Cancun, Chilaquiles and Chichen itza

Trip Start Dec 22, 2011
Trip End Nov 22, 2012

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Where I stayed
Solymar Cancun Beach Resort
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of Mexico  , Yucatan Peninsula,
Thursday, January 12, 2012

Firstly, welcome to Joel's first travel blog entry, sorry
I've been a little slack but this one promises to be a doozey.

I will pick up from where Joseph left off in Washington
DC. After our day of sightseeing and a restful
nights sleep we made our way to BWI airport and boarded Airtran flight 3 direct
to Cancun, Mexico.  As Joseph is fond of
an aisle seat I often get sat next to a complete stranger and this flight was
no exception.  I had set a goal to watch
the Lord of the Rings Two Towers during the flight which should have fit nicely
into the three hour thirty five minute flight time.  I am all about setting goals. However, this
plan was soon thwarted when my fellow passenger, an ageing Turkish gentleman,
decided he wanted to talk at me for the duration of the flight.  I say 'at me' because he really had no
interest in anything I had to say, which infuriated me further because I do
love to talk about me from time to time. 
Nevertheless, I sat and 'listened' intently whilst he regaled me with
tales from his life. Joseph sat with a cheeky smirk on his face for a while as
I heard about his incredible swimming ability that earned him the title of
Tarzan, how any word had a Turkish meaning, World War 1 and that for 2.9 cents
a minute you can call Turkey (among other things).

We landed in Cancun and checked into our insanely cheap, all
inclusive hotel, Solymar. First impressions were as expected, the place is in
need of a lick of paint but I am sure, as we are backpacking, we will look back
at this place in awe compared to future accommodations. After checking in we
grabbed a drink from the pool bar (a corona with tequila in it...apparently that's
how it’s done) and I got my first glimpse of the Caribbean.  The water is a surreal turquoise blue, the
colour you would expect if this was a fake beach in a theme park.  The sand is Gold Coast white, but a little
coarser (as things go on my international sand scale). 

The first evening was spent sampling a multitude of
cocktails, I like the Cherry Margarita, and befriending the hotel guests
(mostly Mexicans and Czechs).  After
doing the salsa with Joseph and dropping to a jazz split, we decided to call it
a night.  It was 7:30.  Early nights turned out to be a theme so far.

For our first morning in Mexico we checked out the breakfast
situation.  My new favourite Mexican
breakfast treat is Chilaquiles.  It’s
basically corn chips that are soggy and have sour cream, spices and onions on
them.  The description sounds horrendous
but I assure you they are delicious! 
After breakfast we strolled on down to Club Med to see Josey's former
place of looks a lot nicer than old Hotel Solymar.

My favourite dinner so far was at La Destilaria.  It is a Tequila distillery and restaurant
which came with Joseph's high recommendation so how could I not like it!  The food was amazing and the 'Vacation sized'
margaritas were delish.  Managed to stay
up till 8:30 that animals!

Laying on the beach all day can get tiresome, so the next
day Joseph took me to Isla Mujeres.  Isla
Mujeres is a little island off the coast of Cancun.  The best part is you can rent little golf
carts and drive yourself around the island. 
We had some more delicious Mexican food for lunch (sensing a theme here)
and for those who know me, I came up with another "Proclamations of a
Wanker" to rival "The best steak is in Argentina".  The best Guacamole is on Isla Mujeres!  Joseph's is a close second however.  That was a pretty nice day.

As part of our quest to see all the seven wonders of the
world (the new list), we booked a day trip to Chichen Itza.  The trip was one of those tourist geared,
buffet lunch, souvenir selling type deals
It was either that, or attempt to rent and drive a little Mexican car
which would have been a near death experience in its own right.  The bus driver hauled ass and was driving at
a speed that saw him overtake an ambulance…with its sirens on.  It was good though because we were the first bus
to arrive at a very cool, 50 meter deep natural sink hole called Ik-Kil.  It was filled with fresh water and had waterfalls and massive tree roots growing down into it.  Joseph and I were the first to jump in and swim around.  The water was surprisingly
warm.  The whole place was an unexpected
little surprise.  After a little buffet
lunch and a dance performance by some cranky looking Mexicans spinning bottles
on their heads (seriously) we finally arrived at Chichen Itza.  The place was packed with people but the main
temple, El Castillo, is incredible to see. 
We had a guided tour of some of the ruins and learnt a few interesting
things.  The Mayans knew the speed of
sound and built temples that proved it. 
Joseph and I wandered around in the heat and explored the area for a few
hours and managed to avoid buying anything from the thousands of market stall
pushers.  All in all, it was a pretty
amazing day.

Well today is our last full day in Cancun.  The plan is to lie on the beach, read our
kindle books and partake in a little more beach volleyball.  Tomorrow we are heading down to Playa del
Carmen for three nights.  We are quite
proud of ourselves because we have booked our first hostel of the trip, Hostel
Che (very Latin America!)....let’s hope I like it, otherwise we will be home
sooner than we think!

UPDATE: Hi guys, Joel here.  We've created another travel website designed to inspire your next destination.  For another perspective on Cancun, check it out.
Slideshow Report as Spam

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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Simon Rose on

Wow!! Amazing. You both look so happy, relaxed and healthy!!(tanned)
Keep living the dream. X

Beverley Chambers on

Joel, you are very funny. You probably made that Turkish man's day. He was obviously delighted to have someone to talk to.

I spent Christmas and New Year on the Isla Mujeres with a girlfriend some years ago. We got invited to a party by a Floridian drug dealer who's king size bed was hung from the ceiling on 4 very thick ropes.

Looking forward to reading your next instalment.


Rosie rae on

Witty and fun as always Joel! Sounds like yur having an amazing time xxx

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