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Published: December 23rd 2006
So these three quotes potentially sum up our Mexico experience:
1. Larry (South Carolina-Former Hippie-Done Time for Dealing in the 60s-Living Retired Life on The Pacific Coast in Mexico) to Dom & Yvette (your average travel punters) insert southern drawl
"Do you guys know what all the pyramids have in common? (dramatic pause) They're all on the same latitude! And why do you think that might be - how on earth could they know? (second dramatic pause) They're road signs for alien ships!"
2. Typical Traveler Dude in Backpackers Hostel:
"I tell you man, Tulum without a mosquito net... you might as well just slit your wrists!"
3. American Tourists in Cancun to Dom & Yvette as we rush to get on a bus with our backpacks insert gregarious american accent
"Are you guys on the Amazing Race?! 'Cos you just never know when you're gonna meet those folks!"
3 Weeks in Mexico and 3 different faces of a country: Mexico City to Puerto Escondido - From Full On to Laid Back Man!:
What a crazy city Mexico City is. Perhaps take your expectations of what the biggest cities in the
"Mexico City is a sprawling metropolis of 25 Million"
From the top of one of the city's buildings, it's easy to believe.
world are like - and add another 50% on the intensity scale. Mexico city might be like Tokyo could be if you took away all the Japanese efficiency and organisation. It was full on! Streets packed, people selling something everywhere and commuter rush to match. At the top of the city's tallest building we couldn't believe the view out to 25 million people.
But then it was onto Puerto Escondido and the giant waves of Zicatela beach. We went with a plan to stay 3 or 4 days and ended up staying in our little bit of paradise for 9! Scoring a room with its own kitchenette (on balcony) and hammocks overlooking the ocean, each day involved not much more than hanging at a beach shack, reading and working on our tans... Puerto has a great "surfie vibe" and attracts the craziest for international championships each year, but even so, year long it has a great laid-back Pacific ocean attitude that draws the likes of us (sun lovers) and those like Larry who like to take life a little slower and a little alternatively. (Ancient Myan cities were also apparently vacated overnight in around 700AD by alien ships....and the
world as we know it, will cease to exist in 2012.) Well, we'd better make the most of things then! San Cristobal to Palenque to Tulum - From Mexican Culture to the Mozzies:
After dragging ourselves away from the beach, it was back on the night buses for a short stay in San Cristobal with its beautiful broad streets, churches and colourfully painted facades, before then heading onto Palenque and its jungle shrowded ruins. We had visited Teotihuacan near Mexico city the week before and really enjoyed the contrast between the two ruins - the former being a mammoth city of 80,000 people at its height around 600AD, with broad boulevards and towering pyramids whilst the latter was a much smaller, but more mysterious experience with its damp and mossy ruins, misty rain and the spooky whirling cries of howler monkeys.
But then it was quickly onto Tulum on the Carribian coast. We were keen to get back to beach time baby!
Tulum is on the map for one main reason - its also got some wicked ruins! Set cropped against the cliffs on the coastline, overlooking beautiful Carribian-stylie palm trees and crystal clear blue water
- I tell you - if I was to live in ancient times, I think Tulum would be the place to choose!
Anyway, besides checking out the ruins and taking the opportunity to snorkel in nearby caves we continued our Mexican theme of "Time to Relax on the Beach"! You'd hardly believe Tulum is 2 hours south of Cancun (except for the dozens of tourist busses outside the entrance to the ruins) as once you get to the beach there, unless you're 5 star-resorting it, the beach shacks are very basic and most don't even have electricity. And then there are also those little bastards..... MOSQUITOS!! Oh, but that's not all... SANDFLIES!! I was not quite myself for about 24 hours on our last day in Tulum. The pain, the itching, my feet, my toes!! Argh! That dude was soo right... pain and agony that you'd almost do anything to put an end to!! Playa del Carmen to Isla del Mujeres to Cancun - Trapos Turisticos and Time for a Laugh
Heading north from Tulum to the more developed (understatement) beaches around Cancun it was clear that 'We Weren't in Kansas Anymore Toto!'. This became apparently clear
when we were mistaken for Amazing Race contestents - they obviously don't see a lot of backpackers around these parts!
Our plan to while away our last week 'on the road' on Mexico's beautiful beaches was pretty much twarted by the time we hit Playa del Carmen - it started to rain, and well, it pretty much didn't stop for an entire week. And anyone who's visited a beach destiantion during consistent rain knows that the trap of these places is that generally speaking, except for the beach, there ain't much else to do! Thankgoodness for internet cafes... hmmm..
But by the 3rd day of rain we were subjected to enduring traveler's trite conversations like 'Man, I've got to get off this island, it's soo boring' 'Well that's because you're not smoking enough! heh heh heh'.
By the 4th day of rain we were playing 'I am thinking of someone and you have to guess with yes or no questions' in an icecream shop in Isla del Mujeres.
By the 5th day of rain Dom had resorted to town crying the Loney Planet in his underwear in our room.
So we knew we were hitting
Who's that second from right!??!
Dom shaking his booty for free shots in Cancun
the wall and decided drastic measures needed to be taken. So HELLO Cancun!! The place that everyone said was to be avoided.... expensive, cheesy, noisy, annoying tourists, drunk students etc etc. But with a desperate search on lastminute.com and a mini-splurge we checked ourselves into a hotel room on the hotel strip with kitchenette and CABLE TV. So we knew that come rain, hail or shine, at least we'd have some movies and VH1 to keep us midly entertained on our last 2 days in Mexico.
Anyway, as things turned out, we actually really really enjoyed Cancun! Sure it rained, but when the sun ain't shining at least we could have a good laugh at all the crazy American bars, restaurants and the general vibe.... Where else could you go for 2-for-1 drinks that when you go to pay for the bill actually work out to be 2-for1.5. Where Spanish-America is so fused the signs say "Bienvenidos Y'All!". And where else could we go for a quiet Corona or two and end up in a Cyotee Ugly scene with bar top dancers, giant sombreros, sausage balloons and frree shots for all those who joined the conga line. (I'm very
proud to say that Dom was out of his chair in a FLASH!)
We were lucky enough to have about half a day of sunshine on our last day and you can guess what we did.... that's right... straight to the beach! In Cancun, its necessary to go through a hotel lobby in order to reach the beach and we happened to select the section of the beach where the Hilton is. Anyway, in typical pikie backpackers style, we were so overwhelmed by how beautiful their swimming pool and facilites were that we decided to damn well pretend like we were guests and LOVED using their pool equipped with swim up bar, fountains and to-die-for views of the ocean. (pictures attached!)
So our time in Mexico came to an end..... a beautiful country and a wonderful mixed bag of spectacular beach days, mysterious ancient ruins and the crazy experiences that come when you're rain bogged in beach resorts.
Next, and final stop, New York and Chicago for Christmas and New Years.
P.S Don't forget to scroll forward to page 2 of the pictures at the bottom of the page... new travelblog feature!
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Wow, Puerto Escondido looks like a slice of paradise! Will save that name to my memory. Enjoy, guys!
hey guys! if your only hitting your last dollar now thats PRETTY FREEKIN GOOD! To get 11months into 12 on your budget is bloody awesome. Your average folk would be on credit card after 2 hahha. You guys are looking well! Have an awesome xmas and NY and rest of your trip!!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years Eve
Hey Guys I see, your trip is finished and I hope it was as unbelieveable as it always looked on the pics. I really envy you. Wish you the best for Christmas and a great party for New Year's Eve. Best wishes from cold Switzerland (damn, no snow here)
You lucky Bastards!!!!!
Hey there guys its Owen here, finally brought myself to look at your site. It seems almost a distant dream when we were struttung ourselves with Eric Morillo and "Sweet Dreams" in Buenas Airies. Thanks again for the contact for our apartment in Rio, it was the perfect way to end our trip. Keep living life to the full and seriously dont worry about the cash because when you look at your credit card bill you realise it was worth every last blady penny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Merry Chiristmas or as we say in Wales Nodolig Llawen x
Alex and Inge
(The title is the only word we learned in New Zealand) Hi There! We've read your story. Dom dancing! wow! and you guys made it to The Hilton, how cool! Great to read that you had such a great time the last month! Up to the states! We are enjoying ourselfs also very much here. All the best for 2007, and see you in Sydney!?
What a fantastic trip you've had - something you'll remember all of your lives. I've really enjoyed your travelblogs - you should look at writing some travel BOOKS!! Dom - your mum tells me you'll be spending some time back in the UK which has made her VERY happy I can tell you. Things downunder for this unbronzed aussie are fine - everyone's well and Cat and Mousty are in the throes of buying house/land/mortgage with all the usual trappings - and I mean trappings - some builders really are products of unmarried parents aren't they? !! Have a great time in London and no doubt I'll be kept up to date with your "activities" Lots of love to you both - Jo