Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Worst Road in All of Mexico

See Map7

We laid out a good plan for Thursday. Get to Campeche early, find a place to park the RV, tour the old city within the walls of the pentagon shaped fort. Then head along the coast road toward Becal where they make the Panama Hats and head to Celestun where they have flocks of pink flamingos and camp over night in the tour boat parking lot.

We found the Visitor center in Campeche with a huge empty parking lot just before 8 AM when it opened. The friendly tourist person gave us the info we needed. We took in the sites and made our way back to the RV about 10 AM. We found that the parking lot was not only full but they were parking in the middle, behind all of the cars. How the heck will we get out I thought, there were cars behind me and alongside of me. Peggy noticed that the curb was low so that we could pull on to the grass and then squeeze out.

We were on our way. The coast road was fast and smooth, the road to Becal was even better, we got there about 11AM. I thought we could find a place making hats but all we found was narrow streets, oh well lets move on.

The signs said take this nice road toward Merida but I have two GPS programs that said take this shorter road that goes more directly to Celestun and save 40 miles. How could they lead me wrong. There were a few very slow towns with lots of Tope’s (speed bumps) but no traffic, things were going well, but a little slow but it was forty miles shorter. It only took me 30 min to get through the 10 mi of small towns, not too bad.

Then the road turned to SHIT. The road narrowed to the width of my RV, sure hope we don’t meet any other cars, we still had 20 mi to go to hit the main road. The pot holes became craters, the craters eliminated any pavement but we pushed on not wanting to take the 30 min to go back and the extra 40 mi of road because maybe it will get better, It got worse. For my kayaking friends, the road to Rockville by the Big Sandy would be smooth in comparison. I glad the RV has a lot of clearance, because some of the holes were 6” deep. We finally made it meeting only one small truck and a few motorcycles along the way. It took 2 hours to go only 20 mi, don’t take any Mexican short cuts.

Frigate Bird
Even with all of this we made it to Celestun by 2PM. They said we could camp in their lot and we agreed to take a boat tour until he quoted me a $100 price for a two hour tour for the two of us. I only had 500 pesos on me at the time, about $40. A boatman agreed to that price and only cut out 30 min from the tour by going faster.
He was great, he could speak English and was very knowledgeable of the birds and mangroves. It was well worth the boat trip but not the shortcut drive to get here. Stay on the wide roads.
Here is a You-Tube video about Celestun that I saw on Francois and Emily's Blog. We met them in La Pesca, and camped with them on the Emerald Coast and at Catemaco.
Rosette Spoonbill
We camped overnight in the Visitor Center parking lot in Celestun. We ran into another camper from Quebec that we have seen at two other camps. We are hitting about the same sites that they are along the way.

Young Pelicans have no color
On Friday morning we did a short 2 hour drive to Merida. We pulled into the large Rainbow RV Campground. There was only one other camper there. We walked to a large upscale Mall and Department store next to the campground and then walked down the 4-lane road to another mall with a big grocery store. We stocked up on food and some alcohol. Our load was heavy and we waited for a bus back to camp but got impatient and just took a short cab ride.
We will stay here two nights but there is no internet available at the campground, if I post this it's from some place in Merida on Saturday.

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