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Old 04-07-2007   #1 (permalink)
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Aggressive Natives, Sacrificial Chickens, and Vertigo... a trip report

What follows will be largely a photo account of 5 nights/6 days spent on the roads of southern Mexico, exploring ancient sites, strange and beautiful cultures, awe-inspiring landscapes, and an entire gamut of people along the way. SarahB instigated this trip, and had no trouble convincing Rick (Babaloo) and me into loading up The Big Red Hump and hitting the road.

Day One Progress:


More to follow tomorrow, once I get the rest of these gazillion photos uploaded...

Last edited by Susie Q Roo; 04-07-2007 at 02:10 AM..
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Old 04-07-2007   #2 (permalink)
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I've been looking forward to this I love ya'lls trips
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Old 04-07-2007   #3 (permalink)
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Cant wait!

You guys take really interesting trips, stuff nobody else does thats for sure.
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Old 04-07-2007   #4 (permalink)
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Susie, that's the exact reverse of the drive we took to Playa. Can't wait to read about it!

We drove the road from Felipe Carillo Puerto to Tulum in total darkness, dangerously low on gas (and thinking about Michael's warnings about gas stations at night there...and there not being many! ) I remember that stretch of road being dangerously narrow and of course unlit, and having the buses crawling up on my ass and passing me...a scary section of our drive for sure!

Can't wait for the photos!
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Old 04-07-2007   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kirbyfan
Cant wait!

You guys take really interesting trips, stuff nobody else does thats for sure.
Well, you could be right, but then you may have missed trip reports to other places in Mexico by Ginger, Michael Holmes, JimmyMN, Rissask, xqzzme and others. Lots of good, interesting trip reports outside of the Riviera Maya in the off-topic section. As Casey Stengel was wont to say, you could look it up.

At the same time, I am loving Susie and Rick's and Sarah's and Adam's trip reports, and I hope there are many more to come!!
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Old 04-07-2007   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Q Roo
What follows will be largely a photo account of 5 nights/6 days spent on the roads of southern Mexico, exploring ancient sites, strange and beautiful cultures, awe-inspiring landscapes, and an entire gamut of people along the way. SarahB instigated this trip, and had no trouble convincing Rick (Babaloo) and me into loading up The Big Red Hump and hitting the road.
I hope you visited Calakmul and the nearby archaeological sites like Xpuhil, Becan, Hormiguero, Kan Balam, Kohunlich, etc. And in the Palenque area all those waterfalls.
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Old 04-07-2007   #7 (permalink)
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Looking forward to this!!!
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Old 04-07-2007   #8 (permalink)
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I was just thinking of yiz too

looking forward!
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Old 04-07-2007   #9 (permalink)
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Packed (lightly... we had no idea how many days we'd be gone or what we'd need to wear!) and ready to go:



The road south to Chetumal, then west to the Palenque turnoff is mostly flat, straight road. If you had the time and inclination to stop and explore, I'm sure there are a lot of wonderful things along the way, but we had a destination, so we just kept driving. And let me say right here, that Rick is THE most wonderful driver in the world. The Big Red Hump is unwieldy, with kind of loose steering and brakes, not to mention... well... big!

So we didn't do much that day, but here are some interesting shots from along the way. (Oh, and don't mention the monkeys to Rick... he didn't get to see them because he was driving )



These were just sitting there alongside the road. Why? Who knows! It's Mexico!







There were a few checkpoints along the way... one that searched us, the others just waved us through or asked a couple of minor questions.



I know any army that maintains equipment like this strikes fear in MY heart!





This is a common site throughout Mexico:



Escárcega is a nice little town:







Somewhere along the way, we stopped for gas and Sarah and I made the obligatory girls' trip to the baño. The faucet didn't work in the ladies room so, since there was no one in the mens room, we headed there to wash our hands. Turned out it was already occupied, and this fella convinced us that wet wipes in the van would be good enough.



We finally turned down the road toward Palenque and were delighted to see mountains in the distance (before the trip was over, we'd be groaning at the mention of the word).



Yay - we're almost to Palenque!



Didn't have reservations for Palenque - a little concerning since it was the beginning of Semana Santa (Holy Week) - but we had a list of places to stay there, from, of all places, Trip Advisor. The second rated place on the list was 80 PESOS ($8US) a night and sounded interesting, if rustic (another concept we'd soon be questioning), so we headed there first. It was right outside the gates of the ruins, down a one-lane path through the forest. Lots of rasta/hippie/alternative/funky types down here and the area was lush and beautiful. We discovered they had only one availability for the night - one bed, no bath except a shared outdoor one, concrete floor, stick walls, no mosquito netting... you get the picture. Since there were 3 of us, we decided one bed wasn't going to get it. Besides, their prices had obviously gone up - $15!!!



We had passed numerous hotels on the way in, but decided we'd first check out one of the closer ones that had 3 different entrances. We chose the middle one and headed up the hill toward it and before we'd even discovered that there was not a single car in the lot, "The Shining" was mentioned. So while Rick and Sarah were worried about "Heeeeeere's Johnny!"... I was more concerned about their $150 night price that Trip Advisor listed!



But we did find a woman there who was very helpful and showed us a very nice room with AC - but out of our price range even at $80US. So we asked if there was anything "mas economica" and she took us around the corner to a copy of the first room, but without the AC, for $45. Much better. (See my edit below about these photos though...)









We unloaded and headed into town for dinner.

We were soon at the zocalo (town square) and caught up in the excitement of a festival/market all around. Sarah and I shopped and Rick took lots of pretty pictures of the pretty stuff for sale... when he wasn't jumping to the very lively music of a religious event being held in the street.













The worshipers... strangely, when they'd pray, they'd turn away (in a different compass direction each time, but all facing the same way) from the very charismatic speaker.



We had a happy hour drink... so-so... then found some tacos al pastor for dinner. Good, but not memorable, and "taco" is another one of those words we'd come to dread before it was over.

Here, they're changing up the pastor meat cone.



Sarah and I modeled our purchases... those scarves would come in handy later on.





Having sucked all we could from the evening, we headed back to the hotel (they closed the gate on us! ) and were happy to find other cars in the parking lot.

Into our comfy beds... Day One is over... (can you tell this is going to be a long trip report? )
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Last edited by Susie Q Roo; 04-07-2007 at 12:48 PM..
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Old 04-07-2007   #10 (permalink)
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Long is good!! Loving it so far.
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Old 04-07-2007   #11 (permalink)
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More Please, I'm on the edge of my seat.....
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Old 04-07-2007   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roni
Well, you could be right, but then you may have missed trip reports to other places in Mexico by Ginger, Michael Holmes, JimmyMN, Rissask, xqzzme and others. Lots of good, interesting trip reports outside of the Riviera Maya in the off-topic section. As Casey Stengel was wont to say, you could look it up.

At the same time, I am loving Susie and Rick's and Sarah's and Adam's trip reports, and I hope there are many more to come!!
Yikes!

I fear I must have....going to use that search function now.

Thanks Roni!
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Old 04-07-2007   #13 (permalink)
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Long is good!! Loving it so far.
nice to see I'm not the only d.c. guy who loves playa..
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Old 04-07-2007   #14 (permalink)
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I have to edit myself here... the photos I posted of the hotel were on the side of the road that we were NOT on... still the same hotel and we could use their facilities, but THAT was where the $150 rooms were! I think we might have some pictures of our room from the next morning coming up.

Patience... this trip report stuff is hard work!!!
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Old 04-07-2007   #15 (permalink)
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Enjoying your report, Susie. That pool looks awesome!
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