5 am wasn’t the nicest time to be arriving into a new place but as we were a little disorganised it wasn’t a completely bad thing. We had travelled from Palenque to Villahermosa and quickly decided that it wasn’t going to be the nicest place to spend a few days so we jumped back onto an overnight bus to Campeche. So there we were, in town before a lot of things opened, well before the sun was up. Given the amount of day we had in front of us you would think that finding accommodation would be easy. Not so. A lot of the hotels were over our budget here and the ones which weren’t were unsure if they had private rooms available until midday when guests were due to check-out. So we detoured to eat breakfast at the only food place we could find. After re-energising with an eggy breakfast we found a hotel which looked good and were able to leave our packs at reception.
Without our packs we took off to explore the town. Campeche is a Pueblo Magico and colonial period walled town full of cute pastel coloured buildings. After heading further north we were also really noticing the increase in temperature and humidity. We walked down to the malecon where we looked at the perfectly flat water of the Gulf of Mexico and took some touristy photos of the ‘Campeche’ sign. Afterwards we decided we would check out one of the bulwarks as Campeche similar to Veracruz used to have a fortified wall and towers (bulwarks) to protect themselves from pirates. The Baluarte de Soledad houses a small but interesting museum detailing the various Mayan archaeological sites in the area. It showcases some of the architectural detailing from the temples, pyramids and other buildings as well as sculptures, friezes and steles.
Next stop was into the Museo del la Ciudad which we decided on because we were suffering from the heat a little and there would be air-conditioning inside for sure. This museum had recently been done up and was immaculate in design and had a lot of audiovisual displays telling us all about the long history of Campeche, but especially detailing the maritime aspects.
After escaping the heat inside the museum we decided to head back to the hotel where surely our room would be ready. This is where we got a bit of a curve ball as arriving back to the hotel we were informed that the people they expected to check-out had decided to stay another night and so they didn’t have the cheaper of the private rooms available. So what could we do other than put our packs back on and head back out to find another place to stay.
After walking around for an hour or so in the heat and humidity it started to rain. Great, but at least it had cooled down. We eventually decided on a budget hotel which looked a little overpriced for what the room looked like but at least we had chosen something and we could finally put our packs down. To celebrate finding accommodation we headed out into the rainy evening for…Chinese buffet. The food was actually really good (and full of veges unlike most Mexican cuisine) but the rain had increased so we ended up walking back to our hotel in a downpour. Not the first time stuck out in a storm and won’t be the last.
After a slightly uncomfortable night in our single beds, mine with a lovely slump in the middle of it, we headed out to visit Edzna archaeological site which was about a 45 minutes away. We stopped off in the market for brunch while trying to find the colectivos and Tom made the executive decision of hamburguesitas or the teeniest hamburgers I had ever seen. So we needed multiple and they were quite tasty. Arriving at Edzna and it was obviously not a popular site, we were one of maybe three groups there, so had plenty of space to see everything and take some silly selfies. The main pyramid was quite impressive although we weren’t allowed to climb it. Once we arrived back in Campeche we did some more exploring around the city centre including the Bulwarte de Santiago which now houses a small botanic garden.
Day three in Campeche we first took a local bus out to one of the forts outside the old city centre. Two of these had been built to assist with the protection of the historic city; Fuerte San Miguel which now houses a museum and Fuerte de San Jose. The heat of the day was really getting to me and I was a bit cranky but as always there were things to see and we wouldn’t be leaving this climate any time soon. For the afternoon we walked around the limits of the historic centro checking out the other parts of the old wall. Passing through the zocalo our last stop was Casa No.6. This house has been set up as a historic replica. We have seen a few other historic houses on our travels and this one wasn’t as good but still had some nice parts.
Our final day we headed off quickly to see the other fort I mentioned above before walking back to the hotel for our check out. As usual we arrived back a little past 12 noon. We always seem to push the limits with our check out times but so far we haven’t been told off about it…yet. We talked with the hotel owners for a while, getting some tips about our upcoming bus before heading out into the midday heat. We were off to Merida and I seriously doubted that it would be any cooler there, especially because everyone who had been there said hot hot it was.