It has been both a fun and relaxing week in Mexico. I am trying to have a bit more of a ‘holiday’ this trip – so I booked some accommodation in advance and have been taking it very very easy. This is quite a different to my winging-it, must-do-everything approach that I usually take on my trips. So far it is going well.
I flew in to Cancun but wanted to avoid the mega resort so immediately took a bus to Playa del Carmen where I had booked a rustic hut near the beach. As I walked out of the bus station there was a big street party taking way which made for a nice welcoming party.
(unfortunately I neglected to bring the lead for my proper camera, so the best photos will have to wait until I return to the UK)
Being the jet lag wimp I am, I woke up around 5am on my first morning so I decided to take a walk along the beach and watch the sun rise which I was very glad I did.
My welcome party to Playa del Carmen (not really)
Moving on from Playa I travelled along the coast to Akumal where I snorkelled for the first time in my life. There were huge turtles, stingray and all sorts of exotic fish swimming amongst a very impressive reef. I have never seen anything like it before. Very Finding Nemo.
Afterwards I went to the beach with some people from the hostel in Playa. A beach which was exactly how I imagined the Caribbean coast would be. In the evening we went for some Mexican seafood (what better meal after a day in crystal clear waters?) at a local restaurant and I went to find my B&B in Tulum (which thankfully was easy enough having had a few beers)
Jet lag has it’s upsides
As well as beautiful beaches, Tulum has the ruins of a Mayan temple which overlooks to ocean which I hired a bike and cycled out to. It was a really impressive setting.
Swimming just outside of Tulum
After Tulum I took a bus to Valladolid, which is a really nice colonial town. It is a lot less touristy here and has a much calmer atmosphere than the places I went to on the coast. I do like being left alone and people only pester you in the tourist places. I therefore decided to stay a little longer in my rather nice hotel so I could soak up the atmosphere and make sure I properly sampled the local restaurants, which I am rather enjoying.
The hotel is right next to the central square which has an impressive church (especially at night) On my first night there was a street party with couples old and young dancing and hanging out enjoying the music. It seems the Mexican people really know how to enjoy themselves.
Mayan ruins just outside of Tulum
From Valladolid I visited the Chichen-Itza Mayan ruins, which were very impressive. I got there early to avoid the crowds and the mid day sun which I am very glad I did. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so I was surprised and a little saddened to find that every pathway was lined with stalls selling souvenirs (which all looked the same) This meant there were hundreds of sellers trying to get your attention while you walk the ruins.
Church by the main square in the colonial town of Valladolid
Tomorrow I am planning on going to see some local cenotes, which are limestone caves and sink holes which you can swim in. After that I am moving on to a small island called Holbox.
I have also been running nearly every day since being here after a recent consultation with an orthopaedic surgeon in my ongoing knee saga… but I will save that for another, running specific post. Now there is a teaser for you.
The main temple at Chichen-Itza