Day 6: Tulum to Coba - Grampies Yucatan Return: Winter 2023 - CycleBlaze

January 5, 2023

Day 6: Tulum to Coba

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We got up with the birds (before the birds!) today, to help avoid the heat as we set off for Coba. For a little while we ran our front and rear lights, though by about 7:15 the sky was quite light. Heavy and noisy traffic persisted until well past the Gran Cenote. That is, for about 10-15 km put of Tulum. After that, the road improved and the traffic decreased, finally delivering us to the kind of riding we knew existed in Yucatan, and which has brought us back, now for the third time.

Wake up, bird!
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Bill ShaneyfeltLooks like maybe a mourning dove. After a bit of searching, lt seems to be possible. https://ebird.org/camerica/species/moudov/MX-YUC-096
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3 weeks ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesIt's gratifying that this causes you some doubt!
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3 weeks ago
Scott AndersonDefinitely a mourning dove.
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3 weeks ago
With Cancun-Tulum well distant, our cycle route looks like this.
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There are only two towns between Tulum and Coba, and of these only Macario Gomez appears on maps. Macario Gomez is quite the place for crafts, with many roadside outlets for macrame, wickerwork, woodwork, and pottery. Some of the crafts, especially macrame, look pretty sad and dusty, but some woodwork and especially pottery is extremely attractive.

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This macrame looks ok
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These are quite functional, as shady rests.
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There were beds and many tables and chairs.
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This one spot had a really major collection of vivid pottery. We took a number of shots to better remember these item that we would love to have, bit could never transport. In one distant decade we did transport a sink from Mexico. We found it difficult to install with our local plumbing supplies, but eventually succeeded, only to later sell the house.
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Oh, the lovely sinks
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One of dozens of sink designs
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Strangely we do not see these locally in use as planters. In fact, flowers deliberately planted are not a "thing" here. surely marigolds, petunias and such would do well, but we have not seen a one.
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What must be a pretty fanciful warning, as we leave town.
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The only other (sort of) town along the way.
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One property had this attractive decoration by the entrance.
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Coba had one of the largest Mayan cities, which can now be visited as a major archeological site. This time around we will give that a miss, and focus on the three local cenotes. Going from one to the other makes for a pleasant day ride out of town.

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Our first time in Coba, we stayed at the Sacbe Hotel. Sacbe refers to the roadways that joined Mayan cities. The hotel was fine, but bugged us with the "lock you in at night" trick. Now we sty next door, at the Lol-Ha. This could be our favourite place in Yucatan. There is a room downstairs and around the back which is surely preferred by locals rather than tourists, who go upstairs, in the big rooms with the big TVs. But our room is also large (twice as large as one in France), and instead of a TV it has a covered walkway that is ideal and safe for the bikes. Best of all, the Lol-Ha has a beautiful and good restaurant.

We were greeted today by staffers Freddie and Jennie. They good naturedly accepted that we only wanted to stay in the less great room, and also were interested in our bikes, lifting them to see how much they might weigh.

Our favourite room
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In the shower of our favourite room, a half hearted attempt to electrocute us.
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And this sign in front of the toilet, which has provided hours of delving into its true meaning.
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Bill Shaneyfelt
Maybe loosely translated it means... "Jiggle flush lever after use"?
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3 weeks ago

We arrived just before noon, which was great in term of beating the heat. We also could drop our things in the room and repair to the restaurant. The restaurant is large and airy, and with a full selection of Mayan dishes.

This is just one wing of the restaurant space.
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The restaurant must have read yesterday's blog, and put up this sign to be clear. No more grousing from Steve about being surprised with the price of coffee!

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Dodie's choice was fresh watermelon juice and "sopa de lima" - chicken soup with lime, shredded chicken, tomatoes, and fried tortilla chips. It was really super!
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We returned to our room, and with the A/C set to just the right level we fell into a very restful sleep. Waking about 4 we set off for a very brief walk in the town. 

Our first stop was a stand offering many kinds of local honey and honey/bee related products. It is said that there are four varieties of stingless local bees here, and that they are very small, compared to the Italian ones universally found at our place. The proprietor of the stand could communicate quite well with us in English, and he also spoke some French. He was a good salesman, because despite being on the bikes we came away with a (very small) jar of honey. He also had a very dark "jungle honey", which would have been interesting to get. Maybe next time.

The honey man
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On our walk we passed the ferreteria (hardware) where last time we had found an electrical triple tap that was not bothering with the ground prong. Just the thing for the outlets here, that also have yet to recognize this safety feature. 

We only walked as far as the lake, which though small remains one of the larger bodies of surface water on the peninsula. We sat near the lake for a moment and chatted with a Mayan lady who was waiting for a bus. She was familiar with the local hotels, and commented on their room rates, tsk tsking about the most expensive one.

Lake Coba
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Back in our room, I took the time to read what we had written in this same situation last year. Not surprisingly, the events, sights, and interpretations were all virtually identical. I did notice that the author then seemed to be more eloquent, and to have taken the time to see and mention rather more. Maybe they just don't make Grampies blogs  like they used to!

There was one unfortunate change of script, however. Last time it said Dodie declared herself too hot or tired to eat supper, but that she recovered and sampled the salbutes. This time, on queue, she said the same, but failed to recover. So I am up here in the restaurant on my own, but still with the Poc Chuc.  And hey, it was quite a bit better than last year!

A very good Poc Chuc
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The lone restaurant reviewer.
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Today's ride: 48 km (30 miles)
Total: 187 km (116 miles)

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Sue PriceWe loved the cenotes in Coba! So refreshing!!!
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3 weeks ago