postheadericon Honeymoon

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June 28th, 2010

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Travel to Mexico!!

We took a wonderful airport limo (Thanks Edwin!!) at the ungodly hour of 4:15am to Pearson!

We left YYZ (Toronto) @ 6:30am for CUN (Cancun, Mexcio)… With a short stop over in ORD (Chicago, O’Hare), we made it to Mexico around 1:00pm Mexican time.

We enjoyed homemade panini sandwiches (Alana thought ahead) and complimentary refreshments on our American Airlines flights.  All went reasonably well.

Arrival in Sunny Cancun!

Bus to Playa Del CarmenAt the airport we bought ADO bus tickets to Playa Del Carmen ($141Waiting for the bus to Tulum pesos each) where we would then transfer to a MAYAB bus to Tulum ($26 pesos each) where we were staying for our first 2 nights. Alana had researched and found a hostel style B&B with free bike rental and breakfast located across the road from the Tulum ruins which was $50/night for a private room with shared bathroom.  It was very rustic and perfect for the first leg of our trip – details below under Posada los Mapaches.

The ADO bus was 1st class and air-conditioned – which was nice as the temps were in the mid 40’s with the humidity!!  The MAYAB was 2nd class and although they said it was air-conditioned – clearly it was older bus and not as good as the ADO.. but it got us to where we needed to go! 🙂  We arrived in Tulum around 3:30pm

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Posada los Mapaches – Arrival in Tulum

We arrived at “Racoon Inn” and like the website shows – Posada los Mapaches is a rustic, slice of heaven right on the federal highway and across the road from the costal ruins of Tulum and a 10min bike ride from the quaint town of Tulum.

We immediately felt at home here!

Our first day had us settling into our room & the climate, learning about the area and avoiding mosquitoes (which was impossible!! Mozzy’s in Mexico are soooo small – we loathing-ly refer to them as “POQUITO MOSQUITOES” – meaning little mosquitoes – as they were practically invisible!!) We also hung out with our 2 neighbours (the only other visitors of the hostel)… Chris from Brittan and Cass from Australia – both solo travelers in Mexico for a few weeks as part of world travels 🙂

That evening we enjoyed a nice dinner across the road with Cass - BBQ Chicken with fries & Chicken Stirfry with rice - washed down with Margaritas of course!

We returned to the hostel and played CRAZY EIGHTS with Cass & Chris… until our eyelids couldn’t stay open!!

It was a long day of travel.

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June 29th, 2010

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After a great night sleep we awoke to the chirping & squawking from local birds.   We enjoyed a lovely breakfast of fruit, yogurt, fruit smoothies, coffee & a beautiful vegetarian sandwich made with pumpernickel loaf, local fresh cheese, veggies & pesto!!  So delicious we ate it up before a photo could be taken!  After our hearty breakfast, we enjoyed a hot shower in the outdoor shared bathroom and changed into our hikers and planned our only full day in Tulum.

Mayan Ruins – Tulum

We were up for adventure and had awesome bikes – so we decided to first ride them to the ruins of Tulum.  These were great to have as we could ride them to the ticket gate – those with cars had to pay for parking and then walk in – approx. 7mins by bike – so being that it was already so hot at 11am – we were glad to have the breeze of our bikes to get us there. Once in we went up to the ticket booth and for approx. $4USD each we got an all access pass to the past!  We also found out that ALL ruins in Mexico are closed on Mondays and are FREE for Mexicans on Sundays.  The Tulum ruins are located on 12-meter (39 ft) cliffs, along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.  They are one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites, and popular with tourists (that’s us!!).   The buildings that are visible on the site date from the Post-Classic period, around 1200 to 1500 A.D., and the city of Tulum was functioning at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards. It was a busy day – lots of tourists checking out the site – and the wind was intense – shooting sea water up the cliffs and creating a nice spray of water to cool us under the hot sun 🙂 For more info check the Wikipedia!

Among the ruins we found many exciting flora & fauna… flowers, plants and many Black Spiny Tailed Iguanas!!  With Leafy Palms, Geiger Trees with their orange blossoms, Thorny Silk Floss Trees, Pinky Rubber Vine, Purple Beach Morning Glory, Prickly Pear Cacti & Agave plants intermixed with the old stone ruins of a civilization long gone.

It took about an hour to see everything and since the beach was so busy and we didn’t have our bathing suits with us we decided to ride home for a refreshing shower before heading to check out the town of Tulum.  On the way we found a man with fresh coconuts!  Knowing the wonderful hydration benefits of coconut water we got 2 and sat in the shade and watched a traditional “Dance of the Flyers” – Danza de los Voladores.

What a GREAT experience!

We knew after our visit to Tulum we planned on visiting at least one more Ruin Site while in Mexico!

Now realizing that our thirst was quenched by those tasty coconuts – our hunger was in need of being satisfied!!

We remembered just next to our hostel there was a Taco Shop… it was time for some authentic Mexican TACOS!!!!

After struggling with our minimal Spanish we ordered “dos tacos de carne por favor”… and we enjoyed a snack of 2 chicken tacos each and a Fanta Soda!  These were fresh handmade corn tortillas with slow cooked deliciously seasoned chicken meat… with onion & cilantro garnish, and hot salsa to taste of course!  YUM!!

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Tulum Pueblo

After fueling up – we rode into town to explore the streets and boulevards of Tulum.  A once small town is now almost 15,000 people with a large number of hotels, shops & restaurants… Including the San Fransisco de Asis supermarket… which we stopped at on our way into town for an air conditioned break and to see what we could acquire if needed – we didn’t end up buying anything.  We did find some funny packaging though:

From Suavelastic Diapers, BIMBO white bread, Kiddies diapers, GOLDEN NUTS, fresh eggs out in the produce section and cases of empty bottles for water – people will buy them to sell or use in their businesses, and even a World Cup themed display of Coke products!  It wasn’t that different from home!

From there we biked from one end of town to the other looking for a place to have dinner later that night, and checking out shops on the way.  We checked out one place that we were recommended by the hostel called El Capitan… and after meeting the owner, having a nice chat and seeing their menu – we were very excited to come back later that evening to try fish & shrimp tacos for the first time 🙂

At this point we needed a break and water… so we stopped at a small place which boasted the BEST authentic Mexican food around… so we had to test them on that 😉

So we enjoyed mushroom & chirizo quesadillas & chicken gorditas – and WOW!  We were convinced!  YUM!!

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Dinner @ Restaurante El Capitan

Lovely outdoor shared bathroom with 6 toilets and 6 showers!

We rode home to freshen up for our dinner and catch a little siesta… with all the food we had and the heat after a refreshing shower this was necessary!!

We changed and headed out for our dinner in town…  riding bikes at night on the highway was interesting and  scary – although not an uber busy highway – cars still travel quite fast!!

We had head lamps and reflective vests so we were riding as safe as possible – no one  owns or wears helmets!!

We arrived at El Capitan and Elize (the owner) welcomed us and sat us out front (so we could people watch!).  We started off with 2-4-1 margaritas – they were strong and delicious!!  Most restaurants serve homemade chips & salsa as a complimentry starter – and we were glad to have them to help balance the tequila!! 😉

We then ordered the fish tacos and shrimp tacos dinners and a fried rice dish to share.  While waiting for the food a busker with a guitar came by and serenaded the restaurant patrons with traditional Mexican songs, and covers of The Red Hot Chili Peppers & Bob Marley… he was really good!

When our dinner arrived we split the tacos – 2 each  so we could taste them both – and boy were they fantastic!!!  We totally didn’t need the rice and veg (as the tacos were more then enough) but we polished off most of it along with a few more drinks – Carona’s this time!

After digesting, letting the margaritas wear off and people watching for a while we paid our bill ($30!!!) and made our way home via the dark highway.  3/4 of the way home the peddle fell off my bike and after recovering it I peddled the rest of the way on the post… which was uncomfortable but not impossible.  We got back to our room and after packing up for our journey the next day we were so tired we just snuggled up and went to bed early…. A wonderful night to remember for sure!

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June 30th, 2010

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Travel to Mahahual!!

We woke up at 7am feeling well rested and raring to go!  We were at breakfast by 8am and were greeted with a wonderful home made breakfast once again at Posada Los Mapaches… Chelo made us a lovely veggie frittata with side fruit and yogurt plate – and fruit smoothie and coffee (which we didn’t have today since we’ll be on a hot bus for several hours). Today we travel to MAHAHUAL!!!  And realize our goals of visiting the school we worked so hard to raise funds for and collected donations for.  We had purchased bus tickets yesterday and for $148pesos each we got a 1st class ADO bus south.

Chelo came out to say goodbye – with big hugs and many thanks she then called us a taxi and for $80pesos we and our many bags made our way to the bus station.

The ride was comfortable although it took 5hours!!!  We left Tulum at 10am and with all the stops arrived in Mahahual at 3pm… there is no other way to go unless you rent a car and drive yourself!  Cancun Airport to Mahahual is only 4.5hour drive!!  Knowing it was going to take so long we thought about renting a car, but with neither of us remembering our driver’s licenses and it being much cheaper and eco-friendly to take the bus, we opted for the bus.  Plus this way we got to see more of where we are going and going in and out of the little towns along the way was very interesting!  The adventure continues!! 🙂

10 Responses to “Honeymoon”

  • Great blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
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  • elyse:

    Hi ! I just…..(better late then never…) saw your blog. It looks great ! And thanks of speaking so nice about us !!
    We hope to see you back sometime !

    Elyse and the ‘El Capitan’ crew.

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