Preparations underway

Raleigh Travel Blog

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Thus begins a once-in-a-lifetime journey:

My friend and neighbor, Jen, decides on Tuesday that she and her archaeology buddies are going to Palenque, Chiappas, Mexico on June 27th.  Even better is that one of their travel companions will be Dr. Laura Vick.  Dr. Vick not only has a hacienda in Merida, but she is an expert in Mayan history and culture. 

She leaves a note on my door asking if my wife, Tara, and I want to join them.  After a long and arduous night of trying to figure out how to get time off of work, let down my grandmother who I told we would visit this summer, and getting on the correct flights, we finally have everything set!  This will be awesome!

Tara and I have been charged with figuring out the rental car situation.  Do you know how hard it is finding an 8 person van in Cancun?  No rental company lists them on their website, and the ones that do list them say they don't have any available on our dates (even when they do.)  2 hours on the phone later and we finally got an 11 person van from Thrifty.   I don't want to say customer support rep "Mel" was unhelpful on the phone, but he sure didn't make the process any easier.  Anyway, an 11 passenger van should be more than comfortable for 8 people plus bags on the 9 hour trip from Merida to Palenque.

Packing lists will have to be made, but we have been told to pack "light".  Personally, I don't plan on bringing more than 3-4 changes of clothes and our digital camera.  I've also decided to bring a harmonica, just in case I haven't annoyed my travel companions enough during the flight and long drive.  Plus, I've heard that loud noises help keep away wild animals, like pumas and jaguars (thanks, Survivorman.)

Tentative itinerary:
Raleigh -> Cancun -> Merida -> Palenque -> San Cristobal de las Casas -> Campeche -> Valladolid -> Cancun -> Raleigh
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photo by: spocklogic