Heading South at last

Date: 21st February – 27th February 2012
Where: Tulum – Punta Allen – Felipe Carillo Puerto – Bacalar – Chetumal – Corozal (Belize)
Distance: 610 to 818 miles

The same morning as Sarah’s bike arrived back from Cancún, we got moving South at last! Leaving behind all the high end beach side resorts we entered the Sian Kaan biosphere reserve where the road quickly deteriorated into sand. The remainder of the day we plodded along to Punta Allen with sea 20m to our left, and lagoon 20m to our right. However, we were stuck in the middle with a view of trees and little else. That night we camped under the most fantastic star-scape we’d yet seen.

The next morning our faint hope that a boat may take us to El Playon (the other side of the lagoon) was proved true, and thus we were treated to a veritable speed-wildlife tour. The other side it was clear we were being dropped in the middle of nowhere. Thus ensued a 40 mile struggle with an atrocious track, mosquitoes and horseflies. It turns out you can’t outrun horseflies. By now a paranoid Geoff (bee incident, see earlier post) was turning to jelly, letting out the quote ‘just put the tarpaulin on me’ at one particularly buzzy moment. Both sides had casualties by the end of the road, Sarah’s panniers were missing her nalgene water bottle and one of Geoff’s panniers was missing a retaining clip. One of the brighter moments came when an enormous blue butterfly, the size of a hand fluttered across in front of us. Evidentially horseflies don’t bother butterflies!

Our first dirt road down the coast to Punta Allen

Catching the boat to El Playon, easy cycling!

Cycling the swampy, foresty, bug-hell to FCP, hard cycling!

Felipe Carillo Puerto was a boring town, made slightly ironic by school children asking us to fill out a ‘why don’t tourists come to FCP?’ questionnaire whilst we gorged ourselves on tasty tacos.

The next day actually took the next few days as we encountered yet another vicious headwind. The highlight being a random kayaking session on a lagoon. By the time we arrived in Chetumal near the Belize border we were physically and mentally exhausted. We cleaned our bikes and headed out in search of fish, eventually cornering a tasty fish soup. The following day, and we had safely negotiated our first border and were in Belize!

Early morning Kayak on the Rio Hondo lagoon

In Chetumal, the last town before the Mexico border

Locals enjoying the blue waters of the river near the Mexican border

Zero km to Belize!

2 responses to “Heading South at last”

  1. Philippa Pill says :

    Really enjoying your blog, with all its ups and downs. It would be boring (for us) if all went smoothly!
    Seriously, sounds a fantastic experience.
    Phil and Mike

    • Geoff says :

      It is certainly quite an experience, and almost never smooth, but we’re getting better at controlling the bumps. There is loads of rust out here for Mike to photograph :-), next post coming soon!

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