Published: September 14th 2011September 14th 2011
Hi everyone, sorry it’s been a while since the last post, just been busy having fun, dealing with dodgy guts and trying not to itch our vast amount of mosquito bites!
Since the last post we went on the trip to Chichen Itza. (2/9) It was really great to see all the temples especially the big one as it has been made to amplify sound so people clap at the bottom and you can hear it coming back amplified but it sounds quite eerie. The Mayans’ were pretty harsh and sacrificed people all the time (but they didn’t chuck heads down from the temples, apparently that was the Aztecs. The Mayans’ only chucked hearts down! The Mayans’ that lived in Chichen Itza just sort of disappeared and one theory is that the Mayans’ didn’t realise that the cenote (lime sinkhole) they were throwing the bodies into was linked up to the ones that they were drinking from. It was boiling at Chichen Itza so afterwards we were taken to cenote Ik IL for a swim. It is this amazing sinkhole with an open top and massive vines going into it and catfish swimming around. We also got to jump from
quite high up into the water. It was much needed to cool off after how clammy we had got walking around the ruins.
The next day (3/9) we went to another cenote called Cristalino in the morning and then got a colectivo (cheap mini bus) down to Tulum. These vans just stop anywhere and pick people up and drop them off anywhere on the motorway. On the way we stopped at a beach called Acumel where they have sea turtles. They try ripping you off and charging you for a guide as the say the turtles are difficult to find but we decided to just try ourselves. We managed to find them and it was great seeing them eating the sea grass and coming up for air.
When we got to Tulum we stayed in a hotel/hostel called The Secret Garden. It was a lovely little place with an amazing garden with little lizards everywhere. In Tulum we hired bikes as it’s 4km from the town to the beach area. We cruised down there and Rich managed to find a kite surf place where he could hire equipment and yes it was expensive. The beaches in Tulum are
gorgeous white sand beaches and the sea is a stunning turquoise blue. Rich did some kite surfing and I did some sunbathing. The next day we did the same again but also went to the ruins. They are in such a fantastic setting looking out over the sea. We managed to eat pretty cheap in the town and had some great Ceviche but that night we made the mistake of choosing a dodgy Mexican eatery and ended spending that night with dodgy guts and feeling like I had the flu. I spent the whole next day (6/9) in bed and Rich had to look after me and buy me bananas and crackers! A week later and my guts still aren’t right, I’m thinking that maybe this is going to be a permanent feature of travelling Central and South America!
The next day (7/9) we went on a kayak trip to a nature reserve called Si’an Khan. It’s a huge area that is protected from people building there. Rich and I went on a double kayak and a guide took us around the brackish water lagoon. We saw lots of different birds nesting in the mangroves: - cormorants, pelicans, frigate
birds, tri colour herons and other herons. Crocodiles live there too but we didn’t manage to see any. It was really interesting to learn what the coastal environment was like before all the big hotels in Cancun etc. were built. They have basically destroyed the natural ecosystem and coastal defences.
The next day (8/9) we decided to treat ourselves and hire a car to go to Coba (some more ruins). The buses weren’t very frequent and there were also some cenotes nearby that we wanted to see. Coba was great. You hire bikes and cycle through the jungle paths looking at different ruins and there’s a big one you can climb up and look out over the jungle canopy (the jungle here isn’t actually that high). After, we drove to three different cenotes. These were different to the others we had seen as to get down to these you had to walk down a 50m spiral staircase and once you were down there it opened out in to a massive cavern with stalactites and stalagmites in. The water was crystal clear and refreshingly cool. There were also small fish swimming around. On the way back down the bumpy track
we came across a massive tarantula just strolling across the road!
The day after (9/9) we went to our last cenote this one had outside and underground areas with bats living in the caves and turtles swimming in the areas with the weed. This one had a series of underground caves and there were some people scuba diving through them.
10/9 we got up early and got the bus down to Chetumal (4 hrs.) and then the water taxi (2hrs) to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and island east of Belize which is where we still are at the moment. We are staying at Pedro’s hotel which is owned by an English guy called Peter.
On the second day in San Pedro (11/9) I went snorkelling at a reef called Hol Chan and Rich went diving to refresh his skills as it had been nine years! I saw so many amazing fish and sea turtles. I saw a big barracuda, green moray eel, a massive black grouper, puffer fish and loads of other big fish that I can’t remember the names of. There were also loads of fascinating corals. After Hol Chan we went to Shark Ray Alley
where we got to see loads of nurse sharks and even got to stroke one that the guide was holding. You can just turn them upside down and they go into a trance. We also got to see a massive Spotted Eagle Ray gliding gracefully through the water. It was a great snorkelling trip, the best yet!
It’s really laid back here and they drink lots of rum. In Pedro’s bar they have a rule where if you ring the bell you have to buy everyone a shot of jagermeister. The other night this happened a lot, loads of random people up for it (not us its way too expensive!). So much so, that I was swimming on the pool table and being spun around on a bar stool. That night I passed out in the toilet as Rich could not get me to stay in bed. Needless to say I spent the whole next day (12/9) in my room feeling absolutely pants. Rich had already planned to go to the Blue Hole which is a dive site where you get to dive down 40m into a massive underwater cavern. He said it was a really good but
he’ll have to write about that!
The weather has been quite changeable and we’ve had a couple of days of storms and rain but it’s still boiling! Yesterday (13/9) we cycled along the island to a bar called Palapa where it’s right out on stilts. We saw a massive sting ray in the water below and ended up meeting an English couple who were on their honeymoon. We also got invited to some woman’s party with cheese and wine but not sure if we’re going to go yet. We couldn’t be arsed to cycle our bikes back in the dark (also through loads of massive puddles as the roads are flooded, oh and mosquitos!) so we got the water taxi back to town which was expensive but fun. Everything’s expensive here we are spending over our daily budget so we must leave soon! There are a lot of ex pats and Americans along with Belizeans. The Belizeans speak English but with a really strong Caribbean accent. They’re a really friendly bunch and love to have a chat.
Today (14/9) we have just been chilling and snorkelling around the piers (lots of sea grass here so you have to
jump of the piers to swim). Just had a storm but stopped now so I’m off to sit by the pool in a mo. Off to Caye Caulker (even smaller island 20min boat journey away) tomorrow for a night and then to Belize mainland.
Write again soon! Linz x
There are more photos below