18 Feb Cycling Mexico, Tierra Blanca to Palenque
Changing landscapes and fickle weather
After spending a couple extra days in Tierra Blanca to let Ron cure out whatever illness he caught, we moved on.
Although it is a long distance from Tierra Blanca to Palenque, it was a pretty uneventful ride.
We cycle mostly on the Cuota over rolling hills and through some small towns.
We have a few hot days with some more climbing, but at least the locals are out in full force selling their fruit along the road.
There are still more rollers, but for some time, the terrain becomes more flat and we see more cows, horses and farm land.
Eventually, the farm land becomes more marshy and we see cows and horses up to their bellies in waterlogged grassland.
As the terrain changes, so does the weather and we spend a couple days getting drenched and looking for shelter along the road. Luckily, the OXXO, doesn’t only sell hot coffee, but also offers instant soup to warm back up.
Full hotels and bike troubles….making our way to Palenque
We spend a night in a small industrial town that is overshadowed by a huge flame from the Pemex refinery. Yet, the town seems to be a hot spot. For the first time during our journey, we are actually turned away, because the hotel was fully booked. Luckily, right next door was an even cheaper hotel. It has nice rooms, nice staff and not too far from it, are the best hotdogs at a small street vendor.
We have a few nice encounters with locals and stay at some other awesome, but cheap hotels. Like the surprisingly nice truck-stop hotel outside of villa Hermanosa, which awed us with its amazing wooden furniture.
Also the small Hotel Claudia, was a wonderful surprise with its friendly staff. As we left in the morning, they would not let us go, before taking a picture with us. After we left , we stood at a corner to check our map for a grocery store. When one of the guys from the hotel stops by on his motorcycle and gives us directions. Like that is not enough, he even leads us to the store and wishes us luck on our journey.
Again, we don’t get very far, on our way to Palenque, before having to take another break. This time we have to stop, because my rear brake started making awful noises and then decided to stop working.
At first we thought it’s just time for new brake pads, which we carry some spare pairs with us. But that was not the case. Somehow the puck that pushes the brakes together is stuck and Ron has to completely disassemble my rear brake to fix it. …it’s definitely a plus to take a mechanic on tour!
As we near Palenque, the terrain is once again changing and we find ourselves cycling through jungle again. We spot scary street signs of some monster monkeys crossing the road. Before we know it, we hear the most unnerving animal sound coming from the woods…howler monkeys!
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