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.

An inviting chair in the evening light, Valladolid main plaza

Sharing an inviting chair, taken by a monkey

A trinity of visits to Hostel Laurel, Cancún

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.

Sun streaming through into Cenote Samula

Geoff enjoying the otherworldly experience of swimming in a Cenote

Sarah enjoying the best tacos in the world, Valladolid

Carnival Time! Valladolid

Sarah showing how steep it really was, Coba

Sunset over cocodrilo pier, Coba

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.

WIth the ruins of Tulum (including gifts of JLR: glasses and handlebar bag)

The many bikes of Sarah

The Twitter Trio: César, Miguel, and Chumal

5 responses to “Waiting for the Mexican postal service”

  1. Ed hall says :

    hey geoff, long time no speak! Looks awesome out there and some great pics so far. Very jealous.

    What are the roads like out there for cycling on? What is the total distance going to be?

    I’ve got a few cycle trips coming up in Sierra Nevada, Spain and then the Pyrenees, but nothing near as adventurous. Defo want to do something like this one day so will look forward to more posts!

    Ed

    • Geoff says :

      Hi Ed,
      Sorry we didn´t get to speak before I left. The roads go from ace to mud. Total distance is as far as we get, but over 10k miles I´d think. Enjoy the Spain trip, make sure you drop by the campsite in Trevelez in the Sierra Nevada and have the trout, it´s delicious! Look forward to catching up and hatching up some trips when we get back. Really recommend looking at the ´travelling two´website on our links page if you need answers/opinions about anything to do with cycle touring.
      Geoff

      • Ed Hall says :

        I’ve done some touring – did LEJoG a few years back. I was looking at doing London to Istanbul or beyond (they also had a route that carried on all the way to Hong Kong hehe), but then switched jobs and got caught up in that a bit. One day though! Cheers for the campsite and website recommendation – I will check that out. Glad to see you are still clocking up the miles and are clearly having an amazing trip. Keep the posts coming!

  2. Michelle Bowskill says :

    It looks like you are both having a wonderful time. Keep sending lots of photos, we are so envious! Michelle

    • Geoff says :

      Hi Michelle and Andrew and Alexander,
      Hope things are going well at the allotment, is Alexander learning to plant things as well as pull up weeds yet? Sorry for not getting in touch before leaving, will be certain to when we return.
      Geoff

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