Saturday, July 2, 2011

Forbidden Mayan Parking

    While it's not unusual for the bike to draw a crowd, these guys weren't so interested in where I was heading or where I was from. Rather, they were most critical of my choice of parking.
     I'd paid my last Peso (I was waiting to receive a pin # for my debit card) for the ticket to enter the Mayan ruins at Palenque and as I was entering asked at the front desk for them to put one important bag (which I couldn't carry, I was already carrying one) someplace safe. This was no problem at the ruins of El Tahin but the State employee here wanted 30 Pesos to put my bag behind the counter. After telling of my Pesoless plight, the lady looked up at me with her hands up, palms to the sky and shook her head.
    Being the persistent sort, I spied an access road to the ruins behind a fence which could be reached on a motorcycle, reloaded and mounted my bike and took to the trails. As I rode through the ruins I mused over thoughts of blasting by the blood thirsty assholes that used to run the joint (before the Spaniards showed them what true viciousness was) while aboard my trusty steed. After finding a good place to park, it didn't take too long for the assholes currently running things to arrive (they were the university variety of asshole). The exchange was one sided and it was very clear that a couple of them wanted to kick my ass. They called ahead to have all the exits blocked and I awaited the police.
    The Municipal police of Palenque are pretty nice guys, one of them rode my bike back to town as I was escorted in air conditioned comfort. Upon arriving at the police station on Palenque square every cop in town arrived to gawk at the crazy gringo and his BMW. Most of the officers were equipped with 350cc Yamaha motorcycles and the motorcyclist camaraderie was most apparent, I was a hit. As I checked out their bikes, which were nice by Mexican standards, one of the officers stated "is shit" and then pointed at my r1150gs his other hand balled in a fist, raised parallel with his eyes, pumping fore and aft, and said "muy bueno".
     After an hour or so hobnobbing with the coppers I was told that I was being charged with entering a forbidden zone and the fine was 200 Pesos (about $17). Someone allowed me to use their blackberry to check my e-mail and fortunately my brother had parleyed my pin #. I was escorted to the ATM, withdrew some cash, paid the fine, and I was off. As I left the police once again gathered around as I departed to see me off (I even got a giggle and a wink out of a particularly cute one). 
     I then rode my bike over to the cafe I'd been patronizing the previous couple of days to check my mail before blowing town. As I dismounted a guy I'd talked to the previous day intercepted me, he knew of the whole ordeal, giving details as he laughed. He concluded in saying, "Ju famous man!" To which I nodded my head, smiled, and thought more infamous than famous, dude, more infamous than famous.


  1. I went to Tajin too! It was amazing. So did you get hit by the hurricane? I'm glad to hear your run-in with the cops was brief. You need to write a book about this adventure.

  2. What an incredible "bump" in the journey! Definitely interesting! Thanks for sharing! I've not seen the 350s, but got to ride the 250s in Costa Rica, briefly. Loved the little zip zip.... I think it would be fun to have a little bike like those. :)