Just Follow the Yellow Brick Road - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

December 16, 2018

Just Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Says Google

So, yes, about last night.  When we left you, we were headed out to find something for dinner, and you could say that we did that, just not as we had expected.  Turns out, all the restaurants we had seen earlier in the day were now closed!  We stopped at a little store to pick up a view things, then at a bakery by our motel for a fresh loaf of bread, so here was dinner last night

Well now, that's quite the spread you say! Yep, we had it all. Oh well, at least we had food.
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Oddly enough, the rest of the night went pretty well.  We had to leave the ceiling fan on high and a window open in order to keep the room at a decent temp, but this worked in our favour as the fan was so loud it drowned out all the folks across the street singing into the wee hours at the Karoke bar.  And, despite my skepticism, the bed was not so bad, really - either that or we were both too tired to notice.  Either way, we managed to sleep until the alarm went off at 6:00 this morning.

We quickly packed up and rode out through the quietly waking streets of Hecelchakan.  Lucky for us, the back road out of town went for quite a ways before we had to rejoin the highway and we enjoyed our cool and quiet early morning ride.  It took us past the local cemetary which we stopped to appreciate.   We also passed some local animals just hanging out by the side of the road.

What a beautiful sky this morning!
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Yep, that's our road! Quiet as can be!
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Wait, what? Is that The Silos? Are Chip and Joanna here?
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After rejoining the highway, we decided that if we found a little restaurant open, we would stop for some real food.  At km 17, our wish came true.  The little place we stopped at was very simple in appearance - the coffee offered was instant coffee on the table and hot water that you helped yourself to.  With the help of another customer who spoke a bit of English, we ordered some eggs with onions, tomatoes and tortillas.  While waiting, we tried the coffee - again, we will see if it bothers me or not, but at that point I just wanted to drink something hot.  Breakfast seemed to be taking a long time and I wondered what we would end up with, given the size of the place.  When our waitress returned with our food we were literally overwhelmed!  Such beautiful presentation and everything looked so yummy!  She brought out the tortillas and they were freshly made - Oh my gosh!  After last night's dinner, we were both ready to dig into this most delicious looking feast and it did not disappoint.  We ate until we were both stuffed, then made some extra tacos to take along for later in the day.

Just doesn't scream really excellent breakfast food, does it?
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But boy oh boy did they deliver! Yum!
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Totally satisfied we happily paid the bill and jumped back on the bikes for the short 35 km to Mexcanu, thinking that this would be a piece of cake - ah yes, famous last words! Today was a pretty straightforward ride, so I was just using google map on my phone for directions (I'm not sure if it would have been any different with the Garmin, given its last performance).  We rode along the highway until the small town of Calkini at which point we hopped off to follow another back road that would lead us into Mexcanu.  At first we enjoyed the break, stopping to take pictures of some of the flowering trees we saw, and finding a great bike path leading to the town.

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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be golden rain tree.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassia_fistula
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1 month ago
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Bill ShaneyfeltPretty, but watch out for the nasty thorns hidden by that beauty.

http://www.backyardnature.net/yucatan/bougain2.htm
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1 month ago
Always nice to ride on a seaparated bike path
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We came through the city centre, past the square that is a part of every Mexican town and headed down a quiet backstreet, saying Hola and Buenos Dias to the people we met along the way.  After a bit, we came to the end of the road, but google insisted that the track ahead was, indeed, the way forward, so of course, like a couple of idiots, we went along.  This is the Yellow Brick Road part of our day, in case you hadn't figured that out.  Yes, this track got more and more rocky as we proceeded forward.  It was paved, kind of, as in there was pavement holding all of the enormous rocks we were riding over into the ground.  

Not too bad yet
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But this? Google! You call this a road???
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We stopped and consulted the map again, but it seemed as if we would be joining a regular road in short order, so we kept at it.  Boy oh boy, those bikes can handle a rough ride!  And thank goodness for the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires we had - they really took a beating today and never failed us.  Eventually we reached the "road" and yep, it was another track! It was maybe not quite as rocky as the earlier one, but if we kept on this we would be cycling 17 more kms on rough rough track.  We stopped to look for options and saw that there was another track leading off and onto the highway, so we took that, eventually coming out onto sweet sweet pavement!  It was an adventure for sure and we were just thankful that the day was a much cooler one than we've been having and that we managed to get out of it with no falls.  We went up and over the highway and down a short dirt path before we were able to rejoin the main road.  There was a crew just getting out to do some work as we came out and I bet they were wondering what the heck a couple of Gringos were doing way out there!  So were we!!!

The end of this Yellow Brick Road!
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Scott AndersonNow this is more like it! You two have been getting off too easy, and are making us envious.
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1 month ago
Sue PriceTo Scott AndersonHahaha! Note: Never believe google or anyone when plotting routes here! From now on we will check it with road routes to be sure!
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1 month ago
Finally! Back on a real road!
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Won't be trying that again!
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He's was heading in as we were heading out - glad it's him and not us!
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In a short time we came to the sign that signalled the end of the Campeche district and the beginning of the Yucatan.  Then, within a km of that we came to a big checkpoint.  We had passed on on our way down, so thought perhaps we would just ride through this as well, but no, we were asked (very nicely) by a young man in fatigues and with a gun hanging off his shoulder to stop at a table to the side so they could check out our gear.  Oh boy!  If they wanted to look through everything, this was going to take a while!  The young man who checked my gear just looked in my bar bag and checked on of my panniers before saying I was fine.  Jim's examiner was a bit more ambitious and looked through a couple of bags.  However, they were very polite and didn't really take things out, just looked around and then said we could both go.  We thanked them and rode off towards today's destination.  We would have liked to take a picture of the whole thing at the checkpoint but thought perhaps we should just not bother them - they were working pretty hard and they all had guns so, you know, better to just let it go!

Up the highway we rode, actually having to go up a couple of slight inclines where we almost had to change gears - its pretty flat on the Yucatan!  Eventually we came to the turn off that would lead us to Maxcanu, but it required our turning onto another dirt road and we were both just a little leery after our earlier experience.  However, a car came out down the road, so we figured we should give it a go and this time it worked! We came into town along a quiet back road, eventually finding our way to the town square where we stopped for a breather and one of our egg tacos.  

Our next adventure required us to find a hotel.  I had looked up one and had the address plugged into my phone, but when we got to the street, there didn't seem to be anything there.  We asked a man out painting his fence and he directed us back towards the Iglesias (church).  I was worried that he had misunderstood us, but we rode back that way.  We still couldn't see the place we were looking for, though, so stopped at a corner store to buy some juice.  I showed the woman there the picture on my phone and she said, "Si, enfrente de Iglesias" Ah!  Words I knew!  Back when we were in Austin, whenever we rode the bus it would always have a recording saying "por favor, no cruzar en fronted de bus" (please don't cross in front of the bus).  Great!  Now we knew there was a place in front of the church!  We rode back, located the street and finally saw the sign.  It was for a posada (hostel) but we didn't care.  We asked where we could sign up and were directed to a restaurant next door!  What??? A restaurant??? We went in (it smelled wonderful) and were able to book our little casita for the night.  It is its own little room, the bed is not as hard as last night's, there is still no toilet seat and it has the very weird shower heaters that we will see a lot more of here and in Cuba, but we are excited and happy to have a place for the night that has food!  I

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After a rest, Jim worked on cleaning the bikes and I got to work on todays' blog.  We will clean up and head out to check out the town properly before having dinner and, more than likely, coming back to our room to watch some football and fall asleep early.  Tomorrow we push off to Celestun, another 60 kms away where we hope to see some flamingos and pelicans.  We have 2 nights booked there, to give us time to go out in a boat for this adventure.  We are happy and thankful that the past few days have been a bit cooler and that we are both feeling great, other than a scratchy throat that Jim has developed.  What a great adventure this has been so far and we are just into our 3rd week!  Thanks for coming along!

Today's ride: 53 km (33 miles)
Total: 292 km (181 miles)

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Michael ReynoldsI liked your entry today. It sort of feels like you're settling in and really getting the hang of it, and I feel like I'm along for the ride. Leslie is pondering how you manage to -- ahem --- use the facilities, what with no toilet seat for two days straight. (What's with the missing toilet seats?)
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1 month ago
Sue PriceTo Michael ReynoldsThanks, Mike! I’m glad you are enjoying it! Yes, it does feel like we have a rhythm going now. I think every tour is a little different and will have its own pace. This one is nice and slow! As for the no seat thing, it is something down here I’ve often read about in other journals so not surprising. As for how? Well, let’s just say I’m making good use of my leg muscles and never quite sitting! ☺️
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1 month ago