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Into The Yucatan

January 26, 2012

Palenque is the gateway to the Yucatan and we left here to drive Northward into the flat jungle plains of the Yucatan. The first thing that hit us was how hot it was with each day in the mid-30’s and the nights only really dropping to 26 or 27c.

The West coast of the Yucatan is not really a major tourist destination so we made our way fairly quickly up to Merida.

We did stop at a couple of places on the way. Firstly just outside Escarcega we stopped at a Rancho where the camping area was in a lovely garden surrounded by untouched forest – supposedly full of peccaries and deer but we didn’t see any. We then stopped at Campeche and stayed at Club Nautico overnight which was a big beach club which was completely deserted apart from a couple of RV’s parked off to the side. We enjoyed the infinity pool and posh showers here ! It was our most expensive night in Mexico though at 350 pesos.

From Campeche it is only a couple of hours drive to Merida which is the capital of the Yucatan. There is only one campground in Merida and this is very large (100 site or so) but also very run down and over-priced. It is right next to a big shopping  mall which looks like it has been lifted right out of the USA. Its centrepiece is an ice rink and a department store called Liverpool. The fact that the watchword for exclusive shopping in Mexico is Liverpool seems slightly ironic.  The real positive about the campground is that it is right off the ring road which is a big freeway so no navigating difficult roads to get here.

As there was a big cinema attached to the shopping mall we decided to take advantage and went to the cinema for a night out. We saw Mission Impossible 4 which was nicely in English (as all the films seemed to be). A ridiculous film but good entertainment.

We had to spend a couple of nights in Merida because we had managed to damage one of our front tyres and it needed replacement. The cheap tyres that we had bought in California have proved to be a bad buy and just not up to the task. Serves us right for buying some Korean crap. We had managed to track down a tyre shop in Merida with good brand replacement front tyres for us (Pirelli) and we picked them up on Saturday but we couldn’t get anywhere to fit them until Monday morning.

On Monday morning we went to Radial Llantas to have our new tyres fitted, balanced and the truck alignment done. The alignment on the truck was way out and was causing tyre wear so needed fixing. These guys were really good and had a fancy electronic system for doing the alignment. They were set up to do big trucks so we weren’t a problem at all.

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