Victoria and I left San Cristobal two days ago. We got up early, before dawn, with plans to get to Campeche in a day. Ha! yea right. Vic’s bike started spewing oil again as we pulled out of town, so we nursed it to the Yamaha dealer. I knew the problem…an o-ring by the oil filter was torn, so Gary and I, back in Mexico City, jury rigged an o-ring, which seemed to work. but it didn’t. Now I figured we’d spend the time and get it right. The shop boys drove all over town finding the right one, but about an hour or two later we were back on track. Then I got us lost, again. I do that a lot. After making about a 5-10 km backtrack I started asking every dude I could find along the route what town we were heading for. I learned to pronounce one or two town names and then just shouted them out at random as we drove through villages, doing a quick straw poll of which way most of the arms were pointing. It works great.

The ride from San Cristobal was stunningly beautiful…through more mountains, more curves, misty valleys and chilly mountain passes. We had a blast riding it. But it was sooo slooowwww. You just can’t go more than 60km/hr on that road without killing yourself. So we had to split the ride from SC to Campeche in half, stayed in a gritty little town called Frontera last night. It was heavenly when we finally broke free of the mountains…flat, straight roads. I twisted my throttle till I thought it would break off.

We just pulled into Campeche this afternoon. Lovely little colonial town, cobblestone streets lined with tidy pastel brick and plaster buildings. Looks much like San Cristobal at first glance, sans the mountains.

Today was one of the best days on the road so far. We set off early, just after sunrise, just a coffee and then the road. We rode for an hour or so and then pulled over when we finally saw the sea, but on the inland side, as we rode the isthmus (don’t know the name). We stopped in a small restaurant, and ordered what we saw the worker dudes eating. A seafood soup of sorts, fresh prawns, a whole fish between the two of us, all very fresh, with tortillas. Lovely breakfast. We then drove like the clappers (Vic is now hitting 120km/hr with total abandon. Don’t tell her mom) until we passed a HUGE blue crab walking across the road. By the time I’d pulled a u-turn and made it back he was making off for the bush. Another guy had spotted it at the same time as me and was sprinting for it…when I pointed it out he looked surprised. I think he thought we were racing for dinner. Nah, I just wanted to see it. He pulled it from the underbrush and headed home with it, I resumed my ride. We stopped off again once the water, this time on the Gulf side, looked nice and clean. Pulled over at a beach cafe, stripped down and had a great swim in nice clear water off a white sand beach. I couldn’t bear to put my riding jacket back on, so rode the rest of the day in my t-shirt…bit burnt now. Pulled over once more to buy sandwiches in a gasolineria and eat them under a shady tree overlooking the sea. Pulled into Campeche around 5pm, found a cheap hotel, and here I sit…

Tomorrow I’ll ride to Hopelchen, where there are several large Old Colony Mennonite colonies. Goodbye Tecate, hello home-baked pie. It’s a battle between calorie sources.

Photo by Victoria Burrows