Monday, 8 October 2012

TABASCO HEAT & SIERRA MADRE

Since my last post Leana and I left the city of Merida on our way West (and we picked up our USA visa's on the way out). Within a couple of days we were in another historic colonial city, this time the coastal city of Campeche, where we spent a day looking around and photographing restored history. From there we cycled along a very scenic stretch of the Mexican Gulf coastline, where the road mostly ran only metres from the ocean. We also crossed a number of big bridges in the area, the 3km and 4km long causeways to- and from Isla Del Carmen, as well as bridges over various large rivers. Until fairly recently there were no modern roads in the region, and river transport prevailed. Mexico has a large oil industry, with refineries and oil rigs visible from the coast.
We followed this coastal road as far as the town of Paraiso, past Isla Del Carmen and Frontera into the Tabasco State.
Then we headed South, trying to cut through the depression in the narrow part of the country in order to avoid the mountains on our way to the Pacific coast. Somewhere along the way my odometer also clocked over to 99 000 km.
In the process we visited more Mayan ruins at Comalcalco, and at the Tabasco state capital, Villa Hermosa, we went to Parque De La Venta where we looked at ancient Olmec artifacts (including the famous giant heads carved from basalt rock). There were also some captive local animals in the park, such as the jaguar in picture. Moving on South we also stayed over at Teapa in the pouring rain, and took a tour deep into the spectacular caves just outside of town.
Then the trouble started, the dreaded Sierra Madre mountain range. Luckily the road doesn't cross the highest part, but we caught the edge of it, and that was fierce enough!. After some time in the flat humid jungle and coastline, these hills were a wake-up call. However, on the bright side, the scenery was spectacular, we passed through amazing rural villages where the indigenous ways are still strong, and the climate was nice and cool for a change.
Now we have dropped down to the lowlands on the Pacific side of this narrow part of the country, and we'll head on to that coast from here. Currently we are taking a break at another historic colonial town, Chiapa De Corzo, which is close to the Chiapas state capital, Tuxtla.
Daily distances cycled since my previous post have been:- Maxcanu 67 km; Campeche 121 km; Champoton 67 km; Sabancuy 71 km; Cuidad Del Carmen 87 km; Frontera 100 km; Paraiso 81 km; Villa Hermosa 81 km; Parque De La Venta 7 km; Teapa 71 km; Tapilula 80 km; Nuevo Pueblo Solistahuacan 36 km; Bochil 40 km; and Chiapa De Corzo 69 km. The total distance I've cycled in Mexico so far is 1785 km, and the total distance which I've cycled so far on this trip is 99 330 km.

1 comment:

Dave Briggs said...

I drop by your site every few weeks to keep an eye on how you are getting on. I have to admit to be quite envious! I wish you continuing good luck on your journey around the world.