Trip Start Oct 01, 2012
42Trip End Sep 15, 2013
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Where I stayed
I spent the bus journey reading my Kindle for the first time since arriving in Cancun... and I managed to finish the book by the end of the day, after our morning and nightime bus rides. Valladolid was our first destination, the mid point between Merida and Cancun. We arrived in time for breakfast, and spent some time having a look around the market where we were treated to the sight of pigs heads hanging up with blood dripping from their noses and full bodies of featherless chickens, all made perfect with the flies jumping from one animal to the next. Thoughts entered my mind as to whether this was how all the meat in restaurants started off life, and the rumbles of my recovering sensitive stomach seemed to agree.
Then we jumped back on the bus and it took us to our next destination. Ek Balam. My first visit to an Archeological site in Mexico. During 2012, the new Mayan era, what a year to visit! La Acrópolis stands at 146m tall and is the tallest Mayan ruin. Our guide told us that if we were to attempt to reach the top, we had to be careful with vertigo and to make sure that we don't fall or injure ourselves as there was no medical help nearby. Climbing up the steps was ridiculous, they were so steep and everytime you looked down it kind of made your tummy drop, even when you're not afraid of heights. The view from the top was incredible! An amazing panoramic view of the green surroundings and the other ruins within Ek Balam.
The campsite was amazing, right next to another Cenote which was so deep we couldn't see it as the sun was starting to go down. There was a grass area where we set up our tents, around 15 of them, outdoor eating area next to the kitchen, and an alberca, which is the Mexican name for a swimming pool! Dinner was served and marked the start of a weekend full of panuchos, salbutes and empañadas. The very thing that gave me Revancha. Oh well, my body was already inside out so I just embraced it.
Oh what a night. Tonight was hippy night so we all dressed up and drank/danced the night away. Whipping out the trusty Soulja Boy dance to impress my new friends I was trying to make... My stomach prevented me from enjoying a couple of drinks and so I was just happily laughing at everyone else, and joining in the dance off circle that had formed, not having any inhibitions as if I had been on the tequila all night. The tent was destroyed throughout the early hours of the morning, and again when my roomies couldn't undo the zip in time... vom. Pretty funny sight in the morning, my tent the only one that didn't survive the night... and then to see Rosie, Monica and Sam all tucked up like sardines in the one man tent. Hilarious.
Day 2 started with a visit to our first Grutas/Caves. Grutas de Balankanche. It was so hot underground it was almost unbearable and we were all pretty keen to get out. Interesting to see, but just too hot and the other grutas we visited the next day were much more impressive!
Chichen Itza, one of the Wonders of the World/Maravillosa del Mundo! Wow. So impressive to see in real life! The main pyramid was incredible and there were other ruins and cenotes surrounding it to visit, although the cenote is not really worth the visit... Two times a year the light from the sun will hit the ruins in such a way that it appears like the serpents are coming down the stairs. How incredible is that?! Such an amazing thing to see, the first sighting of so many tourists in one place. Crazy to hear another English accent! Here I bought a Mayan Calender bed sheet... standard me buying stupid things, but this is a beauty!
Izamal is a pretty little city which we explored on a horse and carraige, and the majority of the buildings were painted bright yellow which added a nice feel to the place. Explored the museum and church in the centre of the plaza and then we laid down under the Mexican flag and I was mesmorized by the clouds. Sounds wierd, and it felt wierd but I just couldn't stop talking about the clouds haha it was like some baby was holding a paintbrush in their hands for the first time, they were amazing!
Arrived in Merida at our hotel where we would be staying for two nights with a nice pool and seating area outside. We went for Pizza and then attempted to go out to an anthro, turned out to be an interesting gay club with bloody awful "techno" music which we attempted to enjoy but then headed back to the hotel the continue the night by the pool.
Late night, couple of hours sleep and an early start with pancakes for breakfast mmm. Uxmal was our next destination, another archeological zone and this was my favourite. There were loads of ruins to explore and at the main pyramid at the front you can clap your hands and you will hear an echo from inside the pyramid which sounds like an animal. Pretty views and pretty ruins yet again! Recommend the visit definitely!
Grutas de Loltun, much more impressive than the other caves, much bigger, with more to talk about, such as the handprints on the wall, and took an hour to explore.
Finished the day with a visit to another Cenote. After a terrifying journey down a single country lane whilst in this big bus, forcing cars to steer into the greenery to allow us to pass. We arrived starving and ready for more salbutes and panuchos, a desperate purchase. This time there were 3 Cenotes all linked together by the single most bizarre form of transport I have EVER seen. A railway track, with a cart, and a horse attached to a man holding the reins. Bizarre. All we could keep saying on this 9km journey was "Vamos a Morir" which means "We're going to dieeeee." The only thing keeping us on the track was a piece of string above our heads to hold onto, during this bumpy, journey with unexpected turns and increases in speed. Crazy. The Cenote we visited was hidden under ground with just one hole and ladders sticking out of the top. Vertical ladder and you could not see the bottom. I climbed down to the bottom to see darkness with the Cenote lit up by one hole in the ground, with the last bit of sunrays illuminating the clear, bright blue water. Incredible! I changed into my bikini underground in the darkness, flashing the unknowing two people who were already down there, and jumped in. So refreshing again, and in the most amazing setting.
Headed into the central plaza for dinner with about 10 people from the trip which was great. Another pasta fix for me, much needed!
The trip was finished with a visit to this really cool restaurant, called El Truncho or something like that, where there was a live band and decorations. The waiters continued bringing us small dishes to our tables, such as tacos, empañnadas, nachos and spaghetti which we all enjoyed on top of our meals.
I have seen so much this weekend, so I tried to keep the explanations brief in the hope that you are still reading upto this point! The Yucatan Peninsula is simply amazing and so different to anything that I've ever seen before. Breathtaking beauty.
Happy Birthday Mum :)