After nearly seven months spent cycling all over Mexico, we were rewarded with a final few hours of blissful riding on the way out. For some crazy reason the wind decided to make a complete U-turn and shift from the grim headwind of the past month to a lovely, welcome tailwind. In no time at all we were at the border with Belize, looking forward to an early end to this Christmas Eve’s ride.
After our long detour through the hilly southern reaches of Chiapas, we were eager to reach Palenque and its famed ruins. The ancient city of Palenque is situated high upon a hill, giving it a commanding view of the expansive flatlands of the Yucatan peninsula to the east (modern Palenque town sits in the valley at the foot of that hill and is swelteringly hot – the ancients got it right.) The ruins themselves were well spread out and covered everything from pyramids to the obligatory ball parks. And if you don’t know anything about these ball parks yet, let me tell you. Apparently the ancients used to play some kind of hipball where they tried to maneuver a rubber ball through a vertical ring. Whoever scores first, wins, and the losers get sacrificed. Pretty harsh if you ask me.