It’s safe to say we thoroughly enjoyed our extra day in the hotel at Ciudad del Carmen. Not only could we recharge our batteries but Betty was also afforded some well needed rest – the last thing we needed right now was a mechanical problem on the way down to Cancun or we’d have ended up with a very disappointed Family!
We drove from the state of Campeche to Yucatan, which is set upon a mass of limestone. For reasons which are overly complicated/boring the rock basin has given way to a huge number of ‘cenotes’, which are holes in the limestone where fresh groundwater sits. You can visit and swim in a number of these, and we took the chance to do so – also asking if we could stay the night and they were more than happy to oblige. They even kept the pool open for another hour so we enjoyed an hour on our own in the cave, which we nervously shared with the bats!
The next morning we woke early as we were heading to the famous Chichen Itza, one of the new 7 wonders of the world. We knew it would be crazy busy, similar to Angkor Wat levels which we had experienced in Cambodia. For this reason we were the second in line for the car park when we arrived, at 7:45am sharp. It would pay off – the contrast between when we arrived and when we left was stark.
The crown jewel was the main temple itself, Chichen Itza and you could see this was the draw for most people. With 365 stairs in total, each one representing a day in the calendar year the pyramid had an understated purpose about it, and was beautifully tall, symmetrical and preserved. It was serene and peaceful at 8am, but by 11 when we left the place was crowded. Also, the number of street vendors was slightly off-putting – they were littered all around the site and it felt overly commercialised.
For our second last night in Mexico we headed to a cool campsite we’d heard about where the owner had converted VW Beetles & Kombis into rooms for rent. They also offered camping for $10 which we opted to do. It was a really cool place, even complete with it’s own fish spa where you dropped your feet in the pool and they came for dinner! Annie did well at learning to control her ticklish feet by the end of the night. We met fellow overlanders who are doing a similar route to us who we hope to meet up with again soon. There was also a plane which is soon to be a bedroom – we’re sure that’ll prove popular with tourists looking for the trendy new thing to do!
We left early the next morning, drove to our campsite to do washing, laundry and pay for our storage. We are storing Betty near Cancun, and now it’s time for our flight to Cuba! We haven’t seen direct family in over 8 months so it’s likely going to get a little emotional. Nevertheless we’re so excited to spend 2 weeks in Cuba with Mikey’s family – not having to worry about where to park and sleep will be a bit of light relief too!