Day 25: Izamal to Chichen Itza - Grampies Yucatan Return: Winter 2023 - CycleBlaze

January 24, 2023

Day 25: Izamal to Chichen Itza

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We had some fun as we rode along in the dawn light thinking about why sunrise seemed to be getting later in the last week,  and also at what hour the clock we should be waking up after we cross the time zone line, heading east,  somewhere around Valladolid.  We got ourselves fairly confused, but should be able to work it out, when the "time" comes.

Dodie had kindly suggested that the majority of readers would not  have known what I was babbling about when I mentioned Isaac Newton and Neils Bohr, in relation to the sunrise in an earlier page. So I very sagely kept quiet about Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity, in this morning's discussion about Time. Anyway, until Grampies come  a little closer to light speed, it won't matter!

Cosmic considerations seem relevant (to me anyway) at dawn in Mayaland.
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Morning had us, as is now somehow usual, scanning the wires and bare trees for birds. We have probably spotted as many different types as we are going to, especially since we are now retracing our route. Still, there is always hope, and hope for a good shot, despite the fog that afflicts our camera here in the jungle.

Tropical Kingbird?
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Bill ShaneyfeltMoc
kingbird
:-)
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5 days ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltNow that’s brilliant. Looks like it was inspired by E.E. Cummings.
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4 days ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Scott AndersonHe's another of my favorites...
"...and all the world is puddle wonderful..."
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4 days ago
This was really far off, and turned out not to be a bird. But how did it get so high in a tree?
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Tropical Mockingbird?
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Great Kiskadee?
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Bill ShaneyfeltSomewhat puzzling... Lacks the black cap of a kiskadee... Maybe a tropical kingbird?

https://www.shutterstock.com/search/tyrannus-melancholicus
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5 days ago
Another Kingbird?
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Bill ShaneyfeltProbably... Sometimes I wonder if some of these almost alike birds are interbreeds.
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5 days ago
Cows are a more usual photo subject for me. We are back just on the edge of ranch country!
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At a great distance we thought these were Grackles, but look, their backs are blue. Yet it's not Yucatan Jay, because the beak is not yellow.
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Bill ShaneyfeltI vote for Yucatan jay

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucatan_jay
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5 days ago
Scott AndersonTo Bill ShaneyfeltBill’s probably right here, though the beak looks a bit heavy for a jay to me. Regarding Steve’s point though - the bill of a Yucatán jay apparently changes over time - it’s yellow on juveniles, and black on adults. I don’t recall any other bird changing in that way.
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4 days ago
Scott AndersonAnother question though - what’s the plant?
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4 days ago
Surely a Kiskadee?
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Tropical Mockingbird?
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Indigenous Orange Oriole?
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Yucatan Woodpecker?
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks right

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucatan_woodpecker
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5 days ago

As we approached Dzitas, it was easy to spot something else up high. It was a really unusually high tower, supported by guy wires, but not on all sides.  High communications towers are not seen every day, but ok. The puzzling thing about this tower was that it had no devices affixed to it at all. At its bases was a little concrete shack, and that was it. We did have fun speculating on  what it would be like to climb the thing, such as to tighen a bolt, or maybe to finally add an antenna, or something.

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The top of the tower has nothing, and hopefully nothing loose to tighten.
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On one trip in Germany we enjoyed collecting "gefahr" or danger road warnings. The Germans seemed to warn of a broader range of hazards than most. But they would have trouble competing with this sign on the road to Piste:

The literal translation of this is "warning, area of humps and swings". Can anybody explain what problem they are warning of?
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The temperature started at a pleasant 18 degrees this morning, but by the time we were approaching Piste had climbed to 38. Dodie was noticeably wilting, and we had started pouring water over her head, which helps a lot.  So we were not much pleased when we came to the very hot and dusty construction area around the east west toll road, just 3 km out of Piste.

Last time through here we did in the pitch dark, making it even harder to see where the roadway goes.
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They really are making a mess. We are not sure if this project is related to another, which is a plan to build a railway from Merida to Cancun. This will rip up forest and cenotes and is giving environmentalists fits.
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The 3 km from the construction to the town of Piste felt like one of the more dangerous stretches we have cycled. Thundering herds of gravel trucks were traversing this run, and they all had their foot to the floor. The motto on this windscreen is "Christ Lives". Maybe, but I think he abandoned this stretch of road.
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These final hot kms were taking it out of Dodie, so how to respond to this road sign: "Don't drive tired". Fortunately we would soon be at the OXXO in Piste, for a couple of cold bottled lattes!
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Seven kms beyond Piste, and beyond the chaos of the Chechen Itza ruins entrance, is our oasis, the Doralba Inn. We like this because we get our own little ground floor sort of cabin, because it has a restaurant and a pool, and importantly, because it is directly across the street from the Ik Kil cenote.

Potted plants at the Doralba
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The restaurant
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The pool and some of those little ground floor units
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The grounds of the Doralba are very lush, but it is even nicer across the street at Ik Kil. The cenote itself is a large open pit, with the terrific feature of tropical foliage all around and roots hanging down toward the water.

On the grounds at Ik Kil
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The cenote is a deep hole, open to the sky (unlike most).
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Sue PriceAh, we loved this one!
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4 days ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesDid you try to smuggle a towel?

We like this one a lot too. It is also just a walk across the street from our hotel. They also have a reasonable dinner buffet.
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2 days ago
Hanging roots decorate the walls.
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You REALLY do not want to jump this, sign or not.
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There is, however, a much much lower ledge that people jump from. See the splashdowns.
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We went and put our valuables in a locker, supplied free, and were set to head on down the long staircase to the water's surface.  But at the top we were jumped by a security guard - no towels. Yes, we were carrying two miniature micro fibre camping towels. Say what? No towels! Why? Where does that come from? The answer - sign on a pole, way over there. But why? Because - sign on pole!

Later, I looked on as this guard blocked all towels, and bags too, that tried to descend to the shore of the cenote. It was rather fun to see the Spanish speaking ones, because they could unleash a longer torrent of wtf. But the guy was steadfast. He was true to what I have observed before, about Mexican people defending a bureaucratic stupidity. Steadfast.

One gap in the guy's position did crop up when he allowed an entire baby buggy. A baby buggy can easily be defined as a "bag", but worse, the devious baby was covered in a towel!

No towels!
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Bill ShaneyfeltI can easily imagine accumulations of hundreds/thousands of abandoned towels at the bottom of the pool.
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5 days ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Bill ShaneyfeltEverybody brought their flip-flops, no problem, and tee shirts! I asked the guy if next he would want to ban my cloth swim shorts. But I lack the Spanish to really push these brilliant quasi-legal notions!
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4 days ago

In the cenote you can not actually swim, because life jackets are mandatory. So everyone is bobbing about like corks. From this position we we  able to have a conversation with the next man over. He and his family were from Puebla, southeast of Mexico City. They came to Yucatan by plane, as tourists. Tomorrow they plan to go to Rio Lagartos. Since we are "experts" on that, we had something to talk about. Dodie also seemed able to discuss the proposed train line. Impressive.

We walked back to Doralba, having suitably cooled off by long bobbing in the cenote,  and went briefly into the jungle out back, plus around the "auxiliary" swimming pool. It really is beautiful here.

Beautiful tropical environment.
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Tomorrow we have a relatively short hop to Valladolid. It means we can stay for breakfast here. Hooray! Huevos fritos! (and Bimbo toast).

Today's ride: 76 km (47 miles)
Total: 1,158 km (719 miles)

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