And the water came tumbling down

C – We both slept very well last night, it was wonderfully quiet and dark and so lovely to be back in the tent again! Cacooned in my sleeping bag it was comfy, toasty and warm.

We ate breakfast whilst we watched the valley slowly clear of the low cloud, and reveal its brilliant colours of all varieties of green. It was a beautiful, peaceful morning.

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We were only about 100mts from the entrance to Tonina ruins, so after pack up we moved the bikes to the parking and ventured in. We were both surprised it was free and we were confident to leave our helmets on the bikes, with a policeman watching over them.

After a short walk in, we reached a museum, which was completely unexpected. We looked through and managed to glean quite a bit of information from the spanish signs. There were some very cool artifacts in the museum, and although we couldn’t understand everything, it was quite amazing!

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We ventured further down the track, about 1km, where we skidded down a slippery slope and across a very old wooden bridge, when the ruins came into view. What a spectacular site – the colours of the rocks contrasted beautifully with the vibrant green of the glass and the grey of the sky.

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We spent the next few hours clambering all over the ruins, making our way to the very top of the acropolis. Boy, what a steep, steep climb on VERY narrow steps. I can not believe how fit the Maya people who lived here must of been – that is no easy climb! All us Westerners there were using our hands and climbing as you would a ladder, it was that steep! But the reward was the sensational view from the top…. Magnificent beauty! I am very excited to learn more about the Maya culture and am keen on visiting more ruins as we move through this area!

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Back at the motos, we hit the road. Our route today was going to take us to El Chiflon, a massive waterfall we have heard good things about. We decided to take the back route from Ocosingo to Comitan, and then onto the falls.

It was lovely riding through small, rural villages and were clearly off the tourist trail now. It was a relatively easy ride, although the road deteriorated significantly in some spots so we were at 100% concentration all day. Lots of potholes and what were once potholes, but were now just massive gaps in bitumen.

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T – At one point the road had become so slippery that a semi trailer had jack knifed and slid down and across the road blocking it completely! At this point it paid to be on our small posties as, with the help of a few bystanders, we were able to drag the bikes into a ditch and under the rear of the trailer before riding merrily away.

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C – It was a cold and damp ride again, and were both looking forward to the elevation drop we would experience at the falls.

After stopping for lunch in Comitan, we took to the road which would drop us 1000mt in elevation down to the falls. This road was in poor condition with no bitumen left at all and we experienced a fun moment of being the passers, not the passee’s, as the cars had to drive slower and slower whilst Mable and Rosie were in their element!dsc07706 dsc07705

The views over the valley were sensational, with dark clouds threatening rain and golden shafts of sunshine breaking through, shining down over the large lake below us.

We paid our entry to the falls ($25 pesos) and then went to look at the camping. Neither of us were keen on the walk in camping, which would require us to lug our camping gear and also leave the girls alone in the carpark all night. Not an attractive option. After some negotiation, the staff agreed we could camp in the lower lot, for $25 pesos each! So cheap!

Walking up to the falls was stunning, with three smaller falls appearing as we ventured up, up, up. The water was a milky blue and icy cold. We were  both sweating and hot by the time we reached the top and it was lovely to walk right up to the massive falls and catch the cool spray coming off the rapids.

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We found ourselves a lovely, hidden spot right on the front of the river to pitch the tent and enjoyed a cold cerveza as we silently watched the river tumble past.

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Tomorrow, we will ride along the border road and then cut back North through some small villages on a rural route. We will probably stop in a border town, en route to Palenque.

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