On a bus south to Tulum. The bus stopping all around town drumming up business before eventually departing. Little did we know this is very common practice in Central America. The bus not leaving generally until they have overfilled the bus to at least 150% capacity.
Stop at Playa del Carmen. Not too impressive. Some more resorts and an ugly beach compared with Isla Mujeres from where we’ve just come. So it was onwards to Tulum. We had an opportunity to visit Tulum on a previous trip. We had forgone Tulum to stay in Isla Mujeres which we enjoyed immensely at the time. So we were no doubt eager to see what we had missed out on.
We were dropped on the highway at the road that lead to the beach and ruins which make Tulum famous. Still 5km from the beach. We get a taxi to take us the rest of the way to locate a place to stay. Usual practice I stay mind the bags, Allison heads in to check out the digs. 1st place a bit dusty and hot, no deal. Next place nice but pricey, no deal. Next place Dimente K, nice, pricey (for us) but worth it, deal.
Awake on a swinging bed surrounded by a white net with no perceivable method of escape. Where was I? Ah yes Dimente K. The beds swung for no reason in particular except maybe to assist the cleaners to sweep under the beds. The mosquito net enveloping the bed with a small hole the only means of entry of exit. Not so convenient! Yet it’s better than being eaten alive by the vicious mosquitos.
Outside the sound of crashing waves at our private beach the only noise entering our thatched cabana. Outside hammocks scattered around so you get your choice of sun or shade drenched comfort. A sand floor restaurant overlooking a small cove serving up good meals with sea views over the Caribbean. This must be where they make all those Corona commercials. ‘From a place you’d rather be’ and yes we’d rather be here than any other place right now. The sand was brilliant white and was like walking in flour.
After 3 days of beach bumming, time to get some ‘culture’. Off the see the Mayan ruins that make Tulum famous. Tulum (meaning ‘wall’). The ruins consist of a lot of old stone surrounded by a 7m thick wall on three sides and the ocean on the fourth. After a brief viewing and one too many ‘Mayan culture’ t-shirts seen on large American tourists we hit the beach. Literally went to the beach right out of the ruins. One small floor in the Mayan fortress design was low tide as any beach wanderer could stroll in past the 7m thick walls and walk right in to town. So we walked out of the ruins to the beach that was a few kilomertres north of Dimente K and strolled back along the most amazing beach we have seen before. The ruins may make Tulum famous but it doesn’t make it good. The beach does that trick.
We have a Corona and Quesadillas on the beach en route home (another Corona ad moment) and run in to an Aussie couple we met in Isla Mujeres.
More beach action. The restaurant here is good but little pricey for all meals. A bit stuck as there are no shops along the beach. It’s a 5km hike into town for supplies. So after laying on a beach most the past week I jog the 5km in to town for some exercise and to fill the back pack with supplies. This included a charcoal chicken for lunch which was delicious, if a bit shaken up from the transport back.
We swim out into the bay for a bit of a cool off and move between beach and lawn chairs until sunset. Open a bottle of wine (the trip into town was worth it!) and watch more and more stars appear until the mosquitos match the number of stars and we head in for dinner after another chilled day.
Umm, probably the most chilled out day of the 7 months we have been ‘on the road’ so to speak. Another swim around the rocks to keep the blood pumping at least. Getting hammock imprints in our skins from excessive lying about. We’re now permanent fixtures on the beach. I swear some of the rocks got more exercise than us today. Read about 250 pages of my book!
Down to the beach (oh that’s right we were already there) for happy hour and back for our now regular quesadillas & nachos and squeeze through the mosquito net hole before swinging off to sleep.