And the last day had to come, at some point. This new tour has been rich in every aspects: a great group of riders (actually, travel friends now), many astonishing sights of Mayan ruins, great fun on mountain roads, realx at a caribbean beach, enjoyable weather, what else? Have a look at our last photos... We kept the beautiful Antigua as the cherry of top of the yummy cake. Thank you everyone for being so good fellows in this centroamericana adventure!
What a ride today! After a very quick border crossing out of Mexico we are awe-struck by the great sweepers of the Interamericana newly repaved. The stretch of road leading to Alaska pass at exactly 3000m is pure joy. Fast curves on a perfect grip where the shoulder of the tyre finally gets some smiles. Our way to Atitlan is still full of surprises: leaving the interamericana we reach the lake shore on small and twisty roads with spanning views over the three volcanos.
Yesterday we had a glimpse of what Chiapas roads are: extremely curvy and lots of fun. Oh well, except for those hundreds of thousands of speed bumps. It seems locals got inspired by the Mayan pyramids, since the bup instead of being a gentle round "bump" (duh..) is similar to the base of a Mayan temple, with inclined faces and sharp corners. A true delight for our rims (and bottoms).
Another fantastic opportunity to discover some more Maya history and to relax at our stone jungle pool. Otherwise, those that fancy a ride on a newly paved curvy road can join the ride to a gem of a waterfall still away from mass tourism.
Another long cruise today, first along Campeche's Malecon (waterfront), then some good-morning sweepers and a stroll along the coast. The rest of the day is mostly a highway ride through our last Yucatan prairies before hititng the wonderland mountain landscape of Chiapas.
It's time to get geared up and enjoy a long ride mostly through small roads crossing quiet villages along the lesser know Maya ruin area: the Ruta Puuc. After 400km inland we reach the coast again in the UNESCO listed colonial town of Campeche, built in the beginning of the 16th century by the first Spanish settlers. It's pastel-painteed house are simply astonishing!
After some quality time of beach&relax in Playa we have ahead a veeeeeery long ride: only 2 hours and we are in front of the majestic Chichen Itza: one of the biggest late Maya-Toltec city of the glorious pre-Columbian past. Before gettign there we indulge in a Maya chocolate&coffee stop in the centre of Valladolid, a pretty and quaint colonial town.
A rest day could not be more restful than this one: briefing... what? no briefing at all, just chilling at some of the Beach clubs, strolling around the fine beach or sitting at the tequila bar on Quinta Avenida and enjoy beautiful people watching with some electro lounge chill beat. Oh yes, for the most active ones there is the possibility to catch the ferry to Isla de Cozumel... And in the evening it's again time to enjoy some Mexican fine dining.
Aww... nice to have 8 days ahead without any border! Everyone feels quite happy about that. The day goes fast, on some "pretty straight" highways (how many curves in 270km? five including the turn into Tulum ruins?) towards Tulun, a scenic late Maya ruin right on the coast. From here to Playa (where we are going to rest for a day) it's a mere 45min...
Uh, what day... where to start? Well, it was meant to be a quite relaxing and entertaining one, with Altun Ha ruins in the morning, then some rough road to stretch our legs and a fairly easy border crossing into Mexico, allowing us an early arrival at Bacalar lagoon... BUT. With border crossing sometime surprises (and never good ones) arrive, and this time some changes in the procedure that our fixer was not aware of made us stay in the good companyof the Mexican (female) officers for over 6 hours. Jeeez... We had to make the best of it and enjoy the sunset from our forced stay in the custom house. When also the last bike was cleared a cheerful crowd left the custom house roaring, direction Bacalar. Finally! Thanks to everyone for being so patient!
The first border crossing is coming! After a short ride through we cross into Belize: quite a few steps for the border procedure, including a "fumigation" (anti bacteria wash for the bikes) and another stop for the mandatory Belizean insurance... and we are in!
Rest day today, but full adventure programme: Tikal magnific Maya ruins in the morning, followed by a dirt road through the jungle to get to Uaxactun, a minor temaple area but magically silent without any other tourist, and to close this great day we went "ziplining" on a canopy tour! What a day!
After crossing the big bridge over Rio Dulce the landscape becomes progressively more green and the forest more dense. Some very pleasant sweepers un and down those hills are a great good morning stroll! We enter the Biosphera Maya: not long time ago the journey to Tikal was very long and perilious, now it's a short ride on (almost always) well paved roads. Oh ja... except for those pyramid-shaped speed bumps...
A new Centroamerica Adventure was born during winter time: after a 2-week scouting in December the route was sketched and in the following weeks all details were fixed. Now it's time to start! Jeff, Greg, Michael&Gudrun, Hans&Michael, Bob&onna, Martin, Rudolf, Karin (from our office) and Manuel as tour guide together with our local partner José: what a good fellowship! The first day went pretty smooth. Leaving Guatemala City wasn't too bad after all (we've seen worst yesterday evening during rush hour...) and we are enjoying an early check-in at the riverside resort in Rio Dulce, the most protected marina in the Caribbean where most of the yachts and catamarans come to escape the hurricane season.