Panamericana 2013

… somewhere between Alaska and Tierra del Fuego

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Bonampak Ruin. On the way to Palenque.

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Hike to the ruin “Bonampak”

After four days at Xbulan-Ja we headed towards another ecotourism place called „Selva Lacandona“. I read about it in our camping book and the place sounded nice. Their sign on the road already shows “acampar” in huge letters. Also in front of the reception they have a sign “Selva Lacandona Cabana and Trailer Park”.

Well, this is not that kind of trailer park we expected. They don’t have a water connection and also no electricity. Also, we had to park on the parking lot in front of the restaurant. That’s the “trailer park”? It’s not that bad for just one night but it’s not as nice as our last camps. The locals here are still a bit “old style” as they wear white garments which look like a bath robe – and long hair (also the men).
One of the guides offered a jungle tour and showed us pictures. Well, jungle hike sounds good but it would have been better he did not show us the pics of all the snakes, snails and spiders. Well, I know that these creatures live here but I don’t need to court getting too close to them. Also Lissy would just run after whatever rustles in the bushes what is not a very good idea. Also the answer to my question about crocodiles in the river was: “Yes but they are on the other side.” Haha… well than it’s okay!!! 🙂 🙂 or better: good to know -I won’t cool down in here so.

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Jan dares it still.

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Not as nice as Las Nubes.

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On the way to the camp. Traffic jam!

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Cowboys at work.

Jungle or not. Lissy needed to have a walk so we decided to visit the ruin “Bonampak” tomorrow morning. You are not allowed anymore to drive the 9km to the ruin but you can walk or get a taxi. Well, this will be our morning walk so. It’s also jungle but on a wide road and not through the bushes. We organized a taxi for the way back as we were sure that we don’t like to walk the 9km again. It was strange that we had to pay for it directly. I suggested that we could pay when we get picked up, the “bath robe man” did not like this idea. “Well, he can get it now but if he does not pick us up…..!” Jan said.

After the first 800 meters we arrived at the “old” visitor center or maybe entrance. Well, it did not look old at all. It’s just not maintained. The info boards looked new and the murals are still nice. We wondered why this is not in use anymore. The new entrance is not more than a parking lot and ugly restrooms.

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Heading tot the info board in the abandoned info center.

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These murals are not that old!

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Looks like they also had shuttle busses to the ruin.

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But these buses are done.

The hike is a bit boring but it’s good to walk again instead of sitting in the car. There is just us and 10 more people at the ruin, no more. As always: Lissy is not allowed. We found it strange as nobody was here and cause Lissy can’t destroy anything. But the lady at the ticket office is stubborn: Dogs are not allowed! We tied her on a tree but it did not take more than 1 minute and she started howling what attracted four wild dogs. „Damn. We can’t leave her here on her own, we need to go separate“

First Jan went and then did I. We had an hour left until the taxi was arranged so everybody had half an our.

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Bonampak

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A well-preserved Stela…

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…with nice drawings.

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Drawings @ Bonampak

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Bonampak

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Murals inside. Bonampak means “painted walls”.

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Also in good preservation still.

Punctually at 2PM we waited outside at the entrance for our taxi. We waited and waited and waited until we got hopping mad and cursed the „bath robe man“ who might just have put the money in his pockets without sending a taxi. Besides us and the three souvenir vendors, nobody was here. So what should we do? We kept waiting cause we did not want to hike back. Lissy certainly didn’t.

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Yeah! The 9km made her tired.

Wow. At 2:45 the taxi arrived. As our spanish is too poor to tell the guy that we are pissed off, I just asked him “Que hora es?“. He checked the time and looked at us bashful – that was it. Why couldn’t he just say sorry…? However, we jumped in the small bus and drove back in a breakneck speed. Lissy was supposed to lie on the floor but as it was very humpy and fast she rescued herself on my lap after the first meters.

Noe we were heading towards Palenque when it started to get grey and rain. No it’s not just rain, it’s a storm. There are trees on the road, whole palm trees got pulled our and we saw three accidents on these 150km. One was a cattle transport. We just saw that some men helped to unload the cattle onto different Pick Ups – this was not nice at all!!! The cows probably have broken all their bones 🙁 In the next village we saw some Pick Ups with the dead cows. It was horrible.

The other accident wasn’t as bad. It was a (too) high loaded truck (very common in Mexico) which got blown into the roadside ditch. They passengers seemed fine, they were busy unloading the truck with all kind of plastic chairs and boxes.
The rain got stronger and the wind scared us a bid. We thought about stopping in the next village to wait but we were lucky and the storm kind of stopped. Short before Palenque we came into a traffic jam and thought this is a road blockade which is very common on this route. But we were lucky again, it was “only” the third accident we saw. A taxi which run into the curve too fast and got pulled out of the mud.

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Wow, not a funny drive.

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Even trees got pulled out.

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Short, spontaneous visit at a crocodile preserve…

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..camping is possible but not with dog.

The storm was good for one thing: It got cooler. From 38 degrees we now only hat 20 which was perfect. We found a nice place on the “Mayabell” campground which had hot showers! water connection and electricity! We also met Christa und Peter from Germany who travel in the motor home from North-to South America, too.