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Day Fifteen: Calakmul, Mexico – Villahermosa, Mexico

Submitted by on Thursday, 19 February 2009No Comment

Day Fifteen
Calakmul, Mexico – Villahermosa, Mexico
262 miles

The sun was up and we drove thirty miles through the rain forest on one of the most beautiful roads I‘ve ever driven. The forest was so thick every time the sun came up it was blinding me. I had to drive with my hand up like a shield. I saw a pair of Javelins, plenty of turkeys and peacocks, and a guinea pig-like animal.
Calakmul biosphere reserve site is huge, remote and still unexplored. After we got to the park, you have to walk maybe a mile to start seeing the site. I didn’t know what to expect because I never heard of it. The only reference I had was the Italian guys mentioning it.
At first I wasn’t impressed but that didn’t last long. The jungle was dense and as soon as we got to the plaza, there were huge pyramids surrounding it. We climbed one of them and it put us right on top of the canopy. The view was great and we spotted a monkey from there. Afterwards we proceeded to climb the tallest pyramid in the park.
When we were at the top I suddenly realized why this site was so impressive. The view was magnificent. A 360 degree of non blocked site as far as the human eye can see.  The day was beautiful with a bright blue sky. The best part was the steady, yet mild, wind transporting a sweet aroma of flower nectars in the air. It was sensory overload.
In the center of the plaza there was a family of monkeys above the trees. You could see them staring at us as much as we were staring at them.  The day was getting hot and humid. I was sweating like crazy, I left very satisfied of being there.
We needed to get to the next town to get some local money so we headed to Escarcega. I went to the local bank and Lloyd headed to the ATM. He was taking a long time so I had a drink. Ten minutes later, I got inside the ATM booth and asked Lloyd why the delay. He was frustrated. “My ATM card doesn’t work. It says something like it’s expired.”
I tried again and yep… That’s what it said. I asked him: Are you using the right card? He looked at me and his frustration turned into embarrassment then into huge laughs. He had pulled the card from his mugger’s wallet. He was tricked by his own trick.
Having Mexican pesos made a huge difference in our moods. We walked across the street to get a drink and some rest. With the bikes unattended, we could see people staring them all the time. One guy, driving a moped, stopped and he looked and looked. I told Lloyd: Which helmet do you think he is going to take? He kept on looking and suddenly he pulled something from his pocket. We were far enough that we couldn’t tell. It was his cell phone and he started taking pictures.
We got to Villahermosa around six. At the gas station the gas attendant first word was “Motorcycle Diaries Two!” Then he handy a box mark: Aguinaldos (or Christmas bonuses). He pointed me out to “Zona Luz” The strip was extremely busy with heavy traffic and street vendors. I spotted several hotels but none with parking. The traffic was so aggressive that if you didn’t move they will cut you off within inches of the bike.
We pulled over at a corner and I went scouting for a place to stay. It was maybe eighty five degrees and humid. My suit was covered in sweat. The lady at the “Hotel Oriente” told me there was a parking lot across the street that I could possibly leave the bikes overnight.
I went there and they said absolutely we could park and accommodated a spot right next to the security booth. Back at the hotel I took a shower right away. It was so humid that when I got out of the bathroom I was still sweating.
I changed clothes and told Lloyd I would like to go out to check the city. I lay in bed waiting for him to get ready and completely passed out within seconds. He could not wake me up. He did go out and told me he saw the square vendors and street performers.

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