12.01.08 Paa-Mul to Tulum

Tulum Travel Blog

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12.01.08    Paa-Mul to Tulum


Morning:  Wrapping up Paa-Mul


Kind campground neighbors, Joe and Arlene, let me borrow all their notes for Central America.  They are like GOLD!  It took me about 1.5 hours to copy each page-the office wasn’t yet open so once again I was grateful for our HP copier.


We moved to a pull-through site to dump the tanks.  No explanation necessary after yesrerday.


I went to the office and although they said “no problemo” for the water repair, I insisted and offered 400 pesos, which they confirmed would cover it.  The security guy suggested I get a receipt and got my phone number, so I heeded that advice and did.


I sprayed that squealing belt with the bando spray and it made a racket, but subsided within a few minutes.  It’s best to be lucky sometimes.


Just 30 miles down the road was Tulum, the last of the big 4 archeological ruins of the Yucatan peninsula.  The others are Palenque, Chichen-Itza, and Uxmal.  We told them the kids’ ages, but I guess they didn’t believe that Jazy was 13.  Since we’d always paid for her before, I tried to buy two tickets, but the first guy insisted on calling a second guy, who asked for Jazy’s i.d, which was in the RV.  So I again offered to pay for her and they finally let me buy her $3 (48 pesos) ticket.  Funny!  I don’t know why they didn’t think this 5’9” lady was just 13.  Just another 2 months until she’s 14.


Tulum was a compact site that had several stone buildings surrounded by a 20’ thick defensive stone wall.  It sat on a cliff right on the edge of the water.  When we saw the steps down to a gorgeous beach, we understood why so many tourists were wearing bathing suits.  They were getting their beach fix!  While we were happy to see this National Historic Park, it was filled with gringo tourists and had the least impressive architecture of any of the ruins we’ve seen.  But we’re still glad we went. We finished at Tulum within an hour, including reading the book descriptions.


Where to spend the night….  We’d asked at Tulum when we pulled in if it was “possiblo estasiamiento la casita rodante para uno noche” and they said yes and that he would watch it for us.  He said it was 100 pesos, but we couldn’t tell if that was in addition to the 100 pesos for regular parking.  We think there was no extra charge for spending the night.  The parking lot was really huge and 40 buses could have fit in the parking area for oversized vehicles.  Still, it was only 2 pm and we wanted to try our chances near a beach.


So we turned left at the first intersection (stoplight).  We couldn’t figure out that left turn.  There was a wide, angled corner on the left just before the intersection.  There was no left turn signal nor left turn lane at the light.  So we cut across early and then turned left again to get on the other side.  We watched behind us.  What would the others do?  Two vehicles followed us but then two more turned left at the light.  Clear as mud!  Well, the early turnoff was a much easier angle for a motorhome for sure.

So we go down this little beach road and see a spot to park the motorhome.  I still haven’t learned to just stop right in the middle of the street, like most people seem to do (with hazard lights on and pulled as far to the side as possible.  But when we ask the hotel, they unfortunately did not have the room for us.  But they were nice about it and Jazy and I walked down to the next hotel, saw they had a nice parking lot not on the beach side.  We were sort of surprised when we asked the receptionist and she said, “Yes, that’s fine.”  No fee.


Well of course we want to reward such niceties.  So after enjoying the beach through a public access, we wandered through the town buying Lia a cloth wrap, and ended up having an early dinner at the restaurant.  There are tourists everywhere in this small, quaint town of Tulum (not Tulum Punta (?), which is 5 km away we were told) and the prices are high.  We squeaked out at 550 pesos for a simple dinner with tip.  But I must say that the Mojitas (well, who else is going to enjoy the traditional drinks?) was very fresh with sugar, lime, and crushed mint.


Here are the GPS coordinates (with 2 formats) for this nice parking area: 

N 20’10.626 or N 20 10” 27.6”

W 87’ 26.813 or W 87 26’ 48.8”


Now, at 5:45 pm, it is completely dark outside.  We’re going to bed early with the thought that we’re just a few hours from Belize.  We might just jump the border tomorrow!  We’ll see how long it takes to get down there.  Another day on a beach would be just fine as well!




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photo by: Mezmerized