Misol Ha to Palenque

27May10

Biking through the hot steamy jungle in Chiapas would not be complete without stopping at Misol ha for a swim. Our friends in San Cristobal recommended this spot over Agua Azul in the hopes that we would see less crowds and vendors. The road from Ocosingo was pretty tight and hilly and we wound up flagging down a pick up to bring us up through a mountainous area. The temperatures are approaching 100 deg and we get pretty wiped out climbing on these hills in the heat. Misol Ha provided some nice relief and with our ride we got there early to enjoy. As we were told the place was almost deserted and we quickly picked out a cabana and set up camp, ate some food and then went swimming…..

cabana sweet cabana

just down a short path

keeping cool together - at least for today!

We reluctantly left Misol Ha for a short 20 km or so ride to Palenque where we set up camp in order to explore the ruins of Palenque. We wound up staying at a campground called Maya Bell. The campground was inside the park and quite near the ruins. They claimed live music every night and had a fresh water swimming pool that was just a bit warmer than bath water. It was refreshing regardless. You never know what you will get at campgrounds – especially in Mexico but this one met our needs. During our stay there we met another touring cyclist named Casey who has been touring for the last three years. He started his epic journey in Portland, OR and had made his way down all through Central America and to the furthest point south in South America. At which point he sat for a couple of hours and then turned around and came back up the Atlantic side of things, crossed the Amazon and into Venezuela and back up into Central America. We caught him on his return trip through Mexico as he was heading back to the states and possibly up tho Alaska.  He was 27 when he started and now he is almost 31. Have a great journey Casey! You are an inspiration to us all.  Stay well and travel safe!

The next morning we got up early and walked to the ruins which was just a few km’s up the road. You can read more about the ruins here. We arrived when they opened and already there were tour buses full of people unloading and marching on in. In Mexico, they seem to fully allow vendors of various trinkets to be inside the gates in order to sell you their stuff. Most of which seems to originate from Guatemala. We can’t keep from feeling that it really detracts from the whole experience. The ruins themselves are quite striking and this location is a good choice if you actually want to go inside some of the temples and structures.

Ruins amongst the jungle

early morning fog creeps around

tower was reconstructed in the 1930's

stuff, stuff and more stuff - a fraction of the vendors littered through the park

the grounds are just striking

another view

incredible terraces

Queen's pool

After visiting the ruins, we decided we would take the short ride into the town of Palenque to re-supply and sleep with some A.C. for the night. We rode about 10 km’s in the heat of the day. Then Bryan overheated, dehydrated and too hot to continue we stopped for some food a small comedor. Little did we know my meal was bad and took me out for a couple of days. It is so hot here it is hard to make good decisions every time and in every instance. The town of Palenque was a bit charming and we found what we needed and had some tacos for dinner.

the road to Palenque

We got some much-needed rest that night and fell asleep to whir of the A.C. – well worth the extra cost in this part of the country.

See you soon,

Bryan and Debi

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