Las Guacamayas…

December 27, 2010

Another stop along the border loop brings us to the ecological reserve of Las Guacamayas.  During the 1960’s a group of about 40 families relocated to the area after having been granted land by the government (a touchy subject with the indigenous locals).  They were also given pairs of mating Red Scarlet Macaws and have since been breeding and protecting the rare and beautiful birds.

 

Most of our extended loop was ridden on the Fronterra Corozal Highway, brushing the edges of Guatemala. Here we encountered more military check points than we have anywhere else in Mexico. The soldiers tried to be serious as they asked to open our bags, but you could tell they were just as curious as any other local. I'd often hit them up for drinking or cooking water if their camps had any to spare, which they were always happy to give...

Strong roots, looking very missile-like...

I think about writing odes to the jungle when we are exploring, I love them that much...

A bit of filtered light, while the branches shake from jumping howler monkeys, who were too quick for me to catch a good photo of. Instead I got this monkey to hold still for a bit...

The majestic Red Scarlet Macaw...

Unfortunately, despite several trips down to the river's edge and peering all over the surrounding land, the only ones we actually got to see were in these cages. Macaws will find their mates within the first 2 years and spend the rest of their bird lives being faithful to only them...

There is no organized camping at Las Guacamayas, which worked out great for us, and we were invited to camp in the big open soccer field, lending its hand to a spectacular open view of the sunset...

Then it was back on the road, heading towards Bonampak and the Yucatan. The locals around here have been successful in keeping the Pemex gas monopoly out, so the area sees a lot less traffic than it would normally. People who do venture into this area must purchase gasoline from the local tiendas for a very high price. Luckily, as cyclists, we can only be happy to the fact this keeps more motorists off these excellent roads..

 

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Las Nubes…

December 27, 2010

Suckers for spectacular waterways, our first stop along the border is Las Nubes, an area of turquoise colored water pumping through the jungle.  having just experienced a heavier than normal rainy period, the water was certainly flowing, making swimming a more dangerous endeavor.  The area of Las Nubes  offers camping and cabanas and has a restaurant right on the river, though we opted to camp on our own outside of town.  There is a small day fee- $30M, or roughly $3 US, that goes towards maintaining the area.  During swimming season, this would be an ideal spot to barbecue with the family.

 

The landscape really begins to give us the jungles we will be exploring as we head down into Central America. Lots of green and lots of moisture...

Virtually pristine and unspoiled...

... except for areas like these. Much more than a case of bad aim, trash on the ground is as common as tortillas in Mexico...

The bold and beautiful Las Nubes...

...funneling into the jungle, swimmies not included...

With morning hours to spare, we hiked around on some nearby trails, getting lost within the big rooted trees and huge verdant leaves...

In order to reach Las Nubes, there is a 10 kilometer dirt road you must travel. Guide books will refer to it as "out of the way." We would call it "pretty much perfect."

Jungle camping...

...including fresh picked fruit in the morning. As usual, our only visitor was a local out hunting the evening before. He gave us a huge smile and wave, as is the Mexican way, and made sure we had enough to stay warm and dry...

Another day begins...

No good bike trip would be complete without the ever-present dirtstache...

...or an abundant supply of animal crackers. Cheap cycling fuel with a crunch and lots of storytelling possibilities...

Those pockets come in such handy...

Not out of the mountains yet, we enjoyed a few more climbs and windy descents...