Piste - Cancun - Tulum - Palenque
Tulum Travel Blog› entry 3 of 3 › view all entries
Dear Mum and Dad
Caught a bus from Piste to Cancun, another tiring trip, standing in the aisle for 3.5 hours. Quite a strain on my legs after climbing all the pyramids at Chichen Itza. Not very impressed with Cancun, looks like another resort city. We stayed at the hostel, which was located in amongst all the expensive hotels. At 12,000 pesos each it wasn't as cheap as our previous nights in Mexico. Still it is only $AU6 each. Stayed only the one night before coming here to Tulum.
While Cancun lacked other travellers, Tulum certainly makes up for it. We had read about a cheap place about a twenty minute walk from the ruins of Tulum. There are 3 separate campgrounds with cabanas. This place was definately my idea of a paradise. Such a welcome sight after 3 months of travel. My first thought was that it would take a hurricane or the like to move me before at least a week. We were given a cabana on the very end of the strip closest to the beach. Luckily I purchased the hammock in Merida. Took us a few minutes to shed our packs, don our swimmers and stretch out on the soft, white sand.
The weather was forever changing from days of sunshine to windy, rainy days with scattered periods of sunshine in the afternoons. But the water was always warm and clear day or night.
It was a new experience for me to use the hammock. The cabanas were about as big as a kitchen, the hammocks stretching from either side, the ends strung over the small tree trunks which formed the walls of our new house. Swinging back and forth I could still enjoy the view of beach and water. Within our first half hour we met a neighbour, a crazy Argentinian, Omar.
Later on in the day we met Ted, an American from Colorado. He filled us in on all the other details of the camp living. Where to wash, how to hang the hammocks properly and sleep in them and which restaurant served the best food. Our camp which we came to call the ghetto, had only one toilet about 500m away from our cabana and the shower and washing facilities was a well, where one threw in a bucket and heaved it up by rope a distance of about 10 feet.
I was up early nearly every morning to enjoy the sunrise, mostly looking forward to stretching my limbs after a restless night in the hammock. Some mornings it is hot enough to swim and more often it is my bath for the day with a bucket of well water splashed over me before sunset. Only woke up once during the previous night when a bug(felt but not seen) was crawling on my neck and hair. Yes I did scream, you know how brave I am with nature!! The Yucatan thrives with bugs, cockroaches, spiders and scorpions. Though thank heavens we haven't seen the latter, although we've heard plenty of stories.
Mosquitoes are bad, luckily we have been taking Malaria tablets. Our new neighbours Tine and Bob from Denmark, were worried when Tine got sick. At first we thought it was the "turista" but after the 3rd day she went to the clinic in Tulum. They suspected she had something called paradismol? spread from mosquitos, as there were 3 confirmed cases from the Tulum area. They did a blood test but luckily she didn't have it. After getting getting bitten about 40 times in Merida I have been extra careful covering my legs and using repellant. Naomi and Bob are covered with bites after deciding to sleep on the beach one night, both of them get the itchy red lumps.
Our second morning here we walked along the beach and rocks to the Mayan ruins. These ruins are not so well preserved as they are right on the cliffs near the beach. They don't open until 8am so it was a treat to enjoy the buildings without the hundreds of other tourists. We were spotted by one of the security guards and he hustled us out of the ruins. His friend appeared and began cursing us in English calling us stupid gringos and he said " I shit on you!" Naomi, of course found his reaction amusing, her laughter did not amuse him & we quickly hurried out the gate and returned to the camp via the road.
The first few days the two restaurants in the neighbouring campground were full every night. Always someone to talk to, mostly backpackers, very laid back people with tattered old clothes, long hair and of course adorned with Mexican jewellery. During the day, everyone keeps fairly quiet just soaking up the sun, most people sunbaking nude or at least topless.
It was difficult to make plans to leave, having easily lost all motivation, moving from the hammock to the beach, to the well, to the restaurant. Nothing too strenous! The thought of my pack on my back was not a welcome idea, but unfortunately the money is dwindling away.
We made the unwelcome move from Tulum to Palenque via Chetumal on Thursday 19th. Along with Bob and Tine we packed up our hammocks and after a sad farewell to Ed and a few other aquaintances, set off to the bus stop. Chose a good day to leave as the rain had settled in and as of today we've had no sunshine. (21/01/88) Took 12 long hours to Palenque with a short stop in Chetumal. Naomi and I finally faced our financial reality, we did not have enough money to get to the ruins of Tikal in Guatemala. I am disappointed in many ways. As of today we have only $450 left between us with at least $150 needed to return to the USA. We had originally planned to go to Tikal via Belize but cie la vie! We will go to the highlands near Lake Atitlan then to Antigua Guatemala. I can imagine what you may be thinking about Guatemala! Anyway by the time you get this letter I will be back in the US, so you won't have the opportunity to worry. xx