We rode a tandem bicycle through the salt flats of the Yucatan in Mexico on one of our shore excursions on our recent cruise.
After we had stopped to look at the salt flats, we all hopped on tandem bicycles for a ride along the highway that runs through the flats. I would assume that everyone knows what a tandem bicycle is, but if you don’t, you might also know it as a bicycle built for two. Two people ride it, front to back. Not side by side like some of those surrey bicycles that you might see elsewhere.
But the first photo here is a bit misleading, because that wasn’t how we rode. We started off with me on the front, but our guide said that the back person could take it easy and take pictures or something, so we swapped. And not because I insisted, but because Laura said she didn’t mind. So I snapped away while we rode.
We went along the highway that our safari bus had been driving on. And as you can see, there wasn’t that much traffic through there. Which was nice for us bike riders. The bus was behind us, and the driver would blow the horn whenever anyone would be passing us, just to remind us to stay in our lane.
Along the way, we passed more salt flats like what we had stopped to look at. And although the clouds might look menacing here, it never did rain. A little rain might have helped with the heat just a bit, but it wasn’t all that bad, especially when we were moving.
Because of the way the bicycles were made, the front rider couldn’t sit on the seat and touch the ground, so that made getting started a little tricky until we got it figured out. But once we did, we were riding along like pros. Laura had to tell me to stop pedaling a couple of times when I was paying more attention to the camera than to the fact that we were slowing down. But then I could put my feet out to steady us as we were slowing down so that we didn’t fall over or anything. Once we got going, it was fun!
Along the way, we passed a sign for our next destination, Zona Arqueológica Xcambó, or the Xcambo Archeological Zone. But you could probably figure that out since the Spanish words are similar to the English words. However, when we saw this sign and didn’t know what the “Z.A.” stood for, I was a little curious. So now you know.
Once we got to the Xcambo site, we stopped to pay the entrance fee, which was $4 per person. I liked this view of the bus and the bicycles parked out there. We never did have any trouble finding our bus, by the way. Hard to hide something like that.
We then rode a little more, this time along the gravel road that led on back into the ruins. Fortunately, the road was rather smooth, so that riding on it wasn’t any more difficult than riding on the paved highway.
Through the trees, we could see some stone structures, which were some of the ancient ruins of the area. And as it turns out, these weren’t even the main ones that we were going to see, but just some others that we passed along the way. How cool that they have that there! But more about those later on.
Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth; sing praise to the Lord, to Him who rides in the ancient, highest heavens. Look, He thunders with His powerful voice! - Psalm 68:32-33
About the photo:
The first photo was actually taken with the GoPro camera instead of the usual Olympus camera, which was used for all the other photos. I also got some GoPro video, and that will be coming in a video of our trip sooner or later. Probably later.
I also switched lenses back and forth as we were riding along. That’s how good Laura was at steering us. I could have held onto the second set of handlebars, but they really didn’t do anything anyway. So I just had to make sure not to drop a camera lens as we were going along. That would have been bad.
Photos: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Cameras: Olympus OM-D E-M10 and GoPro Hero3+ Silver
Lenses: Olympus 14-42mm IIR and Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: July 19, 2016 Location: Xcambo, Yucatan, Mexico