Friday, October 9, 2009

Cancun, Tulum, and Touristy Tours

We arrived in Cancun on Thursday evening, and found a hotel in the downtown for only 30 USD. We walked around for a few blocks, but it was really hot and my wasp stings were killing me, so we ate and headed back to our air conditioned room. On the way, we stopped at a tour company, and bought two tours. One was for Xel-ha, a "natural aquarium", and Tulum in the same day, and the other is for Chichen Itza with a visit to an indigenous Mayan village.

We went to Xel-ha and Tulum today. It was a 12 hour tour, and the first real tourist experience we have had. A bus picked us up in the morning and dropped us off, and we didn't need to do anything but pay. Xel-ha is a natural Caribbean inlet that they have turned into a water park. People float around in tubes, snorkel, and do other watery activities. It is all inclusive, so we ate and drank a lot, which was really nice, especially because there was food, like mashed potatoes, that we haven't seen in awhile. We floated in the tubes a little bit, but there is no current, so it was really slow and boring. There were more people than we are used to, since before this vacation we have primarily gone camping. We didn't spend much time in the water, although it was nice. The resort-like feel just wasn't for us. Even though it is natural, the way it is operated made it impossible for us to believe it wasn't a pool, and we didn't want to spend our time in a pool.

In the afternoon, we went to Tulum, about 15 minutes away. It was beautiful. Many of the buildings were in good condition, and the blue ocean below was incredible. It is a small site, so it didn't take long to see. One temple there is my favorite building I have seen so far in Mexico. There is still a mural in good condition in it, and it is covered in carvings. We walked down to the beach and stood in the Caribbean ocean for the first time. I cannot believe how blue the water is. It doesn't seem possible. We didn't have our swimsuits, and it will be awhile before I get over my disappointment of not swimming at Tulum. Tomorrow I will swim here in Cancun, though.

Cancun, so far, has been very nice. It is super cheap, calm, and quiet because of the season. The more we travel in the off season, the most convinced I become that I will always travel in the off season.

We were going to go to Chichen Itza tomorrow, but we are tired after the long day today. Instead we are going to relax on the beach tomorrow, and do the 12 and a half hour Chichen Itza trip on Sunday.

It looks like we will be leaving Cancun on Tuesday, and picking up Pax (we think that's the dog's name)then! It costs just as much to fly from Cancun to Puebla as it does to take the bus, so we are going to fly and save over 20 hours of bus travel.

Also, only 19 days until Jose's appointment!


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