Culture shock!!

Trip Start Sep 25, 2007
Trip End Dec 20, 2007

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Saturday, December 1, 2007

So I did end up staying here in the luck with the weather is holding out and the weather turned in Tulum today.  Just after I came back from diving in fact :)  Only thing was that this delayed me a bit and since it was dark when I arrived here I decided to stay put for the night and head over to Isla (as the locals call it) in the morning. 

This whole being on my own thing is just great for the blog homework and for the liver too, a double whammy which means that I can`t make any calls when I sit down to the internet in the evening. 

The dives this morning were great and I`m glad that I had booked the flights and had my backpack with me as the cave course would have tempted me otherwise.  I wonder if there are any nice dives in Clare?  That was Lucas` pitch.  That and moving to Columbia and fulfilling his dream of making hash-spuds once he heard that I`m a biochemist...interesting propositions.  Anyway, the dives were amazing- and part of the current longest underwater river in the world too.  The formations and colours were spectacular, and because I was more relaxed I could appreciate it all a bit more.  Oh, and we saw a shrimp :)  But I think The Temple of Doom will remain my favourite.  In spite of my fear of sounding like an intro in the lonely Planet, there are no over water rivers at all in the Yucatan peninsula; they are all under the limestone.  The ancient Maya built their cities around them and worshipped them.  Lots of skeletons and other offerings such as jewellery were found in the cenote at Chichen Itza for example.  And I was wrong in the last entry--there are cenotes in may other places in the world such as Africa and France I think.  But the ones here are the most accessible and most impressive according to Lucas, my dive master.  He also worked In Buddha View...Has everyone passes through that place or what??

Well I don`t have any time to really see anything here in Cancun but I hope to before I leave.  It`s a mad place that feels like an American Malaga, but then I`ve only really seen between the bus station and the hostel.  But after spending the last 2 and a bit months where I have it kinda blew my mind when I got here....huge urges to shop!!  But they pass so quickly when you have to carry everything around on your back :( 

Hasto luego chicos!!

Part II
Stayed in Cancun and made a lovely friend in Kelly on my second day.  My first was filled by enjoying the western delights here...namely a day filled eating bad things, going to the cinema and treating myself to mani/pedi upkeep.  Next day Kelly and I went sunbathing in Isla Mujers, which is a quieter version of here, with really nice shops and Happy Hour Margaritas :)  Kelly really wanted to come to Cuba too, so left her organise that while I went off on the worst day of my trip to Chichen Itza.  9 hours all told in the bus, most of which involved driving around Cancun, was put on a different tour with really rude operators and then I found out that you canīt go into the main pyramid any more and in fact, nearly no climbing at all is allowed.  OK, it is a pretty impressive site that they are trying to conserve, so I shouldnīt complain.  One thing, there are murals/engravings that depict Africans, American Indians and maybe others that Iīve now forgotten, that dates from about 500 BC.  Pretty cool?!  Also, Chichen Itza was the "bloodiest" ancient city-- lots of children and/or virgins skeletons were found in the cenote around which the city was built, and get this, at the end of the ball game the star was also "offered up" to the Gods.  I would have been grand!  And they still canīt figure out how they managed to create the acoustics with the main pyramid.  Actually I could go on, itīs pretty cool.  Anyway, I came back to Kelly talking to 2 guys that had been in Cuba and between everything she bailed.  Pity, we would have had great fun!  What else...oh, my camera is officially dead.  Thank you very much Mr Rip-me-off Hong-Kong-man.  Hopefully I can rescue some pics when I get home.
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