City: Tulum, Mexico
Kilometres ridden: 144
Cumulative kilometres: 27020
We took our time to get started, talked to a German girl about traveling on motorcycles and talked to a polish guy before we finally took off to Dzitnup or the Xkeken cenote sinkhole. It was only 50km so we arrived there around midday, the right time, when the sun shines into the cenote. However as fate would have it, it just got cloudy. Bummer! So went into the cenote with our swimming gear and I must say it was stunning.
The water in the cenote was crystal clear with some fish swimming in it. Sigrid also noticed some small crabs nibbling on her feet when she was standing on a rock for too long.
When we were finished with swimming, we geared up, had a fresh coconut for lunch and headed off to Tulum. There was a new road that the GPS didn’t know about, so we shortened the trip by 30km. We got into a police control, which was the first time that they ask for vehicle papers, first I showed them my driver licence, but this time is was not good enough. So I showed the copies of the US documents, that was not bad but they liked to see the original. All was good when I showed them the temporary Mexican import license. Since they were the first they ask for our papers, we asked if we could take a picture of them, and they agreed.
Then we continued and arrived 20km out of Tulum at our first earmarked hotel. We had a look and we liked it (and the price), so we stayed for the day.
This hotel was one of the rare occasions where everything was working. Firstly the toilet had a lid, the doors closed, the air con worked, internet even worked in the room, the pool had water, the room was clean and so where the beds, just great. So I started to read up on our tire problem (couldn’t find the right tyres in Mexico, and simular tyres were three times dearer than in the US). After calling the US and finally finding somebody who would ship the tires, I gave up when they told me that the postage would cost around 270US. So I did some more reading on the internet – a lot of blogs and forums – and I found out that Guatemala City is the place to get the tyres that would work for us. Looking at the Lonely Planet Guide, I found that we could climb the ruins in Calakmul. They were also recommended by Garth, a friend from Adelaide, and by another couple that travels the Pan American Highway and is two weeks in front of us. So we revised our plan and added Calakmul. So we thought we extend our stay, visit Tulum and Coba ruins tomorrow, and travel to Calakmul in the south the next day.
City: Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Mexico
Kilometres ridden: 116
Cumulative kilometre: 27136
In the morning we started to unload one bike to go two up to the ruins. Sigrid tried to extend our stay and found out that the hotel was fully booked, bummer. We were the only two guests yesterday and today it is fully booked, was it something we said 😀 ? (No it was a tour bus…) So we had breakfast, I finished to download the GPS maps of South America, took a couple of pictures of our hosts and then headed to the Tulum ruins.
This time we took a guide. We could ask all the questions that we had from the visits to other ruins.
Poor bugger, normally the tour takes him one hour, in our case, he was stuck with us for more than two hours. The Tulum ruins were surrounded by a wall that should divide the upper from the lower class (ratio, 200 people upper class in the walls, 20.000 lower class, outside of the walls). That caused certain tensions that resulted in a revolution around 1080AC and in the end the abandonment of Tulum. We are at the entrance to the city in front of the wall.
Tulum was a major Mayan port. The Mayas traded goods with Belize down to Honduras. The harbour was protected by a reef and to make sure that the ships didn’t run aground, they built a beacon tower (left).
The beach was very nice,
but we didn’t have time for a swim, since we wanted to ride at least another 100km today. When we finished visiting the ruins it was around 3.30PM, not too much time left to ride in daylight. So we rode 100km to Felipe Carrillo Puerto, searched for a hotel, finally found one (most of them were overpriced or not nice), unpacked and went for dinner. Tomorrow we continue to Calakmul, have a look at the ruins and the day after we go back to Bacalar for a couple of days beach holiday, before we enter Belize. At least that is the plan today 🙂