Today was basically a ride “from here to there” with little of interest in between.
As planned we got a fairly early start and were on the road before 9:00 AM but even at that hour it was already getting fairly hot. The breeze from the Gulf of Mexico helped quite a bit.
We followed the coast line taking the libre (free) road as it looked more interesting than the toll road and of course saved a few dollars. This was a great choice as it was fairly winding which is a treat. It has been weeks since we rode a nice road. The Yucatan Peninsula is so flat the roads are pretty much dead straight for miles and miles. Southern Saskatchewan would look like hil country by comparison.
We passed through several picturesque fishing villages and beach towns along the coast until we had to turn inland and back to the straight, boring roads once again.
About half way we stopped for lunch at a roadside restaurant. I got up to use the washroom and when I returned, there were Jim and Susan, our Californian friends, sitting with Janine. I know we are following the same basic route but this is a big country. The chances of running into each other like this four times in a week must be pretty high. Janine says there must be a good reason for it.
After a very tasty lunch with good conversation we were back on the road feeling rejuvenated. The last 200 km or so seemed to go by pretty quickly even though there was little improvement in the road or the scenery.
We left the state of Campeche and briefly traveled through a narrow section of Tabasco state before entering the state of Chiapas. We have now been to both the town of Tabasco and the state of Tabacso. Unfortunately, if we want to go to the Tabasco Sauce factory we need to go to Louisianan since the famous sauce is not even made in Mexico.
We reached the town of Palenque by 4:00 PM and took a short tour looking for suitable digs. We finally broke down and bought a Loney Planet guide for Mexico while in Merida and it suggested we look to hotels along the road from the town site to the ruins.
We took that advice and rode out to the ruins but did not see anything to our liking. We prefer to be in town with plenty of choices for restaurants within walking distance.
Back in town we found a great little hotel with secure parking. (hotel Lacandonia M$450). It even has a very good café a pizza restaurant built into it. To top it off, the colectivo station is right around the corner. (Colectivos are small vans that run to various locations and pick up/drop off passengers anywhere along the route. They are very inexpensive)
Tomorrow we plan on exploring the ancient Mayan city of Palenque and perhaps the famed waterfalls at Agua Azul if we can fit it all in to our day.