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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

MEXICO- TULUM AND ITS RUINS

15/10/2008:
Last night it was very hot, mosquitos were going full blast, the noise of their wings in my ears was most annoying and shuffling from one side to another, trying to swat them with my hands, did not ditter them from their attacks. There was no mosquito net over the bed, I think it was because of its large size, and I wished I were a zebra with my own unique stripes to confound the buzzing brutes. Although I was suffering from a cold and fever, we got ready to go and visit the ruins.

We went out and had a breakfast of oranges and fresh juice, I had a coffee to perk me up and then walked up to the main road and caught a taxi. The fare was 40 pesos and it left us at some distance from the ticket booth. It was early, but there already was a line of tourists before the ticket window,  mostly Americans in their loud clothes and with their loud voices, complaining about the delay in opening the ticket window as it was past 8 a.m. The entrance fee was 45 pesos, at Chichen-Itza we had paid 48 pesos.



At the entrance were the kiosks selling mineral water and sweets and potato, souvenirs and jewelry etc, and walking inside towards the ruins, we saw the map of Tulum, as the strategic and important trade route to the Caribbean sea and the ruins of the castle and the wall surrounding it, like a fortress, which were the only things of interest to see. From the perched up on the hill, you could look down at the turquoise sea and the beach and palm trees, but it was nothing to write home about. We had already seen the ruins in Mexico city and Merida and were not so very keen on visiting any more ruins, ancient or modern. The whole area was full with iguanas, huge animals, sitting under scanty shade or sunning themselves. Like the Mexican people, they were totally unconcerned and uninterested in the tourists. And not scared at all.



                                     The Castle and the wall surrounding it

The heat was intense and although Alex lingered some time, I came back to the entrance and sat down, my head was throbbing and I desperately needed shade and rest. After half an hour or so, we decided to take the path which goes down to the beach, through the Hotelera Zone. The distance was about one kilometre. That part of the beach where the villas are, we could see the well appointed bungalows and cabins, surrounded by tall hedges and wooden fences, some had large verandas with swimming pools. The zona hotelera are self contained villas and apartments, where the tourists pass most of their time, eat lunch and dinner and have drinks, they do not venture out and visit the village and do not help the local economy.



We reached the far end of the beach where we had been the day before and spread our towels on the powdery white sand. The sea was rough, a brisk wind was blowing, a few swimmers were splashing in the water near the shore. No surfer, no boat or yatch in sight. The heat was intense and since swimming was out of the question, we also splashed in the sea and picked up our towels and walked to the restaurant where we each had a cold beer. And took a taxi which left us in the avenida Tulum.
Alex did not want to have any Mexican food, he bought a bread roll with some fillings at the Subway outlet and I had a portion of fried chicken with guacamole and onion salad at a nearby small restaurant, where the locals were eating. Every where they give you cold cooked rice, frijoles, cabbage, guacamole and onion salad. But I said "no gracias seƱora" to the lady who served me.

Afterwards we went to one of the restaurants and had mojitos. All drinks, be it beer, rum with coke, mojito, cost 50 pesos, which I found expensive. But Mexico is not cheap when it comes to eating in a restaurant.
It was past five in the evening when we went back to the apartment and were soon asleep. There were few mosquitoes buzzing around and had to take advantage of the situation. In the evening the fever returned and I could not get up for next two days. On 18th October, we left for Cancun. Alex had missed his appointment there. I was so sorry.




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