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North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum
December 1st 2018
Published: December 2nd 2018
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Valladolid to Tulum


Today we have nothing better to do than to catch our bus to Tulum. We stay in our room until checkout at 12 noon and walk to the bus station. A taxi would have been better but we don’t see one and we don’t trust the hotel to order one on our behalf. Although there is some cloud cover it is much less than yesterday and it is sweltering.

It takes us only 10 minutes to walk the 2x2 blocks. We have finally got our bearings...now that we are leaving! We are both sweating buckets as we flop into a couple of seats to wait. We still have an hour to go but we decided that we didn’t want to stay in that hotel a moment longer. There are no convenient cafes near the station, only take away places. Never mind...we will cool down once we are on the air con bus. We are booked on the first class service today!

We are heading to the beaches, starting with Tulum. This will take us out of Yukatan state and into Quinta Roo. They are on a different time zone there so we will need to advance our clocks by one hour...not that we need to physically do this as Apple does it all for you.

Today is the day that the new Mexican president is taking office and all eyes are glued to the TV screens in the bus station. They are currently showing his inauguration speech.

It’s nearing our departure time, although we are not expecting the bus to be on time because it’s coming in from somewhere else. Our problem is that, whilst we know where we are going, we don’t know the final destination of the bus. All the announcements are over a tannoy in Spanish so we have little choice but to ask the security man, who is guarding the entrance, every time a new bus arrives! We can see he is getting pretty fed up! I know it’s not nice when people keep interrupting your bevvy session (he’s on his third can of lager already) - but we would look equally silly sitting here waiting for our bus to drive away without us!

Finally a bus has turned up which looks a likely candidate. It is labelled Playa del Carmen and it is the bright red colour which usually denotes a first class service. We get up and go to the gate but the guard is telling us ‘no’. Does this mean ‘no, it’s not your bus’ or ‘no, I’m going to exert my authority and make you wait as long as possible as I am sick and tired of you’? It turns out to be the latter.

We finally get the nod and board the bus. Ice cold air con - lovely! The bus is still having its windscreen washed. It has been done once, but not to our drivers satisfaction. He is now outside calling for the cleaning man to return with his step ladders, bucket, spray bottles and cloths. The driver points to several perceived spots on the glass - we are sitting on the front seat and it all looks perfect to us! Another case of megalomania, I think!

The bus sets off only five minutes behind schedule and we have a reasonably smooth journey to Tulum. We arrive only twenty minutes late and the phone has already added the extra hour on.

I am forced to queue for an ATM as we need some cash and it’s convenient since we are here. The only problem is that there was a long line of taxis here a moment ago...and now there are none! Well we could wait but it’s only an eight minute walk according to google maps and, amazingly, we still have the wheels on our luggage!

We arrive at our accommodation which is a bit like an airbnb. We are greeted by the owner, a Frenchman (originally from Nantes), who speaks perfect English. That’s nice. I might even get to practice a bit of my French here. :-)

Our host leaves the reception counter and meets us by the back gate with an adorable little golden lab puppy. We are led through a pretty garden to a nice ground floor room with an en-suite shower room. We are also shown the shared facilities...a fridge freezer, microwave, hob and tea and coffee making facilities, a huge basket of DVDs we can borrow and lots of information on the area. There is also free bike loan and a shared dining/lounge area, although we also have a big sofa right outside our room.

Back in our room, we both dive for the luxury of a hot shower before unpacking. Time is ticking on because of the hour difference. We are going to source some spuds tomorrow for jacket potatoes - I am really longing for something that is not swimming in oil. But for tonight, we will find a local restaurant.

It’s not really late but I am exhausted so we seek an early meal. We find a small place serving grilled fish - wonderful. Ian orders his with butter and me with coriander. We sit outside under a thatch roof canop. It’s not exactly idyllic because it’s on a main road but we do see some cars going up and down with people on the back cheering and brandishing Mexican flags. We assume it’s to do with the new presidency.

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