We left the Maya Bell campground at just after 10am. We stopped at the Pemex gas station to try to check the internet, but couldn’t get on a network.
I made a phone call home for my Dad’s 80th birthday, and then we headed into the mountains. Unfortunatley, it was kind of a hazy day, so not great to admire the views or take pictures. The road winds mostly up and a little down through the mountains. It was in pretty good condition though. But with the turns and the topes (speed bumps) through the villages, we probably only averaged less than 40 kms per hour (24 mph).
The road from Palenque to Agua Azul
At some of the topes, there is usually someone trying to sell you corn or bananas or something. In this area, they get a bit bold, and actually hold a rope across the rode to try and get you to buy something. But you just say no, and keep driving. They drop the rope pretty quickly.
At the turnoff to the Agua Azul waterfalls, the road descends fairly steeply for 4 kms. We did the whole thing in first gear, and this was the worst part of our drive today. Still, had no problems though, just taking it slow. We started getting set up at about 12:30pm, so it took us a little more than 2 hours to do about 65 kms.
Bill and Bonnie camped next to us. We set up in the field where the soccer pitch is, but we were told that there was going to be a soccer game that afternoon, and we would have to move. They tried to get us to go down to the lower section, but we just moved to a part of the parking area and set up there.
Parked up at Agua Azul
There are lots of people trying to sell you bananas and other things. Children come by and carry the baskets on their head. There is a steady stream of them, but you just keep saying “no, gracias”.
Girls selling dried bananas
The waterfalls are really different. The water has some kind of mineral in it that builds up on the rocks and other things so it has created a very smooth bed for the falls to go over. It’s not just one waterfall…it’s a series of them, and we read that there is over 1,000 different falls. The path that you walk up along the river has the water on one side, and many different stalls on the other selling food and tourist trinkets. There is a main swimming area at the bottom, and then various little pools that you can swim in along the way up. The water is a really caribbean blue colour, and it’s very pretty. Even Whiskey went for a swim!
Swimming below the falls
Agua Azul waterfalls
Agua Azul waterfalls
Kevin in front of yet more falls
A dog has adopted us while we’re here. There are quite a few strays wandering around, and this one took a liking to Whiskey. It really very strange, because he’s very aggressive with the other strays, and even will chase them out of our area…yet he does nothing with Whiskey at all. He walked with us all the way up the falls. We named him Max.
We were watching part of the soccer game, and a couple of young guys rode up on bicycles. They were obviously touring bikes, and they had a bunch of gear with them. Keanan and Jeff are riding all the way from Canada to Argentina! They have a web site, and are raising money for a charity. You can check them out here…
They asked if they could set up their tent in between us and Bonnie and Bill…that was fine with us, and we asked them to join us for supper, so we made a big pot of spaghetti for everyone.
A Mexican guy came up and asked us to pay him 20 pesos each and he would watch our vehicles for the night. We made like we didn’t understand what he was saying. We think that they are making a big deal out of the fact that there has been occasional problems in this area. Besides, there were 6 of us here, and we felt safe enough. He returned later in the evening and we figured he was saying that there were no police in this area, and that we should be paying him some money. We declined.
Max ended up sleeping on the front vestibule of the boys tent. I think he was guarding us!
Total nights sleeping in a motorhome…463
January Fuel $180.50 CAN
January Grocery $218.62 CAN
January Overnight costs $141.36 CAN