Deep in the Yucatan


We rose at 5 am to beat the heat and to try to get some distance in before the sun zapped us. We rode out of town, bought some fruit and corn tortillas (truly staples for us). We rode past small shacks full of fresh-cut pork. Dogs chased us and men whistled at Debi while small children walked to school. The sun was just poking up on the edge of Palenque. It is ridiculously hot here. We are starting to question the sanity of it all. For now we press on. After Palenque the terrain has flattened out substantially. This is good news because we can’t climb in the heat. At least not day in and day out. The countryside was turning more agricultural but the jungle still loomed at the edge of the fields. Cows grazed happily as howler monkeys roared through the trees. These creatures are pretty scary the first time you hear them. They stay pretty elusive but you think you might be eaten any minute by something a lot bigger than you. We kept up a good pace all day.

Debi blazes on across the Yucatan

Bryan gets his bearing on the Chiapas-Tobasco border

This part of Campeche is flat!

Today I fell under heat exhaustion. Dehydration and a good dose of some bad food and extreme temperatures rocked me so hard I could no longer ride. Debi went on ahead and got some permission to camp near a school and small house. The family seemed nice enough and offered us the use of their stove to cook a meal. All I could do was lie down and wait for the blood to return to my head and extremities. The heat is no fun and I was glad to have shade and permission to camp. Janer, a young boy in third grade was glad to have our company for the evening and promptly brought his bicycle over and helped Debi set up the tent. He had three little pet armadillos. They killed the mother. He said they make soup out of them. It was bit surreal to be suffering so bad and also holding one of these little critters. We don’t have these little duffers in VT that is for sure.

Janer and one of the armadillos

Bryan holds the armadillo

close up

Thunder clouds loom

clouds about to swallow the moon

That night it finally cooled down and we were able to rest. Debi made arrangements with the Janer’s mom for them to bring us via truck to the next large town. We were to leave the next morning at 9 am and we agreed on 250 pesos for the trip. We thought it would be nice to pay them instead of a bus company. It was so nice to not have to worry about the ride tomorrow as I still needed rest and didn’t feel well enough to pedal. At 9am the next morning Janer’s mom was busy cleaning out the truck and we loaded up the bicycles in the back. Once the bikes were loaded she told us that the trip was going to cost 800 pesos! Crazy. No way. Frustrated, we unloaded the bikes and rode out of there on our own. We were so angered at this especially when we had an agreement. We seem to get over charged a lot here. It is true that we do have more money than they do but an agreement should be an agreement right? I bet she didn’t think we would bale that hard. We rode off furious. By this time the sun was already blazing but we rode on to the next town. There we stopped and had a cold drink. Here we were able to hail a van and promptly loaded our bikes on to the roof and headed on to Escarcega (our original destination). We paid the driver 150 pesos for both of us and the bikes. Not all days of this trip are roses. The heat is oppressive and we have re thought our ride across the Yucatan. Tomorrow, we catch a bus to Chetumal on the coast and try again.

See you there,

Bryan and Debi


3 Responses to “Deep in the Yucatan”

  1. 1 Gary Briere

    Hang tough guys. I cant wait each day for you updates.

  2. 2 cass

    I LOVE the armadillo! Really nice to meet you guys, and hope Bacalar treats you well.
    Great looking blog, look forward to reading it when I hit Guatemala.

  3. 3 Kate Cross

    Hang in there, you two. Your pics are just gorgeous! And who knew armadillos came that small?

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