24 February 2015
Today was a long bus journey but not with as early a start as originally feared. It was a comfortable local ADO bus (but a bit too air-conditioned for my liking) with movies showing in Spanish. It was a 9 hour journey with stops at 3 bus stations on the way, mostly with just a 5 minute bathroom break (although there was a toilet on the bus, most preferred the stations) and a 25 minute stop to get some lunch.
It was interesting to see how much the landscape changes as we went through the different states. Yucatan is a flat limestone slab (with thousands of cenotes but no rivers) and scrubby jungle that was just high enough that you couldn’t see anything but trees as you travelled along the straight roads – very boring! Once we crossed into the next state (Tabasco) there was a major change in scenery: the land became much lusher and greener with agriculture and rivers (even some wetlands) and massive prosperous-looking ranches. We travelled through Tabasco to the next state of Chiapas, to Palenque famous for its Unesco World Heritage site of Mayan ruins mostly still covered by jungle.
It was 5.30 by the time we reached Palenque and walked a block to our Hotel Xibalba – Mayan for the Underworld. We had time for a quick clean up before meeting local guide Edgar and hearing about plans for the morning: we will be visiting the Palenque archeological site and doing a jungle walk; and then a brief orientation walk with Hugo.
Some went off to find cheap street food but Gill and I settled for seafood at the restaurant next to the hotel – delicious but enormous Prawn and Fish Ceviches, with a chelada (beer with lime juice) for me and a margarita for Gill.
Unfortunately Gill got sick that evening and was up and down all night. There were also local revellers coming in at all hours, so all in all not a restful night for anyone.
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