Ticks in Palenque- Palenque to Campeche
Sneaking into pyramids started by chance, but has continued by challenge.
Palenque was up to it. Situated just south east of the Gulf of Mexico, the ruins of Palenque rise up out of the monkey infested, hot, humid jungle. 37 degrees and 100% humidity with no wind. Canadians aren’t built for this. But then Palenque wasn’t built for Canadians, not tall ones anyways. It was pretty amazing! We explored Palenque with Eoin aka “Irish”, who had turned up the night before from where we left him in San Cristobal.
Even walking the road to Palenque was interesting, with a man jumping out of the jungle trying to sell us magic mushrooms (we said no gracias). Once inside, we swung on vines, found crazy bugs, and even caught a lady peeing. Poor lass had though going around the corner put her in private, but had she just looked to her right she would have seen 300+ tourists looking up at her. I waved. Seemed polite at the time.
Palenque was fun, climbing up over and through the ruins in an incredibly picturesque setting. You can go anywhere you want with a couple minor exceptions, and are free to go exploring in the jungle if you so choose. We did, and there we found these guys.
On top of all the neat things to see, we got in at a discount.
We noticed the night prior that a dirt road leading out of El Pancheon exited on the other side of the park entry gates.
This saved us 30 pesos each. We had acquired a couple expired wristbands just in case. In the end we didn’t need them. We did need passes to actually enter the Palenque ruins however, 57 pesos each, paid to a different branch of the government. Well worth it.
After all three of us took a much needed siesta, Eoin and I went for an exploratory walk of the jungle near our camp. We ended up climbing high up on a cleared hill with an amazing view. We would have climbed further, but the “no people” sign and proximity to a house stopped us. Worth the heat for the view!
Our camping was also in the edge of the jungle, at night howler monkeys made an incredible ruckus. At times it sounded like they were only 20 meters away. I feel that finding yourself lost and alone in the jungle at night would be quite the enervating experience.
From Palenque to Campeche. Nothing particularly drew us to Campeche, other than it was about the right distance away. I then took us on a scenic route down some secondary roads. Jayne didn’t love them. I thought they were fun.
By taking this route, we also hit some long, long bridges passing through Puerto del Carmen. Since early in the trip, Jayne and I have lifted our feet across any bridges with water under them. I started doing it as a joke, since that’s how I went through puddles on my bicycle as a kid, you know, to stop your feet from getting wet. Lifting our feet over water has stuck, and now we even do it for 5 painful minutes at a time across unforgiving long bridges.
It was late in Campeche when we arrived, and had no place to go. The first hostel we found had no place to keep the bikes, or even park them anywhere nearby. We asked some kind ladies nearby and explained our plight. We discussed options for awhile, then some strangers approached us.
“…We overhead you’re looking for a place to stay. We have a house that has an empty room.Â 80 pesos a night including breakfast.” Sold. It was a co-op housing house, veggie hippy style, and came complete with a garage for the bikes, internet, and a puppy to chew our socks. The folks living there even gave us a full lasagna dinner. Things had really fallen into place for us!
Unfortunately, some ticks had also fallen into place… in my flesh.
I found them around midnight, and woke Jayne to help me extract them. There were three ticks, and after finding her tweezers for me, Jayne fell over asleep. 3 ticks. I did what I could by myself, using google for instructions on how to remove the tenacious buggers. In the morning I had Jayne search me like a monkey. Four ticks. Four ah ah ahhhhh!
Jayne had no ticks at all, and felt a touch left out. I shot off a message to Irish Eoin to tell him of my findings, and it would turn out he had three ticks of his own… “And a freckle that wouldn’t come off”.
Jayne and I had a delicious breakfast, did so ever needed blogging, then hit the road to meet with David, a couchsurfer who couldn’t host us. We arranged to meet again in Merida, then set off to see the local fort.
It must have been run by boys, as they had stolen panties and hung them out front as a warning to all who might try to trespass: “We stole her panties, we’ll get yours too”. As Jayne had not extra panties to spare, we quickly rode away towards Merida. This would be a ride that really brought the heat.
(Gallery below. Click any photo to flip through the photos full size)