South of the Border - Yucatan Bound travel blog

Roadway sign on way to Palenque

We woke up early this morning to a slice of rural life in Mexico. The roosters were crowing enthusiastically to greet the new day. When Joe & Margrita took Foxy & Mocha out for their morning walks, we had a symphony of barking dogs. The local farmer was bringing his cows in and Foxy had never seen a huge bull before; she became very alert and Joe thought she might take on the animal several times her weight and size.

We had agreed to leave at 8 o'clock bound for Palenque, about 170 miles distant; however, we couldn't leave until Jackie gave our host family the photos she had taken of them last night. They were quite fascinated to see themselves on the viewer of her digital camera and even more awed by the printed photographs. Margrita had a huge bag of candy and she gave that to the Mom to dole out to the kids or maybe send to school with them.

Our drive today presented some pretty good roads. Major road improvements are being implemented over several thousand kilometers throughout Mexico, and we were fortunate to travel on some of those newly re-surfaced roads today. The countryside ranged from jungle to swampland, sparsely populated with people. Most of the towns and villages were clean and since it was Saturday, lots of school children were out waving as we passed by. Particularly beautiful was Mamantel with a lovely landscaped town square adjacent to a one-room school house. We were waved on at all the inspection points and actually traveled through three states today, Campeche, Tabasco, and, a new one for the trip, Chiapas. We had one toll of 53 pesos to cross the Puente Usumacinta.

We arrived at our campground, Los Leones El Paraisio Trailer Park, early and set up before the torrential rains came. Slowly, the rest of our fragmented group arrived and, by 5 o'clock, 16 of our 19 rigs were here. We still have three back at Xel-Ha under medical care for suspected pneumonia. The good news is they are reportedly doing well; the bad news is a few more of our traveling companions are now ill.

After a short social hour to get our briefing for tomorrow, we headed out to dinner at the local hotel. The rain has not relented so we are in for a wet night.

We have driven a little over 2,000 miles in Mexico and we're currently at an elevation of 160 feet.

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