Slow change of opinion about the country, empty roads and still living Maya language
Getting out of Cancun takes one hour. The highway has a bug shoulder sa we are safe, but it is an incredible noisy here and we cannot see anything around us because of trees (12feet high, uninteresting bush which they call jungle).
We stop at “our” gasoline station even if when think that our chances are low (our bank is also solving the situation). Manager is nice and brings all the receips from the card terminal – we find our “nonexisting” and it’s also with a sign! We wait one hour for the employee – because of him I almost condemned the whole Mexico. He explains that the receipt was printed after we left and he didn’t know what to do, so he signed it (?!) – WTF. They didn’t expect that we understand spanish and are suprise that we react that he lies and that this was a crime. The manager apologizes and says that this is the first time that something like this happened, we get the money back and he says that he fired the employee – we don’t believe this because both of them still smile, but we don’t care. All we wanted is justice and that they understand they cannot cheat like this. They advantage is they work at the last gas station before airport and 99% of people return the car afterwards, sit to the airplane and this “surprise” find out at home. I hope the guilty one will aplogize and excuse that he needs to feed many children at home and he really need the money… that could bring a chance that the people are generally good, just the society pushes them to do bad things. I should probably wake up from my naive dream.
In Playa del Carmen we change tires and insert some protective tape, which should avoid flat tires. But they don’t have the adjustable stem – I really desire it (I feel pain in my shoulders because I’m too stretched to front on the bicycle).
Almost in dark we reach a camp, but they want 15 dollars for a person in tent (crazy?). 300m from there we find a road to the wood which ends at a waterpump and we build our tent there. In the bush is something rustling and we hope it is not a jaguar, because there are many of them here… and then something between a rat, fox, dog and squirrel jump out and Jan shouts to it so loud that I almost run away also! :) It’s still dark when we hear some voices in front of the tent so we get out and there are 3 guys. They tell us we are on a private property and we should pay or they call police (we should expect this when we build the tent at their water station 300m from the gate). We accept that we contribute some money to the guy for “cigarets” and ask how much… 30 bucks!? These guys have hay insted of brain. If he asks for 5 he has some pocket money for the day, but a whole price of the camp? We apologize that we didn’t know that this is a private property (no signs, fence or gate) and start to packt that we leave but not pay. They try to ask for our ID cards, but we refuse that we show them only to police. The panniers are on the bicycles when it starts to dawn and we are actually happy fot this early wake up.
The ride is fine untill Jan sees that my rear wheel is not following the front one (on a 2 days old bike?). Suddenly I feel like the bikes tries to turn to one side, that I need to turn the handlebars a little to the left in order to go straight and other little things which I would be more happy to not know.
In Tulum a guy in a bikeshop confirms it – the frame is bent probably from the manufacture (a chance maybe 1 to 1000). We call Gina but she doesn’t answer. We write her an e-mail that the bike is crooked and she should call us asap. Around 11 she calls and we try to find some solution. Only possibility is to get back to Cancun, send the bike to the company and maybe in 2 weeks we have it back. It’s cheaper for us to buy a new frame in this case. We go to the beach to survive the noon sun and we find a hippie camping – we’ll stay for night :). We call also with John from Tecnobike in Playa, because from the all people we met in Mexico he is the one who really understands bicycles and he also speaks english. He tells us, that it shouldn’t harm much, but for sure we would get a new frame from the guarantee… it’s up to us.
We socialize to think about something else. We meet here one guy who has been travelling on bike for 2 years from Brazil through all the countries till here. We bring maps and get some good advices what to see, where to stop, how are the mountains and that the best place to sleep overnigt are the firemen stations. In the kitchen are many interesting people and we think that to have such a camp could be a nice idea.
In the morning we decide to stay one more day and that I will continue on the crooked bicycle and I’ll try to love it how it is. We walk on the beach and see some top-less and some botom-less also. We meet 2 Czech guys and write articles. In the evening we join the party maybe one hour after it started and so cannot follow the jokes of drunk and stoned people. Then they start to jam (bang an hit different types of things as drums, whistle, play violin) – we are too sober for this type of melody and rather go to sleep (btw: no, we don’t want to have a hippie camp – we don’t take enough drugs).
The road to Coba is wide and with few traffic. The sun is burning and even the weak wind against us doesn’t seem to cool us down but rather warm up also. We go to the cenote Cho-Ha which is in a regular cave with full of stalagtits and there is a lake with refreshing water. Later we continue on sideroads with almost no cars and before sunset we ask for place for our tent in a village (we don’t want to camp on other private propertie without permission again).
The lady takes us to her house and offers us a place in the kitchen (building next to the house). The walls are mare from wooden sticks going from the concrete floor and the roof is made out of palm leaves. For cooking is used an open fire in the corner. In other countries this wouldn’t pass the fire precautions but here the smoke helps protect and conservate the roof which stays fully waterproof during 5months of rainy season. Everybody here sleeps in hamaka (even her 3months old child) and the marriage couple has two hamakas, not one common. We feel like giants here – everybody is only up to our shoulders and it is even more visible in the kitchen: small door, mini table and chair. Interesting fact: to build such a house is cheaper then one of our bicycles.
In the next days the country is beautiful but not very changing. Roads are empty, nice locals talk in Maya language and women wear white dresses which look like a bag with rich needlework around the neck. Two times we successfully go offroad (roads in woods, gravel, sand, rocks), we see a lot of burned land and get a flat tire because of a sharp edge of the puncture-proof tape (!?). I go to a church where the songs are played from a record so loud that I couldn’t even think inside my head and we sleep in gardens or in the middle of a square. Jan beats me with a small branch from a bush and sprays me with water in the square full of people (it’s Slovak eastern tradition – who knows what the people thought when at the end I was smiling and kissed him as a reward) and we visit ruins Dzibilnocac.