Just outside the Zona Arqueológica Palenque - The eleventh step ... Mexico City to Cancun via Guatemala & Belize - CycleBlaze

October 12, 2021 to October 13, 2021

Just outside the Zona Arqueológica Palenque

October 12th, 2021

We managed to get away a bit earlier today and, being a short ride, we arrived in Palenque town before it got too hot. 

I think we have seen vultures every day since we starting riding in Mexico. After the past few hot days it was difficult not to think they had started getting interested in us. Sadly, but thankfully, there is a lot of roadkill (mostly stray dogs) that holds their attention. This morning a flock of Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) were sunning themselves while waiting for the air to warm up before they make use of the thermals to start soaring.
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I can't seem to go past a Green Heron (Butorides virescens) without stopping to check if it isn't something more interesting.
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A tree with two epiphytes growing on it - an epiphytic cactus on the top left and a bromeliad at the bottom right.
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Bill ShaneyfeltDragon fruit!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitaya
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1 week ago

We reached Palenque town soon after ten o'clock.  First impressions are that it is quite a boring town so we are glad to be passing it by for now.   By the time we had finished a bit of shopping and started out to the Zona Arqueológica Palenque it was stiflingly hot and there was a small climb along the way that would have been hot as hell if the route wasn't nicely shaded for much of the way.

An interesting sculpture on the way out of town. It turns out that it is of Kʼinich Janaab Pakal I, aka Pacal the Great.
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Nice cool shady roads on the way to Maya Bell.
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The turnoff to our digs.
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We are spending the next two nights at Maya Bell, just outside the Zona Arqueológica Palenque.  We're relaxing today but tomorrow we will spend in at the ruins.

October 13th, 2021

We had an early breakfast and headed up to the Archeological Zone as soon as the gates opened.  Up was the operative word - a climb of over ninety meters, most of it a single kilometer - so we were drenched in sweat by the time we got to the top.  Thank fully the road was mostly shaded as we rode up through

Riding up through thick forest.
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One of the first things that come into view as one enters the zone is the Temple of Inscriptions, where Kʼinich Janaab Pakal I was buried.  Kʼinich Janaab Pakal I, known as Pacal the Great, reigned for sixty eight years at the height of Pelenque's paramountcy.

This and the next few photos are of the Temple of Inscriptions.
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The palace was enormous. There was a lot of restoration on the go while we were there.
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Can't ignore a good ball court. This one is a lot smaller than the one at Yagul.
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An aqueduct leading past the palace.
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In the past it was possible to climb up many of the pyramids but due to COVID-10 restrictions this is no longer possible.  Many of the finest stucco works and carvings are in the temples at the top of the pyramids so they are no longer visible to the general public.  I used my long birding lens to try and capture some of them.

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We also tried to bird a bit (very difficult) but also managed to pick up a Green Iguana and a Mexican Howler.

A Green Iguana (Iguana iguana).
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This Mexican Howler (Alouatta palliata mexicana) was eating these little fruits outside the entrance to the zone.
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All in all, a good morning.

Today's ride: 41 km (25 miles)
Total: 1,348 km (837 miles)

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