Lots of old ruins among this month’s snaps. And alongside those pictures of Ruth and Will – ba-dom-tish! – quite a few photos of some archaeological sites. For more where these came from, click here.

 


 

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We’d heard that the highway between San Cristóbal de las Casas and Palenque, unfriendly at the best of times, was more than usually edgy in early November. We decided to take the bus, and we’re glad we did – although we didn’t know it at the time, the road had been blocked by Zapatista protesters, and our coach was forced into a diversion that turned a five-hour journey into a ten-hour slog. Cycling out of Palenque two days later, we then ran into another, friendlier road-block protest, this one closing the main highway to Belize. The main sign reads: ‘We condemn acts of injustice in the country. We join together to demand the 43 young, missing normalistas from Ayotzinapa. They were taken alive, and we want them alive.’
junction of Rutas 186 & 199, Chiapas, Mexico
5 November 2014

 


 

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Dinner dinner dinner dinner…
Ruta 186 between Centenario & Xpujil, Campeche, Mexico
8 November 2014

 


 

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We did a little homework on Mexico’s pre-Hispanic civilisations before we arrived in the Yucatán Peninsula. As a result, we’ve enjoyed the various Maya archaeological sites much more than we feared we might. This is Becán, an unheralded but extraordinary ruin that was first settled more than 2,000 years ago. In contrast to the coach-party crowds that descend on other Maya sites, this one was blissfully empty.
Zona Arqueológica Becán, Campeche, Mexico
9 November 2014

 


 

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What’s another year?
Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Quintana Roo, Mexico
12 November 2014

 


 

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On their roadside signage, Mexican authorities favour the kind of aphorisms you might find on the self-help shelves of a discount bookstore. This one portentously advises drivers that ‘After an accident, nothing is the same’. We suspect the dread hand of Alain de Botton.
Ruta 307 between Felipe Carrillo Puerto & Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
12 November 2014

 


 

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One of the resident iguanas at Tulum, another Maya site, enjoying the view out into the Caribbean Sea.
Zona Arqueológica Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
14 November 2014

 


 

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The ball games played by ancient Maya civilisations are believed to have ended with the captain of the losing team being sacrificed on the field of play. This would explain the presence, embedded in what would have been the centre-circle of the ball court at Cobá, of a human skull. On the right, another skull, this one of rather more recent vintage.
Zona Arqueológica Cobá & Ruta 307, Quintana Roo, Mexico
12 & 14 November 2014

 


 

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And, for luck, a couple more, both among the 3,000 works of Mexican folk art collected by American expatriate John Venator and displayed at his home-cum-museum, the Casa de los Venados.
Valladolid, Yucatán, Mexico
16 November 2014

 


 

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Convinced that there must be some interesting cycling around the Yucatán Peninsula, Will headed out on a blind day ride to the coast north of Mérida. The back roads weren’t spectacular, but they were much more fun than the endless tree-lined highways further east – not least when the land gave way to water and yielded the dazzling surprise of more than 500 flamingos.
Wetlands near Chuburná, Yucatán, Mexico
22 November 2014

 


 

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British invention and eccentricity at its finest. Will ran into Dave and Sarah, a lovely, dry-witted couple from the West Country, at a small archaeological site south of Mérida. While admiring their beautiful, custom-made Robin Mather bikes, Will spotted that one of the bottle cages attached to Dave’s bike is currently carrying a jar of peanut butter.
Zona Arqueológica Kabáh, Yucatán, Mexico
25 November 2014

 


 

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This is downtown Hecelchakán at the height of morning rush hour. As in many towns around the Yucatán Peninsula, cars are vastly outnumbered by bicycles, which in turn are outnumbered by utility tricycles. These sturdy workhorses carry both cargo and people – tricitaxis, in the local parlance. The first thing you notice is the noise, or lack of it: the only sound is the gentle hum of tyres on tarmac. At least until the shops open, that is, and start blasting out Mexican pop through gigantic speakers…
Hecelchakán, Campeche, Mexico
26 November 2014

 


 

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Well, it is Christmas. (Nearly.)
San Francisco de Campeche, Campeche, Mexico
28 November 2014

 


 

from Frontera, Tabasco, Mexico