|An early start today, mainly because I miss-read my watch and got up an hour too early! Consequently we were the first to set off. 400 kms to do today. We decided to omit the afternoon optional visit to another Mayan site but were keen to visit the other suggested stop in the morning namely a charming village where all the houses are painted yellow. Unfortunately we missed the turning.
The good thing about the day was that it was much cooler than usual, at least until 1 o´clock. However, we saw no other rally cars all day long and the scenery was extremely dull with long straight roads bordered by scrubland. At least the road surface was good so we made good progress to our hotel in Campeche and arrived around noon. As usual all the staff plus sundry guests came to take photos of the car at the hotel entrance. Most people around here have mobile phones so they use these to take photos but are usually very polite and ask first. Jenny found someone to wash the car for us.
It was by now very hot weather so a quick dip in the pool to cool off and then a snack lunch. One or two other cars started to arrive in the early afternoon as we set off on a walk to look around the town.
The town has an extensive ancient quarter including an area still surrounded by the original wall that the Mayans built to defend themselves from the Spanish.
In the evening we had a superb meal in a restaurant ajacent to the Caribbean sea. What a superb view and the food was excellent. Smoked salmon for me prepared in the local way (with lots of onions and a few capons) followed by lemon chicken. We drank a Mexican wine for the first time - and that was pretty good too!
Thursday 22nd May was a free day. In the morning a bit of t.l.c. was required by the car. Paul Marsh had suggested I check the shock absorbers all round and he had spotted some leakage from the rear offside one. I took the wheel off and after further examination if proved fine. I took that opportunity to run over a few other checks, replacing the air filter, checking the nuts and bolts around the carbs, checking the gear box oil, and all seemed well. I have been having problems with the opening mechanism for the bonnet which only works once every three pulls. I traced that to a loose cable which I tightenened. Hopefully I tightened it enough so it won´t work loose again and thereby render the bonnet unopenable - what on earth would I do then? With these old cars there´s always something to worry about if you are so inclined.
Later that morning we walked around the town with Joyce Hall (as her husband Stephen had more serious work to finish on his lotus) visiting the botanical gardens, the main cathedral and other local sights together with a couple of stops for cool drinks although Jenny and Joyce had coffee - they must be acclimatised to this heat by now. Back to the hotel for a swim and some lunch and a lazy afternoon.
We are due to go out to dinner later with Geoff and Jenny Dory at a restaurant recommended in the guide book. Tomorrow a long day with a run of over 500 kms to Palenque.