This was not the best morning of the trip.  In fact, it was the worst, for me anyway.

I woke up feeling a little nauseous.  Barry thought maybe it was because I didn't sleep well, but I wasn't so sure.  I had only had one cervasa at the pizza place the night before, so it certainly wasn't a hangover.  And Barry had had the same pizza and felt fine, so it wasn't the pizza. 

When we were waiting on our breakfast to be served at the Hotel Xibalba in Palenque, I started feeling worse.  After a couple of bites of plain toast, I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep it down.  I bolted to our room and to the bathroom, where I lost my previous night's dinner along with the small amount of breakfast I'd eaten.  (I hope that's not too much information!)  We had to catch a bus leaving in less than an hour, and it was hard to even imagine traveling as all I wanted to do was lie down and rest.  Somehow I got myself together, got back down to the table, and paid for our breakfast.  We checked out and made it onto the bus just in the nick of time.  I was still feeling a bit queasy and weak, but better than before my run for the porcelain god.

After analyzing what we'd both eaten over the past couple of days, Barry suggested that it might have been the salad I'd eaten at Entropia in San Cristobal de las Casas the night before last.  That's something he didn't eat, and you know what they say about raw foods and Montezuma's Revenge.  I figured the law of averages had finally caught up to me.

Fortunately, I was feeling better from then on out, just a little weak.  I had no appetite and ate nothing at all until dinnertime that day.  But, back to the story.

Today we our bus took us from Palenque back to Campeche, Mexico.  When planning this trip in Belize, we certainly didn't expect to return to Campeche.  It was initially just a convenient stop on the outbound portion of our trip, but turned out to be one of our favorite places we visited.  

Fortunately, this bus ride was not full of sick, coughing people, and we had great seats right in the front row passenger side, giving us a wide-angle view out the huge front windshield.  Since we'd booked all our tickets at one time in San Cristobal, we actually got these same seats (3 and 4) for the entire rest of our trip -- what a score.  We could see so much more than out the side windows.  And there were some interesting things to see!
Juggler just outside Palenque
Our bus driver reading while he drove (eeek!)
Uh-oh...traffic jam ahead!
Experiences like this remind you you're not in the USA!
Slower traffic keep right...
Car in front of us being searched at traffic stop
We were happy to see this sign after all that travel excitement.
Because I was still feeling pretty weak, we decided to take a cab from the bus station this time, since it was a long slog to the hotel -- we'd planned to stay at the Hotel Castelmar, where we'd stayed before.  

We were able to get a room, but as a walk-in, the room we were given wasn't nearly as nice as the large, inside courtyard room we had the first time around.  That room was quiet, with two beds and plenty of room.  This room was on the streetside and was very small with only one bed.  When the attendant left, we realized that it was going to be really, really noisy as the windows were ancient and didn't filter out much sound, and there was a lot of traffic on the busy street below.

We thought about asking for a different room, but we'd already put stuff everywhere and rumpled the bedspread, and I just didn't feel comfortable complaining, especially in a foreign language that I barely spoke.  Times like this are when you really miss being able to speak your native language.  Barry was in a grumpy mood because of the noise but somehow managed to take a nap -- I think he was just exhausted.  

We headed to our favorite Campeche restaurant for dinner that night, Luz de Luna.  I didn't risk having anything more interesting or spicy than chicken-vegetable soup with my stomach issue, but Barry had chicken fajitas, served with all the sauces he loves.
Chicken fajitas, Luz de Luna style
My chicken soup -- just what the doctor ordered
I felt good enough to walk around that evening, and we were delighted to find this 2013 calandario at a small shop.  We'd been looking for a calendar during our entire trip, but all we'd managed to find were Mayan calendars or a couple of others that were too large to easily carry along in our limited luggage.  This smaller one was perfect and would serve as a reminder of our wonderful trip.  Inexpensive too!
It was a happening night in the city, and we happened upon a concert in the park area not too far from our hotel.  There were lots of people watching, singing, and dancing around.  Very festive!
We also saw that a new Jorge Marin art exhibit had hit the pedestrian streets since we were in town before, but figured we'd get more photos in the morning with better light.
The beautiful streets of Campeche's Centro Historico
When we got back to our room, we took our showers and hit the hay early.  Almost right as my head hit the pillow, I started hearing a marching band practicing.  It sounded like they were right outside our window.  Even with earplugs, the rhythmic banging of the drums was really loud, and I couldn't believe that Barry had managed to fall asleep, but somehow he had. The practice seemed to last for hours, as every time they would stop for awhile, and I'd think surely it was over, after a five or ten minute break, it would start back up again, as loud as ever.  I'm not sure, but it seemed to go on until nearly midnight.  

After many nights of firecrackers around the December 12 Virgen de Guadelupe celebrations, we'd expected some quieter nights at this stage of the trip, but we'd have to wait a little longer.  Mexico is definitely a night-time kind of place and can be a bit of an adjustment for early-to-bed folks like ourselves.  

Stay tuned as tomorrow we head back to Merida, but not without one last look at Campeche's attractive waterfront and artistry!  
Larry Merrill
2/12/2013 12:04:28 am

I sure seeing the running of the Bulls was much more exciting than the running to the Bowl!

BeBelize Emily
2/12/2013 01:26:15 am

Heheh, you got that straight, Larry!


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