Day 9: Valladolid to Tizimin - Grampies Yucatan Return: Winter 2023 - CycleBlaze

January 8, 2023

Day 9: Valladolid to Tizimin

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We really need to nail down the leaving before dawn idea, because with even late morning temperatures in the 30's, we need to put Dodie in the A/C and not out on the highway in full sun, as early as possible. Despite having no actual English background, she is wilting like a rose out there.

Today we made the foolish error of thinking that getting up at 5 a.m. should be fine. But we have switched time zones here in Yucatan State, and 5 a.m. is "really" 6 a.m.  And the sun is then up an hour later. Since it takes an hour to get dressed and get going, the sun and us are reporting for duty at exactly the same instant. Bad one!

Of course the birds, unlike us, are no fools. So when we showed up in the central square with our low quality breakfast selections from OXXO, in the still sort of dark, they were all screaming. They knew that in 5 minutes it would be day!

Well at least we did not need our lights today, and could do another photo of those classic colonial Valladolid row houses:

The classic houses of Valladolid
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As with all old towns, the centre is quite small.
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And then things start to revert to more "modern" form.
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Despite passing out of the classic colonial section quite quickly, we did enter a rather "upscale" neighbourhood. Valladolid is said to have at least six unique  "barrios" - maybe this was one.

Lovely landscaping
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A house in the upscale area.
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Incidentally, we also passed a large craft outlet, that had this statue outside.
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Valladolid has a ring road, and beyond that the toll road - 180D - that joins the two largest cities, Cancun and Merida.  180D was undergoing lots of construction that we had to squeeze through, but in fact it was not at all bad.

"Interstate" construction
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But we got this good lane through it.
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and were deposited on the great road to Tizimin, and beyond it, Rio Lagartos - our goal, to see the Flamingos again.
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Dodie as usual was alert for natural things overhead, and came up with at least two of the hanging bird's nests.

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Scott AndersonVery cool. This has to be an oreopendula nest.
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3 weeks ago
Bill ShaneyfeltTo Scott AndersonAgreed
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3 weeks ago
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The first of the two towns on our route was Temozon. We noticed the rather attractive 3 Brothers (Los 3 Hermanos) restaurant, and the fact that our "bike lane" continued into downtown.

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Our lane!
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As with every other colonial church, my description of "hulking" applied in Temozon.  It' a little unfair way to describe the flat roofed, rectangular design.

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The church in Temozon faces the square and the city hall - as it should be.
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Today being Sunday, a service was in progress. ^his is more than can be said for most European churches on Sunday. To boot, there was a goodly attendance. So maybe I need to revise my assessment that the Yucatecans are not into religion.
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The altar still has Christmas decorations. The priest is of Spanish origin. I did not want to intrude so much as to sort the congregation by ethnicity.
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We think these roadside trees are probably kapok, with the fluffy white seed body, once used for life vests.
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Sometimes we run past mystery structures. This large thing, under construction, is a mystery. It appears to be all open sided - but what is its purpose?
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Near the turnoff for Hunuku, we began to see some livestock. Yes, we have seen the entrances to many ranches, but the cattle below were the first for us.

What type have that hump?
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Bill ShaneyfeltTo Scott AndersonYup. Aka Brahman.
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This cow had a rather Jersey like appearance.
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The town of Calotmul seemed a long time coming. This was due to the rising temperature and the fact that we were hungry and looking for a shady spot to eat our sandwich. The central square had a lot of shady spots, but all were taken, it would seem by families out for a picnic. So we just sat on the curb.

Sunday BBQ picnic time.
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Once again we had that hulking church design. but a look inside revealed an arched ceiling beneath the apparently flat roof. The church decoration was interesting too. They had a mummy or effigy or whatever set out in a  case, as we have often seen in Europe. But this one was lying on sheets and looked for all the world like an actual dead man, or perhaps an almost dead patient! 

A statue on the wall was also different from those in Europe. It's the pale and vapid face. I think other statues tend to look more vigorous.  

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As in Temozon, the altar had Christmas decorations. It's a touch that I think we do not see in other churches.
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We continued to spot a bit more livestock, such as these sheep.
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Finally, coming in to Tizimin, we deviated from the main road to head more directly to our "Posada". We found ourselves on a bit of a rough track, and now for the first time we passed rural small holdings. Until now we had seen  rural road through more or less jungle, with the occasional indication of a ranch somewhere nearby. But now it was tiny farms along the way. They looked very dry and dusty, it must be said.

The small road, that eventually led beside tiny farms.
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Sort of farms, to the left and right.
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We did eventually come out in the more urban part of town. Perhaps because of how we had approached, it felt quite rough. We stopped at a large grocery store, that was also selling tires and motorbikes. I guess that made it a bit like Costco. Left outside with our bikes, I was free to view three motorbikes on display. Their cost was between 16,000 and 30,000 pesos - about one to two thousand dollars. Although I could see the differences among the models - tire width, motor size, amount of body panels, I must say I have not the slightest interest in these gas machines. Oh wait, except for Vespa scooters. They are iconic and beautiful.

e-bikes vs. motos
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The GPS brought us to our choice for the night - Posada Candita. At 1000 pesos, this was not cheap. But the sign gave us a start. It can't be quite seen in the photo but it says rentals are by the night or by the hour!

Despite having left "late", we had arrived at the Posada before 2, and our room was not ready. But the wilted Dodie was not up to going to find a cafe to wait in.  The staff took pity and we sat in the room as they hurriedly cleaned it.

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Dodie was not so wilted as to have the boy make the bed in the "wrong" way. Years of nursing training are at play here!
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Bill ShaneyfeltGotta have "square corners!..." My wife's mom was a nurse, and I am required to help in the "right" way!

:-)
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3 weeks ago

As you can see in the photo above, the one bed in the room is not exactly huge. That's ok, but when Dodie sat down on it, both it and she almost collapsed. This bed has had one bounce too many! I trotted out my usual optimism, saying "Well it's gotta be better than a Thermorest". I will leave it to the imagination as to what kind of reception that got!

After a few hours in the cool, and with the sun on its way out, we ventured down to the central square. Tizimin is a kind of tough looking cowboy town, but at the square all was festivity and light. Everyone had come out, with the kids, and there were scads of food stalls. Among the items on offer were marquesitas - which are crepes filled with Edam cheese and Nutella - churros, and my choice - deep fried frankfurters and fried potatoes (i.e. fries).  Surprisingly, this was quite good and non-poisonous tasting.

As always, we noticed the diligence and hard work of the vendors, and the pleasant demeanor of the crowd. I remarked on how cute the kids all were, and how I had never heard a cross word from any parent toward one.  For that matter, we have never heard a cross word from one adult to another.

This is perhaps one final gasp of Christmas festivities, because the church had a service going on, and it was standing room only. The adherents were pretty serious, because even the standing room ones knelt, on the floor, when it was time to kneel.

We made our way back through town, glad of the GPS to navigate the dark streets. I had put my fat finger on our posada when we set out, and it turns out my finger is one block wide. But, we found the place in the end!

We figured out that we have to go to bed by 8 p.m. for our early wake up. Falling asleep should be no problem. It's been a full day!

The street of our posada. Need to remember to not get lost.
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Everyone came out to the square.
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The church is open for business.
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Serious adherents.
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Frying the hot dogs, with gusto!
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Concentrating on marquesitas
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No nonsense abuela!
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We stopped by the bakery in the big grocery, and I was surprised to see a scene not unlike in France.

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The actual product is not exactly French quality.
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Dale FreemanPan de bolillo or white bread
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1 week ago

Today's ride: 63 km (39 miles)
Total: 334 km (207 miles)

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