Catching up with the story. I was delayed by the fun I had with those folks I mentioned in the previous post. We spent few nice days together, and I definitely took advantage of the car they had, giving a few rides in return. Since we met at the hostel we’ve been together pretty much everywhere, till Alex took off and the girls decided to go their own way without me (it’s ok, I got used to that) 😀
There are a few cenotes close to Valladolid, and one in the center of the city. And since the mezcaleria (the mezcal factory) was closed, we had to settle with some wine. Lisa and I started the first morning with the cheap cenote in the center (Cenote Zaci). We had it for ourselves for maybe half an hour, and the little fish were hungry enough to eat the skin off of our feet. The water was cold though, so we left to meet Ally and Alex and go to another cenote. The next sinkholes we’ve been to were Samula and Xquequen (I bet you tried to pronounce this and failed miserably, just like a gringo). For 90 pesos we had a combo ticket, and had a good time in both. While Samula was warm and sunny, Xquequen was deeper, darker, but with plenty of roots and petrified roots hanging from the ceiling. I am very delighted as a non-swimmer to have swam around in all of them without drinking too much water. I can almost say I learnt how to thread water. Sorry about the pictures – low light and the GoPro cam are not very good friends.
The last cenote we’ve been to (yeah! 4 of them in the same day), is Hacienda San Lorenzo Oxman. This was the last and the best of them all. Not sure if the reason I believe this was the awesome ‘light’ rope swing or the fact that we were again pretty much alone there. However, we all had a lot of swing time, laughter, and swimming. I only swung twice – I didn’t like the taste of this water so much and I couldn’t resist having a full mouth of it every time 😀 We couldn’t see the bottom of this one, but I assume it was more than 10m. The best 30pesos spent that day!
We continue together to Coba, where we spend half of the day walking among the ruins and admiring the air plants. We all agree that the place is one of the best because it lacks those selling stands lined up along the paths of other ruins. However, the distance between the groups of ancient constructions/villages made the ‘rent-a-bike’ business to prosper, and the prices definitely target the deep pocketed tourists. We walked all the way back and forth, and even went up the tallest pyramid/construction in Yucatan (us and the other million tourists). And since Coba is not as good at accommodation and the airbnb host (with a wonderful cabin) declined, we drove further to Tulum. Lucky for us, Alex booked the hostel for two nights, so everything was perfect.
Tulum was not as sunny as expected, and it was almost raining all the time, but that didn’t stop us from having the best and most expensive fish tacos in the world at Matteo’s, or from bathing in the ocean the next morning. That’s when I also got stopped by the police for the first time in 8 months, and for the first time ever by a guy on a motorcycle! Laws are different here vs. Oaxaca – here you must wear a helmet at all times. I got off with just a warning.
We had quite some fun in the evening playing a huge Jenga game with our feet only. I know, it doesn’t sound that much fun saying it – you have to try it! The first day in Tulum we went to Muyil for the natural area and lagoon of Chunyaxche. It was Alex’s idea (not mine). Apparently he knew something. So… after a boat tour of about 30min, the boat stops and we get off. We jump in the provided life vests wearing them as baby-diapers, and afloat we go down a stream through the mangroves. Did I tell you there is no sun and the water is not really warm? Soon after, we start laughing and talking about all the nature we see only to warm up. We definitely laugh at the other tourists dressed up passing us in the boats. It was definitely a fun… floating time?! We spent about two hours for this whole trip, but I can’t say it was totally worth the 600pesos price.
The next day we left Tulum going to visit the Gran Cenote, but for 150pesos each we decided to turn around to another one, Dos Ojos. A bit more expensive at 200pesos, but there was a serious business built around it – you could get a scuba diving tour for 250pesos more, or rent snorkeling gear for only 50pesos. We went for the cheapest option and it was definitely worth it. Scuba diving might have been better, but… not for that much more money. PS: did I tell you how I like these guys aiming for the cheapest and at the same time best places ever? I love them for that 😀 That’s probably how we coincidentally met 3 times so far.
Dos Ojos to Playa del Carmen was smooth as ever, with a coffee stop to Akumal (a very busy and messed up beach resort, probably like the others in this area), but it was time to say goodbye to Alex who went to Guatemala for a while. I wanted to see the island of Cozumel, so I booked the hostel with the girls. One night there, and that was the night of the carnival, probably best of the whole Mexico. I did enjoy a nice evening walking along the dancers, having sangria and a good talk with a new friend. Tulum is the place to go scuba-diving. It’s very popular, pretty much everywhere, so I wanted to go. Hell, it’s a once in a lifetime experience and I’m in the right place for it! Unfortunately, not in the right time – “the port was closed”, so there is no diving for anyone.
I take this as a sign! It’s time to get out of this place and try my scuba-luck in Belize!
So, after a one night stop in Chetumal (carnival time again), I reached Belize and went straight to Caye Caulker (Key Colker)
And since some of you think I got fat… I will start a diet (the food here is really expensive).
Some more videos here: