We woke the next morning with a bit of a sleep in, after all we had until 11:30 when our bus would leave. We said farewell to Oscar and headed for the terminal. Tickets purchased, Alice left me with her big rucksack and went off to find bus snacks. We had 4-5 hour journey ahead, and half hour to get our bus snacks. Easy.
At 11:31 I had both packs and a day pack in hand, but no Alice. Where on earth could she be?! Starting to panic and not too sure what my next move was going to be, the bus started it’s engine. Oh god. What’s happening!! The tears nearly rolled on. How on earth was I going to start looking for her with all this stuff. It was the middle of the day!!! How could this happen!!
Then, Alice came into view. Smiling, waving… not a care in the world. I knew this would happen. We quickly jumped on our bus and Alice explained how she didn’t have a timekeeping device and the fruit stall was quite far then there was a big queue in the little supermarket. Never again.
What was meant to be a 3 hour journey turned into 5 and a half. What we didn’t realise in purchasing second class bus tickets, was that the bus would stop every bloody kilometre to pick someone up or drop someone off.
We arrived in Campeche at our hotel. Wow, had we scored!! Thanks Lonely Planet! We ended up in a beautiful hotel, that was half the price of any dorm bed in a hostel, had hot showers and breakfast included. It even had air con! Our first, albeit accidental, Hotel for the trip!
Hotel Guaranducha Inn @ Campeche
We took to the beautiful city of Campeche where the Police cars are electric and smaller than smart cars and every cobble stone street has a story to tell, or a building to show off.
Campeche sign @ Campeche
The city Center is surrounded by a wall, which feels like, although not necessarily true, the wall seperates rich and poor. Inside the city wall we found beautifully restored pastel coloured buildings, fortified ramparts, well preserved mansions dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries and some of the most incredible churches we had seen in Mexico. Beyond the wall lays a typical Mexican provincial capitol complete with a frantic market, a quiet park or 10, and old fishing docks.
Street Life @ CampecheGiant Map Ball @ Campeche Water Front
We walked along the popular water front and around the centre square exploring what the city had to offer before getting ready and treating ourselves to a lovely dinner at one of the top rated, not too expensive, restaurants in Campeche, La Parroquia.
We should stick to what we know (cheap tacos), the food was average at best. Probably not anything to do with the chefs but we decided to be adventurous and it did not pay off! Dog fish was experienced for the first time, as were some hard boiled egg tacos catastrophe. Papadzules, panuchos de Cochini y Pan de canon.
As we sat down, we were approached by a lovely Canadian couple who just wanted to chat. From these guys we found out that Carnaval had already started here in Campeche, but tickets were needed. We decided to wait for Adam and Rach in Mérida.
After dinner we followed the music and ended up back at the centre square. We found a few break dancers and a brass band all performing, separately of course.
The next day we walked the whole wall around the city, exploring the churches and buildings that both inside and outside were beautiful.
Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción @ Campeche
That night in the central square, we were entertained by local kids in a rap battle. They were pretty good… we think. Neither of us could pick up much of what they were saying. Something something “no tengo dinero”. Alice seems to think it would be easier to rap in Spanish because everything ends in “o” or “amente”.
Dinner this night was at La Choperia. We ordered tacos al pastor, gringas poc chuc and tacos suizo hawaiano, half the price of the night before’s dog fish egg disaster. Probably some of the best tacos yet!! We instantly made the decision we had to eat here again! The food was incredible. Also the litre of beer for $39 pesos had me at “table ladies? Happy hour!”
A young local kid came up to our table and asked if we wanted anything that he was selling. From memory it was some handmade keychains and bracelets. I said both “No, Gracias” and he spoke again. I said no thanks again and then again. He chose to stand very close to me staring.
I ignored him the fourth time, thinking that it was getting rude now. Alice who hadn’t really been listening said in Spanish that we were not interested, when the kid spoke again, “Que hora tienes?”
Shit. He had been asking the two girls who had not only a phone in hand but a watch on my wrist what the time was. We told him the time and apologised profusely and felt like absolute idiots! We agreed to never speak of that moment again, but I have to put it in here!
Catedral @ Campeche
After dinner we headed across the road for the old lady’s night cap of hot chocolate. Chocolateria de la Moro- we both had a traditional hot chocolate with chilli and cinnamon. The waiter gave us a macaron as “a gift for you two ladies” we felt flattered, this was until another couple of lovely ladies sat down and got a macaron as well. Turns out they were just trying to get their stock down. No tip for you! (Joking, we tipped)
Next morning we chucked a bag of laundry in a lavendería, picked up some amazing fresh mango from the market (3 sliced up mangos for 15peso/$1NZ!!!) and wandered off to find a collectivo to Edzna ruins. After a lot of asking for directions from several people (Mexicans tend to either be really vague or wildly over explanatory to a point where we don’t really understand) we finally found them!
Within a couple minutes of arriving, I heard something grunt at me, so Alice and I doned our Nigel Thornbury hats and went in search for whatever animal it was.
Turned out we were in Iguana paradise. Everywhere we turned in Edzna ruins we found them sun bathing.
Iguana get to know ya @ Edzna Ruins
Edzna ruins themselves were pretty cool. A bit different to some of the ruins we had seen, huge tall ruins sat around a big square and an enormous ball court. The rest were a little smaller and as always they have only scratched the surface excavation wise.
The Main Temple @ Edzna
Iguana Macho @ Edzna Ruins
Back to Campeche we had lunch at ‘Fresh and Green’ which was essentially salad anyway you wanted it. It was nice to take a break from all the meat and cheese and have a good serving of fresh salad type foods. Dinner was repeated at El Chopería and an earlier night to plan and get on the road for the morning… It was time for Carnaval and to see Ad and Rach! We couldn’t wait!!