DAY 382 - LAS COLORADAS
Day 382 - Las Coloradas, Yucatan, Mexico - 7151 km
I’m far off route when I pass these salt extraction lakes in the most northern point of Yucatan. They get their pink colour from micro organisms. It’s not very healthy to take a dip, but I could camp at the sea which was nearby. I haven't been camping much the last weeks. My tent (Hilleberg Akto) is a four-season tent, so it adds a few degrees to the outside temperature from your body heat. Great for in colder climates, but too warm in the tropics. Camping here is far from attractive, given the fact that hotels with AC are very affordable. This nights it's different. The wind of the ocean cools down this empty beach, it's just too good to not spend the night here. At the small town at Las Coloradas I buy some pasta and beers to cook at camp. The sea is my shower and the soft sand my bed. The beach makes me forget time. I get up at sunset, make coffee, and stay for a few hours.
After this I'm heading back south again, via Tulum, towards Belize and Guatemala. It's been 6 months in Mexico. I'd never expected it would be that long, but life happens and things come on your path. I'm in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, so why should I rush? A good traveler has no fixed plans and no intent on arriving.
The roads in Yucatan are uneventful. They are even boring in a car, let alone on the bicycle. There is nothing but rainforest, straight and flat pavement until it fades out in a point on the horizon. I try to find a place where I can have a break and sit in the shade. There's a little dirt path under the trees. When I park my bike I get bitten by mosquitoes all over. OK, then back on the road. At some point there must be a tree giving some shade. Besides me the jungle drips. Not the beautiful rainforests I've seen in Bali, or Washington. No, this thick, hostile jungle not higher than 6 or 7 meters. You need a machete to walk through it. Sometimes a crab tries to cross the road, but walks backwards in the green when it sees me. I don't want to imagine what kind of animals and little critters are in these forests. The domain of the centipedes, the snakes and the tarantulas. I have seen them all, often dead on the side of the road.
It's 2pm now, nothing happened but time. I'm not enjoying this ride. It's too warm for a northern European. My skin is moist and extremely dirty. First a layer of sun screen I put on this morning, old sweat, bug repellent, dead bugs and dust all mixed together. My clothes smell. The entire day I'm wet. Then the scratchy sound of an old radio fades in. Classic Mexican folk, about tormented love and family dramqs. A farmer walks along the road, straw head, shirt too big, a machete in his hand. His head is down. I great him when I pass. The radio fades out. Then the smell of burning trash at the side of the road. I kind of like this smell. The scent of of India, Myanmar, and other developing countries in the tropics. A car passes and then I'm back to same quietness as before of only the warm wind in my face and the hum of my tires on the rhythm of the pedal strokes. I keep going, a 100km like this. And tomorrow will be the same. The black pavement reflects its heat upwards. Drips of sweat fall from my face on my sandals. Then around a bend, the pavement changes to white. A welcome change of scenery, it lifts me up. Feels like I'm in a new place.