We arrived in Calakmul on November 16th. At this point we had seen about 5 sites of ruins and Mayan archeological sites and we were very close to taking a break from this one. But I’m glad we didn’t, every site is very different and offers a different perspective on the old civilizations. This site is different by the fact that it is deep and buried in the jungle only 35 Kilometres from the Guatemalan border. After our visit on the way back to our RV site the Taxi driver graciously offered to take us to a bat cave. Arriving at dusk we ran through small pathways deep in the forest and arrived at the edge of a cliff overlooking a huge underground cave. Slowly, as the daylight was ending the bats made their way at the surface, eventually they were circling out of the caves by the hundreds or thousands. Unplanned adventures are always the best and most memorable.
On November 17 and 18 we stayed in Palenque. We went for a swim in the Cascading Falls, (A la Cascada de Bascan).
On November 19 we arrived at the Hogar Infantil, Ocozocautla, Chiapas. A place where children from disadvantage families come to learn and grow in a safe environment. We were thrilled to interact with the children, watch their practice of a Christmas play and sit in on their English class. One boy enjoyed playing volleyball with a small plastic ball. Our caravan friend Randy, who is a volleyball player and had his own regulation volleyball, played with the boy on the court and reminiscent of a Coke commercial, at the end of their game he threw him the ball and told him to keep it. I would have given anything to see the look on this boys face!
We decided one day to explore the local town. We took a taxi and spend the day exploring the real culture, untouched by tourist. However we did stand out in the crowd, we could hear the whispers of people some never having seen a “Gringo”, but they were all very nice.
From November 20 to 22 we stayed in Chiapa del Cobre. We visited Sumidero Canyon by boat tour and did some shopping in San Cristobel.
While in San Cristobal we visited a very interesting town of San Juan Chamula, 10 km south of San Cristobal and home to the indigenous Mayan people called Tzotzil. Although we were welcomed in their small town we were not allowed to take pictures. We entered a church were the locals practice the old ways by curing sickness with the aid of healers and sacrificing chickens. The Tzotzil have a distinct dress of black wool and traditional costume.
On our way to Oaxaca we stayed in Tehuantepec in a soccer field. In Oaxaca we were invited by an Expat for thanksgiving dinner. After so many “Tacos” I craved a homemade turkey dinner. It was very gracious of this lady to invite us and we met wonderful people from the US and Canada.
Petrified Waterfalls of Hierve El Agua, Oaxaca
An old fashion Mezcal plant in the mountains
Thanksgiving dinner over a beautiful view.
A demonstration of how to make carpets using natural colors from plants.
Patzcuaro was truly a magical town filled with artisans and rich in history. We took a boat on Lake Patzcuaro to the Island of Janitzio which houses a forty-meter statue of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon ( a revolutionary rebel leader who led the Mexican war of Independence movement) It was quite a hike to reach the top on the island to reach the statue through the narrow cobblestone streets adorned by restaurants and gift shops.
Island of Janitzio
Here we were able to watch a demonstration of handmade Copper bowls and vases.
We stayed in Villa Corona December 1 to 3rd. and visited the Casa Herradura Tequilla factory. And yes there was a lot of sampling and buying!
As our trip was soon coming to an end the remainder of the sites were Beach days. We parked and enjoyed the beautiful beaches on the west coast.
Melaque where the breeze was just perfect to fly a kite on the beach!
In Los de Marcos we stayed in one of the nicest RV parks Telaquepaque. The RV community was terrific and gracious enough to invite us to their Saturday night dinner and dance.
In Teacapan we drove a long way on a narrow road in the middle of a field which brought us to the Ocean front park of Color Marino. Very few RV’s in this park, so very quiet. We had a fire on the beach at night and during the day we took advantage of the seaside vendors of freshly caught shrimp.
San Carlos was the last place we stayed, we dined overlooking the ocean and fittingly enjoyed the sunset
We crossed the border on December 16 virtually incident free. The border crossing at Nogales can be quite confusing for RV’s. It is not well marked on which lane RV’s should be in and it is a very busy crossing. So in an attempt to find the right lane we got wedged between the cement blocks which partitioned the lanes. It was quite stressful getting out of that situation as cars honked and people yelled at us but a few good Samaritan helped us out. I don’t have a picture of this but I’m sure that there could be a youtube circulating!
After a few stops along the way, we said goodbye to our new friends in Arizona and parted ways. We made lasting friendships and promised to meet again and stay in touch. The next stop was Amarillo for a well deserve steak at our favorite restaurant The Big Texan on old route 66
Our last stop before hitting home in LeRoy near Syracuse, NY. An unwelcome site!