Page 2: Valladolid to Piste and
Chichen Itza, January 23-24
We had a little breakfast and were
leaving Valladolid around 7:30. We considered taking an indirect
route to Piste to avoid Route 180, the major road between Cancun
and Merida. However, it was a Sunday morning with light traffic,
so we stayed on 180 all the way to Piste, the village beside Chichen
Itza. It wasn't bad, but given the lack of shoulders, we wouldn't
want to cycle this road at a busier time.
The only stop we made along the
way was at a Mayan Art Museum, so called, really a big, brand-new
gift shop. We doubt that many of the crafts on sale would truly
qualify as "art," but it was a nice break.
We arrived in Piste not long after noon the ride
had been about 40 miles and checked into Posada
Olalde, a modest but clean place run by a friendly Mayan
We're riding unusual, front-wheel-drive, folding recumbents
called Cruzbike Quests. We'd be surprised if there are
more than 100 of them in all of North America. Soon after
we settled into Posada Olalde, a group of cyclists with
Bike Mexico arrived for the night. One of them was David
Gostnell, of Portland Oregon, and he was riding a Cruzbike
Darned unusual bikes
Still on Sunday, we decided to
bike back to Chichen Itza, just a couple of kilometers, not for
a proper visit, but simply to see the crowds. It was the way we
picture Disneyland! Scores of giant buses, long lines of tourists.
We decided, as some of the guidebooks recommend, to come back
early in the morning, before the tours arrive.
On the way, Barbara bashed into a curb
and had a blowout. We were surprised that only the tube
appeared damaged. (A few days later, we learned that this
In the morning, we joined the Bike Mexico
group in hiring a tour guide for Chichen Itza, and we're
glad that we did. You can read about these places in a
guidebook, but without someone to actually point out things,
you miss so much.
Below left: out guide Miguel was
an enthusiastic teacher. Below right, the Observatory. Bottom:
The great temple at Chichen Itza.
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