12.2.08 Tulum to Bacalar, Mexico

Bacalar Travel Blog

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Tulum- Mayan Ruins

12.2.08  On this day, we drove from our nice parking spot at Peidro Escondida Restaurant parking.  Heading south on quick roads, we made it within 3 hours to Bacalar.  We passed Limones, where we could see limes growing in trees in town.  It was straight, flat, good roads and fast.  We did not have the anticipated agriculture stop, nor the government checkpoint. 

 

A bypass around Puerte Ferrilla (or something like that) never materialized.  I saw signs for the trucks to take it, it was on the GPS, but after wandering through neighborhoods, someone asked where I was headed and gave me Spanish directions that sounded something like, just go through town.  So I did and it was fine- no tickets.  I think that the bypass went only on the west side of town, not the east.

Tulum-Mayan Ruins
  Regardless, it was an easy town to drive through (and I never did see the bypass).

 

We decided to head to Bacalar to see the Lagoon of Seven Colors, which was a huge lake with clear beautiful water.  The lagoon looks different colors at different places due to a change in the water depth.  It also has different reflections at different times of day.  We parked right on the edge of it with our panaromic windows overlooking the palms, where we strung our hammock.

 

Our hammock was purchased at Mayabell’s at Palenque.  We were tough sells.  When we saw the man walking through the campground, we flew out of the camper to see them!  Ha!

 

Anyway, there was a Sportmobile Spinter van conversion there that Vito ordered online from an Austin, TX company sight unseen – it was a true adventure-mobile with double tilt solar panels, generator on the roof rack, etc.

Tulum- Mayan Ruins
  Apparently the company does a custom interior to your specs.  Very intriguing and a terrific diesel for adventure travel.  However, the newer diesels are not good for south of the border, so be sure to watch that if you order one.

 

We also met Dave from Canada who is also planning on heading to Panama.  We exchanged tips for travel.  Two Americans were also visiting in a 5th wheel while family members flew in and out of Cancun.  It was a happening campground at essentially someone’s house.  Well, actually, the nice couple who lived there had a palapa with hammocks and an outdoor kitchen.  Banos were literally open-air with bucket-flush toilets.  While I should have explored just to see them, I admired from a distance and we were so grateful for the clean facilities of Ciao Baby.

Tulum- Mayan Ruins
  It was dry camping for 200 pesos for the 4 of us with a million dollar view.

 

While Charles napped the hammock, Jazy, Lia and I enjoyed swimming in the lagoon, which was really clear.  With the snorkel mask, we could see a few fish.  The most interesting feature were these round rocks about 3 inches below the surface of the water.  They were about 5’ in diameter all along the edge of the lagoon, covered in slippery brown moss, and perfect places to perch before jumping in the lagoon. 

 

The Yucatan has no above-ground rivers and all the underground rivers wash away the soft limestone rock.  When the surface collapses, a cenote is formed.  It fills with water and you can have terrific swims.  There are about 3000 on the Yucatan Peninsula that I believe are named.

Mayan Riviera
  The rest are called potholes.  (Just kidding- the roads in the Yucatan were nearly flawless.  The Yucatan is a very easy, modern place to hang out.)

 

We wanted to see Cenote Azul which was just across the street, but we didn’t.  “Another trip!” as they say.  Why?  Too much to do between all that relaxing!

 

Preparing for another border crossing involved a lot of work:  Organizing a “Border Crossings” accordion file with each country and then copies of each of the documents, and the original documents.  Then I could leave the “Important Documents” notebook in the RV.  It has other things that aren’t required for border crossings.

Mayan Riviera

 

I realized in all my organizing, that I only have copies of my old expired passport, so I need new copies.  The BEST packing decision on this trip was that HP color copier.  It has been terrifically convenient!  The scanner has also already been needed to scan and email a document overseas.  Love it!

 

Creative meal planning involved cleaning out the refrigerator.  Reportedly border inspectors take:  all meat, vegetables, fruits, dairy, soft drinks, and alcohol! 

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Tulum- Mayan Ruins
Tulum- Mayan Ruins
Tulum-Mayan Ruins
Tulum-Mayan Ruins
Tulum- Mayan Ruins
Tulum- Mayan Ruins
Tulum- Mayan Ruins
Tulum- Mayan Ruins
Mayan Riviera
Mayan Riviera
Mayan Riviera
Mayan Riviera
Small town of Tulum
Small town of Tulum
Bacalar
photo by: lucian_32y