May 08

Stage 4: Southern Mexico (AKA Operation: Glorious Ruination!)

Operation: Glorious Ruination!

Click to enlarge the map of Stage 4

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!  I’m excited about this one!  The fourth stage of the Tour de Zack also known as Operation: Glorious Ruination will take me from Mexico City to Playa del Carmen, a party town on the far eastern end of the Yucatan Peninsula.  This 2800 km beast of a stage will take me all through Southern Mexico and the states of Puebla, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo.  There is so much to look forward to it requires bullet points!  Here’s a taster:

  • Eating mole in it’s hometown Puebla… mmmm
  • Hiking/biking between villages in the cloud forests of Oaxaca
  • Beach bumming it for a week in Puerto Escondido area
  • Diving in the Cenotes
  • Diving in Cozumel
  • Partying it up in Playa del Carmen

Those are all well and good, but being the keen observer that you are,  you will have noticed that something is missing.


Teotihuacan was just the warmup.

My mission – and I have chosen to accept it – is to make myself sick of ancient pyramids and ruins.    They are sprinkled all over this route like acne on a pubescent sexually frustrated teenager.  On this route I will be visiting the magnificent ruins at Palenque. On this route I will be visiting the magnificent ruins at Calakmul.  On this route I will be visiting the magnificent ruins at Ek Balam.  On this route I will be visiting the magnificent ruins at Coba.  On this route I will be visiting the magnificent ruins at Tulum. I am going to be so tired of triangular stacks of stone that by time I get to the even-more-magnificent-new-seventh-wonder-of-the-world ruins of Chichen Itza the herds of sweaty tripod-dragging tourists and the accompanying knick-knack vendors will be a welcome diversion.  “What’s that?  Would I like to by a sculpted obsidian knife?  Why of course I would!  It is exactly what I never knew I wanted!  Can I have one of those fake jade turtles too?  EXCELLENT! Muchas gracias amigo!”

Heading out

This is a long stage.  I’ll be going from mountains to beaches to mountains to steaming jaguar infested jungles and then back to beaches over the next two months but rest assured that Tony and I are ready.

Tony has been outfitted with new waterproof rear panniers, ready for those warm tropical showers that the island boy in me loves so much.  Unfortunately the super-tires that I ordered got “lost” in the post somewhere in Mexico, so we will be continuing with the cheap mexican tires we are currently sporting until Oaxaca -there we will be swapping out for some tires more suited to off-roading.

My two relaxed weeks in Mexico City has done me wonders, I am feeling rested and revitalised and more than ready to rock this next stage.  Special mention of thanks goes out to my friends Polo, Raquel, and Fabiola who have had to put up with me in their living room for this entire time.  You are all stars.


In any case, it’s time to pack it up and get on the road to Puebla!  I can smell the mole from here!  Oh, wait… no… uh… no… that’s uh… yeah, that’s not mole…




Stage 4 Elevation profile



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