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We are lucky to have had such a gorgeous afternoon in Washington's Olympic National Park!
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Near Port Angeles, Washington.

Where are they going next? Somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Made it to Yucatan!

Our group crossed the border from the state of Campeche to the state of Yucatan yesterday. This caravan tour was billed as the "Yucatan RV Caravan Tour" because we spend a fair bit of time on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, however that peninsula is actually made up of three Mexican states... Campeche, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo.

We had a 9:00am departure from the Kin-Ha Balneario in Campeche. Only a planned 160 km (100 mile) driving day, so with one fuel stop we would easily make it there by noon.

And we did make it there before noon. A very uneventful drive.

Welcome to Yucatan!

Furniture delivery.

The ruins at Uxmal are one of "the big four" ruins sites in Mexico. Others include Chitzen-Itza, Tulum, and Palenque.

There are a couple of nice hotels here, but no actual RV park. As such, when RVs arrive here they are given an overflow parking area. It is gated off to other traffic, but it is just a grass parking lot... there are no hook-ups or services. 

There are lots of these big fellows around!

Our group, parked up at Uxmal for two nights.

Hey, there's Sherman!

The hotel next door.

Right next door to our parking area, there is a nice hotel with a restaurant and swimming pool. I made arrangements with the hotel for our group to be able to use the swimming pool for the afternoon at a cost of 50 pesos ($3.50 CAD, $2.75 USD) per person.

While much of our group were lounging by the pool, Ruth and I wanted to go exploring. 

We headed back across the road at the entrance where the chocolate museum (we'll be visiting there this afternoon) is looking for a hiking trail. There was an open gate with some men working cutting wood. It looked like some kind of farm and we could see fruit trees in the distance. I saw a desk in one of the rooms, and I asked the guy there if we could go for walk and take some photos.

He said that was no problem, and off we went.

Some kind of farm?

Rows of fruit trees growing. There were other crops in other locations.

We had gone about 1 km on the old dirt trail, but it didn't seem there was much else to see. But around the next corner, we came to this...

Some kind of old ruins!

The entrance gate.

Huge old tree.

Ruth, at the entrance gate.

Wow,. Check out the tree roots growing on the wall.

This was obviously some kind of hacienda. There were no signs, even at the gate where we had asked the man if we could go for a walk. And we were the only ones around. 

Very cool. I took a video for you. Turn up your volume...





When we got back to Sherman, I did some research on these old ruins. Turns out that this is the ruins of the Uxmal Hacienda Plantation, built in 1683. The property has always (even back then) been a hotel or inn and continues to be owned by the Pelon family, and part of the property is the newer (built in 1950) hotel on the main road out front. Apparently the plantation is 23,000 acres!

The newer hotel out front is a high end property, and even Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip stayed there in 1975.

Interesting stuff.

They are calling for a high of 33C (91F) today, so we have scheduled our tour of the Mayan ruins for 8:00am this morning. We better get going!

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31 comments:

  1. The tree roots remind us of the trees growing over the ruins of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Looks like you are doing what you are good at. Hiking and exploring.

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    1. We have never been to Siem Reap in Cambodia but we have most definitely seen pictures of it and yes, very similar but not on such a grand scale as there. We have to admit we miss this type of life when we are doing the caravan but we will continue to try to fit some of our own exploring in whenever we have the chance.

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  2. Very neat Hacienda ruins, you just don't find those every day. Wow, it suddenly got hot there, bet it is super humid

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    1. Nope, you don't find ruins like that every day but we have managed to come across a few on our trips, this one was probably one of the best and so unexpected.

      It is very hot now, we have all quickly forgotten those rainy days not too long ago. It doesn't feel super humid, the other day it did but the last two days it just seems hot.

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  3. An interesting find, thanks for sharing the video.

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    1. It was interesting! We love finding things like that, especially when we aren't expecting it. :-)

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  4. Very interesting. Too bad they do not accommodate rvs better. Enjoy your tour today.

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    1. Actually Brigette, it's not bad, a pool available and right at the ruins entrance. You can run generators. It is a huge advantage you can get on the site before the crowds, and when it's cooler. Same situation with the parking at Chichen Itza. At that one it is especially advantageous to get in and out before the tour buses from the all inclusive's & cruise ships arrive. 5000 people at day there, Uxmal is a bit more off the beaten track, but still a few hundred in there by 10 AM. IMO they are more impressive ruins than Chichen Itza. As a Archaeology major at university (I won't say how many years ago), I find it one of the more interesting sites, with a rather crazy legend that hopefully Kevin will relate tomorrow. One version of it anyway.

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    2. They aren't here to accommodate RV's, we are very lucky actually that they will let you camp overnight in the overflow parking and nobody on the group has complained about it, in fact several people mentioned how much they like it here. As Paul mentioned, it is also nice that we are right at the ruins so we can get in first thing in the morning without having to take a bus to get here. Very convenient. Also the added bonus of the swimming pool across the street, just buy a meal and then use the pool or pay 50 pesos for the afternoon at the pool.

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  5. Hola from a member of the caravan. More later, having lunch right now at Uxmal Lodge.

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    1. Hope you are having a good time Jim!

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  6. That hacienda was a great find! A good deal on parking and pool as well!

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    1. The hacienda ruins was a fun find for sure, this is why we love to just go out for a walk/hike, you never know what you might come across. :-)

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  7. Wow! Love those ruins of the hacienda! Very cool.

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    1. They we really neat to see and fairly well looked after, we actually wondered if they use the ruins for a background for special events like weddings.

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  8. Intriguing ruins! What a rewarding find on your hike! Those trees are a testament to how Mother Nature adapts. Heh? Love the video! Thanks!

    Good to know there is a nice pool to cool off. Did you venture to explore the hotel? Heheh.

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    1. Very interesting ruins, we love coming across things like this on our walks/hikes. We can't understand how trees manage to survive like that but they obviously do.

      Many of the group members used the pool but Kevin and I didn't, although it did look very cool and refreshing. We didn't venture into that hotel/lodge but we did go into the (new, as opposed to the old ruins) Hacienda Uxmal across the main road where many import people have stayed including Queen Elizabeth. Kevin will have some pictures in today's post about it.

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  9. The world is filled with so many great places to visit. Who would want to stay at home?

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    1. You are so right Chris! We couldn't imagine not getting out and exploring the world but I guess that isn't everyone's cup of tea.

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    2. Do it while you can, Ruth. My wife & I used to do that all the time, but an injury has restricted her mobility and changed lifestyle. I feel guilty about going off and doing some of that stuff by myself, so I have to restrict it. You 2 are fortunate in that you are healthy enough to go off & hike & explore and it certainly adds more possibilities & information to a trip like this. I had no idea that Hacienda was there. The golden years aren't always so golden. Not trying to sound depressing, it's still enjoyable, just not quite so adventurous as it used to be. One of the advantages of RVing in Mexico is that you still do see a lot more than you would on an all inclusive type vacation. No matter what restrictions one may have, you have to get out and explore to your ability. That is living, not sitting at home watching TV.

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    3. We are Paul and we will for as long as we can! There are some things that you just can't stop from happening and at least you and your wife were able to get out and do a lot before her injury and you still can do some things, just maybe not everything that you would like to do. Who knows what is in store us down the road but while we can get out and do things we will.

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  10. Those large lizards are amazing but still make me a bit on edge when they are close.

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    1. Everyone loved watching the iguanas. They don't bother us, in fact we like to get close to get a good picture without getting too close of course, they seemed to be used to all the people about.

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  11. If you eat in the fancy hotel and also in the restaurant in the ruins foyer in the far right hand corner (Much cheaper) I will interested in your opinion. In Fall I felt the hotel restaurant had gone downhill since last eating there. However, it could have been an off day for the chef. Glad to see the weather has picked up. More cloud on the west coast still than usual. Usually breaks by noon, but it is not normal for this time of year.

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    1. We did eat at the fancier restaurant and everyone seemed to enjoy their meal. We found it to be an OK meal but not really worth the money. Next time we will try the other restaurant, if we do the tour again next year.

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    2. I seem to remember something like 150 pesos for a margarita

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    3. From what we heard they were 117 pesos each. Our jamica was 54 pesos each, at most that price should have been 54 pesos for the two of them!

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  12. We actually and finally have a little WIFI. We hope to catch up with y’all.
    I am not criticizing the people in your group, but we would not be sitting by the pool when there is so much to explore.
    The ruins are amazing. If those stones could talk what amazing story they could tell. Never saw tree roots climbing up on anything. Pretty amazing.

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    1. It is very hot in the afternoon and we had just done the drive in the morning so most people just wanted to relax by the pool or in the pool. Some did that again the next day but we had spent the morning doing a couple of tours so they had done their share of exploring. Also not everyone went to the pool.

      We have seen tree roots climbing down large rocks before but not really to this extent.

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