Travel blog – Day 16

It’s almost over. Today, tomorrow, and then I am flying back :-(

I woke up with a huge headache. Didn’t sleep much. The local “Christmas” beer from last night did its trick (well… it could have been the combination of how strong it was and the number of bottles I consumed :-)

A headache like this deserves a greasy breakfast (the waiter’s recommendation again). On the first half of the trip I was rapidly losing weight from all the walking I was doing. I think I regained all that weight back the last few days.

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After the breakfast experience, I headed towards the Tulum Maya site. I had high expectations because of everything I had heard but I was disappointed. Not only it was extremely crowded, but it didn’t have the vibe some of the remote sites had. The fact that it was next to blue/green waters made it somehow different from the others though.

It’s such a popular destination for tourists, that it has the feeling of a theme park :-( For example, perhaps they’d like us to believe that the Maya people had ATM booths like this one…

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Or they used “trains” like this for transportation around the site…

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Anyway, back to the archeological visit, trying to get photos of the site without tourists in the frame, which was almost impossible…

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And of course, the resident iguanas (lots and lots of them)

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And here’s the reason, I think, this site seems to be so popular (in addition to being close to Cancun). People can combine the visit with a swim. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the steps from the Maya site down to the beach. But no, I am not going to judge :-) Just because I wouldn’t do it, it doesn’t mean it’s bad form.

Tulum beach

Left the Tulum Maya site and headed to Akumal, a little seaside town south of Karmen del Maya. I drove around for a bit. Looked nice and quiet but it was full of hotels and villas, not my cup of tea (even though I don’t drink tea :-)

Went to Karmen del Maya Playa del Carmen. I thought that it’d only be for one night, before going to Cancun. The town is one of those popular tourist destinations, full of shops, with women going out all dressed up and wearing their make up and jewelry. Burger King, McDonalds, Starbucks… that kind of place.

I felt really tired even though it was only mid-afternoon (thanks to last night’s beers I guess). So I decided to park the car and look for a hotel. Well, I found one right in the heart of the town which I really liked. Yes, I now check every hotel to see how clean it is before I take the room :-)

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I went for a siesta and then off exploring the town.

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I decided that since I had another day left without any Maya ruins to visit, I should go for another dive. I found few scuba diving places around. I booked a trip for tomorrow and bought an underwater camera too. I hope that the visibility will be good for some underwater photography.

This means that I am staying another night here.

Got a recommendation for a restaurant that was serving local Maya cuisine. I talked to the hostess and she gave me specific recommendations from the menu. I decided to treat myself to a nice dinner and, indeed, it was worth it! (It was still less expensive than yesterday’s lunch :-) The appetizer was the “Pibxcatic” and the main dish was the “Cochinita Pibil”. Apparently, those were the original Maya names. Hmmm! :-) Anyway, they were both great but the appetizer was particularly good. I had a Pina Colada again (no rum) and felt really really full :-)

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An early night tonight so I can be ready for the dive tomorrow morning.