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Friday, 11 April 2014

MEXICO- TULUM THE CITY OF DAWN

14/10/2008:
It was our plan, after visiting the ruins of Chichen-Itza, to stay in Merida for a day or two and enjoy its cosmopolitan ambience, then visit Tulum, Playa de Carmen and the island of Cozumel and then reach Cancun. The evening was cooler, the park was full of people, families with children, young couples sitting or strolling, a musical bandplaying. There were many bars and restaurants with terraces and we enjoyed a carefree evening, drinking tall cool drinks. However, we also had to be in Cancun by 16th October, so it was decided that we should first go to Tulum and see what to do next.
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In the evening it rained and strolling the streets of Merida, we got very wet and at night I got a chill. In the morning we took a taxi to the bus station and bought our tickets for Tulum. The bus journey lasted more than four hours, the airconditioning in the bus gave me the chills and by the time we reached Tulum, I was running a fever. It was afternoon when we reached Tulum and walking down the main street, to find a suitable hotel/hostel, we came across two young ladies and a local man, walking towards us. Alex said Hi guys, can you please suggest a place to stay? The ladies who were American teachers on holiday, told us that the man who was with them, had just rented them a cabin at the beach and if we wished, we could stay with them. We declined and the man told us that he had another apartment nearby where he himslef was staying and which he could vacate and give to us for our stay of a day or two. But they would like to eat first, and then the man would take us to have a look at the apartment.
The ladies, in their early forties, one slim and the other stout, knew Mexico and the slim one had often visited Mexico in her holidays. She said that she liked the country and its food. The local man was swarthy, with a pot belly and sweating in his half sleeved white shirt and crumpled white trousers, which needed a wash. He was over fifty, with matted hair which also needed washing, and looked like a cross between El Zorba but not the Greek and a Mexican Peón. After they had some food and Alex and me had a beer each, we left the ladies at the restaurant and accompanied the man to have a look at his apartment.
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The apartment was at a distance of ten minutes walk from the main street, Avenida Tulum, it was one large room with a huge double bed, with a kitchen in one corner and attached bathroom, all filthy. Food lying in dirty plates and soiled bedsheets and towels. The man told us that if we liked the place, it will take him half and hour to clean it and change the sheets and towels. The rent was 350 pesos per day. I was not feeling very well, so we decided to take it and while the man remained in his apartment, we left our backpacks there and went back to the restaurant and had a drink with the American ladies until the man came back and gave us the key. So we said goodbye to the two ladies and promised to visit them at their cabin on the beach the next day and again walked back to the apartment. We were tired, it had stopped raining and we wanted to shower and rest first, before venturing out again and see the town and find some place to eat.
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