Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tulum, Cancun and the Blue, Blue Caribbean

I wish I had visited Tulum about 20 years ago before the vegans, yoga studios and eco-retreats took over . It's still incredibly beautiful, but crowded and expensive. But take a look at the color of the sea; what's not to love?

We arrived in the evening. 

The next morning, we took in the Tulum ruins. 

The Tulum ruins were fascinating, but not nearly as impressive as the other sites we visited. Ah, but what it had over the other sites was beach access.  Finally, the bright blue Caribbean.

The next day, we drove to Akamal Bay, where we snorkeled with sea turtles, sting rays and every kind of candy colored fish imaginable.  As we were leaving Akamal, we got caught in a street protest blocking the only road. The only way out of our parking area was through this tiny little opening. We had less than an inch clearance on each side of the car.  Sequoia deserved a medal for squeezing us through.

Unfortunately, after we squeezed through, we were still stuck behind this makeshift barricade for about 90 minutes in the pouring rain.  The police  were watching from the other side of the barricade doing absolutely nothing. 

Someone finally bribed the protesters to move their barricade and let us through. We had planned to go on another adventure but decided to go back to the condo and chill out by the pool. Somehow in all the excitement, Sequoia fell and tore up  his foot pretty badly. 

At long last: the beach. There is nothing I love better in the whole world than to lay on a beach, but a white sand beach and the turquoise blue Caribbean? I've never seen anything so beautiful.  Sublime. 

The drove south out of Tulum intending to check out a nature preserve.  There was supposed to be a visitors center, but after about an hour of navigating a terrible road full of bone crunching potholes, we turned back.  We later found that the visitors center had been closed for a couple of years but no-one had bothered to update the guidebooks or signs. On the way back towards Tulum, we saw an older gentleman sitting by the side of the road. We stopped to talk to him and it turned out he had a boat and was willing to take us out on a tour of the mangrove swamp.  We walked about a kilometer through the swamp, wondering what the hell we had gotten ourselves into.

Our guide Josme and his boat the Chocolatera!

Amazing birds

Bromeliads in the wild.

The beautiful jade green swamp and the turquoise sea.

A ruin in the middle of the water, an old  Mayan trading post.  Josme told us that there is a cenote under the water that divers visit.

Back in Tulum, picnicking on the beach.

On our last day in Mexico, we stayed in Cancun so that we could catch an early morning flight. Cancun is everything I feared: 10 miles of high rise hotels crowded cheek by jowl on a narrow strip of sand. Babes, bros, and beach volleyball.  Chain restaurants and rush hour traffic. But, when you walk down between the massive hotels towards the beach, this is what you see.

And, when you turn your back on the strip, you're looking at this:

Mama needed to go swimming

Arly and Paul set up their shade structure.

It's too late to save Sequoia and me from sun damage. Plus, we're both Vitamin D junkies.

Goodbye to Cancun.  Wonder where our next adventure will take us?

We now return you to our regularly scheduled Colestin Camp Out programming...