Waiting for the Mexican postal service
Date: 14th February – 20th February 2012
Where: Valladolid – Cancún – Valladolid – Coba – Tulum
Distance: 501 to 610 miles
With Sarah’s bike issues, our first task in the charming town of Valladolid was to find a bike shop. After 3 hours of walking we at last found someone who could tell us the answer we knew anyway, but didn’t want to accept…we had to return to Cancún! We consoled ourselves with a dip in Cenote Zaci in the middle of town, and caught the bus first thing the next morning.
The bike shop diagnosed that the bottom bracket (bit between the pedals that goes round a lot) needed replacing, and they sorted next-day delivery and gave us free bikes to get around town. That night we stayed back in our original hostel (different room), and the next morning did the only thing that there is to do in Cancún…go to the beach and relax. Admittedly, it was very pleasant, and fully refreshed, we headed to the bike shop, but the part was not there, so we checked into our hostel again (different room again). The blog was updated and made ‘live’ the next morning, but the part still didn’t arrive and it turned out it had been sent normal-post (average 5-days). In despair we caught the next bus to Valladolid leaving our email addresses with the bike shop.
The next day we went on a circuit of nearby cenotes with the highlight being swimming in the Cenote Samula. By now we wanted to get moving, so Sarah got on a bus and Geoff saved 30 pesos (£1.50) by cycling the 35 miles to Coba in time for lunch (re-spent the 30 pesos refuelling his stomach). We visited the ruins that afternoon, with Sarah blagging a bike with no brakes off a friendly local. At this site it was possible to climb to the top of a huge temple with awesome views down over the rainforest below.
We had the same plan the next day for the short trip to Tulum, and Sarah had a comfortable trip with air con and the company of a like-minded traveller called David, but after 3hours of cycling on a straight road straight into the sun and wind, Geoff was not keen on anything other than relaxing in the s**t hostel we somehow ended up in. We swore we wouldn’t stay in a hostel in Mexico again.
The next day we moved to a different hostel, and were glad of it with cheap bike hire to the ruins (very busy) and the beach (gorgeous warm water). It got better as three cycle tourers rolled into the hostel as it was getting dark:
Cycle touring doesn’t happen much in Mexico, especially by Mexicans, so the Twitter Trio were rare indeed. Miguel, César and Chumel met on twitter and by all accounts had come from as far apart in Mexico as possibe to share a dream of cycle touring. That night Geoff had beer and pizza with them as Sarah had the great news that her bike was fixed and had got on the first bus to Cancún. At half past midnight a very sleepy Geoff woke up in a bus station slightly tiddly just in time to greet a very happy and relieved Sarah. We hope we don’t have too many more prolonged waits for parts.