Monday Feb 21, 2005

This is the second phase of the Around-the-World driving expedition of the World of Wonders Project.  Don & Kim welcome you to join our journey from Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Our flight back to Cancun arrived late in the afternoon and it took a little longer than anticipated to get through immigration, customs and pick up our rental car.  Welcome back, we might as well get used to it as crossing land borders with the truck will probably take longer, much longer.

We decided to use a rental car for our first few days back so that we could run errands, and more importantly, so that we had something to transport our bags and boxes of supplies for the Fuso.  

We arrived back at Mecoloco, the trailer park where we had stored the Fuso to find the vehicle in perfect condition.  It was already getting dark so Don climbed up on the roof to pull up the cover, while Kim made sure that it wasn't catching on any corners.  After temporarily storing the cover on the rack above the cab, we checked the battery voltage - 12.7 volts, excellent!  We then reattached all the battery cables and reset the fuse box and turned on the lights.  Yeah, everything worked!  Then, as we didn't have any food in the fridge, we went to a restaurant for a great dinner.

Feb 22

Today we went to town and ran errands.   We bought groceries, went to Home Depot for a few things for the Fuso and got some money at the bank.  By the end of the day we were exhausted and went to bed early.  The next couple of days were spent fixing or futzing about on various things for the truck.  We knew we'd need a week to get things up to speed and to drive the distance to the Belize border at Chetumal, Mx.  By the end of Thursday we were ready to go!

Feb 25

Getting an early start, we hit the road by 8:30 am - rush hour.  We managed to get across town fairly easily and headed down to Tulum.  We stopped for lunch, bought a few more things at the grocery store and hit another internet cafe to make sure all was OK with the website.  Unfortunately we found that our Info-request page was not functioning.  We don't have an email link on the website because spammers use "bots" and "spiders" that search out email addresses, then they send tons of unwanted spam to that address.  So we get around this by using a form for first time visitors to send comments to us.  Well, with the form malfunctioning we are likely missing out on many emails.  We're working to get this straightened out and hope to have it all running by the time we enter Belize. 

We continued back on the road, driving through a few cloudbursts, until we reached the Laguna Bacalar.  The drive was pretty boring, just two lanes bordered by jungle and very few towns.  Bacalar is a small town on the shore of a huge freshwater lagoon that is fed by a series of cenotes, one of which is just offshore in front of the campground.

Feb 26

We relaxed for the day either swimming or paddling our inflatable kayak around the lagoon.  The cenote nearby drops to a depth of nearly 90 meters.  When we paddled across it, the water depth went from from a few inches to a sheer drop off where we couldn't see the bottom.  The drop off had several old dead trees that had fallen from shore and tipped into the cenote.  They looked really strange, they appeared to be growing downward into the depths of the cenote.

Feb 27

This morning before breakfast, we took the kayak out for another spin.  This time we turned north and followed the coastline a little ways.  We also crossed over the lagoon to explore a small island.  Surprisingly though the water was crystal clear, we didn't see any fish larger than a couple of inches long.  That might explain why we never saw any fishing boats on the lagoon.

Leaving Bacalar later in the morning, we drove to a Maya ruin called Kohunlich.  We had lunch in the parking lot then went in to explore the ruins.

The buildings and pyramids, although not on a scale with places like Palenque or Uxmal, are very interesting.  The builders here rounded off the corners and used false columns around the doors.  The most interesting feature was the Pyramid of the Masks.  

The masks are 3mts (9ft) tall and flank the central staircase up the front.  The masks were preserved as a later ruler enlarged the pyramid covering up the masks under an additional layer of rocks. 

We spent our last night in Mexico at a campground on the shore of Chetumal Bay where we met up with a couple we met in Bacalar.  They are traveling the world with their two young children.


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