Day 59: Palenque

Days: 59  -   Date: 22OCT13  -   Itinerary: Palenque to Escarcega, MX  -   Miles: 135

I was sure to be up early this morning so I could explore the park/ruins before the temperature started to get too high. I also had to checkout out of my hotel room by 1100 so that was another contributing factor.

I grabbed coffee and water at Don Muchos which is a cool restaurant inside the El Panchan area.

Huge spiders across the walk way as I left my hotel early this morning..

I was initially going to explore the park myself without a guide however as I was waiting for a collectivo (a minivan shuttle) outside the park entrance I was approached by multiple tour guides wanting to take me into the park and show me around (for a price of course). They all commanded a fairly high price of around 600-900 pesos for a 2 hour personal tour which was more than my entire daily budget. After telling a few of them ‘no thanks’, one of them asked if I was interested in joining a group of other people and we could all split the 900 peso price. That sounded like a good deal to me, so he stopped a few collectivos that were on their way into the park and after about 5 minutes of asking, he found a group of 7 other people all in the same collectivo who were interested in splitting the guide cost. Sweet! I also got a free ride into the park with our new guide Fredrico in his car. I got to see first hand some crazy Mexican driving.. haha.. 😆

Inside the park. It was very busy.. by far the most foreign tourists I have seen in Mexico at one place.
Hell yeah!

Lots and lots of photos from the ruins:

Fredrico, our guide on the left. He spoke excellent English

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A Mayan toilet 😆
Some painting/decorations that are still barely visible
HUGE ants
Lecture time.. teaching us about how the Mayans tracked time and why some archeologists thought that the Mayans were predicting the world ending in 2012.

Mex_22Oct13_014 Mex_22Oct13_016 Mex_22Oct13_017 Mex_22Oct13_018 Mex_22Oct13_019 Mex_22Oct13_021 Mex_22Oct13_022 Mex_22Oct13_Panorama_1I HIGHLY recommend you check out the Mayan ruins in Palenque and I also HIGHLY recommend you get a guide. I learned waayyy more than if I had simply walked around the park.. walking around probably would have been boring after about 10 minutes but with a guide it was very insightful. It was also very affordable after splitting the 900 peso cost amoung 8 people and certainly worth while. Now I’m really looking forward to seeing Tikal in Guatemala!

After catching a collectivo back to El Panchan, I took a quick cold shower and packed up my gear (it was already noon, so I was checking out an hour late) and then grabbed lunch at Don Muchos again. I looked at the map for a bit and decided that Escarcega, MX would be a good town to aim for this afternoon.

It was a mostly uneventful ride down HWY186 into the Yucatan peninsula. The road was in good condition and had a high speed limit, so I made it there by about 1530. I picked a hotel out of my ADVrider hotel book and settled down for the night. Tomorrow would be into Belize!

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