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Mexico, Part 1


We packed in a lot of sightseeing in the first few days of the trip so that we could relax on the beach the last 5 days. And, man, did we cram a lot in.

First things first, we arrived nearly an hour late after delays departing JFK airport. After going through immigration, customs, and car rental, we didn’t arrive at the hotel until about 11PM. The place wasn’t bad, and appeared to have a lovely pool/courtyard. Unfortunately, we had to get up early to make the drive to Chichen Itza and never got to enjoy it.

Two+ hours later, we arrived at our 2nd hotel where we checked in and dropped off our luggage. The place was VERY simple (essentially each room was a concrete cube in the jungle). In fact, although there were windows in the bedroom area, the bathroom had openings in the conrete, but no glass…just screens). The screens still didn’t stop an enormous spider from paying us a visit.

The property also had two pools (one was built over a cenote with cool rock formations and caves). There was also a restaurant. For $35, we got a room, free wifi, access to two pools (that we didn’t use), and free breakfast (large fresh fruit plate, drink, eggs and ham, bread)…oh, and the spider I mentioned earlier.

OK, back to the purpose of the drive…Chichen Itza. What once was a city built over 1,000 years ago is now a large expanse of ruins. Some have been restored, others have been left in a state of decay. It was cloudy the day we arrived so the photos came out blah. We returned later that evening for their light show (essentially illuminating each major structure while telling the history of the ruins (in Spanish).

We then returned to the hotel and had dinner: 2 beers, glass of wine, marguerita, cheeseburger, fries, soup, chicken entree, dessert, and tea, all of under $25 total.

We were exhausted and went to bed shortly after dinner. We woke up early this morning, said hello to Mr. Spider, then had breakfast before venturing back to Chichen Itza (Randy wanted pictures with the sun shining).

Then we drove 1.5 hours or so to the ruins called Coba (after getting completely lost in Valladolid). The Coba ruins are unrestored and are definitely what you could call “ruins”. I believe this locale is older than Chichen Itza, and it’s most definitely larger. After centuries of neglect, the jungle has encroached and completely covered many of the ruins. Most of the buildings are separated by fairly significant distances (1 kilometer or more)

However, the big advantage of Coba (over Chichen Itza) is that you’re allowed to climb the ruins. Even better, the tallest pyramid in the northern Yucatan Peninsula is in Coba. The view from the top isn’t exactly spectacular (all you see is plush green jungle as far as the eye can see, plust one other smaller pyramid), but it’s an exciting climb all the same since the pyramid is crumbling and you feel as if you’re going to fall. It’s incredibly steep and all that is there to assist you is a rope laying on the steps.

After Coba, Randy wanted to go to one additional set of ruins (Tulum). Unfortunately, I felt ruined myself after all of that driving, hiking, and climbing (and neglecting to eat) so we just drove to Playa del Carmen…our main destination for the trip (5 days/nights).

And that’s when I encountered complaints on Facebook and by email that I’d not posted any photos yet. So, I’ve posted one above…soon enough, I’ll post more in my online photo-album. But it’s time for bed.

Hasta la manana!

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by Dave on March 13, 2009 10:02 am

    What was the name of the hotel you stayed at in Playa…it sounds (and looks) wonderful??

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