that measured 93 miles in diameter and 12 miles deep. It is known as the Chicxulub crater and I rode through this small beach community. There isn't any place you can go to actually see the astroid or crater. There are many cenotes, natural swimming holes, that are said to be a result of the ancient astroid. The cenotes are deep fresh water and are really beautiful in a natural setting.  

Laguna Rosada video with a drone shot I'm proud of

Rio Lagartos

Long flat roads of the Yucatan

Playing with the drone on the road to Tizimin

In beautiful Rio Lagartos, I went on a wonderful boat tour of the lagoon to see large flocks of flamingos.  Flamingos are skittish birds and we had to keep a good distance in the boat. Our driver showed many local birds and other animals including a crocodile resting in a mangrove. I couldn't believe how close he brought the boat. My camera doesn't have much zoom and I was taking pictures within a foot of the croc!

Croc in the water

Rio Lagartos flamingos

Salt flats

Fishing boats in Rio Lagartos

On the boat in Rio Lagartos lagoon

Friday, June 15, 2018

Exciting and Historic Cities of Campeche and Merida

GPS info and map: Sebaplaya to Merida

I made a big change for this tour by adding video. These videos are typically less than 5 minutes and my idea was to add another layer to my story telling to give a different view of my travels. Video brings a more intimate and immediate view of what's happening. I've been using a Removu K1 video camera with a 3-axis gimbal and a Mavic Air drone as well as photos to make the videos. Video truly is a time consuming process but I've been enjoying the process. There's been a steep learning curve but, slowly and surprisingly, I'm figuring it out. I had to learn new video editing software (Final Cut Pro X), the Removu K1 camera, Mavic Air drone as well as how to tell a story through video. Unfortunately, what has been falling behind are my blog updates. I also enjoy doing these blog updates but they take me at least a couple of hours to complete. As a compromise, I going to make a change to how I do the future blog updates. In the past, I have always written up a detailed page about my rides, added GPS info and photos and then published when the page is totally complete. What I'm going to try now is to publish pages with GPS info, photos and video 1st and then go back later to fill in the details. Let me know what you think of this format.

On the Road to Campeche
Also, my Garmin bit the dust and so I'm using my phone to upload ride data to Ride With GPS. My problem is I tend to forget to stop and save the ride ending up with lots of extra miles as I walk around town or take busses to explore points of interest in neighboring towns. I'll probably replace my Garmin when I return to the US this summer but until then ....

I had a shortish ride from Sebaplaya to Campeche and found a hotel in the old walled city. Campeche is a UNESCO heritage city with a rich history of pirates.

Campeche on a quiet Sunday morning
Myrtle resting in the dining room at the hotel

My hotel in Campeche, $18/night in the historic area

Cathedral de San Francisco

Old Walled City Campeche is famous for

Statue showing a meeting of religion, Spaniards and indigenous peoples

Yellow Church in Old Town Campeche

Colorful historic Campeche

Templo de San Jose has a lighthouse in one of the steeples

Templo de San Jose at night

I took a side trip by bus to the near by Mayan ruins of Edzna.  I was able to take a local bus for less than $2 for the 30 minute ride. The bus dropped me right at the entrance to the site. These ruins date back to 400 AD. They were discovered in 1907 but the ruins weren't excavated until 1986. It is a fairly small site with about 10 buildings. Holy moly, it was hot walking around!
Edzna Mayan Ruins

Main Temple
Path at Edzna

Pirates and the Road to Campeche

Hotter 'n Hell in Campeche

Since there weren't any hotels within a reasonable distance of Campeche, I decided to take a bus from Campeche to Merida. Taking the bus continues to be a wonderful experience in Mexico. Buses seems to go everywhere, they are very inexpensive, comfortable and there is always plenty of room for the trike. No one has ever questioned me about bringing the trike on a bus. Someone is usually available to help me load the trike into the undercarriage and then, again, when I get to my destination. Having the bus as an option for transport has made travel stress free and taken a lot of pressure off me to make sure I find a safe place to spend the night. I love Mexico.

Myrtle's Maintenance Menace in Merida

No alcohol in public!
Shoe Repair
Gustavo expertly fixed my brakes
Street Art
Corner building with ceramic tile

Close up of ceramic tile.

Plaza Mayor Merida