A Travellerspoint blog

Cancun

Back to where we started

02/11/09 - Cancun, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

What´s annoying me>>>itchiness from the insect bites. Both my legs are now covered in red blotches. The repellent (50% DEET) isn´t working

The plan was to go to the Sian Kaán Biosphere Reserve today but as the tours were all booked we decided to go back to Cancun a day earlier.

Before departing for Cancun in the afternoon we visit another cenote, one near Tulum. This is the best one yet. I do some snorkelling which is a great experince. When you get into the cool, crystal-clear water, the surreal experience of floating above the stalagmites and other rock formations is thrilling.

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Faffing about in the water, there are some nice fishes under the water. you´re not allowed to kill them
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In the afternoon we catch the 1 o´clock bus to Cancun. Having spent almost 3 weeks in th rest of Mexico´s Yucatan Peninsula and a few days in Guatemala, going back to Cancun is quite a culture shock. It is everything the rest of Mexico isn´t - bright, brash and tacky - and full of large white Americans. What struck me most was how crass it all seemed. As we made our way out of the bus station to look for a hotel we were blitzed by illuminated signs advertising car hire companiesand beach resorts. An Irish bar called Pat O´Briens offered us a free pitcher of Sangria, the local Planet Hollywood franchise offered 10 percent off the bill as did Hard Rock Cafe, KFC offered 9 free chicken nuggets and every bar, pub and restaurant was offering 2 for 1 on drinks.

The amazing thing is that 30 years ago there was absolutely nothing where this shrine to rampant consmerism now stands. It was just a tiny fishing village, a deserted sand spit and a hell of a lot of swamp. Then, int he early seventies a bright spark on the mexican tourist board came up with the idea of building a world class resort here. he resul is a bit of Florida on the Carrinbean, with just a touch of Mexican flavour.

Posted by Señor Usuf 15:46 Comments (0)

Coba

Ruins and crocs

01/12/09 - Coba, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

What´s annoying me>>>lack of toilet paper in hotels, always have to ask for extra

During the day we decide visit the ruins in Coba, set in muggy rainforest 50km northwest of Tulum. The site is fascinating. The clusters of buildings are spread out over several kilometres, so the area can absorb lots of visitors without feeling crowded, and you can amble through the forest in peace, looking out for toucans, egrets, coatis and myriad tropical butterflies. On our way to the site we spot a couple of crocodiles. It´s exciting to see crocodiles in the wild but I hjave to admit they really are not as exciting as in the movies and nature programmes. They just sat there occasionally moving their heads above the water. Still, the photos look good.

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We also met Stirling, an Australian guy visiting mexico. He´s been travelling around for a couple of months and has taken over 15,000 pictures which I find astonishing. In two weeks I´ve only taken about 600.

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Croc!!!

In the evening we drink at another ´cantina´a tiny local bar a couple of blocks from our hotel. It´s a scruffy place taht is a cross between a cafeteria and a sportsbar. It had a scattering of laminated tables and chairs and a big old television screen showing a replay of Real Madrid vs Bercelona (1-0 to Bercelona). It is run by a big cheerful chap who showed us to our table, talking excitedly in Spanish in the same manner as the loonies wandering the streets do. We only had a couple of beers as they only served Sol whihc is shit.

We decide to make our way back to Cancun tomorrow.

Posted by Señor Usuf 15:43 Comments (0)

More Ruins

But on top of a gorgeous beach this time - clever Mayans

30/11/09 - Tulum Ruins, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

If you´re in Tulum, you have to visit the ruins. So we decide to do that. But inj the morning we go to the beach which is stunning as usual on this side of Mexico.

In the afternoon we visit the ruins. Tulum, or the City of Dawn, is a collectiong of Toltec-inspired buildings on top of a cliff, overlooking a magical beach. My guidebook described it as a `product of Mayal civilisation in decline`, and that it was one of the last great Mayan cities. I think that had something to do with the location. It is breathtaking. If I were an ancient Mayan living here - a perfect white beach and blue waters only a short stroll from my stone hut - why would I bother continuing a life of conquering and pillaging? I´d just sit on my arse on the beach everyday where you´ve got great weather, great beach and seafood to burn.

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After two weeks stumbling around Mexico aggaravating people I attempted to speak to both with my simplistic questions and an inability to undertsand their replies, I have picked up very little Spanish. My Spanish language skills amount to little more than "una cerveza porfa" (one beer please) and the complementary phrase "donde estan los banos?" (where is the bathroom?).

Posted by Señor Usuf 15:24 Comments (0)

Tulum

Hitting the beach again

29/11/09 - Tulum, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

What I´m worried about>>>I´m starting to stop worrying

We are back on the Carribean coast when we arrive at Tulum. My first impressions of thye town are very positive. It´s a booming town that has evolved from a roadside waystation to a real population centre. I am impressed by the number of services on offer very close to our hotel: laundry (thank god as my clothes are starting to smell..), internet cafes (for doing blog and checking footie scores), ATMs (cash!), restaurants, bars showing football (v. important), supermakets, souvenir shops (can´t buy any yet as I don´t want to lug it around South America), newsagents and sex shops (porn). The last one´s a joke.

We don´t have much time to see any sights today so do a bit of internetting and some planning for the next four days.

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Some blokes hanging upside down
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Birds
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Nice beach
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Posted by Señor Usuf 15:21 Comments (0)

Back to Mexico

More long and ardous border crossings

28/11/09 - Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Random occurrences>>>losing one of the passengers ont he Belize-Guatemala border. God knows what happened to him

The journey back to mexico is horrible. I suffer a bout of travel sickness. We had planned to go straight to Tulum but miss the last bus at Chetumal so have to spend another night there. This depresses me but at least we will be in Tulum tomorrow which looks stunning in pictures.

At the Guatemala-Mexico border, while waiting in the queue to be let in, a soldier stands at the front carrying a massive AK47. He addresses the people in Spanish. I can´t understand a word he is saying so try to imagine what it might be:
"If there are any known terrorists wanting to enter Mexico would they please make their way to the front"
Uneasy silence.
"No, there are no terrorists amongst you?"
Uneasy shifting.
"Are you sure? I´m only going to ask once"
Silence
"Okay, well have a nice day".

Today we said goodbye to Mike and Tanith, the South Africans. They are heading to Honduras. They were great company. Mike gives us some Brazilian reals for our trip to Brazil. We will stay in touch via the medium of facefriends or whatever it´s called.

Posted by Señor Usuf 15:21 Comments (0)

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