To Merida and the Famous Chichen Itza Ruins

It was time to leave Cancun after a week and head to Merida and Chichen Itza. I could have stopped at Chichen Itza along the way but decided I would get a hotel in Merida and then take a tour to Chichen Itza after my new credit card arrived.

On the way to Merida I just had to stop at the Italian Coffee Company for another Oreo Frap.


Once again I took the toll road to take it easy on my stomach. I can still feel the effects of the operation I had. It was boring though. Just a straight road with brush on either side.

Waiting for my Visa Credit Card Again

The hotel I chose in Merida was the Zar. It is right next door to a UPS store. Surely they would know where to deliver my card to this time around πŸ™‚ Right away I Skyped with Visa and let them know where to send the new credit card to. For the next 3 days I waited for my new card to arrive. This time I didn’t wait around for the first 2 days as I knew it wouldn’t arrive that soon.

As I normally do, I walked around the area to get the lay of the land. A Starbucks was nearby! Great choice in hotels Brian ha ha. The Barista there was really nice and spoke such good English. I asked her where she learned. She told me she never took any classes but learned through watching reality TV shows! Her accent was near perfect. For the next few days she would greet me by name every time I showed up. For me, as a solo traveler, this means a lot. The one thing I miss are connections with people. I am not an outgoing person, although I try to be on the road, so these connections do not come often, especially where there is a language barrier.

A laundromat was a little more difficult to find. The directions I got from people led me to drycleaners and not a laundromat. With a little research, and intuition where one might be, I found one just up the street.

On the third day my Visa card arrived first thing in the morning. And this time is was a new number. Finally this fiasco was over. Now I could book a tour to Chichen Itza. I heard so much about it. They are famous ruins. My expectation were high.

Chichen Itza According to UNESCO

The UNESCO website says this about Chichen Itza:

The town of Chichen-Itza was established during the Classic period close to two natural cavities (cenotes or chenes), which gave the town its name “At the edge of the well of the Itzaes”. The cenotes facilitated tapping the underground waters of the area. The dates for this settlement vary according to subsequent local accounts: one manuscript gives 415-35 A.D., while others mention 455 A.D. The town that grew up around the sector known as Chichen Viejo already boasted important monuments of great interest: the Nunnery, the Church, Akab Dzib, Chichan Chob, the Temple of the Panels and the Temple of the Deer. They were constructed between the 6th and the 10th centuries in the characteristic Maya style then popular both in the northern and southern areas of the Puuc hills.

The second settlement of Chichen-Itza, and the most important for historians, corresponded to the migration of Toltec warriors from the Mexican plateau towards the south during the 10th century. According to the most common version, the King of Tula, Ce Acatl Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, or Kukulkan as the Maya translated the name, reportedly took the city between 967 A.D. and 987 A.D.

Following the conquest of YucatΓ‘n a new style blending the Maya and Toltec traditions developed, symbolizing the phenomenon of acculturation. Chichen-Itza is a clear illustration of this fusion. Specific examples are, in the group of buildings to the south, the Caracol, a circular stellar observatory whose spiral staircase accounts for its name, and, to the north, El Castillo (also known as the Temple of Kukulkan). Surrounding El Castillo are terraces where the major monumental complexes were built: on the north-west are the Great Ball Court, Tzompantli or the Skull Wall, the temple known as the Jaguar Temple, and the House of Eagles; on the north-east are the Temple of the Warriors, the Group of the Thousand Columns, the Market and the Great Ball Court; on the south-west is the Tomb of the High Priest.

After the 13th century no major monuments seem to have been constructed at Chichen-Itza and the city rapidly declined after around 1440 A.D. The ruins were not excavated until 1841 A.D.

Chichen Itza Tour

I had booked a Grayline tour through the hotel concierge that picked me up at my hotel. Chichen Itza is a hour and a half drive from Merida.

The tour seems to come out of the Mayaland Hotel situated right on the edge of the Chichen Itza ruins. A really nice hotel with an amazing old tree.



This is wher the Chichen Itza tour started.


Before getting to actual ruins we had to pass through a gauntlet of people selling stuff to tourists.


This is all over the ruin sight. They are everywhere. No souvenirs for me as I have no room on my motorcycle for them.

Finally the ruins appeared. The famous El Castillo:





The Great Ball Court where the winners of the game were sacrificed to the gods. The losers were banned from the city and were to make babies for the gods. Huuuummmm I think I would throw the game.



Juego de Pelota:


The tour was rather short. There seemed to be a bit more that we didn’t see on the tour. We had a hour of free time so I went exploring around some crumbled small ruins before a buffet lunch that came with the tour.

Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I have to say that for me the ruins were a disappointment. Teotihuacan outside of Mexico City were far more impressive and larger. Plus you could climb up on the pyramids. Perhaps Chichen Itza has more historical value, but from a uninformed tourist point of view (me) I liked Teotihuacan much more.

My Route for Location from April 10, 2017


My Location from April 11 to 14, 2017


The Route for my Chichen Itza Tour


Cancun Conundrum

On arriving back in Mexico I stayed a night in Chetamul and then rode to Cancun to face a conundrum. I was looking forward to Cancun as I have heard so much about it. But my first priority was to get my new Visa credit card after mine had somehow been compromised.

Waiting for my Visa Credit Card

I booked Monday to Friday in the Hotel Margaritas to wait for my new credit card which Visa said they were couriering over. It was suppose to reach me in 2 business days. The one catch was that they said I needed to personally sign for it and that they couldn’t give me a tracking number yet.

Soooooooo, for the next three and a half days I waited and waited and waited in the hotel lobby for my card to arrive.

waiting-for UPS

And spent the evenings in my room, playing Age of Empires and watching Hogan’s Heroes. Love that show.



On day two I finally got a tracking number which helped. It said the package was in Cancun. Later the UPS site said it was undeliverable because the address was wrong. WHAT?! I gave the hotel name twice to the Visa rep I talked to. And read the address to him a couple of times. I got the hotel staff to phone UPS and explain where I was. UPS said it would be delivered the next day.

It didn’t arrive!

By this time I was extremely frustrated. I could feel it welling up inside me. I shot off a couple angry emails to UPS just to vent. They didn’t answer and that made me even more ticked.

By the afternoon of the fourth day it finally arrived. For a moment I was elated. I went to my room and opened the package. The elation came to an abrupt end when I realized Visa had sent me the exact same card I already had! How was this going to solve the problem of my card being compromised?!

I Skyped with Visa and after being passed to three different people they discovered they had made a mistake. I guess those things happen but I was so pissed. I had wasted 4 days in Cancun waiting for this. Visa gave me 5,000 Aeroplan miles to compensate, but this hardly made up for everything. All I could do is phone Visa back when I had another hotel for them to send it to. Cancun was too expensive for me to stay longer.

Searching for Hotels

I had gotten my hotel for a good price from Monday to Friday. But I had wasted those days waiting for my Visa. Everything is expensive in Cancun πŸ™ My hotel was going to be double the price over the weekend. At the same time I wanted to see Cancun, especially the famous beaches! So I bit the bullet and booked the weekend at the same hotel.

Cancun Beaches

The hotel had a free shuttle to the beach. I took advantage of it and on Saturday and Sunday I headed for the beach.

When I first saw the white powder beach and the crystal clear turquoise water I got a huge smile on my face. It was truly amazing! I spent most of the day walking up and down the beach in the water.










Cancun Beach Strip

It was hot walking the beach and by the afternoon I could feel myself getting burnt. I headed to the strip to see if I could find a cool place for a drink and use wifi.

The strip is made to party! It is filled with clubs and tourist stores.



This was certainly not the Mexico I had know for the last few months. I settled on going to Hooters as it was one of the few places open. It was only the afternoon so everyone must have been still sleeping.

It was cool inside and had wifi. My server? Well she was from Russia … huuummmm. Hard to tell I was in Mexico.


After my “Big Daddy” beer I saw this sign.


I guess I won’t go back on Sunday ha ha ha.

On Sunday I went to Haagen Daus for ice cream instead. I couldn’t believe it … 136 pesos or about $10 Canadian dollars for 2 scoops of ice cream! Things are very expensive in Cancun! Definitely catering to the reach tourists on vacation. That wasn’t me. This is everyday life for me.

While beach were so nice, the prices weren’t. It was time to leave Cancun.

My Route on April 3, 2017


My Location from April 4 to April 9


Anheuser-Busch St. Louis

What a great day today as I visited Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis and rode around seeing the sights.

Woke up today to clear blue skies. Haven’t seen that too often. And had a good sleep in my little Big Agnes tent.

There is a saying in adventure motorcycling, “all gear all the time,” AGATT. Well … I violated that today. I put on my jeans, golf shirt, runners and windbreaker and rode off to Starbucks. I did wear a helmet πŸ™‚ Starbucks still doesn’t accept my Visa. After paying for breakfast with my Mastercard, it was off to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis.


They have 3 tours at the brewery – Complimentary, Day Fresh for $10, and Brew Masters for $35. I took the Day Fresh Tour. The complex here is amazing. I was just as interested in the history contained in the buildings as in the beer making process. Throughout the tour you get samples of beer. And at the end you get a ticket for a pint of whatever Anheuser-Busch makes. Plus you get a gift pack of a bottle of beer pulled off the assemble line that day.

As for the history part, there are many historical buildings. Some date back to the late 1800s. Anyways … I’ll let my pictures do the talking here.
















At the end I sat in the Biergarten with my free pint of Michelob Golden.


I had planned to go to Busch Stadium where the St. Louis Cardinals play and to the St. Louis Arch. By this time it was after 1 pm so I decided to go. I was tempted to stay a lot longer and have something to eat too. I should have. But you just never know.

Busch Stadium

A couple of things I was hoping for. First, to be able to see a St. Louis Cardinals game. But they weren’t in town today. I could stay until they were but the weather was turning bad. Plus, baseball is no longer the inexpensive sport to watch like it once was. Perhaps I’ll see another team along the way.

Second, was to get a great picture on me on my bike outside of the stadium. I rode around the stadium several times. There just wasn’t a spot without paying money for parking. Typical downtown I suppose. Anyways, I did quickly pull into this space and take a quick picture.


St Louis Arch

Just like Busch Stadium, I drove around the Arch several times looking for a spot to pull over and take a picture without paying for parking. I even went to the spot I went to 3 years ago to take a picture. However, it was closed for church parking. Oh well. I saw it and have the picture from 3 years ago.


It was back to the KOA campsite after a good day. Time to relax and do nothing, which is hard for me to do. Something I am trying to do without much success.

It was fun riding around it though.

Entering Minnesota

It was time to ride to Minnesota.

I woke up early to the first day I have had of dew. Fall is on its way! I had to pack up a wet tent. It is time to head south. But first I wanted to get to Minneapolis to change my rear tire, and to go to Itasca State Park to follow the Mississippi River to New Orleans.


Since I was near a major town, my first stop was Starbucks. I actually had to check the door to see if they were open as there was no one there. Back home the place would be packed on a Sunday morning. it was open.


I have been having one problem at Starbucks in the US. They just got new credit/debit card machines and they will not take my Visa! It keeps saying declined. I think I mentioned this happening in Fairbanks. I called Visa and they said nothing was wrong with my card, but it was the Starbucks machines. Instead of Visa I’ve had to use my Mastercard. Good to carry both cards.


As I entered Minnesota the landscape began to change. Instead of the bald, flat, prairie, of South Dakota, it became more green. Instead of ranching there was more farming. Trees also became more prevalent. Still flat though.

KOA Northwest Minneapolis

My aim today was to get to the KOA in Northwest Minneapolis. It was the closest to Moon Motorsports where I intend to get a new tire. I only pre-booked one night until I could see what the campsite was like. It was great. So I booked 2 more nights.

First thing was to wash my tent and dry it.

Next was to find something to eat. There was a sports bar down the street. Perfect.

Mamma Gs

OK …. now for one of my pet peeves. The sports bar was called Mamma Gs. It advertises itself as an “authentic” sports bar. It does have a unique feature. Outside it has lots of breach volleyball courts and holds tournaments. Pretty cool actually. There was one going on when I was there. It was packed.

OK … my pet peeve. If you are going to call yourself a sports bar, then play sports and not music! The Olympics were on and quite a few of us were watching it on the TVs. But in the background was rock music. I asked if we could have the sound of the Olympics on. Nope! How can you call yourself a sports bar and value music over the sound of what is happening in a major sporting event? Rant done.

Oh … the food was horrible. I ordered fish and chips. It was a slab of frozen fish with tarter sauce in packets. I got plastic utensils to eat it with.

Huuuummmm I am lacking in pictures today. Sorry πŸ™

Route for August 14, 2016


The Troubles

Today was a day to try and fix the troubles with my motorcycle. The first task was to go to Lowes or Home Depot to get a strap for my fuel canister. Of course it was raining. And of course Lowes and Home Depot did not have what I needed.

Next stop was to get gas. On the way I noticed that my turn signals weren’t working. In fact nothing on my left side switch was working! Crap! After getting gas, which I paid for using my Visa card, I went to Starbucks before the BMW Motorcycle Shop opened. I went to pay for my purchase and my Visa credit card was declined! Crap again. Using Skype I phone Visa and they said nothing was wrong with my card but that Starbucks was using a Mastercard system. What???? I did eventually pay with my Mastercard and it worked. They assured me nothing was wrong with my card.

I got to the Motorcycle Shop and they were quite helpful, despite having a no walk ins policy.


The mechanic attempted to get the switch to work but couldn’t. He told me I would need to order a new switch. I asked if they could also order the other damaged parts. The part are suppose to arrive tomorrow by FedEx. My fingers are crossed! I did end up purchasing the Touratech strap and bracket for my fuel canister. An expensive waste to get the bracket too. Oh well.

Also While waiting at the Motorcycle Shop a couple of interesting things happened.


First, this is where Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman from Long Way Round stopped to have their motorcycles repaired. Apparently, a spoke was missing from the back tire and they simply had the whole tire replaced. The old tire was on display.


Second, I met Dr. Samuel Becker who was also getting his motorcycle repaired. He is on a trek from Florida to Alaska and crashed outside of Canmore. You can read his blog here – We got to talking about my medical conditions and he had a few suggestions that may help. Interesting. One thing about going to a motorcycle repair shop is that you meet the most interesting people. It is a great place for people to meet and share stories and advice.

The funny thing is, as I left The Motorcycle Shop, all of a sudden one thing after another started to work on my switch. First the turn signals, then my light, then the horn and the GPS switch. Go figure. I thought it may be moisture but the mechanic said there was no moisture in the switch. Probably should get it replaced anyways.

After a day of troubles I was able to spend the rest of it writing my daily journals and communicating with people. That part is nice. Thank you to everyone who sends me comments etc. They are much appreciated.

And then it was back to the Blue Fox Pub for dinner to top off the day.


Route for July 21, 2016

In and around this area in Anchorage trying to solve problems πŸ™‚


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