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Sunday, October 6, 2013

RUINED OUT ALREADY


Hi Everyone,

It is time to return to GR2 to check if she is OK. It is nearing the end of the wet season in Mexico, & this year it has been super wet! We arrive at The Romantic Hotel de San Domingo after a long flight via Sydney, Dallas & Cancun. Dallas airport is much more laid back than Los Angeles. Then it is a 3.5 hr drive to Izamal.

GR2 is waiting on her raised pad – the surrounding fields are covered in water. It has rained a lot, & we have sprung a leak near the mattress!! Otherwise all is fine & we hit the road by 1pm the next day. We head straight into town to get food & fuel, & explore the yellow city in the rain. All the facades are yellow, including the very impressive monastery built over old Mayan ruins.

We head to the big smoke of Merida to try to find a GPS. It is getting late so we continue to the coast at Progresso (home to a 7km long concrete pier) & find a camp spot right on the beach in between some rather upmarket beach houses. Amazingly we meet Gavin, an Aussie guy who lives a few houses down with his Mexican wife & daughter. We have drinks on his verandah overlooking the ocean. He tells us where to find a GPS – but warns us the shops don’t open until 11am. We have time to visit the nearby Mayan ruins at Dzibilchatun. The museum section is great, & fully airconditioned. The site is huge, hot & sweaty. So on to the shops to buy a Mexican GPS. These ones include an ice skating rink.  Now we can explore without getting lost!

After a quick tour of the city centre we head to the ancient site of Uxmal (by all reports one of the favorite ones) we stopped for lunch at the gorgeous Hacienda de Yaxcopoil – it was a rope farm/factory. GR2 was a bit sluggish to start. Then the next time we stop, she refuses to start. John works on her for ages, even removing the starter motor. No go. After a torrential downpour, John gets 6 Mexicans to push us. We had seen an Isuzu dealership in town so we turn around & head straight there, camping in their forecourt that night. Not that we can go anywhere else!

The next day the starter motor is pulled out, but cannot be repaired. We leave by 3.30pm with a new starter motors & a lot fewer Paso’s. Off again to Uxmal to camp in their designated “camping paddock”. As we are there we decide to splash out & go to the light & sound show, & the next morning head in right on opening time to miss the tourists, & more importantly the heat.

Decide to follow the Puuc route passing lots of ruins. We stop at the impressive Kabah & then at Xlapuc, because it is free. Our detour takes us over some badly potholed tracks, & finally onto better roads to Chichen Itza. (This is a must do.) We annoyingly arrive after dark & find both campgrounds no longer functioning. Bummer. We try beside the police station, but get moved on to the petrol station. Oh well, at least it’s free.

It is equinox today, & apparently Chichen Itza will be packed. Fortunately the crowds do not eventuate. In fact there are more stall holders than tourists. So much stuff to sell. The ruins are very impressive, but it is all roped off – no touching or climbing here.

After a hot morning we head to Cenote/sinkhole Ik Kil, along with 100’s of others. Then a touristy lunch buffet. Time to return to Cancun, with a quick stop at Valladolid. Our top sight here is the lovely Templo de San Bernandino & Convent de Sisal. The drive to Cancun is non exciting with lots of flooding & topes (speed bumps) as we chose not to use the toll road. We end up at the camp ground. Tomorrow we have to find storage for GR2 & hopefully new batteries. Success on both counts. After hunting everywhere we now have 4 new batteries, & fingers crossed a spot inside the BMW dealership to leave GR2 while we go to Cuba.

Chao for now.

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