Page 13 of swanningaround Travel Blog Posts


North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum November 25th 2010

Geo: 20.125, -87.45I thought some general pictures of Tulum might be of interest. Some days we do something special, like the cenote dive, or take the bus to a different place, others we just potter around within walking distance. Ten minutes walk from Dream Divers takes you onto the tracks into the jungle. We like to wander along them, looking for birds. Every walk produces something new. Yesterday we were lucky and saw our first Mexican humming bird. Lucky, because it is the size of a thumbnail, and if we had not been so close it would have been mistaken for an insect. Most people we pass say hello and many stop and have a few words, asking what we are looking for, or offering advice (yesterday it was about the danger of snakes, but we ... read more
A traditional building under construction
Same building two days later
A street view

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum November 24th 2010

Geo: 20.125, -87.45 Even here in Tulum there can be days one might prefer to forget, so if you are suffering in cold or wet conditions in England it might cheer you up to hear that problems can arise in paradise.Friday 19th we decided to hire bikes for 3 days. We had already checked out where and how much etc so all we needed to do was go and collect them. We planned to pick them up at 9am when the shop opened, ride back home to get used to them, and then decide how we would spend the day and pack a rucksack accordingly. “Simples” as the meercats would say. If only we had been as smart as meercats!After setting off we were pleasantly delayed by a procession in the town square (more info in ... read more
View from tower in Sian Ka'an
The restaurant at the Lodge
The deserted beach

North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum November 19th 2010

Geo: 20.125, -87.45 We moved from Merida to Tulum on the Carribean coast last Friday so we have been here a week and plan to stay another two. Reasons for this sojourn? After the busy cosmopolitan Cancun and frenetic Merida we decided to spend some time in a more peaceful location near a beach. HostelWorld website enabled us to find our current location, Dream Diving Resort (name is grander than venue), and once we had been here a few days, we decided to stay.Our room is spacious, sparsely furnished with a double and single bed, table and two chairs, a hanging rail for clothes (but no hangers) and an ensuite with shower (and a hand basin so high that I feel like a 3 year old!). There is free wifi and drinking water but no food, ... read more
I need a stool to stand on!
Crocodile by the lagoon
The lagoon in Coba

North America » Mexico November 14th 2010

Geo: 20.8649, -90.3841 The Hostal reception arranged this trip for us and it was another example of their efficiency. Lunch was not included but when we met the others in the group they all had their lunch pre-booked (but obviously they paid more). We took a snack with us. However, the Hostal must have learned from other clients that the food was not good and the time it took in the restaurant meant that the others did not have chance to see the birds along the beach which we really enjoyed.It was an interesting day, first passing through a couple of small towns where we saw traditional houses still used as homes, a ruined hacienda, and learned something of the way of life in the rural Mayan towns from our guide who grew up in one. ... read more

North America » Mexico November 14th 2010

Geo: 20.8649, -90.3841 The Hostal reception arranged this trip for us and it was another example of their efficiency. Lunch was not included but when we met the others in the group they all had their lunch pre-booked (but obviously they paid more). We took a snack with us. However, the Hostal must have learned from other clients that the food was not good and the time it took in the restaurant meant that the others did not have chance to see the birds along the beach which we really enjoyed.It was an interesting day, first passing through a couple of small towns where we saw traditional houses still used as homes, a ruined hacienda, and learned something of the way of life in the rural Mayan towns from our guide who grew up in one. ... read more
Red water
Flamingos
Black Necked Stilt

North America » Mexico November 14th 2010

Geo: 20.9797, -89.6158 Time for a few words about Merida, where Hostal Zocalo is situated. It is still in Mayan Yucatan, originally a Mayan town but conquered by the Spanish in the mid 1500's. It is busy with a constant movement of people, and traffic, but all runs quite smoothly despite the traffic police on most corners who have whistles and torches (for night use) and although there are traffic lights at each junction anyway, the traffic controller whistles and signals the traffic on at the same time. It certainly keeps it moving.We were able to go downstairs from the Hostal straight into the main square, where we sat down at regular intervals to watch the world go by. Numerous Mayan vendors come into town each day with hammocks, colourful textiles, shawls, jewellery, wooden toys and, ... read more
Wonderful paintings in an elegant room
Mural
Nighttime in the Zocalo

North America » Mexico November 11th 2010

Geo: 20.9797, -89.6158 Hostal Zocalo – Where do I start?I am going to write a few short blogs on different topics so more photos can be fitted in, starting with where we are spending four nights, Hostal Zocalo. It costs £16 total per night for a double room with ensuite for 2 people including as much as you can eat breakfast, drinking water (to fill bottles) and internet access. You might be starting to get an idea of what it is like.The position is great, right on the main square (Zocalo) in the old town, above and behind the ground floor shops so access is through a narrow shop selling and repairing mobile phones, providing internet facilities etc. It is so narrow that when there is a customer at the counter it is difficult to squeeze ... read more
Imposing staircase
Faded elegance of the terrace
The kitchen -at a quiet time

North America » Mexico November 9th 2010

Geo: 21.1478, -86.835 Cancun, in Mexico (or Egypt, Florida, Australia?)The town of Cancun is divided in two, downtown, where we stayed, and the hotel zone. Our hostel was simple but functional with a good cheap restaurant. Downtown is where the local people, who are predominantly Mayan, live. We enjoyed it as it felt quite homely with a supermarket next door, and very good public transport which was easy to get to grips with and is very cheap. The hotel zone runs along a narrow stretch of land about 20 kilometres long, joined to the mainland at both ends. The hotels are one deep so nearly everyone has a sea view. All hotel chains are represented here and some are beautiful designs, but others are very ugly. Amongst the hotels are restaurants offering every cuisine imaginable but ... read more
Tulum - looking inland
Chichen Itza - the pyramid
A cenote

North America » Mexico November 5th 2010

Geo: 21.1478, -86.835Monday 1st November dawned and off to Heathrow. All went very smoothly, the transfer from hotel at Gatwick to Heathrow by National Express, the Air New Zealand flight which arrived an hour early in Los Angeles, and shuttle to the Custom Hotel a short distance from the airport. This (“boutique”) hotel claims to be a trendy, ultra modern design which probably explains the family of 3 sheep in reception. However, when I picked up the telephone to answer the early morning call I was TOTALLY deafened by the loudest cockerel imaginable crowing down the phone! Not a calming way to start the day. Despite the rude awakening we were beginning to think this travel lark was a picnic. It was as well we did not know what was coming next.The next day we checked ... read more
Jim at the beach bar, Playa del Carmen
Sue at same bar - reclining
Foyer of hotel

Europe » Spain » Balearic Islands November 5th 2010

Geo: 40.0279, 4.16433 We were due to leave Menorca on Saturday 30th October. Having decided to take the bus to the airport, we arrived early as planned and settled down to read for a few hours. Our flight was due to depart at 9.45pm but by the time we checked in at 7.30 it was running half an hour late. At 9pm they changed departure to 1.20 am. In fact, the plane had engineering problems and could not leave the UK. Passengers due to leave from Gatwick were sent off to hotels by 7pm but it seems to have taken some time for the message to reach Menorca as we were not allocated hotels until 1am. Anyway, back to the airport next morning after a few hours sleep and eventually news filtered through that our plane ... read more
The Naveta
An interesting downpipe
Traditional Menorcan gate




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