Published: December 26th 2011December 25th 2011
Our final weekend in Santiago has now passed and the wolfpack of 3 has now gone back down to 2 with Nick staying on in Santiago to learn some of the lingo before making his way to Bolivia. We did it in style by hitting the bright lights Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Bella Vista visiting our new made local haunts. After saying our goodbyes we made our way to the airport for our flight to Cancun via Panama which into total was around 9hrs flying time. All went smoothly and we had some on board entertainment with a Dominican Republic woman having a few too many rums and causing some carnage on the plane....I’m sure what she was saying was funny but as we couldn’t understand her I can’t be sure.
We arrived in Cancun and booked the shuttle to our hostel, in Cancun you have the downtown area and the hotel zone...our hostel is the only one in the hotel zone and maybe this confused the bloke sorting the shuttle out as after 30mins in the shuttle and everyone else being dropped off the driver asked us where we were going to find out that we were on
the wrong shuttle and there is another one that goes to the hotel zone. We then had to pay him some extra pesos and he took us to the hostel, at least we got a little tour of downtown I guess...but we were happy to eventually get to the hostel after travelling all day.
On the first day we took a walk on the main road called Kukulkan...there is only 1 road in the hotel zone really as on 1 side there is the sea and a lagoon on the other, on the corner is where all the nightlife is and as soon as we walked around there the memories came flooding back from Spring Break 09...not much has changed in the area just maybe 1 or 2 more bars. We then made our way to the beach which didn’t disappoint with bright turquoise water and powdery white sand, we picked our spot and enjoyed the sun. When we returned to the hostel we asked about the Chichen Itza tour and what days it is on....we were informed that they run everyday so we decided to book for the following day, pick up at 7am and back at 8pm
which includes visiting a Cenote, Mayan Village and Chichen Itza with lunch included not a bad deal for USD50 to see one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
An early rise at around 6am then pick up around 7am led us to a plaza where all the people going to Chichen Itza were gathered. We all got herded in like sheep and queued up to check in for the tour, we then made our way to the buses...we got the last 2 spaces on one of them and turned out to be quite lucky as the guide we had Tony who seemed to be the most knowledgeable and we later found out that he had helped National Geographical with their program on Chichen Itza he is originally from a Mayan Village aswell so he knows his stuff. We set off towards Chichen Itza and stopped at a Cenote (Sinkhole) on the way where you go for a swim in pool beneath the ground and you can see the big sinkhole above, Tony told us the Mayan’s believe that you should use the water to cleanse yourself from all negative energies before entering the Mayan ruins area. We then
got changed and headed to a Mayan Village for some lunch...I must admit it seemed more of a tourist attraction than a Mayan Village with a lot of souvenirs being sold so didn’t really have the Mayan feel I thought it might, lunch was a nice buffet and there was music and some dancers to entertain us. Then after being shown some of the fields full of the plant Agave Azul which Tequila is made from it was time for the main attraction Chichen Itza (which sounds like Chicken Pizza when the locals say it) after getting through the crowds and getting in we followed Tony around and he explained some of the history behind the buildings, there is no way I can remember everything he said but I do remember some of the interesting facts behind the building of El Castillo which is the main pyramid, each of the pyramid's four sides has 91 steps which, when added together and including the temple platform on top as the final 'step', produces a total of 365 steps…there are definitely a lot more interesting facts but I will leave it up to you to look into it if you want to.
The Mayan’s were (or are I should say) a lot more cleverer than people think, also Tony told us that there are still at least 1 million Mayan people living in Mexico in their villages with no road access, electricity or any modern technology which is pretty amazing. We then found out that in one of the areas called the Great Ball Court where the game ‘Mesoamerican ballgame’ was played between the Mayans had the final at Chichen Itza so both teams would have won all their games before the final…the Captain on the overall winning side would then be decapitated as they saw it as there is only 1 more place better to go and that’s with the gods! Interesting! After soaking in as much history as my brain would allow we then had an hour to roam around and take photos…our guide had given us a few ideas on different angles we can use for photos, 1 including Karl being in front of the group to demonstrate which he wasn’t too keen on haha! We got our photos in the increasing heat and made our way back to Cancun….after a great day and a 2nd
of the 7
Wonders now visited…topped off with a visit to Hooters for dinner.
The following day we went to the nearby shopping centre called La Isla and had a look around, after deciding that a few of my t-shirts were looking a bit on the tired side I invested in 2 new ones to replace them…this also means that I can hopefully have some pictures where I don’t have the same t-shirt on ha. We then went in search of a hotel that would allow us to pay them for the use of their gym as its starting to be in need…im averaging around 1 run a week but I don’t think that is balancing out the amount of calories going in! We did manage to find one and they offered a 7 days pass so it was perfect…nice to have a bit of luxury for a change with the showers, sea view etc… bit of a holiday from travelling with the beach and hotels all around…although most of you will probably laugh at ‘holiday from travelling’ comment! Myself and Karl then went out for our 1st
taste of the nightlife in Cancun…after some people giving us different info on the
place to be we eventually chose to go to The City which is Cancun’s biggest club…it definitely proved to be busy and after being my least favorite last time it was actually pretty good with a show with dancers halfway through the night, also with it not being too busy where you can’t move which I remember from last time.
Christmas Day…well I got up around 8am to skype back home just after the family had finished their lunch as it was 2pm there. Was good to catch up with them but strange at the same time and it was the first time it actually felt like it was xmas. Afterwards me and Karl went to the beach and played some football….had some lunch then went back to the hostel for some table tennis. Bit of a different Christmas day to what im used to and was quite strange but good in its own way…weird to see some families enjoying Christmas day in KFC…all I can say it is wouldn’t be my choice!
Merry Christmas everyone !!
There are more photos below