Last night we took a look at the map and our Mexico guidebooks to plan where we’ll be for Christmas, our home for the holidays. We picked the capitol city of Campeche on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s described as a historic port town, lovely walled city, colonial gem. Inside there are grand Baroque churches and elegantly restored 18th & 19th century houses painted in pastels. Along the Gulf is the malecon (esplanade). It might not have the urban charm of Baltimore (where we usually spend Christmas), but it looks like a nice place.
We want to arrive on the 23rd. Campeche is 690 miles away, via a mountainous and not-so-direct route through the state of Chiapas. Everyone we’ve talked to has recommended routing through Chiapas. We’d like to take a day off in Chiapas to appreciate some of its acclaimed beauty. And we also want to take a day to visit the Palenque ruins. So that leaves us with 13 days of riding. Averaging 53 miles a day should get us to Campeche by the 23rd. This is totally doable, but we’ll need to stay focused, with our butts in the saddle.
This morning we came down from the mountains…
to the hot, desert landscape below.
The road hugged the steep canyon wall, snaking with a river, which we unfortunately could never reach for a swim.
Then in the evening we climbed back up into the cool mountains, by papaya and banana trees, and finally made camp in a forest of pine trees. It’s amazing the variety of ecosystems we can see in just 55 miles.