Lotus Eating in Tulum
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Where I stayed
Deam Diver Resort
We moved from Merida to Tulum on the Carribean coast last Friday so we have been here a week and plan to stay another two. Reasons for this sojourn? After the busy cosmopolitan Cancun and frenetic Merida we decided to spend some time in a more peaceful location near a beach. HostelWorld website enabled us to find our current location, Dream Diving Resort (name is grander than venue), and once we had been here a few days, we decided to stay.
Our room is spacious, sparsely furnished with a double and single bed, table and two chairs, a hanging rail for clothes (but no hangers) and an ensuite with shower (and a hand basin so high that I feel like a 3 year old!). There is free wifi and drinking water but no food, and in theory, hot water. However the pump failed just before we arrived so still no warm shower
Our room is on the first floor (the accommodation consists of blocks of four rooms) and our neighbour is a guy from Arizona who lives here permanently. He has a restaurant on the beach and also runs some tours. He had a male friend round on his day off and I heard them go downstairs and round the corner out of sight from everyone, then I heard sounds of exertion. I was curious but, as you might imagine, reluctant to peer round the corner. Then Mateo (our neighbour) came upstairs for water and said, “Hi, come and have a look at my climbing wall”. He has a 2 storey wall standing up next to the building and they were having a training session.
In the evening we sit on the balcony to watch the birds and then after dark we have seen fireflies in the garden. When I looked out of the rear window this afternoon there was a racoon slouched in the tree outside.
Tulum is more like a large village than a town, spread out for about a kilometre along the main road from Cancun to Belize, which runs roughly parallel to the beach but a couple of kilometres inland. There is only one road to the beach, which is still undeveloped, but has beautiful white sand, palm trees and a reef a little way offshore. It is a very relaxed town with lots of restaurants, bars, and tourist shops as well as the other businesses you see in most towns. I am not sure if it is the time of the year but it never seems very busy. Many people still live in traditional style houses which have an indoor space of approximately 250 square feet and outdoor areas, often with chickens running around, but there are also newer properties and a number of holiday home complexes being built. I hope it doesn't become overdeveloped like Cancun.
Just a couple of minutes walk from the hostel there are paths into jungle (which is taller here than in the Cancun area) where we have seen woodpeckers, green parakeets, mocking birds, orange orioles, South American yellow oriole, Cassins king bird, large black finches and others we are still trying to identify.
Another reason we decided to stay here longer is the number of activities within reach. We took a bus to Coba one day, to bird watch around a lagoon there and to visit more Mayan ruins
After the lagoon we went to the ruins but were overcome by the size of the site – it covers 70 square kilometres. We only managed to see a tiny proportion of the ruins as we had already walked a good distance birdwatching so a return visit might be planned.
In addition to the beach there are a few cenotes for swimming within walking distance of the town. We visited Cenote Crystal a couple of days ago. It is a peaceful lake in the middle of jungle as the cenote is at the surface. The water is clear so we had a great swim and were lucky in spotting a turtle. We were there all morning and only saw 3 other people, but numerous butterflies of all colours.
But the best experience yet was a dive I did in a cenote (Gran Cenote). I went alone with just the dive guide and he briefed me about cavern diving
ps How do we spend the evenings? Jim is teaching me maths. I'm having a great time!