Swine flu in Hindsight, What a Great Way to Travel

Tulum Travel Blog

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During the onset of the aporkalypse, there had been many reports of a huge drop-off of tourists to Mexico.  During its peak I was in Zipolite and even though there were people around, it did seem emptier than when you compare the ratio of visitors to the tourist-serving facilities.

Moving into the more urban San Cristobal, things became nocticeably more bleak even when the "epidemic" began to wane.  It was clear many hotels and hostels were far below capacity and the Mayan ruins which finally re-opened were virtually deserted. Still, I can't quite tell how much the drop-off was due to the swine flu and how much was the simple fact that we had just entered the tourist low season.
Shit, enduring 100+ degree weather and oppressive humidity in Campeche would drive away any human being.  Either way, it seemed like a great time to be traveling through Mexico, honestly.  Empty accommodations are fine by me, but what's most unsettling are the restaurants, which reflect the dearth of tourists most strikingly.  As a solo traveler, I'm used to dining alone, but dining alone in an entire restaurant?  That gets weirder and more uncomfortable when it happens night after night.  It's a combination of feeling that you're almost imposing on the staff as the sole customer coupled with the gnawing feeling that they must be cutting corners on something that I'm eating or drinking in order to weather this depressed tourist economy.

In San Cristobal, it was like the movie "28 Days Later" except all the zombies were disinterested waiters and bartenders.  On the beach here in Tulum, it's more like "Castaway" except there's dozens of Wilsons doubling as wait staff.
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photo by: Mezmerized