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Pete's Trip

Our last few days in the land of the taco

MEXICO | Saturday, 24 December 2011 | Views [515]

It's now our last night in Mexico. So many tacos in the last 3 weeks. So many mouth burning, delicious tacos!
After two nights in Cancún with the most beautiful, clear blue water I've ever seen, we headed to Playa del Carmen. Oh my dear god. It was what I was expecting Cancún to be. There were more Americans than there were Mexicans walking around. Everyone spoke English, it was touristy and trashy. The beach wasnt as nice as Cancún and there wasn't as much of it. In Cancún there are 18kms of beach, here there was about 1 and all the fancy hotels and bars had to put their beach chairs for people to rent out on that 1km. 
Dont get me wrong, it was still a great beach and we had a great time swimming there, it was just annoying having people ask us to rent a chair and have a beer at ten in the morning. Although the best offer we got was for cocaine by a guy that shouted 'you can trust me, I'm white!'. 
There is one main street in town and it felt more American than walking down Santa Monica in Los Angeles. We made a few hostel friends in the bar on the roof of the hostel where we headed for ladies night. Every night is ladies' night. There was free vodka, tequila and rum for girls in the hostel bar from 10-11pm. I took full advantage of this. I also got to eat the worm from the Mezcal bottle (like tequila) which isn't actually even a worm. Technically, it's the larvae of the beetle that lives in the agavé that mezcal is made from. Instead of going to bed like I should have after all the tequila shots and vodka surprises, we went out to a club that had free drinks for girls from 12-2am. We later found out that pretty much every club has this deal. It was not pretty. I more than got my money's worth of free drinks and shots, enough to last me the rest of the week at least. You walk in and there is a seperate roped off bar for ladies. They have a security guard at this area so no guys can even go to the same bar. I got a rose from an Alaskan boy and the bartender just kept giving me different crazy coloured shots and drinks... It didn't end well. Luckily Jeff helped me stumble home and got me into bed pretty much safe and sound (except the bump when I faceplanted the corner of the bed). Needless to say, the next day was not so fun for us either. We got up nice and early and went to the beach for a swim which normally cures all hangovers. It didn't work. A greasy Maccas breakfast didn't work either so I spent the rest of the morning laying in bed, holding on because the Earth was spinning too fast. We went to the beach again that afternoon and realised that my watch was now wrong and I had somehow changed all the settings so it was saying the 1st of January, my alarm was set for 1am and the day and time were way off too, this is not good on holidays when you need to be able to check the day and date somehow. 
That's pretty much all there is to do in Playa. That night, I decided to have a pretty quiet one for obvious reasons but even with only two and a half beers, we still ended up being out until 1am and went to some mega club. We went out with 5 other people so the club gave us the VIP area thinking we would be big spenders. Ha, joke's on them. The club was so American again and ridiculously priced. Everything in Playa was in US dollars, just to give you an idea of how touristy it's become. 
Needless to say, it wasn't my favourite town. But now we're in Tulum, a beachside town with some amazing Mayan ruins. 
We caught the collectivo (the vans that fill up with people and just drive between small towns) with 3 French guys and an Aussie girl that were in our hostel and we'd hung out with a bit at the bar. They were way too comfortable with being naked in front of other people, too tanned in places that shouldn't be and unfortunately, I'm pretty sure the French guy I thought was cute, thought Jeff was cute (he refused to dance the first night unless Jeff went with him and he mentioned a couple of times that he hoped to run into us again). 
Originally, we were going to stay in Tulum for 5 nights and be in a beachside cabaña for Christmas but the $20 places are now $60 places so we decided to skip that, stay in a hostel for a couple nights and see how much we can get done. All the major attractions in the area in two days? Check. 
Yesterday we went to a couple of beautiful cenotes. They are so clear and you can see everything below the surface. Besides getting laughed at by the ticket guy and the 3 girls already in the water because we took 10 minutes to finally fully submerge into the what felt like freezing water at the time, we loved it. I caught a little fish in my hands, to be honest though, I'm pretty sure it was just stupid. Then I swung around on the rope swing until we decided to head to the other cenote across the road. That's when I realised my ring had fallen off. The ring that I've been wearing for the last 7 years. We borrowed a snorkel after almost giving up hope and because the water was so clear, I found it again in a bed of moss at the bottom. 
The next cenote was deeper and had ledges a couple of meters higher than the water. So we spent the last hour before closing time jumping into the water and then I'd quickly swim to the edge and get out as quickly as I could because of the crocodiles. And no, there weren't crocodiles there. That anyone has seen. I dont want to be the tourist that gets eaten and ruins the cool swimming spots for everyone. I know it's ridiculous to freak out and race to land only to keep jumping back in, especially because we're Australian, we could just wrestle it if there was one right?
The cenote closed at 5pm and we made our way to the exit at 5 past to discover the chain and padlock around the gate that was half covered in barbed wire. Luckily though, they hadn't actually fully closed the padlock and we got out unscaved except for the mozzie bites. Apparently the bus stops coming when the place is closed though so we enjoyed an hour long walk (it probably wouldn't take that long if we weren't doing the ever so graceful chaffing walk) back into town along the highway. 
Dinner that night was delicious. At the hostel we ran into a guy we'd met a week ago in Mérida and he recommended a local burrito place that was cheap and had big burritos. They were absolutely delicious and after we'd both had a burrito, we had a couple of empanadas. And a one litre juice each. He musn't have the same idea of 'big' as us. I had a pineapple and green basil leaf looking things juice that the waiter recommended. Yes, this was way too much to eat for one meal after a big late lunch in case you were wondering. And the pineapple and green leaf drink did not taste nearly as good when I threw it up at 2am. 
Today, despite me still feeling sick, we went to the popular Tulum beachside ruins. They didn't let us climb to the top of anything but it's probably for the best, I'm sure throwing up on ancient Mayan temples is probably frowned upon. The beach here is wonderful yet again and a swim almost always makes everyone feel better. 
This afternoon we headed to Akmul, a beach about 20 minutes away by collectivo. We rented snorkel masks and swam about 30m off the shore until we got to hang around some big sea turtles. There were also stingrays and funky fish. It was amazing. There were at least half a dozen and we swam just above them as they ate the sea grass. The biggest one wasn't fased at all by us and we had to move pretty quickly when it came up for air because it certainly wasn't getting out of our way. Jeff almost choked on the water when he started laughing after looking at me because of how high my bottom floats out of the water.
A pretty good way to spend our last afternoon in Mexico, I think. It was such a beautiful country and we'll have to come back and do more of it one day.

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