Wrapping it up here in Campeche - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

December 11, 2018

Wrapping it up here in Campeche

A day in 4 parts

Last year, when we ended our tour down the West Coast early, we ended up heading to Austin and staying there for 3 months.  What we really enjoyed about that experience was the feeling that we became locals, not tourists, and that we could take our time enjoying this new city without feeling like we had to rush around and do everything in a few days.  Our time here in Campeche has felt much like that, although in a shorter time frame.  We have enjoyed going to the many different tourist destinations in this beautiful city, but have also taken time to have a daily siesta, watch a little football and feel like we didn't need to rush.  As a result, we are ending our time here feeling very relaxed and satisfied with the time we've had.  Although, I must say, we are already talking about when we can come back and spend a few weeks here!

As today's title suggests, we divided this day into 4 parts.  We had a couple of things we wanted to see, a job to get done, and one more night to enjoy eating out of doors (in December!!!).  The day began with another early morning ride up to the Fort of San Miguel.  As you will remember, it was closed yesterday, thus ensuring that we would have to once again tackle the short but steep climb (see, Scott and Rachel Anderson, there ARE some hills here!).

Pretty much says it all!
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At least we got a little exercise two days in a row!
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Once there, we paid the fee and were surprised to find that not only did it entitle us to cross the real drawbridge! but there were also several rooms with Mayan artifacts for us to enjoy before we headed upstairs to see the cannons arrayed above the water.  We really found the displays fascinating, I in particular, the one with various burial customs.  

A real drawbridge! Over a real moat! No water though.
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Scott AndersonWouldn’t they let you take your bikes on it for a photo? You should climb back up and try again.
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3 months ago
Sue PriceTo Scott AndersonHahaha! We will leave that for you to try!
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3 months ago
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Dogs! Hey Stan, kindred spirits!
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This is a death mask
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Having viewed the artifacts, we headed upstairs to the amazing view of the water from high above Campeche.  We were the only ones there and spent a good amount of time looking at the canons, taking in the views and thinking about what it must have been like when it was completed in 1801 as part of the protections built around the city of Campeche, which apparently had become a target for pirates (do you hear that, Ryder? Real pirates!  And a real drawbridge!  How cool is that???).

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Is it a moat if there's no water in it?
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Bill ShaneyfeltMight be a re-moat chance! :-)
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3 months ago
Sue PriceTo Bill Shaneyfelt🤣
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3 months ago
Image not found :(
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Having thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the inside of the fort, we headed around back to again enjoy breakfast with a view that can't be beat!

Breakfast of champions! Peanut butter wraps, cookies and mango juice!
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The next part of our day was a little more mundane.  As with many other cycle tourists, we have come this far and realized that we had brought WAY too many clothes.  We were thinking it might be colder than it is, and were also thinking that we might use our camping mats if our room wasn't that great.  However, every place we have stayed has been super comfortable for sleeping and the long term weather looks warm and then hot, so we made the decision to ship some items back.  Lucky for us, Annie has a wonderful friend in Cancun who we will be staying with before we head to Cuba, and Kurt very kindly allowed us to post our overflow to him.  All we needed was a box, and this presented much more of a problem than we thought it would. We went to a couple of shops, thinking that surely they would have an empty box, but no, apparently all the boxes are immediately sent to recycling (?).  We walked back to our hotel and tried, with Google Translate, to ask where we could find one.  It was pretty funny actually, as the girl at the front desk looked at our translation and immediately launched into a long explanation which we, of course, did not understand, except for her use of the words Fed Ex and Office Depot. Ah!  Right!  We remembered seeing an Office Depot the other day and thanking her, went out the front door to grab a cab there.  A short 30 peso trip over and we were in the store.  Now, all of these chain stores are more or less the same, so we thought we should be able to find a shipping box without any help.  Nope!  Ok, Google Translate to the rescue.  Turns out all they have are those Banker Boxes that are used for storage - not quite what we wanted.  However, I spotted some empty boxes sitting at the end of an aisle after having been emptied by an employee and one was just the right size.  I picked it up and asked if we could have it.  The guy helping us went to ask the management and came back with a "Si", so we were set!  We returned to our hotel by way of the malacon and packed up everything we didn't need, taped the box shut and headed to the post office, where the lady shook her head and indicated that she needed to inspect what was in the box.  Oh no!  We'd left the tape back in our room!  While we puzzled about what to do, a very kind young man, Norberto, came over and offered to translate for us.  He said the workers needed to know if there were any liquids in the box and we told them no, just clothes and camping mats.  He explained to the two postal workers what we had said and they accepted it - yay!  We addressed our parcel and waited in line to mail it off, thinking it might cost a pretty penny as we estimated the weight to be about 8 lbs.  90 pesos later the box was on its way to Kurt - wow!  Norberto then offered to help us again if we needed anything while here in Mexico.  He wrote his phone number and address down for us.  Seriously.   People here are just so nice!  Happy happy us, we thanked everyone profusely and headed out for part 3 of our day, a visit to a museum.

Chock full of stuff we don't need - less weight should make for easier cycling
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Michael ReynoldsWow, you *really* overpacked! That'll be cool to dump the extra. Reminds me of the movie "Wild" where that guy helps her dump about half her backpack load. You're better off than she was; i think she just had to toss everything she left behind!
Now you need Jim to talk you out of any more blouses. No more cute kids!
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3 months ago
Sue PriceTo Michael ReynoldsIt’s really hard to resist but I will try! Funnily enough we mailed off our mats as all the beds we’ve had have been great until today! Not sure how much sleep I’ll get but oh well, it’s just one night right? 😳
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3 months ago
Norberto and the very helpful ladies at the post office! Machos Gracias, amigos!
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Nope, my two new tops, along with the one I purchased the other day did not get sent away! 😁
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The Mayan Archihtechtural Museum is located along one of the two remaining perimeter walls in Campeche.  Yesterday we visited the one across the old city and today it was this one, but before heading up to the wall, we were again given the opportunity to view more Mayan artifacts.  Some of these had been restored and some not, but the detailed descriptions accompanying each really helped us to understand the meaning and use of each one.  It was incredible and I was just in awe of the beautiful and intricate workmanship we were able to see on display.  At first we thought that it was ok to touch, as there were no signs, but a docent quickly let us know to look and not touch - of course!  Silly us!  We  so enjoyed the time we spent in this small but wonderfully full museum and highly recommend it as a place to help one understand the complexities of the many styles of architecture practicied during the over 1000 years the Mayans were actively building in the Yucatan.  Outstanding!

No! Don't touch the artifacts por favor!
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This is a face with a very long nose - can you see it?
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The displays were so informative! We both learned a lot!
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An early Mayan Seahawks fan perhaps?
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Amazing details in this death mask
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Back out in the sunshine, we headed up to walk along the wall.  It was, again, so enjoyable to be able to see the city in this way and to appreciate that 400 years ago the effort that went into protecting this little city.  Not so very long ago though, when you consider how long the Mayans lived in this same area!

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The picture
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The picture taker
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We ate dinner down there later on!
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Adios Campeche! See you Friday (viernes)!
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Satisfied with our cultural part of the day, we returned once again for our last afternoon siesta before we set out for part 4 - dinner!  Last night it was a little chilly and we ended up eating inside at a restaurant that was just ok.  Tonight we are hoping that when we leave the air conditioning of our room it will be warmer and we can sit outside to enjoy our last dinner here.  Tomorrow we have a car rented to drive the 450 km down to Palenque, where we will stay for two nights before returning here for one night and then back on the bikes it will be for us! Tomorrow's post will be a special one, dedicated to an event going on right now all over Mexico, so stay tuned! 

Today's ride: 10 km (6 miles)
Total: 179 km (111 miles)

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Galin DowningGreg and I are SO enjoying your posts! Thanks for taking the time to write and include so many photos. I'm glad you're feeling well again. Take care folks!
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3 months ago
Sue PriceTo Galin DowningThanks, Galin! I'm glad you are enjoying them, and yes, we are very happy to be feeling 100%!
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3 months ago
Annie HeppLooks like an amazing place! Glad you guys are having so much fun 😊
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3 months ago
Sue PriceTo Annie HeppThanks, sweetie, we sure are! I can't believe we've been here for two weeks!
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3 months ago