Out of Cancun and into the wild...
The decision as to when I would leave Cancun was easy. As soon as fucking possile. There is not much to be said for Cancun unless you are into all inclusive tourist resorts, prostitutes, drugs or counting discarded plastic bags. Apparently that's my new hobby. I lost count at 857,325.
The day dawned grey and dismal and in a matter of 3 hours it was bucketing down rain again. I was already overwhelmed with cycling INTO Cancun, how the hell was I going to cycle out?
As luck would have it the hotel where I ended up happened to be right across from the main bus terminal.
I bought a ticket for Valladolid for that very day and we were out of there. That "we" would be Tanque and I.
No problem with the bike but it's anybodys guess as to what will happen on any given bus ride. I mean will I have to grease a palm or two, pay for an extra ticket, hand out bottles of beer etc? I'm sure that it wouldn't be my last bus ride so learning to bribe appropriately is important. I'd heard third or fourth hand horror stories of busses stopping to let people on or off and the bays getting broken into and luggage stolen. I took the pedals off because I thought it would be a dirty trick if someone were actually desperate and dumb enough to try and drag that ugly heavy tank of a bike out from under a bus and try to ride away on it. "Hah, take that you thieving dogs!" Yeah... Never happened...
Ahhhhh, Valladolid... It's a very nice typical small Mexican city with fewer tourists and more families trying to make a living and get by. Kind of like 'Murica. It is however one of the best places to go cenote hunting. Those are the sink holes of rainwater formed a million years ago when the peninsula was hit and shattered by a giant asteroid. The cenotes are plentiful around Valladolid. In fact the city boasts it's own lovely municipal cenote.
I spent the next day after my arrival in town trying to find enough tools or a mechanic to help me tighten my rear hub. It loosens occasionally I've noticed. When I collected the bike box at the airport there was a hole in the box where the hub had busted through. Tells me it took a hit of some kind. I found Fenix Bicicletas and watched this mechanic sit on the floor with my rear wheel and start pulling random tools out of a chaotic pile. I was amazed, he had that thing tightened in no time flat. Bike stand, what bike stand?
I was visiting the old monestary of San Bernadino when I met Mali, another cyclist who is from Canada. We chatted and decided to do some cycling together. Since she was at the same hostel, it was easy to coordinate and it turned out to be Robin and Mali's Excellant Cenote Adventure.
We visited some ruins and the best little gems were the cenotes rarely visited by most tourists because they can only be found by stumbling around blindly from village to village hoping the one lane tracks we were on did not end suddenly completely swallowed by the jungle and would eventually lead somewhere. Does that sentence even make sense? We did come across some amazing little spots and were given private tours of beautiful and in one case, sacred sink holes.
We ended up spending one night in one of these small little villages. We were running out of daylight and by asking around for a place to camp we found ourselves in this weird little government constructed concrete palapa with a "For Rent" sign hanging on it. We were met at the door by what I believe was probably the village Headman. He was an elderly gent who sported approximately two and a half teeth. He asked how much we would "Pay" for the privilege of sleeping in a moldy concrete bunker. He suggested 300.00 pesos each (about $30.00). I countered with "How about 50.00 pesos for both?" (about 5 bucks). He grinned his funny grin and agreed.
There was one hammock already slung inside and I have one I travel with. Which was good because aside from a table there was no furniture and no discernible kitchen come to think of it either. The cool thing about residential construction in this part of the world is they build hammock hangers right into the walls.
Later in the evening while we were eating cold, canned refried beans and tortillas one of the local Donas showed up with plastic shopping bags heaping over with embroidered garments and the like. Mali bought a hand made, embroidered blouse and some earrings For about the equivalent of $35.00. I bought two doily looking things and spent a whopping 2.50. Big spender I know. Don't know what I'm going to do with them. It was an awesome night in a Mayan village.
We eventually Made our way to the bustling hippie metropolis of Tullum. I found a campsite on the beach for 10.00 a night and stayed for two nights. I had to set up my hammock behind a storage palapa near the trash heap behind a dune in order to stay out of the wind and not get flipped out of my hammock. Mali had to go back to Canada so we had to part ways. It was nice having someone to cycle with. She'll be missed. She did pass on two brand new cables which I hope I won't need but one never knows... ...Oh the joys of travel...
Thanks for reading.