Monday, March 21, 2011

Yucatan Adventure 2011

3/29/11 - Trip complete with border crossing at Pharr (good place to cross). We made a stop at Matahuala, Saltillo (near Monterey), and then crossed the border. We ran mostly toll roads after Queretero to minimize chances for run-in's with the "bad guys". Very smooth trip! Here are the last few Pics.

One of the best trips we've done. The ruins (pyramids), beaches, cenote, people, food, and weather were all fantastic. The highlight was having Traci and Isaac spend a week with us.

A great way to do the Yucatan tour would be to fly into Cancun, rent a car and spend three or four weeks on the road. Very safe, and a super adventure.


Last hotel/ RV camp in Saltillo. We were the only campers but they said a caravan of RV's would arrive the next day. We didn't know whether we should be nervous or very safe here. There were two Federal Policia guards at the gate and ten police vehicles and a trailer full of riot gear parked inside the hotel lot. We think they were all staying in the hotel and using it as a base.


Our hotel in Matahuala. The Walmart was across the street so of course I loved it. We camped in a lot with hook-ups in the back of the hotel. One other camper was there as well.


This 1.7 mile paved walking trail was completely within the walled hotel property. I think they must have planned for a housing development on the property at one time. Sandie and I hiked it and then I jogged it. The desert vegetation was impressive.

3/23/11- Heading north now. Camped next to a Pemex and drove on to Cholula. Now we're near Queretaro. Rode the DR to San Miguel Allende today.


Rode 62 miles on the DR today and walked around San Miguel Allende. Lunch was great!


Seemed like 30% of town was speaking english. Lot's of churches.





We had fun in Cholula spending time with Rudy and Regina, a Swiss couple. We rode the bus to Puebla and enjoyed a fun morning.


Puebla zocalo!



Church on top of the big pyramid in Cholula.


First day of Spring and people celebrate at the archaelogical sites all over Mexico.


I ordered Chicken Mole and pulque to drink (fermented sap/ juice from the Maguey cactus).



Lot's of people wear white on this occasion.


3/18/11 - Pulled wheels and caliper off the right rear this morning. The sliding surfaces were very "gunked up" (technically speaking). It took lot's of scraping and filing to get back to clean metal. I lubed and reinstalled the caliper and then put the wheels back on. We then jumped on the DR for a nice MC ride 90 miles on some of the best road-riding I've seen. Chiapas is really beautiful. We rode to Agua Azul (see Pic) for a fun afternoon.


Mountain on the way to Puebla.


Sunrise at our Pemex camp (gas station parking lot).


Full moon night at the Pemex camp.


Agua Azul Falls


Finally got around to pulling the rear calipers on the MoHo.


Lot's of campers at the Maya Bell near Palenque.


Ever since we got all the great fish from Abraham at Ria Lagartos I've been making Ceviche. It's fantastic! I'll give you the recipe. Cut up the raw fish in little chunks, marinate in lime juice for half an hour, and add the secret ingredientes (save on propane - no cooking required).


Palenque


Palenque


Plalenque


Palenque


Palenque


3/17/11 - Spent one night in a reserve near Escarcega. Woke up with a howler monkey outside our window making very strange sounds. Cool! Drove on yesterday to Palenque and camped in Maya Bell RV park. Went to ruins today and enjoyed them. Came into town in collectivo with a flat tire off the RV. I pulled brake calipers and discovered the flat.




 Camp by orselves in a reserve. Howler monkey midnight serenade.


 Little visited ruins, Becan. We loved it. Only ones there. Thats Sandie!


Becan!


Camped next to plaza in Bacalar. Free, of course! Old fort on left and front of RV on right.


Looking for work! We saw a lot of highways being trimmed with machetes. Pays 83 pesos per day.


In front of our RV in Bacalar.


Paddling on Lake Bacalar. We really loved this place. Our camp was by the water across the lake.

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The owner tied a couple of horses near our camper for overnight grazing. There wasn´t anyone to talk to about it so I thought they´d like some exercise. Here I´m ready to mount up and "ride". Of course the 20' rope limited my ride time.


 Palenque. The Maya Bell is the place to stay. All hippies (including us), music nightly, walk to ruins, Etc.


 Campsite at Maya Bell.


Real cowboy along the highway.

3/14/11 - We spent the last three nights on the shore of Lake Bacalar (thirty miles long, sand bottom, sky blue color - great for kayaking). We´re in the town of Bacalar now to do laundry and internet.



We rode the DR 139 miles along these beach roads. Sandie thought 39 miles would have been more fun.


We stopped for coffee and nachos at Majahual (purpose built cruise ship stop - have you been here?). It was Sunday, so no cruise ships. Nice!


Most people know how much I love flowers. I couldn´t resist this Pic. Sandie and I were kayaking on the lake when we saw these.


They said there weren´t any Crocs on the lake so we felt safe.


Much of the lake is shallow with a sand bottom. Felt like being in a big swimming pool. Very clear water!


Pic from our dock.


Fun camp next door to Tulum. We camped free next to this hotel.

3/10/11 - Our last day with Traci and Isaac. Went back to Funky Camp (Acamaya Reef Cabanas and RV) and loved it.


Isaac loved "Funky Beach" and learned to ask for refresco de manzana.


Our MoHo was just out of sight behind Traci and Isaac.


Free coconuts! I drilled thru the top to get the water with a straw and chopped it open with my axe for the meat. I must get a machete. 

3/9/11 - Wow! How could our "Traci Week" go so fast. Last night! Left Paa Mul, visited Tulum, enjoyed the Suytun Cenote, on to Chichen Itza, drove the Cancun "Hotel Strip" today, and now we're camped at Acamaya ("Funky Camp"). Traci flies back to FtC tomorrow and man, will we miss Isaac (and Traci). We really had a fun week.


Pyramid Inn in Piste near Chichen Itza. $12 to camp. They have a Mayan "Pyramid" in the back of the hotel. I don't think it's been excavated. 


Pyramid Inn camping. 


Chichen Itza was impressive. 


There are cenotes and there are CENOTES. Many are open limestone pits. They're everywhere on the Yucatan.  We looked on the Web and Cenote Dzitnup is most photographed but we chose Cenote Suytun because of the hole in the roof that lets a beam of sunlight in. The bright spot is where the sun is shining in.


Multulenos (not sure on spelling) - Excellent!


We camped at Cenote Suytun and these and other birds were wandering around our camp.


This group played drums and danced on the concrete pad in the middle of the cenote. Isaac thouht they were great. 


Hole in the ceiling!


Drum/ dance group.


Mel on the pyramid at Coba.


Tulum - The Mayans had their own beach.


Tulum!


We camped in the Tulum parking lot and Isaac spent some quality time with a sponge.



I've been practicing drumming on our trip and Isaac thought it was fun as well.


Traci and I took the kayak out for the second time at Paa Mul and saw some nice waves out past the reef. We went out about a mile.


3/6/11 - Spent last three nights at Paa Mul, an RV/ Palapa park thirty miles north of Tulum. rode bikes, MC, and paddled the kayak a couple times. 200 sites with mostly year around leases by Canadians and Americans. Invited to a party last night. Fun! We drove to Tulum today and we´re camping in their parking lot tonight.


Isaac kick´n at Paa Mul.


 Traci and I rode the DR 50 miles south. We wanted to go to Punta Allen but only went this far.


 We entered the National Park here.


 A little bike ride to a fun beach with no one but us.


 Traci on the bike ride.


 Our campsite. Most of the residents have built houses around their RV´s.


 We kayaked out a mile this morning and the waves were around three feet. The kayak just bobs up and down. No problema! After that, Herb (a year round resident) took us snorkeling at the reef. Great!


 Isaac loved the pool.


 How about the lizards?


 Traci arrived at the Cancun airport.


 We camped a night at "Funky Beach" (Acamaya) to wait for Traci and they had four of these little dogs guarding the upstairs patio of the owners house.


Cabanas for rent.

3/2/11 - Drove from Valladolid past Tulum and almost to Cancun today. Stopped at about five possible camp places to check them out for Traci and Baby Isaac. They arrive tomorrow from Ft. Collins. I think we'll hit Tulum, Chechen Itza, maybe Coba, a cenote (swim cavern), and the beach. We'll go with whatever plan Traci has. She'll only be here for a week.

We really can't believe it. We didn't see any tourists and now we see why. There must be many thousands of them on the Costa Maya. We're camped at a funky little cabana/ RV camp, right on the beach. It's fun!

Here are four new Pics.



We rode the DR six miles into Valladolid Centro yesterday and had a wonderful grilled pork dinner for $6. Of course we shared it. That included a big glass of fresh squeezed OJ. This is the zocalo.


Cathedral on the Plaza. We parked around the corner and walked around town awhile.


The gardens at our campsite. This was a hacienda in former times.


In addition to the beautiful little chapel at the back of the grounds, they had a nice zoo.

3/1/11 - Camped at Valladolid last night. Rode the DR into downtown today for lunch and site-seeing. Colonial City - very nice. Saw more tourists than the entire rest of our trip.

 Really old church between Rio Lagartos and Valladolid.

 This is the fresh water lagoon next to our campsite.

 A bit of a sulfur smell but a refreshing dip.

 Playing with crocodiles is always a good time.

 Took this on our bicycle ride into town.

City park. Free camping. Fun!

2/28/11 - Spent the night at the City Park (free camping, next to the water).

Fun party at camping beach with Canadian friends.


Ordered fish for lunch at the camping beach and got this Ceviche de Caracol (Conch) appetizer. Wow, that was good! The fish was a bunch and tasted fantastic. Total lunch with tres cervezas = 130 pesos.

Our friend Abram filet'ing some Cochina for us.

Kids and cousins of Ismael, the "Main Man" in Rio Lagartos. We gave out some McD toys.


Getting a better WiFi Sig. versus inside the MoHo. 

2/27/11 - This is a great place. I'm on my PC in the MoHo using the WiFi from the restaurant next door. Signal is very good inside and high speed. Weak Sig. in MoHo but works fine for text. I'm drinking coffee and watching all the birds (not sure which is which - I thought they were Pelicans but ???. I'm at the waterfront and there are 20' fishing boats side by side in both directions. 70 Deg. at 7:30 AM and clear blue skies. We're moving to a beautiful city park about a mile away and on the water, after breakfast, and go kayaking from there.
Our Mexican friend, Abram made a wonderful Cochina(like flounder) dinner and we ate in the MoHo. Later we party'ed with two Canadian couples that have houses here. There houses are beautiful.
Sunset at our camp!
We rode the DR to Las Colorados to see the famous, very pink flamingos. I guess I'm not fluent yet and misunderstood some directions. We rode another 20 miles on this cool "road" to Cuyo. Check it out on your Guia Roji Mexico map book. We rode for many miles on a 200 foot strip of land with the Gulf on one side and tidal flats on the other. What a fun adventure!


Ate lunch at Conchita's in Cuyo. Huevos Rancheros - $3, Grilled ham and cheeze sandwich - $1, two sodas - $2.40. Great food!
We took a break along the way on this 20 mile stretch of beach with only us on it.
We'll camp here tonight. This little lagoon is from a fresh water spring coming out of the ground. It connects to the Gulf about 200 feet to the left. I'll try a swim in it.
Our campsite for tonight.
Our campsite next to the Restaurant Contoy. We highly recommend this place. Beautiful, tranquil, wonderful people, 335 species bird watching tours, fly-fishing tours. Ismael Navaro is the main man to contact. He makes everything happen. Thanks Ismael. I'll include his Pic in the next update.

We drove about 50 miles on this one lane road from Puerto Progreso to Rio Lagartos. Brush was hitting both sides of the MoHo. Occasionally we'd see these pull-outs for passing. Luckily there was very little traffic.


2/25/11 - Drove 120 miles on "One Lane" coast roads to Rio Lagartos today. We're camped next to a restaurant at the water next to a lot of small fishing boats. Here are the Pics from the past few days.


Very small hotel/ campground in Chelem. Very nice owners. Four blocks from the Gulf. We loved it here.


No one stayed in the hotel and no other campers. Here's our camp spot. We had electric and a dump connection but had to fill our water on the other side of the pool.


Rode the bikes 4.8 miles around town. 


People ask, "What do you do every day? Isn't it boring?", and I say no. Practicing my drum, studying spanish, hiking, biking, MC riding, kayaking, internet, site-seeing, talking to people, and more take up lot's of time. I like it!


Nice outside shower next to the pool. Fun!


 It's all about brakes on this trip. I should have looked the DR350 over a bit better before the trip. The rear brake pads are almost gone. I pulled them, traced the outline, and sent a Pic to Traci to buy some and bring them to Cancun along with the rear caliper pins for the MoHo.


These are the Grandkids of the hotel owner. The older one rode this "horse" all afternoon.

2/23/11 - Camped in Uxmal parking lot last night. Cooled from 90 Deg. to 78 by 10 PM. Walked thru the Archaelogical Site this morning. Here are five Pics.



I couldn't stop her. Sandie just had to show off her rock climbing skills on one of the high walls.


The Mayans built around seven layers of structures on top of each other (over 500 years). They won't let you climb these stairs. Darn!


Ball court!


Governors Palace!


Main pyramid - Pyramid of the Magician

2/22/11 - Drove to Uxmal after lunch. I crawled under the MoHo and tried to lube the calipers again. I plan to remove the calipers and do the job right when I get the new retainer pins. Nice drive today/ great roads. Around 90 degress when we got here but it's 79 now and it feels great.


On our way out after the sound and light show tonight. 


The sound and light show was really nice. They have chairs setup at the ball court and this temple was on our left. 


Typical Mayan house. We saw lot's of these and lot's of Mayan people on our drive.


Our campsite at the swim club near Campeche. 

2/21/11 - Spent last night at the Nautico swim spa near Campeche. Enjoyed yet another great sunset. Rode the DR seven miles to Campeche today. Tomorrow we head for Uxmal.



Catherdral with lighthouse in "old town" Campeche.


Nice Plaza!


Designated a World Heritage Site, the walled city of Campeche was started in 1686 and the wall took 18 years to build. We walked on top of the wall. 


Lunch stop when we hit town. 


Last nights sunset out by the pool. 

2/20/11 - We left Isla Aguada this morning and drove to Campeche. We're camped in a luxury swim club/ spa. Yesterday we took the kayak out under the bridge to the open sea (Gulf of Mexico) to watch the sunset. It was a little choppy out there but I don't think we were close to capsizing.


Lot's of birds diving for fish. We hung out just outside the bridge waiting for the sunset. Saw some dolphins close to our boat on the way out.


Sunset from the kayak. 


Rode my bike around town this morning and took a few Pics. 



Only the best for my sweetie! Campeche swim resort! We'll stay here two nights before going to Uxmal.

Feb. 19, 2011
We rode our bicycles around Isla Aguada this morning. Mostly fishing seems to be the economy. Very quiet
friendly village and nice.


We paddled five miles yesterday out to a bird sanctuary island. We saw dolphins near our boat along the way.


At the island. Sandie loves paddling in three inches of water. I waded in to get a better Pic of the birds. The vulture looking birds were sitting with their wings out-stretched to warm up. 


Looking out our window. He came down the tree by our door and headed out for a stroll. At least three feet long. Cool!

Feb. 17, 2011


We made it to Isla Aguada which is north of Ciudad Del Carmen. Campsite is great - next to the water and the beach is beautiful. Three campers. We have not seen any Americans since TX. 


Went to the La Venta Olmec museum in Villa Hermosa and loved it. Rode the motorcycle from our campground to it. 


Museum map.


Locked the bike to this lamp pole to visit the museum.


Our campground in Villa Hermosa include this swim complex. Our campsite was in their parking lot. They had full hookups. 

Valentines Day
Here's a Vid of our camp in Tampico and a few Pics.

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Sandie begged me to stop and buy oranges, but if you get 25 oranges for 80 cents (U.S.), can they really be any good?


We camped at the La Ceiba restaurant at Lake Catemaco. Way cool! Across the street from the Lake, $8, only us.

After washing the MoHo, pulling the rear tires to work on the brakes, doing some Email, and lunch, we still had time to go kayaking. Sandie liked the time here. Lot's of fun!
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Sandie and I had been talking about a RV trip to the Yucatan for a few years now. We met some Canadians camped near La Paz on one of our many Baja trips, that suggested it. We loaded the RV with the essentials (DR350 motorcycle, two Mtn. bikes, and our 21' sea kayak), and we were off on 2/7, sneaking out of Colorado Springs between two nasty, cold storms. I'll try to periodically post some Pics/ videos. Our daughter Traci and "Baby Isaac" will fly to Cancun 3/1 to meet us. We plan to tour some of the most famous ruins and "hang" on some beaches. After that, Sandie and I plan to stop by Belize and then exit the Yucatan on Hwy 186 and head for the border. We plan to be home around 4/7 after a stop in TX to visit relatives.

video