Cycling along the Gulf of Mexico

It is the 2nd of January, time to get on the bikes again after a nice New Years.
After packing up an eating desayuno we are ready to leave Coaczoacal. Gerardo wanted to try to ride out of town with us but sadly he couldn’t because he had no nanny for the kids. So we go by ourselves.

Bikes packed and ready to go. New year, new rides...

The plan is to go out of town with the ferry ⛴ and follow the coastline along Bahia de Campeche, the Gulf of Mexico. At the ferry we have to wait awhile. We talk with a man who works for the ferry’s and he tells us it costs only 2 pesos per person. That’s only €0,09 so almost nothing!!!😃
“It takes about 20 minutes to get to the other side and enjoy the view on the water.”

Waiting for the ferry

On the small ferry

Made it till the other side

In the small pueblo on the other side we buy some fresh fruits for on the road. Since we came into Mexico we miss a lot of vegetables in our meals. We like the Mexican food, but there is not a whole lot of vegetables in it. So we try to keep up with that by buying and eating them while we are on the road.
The road we cycle is quiet and very beautiful. But a part of the road is also only dirt road along the coast. That’s always good when we want to have lunch! What better place is there to have a break and some food to get new energy than on the beach?

After cycling for awhile the dirt road turns into a better road again. Every now and then we have some dogs chasing us. Just for their fun we guess. Luckily here in Mexico they are not very aggressive.

Barking dogs come after us. Mexican dogs didn't bite till so far.

I don't care about the dogs..

We have to take another boat to get to the other side. When we arrive we see it is just about to leave but the “captain” of the boat says we can just put our bikes and stuff in and than we will leave straight away. It is a small boat compared to the ferry we had earlier.
All the people who are already in the boat waiting for it to leave are waiting for us. They are just watching us struggling to get everything in. But we manage and take a seat.
It’s a short boat ride to the other side but still it is pretty nice.

Jungle roads

On an even smaller ferry

Just a pedestrian ferry but luckely our bikes fit as well.

Nearly there

Packing up again

The 10min ferry saved us 225km of cycling 😀

At the other side the tuc-tucs are already waiting for their customers to ride them into town. The people here are very friendly and waving at us when we leave to go into Sanchéz Magallanes.
When Arjan goes to get some groceries at the local supermarket he meets a man who is visiting his hometown now but is living in the USA. He tells Arjan there is a good and cheap hotel in town where we can stay. We decide to check it out. But when we arrive there and we ask they say they are fully booked.
We know there is a fish restaurant at the water front just on the edge of town. We go there to see if we have more luck over there.

We ask the owner if it is possible to camp at the back of the restaurant and he tells us “no problem, you can!” We decide to eat dinner at his restaurant to give something back in return. We enjoy a nice meal of pescado empanisado.
After that it starts getting dark so we need to put up the tent. We try to put up our tent but it is quite the challenge with al these small sandflies around us. They pinch us in every bit of naked skin they can find!When we are done we quickly go into the tent to get away from the crazy flies and we take a look at what our bare legs and feet now look like. They are covered with red itchy dots!

Behind the restaurant

"some" insectbites... little f*ckers, we hate them.

Camp with view on the sea side. The next morning.

Next morning the sandflies are still there a little less aggressive but still not very bearable. So we are in fast mode and try to get ready as quick as possible.
We follow the coastline and the views are beautiful. We pass through small villages where fresh fish is caught and sold from door to door.

On the road again

Want some fresh fish?

Coconuts our a chicken?

Pelikans... on this picture a few but sometimes a lot.

We cycle on a paved road but from time to time the road seems to be totally destroyed by the ocean. The local people “maintain” the road at these parts. Every now and then the people who use the road by car pay a toll to the family that maintains that part of the road. Most of the time the families have a rope hanging across the road so that you cannot pass.
We are lucky though...as soon as they see us they just lower the rope without asking us for a fee. We think if we have had to pay it would probably not have been more than a few pesos.
Sometimes the road is still hard to cycle even with this “maintenance” done by the families. There are still a lot of parts with lose beach sand and with our heavy bicycles it makes it pretty hard to cycle. Every now and then we have to walk and push through it.

Along the ocean

Still the road we are taking here is breathtaking and feels like an adventure again. After having cycled so many boring highways here in Mexico we really don’t care that this road is somewhat harder to peddle on!
We even meet motorbikers taking the same route. One of them got stuck in the sand. They see us cycling and they say that for this road the bicycles seem easier. “Yes for this road they probably are, but for the rest of Mexico you guys have the advantage!”😉

Road taken by the ocean. We have to ride the small road through the bush.

Not a real road but we can cycle on it 🙂

Deep sand, hard to cycle on.

On the coconut highway

...

Taking the beach but this was even harder to cycle on.

At a lunchbreak somewhere on the road to Campeche.

Streetbikes can go here as well it seems.

After an adventurous day of cycling we find ourselves in the city called Paraíso. We soon find out that the hotels are pretty pricy. After asking at 5 hotels we finally find a cheap one.
We hit the (cold❄️) shower and clean ourselves up. The cold shower in Mexico is still pretty common. Much more than a hot one. We go back on the street again to find some local food.

Next day we go to back to the center. Buy some bread at a bakery and make some breakfast. We sit on a bench on the main plaza. Just enjoying our breakfast and watching the people. It is pretty nice and already pretty busy with people sitting and walking around. Some are trying to sell hammocks to people or local food. There even is a guy who has crocodile teeth to sell. He also tries selling us but we tell him we are not interested.

It is again another sunny day with again a lot of headwinds. We haven’t had anything else lately.
We still manage to make it to Frontera as we planned. We don’t even have to go all the way into town to find a nice and cheap hotel to stay at. Next to us is a place where they have nice local food. The food tastes great!
Back in the hotel we read a little before we go to sleep.
Since we are traveling we are living more by the time of light. When it gets dark we crawl into bed and read or listen to music a bit before we go to sleep. In the morning we wake at first light and get up early to start the day. It feels pretty nice being able to live this way.

Water left, water right.

We cycle another headwindy day. Today the road goes a little more inland from time to time instead of all along the coast. We cycle in between swamps and in between swamps and the see. This gives the road a strange view because sometimes it looks like the road is the only dry land there is. At the end of this long day of cycling we arrive at a very long bridge that will bring us into Ciudad del Carmen.
Just after the bridge we take a break to decide our next move. Again here there are no campgrounds so we need another place to stay and preferably cheap.
The first hotel we ask what the costs for the night are is a cheap one straight away, so we take it.

Long bridge into town.

Have a break, have a ....

We take a cold shower again and eat some really good tortas on the street nearby.
Back in the hotel we find some company in our bathroom.... big cockroaches. Two of them. As long as they don’t bother us we’re fine!

The next day we decide to take a rest day and take a look into town. Ciudad del Carmen is not a very touristy place at all. Still we have a nice day walking through town and we take a stroll along the melacón and the beach. 🏝
A Mexican man on a scooter stops and asks us if we want to buy a fish cocktail. He lets Kim taste and it is delicious so she takes one.

Arjan is not into fish that much so he gets himself some local chips from another guy.
On the beach we find some very nice shells. They’re to big to take with us on the bikes so we take photos instead.

Walking the beach

Millions of shells

We do take some smaller ones with us. Arjan will make some necklaces out of them.
In the evening when we’re back at our hotel room the cockroaches seem to have changed their living space into our bedroom. So we decide to get rid of them. We don’t want any of them walking on us while we’re sleeping...😴😴😴

Today we leave early. We think we will ride for about 90km. But things don’t always go as planned.....
We arrive at Isla Aguada after about 50km. We are about to have our midday lunch break, but the place we’re at it seems so nice.
We also see that there is a great campground on the beach and it makes us decide to stay the night. Because it’s only midday we have a long day to enjoy. We swim, read, Kim knits 🧶. We even have another dog 🐕 to pet. She stays in our company on the beach all day.
At the end of the day we find out it’s the campground owners dog.
At sundown we see big groups of
dolphins. 🐬🐬🐬
Sadly we can’t take photos of this great happening because our photo camera has broken down...😢 but still it will be in our memories!

Lets stay here for the night 🙂

Some dolphins on the left?

It’s time to leave another paradise behind us. We ride an extra long day. But we can because we had a great rest the day before.
Still at the end of the day we are pretty tired when we finally arrive in Champotón. Again we had a lot of headwinds today so we can sleep for sure.
In town we need to find a hotel. We try at a few hotels before we finally find a cheap one.
On the way to finding a place to sleep Arjan saw a cheap pizza place. We leave the panniers at the hotel and cycle back to have something to eat.

The day after our destination will be Campeche. The road is still along the coast but we hardly see any water. In Campeche we go to the local bus terminal because we guess there might be WiFi so we can get in touch with the family in Coatzacoalcos, with who we stayed with for New Years Eve.
They told us to contact them because they have family living in Campeche with who we might stay.
We search contact through Whatsapp with Claudio and Marlo. They arrange that we can stay at Claudio’s cousin Daniël and we get his address. So now we only need to find the place. And so we did!

Into the historic city centre of Campeche

Checking out Campeche.

Kim's backwheel fixed again by these guys... Gracias!

Tumbs up

It's still Januari so no Alcohol because our ALS 0% challange.

Thanks for letting us stay...!

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Cycling from Mexico City to the Gulf of Mexico

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Cycling the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico

1 Comment

  1. Hans ter Haar

    Mooi verslag Arjan en Kim, wat een avontuur! Bijzondere sfeer daar langs de kust. Ik hoop dat jullie voortaan hotels vinden (met koude douches) en niet weer ten prooi vallen aan de zandvliegjes! Het doet mij aan midgeds van Schotland denken.

    Alle goeds gewenst en een mooi vervolg,

    Hans

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