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North America » Mexico » Quintana Roo » Tulum
October 15th 2011
Published: October 23rd 2011
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15th Oct ’11 Playa del Carmen and joining the trip
Well it’s still tanking it down and the pool is nearly bursting its banks!
We had to check out of the lovely El Acuario and go to the hotel El Elefanta to join the trip, the hotel is ok but rather dingy and no lovely courtyard pool but it does have a lovely comfy bed so that will do for 1 night. We were forced to spend the afternoon in a little reggae pub as the rain was to bad to do anything else!

We met up with the group, who seem a nice bunch there are 16 of us in total. We all went out for a meal at a local Mexican place which ended up with a river running down the middle of the floor due to the rain. There is Sven from Sweeden!, Martin from UK, Andrea from Switzerland, Kiwis Helen and Terry, Emily from USA, Shannon, Carolyn, Lindsay, Alex, Elva, Karen, Aaron and Daniel from Oz. Our guide is Veronica (Ronnie) from UK who is very enthusiastic! Some of the ‘youngsters’ inc us went out for a few drinks until the beachfront bar turned into a
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Paddling in the bar
swamp and Howard and I ran back to the hotel and left them to it.

16th Oct ’11 PDC to Tulum, Mexico
As it was still pouring down we got taxis to the bus station and then waited for the 2nd class (unreserved seating) bus to Tulum. We are staying in beach cabanas there and there was some uncertainty if we would actually be able to due to the rain, however we did….. the road to the ‘hotel’ – the Papaya Playa was awash with virtually a lake blocking the entrance. Ronnie managed to get us a free upgrade to ensuite cabanas – I suspect because there was only about 2 other guests foolish enough to stay there!

Everything is under water – the bar, the restaurant area – it is all open air with thatched roofs. The path to the room is windy, uneven with rocks jutting out everywhere. The cabanas are round huts with thatched roofs and right on the beach. There is no electric, the original ones we should have stayed in look like they have been transplanted, second hand from an African village! Thank god we are not in them, we would never have
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Our hut upgrade
been able to find the loos for a start!

The bed in the first room we were given was full of water so we had to swap with the guide! The new one has a big hole in the floor – we had already been warned about rats trying to get in the room so that did not inspire me with confidence!, but at least the bed wasn’t wet just damp and smelt of mildew.

There was no way you could do anything that afternoon and the rooms were to horrible to sit in, so we just hung around the bar area chatting, dodging drips and paddling on the floor! The young ones went for a swim and then played volleyball. Eventually we had some food and then walked back along the beach to the hut, luckily we had a torch with us or we would never have found it! We opened the door and the first thing I saw was a cockroach running up the bedpost, aaaaarrrrrggggghhhh! Had totally had enough so just crawled under the mosquito net and lay awake most of the night, it was mega hot and the sweat was just pouring off us and the sea was really loud – lovely but when you are already totally paranoid it didn’t help!

17th Oct ’11 Tulum
It is not raining!!!!!! Praise the lord! Grey skies but no rain! Forced Howard to get up to take advantage of this miracle and go and see something. Had pancakes for breakfast so a good start
We got a taxi out to the local mayan ruins which were really interesting, right on the cliff tops, it was the only mayan port apparently. We had a good look round and then caught a taxi to visit the Grand Cenote, which is a sink hole – underground river/cave system. We went in for a swim and explore, Howard went quite a way into the pitch black cave with all the bats while I observed. We swam right round and into another cave which had a sandy bottom and you could stand up in some areas. We had caught up with the rest of the group by now, as they had hired bikes and were doing the 17 mile trip that way! We left them to it and went into the town for a mooch about and got some lunch then reluctantly returned to the huts. It was so hot and muggy we decided to go in the sea for a while, the waves were so strong I got completely knocked off my feet and only just managed to hang onto my glasses!
We also earned our first black mark today as we told the guide we did not want to do the planned homestay in Guatemala, she took it quite well and didn’t seem surprised. So now we are going to look for a nice hotel, with air conditioning and perhaps hot water. Already we are talking about when we can ditch the trip!



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