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Proxima Cancun, and Holbox

Written on: Tuesday May 24th, 2011

A journal entry from: Two to the Mayan Riviera

Chris: Okay. So I've been known to divide my trips (okay, you got me - I'm talking about my only previous trip) into three stages: 1. Relaxation; 2. Exploration; and 3. Meditation. The week we spent in Tulum checked our relaxation huge-time, and wow has it been temping to just go back there. We kind of talk about Tulum everyday. The Mayan pyramids at Calakmul had us feeling very Indiana Jones (including the chicken-coop we slept in the night after), so Exploration could have been finished right there, leading us into Meditation phase...

Turns out this trip is going slightly differently.


Chicanna & Becan, Puerto Morelos - The 21st

The day after the grandiose pyramids at Calakmul, we rose early, packed our bags, and headed out to explore two more ruins in the area. These ruins weren't as big, but they made up for their size in detail. Pretty fantastic. You could crawl into the guts of some of these structures too. Fun.

Having knocked two ruins off by 2pm, we headed to the bus station to head back north. The 2hr ride back to Calakmul was easy, but the next 4hrs up to Puerto Morelos were more difficult. The sun set while we rode, but then we saw some lightning strikes from the window. Also the stupid airconditioning unit kept spitting condensated people's-breath on me.

We arrived in Puerto Morelos and instantly hated it. It's a small town about 20 minutes south of Cancun. Lonely Planet is only partially to blame for over selling this place - I think once you see Tulum, everything else pales in comparison. It's small, but it's proximity to Cancun makes it expensive. The guy who approached us and tried to sell us this place really soured my mouth. I asked, "Where is the cheapest place to sleep?" That shut him up.

Most of the hotels were closed as we walked around the dark town streets, but to our fortune, a thirty-some year old woman (who Laura claims was trashed) offered us the small suite that sits on the roof of her house. She drove us there, and we slept.


Isla Mujeres - The 22nd 

When we woke, we agreed to move on. 

To Isla Mujeres (women island) we went, which is a 20 minute boat ride from Cancun. Touristy, yes, but also pretty nice beach. We beached (amid constant booming from around the corner where the locals were partying), ate, witnessed a street fight, watched some young drunk Americans disrespect the locals, and went to sleep.


Isla Holbox - The 23rd

When we woke, we agreed to move on. 

We stomached another longish bus ride, to Isla Holbox (hol-bosh). Get us the hell away from Cancun, we practically told the bus driver. And that he did. When we arrived, we were happy. "This is more our style," Laura noted. There are only sand roads on this island. It's 30km long, and less than 1km wide. Lots of dogs and cats that all want to be pet. People inhabit 3km of it or so, and the rest is inhabited by some unbelievably awesome birds. Lots of Pelicans - man are they huge. A few white Ibises (look like Herons to me) dot the long coast too.


Flamingos - The 24th

Today we rented bikes to explore the wild part of the island. The bikes only took us so far before we dismounted, and waded into the shallow sea to skirt around a deep river. I had spotted three flamingos very early in the morning, so we were on the lookout. 

"Are those all flamingos? It kind of looks pink over there," Laura pointed out. Yeah, good eyes (hers are better than mine; she sees the sun still setting for two seconds after my eyes see it finished). We walked a good few kms along the shore, and low and behold, like two hundred wild flamingos carefully walking in the shallow sea water, heads mostly down, right before our eyes. Well, not right before our eyes, but close enough.

We chatted breifly with some europeans who were wondering how we had skirted the river. Yep, same as us. What? Manta Rays? Laura told me a few moments later that a Manta Ray had killed the Croc hunter. Jeez.

Sure enough, on the way back, we saw one swimming not two meters from our feet (later we would discover they were Horseshoe Crabs). Laura was on edge, so I was on edge. But I asked her about her favourite colors and numbers, and we made it back to our bikes, no deadly stings. Yay! We live to see another day!

Tomorrow? Maybe we'll celebrate our last full day in Mexico with a bike-ride, a beach visit, and some tacos. Mmm Street meat.


From Elizabeth Hand on May 25th, 2011

stabbed through the heart with a frickin manta ray after all of the crazy things he did. Manta rays are so ultra undangerous, until they are, I guess. I am so looking forward to seeing you two, though, I'm sure y'all are a little less excited. But, vacation #1 -- Success!

From Elizabeth Hand on May 25th, 2011

Dudes. That thing in your picture was super not a manta ray. Looked like a horseshoe crab to me.

From Crammy on May 25th, 2011

what numbers and colors did you talk about?

From Tracey Maynard on May 25th, 2011

I love this amazing travel blog.

From Catherine Adamson on May 28th, 2011

Thank you, Chris, for taking away my worries by posting your blogs for me to read before going to bed at night. They gave me great comfort knowing you and Laura were safe and having fun. xo

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From Susan on Sep 9th, 2012

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