One of our shortest days yet saw us riding along a superb coastal road, destination Campeche. Pelicans divebombed the clear, green-blue waters of the Mexican Gulf to our left in search of unlucky fish as we cruised along the gently winding tarmac. We’d had a choice of two routes – as usual, a bit of a no-brainer…either the new main toll road – a dual-carriageway running inland, or the old main road – a single carriageway route running 10 metres from the sea along the coast. I guess that locals, long tired of the superb coastal views, would take the faster toll roads…but with a 55mph crusing speed and time to spare, the coastal route suits us down to the ground. Having read up (briefly) on the history of Campeche at an internet cafe (turbulent – bearing the brunt of sea-borne attacks by the English (oops), French, Dutch and pirates for many years until the King got properly annoyed and impressively fortified the town), it was easy to imagine pirate galleons, bristling with cannon dropping anchor in the clear blue waters of the many concealed inlets and bays approaching Campeche. It was even easier when some creative navigation by Matt led to a fortified redoubt overlooking the city on a small hill – one of six armed positions protecting the city and harbour from marauders. A town centre hotel, apparently established in 1939 and currently undergoing what appears to be the first redecoration, was home for the night, bikes locked, covered and alarmed outside. Campeche is a picturesque town, old pastel painted houses in neat rows sit shoulder to shoulder with parts of the ancient town, old churches and the cathedral bracketing the main square that’s overlooked by an impressive mayoral (I think) building. Sections of the old city walls form monuments to the besiged past of the area, now mostly broken down as peace descended and the industrialisation began. The city “feels” really nice – which sounds bizarre but means a lot – it’s funny ‘cos we can usually work out whether we like a place within five minutes of entering the city limits! Campeche felt friendly, a bustling market where we weren’t hassled by hawkers and dinner in a busy but unhurried cafe heightening the impression. Nice place, recommended!