Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Campeche To Playa Del Carmen

With the intention to get to Merida only we set off early as we woke early.

The road down in southern Mexico being superior to those up north we made it there in good time and easily.

We made the decision to carry on to Playa Del Carmen where we had organised a place to stay, that part of the trip was slower but we made it in off the road about 5.00pm.

Mrs.Garmin could not find the address so we parked up at McDees and had a cold frappe, a nice reprieve from the heat.

During the trip in the middle the temperature got up to 38 degrees C, luckily there was a small breeze to help dry us out.

We met our host there and she lead us back to her home.

Now it is time to organise oil and our trip to Cuba ... something that is a big unknown and we hear various reports from just go for it to people saying we will have VISA trouble etc ... time will tell.

Our first day consisted of going into town to see travel agents who were all closed as it was Sunday so we walked along the beachfront taking in the sights in the Gringo area.

Some amazing sculptures

Coupla neddies on the roof 

Some very cool wind decorations that were seriously cosmic to watch rotating in the wind ... quite clever stuff really

Buildings here painted incredible colours

Being set up for tourists the food prices were higher so we went back three streets to the local food, better priced and more importantly far nicer.

Ellen wanted a swim so we decided to head back to “the zone”, we did this via a fruit shop so we took fresh fruit and freshly squeezed juices which were simply divine.

Sitting in the sun was very nice, Ellen piled into the water and had three swims, this girl got in the way when I was trying to photograph Ellen 

Heading back to home base we took the wrong bus ... we have done that before.

Thankfully I had noted the house on the GPS and packed it before we took off so it was only a 1.7 km walk to home after we realized we were heading the wrong way.

Ellen knocked up some Chinese dumplings for tea yet again producing fine fud. 

Day 2 consisted of getting back to the now open travel agents, as we can’t get on the Stahlratte till 14 June we either slow the whole thing down and take a better look around here or we fly across the Darien ....which is the expensive option. 

Based on that we have decided to slow the whole thing down and spend three weeks in Cuba rather than the original week to 10 days, so 27th February we fly out to Cuba and return on the 19th March.

The rest of the day was getting oil for Maya and sushi stuff for us as well as a nice sit down at the beach to look at the scenery.

Day 3, change Maya oil and clean the clutch jet, the results far better than when we first picked up Maya and the filters were full of shit.

The sump magnet looking clean

Dry sump filter with some residue I suspect and hope is leftover from last time.

Bottom screen nice and clean

The filter a whole lot straighter than the original so no coolant damage which is a huge relief

Our reward was a trip to Akumal to do some snorkeling and a reward of a coldies afterwards at the bar.

Check out the cloud forming behind Ellen

Some coral with really cool pattens

Local fish hovering around ... he was at least a metre long .... mighta been 2!! 

Some very ominous looking cloud formed and it came over black as a burnt sausage and you guessed it soon as we jumped on the bike to return home it started pissing down .... this was nice though as the temperature dropped and our visors got a wash.

On returning back to home base Ellen waved her magic sushi wand for tea then we packed down for Cuba.

Next report from Cuba ... see you then.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Palenque To Campeche

Nothing happened  .... at least that is what Ellen said. 

The trip was very hot and sticky, we are starting to get used to it now but 38 - 40 degrees with high humidity still takes some adjusting for us Kiwis.

Arriving at Campeche was nice, the town is very clean, tidy and nicely kept.

Ellen found a new boyfriend 

Finding a hotel was a bit of a mission as there wasn’t much in centro that was reasonably priced.

There was the 200 Peso dump or the 700 Peso middle of the range and up from there, Campeche is fairly touristy thus this showed in the prices.

We settled on an expensive (for us) hotel at 400 Peso but it did have air conditioning, the first place we had with air conditioning so it was nice.

One of the side streets, beautiful colours

A walk down to the waterfront to watch people do there thing was neat, we were treated to a pretty groovy sunset and the place was alive with people cycling, walking and general exercising which was a little unusual but we are guessing it is the influence from the Expats living there.

And check it out, the sun's brother the moon.

There are canons lined up along the waterfront and lots of places to sit and relax

Being hungry and near food stands we bought chips and deep fried chorizos for tea and churros for dessert .... YUM!! 

Churros, dessert in the making 

Plus our empanada lunch, we really had a bad food day, big time!

Heading back to the hotel Ellen splashed out and bought some new jandles as hers were falling apart.

A good nights sleep was had in the cool of the room WITHOUT dogs barking their heads off..... it was very nice indeed to have the change.

Friday, 22 February 2013

San Cristabal To Palenque

Perfect weather again, I can get used to this, 9.30 am start with Eamon running a bit behind we left at 9.45 am, 209 km to do, waterfalls to see and thousands of toppes to run over we were on or way.

The road was very twisty with moderate traffic so we set a slower pace so we could look out the window as the scenery was mint.

There was a number of the 15 mphr club on their Sunday drive on Wednesday so we passed these guys. 

During the day Maya clicked over 10000 km

At one stage we caught up on a line of traffic probably near on 700 - 800 metres long all caught up behind a semi trailer going very slow, one by one we picked them of as it was half of first gear crawling speed with hot temps which Maya does not like ... nor do I sitting on top when it is 35 degrees plus at that pace.

After about 10 - 15 minutes of passing and pulling in one at a time we finally broke free of the pack just in time to get to a military check point and to be waved through, had we got stuck behind all the trucks etc we would have been there for hours.

Getting to the turn off to the waterfall we headed off down the hill, paid our 57.00 Pesos each and parked up by a restaurant with the restaurant man waving us in and inviting us to leave our gear under his watchful eye (also when we come back we have to buy from him .... a good business man)

Ditching all our bikie gear and turning into humans (cos it was 38 degrees C and STICKY as we wondered off looking like everyone else taking photos of the waterfall and it was very well worth going to.

Ellen piled in for a swim, bit cold for me as I like it steaming before I get in.

Returning to the bike and the restaurant Aemon bike was there, we took a seat and ordered two nice cold Cokes, no wonder he flagged us in with a big smile on his face as they were spendie ... but worth it to get a sugar boost and something chile inside, in that heat neither of us felt hungry so we didn’t eat.

Carrying on to Palenque we turned off toward to ruinas per good advice from the guy running the Indian restaurant in San Cristabal, the first few places were very expensive, one was super cheap but we had to share it was cockroaches mossies and an assortment of other aliens and finally we found a place within our price range and not to bad ... but no Wifi ... a funny thing now we have come to rely on being our link to you guys.

At that stage of the day it was sticking hot and super sticky, we both had a quick shower then the water ran out!!!.... not cold ... ran out!! 8-( 

The restaurant was below so we went down for a feed, Ellen wasn’t hungry and I was only peckish so I ordered a medium size feed which fed both of us easily couple with a coldie each.

The owner had some seriously awful almost depressing music playing (note DEFINITELY not restaurant style stuff) so Ellen politely asked if he had Mexican music to which he said yes and changed it ..... this lifted the mood in the whole place.

Bedtime was calling .. time to rest for the ruinas.

Next morning we woke to a fine day for poking around the ruinas so we set off on Maya with only two km to do to the gate.

Parking Maya up the guy wanted 30 Pesos to wash her and 20 Pesos to watch her, we said no to both ... maybe he should have washed her but to be fair she is covered in oil from the popped pipe so it would not be fair to him as his gear would have gotten caked.

The ruinas were excellent to say the least, it is hard not to take photo after photo and we just sat looked, listened and learned taking in the place, many tourists on tour just rip around and out the other side, I think our money comes to us a bit harder than them so we want to make the most of it and it was a big effort to get there, your good advice Bevan, when you see it see it well!! (reinforces what we were already doing and advice taken as a reminder) 

Just a few pics of the place as it has been done to death, if you want to see more go here


Finishing at the ruinas we wondered back to Maya who was patiently waiting in the carpark, still dirty, still intact, jumping on the super heated seat in shorts I temporarily toasted the blokes !!!.

The Museum was just back down the road so we dropped in to see that as well, again very well presented and air conditioned it was a nice reprieve from the heat and humidity.

Again Maya waiting in the carpark we piled back on to go to the hotel, again jumping on the super heated seat in shorts I temporarily toasted the blokes !!!.... again!!!

Leaving the bike at the hotel we took a bus to town to have look around, grab some lunch and just mill around.

We found a shop named after us too 

We found The Italian Coffee Company and the had Wifi so that was mint, do a ride report, upload some pics and do some ordering co-ordination.

I also went to an auto shop as Maya has been losing antifreeze, hopefully from junk under the radiator cap.

Finishing our office work over a Frappe-chino (darling) we headed back to home base to fix Mayas coolant drinking problem, removing the radiator cap it had crusty crap everywhere so we cleaned it out lubed everything and filled the antifreeze back up, hopefully this will sort it out.

Home made tacos with salsa and avocado was on our menu along with apple juice.

A quick chat with our french neighbours and it was time to call it quits for the night.