On to the painted city - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

December 22, 2018

On to the painted city

QWe made it!  I just had to say that, right off the bat, since you know, our last adventure when leaving Merida didn't go so very well.  This one went well indeed!  

We were out the door and off on the right road by 6:30 am.  Amazingly enough, Google, Garmin and we all agreed on the very same route out of town this morning so there was not stopping and checking and backtracking.  In addition, it being Saturday, everyone else was sleeping in and traffic was very light.  The weather has remained nice and cool in the mornings.  I almost stopped to add a layer but the cycling soon had me warmed up so no problems there.  The road was also not too bad for quite a long part of the day, so we were able to make good time for the first 35kms.  

Bye bye, Merida!
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Hello Gotcha?
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Things started to slow down after that.  The road deteriorated into a bumpy mess and our good friend the wind made a special appearance.  I was thinking about that there are really 4 things in my mind that slow you down when cycling, or at least me.  First its heat.  I really struggle with cycling in the heat and I notice on hot days that if the sun goes behind a cloud I immediately cycle faster.  The second is road conditions. A smooth road means you can just ride and not have to worry about missing and going around the bad spots.  Third is wind.  It is something I'm always thinking about and trying not to talk about too much, but darn, it can sure stop you dead in your tracks and if not that, it can sure slow you down!  The last thing that slows a cyclist down is more pleasant, and that is going through little towns.  You just can't ride fast.  You have to slow down, look around you, say hello when you can and just enjoy the experience of being in this new and interesting place.  This is the best reason for slowing down.  The rest, well, they go with the territory I guess.

Not too sure what this was for - a rodeo? Bullfight?
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Michael ReynoldsI think it's from the set of "Gilligan's Island." 😉
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5 months ago
Sue PriceTo Michael ReynoldsHahaha!
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5 months ago
But we had to get around it somehow. Luckily some young boys pointed out the way
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Agave cut and ready to go
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Pretending to be an agave?
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Whatever he was cutting here was apparently edible, at least that's what Jim thought he was indicating
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be Cionosicyos excisus. According to what I could find, there is no common name.

https://www.backyardnature.net/mexnat/excisus.htm
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5 months ago

So, we did slow down for all of the above reasons but it was ok.  Jim stopped lots to take pics which was great as I could take a break, and before too long we were in the city of Izamal, otherwise known as the painted city.  Why you ask?  Well, apparently Pope John Paul came to visit this little city to see the convent there.  In honour of his visit, the city painted pretty much everything yellow and white, the colours of the papal flag.  The effect is quite stunning.  We rode into town, stopping to watch a bit of a baseball game and found our little oasis for the night.  

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After cleaning up, we made our way to the two things that are most important to see here.  First up was their pyramid, which is unusual in that it just literally is sitting in the middle of the city!  You walk down a street and there it is!  It has not had much work done to it and it is free to walk up, so it was a happening place.  We enjoyed walking up (the down was a bit freaky) and seeing the surrounding countryside from the top.

So, to get to my house, just turn left at the pyramid
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Up we go again
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Tiffany EllisonThat's too freaky for me!
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4 months ago
The view is worth the climb, always!
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Michael ReynoldsOmg, it is really flat there!
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5 months ago
Sue PriceTo Michael ReynoldsIt really is!!! And there are LOTS of trees! Why, you might say it’s a jungle!
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5 months ago

Second up was the convent.  It is quite a sight, all painted as it is, and we wandered about enjoying what we saw.  It is interesting that this place, like the church in Merida, has stones from nearby Mayan temples in it.  You can walk along the pathways and occasionally see the red paint that would have been part of that other structure.  What an interesting juxtaposition.

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Our tours done, we hightailed it back to our digs for the night, planning to work on the journal, take a quick nap and then grab some dinner.  Hopefully all will be quiet tonight and we will be able to get another early start in the morning for Piste, where we will be staying for 3 nights as it is Christmas and this is our gift to ourselves!  

Working hard once again!
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Today's ride: 66 km (41 miles)
Total: 521 km (324 miles)

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