My final days in Mexico were upon me. I was now heading towards my next chapter of this journey. For most tourist, especially those from the USA, Mexico goes as only as far as the Yucatan Peninsula. Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. These are places I shall avoid. My one stop on the Yucatan was the city of Campeche, a small colonial town on the north west cost of the Peninsula. With a history of Spanish conquistadors, and pirates bombarding the city, Campeche was a great place to visit.
Settling in to the recommended Hostel, I walked about town exploring the streets. Campeche has it’s own unique charm, and by the looks of it, was on it’s way to becoming a more popular destination for tourist. The tourist here mainly comprised of French with a sprinkle of German and American.
While exploring, I received a message on my CouchSurfing app. I guy who lives in town invited me for a beer and some food with some friends. CouchSurfing, for those who are not familiar, is a travel app/website similar to AirBnB, but is totally free. Host offer there home. Some can only offer a couch, or shared room, some have private rooms. The cool thing about this app is that you can post that you are in an area and just want to meet people. It’s kinda like an open invitation to join other surfers and host for food, coffee or drinks. Host really tend to be proud of where they live and will take the time to show you the city.
I met up with Johnny and his friends and we had a great evening. they showed me around the city and took on the nightlife.
The next day, I did some more exploring, Went to a local museum and caught up on my blog.
I spent the evening preparing to meet up with my friend David from Cyclewipes and his son Brent. They have been traveling together for the last 4 months coming from Baja California.
Taking a tip from my friend Aaron Mitchel who is also traveling the world on bike, I chose The Green Monkey Hostel at Lake Bacalar as our meeting point. David and Brent would be coming from the North, and I would be coming from the west.
Riding from the west to the east cost of the peninsula, the mountainous terrain and beauty of the lush tropics, gave we to flat lowland, with small trees and swamp. Yeah! I’m in Florida. The only redeeming quality of the Yucatan has to be Lake Bacalar. This is an amazing lake. Full of deep holes of natural spring water. The colors of the water vary from one end to the next. It’s really quite a site.
The Green Monkey hostel is a destination in itself. Perched on the edge of the lake, the hostel has a unique vibe they offer paddleboard and kayaks to use and explore or take a morning tour out on the lake. I unfortunately did not take advantage of this. (But don’t worry, I WILL be back). Arriving before my friends, I settled into my dorm, a small room with 8 beds, all occupied by a group of young Argentine girls traveling around Mexico. Now, I know what you are thinking, and YES, I agree. Thank you Aaron Mitchell!!!!!!! The worst part being they were not shy about undressing openly. (I think I had about 6 or 7 heart attacks over those two days).
David and Brent arrived. It was great to see them, and I was looking forward to riding together for a while. Brent will be parting ways to do a homestay in Guatemala and learn more Spanish, so David and I plan to ride through Central America together.
We spent two days in Bacalar. This is another upcoming town that will eventually be overrun my gringos. But for now, it seems to be struggling with it’s own identity. There are artesanal restaurants around the square and along the road edging the lake, but outside of this the town is very poor. There is, however, evidence that the town is on a self reclamation project.
It was now time to head for Belize. David, Brett and I took the essential group photo out in front of the lake and the headed to the border, only 30 minutes away.
I will be adding a border crossing section to my page, so If you want to know how that went.
Next up Belize!!!!!