Who could pass up a deal like that?

My friend Bruce and I left Minneapolis on a Friday evening around the first of Feb. with the temp at twenty-something BELOW zero.

We wore snowmobile boots suits and mitts, plus we had a catalytic heater to help break the cold as VW heaters were very poor.

Our plan was to trade off driving and go round the clock to Ft. Worth, TX.

The VW defroster worked poorly as Bruce had to spend ALL his time scraping as I drove. We had all we could stand of headlights on the frosted windshield by the Southern Minnesota border so we holed up in a motel for the night. The next morning the VW started right up at 26 below and we were on our way again.

Better driving in daylight but still frosting. More frosting than our breathing should cause so we turned off the heater. With careful trimming of the vent windows we could see, WOW!

We would drive for an hour and a half then warm up for 45 minutes.

Found a motel in Oklahoma City that night, so much for round the clock. The next day it was frozen slush ruts on the freeway but we made it to Ft. Worth.

Laid over there for three days and pressed on to Harlingen by way of Waco, Austin, New Braunfels, and Corpus Christi. The cold followed us all the way.

At Harlingen we toured the Confederate Air force museum and then shipped all of our cold weather gear back to Minnesota before heading to Mexico.

At the Matamoros border crossing the customs officer didn’t like something on the title but a $20 bill fixed it as did a $5 the 20 km check point.

Our first stop in Mexico was at Tampico. A Motel with a canvas we had to drive through then a check-in window like the pickup window at McDonalds. Then we were on to our room with a canvas across the parking slot beside the room. A door from the parking slot let us into the room without ever stepping out of the bus.

Found out later that is what is called a ”No–Tell–Motel” and is a good deal as they are safe, clean, and reasonably priced. A lot of experienced traveling gringos use them.

We turned inland to a village on a river where we saw a plaque on a tree claming ”this is the tree that Cortez tied his ships to when he went to raid Mexico city” I had heard that he burned them so there was no retreat.

Our next stop was the “Parque-Museo La Venta” which is the start of the photos.

After leaving there we searched for a hotel recommended by Sanborns Ins. After several stops to inquire, having no Spanish and the people I talked to having no English it took much showing of a paper with the hotel name and a lot of arm waving but we finally found it.

Next stop Palenque. We drove to a parking lot near the entrance and paid to park or so we thought, turns out that they couldn’t charge for parking but could charge for a car wash and the parking was then free, and the bus really needed the wash.

We wandered around and climbed the Temple of Inscriptions. On the top there is a entrance to a small dark tunnel with a stairway heading down, abut half way it has a switchback then a short ways further down is the magnificent burial crypt of Pacal the Mayan king.
After leaving Palenque we headed to the Yucatan peninsula. We found a nice motel with a gulf view just South of Campache at Seybaplaya. As it turned out the Motel was 2 nights for the price of one, so we stayed two nights.

The next morning we went to the Edzna ruins. Met a German gentleman camped in his VW camper waiting for them to open. We talked for a while about his wandering until the gates opened when we all went our own ways .Interesting wandering around empty ruins.

Left Edzna and headed North. We saw a sign pointing to Grutas Xtacumbilxunan, and went into the entry area and when a guide showed up we took the tour. The lighting was two OLD tar covered wires with a industrial type of light socket twisted between them (glad nothing went wrong).

I think this is the cave shown in the engravings by Dr. Fredrick Catherwood of a ramp with Mayans carrying water up that is in the 1843 book Incidents of Travel in Yucatan by John L.Stephens. It was an interesting stop.

We then continued north stopping at Sayil before we got to Ushmal. Where we spent a fair amount of time.

Pressed on to Muna and stopped in for a bite to eat. Gassed up at a local station and had a big argument with the pump jockey for our change, even a local lady read him the riot act about cheating us. Got our change and went back to Seybaplaya for the night.

We were up the next morning and drove through Meridqa and on to Chichen Itza. Where we wandered around and climbed a lot. Saw the cenote they threw the virgins into.
Left Chichen Itza and headed to the condo, came to an arch across the road and wondered what it was, later figured out it was a state line.

We spent a day at the condo and then went to Tuum. After Tulum we met Jim Coke and took our first cave diving lessons.

There will be more diving photos when I find them in my mess.