After visiting Yaxchilan, we headed back north towards Palenque mid afternoon, where we stayed for two nights. We arrive late just as the sun was setting, staying at Maya Bell Campground. After a busy day we decided that we would just have dinner in their restaurant before retiring.
Next morning, we walked to the Palenque ruins, this was approximately 1.5km/1 mile away.
Palenque (Spanish pronunciation: [pa’leŋke]; Yucatec Maya: Bàakʼ /ɓàːkʼ/), also anciently known as Lakamha (literally: “Big Water”), was a Maya city state in southern Mexico that flourished in the 7th century. The Palenque ruins date from ca. 226 BC to ca. AD 799. After its decline, it was absorbed into the jungle of cedar, mahogany, and sapodilla trees, but has since been excavated and restored. It is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, about 130 km (81 mi) south of Ciudad del Carmen, 150 m (164 yd) above sea level. It averages a humid 26 °C (79 °F) with roughly 2160 mm (85 in) of rain a year.
Palenque is a medium-sized site, smaller than Tikal, Chichen Itza, or Copán, but it contains some of the finest architecture, sculpture, roof comb and bas-relief carvings that the Mayas produced. Much of the history of Palenque has been reconstructed from reading the hieroglyphic inscriptions on the many monuments; historians now have a long sequence of the ruling dynasty of Palenque in the 5th century and extensive knowledge of the city-state’s rivalry with other states such as Calakmul and Toniná. The most famous ruler of Palenque was K’inich Janaab Pakal, or Pacal the Great, whose tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of the Inscriptions.
By 2005, the discovered area covered up to 2.5 km² (1 sq mi), but it is estimated that less than 10% of the total area of the city is explored, leaving more than a thousand structures still covered by jungle. Palenque received 920,470 visitors in 2017. (Wikipedia)
After leaving here we decided to go back to the beach, we headed towards Campeche located on the Gulf of Mexico. On the way we stopped at Isla Aguda. We were not sure where we would stay but found a restaurant located on the beach that had an area for camping called Mar y Cruz.
We had a very nice fresh fish dinner in the restaurant before setting up very close to the beach. We spent the night here but were warned that next day there was a function going off.
We had a great night’s sleep listening to the wave’s role in, in the morning we had breakfast and were starting to enjoy the morning when the people started to turn up for the function. It turns out it was a family from Mexico City who had hired a 52-seater coach which had brought them here to celebrate their daughters fifteenth birthday, this is a very big deal here in Mexico. The girl’s father came over to talk to us as he was interested in our rig, he invited us to stay and join the party. After discussing it we decided to continue onto Campeche knowing this party could go to the early hours of the morning.
We arrived in Campeche late afternoon. We parked up at the Walmart parking lot as this is where we would stay for the evening. It was in a reasonable location, walking distance to the Malecon and downtown area. Once we had settled in, did some grocery shopping we took a walk east along the Malecon and found somewhere to have dinner. After this we headed back to Walmart in the dark. All was good till around 11pm when loud music started playing. It turns out there was a Karaoke bar just across the parking lot and to top it off it was not enclosed. The music and the noise of attempting to sing did not die down until after 3am.
Next morning, we strolled west along the Malecon to the downtown area.
As it turns out Campeche was an old Spanish settlement and is a walled city.
Campeche reminded us of the old part of Barcelona, it had lost a small restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
We even ran into Captain Jack Sparrow.
After this we returned to Walmart to pick up our camper as we had found a commercial parking lot close to the walled city where we could pay for secure parking and stay the night.
The Mural on the wall of the parking lot where we spent the second night.
After a good nights sleep we were up early to go to McDonalds for breakfast, coffee and wifi to do some business. From here we went over to the local Chrysler/Dodge dealership to have the engine oil and filter in the truck changed.
Next: On to the Yucatan.