Monday, December 13, 2010

San Cristobal, Palenque, Chichen Itza

Dec 5th, On my way to San Cristobal de Las Casas:
When I arrived I've asked direction on how to get to the backpackers hostel. 
And saw a motorcycle meetup with racers and also many BMW owners, part of the San Cristobal BMW club. They meet only once a year and I happen to be driving by that day!
I instantly received a beer and had a fan club when they saw my bike fully equiped and knew where I was coming from.

On the left Pancho (blue shirt), then Fito(right to the bike), I forgot the guy's name in the middle, then the hottie next to me is Karla. 
Picture of Fito in front of the BMW banner. It wasn't his bike he had the same as mine. He said I could stay to his place if I needed, but then Luis, the guy with the red shirt said he owns an hotel and I can have a room free of charge if I wanted.

Had to park the bike so I could drink more. I've followed Luis to his hotel and went to the hotel's bar. 
The Hotel is: "Diego de Mazariegos". It's a very nicest hotel, the nicest of my trip for sure. I suggest you go there if you go to San Cristobal. It was very generous of Luis for inviting me over. 

 At the bar Luis kept getting beers and Tequilla shots for us, and also food. I was pretty drunk actually i can't remember how many I had. The people at the bike show came over to join us, a pretty fun night. When the bar closed, a few of us went to another bar to drink more. I should have taken pictures. I was so drunk I could not remember where the hotel was and I took a 100m cab ride back.

It was an excellent day; got beers, food, hotel and got lucky with a very hot girl, what else could I possibly want? I love motorcycle travel! I think I'll be travel sick when I go back to Canada, being home sick? not for me, not right now!
 Dec 6th I woke up surprinsly early. Went driving down the tight and slippery streets of San Cristobal to bring my new friend where she had to be.
Took a few pictures of the town and found a place for Internet.
 It was a quite lazy day, didn't do much, at night Fito invited me to a friend's place to see a football match, drink beer and we also had pizza.

 Fito drove me back to the hotel, we stopped for pictures, and also at a Mezcal bar for degustation. I bought a bottle of Almond Mezcal from Oaxaca, very smooth and sweet, something we can't find anywhere in Canada or USA.

Left the next day, December 7th, to Palenque; a well known ruins site.
Pancho, the guy at the motorcycle meetup, made a phone call to his friend that owns an hotel on the way to the ruins in Palenque. He got me a room free of charge! Again!

Going tru mountains on the way to Palenque:
The road could be hazardous, sometimes you see portions of road litteraly gone and sometimes fallen rocks blocking half the road. That's a reason why driving at night can be dangerous.

 Got to the Hotel Villas Kin-Ha:
I receive my free room! Actually it was a villa like this.

It's a very nice hotel, very well located, a few minutes to the ruins. If you go to Palenque I suggest you go there.

 Before I left the next morning, Dec 8th, I had to say Thank You to Emmanuel. If I understood correctly, him and his brother Carlos are owner of the hotel. He said to me he was glad to help! I still can't believe I got 3 nights of very nice hotels free of charge given to me by very generous people. I don't think this would happen as much being part of a group of motocyclists. I really appreciate that!

In Palenque to the ruins, in the jungle for the 1st time in my life. You can hear monkeys, see bamboo and lianas from the trees.

 You can go inside this one.

This site was amazing, you can also go inside the ruins,  tunnels are everywhere, there is a court yard, an observation tower, rooms, etc.

 On the Palenque site itself there are 1450 structures hidden in the jungle. I've walked a little in the jungle and seen this one. Unfortunately I did not see any Toucan or monkey, but they were there!

On my way back to the parking lot I met with Cam and Summer, a couple from BC, Canada, doing a South American trip like me by car. Exchange info as they are taking Spanish Lesson in Guatemala and we might cross path again. I just type Cancun on my GPS and it brings me towards the Atlantique Ocean, passing by Merida.

It's getting dark I need to find a place to sleep, I am in "Isla Aguado" near Ciudad del Carmen. Four guys doing a pilgrimage (running for days with a religious t-shirt) come to me and ask for taking a picture of me. They are thousands doing this right now.  They do that by group, in a truck. You see them running on the side of the road with a torch and they relay each other every 1km. I ask where they sleep tonight and they go sleep outside at the beach so I follow them over there for a place to camp.

I set up mu hammock just over there next to the other ones.

I practice my Spanish a little bit with them which is great! They've got me some food from the Church acrosss the street. They told me they are running from 5am to 5pm everyday for 15 days fro their pilgrimage.

Dec 9th, they left at about 5:40am, it was still dark.

I spent too much time looking at maps wondering about the toll road or not, Chichen Itza or not, decide to just go and decide later what to do. It start to rain for the 1st time in my trip, not too bad, but it's early in the morning, I can't see anything, water goes in my right motocross boot from the big hole in it, and I slide through some big puddle of water accumulating in the road, not safe.

I stop for a breakfast and coffee til rain stop then keep going and got a flat, maybe 80km later. 
I had a 3inches nail in the tire, it ripped the tube for about 2inches long. I use my biggest patch. Then  my pump decide to be leaking air instead of pumping it. I sacrifice a CO2 cartridge to realize it's still leaking... I've been able to find a shop nearby with a small portable air compressor. Few man came over to help me while another one was keeping an eye on my motorcycle and my stuff. 
And maybe 2 hours later it's fixed, well I thought it was... 

 Tru a construction zone, got a flat tire again, and still no pump.
I remove the wheel and make hand signs to passing traffic that I need a pump. I truck pulled over and the driver help me fix the tire. I did not clean enough the area where the patch is and the glue did not hold. The driver said it's a big hole in my tube it might not last very long... So I put a 21" tube in my 17" tire to keep me going and it worked.

I arrived in Merida and ask many locals about a cheap hotel and I place to get motorcycle parts. I've found a 140 pesos hotel (~$12) and a motorcycle store a few blocks away. I've bought a bicycle heavy hand pump and another 21" tube as emergency. They don't have anything 17"... There is a park with many small restaurents and food stand nearby. I go over ther for food, a lot of food, and I watch tv sitting outside. December 10th I also stay there for a rest, using internet, fix a few things on the bike. I did all the motorcycle dealers, bike parts, auto parts, big stores, and a Costco, maybe 10 stores in total and I cannot find a 12V pump! Actualy I do find one in Costco but it's on wheel and it's bigger than my bike... Every Pemex here has air so I guess they don't need 12V pump... So I'll go with a bicycle pumps and a wrong size of tube as emergency...

Chichen Itza is on my program for Decmber 11th:

The ball court: 

A "Skull Platform", where they were to exhibit  the skulls of ennemies and sacrificed prisoners. 

I go to Cancun the same day, and it will be my next post on my blog.

1 comment:

  1. Allô Sim,
    Eh bien, dans tes difficultés, tu rencontres vraiment de bonnes gens. C'est super. Dans la vrai vie, on peut faire de belles rencontres aussi mais on dirait qu'on a moins le temps de voir cela - Trop occupé au boulot. N'empêche que c'est en travaillant fort que tu permets ce genre de voyage aujourd'hui. J'espère que tu vas trouver ce qu'il te faut pour réparer tes pneus avant de quitter le Mexique. As-tu penser où tu seras pour Noël ? Plus que 11 jours.
    En espérant que tu ne seras pas dans un pays hostile. À date, tu as profité de la belle température. Alors continue à être prudent, les routes doivent être terribles quand il pleut.
    À la prochaine!