Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Segment 21: Tulúm, Quintana Roo to Border Belize/Guatemala (July 25- August 10, 2010)

From Tulúm we headed out to Punta Allen, passing through Sian Ka'an National Park.  Beautiful dirt track, here Mike crosses this small lake... followed by Jason...
The water was deep as our bottom brackets, and in places our hubs were submerged..

Sunset on the laguna. Beautiful. It was followed by a night of the stormiest weather any of us have ever camped in, with 50+ mph winds blowing our tents down sideways on top of us and threatening to tear them apart at the seams....

This was the approach to Punta Allen the next morning

Mike fixes another broken spoke, beachside.

"To all ship captains: please don't take boats out if you have alcohol on the breath, whether it´s for personal reasons or for tourist trips"

Serious flooding  in Punta Allen

From Punta Allen, we caught a boatride with our bikes across the laguna to continue southwards.

Our last campsite in the Sian Ka'an reserve, mostly a mangrove swamp. The mosquitoes were unspeakable. Lets not speak of them.

The road was flat and straight, but slick as ice when wet. Horseflies harassed us relentlessly, and if you stopped to swat at them the mosquitoes attacked full force.

Mike's side after the mosquitoes had their feast

Jason´s right knee after a spill on the slick surface. Blood and mud everywhere.

Ahh, much needed rest and relaxation in Felipe Carrillo Puerto after the ordeal in the swamp.

A master bike mechanic fabricates a few tools to facilitate the removal of Jason´s busted bottom bracket, which retails for $170 in the US.  Cost for over an hour of labor and a new, Chinese-made bottom bracket: $16 and a beer.

'Throwing trash on the world (littering)  is throwing the world in the trash'  Unfortunately, there is still lots of trash on the ground despite the education campaign.

Chillin' in the plaza central of F. Carrillo Puerto, where the town provides free wifi for all

Beachside sunrise at Majahual, a beautiful coastal town with a great vibe.

This nice dude stopped to offer us a ride back to the main highway, saving us an hour or two of cycling on boring pavement, that we´d already cycled on the way to Majahual.

Like sardines

Maxin´and relaxin' in Bacalar, near the lake.

Going for a swim at Cenote Azul, near Bacalar

comedor spotted outside Chetumal... happy goats have great teeth.

This 3 inch+ cricket hung out with us for a while in Chetumal, our last stop in Mexico before the Belize border.

Last meal in Mexico, for now....we were there for 7 months!

Mmmmm....belizian beef in Orange Walk, Belize. Looks like Ren and Stimpy style beef or something....

Sugar cane is a huge agricultural industry in Belize...

Belizian Mennonites.  They first came to Belize in 1957, and now run the show in the western parts of Belize. 

Surreal. Mennonite boy on his homemade scooter-bike. He needs a drivetrain on there...

A Mennonite farm at Shipyard, Belize.
Our campsite by the entrance to Lamanai, a somewhat small but amazing archaeological site. It was one of the last strongholds of the Mayans.

the road entering Lamanai

Stela at Lamanai

High Temple in the pouring down rain

view from the top of High Temple, toucans and trogons spotted here

Lianas abound in the jungle around Lamanai...

...Temple of the Mask...spectacular.

these limestone carvings are unique in that they bear Olmec traits, an earlier culture than the Mayas

On the way to Hillbank, here are a few images of the rural Mennonite areas of Western Lancaster, PA in a jungle setting...

We got lost, and stopped in this Mennonite barn to wait out a storm, hoping that someone would come by to ask directions. We waited two hrs, and saw not a soul.

deep mud, unrideable, caked onto our tires, our drivetrains, and us.

at Hillbank we suffered through a mosquito assault like few others (these were accumulated on the outside of Jeff´s mosquito net and the sound was truly frightening)

Bathtime for a dirtbag. Muddy water is cleaner than pure mud, after all....

...this was amazing cycling... our favorite since the Sierra Madre months was great to finally be back on some dirt track...

Hmm..two roads diverged in a muddy wood.  We waited again for hours, not sure which way to go, and hoped for a passing truck to give us direction. We eventually chose to take the left road, only to later find out that the two roads converged a few miles away.

...approaching Spanish Lookout, these are the hills of western Belize...

a much-anticipated arrival in Guatemala...woot! woot!


anna said...

Wow, looking pretty damn muddy! This post is making me think more seriously about sitting out the rest of the wet season somewhere dry.

xabier said...

Cabronessss....que bien se os ve yankys...

estoy currando y me he puesto a ver vuestro blog...sois unos cracks...ostia puta tio...

ya estais en guate...

que buenos.