No bell, no brakes, no beach!


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North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum
December 3rd 2018
Published: December 3rd 2018
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Tulum


This morning we are going for a bike ride to the beach. Unfortunately we are up late as we both had a poor nights sleep coughing and spluttering. Plus we are in a small bed here - they only had doubles.

Ian also has to deal with a cockroach drama. Fortunately Ian spots it before me so his foot is on top of it only seconds after my shriek. There has been a very bad smell coming from the shower room and also Ian told the lady not to clean our room yesterday as I wasn’t feeling well. We tell the owner and he says they don’t normally have a problem with the drains in this room so he will have it investigated this morning. He also shows us how to fix the air con which mysteriously died this morning. Someone had set it to heat instead of cool - oops I think that was probably me...I was freezing in the middle of the night so I switched it off in the dark and it hasn’t worked since!

And then there is the clean laundry and coffee to collect. Ian wants to know what I want to eat. I think I will have a doughnut instead of yoghurt this morning. Oxxo is incapable of selling anything healthy in any case and all the yoghurts I have been consuming are bright pink and full of e-numbers. I didn’t eat much yesterday and my stomach has been rumbling since 2am!

Ian returns with our laundry and a cup of coffee. Nothing to eat because they are out of doughnuts. Slightly irritating because I did say I was ‘starving’ but that’s what happens when you are too specific! Never mind we’ll down the coffee and look for a cafe.

We are setting off and it’s so hot and humid that neither of us is that keen. But it’s only 30 minutes bike ride to the beach and we can break it up with our breakfast stop.

Ian sources us two bikes of suitable saddle height from the selection on offer in the B&B garden. He even manages to find me one without a crossbar. Now he explains the mechanics. There is no bell, so peddle slowly and shout if anyone gets in your way. There are no brakes, so peddle slowly, and change peddle direction (ie peddle backwards) to stop...this results in an abrupt jolt but does the trick. Finally, don’t forget to use the right hand side of the road.

Our bikes have big baskets on the front - perfect for all my tissues and towels. We set off from our side road where we join the busy dual carriageway. It’s not pleasant but there are loads of restaurants along here. Unfortunately they all appear to be open for drinks only. Or tacos...I just can’t face Mexican breakfast today. Finally we find an overpriced bistro. We lock our bikes and peruse the menu. The waiter comes back for our order. We give him our choices. Now he tells us ‘chef is unwell today’...err, so why did you give us this menu then? We choose fruit juice and a croissant - apparently they are also incapable of chopping fruit and adding yoghurt and cereal too so, apart from coffee, there is no other choice anyway!

Admittedly, the croissants are fresh and the fruit juice thick. We cool down under a fan. It doesn’t help much because we are sweating again before we even get the bike locks off!

There is a marked cycle lane here which helps...well, sort of. Everyone is ignoring it, so bikes are travelling against the flow, cycling double when it clearly states single file, and there are heedless pedestrians everywhere. There is even the odd motorbike!

We have reached the crossroads where we need to turn right. Here, the cycle path is less congested although still two way traffic...not that we can see another path opposite. They are starting to plant palm trees to provide shade and in a few years time this will probably be very nice. Today it is useless and we are forced to peddle in the blazing heat all the way down to the beach.

There are a number of covered benches along the way which do provide some respite. They have two swinging signs either end - a bit like pub signs, except much lower. Result...I walk straight into one of them when parking my bike! They weren’t obvious from the bike side!

Thirty minutes my ****. That was an ambitious estimate. Maybe if we were a bit younger or fitter, or if our bikes had gears and the tyres had not seemed to deflate on the way! Anyway, we’ve made it. We are now facing a tall metal chainmail fence and lots of trees. We can just about see the sand and a glimmer of sea through the woodland. Yes, you’ve guessed it...all the five star hotels have grabbed this land and we cannot get access. There is a public entrance somewhere...it’s either to the right or to the left and who knows how many kilometres!

We are both hot, tired, coughing and rapidly losing the will. Ian doesn’t want to swim anyway and it’s fast losing its appeal with me. We decide to cut our losses and return for a cool shower and more R&R. I guess if you want to see the beach here then it’s best to book a package at one of the five stars.

Back at the guest house, our room has been cleaned and the shower has clearly been fixed as the bad odour has gone. We can’t see any scary scuttling friends either. We dive for a shower and flop.

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Tot: 2.923s; Tpl: 0.044s; cc: 8; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0423s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb