Tulum and Mérida

Trip Start Sep 30, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed

Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Saturday, January 7, 2012

After New Years we headed to Tulum to relax a few days after the madness of Playa del Carmen at Christmas and New Years time. An advice, do not go if it means coinciding with an electronic music festival on the beach. We had electronic music blasting out from just a few blocks away until 6 in the morning. Not so much fun!!

Anyway, we arrived in Tulum and went back to the Weary Traveller, they were full so we got a room at Casa del Sol. We paid upfront for the first night saying we might stay 2 or 3 nights, we got a little cabin with shared bathroom. There was a funny system to the toilet paper, instead of having it in the bathroom they had a big roll hanging right next to the kitchen and common room. So everyone knew who was taking a little paper or a lot of paper. Anyway, not such a big deal, we had a good nights sleep and were planning to go to the Tulum archaeological site the next day. Only to be told that we would not be staying another night, this hostel had a big attitude problem and a huge problem with their online bookings. So far it has never happened to us or anyone we met that they were told they could not stay because of bookings. Normally they control this and do not oversell, not this place. Well pissed off we went back to the Weary Traveller and with a lot of luck got a private double room in the building across the road where they have the private rooms. Perfect!! We could still use the common area in the general building and then escape the music and noise to sleep well across the road. Since we had already missed a good few hours that day we just took it easy and explored Tulum village, there is not that much too it, a long main road running through the village with plenty of tourist shops and bars and restaurants. The next day we took the free transport included in the price of the room to go to the Tulum ruins, it was really impressive. It is interesting how different the sites are, Chichen Itza which is really open and flat, Cobá that is in the middle of the jungle and Tulum right by the Caribbean Sea. We visited the site and when it got really busy, took the wooden stairs down to the little stretch of beach inside the archaeological site. It is really something laying on the beach and watching the Tulum ruins just behind you. Around midday we walked to the public beach away from the site and had some lunch and spent the afternoon in the sun. At 5pm we got the free bus service back to Tulum village and the hostel. Tulum is just so much more relaxed than Playa del Carmen, the only downside is that the beach is fairly far from town so you can't really have both within walking distance.

From Tulum we got the ADO direct bus to Mérida and arrived to Mérida on the evening of the 4th, still being in the holiday season we have been really lucky to get rooms. We managed to get the last room for 4 people with a German sister and brother that arrived just at the same time as us. It seemed like a better option than a 12 bed dorm. The hostel was recommended by the hostel in Tulum as they work together and send people between them. It is called Nomadas and I must say that it is probably one of the best places we have stayed at so far. They have a nice sized pool out the back and they do actually strictly stick to their no noise after midnight. The night guy switches of the lights at midnight so everyone can get a good nights sleep, very good for us light sleepers. The next day we spent checking out parts of Mérida we didn’t visit when we were there a few years ago, we realised that there is much more to Mérida than just the historical city centre and main square. We soon realised that there was a very frantic cleaning and general fixing around the main square, turns out that we had arrived just in time for the 470th Anniversary of the funding of the city of Mérida the 6th January. So the following day was not only Día de los Reyes, it was also the birthday of Mérida. But this time we had decided, we would stay in Mérida for now. On the evening of the 5th we walked with the mariachis down to the main square and saw the fireworks to begin one month of celebrations for the anniversary. The next day we started checking option for renting an apartment and asked the owner of the hostel about the two apartments they rent. One would be available from the 20th January. That evening we did a walking tour and I must say it was brilliant! It is called Noche de las Leyendas and they are actors walking you around the city centre and re enacting the founding of Mérida when the Spanish arrived. It was really interesting and they got the audience to take part. Ramón was chosen to represent a priest taking part in the foundation of Mérida on that exact day 470 years ago. It was so funny! The next morning we went to see the apartment owned by the mother in law of the hostel where we were staying. We liked it a lot and it includes all bills, internet and Cable TV. So from the 20th January 2012 we have an apartment in Mérida to move into. We rented it for one month to use it as a base for checking other options. Then we decided to continue to Chiapas as was the original plan and we have 2 weeks before we can move in.
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