So our new traveling friend from Greece, Loretta, wanted to go to Palenque for a couple of days. I had had a hankering to go there too. Well, let’s just go! Glenn did not really want to go, so we did a girls trip and had a blast!
We took a first-class bus for under $13 US each for the nearly seven-hour trip. The Mexican state of Chiapas is a gorgeous, lush place in the world with a lot of surprises along the way.
We flew over the mountain valleys.
Halfway, we had a brief stop in the town of Ocosingo, and we wandered into a bakery. Mexicans are serious about their celebratory cakes. The large round in the middle of the purple display was about two feet in diameter, and three walls were dedicated to similar creations.
Along the way are numerous little chapels.
Ever seen a “Mexican toll road”? Do not even think about refusing to stop! I guess, “If you’re going to use this nice road through our town, you should pay something, no?”
Wherever there is a military post, they watch and may stop and inspect you.
This turkey hen refused to give up her spot, not even to our hulking bus!
Workers and families travel by foot along the roadways which are squashed by encroaching jungle, battled by small teams of men with machetes.
We finally arrived in the city of Palenque and got a collectivo to take us to our “hotel compound,” called El Jaguar, just outside the entrance to the Palenque ruins. We were treated to a walk into a jungle setting (“We’re in the jungle!!!) housing three or four hotels/hostels/cabanas/camp sites with a large restaurant and several outdoor bars. We chose a nice hotel, Margarita, settled into our private room with two double beds and a nice bathroom for about $10 US/day/person, and went to Don Mucho’s for dinner and cocktails amid the calls of the howler monkeys and then the songs of the nightly entertainment.
This pretty beetle is the size of a green grape! (We’re in the jungle!!!)
Ahh, life is good!
We booked an all-day tour to two Mayan ruins sites for day two, Yaxchilan and Bonampak. We left at dawn and returned after dark, exhausted. Stay tuned for the wonders!
Here are all the pictures on the way in:
[slickr-flickr tag=“way to palenque”]