7th May 2018
Coming from the state of Yucatan, this bus ride was not so interesting like the last one. It added not much, but a church in violet colour. The bus arrived ca 3:15am. I bought a small and cheap ice cream and was looking for a bathroom. The one I saw was on the second floor without elevator and escalator. I was looking for a bathroom for disabled people, but did not find one, though I tried to find a restaurant. When I saw a Soriana supermarket, I was thinking about to try there, but then I saw an McDonald’s restaurant. I chose it and walked there. Finally my turn in the queue, I had to order the meal at a counter, where the cashier just started his shift. I could see, that he had not much change, but could not imagine, what would happen. I ordered a meal and had to pay 83 MXN (again this, that I tried to order a cheaper one). Anyway that was not important. The cashier asked me if I have a smaller note, but I had not. Though he asked me, if I have three pesos. I did not have that either, but five pesos, which I gave him and got two pesos back. He counted the notes in the cash, put them back in there and served the next customer. I asked him for my change and he gave me one (1) pesos. I told him, he owes me 120 pesos. I have got 16 pesos now, but gave the 1 peso coin back, with the other 15 still on the desk and told him, the one should be a five peso coin and in all it should be 120 pesos. An American asked me in English, what is the matter, though I told with high voice, that I had to pay 83 pesos, paid 205 and got only this, holding up the 2 pesos coin. I also told the cashier, that I will talk with his boss. Another employee was going for change, but their was none without a 100 pesos note, which he gave to the cashier additional to the original 200 pesos note. Than he first gave me twenty pesos and finally, after that I told him, that there still was 100 pesos missing, the 100 pesos note. The cashier did look at me like I had stolen money for him. I do not know if I ever will go to a McDonald’s restaurant again.
My hosts Alberto and Alejandro live close to the bus station, though I was going back there and continued in the other direction. By the way I had to cross a very busy roundabout without any help for pedestrians to cross. There were actually ramps for wheelchairs etc, but the street had a green in the middle with high curbs, an impossibility for them to come over. I found a street with the right name and messaged Alberto, that I am there. He messaged back, that he is working until 6pm, though my answer was, that I know and he had not to change anything, which made him happy. Anyway he told me, that he lives in no 9, a house with a grey door. I was at number 8. That street had no number 9, but there was a street with a similar name, though I was looking there as well. No number 9 there either, but close to both streets is a green with benches. Now I was looking for a bench in the shade, sitting down. Then I messaged Alberto, that I am in that park and he may meet me there, which he promised and did. We had a chat to get to know each other, Alberto a shower and was then taking me out on a local place for a meal. Afterwards we had a walk, even to the Town Hall. Cancun is a young town without church across the neither non existing government building nor the existing town hall, because the capital of Quintana Roo is Chetumal.
8th May 2018
I was up around 8am, when Alejandro also was awake, because he is coming home from work late in the evenings, I try not to disturb him in the morning. He prepared breakfast for us with real Mexican coffee, omelette (no scrambled) with a filling of tomato, a kind of chili, which is not hot spicy, cheese and avocado. He also served toast till, which he makes on the pan, but is very good. After making the dishes (I was not allowed to do), he went out to make a pair of extra keys, though I can go and come like I want. I had told him, that I will go to the Maya site El Rey and that I afterwards may go to the beach. Therefore he made a sandwich for me (with salad, tomato, avocado, ham and cheese) and told me, that there is no possibility to buy anything. Furthermore he asked me to take a fruit with me – I chose a banana. He also asked me, if I have water and sun protection, which I told him, I have and also showed him the anti-insects gel. Because I wished to take a swim, I asked him, if I need to have an ID with me, he answered I should have any. For the size, I took my Swedish driver’s license. Alejandro brought me to the bus and told the bus driver to call at the bus stop for El Rey. It is the same one for the beach “Playa Delfines”. The bus ticket was for 12 MXN (that is the usual price here). I checked with the gps how far we were. The ride took a quite long time.
Well at the Maya site El Rey I had to pay 55 MXN for the admission. Even I only paid with a 100 peso note, he had no change. He gave me 50 pesos back, but closed the visitors book 😯. Even at this site was a guide waiting in the hope, visitors will have use for him. I did not. As usual I read about it on the internet. This site is not very well-known, though I read about it in Spanish at the site of the government of Quintana Roo. Of many ruins only platforms were excavated, but there were two other buildings, where I could see more. This site is not special, it was built in the style of Chichen Itza, but once so close, I had anyway to see it.
On the site was also a place for rest. Sitting there, having some water, I saw a family passing. The father did beat his around 10-year-old son with his belt. The son was screaming every time the father beat him and then crying. The father was so angry. He told the son, if he would not stop (with what, I do not know, but it seemed not to be the kids screaming and crying, more that he was not close enough to his parents) he would beat him more. I was close to tell the father, he should not hurt his son, but by not knowing the Mexican culture good enough I did not do that.
On my way out of the site, I asked the cashier (now another one), if he can change 10 pesos and paid the rest of the admission fee. I also was asked of him, to sign the visitors book. Furthermore I asked him for the Maya museum. Alberto and Alejandro had told me, that there is a museum close to the site. The cashier told me, two kilometers back into town. I thought it was close to the access to the Playa Delfines, but could not find any there. I knocked on the window of a police mini truck. The three policemen inside, tried to help me all of them. They found out, that I still had four kilometers to walk into town. I dit and found the museum.
At the museum I had to pay an admission fee of 70 MXN. I am really wondering now, how the Mexican governments (city, states and country of Mexico) make the prices. I would like to know that, but I think I will never find out. The museum has two parts: One outside, also called San Miguelito and the museum in the building. Most interesting are the exhibitions in the building. Here are a lot of artefacts from different Maya sites.
I spent several hours in the museum, even the artefacts had descriptions only in Spanish, but the big screens had the text even in English.
For more photos of the El Rey and the museum follow the link.
It was a quarter past five, when I left the museum as the last visitor for the day. The sun was hidden behind clouds now, but I was anyway going back to the beach. I sat there actually for an hour, before it got chilly, but went home just before dark. When I were on the bus, the dark fall down and after a while, Alberto messaged me, asking, if all is OK with me. I answered him, that I am on the bus and will be back son. The drive was actually for more than one hour (for 12 MXN only). Back at home (mi casa es su casa 😉) we had bran flakes with milk and a discussion about homosexuality. Alberto was wondering, why gay couples usually have the same structure like bisexual partners. He told me, that by this way it is no meaning with having a partner of the same sex. He also told me, that his thesis (in psychology) was about AIDS and that he would like to work with a new thesis, this time about the subject, we were talking about.
We were waiting in Alejandro, who works everyday between 2pm and 12am. After some words with him as well, but most about the upcoming day, we were going to sleep.
9th May 2018
We had pasta (left overs from Alejandro’s work) and fruit for breakfast. When I asked Alejandro, if he has sibblings, he told me, that he has two sisters, one is 22 years old and the other one 16. He has also a younger brother and a twin brother as well. He actually told me, that he is the oldest one and the story about his and his brothers birth. It was a little unusual. I took the opportunity to ask him, if it is allowed in Mexico to beat the children. His answer was a little surprising, because it is, even with a belt, BUT not several times in a row. Even this morning he followed me to the bus stop, stopped the right bus and told the driver, where I have to leave. I did not have to change the bus by his service and only had to pay 12 MXN. The bus driver was also very service minded. There were other people too, who he helped to leave at the right bus stop.
I left the bus at the bus stop for the ferry to the Isla Mujeres. There were already people with signs for the ferry, though it was easy to find. When I bought the ticket, I automatically was sold a return ticket, but not told it was, before I was scared of the price. I thought, it was 300 MXN for one direction. I had bin told of my host, that a ferry ticket to the island costs 120 MXN. I do not know, if the price increased since they have been there or if the price is higher for tourists. The tickets were open, that means I could take the ferry I want. Unfortunately I just missed one on the way to the island.
Well on the island I was looking for and also found easily the Playa Norte. I had been told, that there is the best place for a swim and even snorkeling would be possible. I also was told, that it will take an hour to come there by walking. I think, it was only half an hour I needed. Unfortunately there were no palm parasols (which usually are for free). At the first place, where I asked for the costs of a sol chair and a parasol it was for 250 MXN. I thought, that is too much and walked further. Later I found them for 180 MXN (90 MXN for the chair and 90 MXN for the parasol). In the price were even 2 X 1 small bottle of water included. I took twice a swim, but the other time were boats making so high waves, that I have got the salty water in my mouth. I did not like that at all. There also was a restaurant close by, but the prices were high for the meals. Though I asked for the price of the ice cream. A coconut ice cream would be served in a half coconut shell and was for 110 MXN. The waiter did name the price, like it would be usual. I did not buy ice cream either. On my chair again – which I moved after the sun, though I always had shade, a woman selling fruit passed. I bought sliced pineapple of her. It was not much in the cups, she sold it with and actually for 40 MXN, but it was cheaper than everything else I could get. I understand, that prices are higher on the tiny islands, but most of the higher prices must be owed to the tourists. As long ad we pay, what they ask for, as long will the prices stay high.
At 5pm the chairs and parasols on the whole island are collected by their owners. It seems, nobody had the idea to let people rent them a little longer and make a little more money by that. I was told: “Señorita, …” I had to smile. Actually I did not see people in my age on this beach. I guess, they are in the hotels with the “all included” offers.
I walked a little further on the beach. Alberto had recommended to go there for snorkeling. Unfortunately the water was shallow and clear. I could not see any fish etc. The beach was not clean, though I left it and try to see a little more of the island. I was walking to the “Mirador” (viewpoint), where the usual sign of the name of the island was installed. Some steps more and I could see the sea again, but here the coast was rough.
For more photos of the island follow the link.
I walked throughout the streets and found mostly restaurants, souvenir shops, tour operators and hotels. Actually I did not walk the South of the island. Maybe that would have been a better choice to see some more nature, but the beach.
It became dark, when I was back in Cancun by ferry. I was very hungry now, though I bought a pizza slice at an Italian snack bar at the site of the ferry. I was very disappointed, when it was served, because it was no real pizza and it was warmed up in the microwave. Soon I was going back home by a combi for a price of 10 MXN.
I arrived at the same time as Alberto. He had been jogging after work, though I let him shower first. He did it very quickly. I longed for the shower to get rid of the sand from the beach. Alberto warmed a meal for us, which Alejandro had prepared in the morning. It was fried meat with different vegetables, even Nopales (cactus). We had talked about it during the breakfast and I had told him, that I only know Nopales with egg. Therefore Alejandro was keen to show me, that the vegetable can be used other ways as well.
After the meal, when Alberto had done the dishes, he asked me to teach him some German. He has a friend in Zug, Switzerland and would like to speak German with him as well as Alberto y Alejandro will travel Europe soon. After the short lesson, Alberto watched a German movie and I updated my blog for a while, but I have got tired early. I fell asleep without wishing Alberto good night around 9am. I did not awake when Alejandro came home.
10th May 2018
It is “Mother’s Day” in Mexico. I awoke off and on during early morning. I also booked a hostel for Tulum, where I will be 24th to 30th May, because it seems, I cannot get a host for the town. Alexandre awoke around 10pm and apologised, but I told him, that I am happy he could get the sleep he needed. He asked me, what kind of breakfast I would like: Hotcakes, French toast, eggs ..? I chose eggs. After breakfast he was going to buy another big bottle of water (20 l). I followed him to the Oxxo shop, because I needed to top up my cellphone. Meanwhile I had no problems with the top up, they did not have the refills av water at the first shop and we had to go to another one. I think there are four of them not far away from the place my host lives, though there is always water to get, but it takes a lot of time, when the shops do not have it.
This day was a day off again. I stayed at my host’s home and updated my blog. I have not had time for it during the days in Cancun. It always got late respectively I felt asleep early. I ate the rest of the Guacamole Alejandro had made for breakfast as well and later I took milk and cereals. In between I drank a lot of water. In the apartment is no AC. Even there are fans in the ceiling, it becomes really warm.
Alberto was late after his work out directly after his job. He took a shower before he took me out for a meal. This time he offered me “Cochinitas” (with spicy Guacamole 😉). He told me, that it is a dish from Mexico City and that there are only two places in Cancun, where Cochinitas are sold. The female cook, who sold it nearby Alberto’s and Alejandro’s home, comes from Mexico City. She only bought soft drinks to the meals, though Alberto was to the nearby supermarket and bought juice instead.
Our way back to his home, we took a detour, though I could see how Mexicans celebrate Mothers day. The whole family is eating out and there are also lots of stalls in the hope, the husbands will buy last-minute gifts. He also recommended me to buy a wooden souvenir. Actually that things were not meant to be souvenirs, but used in the household. I bought a tiny wooden whisk for drink chocolate. Finally at home again Alberto watched another science fiction movie in German, though I continued with my blog.
11th May 2018
I was up when Alberto left around 8am. Alejandro slept until 10am again. I think, he was still tired, because he let me chose between homemade breakfast and tacos outside. I love his homemade breakfast, though I did chose that. This day it was toast with banana, mango and the tasty Mexican coffee. Afterwards we went to the laundry together, because he also had clothes to wash. Actually there is a laundry very close to their home – on the other side of the street, but Alejandro told me, that there was stain on their clothes (which had not been there before they left their clothes), when they had left them there before to that laundry. It was not very far to the next laundry. I paid for my washing right away, because Alejandro had told me to do so. He also had told me, that Alberto will pick up the clean clothes all together. I only had 200 and 500 MXN notes and the laundry could not charge the 200 MXN note, but this time the boy, who was helping there, went for change and I paid the 48 MXN for the three kg of clothes. That was also the minimum weight/price charged at this laundry.
On the way back from the laundry I took the bus for “El Meco” another Maya site. Even this time Alejandro accompanied me to the bus and told the driver, where I have to leave. Alejandro had explained to me, that I have to go to Crucero by the first bus and then to change and go to Punta Sam. It would be a little distance to walk from there. Where I had to change the bus, I bought a bottle of water and some biscuits. Unfortunately I did not see, that we arrived at Punta Sam, though I had to walk back a couple of kilometres. I took the opportunity to buy an ice cream on the go.
Finally at “El Meco” I had to pay 55 MXN, even it is not a big site. The cashier did not have enough change either, but I had a 5 MXN coin, though all was fine. I walked around, read the signs and took photos as usual. At this site was no guide waiting. I had a short talk with a couple meanwhile I was exploring the site. There were another, but younger couple, arriving as well, when I was there, but no stalls, nobody who tried to sell something to us. A group of around 15 people, I guess a family because of the different ages of the persons, arrived, when I was leaving.
For more photos of El Meço follow the link.
For the way back I did not need to change the bus. I also left earlier and found a cheap place to eat. I had fried chicken (1/4) and French fries for the price of 30 MXN. Unfortunately it was not even worth that price, because the chicken was somewhat burned and the fries cold and fatty. I also visited the supermarket Soriana on my way back to buy ingredients for Swedish meatballs – the meatballs should become a thank you for my hosts for their great hospitality. I cooked the meatballs directly after coming home. They became really good and tasty.
I was waiting for Alberto. He should have been at home almost at 7pm. I sent him a message, asking, when he will arrive, because of the laundry. I will go further on Sunday and need my clothes, of course. I did not get any answer in time, though I went to the laundry and picked up mine and even their clean clothes. I paid the 80 MXN for their’s. Back at their home, I put 2/3 of the meatballs in the fridge and ate the rest. Still waiting for Alberto, I was on the Internet again. I have got a CS message from a man called Jorge, living in Playa del Carmen. I did not really understand, if he offered to host me or if he was asking for being hosted, though I answered him for his invitation 😉. A couch surfer from Pakistan, who had stayed with me in Ekerö before, contacted me. He wrote, that he will be in June in Stockholm and asked for my plans. Finally I have got an answer from Alberto. There has been problems at his job and he still had to been there. I worked with my blog. He was coming home as late as 10pm. He was happy in his part of the meatballs. He also sliced a Jicama. It was the first time I tried it. It has no special taste, but lots of fibre. It is crunchy to eat. Together we were waiting for Alejandro. He tasted the meatballs as well.
12 May 2018
I was very tired in the morning, because people had been talking and laughing outside the window nearly all the night. It was worse at 3pm. Alberto and Alejandro told me later, that they had talked with this people before, but nothing has helped. Anyway the coffee helped me a lot to wake up. This morning all three of us had breakfast together. Alejandro made “tacos al vapor”, what means steamed tacos, though the taco shell is very soft. He made them with different fillings.
Unfortunately Alejandro had to go to work this day as well. Alberto and I met another couch surfing guy. His name is Jan and he is from Austria and had travelled a South American country before. Together we took a combi bus (collective bus) to Puerto Morelos. The trip was for 25 MXN/each in one direction. Alberto bought fruits in a supermarket and paid by card, therefore I gave the packer one peso. Then we took another combI bus to the beach. It was for 8 MXN/each. I could have walked, but the guys told me, it is too far.
There were lots of seagrass at the beach and in the water, though I did not swim (I just do not like it). Alberto and Jan were swimming, snorkeling and made also yoga at the beach. At the end of their yoga session it started raining. I took my poncho on for keeping my pants, backpack and hearing aids dry.
We were going back to Cancun and I had not really seen anything oft this town, but the lighthouse, style Pisa.
Well back Alberto was shopping at the supermarket. When he finished, he told me, that he is worried about the apartment, because of the rain. He had all right to be worried. Back at home, it always had been raining in and continued as long as it was raining. The house is a Mexican construction without good fittings and isolation. I was not allowed to help him with the mess, though I was on twitter meanwhile Alberto cleaned the apartment and had a shower.
For the evening meal Alberto cooked a kind of rice pudding and explained proud, that it is cooked with partly milk and partly water. It seems to be Mexican style. Before the rice pudding, we had a sandwich. Meanwhile Alberto watched another part of the German movie, I made my files and updated my blog. The rain continued and when I was going to bed, I discovered, that my backpacks were wet. I was happy, that I have the waterproofed equipment.
13th May 2018
We had chicken with broccoli and spinach for breakfast. Alberto should have cooked and served it the evening before, but Alejandro is the better cook, though Alberto left it to him. The breakfast was at 10pm, therefore it was OK with me for the meal.
Here comes the perfect example of the service minded Mexicans:
I had to go to an ATM and take out money for the bus ticket etc, because this day I was going further to Isla Holbox. I had asked my hosts about the closets HSBC ATM. They did not only explain, how to get there, they also followed me. It felt very secure.
They also followed me to the bus station. Alberto was carrying my big backpack and Alejandro offered me to carry the smaller one.
At the bus station, one of them helped me to buy the bus ticket (I have no problems to do so, but it was really caring of them!). They also had told me, how many stops there are, before we arrive in Chiquila (the last town on the mainland).
For more photos of Cancun follow the link.
I had to wait for around an hour for the bus, what did not matter for me. The bus arrived quite early and had the “trunk” open, though I put my backpacks in there. Well in the bus, after that the bus driver had taken his seat, I did not get the seat I had booked. The bus driver had his bag there and told me “No”! Anyway I have got a seat with a good view. Before we left the bus station a woman entered the bus and sold open ferry tickets for the mainland to the island of Holbox. That was comfortable and it was easier to catch the ferry, when the bus arrived at Chiquila harbour. At the first stop (The town of Leona Vicario) a new passenger entered. He was allowed to use “my” seat. Off and on we had more or less rain, though I did not see a lot of the landscape. I was very surprised, when an older man was allowed to join us in Kantunilkin with a big machete hanging from his belt, even he had it in a quiver.
We hurried from the bus to the ferry, because they called, that the ferry will leave in 6 minutes, what was not true. The ferry was taking passengers for almost 10 minutes past official departure time. The trip to the island was for up to 30 minutes only. Even at the sea it was raining, but when we arrived at the island, the rain hade stopped.
The harbour of Holbox has asphalted surfaces, but the streets of Holbox are all of sand. I was wondering if they had seen a scraper since they were shaped. There were big pools on the streets and where the pools were not so deep, the surface was slippery.
To find the hostel was not so easy, because there was no name on the hostel and it looked like a usual home. After passing it twice, I asked in the neighbourhood and got to know, that me GPS showed exactly the correct building (but without photo 😕). While checking in, I had a big problem. I had booked the hostel by booking.com as I often do. In the price, which is shown in the tool, all costs are included, but in the Americas without the taxes, which are named in percentage. After booking one can also see the amount of the taxes. Daniela, the owner of the hostel told me at the check-in, that the amount shown on booking.com was not correct and I would have to pay her commission. I told her, that she is wrong and I will not do so. Though she called booking.com and told me then, she was right and booking.com would call me. I think they tried to reach me by my Swedish phone number, because I never got a call from them. I then spoke with a service guy from booking.com by Daniels phone and he explained to me about the taxes. I answered him, that I know that and that I did not tell Daniel I won’t, but that she asked me to pay her commission on the top of it. Now he finally understand Danielas respectively my concern and told me, that he will talk with her one more time, what he did. Daniela was not happy anymore. Furthermore she asked for a deposit of 200 MXN. It was not named for which reason, though I asked her, if I really had to pay the deposit, because I already paid the whole amount for my stay. She told me, I have and it is written in the paper, she gave me. Though I asked her, why I should pay it. Finally she told me, that it was for the keys (1 for the house and 1 for the room). Now I understood and told her, that I will pay that as well. She needed a calculator to add 200 MXN to the amount of 1249 MXN. First she added 400 and asked me for 1649 MXN, though I told her, that 1249 + 200 = 1449. She used the calculator one more time and was then OK with the amount I told her. I asked for a receipt. She had to go to her room, to write it. When she handed the receipt out to me, I did first not really understood, what the receipt was for, because it was for Dr Nochles or Dr Nodles. She showed me, that my name (first name only) was in the top and told me, that the line, I had read first, was noches. I was wondering by myself, how a person, who neither can count nor spell correctly can manage a hostel. She also should know, who to fill out a receipt. It should not be too difficult to copy a full name (first name and surname).
Receipt from the Hostel Danielas Casa in Holbox
I have got a bed in a room on the second floor with 8 beds, but I had booked a bed in a room with six beds. I checked my booking. Yes, I was right. Therefore I was going to Daniela again, telling her, that the bed I have got, was not the bed I booked. She showed me the “room” with the six beds, but that was a loft with one side totally open and was above the kitchen / dining room. The stairs up there were very steep. I did not feel for to carry my backpacks up there and told her, that I will stay in the other room. She first told me, that her place is a hostel and not a hotel. I told her, I know. I am always booking beds in dorms in hostels. Now she offered me a bed in another room on the first floor, but from the second night. That room did not have bunk beds. I was OK with it.
Finally I was ready to explore the island. It did not look very nice. There were abandoned buildings. The rest did not look like, that it was cared for very well. OK, it is Mexico, not Sweden. I only write this, because I had expected more of an island so heavily recommended. I found the city center easily. It is a little one. Anyway as long as the pools after the rain are not too big, you can find here street food in the evenings. The restaurants on the island have high prices, the street food is more moderate, but if the price is not announced, ask first before ordering otherwise it can be nearly so expensive as at the restaurants. I missed the ice cream, because I only found one restaurant with ice cream, which was very expensive as well.
This evening I had a big Quesadilla with potatoes and chorizo (the potatoes were mashed and the Chorizo mixed with the potatoes). This was for 40 MXN (street food!). I also had a Marquesita that night. I chose one filling only, though it was for 35 MXN. It became dark and I was walking back to the hostel, where I used the Internet for a while (only possible in the dining room).
14th May 2018
My booking for the hostel included breakfast and I was told, that we could take of all in the fridge until 10am. Neither Daniela nor another person did care about the breakfast, but filling the fridge (actually only one shelf), putting bread and fruit (bananas) on a shelf and tea, instant coffee and sugar on another shelf. In the fridge one could find milk, yogurt, butter, sliced cheese and sliced ham. There were no cereals for the yogurt and I do not know if the oats were on the house. This morning I had yogurt with banana, two slices of bread and a coffee. There were a group of Spanish-speaking women taking most of the seats at the table. They also had taken lots of slices of the toast. Before I left the hostel to explore the island, Daniela told me, that she could not give me a bed in the room on the first floor, because the room was booked again. I only answered OK, for what should I have done more?
On Holbox it is usual to rent a bike or a golf cart. For the streets, the golf cart is the better option, but it is expensive (400 MXN for three hours), though I decided to try a walk. In the city centre I was first looking for the free wi-fi I had been told, there is. I did not find it, but later. I was in the shade for a while and tried to find that wi-fi, but was on the wrong side of the place, though I did not. I also drank the mango juice and at the cake I had bought in a supermarket on the way between the hostel and this place. I was looking for tours to the nearby islands. There was no other way to go there. Finally I booked a tour to the three islands for the upcoming day and paid for it at the same time. It was a half-day tour and for 350 MXN.
Done that, I was going to the beach, but even here was a lot of seagrass. Though I walked parallel to the beach and hoped to reach the point, where the natural reserve starts. It was a hot and sunny day so far. After a while, I could not follow the beach anymore because of hotels. The street was now following a dirty river. I could not imaging, how much further I had to walk, though I turned around, when it became to wet for walking. I decided to rent a bike the following day.
On the way back I missed my fan. At the city center again I looked at the place for my picnic and also asked at the counter for the tour. I did not find it. I was unhappy because, but there was nothing to do. Maybe I will find a new one, when I am going to Calakmul, which is situated in the state of Campeche. I was really hungry now and tried to find a restaurant with moderate prices. My choice became the “La Tortilleri@”, a restaurant close to the main square with Spanish tortillas as a specialty, but I only had a milkshake with papaya. That was OK for them. The milkshake was for 50 MXN. Afterwards I was back to the hostel using the Internet. Fortunately I had not been up to the room, where my belongings were, before Daniela came and told me, that I anyway was moved to the room on the first floor. She had already moved all my belongings. This surprised me, of course. Even I like service, but moving me backpacks etc. without asking or telling me before it is done, seems strange to me.
Between 4pm and 6pm I updated my blog somewhat. The wi-fi was very slow and I get tired of it, though I updated only to the 8th of May. Then I went to the main square again, looking for the street food. I found tacos for 20 MXN/each and ordered two. I also had a Maracujá juice, which is local here. For this together I paid 50 MXN. Actually I bought a chocolate ball as dessert, which was for 20 MXN and tasted dark chocolate – really delicious. After the meal I went back to the hostel, where I tried to update my blog.
The room, where my bed was, was occupied by a family with one child. The child had got an air mattress. Furthermore there were two backpackers. All arrived late in the evening, when I already was sleeping.
15th May 2018
This day I was already up at 6:30am for being sure, that neither the bathroom nor the kitchen will be occupied. At 8am I was all done and ready for the tour. I had to be at the city centre at 9:40am, meanwhile I was waiting for the time to go, I read about the bioluminescence, because there were tours offered to see this phenomenon. I still had time and checked the timetable for the buses between Chiquila and my next destination: Playa del Carmen.
I left the hostel at 9:20am, still very early and bought a bottle of water on my way. I was offered a chair for the waiting time at the meeting point. There were more people arriving and also last-minute bookers. Around 10 o’clock we got paid a taxi to the harbour, where we were awaited. Anyway there was a little problem. The grandfather, who usually made the boat ride, told his granddaughter, that he will not make it this time. Fortunately, there were enough boats and boatmen. A man called Luís, in the age between 30 and 40, became our captain and guide. He spoke Spanish and English, but his explanations in English were much shorter, than the ones in Spanish.
The first island of the tour is the Isla Pajaros (the Birds Island). It is a birds sanctuary, though we only could walk to a tower, from which we could see pelicans and other birds. I have seen pelicans before (Cabo San Luca, Baja California Sur) and was more interested in the flamingos, though I was disappointed. The guide only answered me, when we were back on the boat, that the flamingos are on another island.
The second island was called Yalahau and the attraction of the island was a cenote, which also means, that it is a freshwater pool. To come to the pool, we had to pay the family, who lives on the island, an admission fee of 15 MXN. They also run a simple restaurant there and a separated bathroom. If one has to use the bathroom, one has to pay 5 MXN. I do not know the prices of the restaurant, which served street food, but I think they make their living by the tourists – there are lots of boats everyday, both in the morning and in the afternoon. Each boat carries eight people and the captain. The cenote had a ladder, though one could climb down to the water level, but even a man hold my hands, when I tried to use the letter, the steps were too far away of each other and I could not use it. Therefore I was one of the few, who only sat at the rim and cooled their feet.
The third island is passion island. Close to this island are the flamingos. Unfortunately the boats cannot go close. We were left in the shallow water close to the island, but in a long distance of the flamingos, to walk the water. The guide told us, that we have 15 to 20 minutes to go back in the boat, but he did not explain in English, that he will wait for us on the other side of the island. Though I asked two guys, who also had been on our boat, where I have to enter the boat, because it did not come back. We made company to the boat. The captain was not happy, because we were late, though I told him, that I did not know, that I had to find the boat at this place. He apologised.
Back at Holbox I was very hungry, though I was going to the restaurant “La Tortilleri@” for lunch. I chose a Spanish tortilla (I know it by the name Spanish omelette) and a torjado Papaya (a papaya smoothie). It was 75 MXN for the omelette and 50 MXN for the smoothie. They were both tasty.
Back at the hostel I updated my blog. Unfortunately I lost the wi-fi connection and half of that, what I had written, was not even autosaved. Though I missed a lot of my text. By that stopped for the day, was to the room and used twitter (which goes to read by the prepaid data connection) until it became dark.
Then I was out for another meal. I looked for the street food, where I had bought meals before, but I did not find them, though I bought a Huarache instead and an Agua de Horchata. Unfortunately I had to pay 90 MXN for it. I was afterwards trying to go to the beach to see the bioluminescence, because I was told, that it is possible to see that from the beach, but it started raining again. I was happy, that I was back before it rained cats and dogs. Actually I was on twitter until late night (early morning).
16th May 2018
After a late breakfast I was renting a bicycle for three hours, but I think it took me around one hour before I found one, I can ride. It was not maintained well. Fortunately the owner did count the time from the upcoming full hour (this way I got it for 3 1/2 hour and he took 100 MXN instead of 105 MXN). The chain had needed some oil. The island has no hills, though I made it anyway by this one. I was continuing further from the place, where I had been the day before. I came to a turtle sanctuary, but there were no turtles (I read later at another place, close to Tulum, that the turtles come in June to lay their eggs and are staying until October). I had to cycle throughout deep pools to come further. Even I was on a bicycle my feet got wet. Soon I came to a river. People came from the other side and crossed it easily, because it was low. I was asking them, if they had seen turtles, but none had. A woman told me: “No, but beautiful nature”. There was no lock to my bicycle, though I went back without crossing the river. I tried to see the coast in the other direction, but there were so many pools, I gave up and left the bicycle back after a little more than an hour.
I had a Cocos water and finally found the free wi-fi, where I updated my blog somewhat by using my smartphone. I like it more to use my tablet for so much writing. It is much easier. I entered my favourite restaurant for lunch and tried to order a “Tortilla con chaya“. I would have liked to try something new. Instead I chose a “Tortilla tres mosqueteros” with ham, chorizo and bacon. As drink I had a “Tropical Ginger” with pineapple, banana and ginger. There was a lot of ginger in it! This meal was more expensive than the meals before. It was for 110 MXN, the drink was for 50 MXN as usual. I gave the waiter 20 MXN as a tip, because I have not had enough with coins the day before.
I went back to the square, using the free wi-fi one more time and updated my blog including the 9th May. It started raining again, when I was back at the hostel. I had to move my backpacks away from the window, because it was raining in. I read on my smartphone about the climate in Central America and looked up the tourist site of Belize.
When the rain was over, I went out for dinner. I was looking for the street food again, but the streets had now pools, where some of the street food carts had been the days before. Therefore much less of them were there and I decided to find a restaurant. My favourite restaurant closes in the afternoon, but there is a roof top restaurant in the same house. It is of course, more expensive, but has not the worst prices on the island. I tried that one. The name of the restaurant is “Los Peleones”. It actually has two floors, but the roof top is filled first. I ordered Spaghetti Carbonate and a dark beer. Soon afterwards the waiter apologised, that they did not have the beer ordered from the menu, but a dark beer of another make. It had nearly the double price of the first one, though I ordered a bottle of water instead. At this restaurant I did not feel, that I have got good service, therefore I only put 5 MXN on the table as a tip. I first was thinking, that I won’t give a tip, but had changed my mind (the meal was for 150 MXN – without salad, the bottled water, which I buy in the supermarket for 8 MXN, was here for 25 MXN).
For more photos of the island follow the link.
Back at the hostel I had a short conversation with a girl from New Zealand. The guests from the night before had all left. I also had a short WhatsApp messaging with my upcoming host, asking him, if I could arrive a day earlier, because I was not happy in staying longer on the island, even I had booked for one more night. He told me, that he has surfers at his home, but the might leave the upcoming morning and he will answer my question the next morning.
17th May 2018
While having breakfast I got the message of Jorge, that I was welcome the same day. I checked out at 10am. Daniela asked, if there is any problem, because I am leaving one day earlier as planned. I told her, that I do not like the island. I had not to wait for a long time for the ferry and arrived in Chiquila around 11am. Taxi drivers were calling, but I was looking for a bus or a collectivo. There was none at this time of the day, though I started walking in the direction of Kantunilkin. I hoped for a hitch. A taxi driver stopped close to me and told me, that he can drive me to Kantunilkin as a collectivo for 60 MXN, which I agreed. He only got one more passenger some kilometers before the town. He had an old car, though I think his expenses were paid anyway and that he had a better choice for passengers in Kantunilkin.
The area of the bus station was abandoned, but two or three shops. One also offered meals by a banner, but I did not see, where the meals would have been prepared. I bought some biscuits and used the bathroom. There came buses every hour, but only to two destinations: Cancun and Tizimín. There came a collective with the words: Holbox – Playa, though I asked the driver if he was going or coming from Playa del Carmen. He actually was coming from there. I asked him to stop in Kantunilkin on his way back, because I have been told by the shop owners, that the collective only stops here, if called. The driver told me, he would not know if he has one or two seats left, when he is coming from Holbox. There were more buses coming. Meanwhile I had company of a German girl, who had been couch surfing in the town. She told me, she will go to Cancun and from there to Playa. I still was expecting an Oriente bus, because the one I was coming with to Holbox was for Playa. The arriving bus drivers told us, that there is no direct bus to Playa, though we had to go to Cancun. I told them, that there almost is a collectivo. The German girl was now going with a bus to Cancun. I was still waiting for the collectivo and finally he arrived some minutes past 4pm. There was only one seat left, but I have seen before, that they also take people standing. I had to pay 200 MXN for the ride to Playa del Carmen. That would have been the same price for the ADO/Oriente bus. From Holbox it would have been 50 or 60 MXN more, though my adventure fortunately did not cost extra money.
I arrived in Playa del Carmen around 5:40pm and messaged Jorge, a 65-year-old Mexican, who had offered to host me. He did answer me, that he will come and pick me up. I was happy about it, because it would have been more than an hours walk to go there or a taxi ride for almost 70 MXN. On the other hand, I would not have bought such an expensive dinner, which I did by Jorge. When he lifted my big backpack in the trunk of his car, he hurt himself. I do not know, how he did, but so far it does not happen to anybody including me while lifting my backpack. First he told me, it was by the sport, he had done, that he got the pain, but later on he did not say that anymore.
He asked me, if I already have had dinner, though I told him, I had not eaten much that day. He questioned, who much my limit is to pay for a dinner. With the experiences of the last few days, I told him: 150 MXN. He answered me, that it is not easy to find a restaurant by such a low limit. He drove me to a salads bar. I ordered a dish with salad including chicken. It was for 139 MXN. He did not eat at the same time, but ordered a take away before we left. Meanwhile I was eating, he asked me for my plans and, when I told him, that I will be on the road for 18 month, he asked, if I do not have a family. He told me, that he also is travelling a lot, but never more than six month of a year. He also told me, that he had been in Norway and Finland. If I remember right, it was for two month all together and added, that he in July will go to Stockholm for three days. I think, he hoped that I will be at home in July and host him.
At his home he first showed me “my room” and “my bathroom”, but watched than TV directly. It was a soccer game of the Mexican League. I had company with him, but my eyelid became heavy, though he told me, that there is a bed for me and I should use it.
18th May 2018
Playa del Carmen is a young town like Cancun. It is not only very touristic, but has no many museums either. In the contrary to Cancun, there is a walled Maya site following the coast line. Some buildings are still dotted in the surroundings and to view them is for free.
I awoke at 6pm, but was still tired. At 8pm I took my medicine and afterwards a shower. I asked Jorge, when he will be at home, though I can come into the apartment again in the evening. He told me, that he has such a pain, though he will stay at home all the day. He sent me messages by WhatsApp, how to come back to his apartment by bus from the city centre. Unfortunately he does neither understand English well nor, when I am speaking Spanish with him – but it is only him, other Mexican people understand my Spanish. I had a breakfast at a café. It was an omelette with juice and black coffee. Surprisingly the waiters did not understand me either. When I asked for an Americano, one of them came with a very small cup – for an espresso. Though I told him one more time, I would have an Americano, but with milk. He answered “milk?” and I confirmed. I never got the milk. They did not even understand when I asked for the bathroom. I made the conversation totally in Spanish, but they might never have had a stranger there and only be used to a special dialect. In the city centre I did not have any problems with my Spanish, even I was in restaurants off the beaten path.
There was a mall a 15 minutes walk away from Jorge’s apartment. There was also a laundry. This one was great, because I could make my washing there. I did not need to leave it. With the detergent my washing was for 75 MXN, more expensive than with service. I think it depends on, that they hade (and was in need of) more machines. On the way back to the apartment I bought food at a supermarket. Jorge was surprised, that I already was back. It had taken time, before he opened. I think he was asleep. I had lunch, made my files and was afterwards going downtown by bus. On the way out I also took the trash with me.
The bus was for 7 MXN only. I first thought, it was a cheaper price for elderly, but then I saw, that everyone was paying this amount. Leaving the bus I was walking around and found an ice cream shop, where an ice cream was for 30 MXN only. In the tourist area one have to pay twice as much. I did not find the shampoo and deodorant I was looking for at the supermarket in the morning, but found a shop specialist on that things, but also selling different kinds of souvenirs. I think it is expensive compared with Europe. All cannot be cheap.
Walking around I also saw different offers for the ferries to Cozumel. The Ultramar, which I already had used to the Isla Mujeres, was 10 MXN more expensive in tourist class than the Mexico, but also had a more expensive, first class. That ferry was going every half an hour. The ferry company Mexico was only going once an hour. I had planned to go to Cozumel, but did not buy the tickets this day, even they were so-called open tickets, with no special date on it.
While looking for a restaurant with lower prices, I saw something special and unexpected. Four policemen in uniform seemed to make a race on their four-wheel drive police motorcycles.
Soon I found the restaurant La Valentina, offering “burrito grande” with different fillings. It was, included water, for 70 MXN and so big, that I could not eat all and asked for a doggy bag. It was easier to leave the bus at the supermarket close to Jorge’s apartment and walk the rest, than to check for the block and ask the driver to stop there. That was the way I did it this evening and also bought a 5 l water bottle and a liter of milk. I could not carry that earlier this day, when I also had my laundry to carry. There was no problem, even it was dark.
Back at Jorge’s he was watching TV, though I was on twitter. He had not given me his wi-fi password.
19th May 2018
When I dressed I saw, that my beige hiking pants are broken. I tried to fix them, but I did not have the right things to do so. I just packed them again. I will sew them another time. When leaving for the bus, Jorge asked me to take the trash out, because of his pain. So I dit. Soon I was sitting on the bus downtown again. I looked for museums. The only one I found in town was the Frida Kahlo museum. It was quiet new and it is no natural reason, why there is a Frida Kahlo museum in Playa del Carmen, because Frida never lived or worked here. There are no original paintings in this museum either. Anyway I entered the exhibition after I had paid the admission fee of 240 MXN. A guide was included, who liked to get tips even he was paid of the museum. He looked really surprised, when I did not give him a tip. I did neither learn nor hear a lot of new things about Frida. The guide in Valladolid had made a good work.
When I left the museum I felt hungry and was looking for the restaurant from the day before, but did not find it again, though I chose another restaurant, where I ordered a Mexican lunch (comida), which was a soup, “papas con queso”, salad, rice, tortillas and agua de Jamaica (no other choice of water was possible). The “papas con queso” (potatoes with cheese) were two small potato dumplings, which did not even taste cheese. The meal was for 65 MXN, but I was still hungry afterwards. The restaurant did not have a bathroom, though I had to use the public bathroom, close to it.
I took a look at the public beach and bought churros close to it. They were for 30 MXN. Though my meal was actually for 100 MXN this time. I did not like the beach and was walking back to the square with that big monument, close to the chapel. Indigenous artists had their show – they actually did it several times collecting money. It seemed, they were not satisfied of the amount they get. Not far away from there were dancers with drums and masks. They were Maya as well, I think. When the first group did not have their show, the other group had theirs. Even they were collecting money, but I was not close enough to see, if they got a lot.
I am on the square for a long time, because I am waiting for an Argentinian girl, who had taken contact with me by the couchsurfing App and asked to meet me. We have contact several times by WhatsApp this afternoon, but at the end she wrote: “This night I want to go to dance swing. Do you want to join us? At 11pm”. Though I asked her, if we can meet between her work and 11pm. She was answering very late, when I already was on the bus back and wrote, that she was still working. I did not believe her, but did just not answer that message.
Long time before these last messages I also saw, that there was a wedding in the chapel. All the guests did not fit in, though chairs were put on the side of the entrance and the people sitting there as well as not invited guests could see the ceremony on a big screen. During the ceremony demonstrators were walking around with signs “Most of the violence against women happens at home”. By the way, the text was in Spanish. I also paid this afternoon for the tour to X’caret. When the seller saw me, he became happy and showed that as well. Anyway he did not remember, that he promised me to pick me up in the morning. When I asked for that, he just told me, where I have to be on Monday at 9:10am for joining the tour. The booked tour included the transport both ways, the admission fee and a lunch buffet as well as a show in the evening. A dinner during the show was optional and would have been for extra costs.
Before going back by bus to Jorge’s I bought an Agua de Horchata and a filled bread. Arriving at Jorge’s he is eating and watches TV. Afterwards he showed me on the Internet, what he thinks is the problem for his pain – that it might be the muscles not the spine. I told him, it might be the sciatic, which is a nerve. When he did not talk about his pain anymore, he solved a crossword and still had the TV on. Meanwhile he was talking about his pain, I had eaten my meal. Though I was going to “my” room, because I felt, that Jorge will not longer have a conversation with me. I still had not got the wi-fi password, therefore I was on twitter instead until midnight. I often cannot fall asleep earlier.
20th May 2018
I was already up at 7:15am. After shower and breakfast, I was leaving, because I was going to see the island Cozumel. On my way from the bus to the ferry, I bought a bottle of water and took out money at an HSBC ATM.
The ferry “Mexico” was for 350 MXN. It was an open return ticket. There was actually an earlier ferry for only 10 MXN more but I liked to try the other company. This ferry should have left at 10am, but by late arrivals, it left the harbour of Playa del Carmen 10 minutes late. We arrived at the harbour of Cozumel around 10:50am.
At the harbour were many sellers of car, bike and bicycle rental. I tried to rent a bike, but could not find anyone, which fitted me. Though I started walking instead and was happy, that I easily could stop anywhere and take photos.
When I had walked a while I was passing a scooter and car rental. I first asked for a price for renting a scooter. I was asked, if I had driven one before and later also, if I have a driver’s license. Though I told them, I have. I could not get an answer to, how big the engine of the scooter is, therefore I asked them to be allowed to hold the scooter. After the feeling it was almost a 250 ccm engine and to heavy to me to hold in special situations. I did tell them that and they recommended to rent a car, which was slightly more expensive than to rent a scooter. They had only open cars, looking similar to beach buggies. I thought about the gasoline, which I had to add to the price and decided to walk in one direction and take a taxi back. I thought it will be half the price. I continued walking.
I had a Soriana supermarket on my left hand side and was looking for the entrance to by something to eat. Finally inside I found a food desk with fresh salads, fried potato, meat, chicken etc ready to eat. I chose guacamole, French fries and cut sausage. The meal was for 35 MXN and I found a place outside, where I could sit and eat.
Soon I continued walking again, but when I saw a sign, that it is 13 kilometres to “El Cedral”, were the Maya ruins are (one place of them, the other place is on the other side of the island), I understood, that it would become too late to walk all the way. I stopped a taxi and asked for the price. He told me around 120 MXN, which I thought is too much, because I need to pay for the way back as well, which will be longer and more expensive. I tried to hitchhike instead and I was lucky. A man had already driven further, but went back and gave me the hitch. He told me in the car, that he was managing a party, but for the moment it was no need to stay there, though he was on his way home to return later to that party. He drove me all the way and asked also for the ruin for me as well as he told me, that it will not be hard to find a hitch back from the village. There will always someone leave, going to the city San Miguel de Cozumel. In addition to that, he had told me during the ride, that it is not easy to take a hitchhiker on board, because the taxi drivers would see it like concurrency. This made me understood, why it is so hard to hitchhike on the Yucatan peninsula.
The man, the driver had asked for the ruins, was a shop owner. He told me, after he had given me the direction, that I was welcome to visit his shop after the sightseeing of the ruins. I was very surprised, when I saw one hill of stones, which most likely had been a Maya building and a broken building, but nothing more.
I saw a group of people sitting together, having a meal. It was Pentecost day and I think they were celebrating. They offered me a meal, but I was only asking for the other Maya ruins. The answer: There are not. What I have seen, was all what I got. I took some photos of the beautiful buildings and was then going to the shop, just of politeness.
This Mexican was really great. He showed me, how he makes Hammocks, the big sea shells and how he cut them a little, though they can be used as trumpets, his paintings and his silver works. Even I earlier decided, that I only will by a bracelet, when I find a similar to that one, I lost nearly 50 years ago (It was a gift of my brother. He bought it in El Paso and it had golden Maya motives on silver.), I did buy a bracelet – totally in silver and no Maya motive. I was first looking at another one, which was for 400 MXN. The one I bought was heavier and he told me, it is for 600 MXN. I offered him 500 MXN and he agreed. By the way I later checked prices in San Miguel de Cozumel and they were twice as high, even I only could find similar from weight, but not style.
I walked to the start of the village and even a little further, trying to get a hitch. The first cars, which passed me, were full. Then was a man with wife and daughter stopping with his small truck. He would not go far, but I was welcome to go with them. When I tried to enter the truck, I was shown I had to sit on the platform, because they had things on the fourth seat. I would have taken help of the wheel to enter the platform, though I thanked them for the offer, but told them, that I am not longer able to do so – the truck had quiet big wheels. Soon another car stopped and the driver was on his way to San Miguel de Cozumel. He offered me, to hike with him. On the way into town, he told me, that he is a dive instructor and will go to Norway this summer, because a friend of him had invited him to explore a cave – north of Trondheim. He also told me, that he first will visit Finland and enter Norway at “Treriksröset” (he did not tell me that name, but described the place). Finally he asked me, where I will leave, because he had to go further North.
I missed the ferry by five minutes, though I tog another tour throughout the town, starting with an ice cream. It was for only 30 MXN, but the texture was unusual. The taste was OK. I walked streets, I had not walked before. There were many photo motives. One of them you see below. To the others please use the link.
Finally taking the ferry back, the sea was rolling a lot, but we arrived safely in the harbour of Playa del Carmen. I was very hungry now and I remembered the street food in a little park, though I was going there. I tasted a new dish: Alambres. There were different kinds of meat to choose, though I took a mixed one. Actually I could not eat all of it. It was served the usual way for street food, if you do not take it away: On a plate of plastic, “dressed” in a plastic bag. I took the plastic bag as a doggy bag, but one of the employees did see it and told me, he will give me a take away plate. He put the rest of the dish on such a plate, but a smaller one and put aluminium foil around it. The meal had been for 45 MXN.
Afterwards I walked back to the 5th street and from there to the 34th street. It took 30 minutes. From the 34th street I was walking to the 30th street, which took 10 minutes. I did it to be sure of to be in time for the tour I had booked. I decided to leave the bus at the 34th street, because that was much shorter to the meeting point. From the 30th street I took a combi back to Jorge’s home. When I asked the driver, how much I have to pay, he first answered 10, but I could not really hear, what he had told me. Though I asked him one more time. Now he answered 9. I think it anyway was too much, because he should not take more as the big buses.
Back at Jorge’s he was watching TV. This time the soccer final of the Mexican league. I told him – when it was time for that – about my plans for the following day. Afterwards I prepared for it, made my files and was on twitter before I felt asleep.
21st May 2018
I was already up at 6:50am and ready in time, but Jorge knocked my bathroom’s door, asking if I missed my transport. I left 8:15am as planned. I could have left later as well, but I want to be sure to be in time, even if something would be different to my plan. I was really happy, that I did that, because the bus I was going with, did take another route as the bus the day before. Therefore I did not see a sign for the 34th street. I had to go all the way to the city center and take a walk back. I arrived in good time at the meeting point, even it started raining and I had to dress in my rain poncho. The process to get registered and come with the right bus took until 10am. Meanwhile it had stopped raining. We finally arrived in X’caret at 10:22am, but had to wait for another bus, before we were allowed to leave. 20 minutes later, our guide took us to the entrance and explained the necessary details. At 11am we got green light to explore the area by ourselves. Unfortunately I had not taken bottled water with me, though I bought one here. The usual 600 cl bottle was here for 30 MXN. In other stores it is possible to buy them for around 8 MXN, restaurants sometimes take 15 MXN. I tried to find the interesting parts of the park like the puma and jaguar, the jungle and the Maya ruins. I was just on my way further from the Maya ruins – my first stop, when it started raining cats and dogs. I found this stationery parasols and stood under one until the rain stopped, because it would have been very warm under my rain poncho.
From my hide I could watch employees, who fought with the sea weed. They did take up so much, but it seemed to be a never-ending story. After the rain had stopped I was enjoying the jungle as well as the orchids and Bromelia.
I became hungry and was looking for a restaurant, which served an included buffet. I found it after a while, just before the next heavy rain. Fortunately I was placed, though I had no problem with the rain. I kept dry, but there was a real problem. When I was seated, the waitress put a note on my table, which also included a beer. I also had put my little backpack on a chair, though everyone could see, that the table was occupied. When I came back from my first round at the buffet, that was gone and the napkin with the cutlery was opened. Even we could take as much as flavored water as we wished, we only could get one beer for free and because the tour was so expensive I also was interested in the beer. I asked a waiter for it, explaining the situation, but he only told me, I had to wait until my waiter comes with it. I do not know, how a waiter will come with it, when I did not have the opportunity to order it. After a while I made another waiter attentive on me and at the end I got that little glass of beer – there were nothing to choose. It seemed to be an export beer. The size of the glass was half of a usual beer glass. When I was going to fetch more food, I also placed my hat on the table, though I kept my seat. By the way, the people at the next table could not stay there, because it was raining in heavily. Instead for asking me, if we could share “my” table, they were placed at the next free table, because there were so many people, who would enjoy the buffet just at this restaurant, that only new people could get a seat, when others had finished their meal. I also had to queue before it had been my turn. – The buffet was really good with lots of different offers. There were cheese as well as fruit, small cakes and ice cream for the dessert. I took of all of it, but I missed something of the main meal. I was full and satisfied. I did not become hungry before I was back at Jorge’s.
During my travels I try to make things I never have done before. As you may have read, I was interested in to try snorkeling. Here I dit. Even here was a cenote, but with really good stairs. The problem was, that I could not have my glasses under the glasses for snorkeling. The size was not a problem, but the vapor. Though I tried without my own glasses. Imagine that I without hearing aids and without glasses tried anyway. I think you understand that I soon gave up. If you cannot imagine, why I gave up, here my answer. The hearing gives the balance and the hearing aids helps me with my orientation under water. Without hearing aids I do not know if I am up and down under water or not, especially, when I close my eyes. Without my own glasses I only can see contours, when I am not close enough. I miss the feeling for the deep as well. Anyway I tried and maybe I will find an opportunity to use my glasses while snorkeling.
I was lucky, that I now found the way to the puma and the jaguar. I was happy to see them, but so sorry for them, because they had each their little “island” only. Naturally they are on their way for kilometres of kilometres. It was like in a zoo, where I also always feel sorry about the animals, independent on how much space they have. They have never enough with space, when they are not free and in the wild.
Next stop was the butterfly garden. I never before have seen a blue butterfly and never have seen so big butterflies. Here I did. They are flying very fast and hard to catch them with a camera, though I made a video instead. It is a try and better than nothing. I hope you can enjoy it.
From here it was easy to find the Maya village, but that was most commerce. A funny thing was, with all respect for the dead, the cemetery. It is a natural one and the church is also nearby, existing before the area was exploited as a tourist attraction. Please find below one of the photos I took there. The others you can see, when you follow the link for the photos of X’caret (at the end of this day).
Time was passing by very fast and I had to find my way to the main attraction, the show. It was showtime at 7pm and I managed to be at the event hall at 6:25pm. Anyway, the best places were already occupied. I was lucky and had no long person in front of me, even a woman with her hat on, made it sometimes hard for me to take photos or make videos. In addition to this, I was very far away from the scene – most of us were, though the quality is not really good. I think you anyway can enjoy my videos. This one is linked from YouTube, but the others you can find among the photos by the link below. I actually love the Mariachi music.
After the show we had to come to the Mexican flag, where we have been told in which direction we have to go to take the bus back to the city, we arrived from. With that bus court another person told us, exactly with which bus we had to go. They were all numbered. It worked very smoothly and I was one more time surprised about the Mexicans skills in organising.
Finally in Playa del Carmen again it was 10pm. I caught soon a combi in my direction, but did not check if all the names were on it, which I had been told. Actually the combi had the right destination, but was not going the right route. At the end of the route, I told the driver, that I missed my stop. I was asked about it and, because the address of my host is unknown (even for taxi drivers), I told the driver “Chedraui”. He stopped there on the way back. Anyway I was lost. I rounded the building once to find the car wash, which helps me with the direction, but I did not find it. I took help of my gps to find the way, but it did not know the address either. I put in a destination closer to my host’s home, which the GPS found and I started walking. I passed buildings I had seen before, but it was not the usual way. Jorge called me, asking, when I will be back. I understood, that he will go to bed. I took a taxi, because it was almost half an hours walk left. I had to tell the taxi driver, where to drive and where to stop. For 35 MXN extra I finally was at my host’s home.
For more photos of my day at X’caret please follow the link.
22nd May 2018
This day I awoke a little later than usual. After my breakfast, I asked Jorge if he knows, where I can get a box from, because I will send a parcel home. He told me, I should ask at the smaller supermarkets, but was then looking for a box in his bedroom. He came with a quite big box, though he told me, to cut it down. I put the things in, I would like to send and was wondering, how I could cut the box for my needs. I did not find a good way to do so. Therefore I thanked Jorge, trying to give him the box back and telling him this. He cut down the box. When he did it, I saw the solution. Anyway Jorge did not cut it the way, it maybe would have been possible to use it. After cutting he came with duck tape, but told me then, I have to buy more, though I can fix it. I took my belongings, I want to send home, the box and my little backpack for the bus to town. Sitting in the bus I thought about the Office Depot, where that box comes from. I know they also have tape and more. I was lucky, that an employee was filling the shelfs and left a lot of empty boxes on the floor. I took one in the right size and asked him, if they sell boxes in that size. He told me, they only sell bigger boxes. Though I asked him, if I could get that box and he answered, that I have to ask the manager, which was on the floor. I went there, waiting for my turn and asked him then, if I can get that box. It was OK for him. Furthermore I found tape and also labels. I was keen to put a label inside the parcel. I paid for the tape and the label and was going to the post office, just a 15 minutes walk away. Here I packed my little parcel and, because I do not trust the Mexican post, sent it registered. The amount for this was nearly 1300 MXN (55 EUR). That seems to be a lot, but it would be hard to carry the things with me, would be too much for the flight home and I sent souvenirs and clothes, which I really like. Now I hope, they will all arrive soon at my son’s address.
I was thirsty and also a little hungry, therefore I bought a mug of . It is based on oats and there are tiny outs in there. I had tried it before, but did not like it. This time I took it with cacao and sugar. It was better, but not as good as agua de Horchata. I tried Google to found another art museum and I believed, that the “Mundo Huitochl” was an art museum. I crossed a park and walked all the 5 km to enjoy it, but I came to a mall. One of the shops, which sold indigenous art, was called. In that mall were more shops, selling art. I took a look, but was soon on the way back again. Beside the road were some Maya ruins, called Xaman Ha.
I had two big quesadillas and a bottle agua de Horchata for lunch for only 44 MXN – again much cheaper, than my host had told me is possible in Playa del Carmen. It started raining again. I was still waiting for a message of a CS member. His name is Daniel Michel. He had asked me for a conversation in German, because he will soon have an exam in Berlin, Germany and would like to get some help with the language. He did not contact me again. I do not know the reason. I do not like people behaving this way. It is a lack of respect! I was going back by bus to my host. He does not open. I think, he may not be at home and sent him a message by WhatsApp. It takes time before he is answering me and telling me, that he is at a supermarket and apologised. I told him, that he can take his time and that he should drive carefully. When he finally is back, he told me, that I never had been back so early.
For more photos of Playa del Carmen click here.
He had a meal and listened to hard rock. I went to my room and tried to repair my trousers. I tried with ribbon behind the scratch, but that was not working. I thought I need a sewing machine and a bigger piece of fabrics. At 10pm I was falling asleep.
23rd May 2018
This morning I was still tired when I awoke, though I had first my breakfast and dressed afterwards. I also changed my hostel booking for Tulum. When I thought about changing the dates, because I had no reason to stay at Jorge’s for longer, I saw, that the hostel I booked will have paid by USD. It was still time enough to cancel without fee. I found a cheaper hostel, which looked nice and took pesos. I added an extra day, that means, to arrive earlier.
I told Jorge, that I will clean his apartment (only the floors) and then go further. He does not understand the word “further”, therefore I explained, that I will go to Tulum. He did not understand anyway, what I tried to tell him and was surprised, when I came with my backpacks out of my room. Though I clarified, that I came one day earlier and therefore leave one day earlier. Now he expressed, that I had to take a taxi, because of my backpacks. I told him, that I will do so, to avoid a discussion, but was anyway going by bus to the city center from where I took a combi to Tulum, where I arrived between 1pm and 2pm. By the way, from the bus we could see how two drivers have quarrelled at a traffic light, they were very close to fighting. A Mexican woman on the front seat was also shaking her head about it. It was not only strange to me.
It was raining in Tulum, when we arrived and I was very disappointed about the town, because it was so little and the city centre, if I can call it a city centre, was only the main street. I paid 870 MXN at the hostel for six nights including breakfast. Afterwards I read about the costs one more time on booking.com. The hostel owner had charged me for card payment, but I had paid cash as usual. I told her about the mistake and I have got the difference of 40 MXN back.
Actually I saw a cockroach coming out under the fridge and running around. I told this the owner, who took care about it and told me, that the exterminator had been there the day before. I was to my room – I actually got an own room with sex beds in the department for women. The other room was not full either. I do not like, when people think I need extras. The only thing, which is special for dorms, is, that I need a bottom bed. I made my files before I went downtown looking for a shop selling fabrics. I did not find any. I bought a purse for my new bracelet and had a dinner for 113 MXN.
Back at the hostel, I repaired my trousers anyway by using a part of an old sock to strengthen the repaired part. During this job I got the idea of, that the repaired parts should look like embroidered and let it come true. Now my trousers have a little hippy style.
Late in the evening a girl arrived with two big suitcases and a small backpack. It did not look comfortable. I installed my updates and wrote some lines in my blog before I was going to my bed, where I continued with twitter, because the wi-fi is only working in the kitchen/dining room. In addition to this I had established a contact with Nico, a CS member in Tulum to meet and spend time together during an evening.
24th May 2018
I was up around 8:30am, because it was raining and I did not have any hurry. I showered before breakfast. In this hostel the owner or sometimes her friend serves the breakfast. She has oval plates, which she put the two different kinds of fruits on, always diced. She toasts the two slices of bread and filles a cup of coffee for you. On the table (see below) are put butter, jam and – in a basket, cutlery, napkins and the sugar. The fruit was always water melon and often pineapple as well. The breakfast is served between 8am and 11am.
After breakfast it is still raining, though I worked with my blog, sitting at that table. When the sun came out I was to a laundry, recommended by the owner of the hostel. It was not only close, but also good. My ca 3 kg were for 51 MXN. Unfortunately I could not pick it up the same day. From the laundry I continued to a pharmacy for eye drops. The first did not even have similar eye drops, but the second had exactly the kind I have had before. The eye drops were for 139 MXN, a similar price like I had paid last time. Afterwards I asked a guy of a souvenir shop for a supermarket. I still hoped, that there is, because I needed more tissues. He told me, there is not. Therefore I bought food (for almost one meal of the upcoming days) at an Oxxo shop. It was for 130 MXN and was bread, cheese, ham, milk and yogurt.
At the hostel again I made my files and was at the couchsurfing site. Furthermore I planned for the upcoming days. I saw, that it is walking distance to the Maya site of Tulum. I continued with my blog, but it appeared a technical problem, though I could not get much done. Anyway I spent the rest of the day at the hostel and had all my meals there.
25th May 2018
I have had a bad night with very little sleep. In the morning I have got a WhatsApp message from a host in Chetumal. She wrote, that I could stay with her for two nights, because she is spending the weekends in Bacalar. I was up around 8am, showered and had breakfast. Afterwards I was to the laundry and picked up my clean clothes.
This day I went to the archaeological site of Tulum. The admission fee was 70 MXN. This site is special, because was is built directly at the coast on a high shore. Therefore many tourists are coming here and enjoy even the view.
There were not only some interesting buildings and frescoes, but also an exciting nature. Under a group of trees, simple benches were erected. I took a rest there as well as many other tourists.
Please see also my other photos of Tulum Archaeological Site by clicking here.
I chose another way back as the one I had been coming. Unfortunately it was much longer than the first one, but fortunately I could buy sliced papaya on the go. It was for 40 MXN, a very high price and there was also a big slice of mango in there. I had no choice, because I needed something to eat and papaya for my stomach.
Back in Tulum I had a meal at one of the first restaurants I reached. It announced: Comida (a meal) with all, but dessert for 85 MXN. That is not a bad offer. There were as usual different kinds of main meal to choose, but they had run out of the pork meal. I ordered chicken. The quality was OK. When I had finished the meal, the waiter asked me, if I would like a coffee or a dessert. I did not really understand all he told me and answered OK. He served a coffee, but I had to pay 15 MXN extra for it. Together with a 10 MXN tip, the meal was for 110 MXN. An amount I do not pay very often, even it is not really 5 EUR.
Back at the hostel I read the message I have got of Juan from Monterrey. I also had WhatsApp messages from Fernanda, Playa del Carmen och Nico, Tulum. Fernanda asked me, if I still was in Playa and Nico was wondering, if I will join him and a couchsurfer for a night out.
Nico, his female couchsurfer and two other girls met around 9pm. Fun fact: One of the other girls was staying at the same hostel as I, the other girl had been at that hostel before, where we had met as well. The first one was from Colombia, the other one from Germany and the female couchsurfer from Melbourne, Australia. By the way, Nico is an Mexican guy from Guadalajara in Jalisco (where the Mariachi music is coming from). He was a computer specialist, but some years ago he changed his lifestyle, moved to Tulum and makes now jewellery and handcrafted macrame. We were going to a pub, where the girls, and even Nicole had cocktails like Mojitos. The girls asked me to try theirs, though I did, but I did not like them. I had a cerveza obscuro, which is a dark beer. The drinks where for 100 MXN, each. My beer for 40 MXN only. The pub had an anniversary, though every guest got a Tequila on the house. That was a perfect opportunity for me to try the one and only Tequila. By the way, of the five Tequilas we were served, there was one with a mask in it, which only Nicole saw. He took the one instead of the German girl. She was thankful for that! The Tequila was served with lime – here in Mexico you get lime to almost everything. I had put a drop in the Tequila before and took the first nip, it was not so strong as I expected, but burned on the way down. It tasted nothing – maybe like an akvavit. I took some more drops of the lime in, because the others also had taken more lime and it did neither taste anything but lime not burn. I understood, that this is the dangerous way to drink Tequilas, before you will not be aware, how much alcohol you consume.
When we got the bill it was all in one (as usual). Nico told me, I had to pay 140 MXN = 1 beer and 1 cocktail. I answered, that I only have had a beer for 40 MXN. I was actually thinking by myself to order a piña colada, but did not, because I do not like to get drunk. There were no piña colada on the bill either. Nico was looking unhappy, when the bill was paid, though I asked him about the reason. It was such a high volume in the bar by all the chats and even the (horrible) music, though we used WhatsApp for our conversation. I was right, he had paid more than he have had. One of the girls did not pay for all her cocktails. He told me, he would like to meet me another time on a place, where we could talk, because he would like to know me better. The way back to the hostel I had company with the Colombian girl.
26th May 2018
I awoke around 7am, but took my medicine as late as 8:10am. Meanwhile I was waiting, that I could eat breakfast, I was on the Internet (my prepaid data) and read about Cobá, the archaeological site, which was my destination for this day. At 8:40am I had breakfast and showered afterwards, before I was taking a combi (collectivo) for Cobá. On the way to the combi I bought a bottle of water at my nearest Oxxo. Surprisingly, the police were there, looking for someone. The female cashier was unhappy, even I thanked her for the change.
It was not easy to find the right combi. First I was directed wrong, but two Mexican women gave me the right answer. I found the combi a quarter to eleven and was the first passenger. It took time to fill the bus. At 11:30am, the driver asked us, if it was OK to drive now – the combi was only half filled, but in that case we had to pay 80 MXN for the trip. We agreed and the journey started 5 minutes later. When two of us left at the Maya site, he told us, he will go back at 4pm.
The admission fee for this site was 70 MXN. There were bicycles for rent and it was possible to hire a bicycle taxi. I did first not know, how far away the ruins were from the entrance, but I soon found out, that it only were two kilometres in one direction. I was happy, that I had chosen to walk. There were also shortcuts for pedestrians. The most special thing of this pyramid was the still colored stones from earlier paintings and the many stelae. Furthermore there was a round stone (like a grinder stone) with parts of obsidian. There was a high pyramid, which was allowed to claim, but I decided against it, this time. I am sure, the view from the top was great.
Please see also my other photos of the site by clicking here.
Back at the entrance I had a meal at one of the two simple restaurants. Meanwhile I was eating it was raining cats and dogs again. I had chicken, Yucatan way, but did not order something to drink, because I still had a lot of water in my bottle. The meal was for 80 MXN. In a neighbourIng shop I bought an ice cream, which was for 30 MXN, but the seller told me first 20 MXN, though I tried to get it for twenty. Unfortunately it was not possible. The ice cream was in sandwich style and not worth the 30 MXN.
I was in time outside the archaeological zone, but no combi arrived. I did not see the man either, who had been on the same combi as me. Two taxi drivers offered me to drive me, but I told them, that I am waiting for the combi. The combi never arrived, but lately another taxi driver offered me a collective ride for 100 MXN, which I happily accepted. One of the other taxi drivers was laughing at him, because of the amount of 100 MXN, he had asked for. During the trip he got two other passengers for a part of the way, but not much money. I think, he was happy that he got any amount paid for his way back to Tulum. He also had an old car, though maybe not so high costs.
At the evening I was working with the Internet again, but after 10pm the Internet was switched off. I tried the password for another “line”. It was working for a short while, but then not to reach anymore. I was expecting, that it would be easier to use the wi-fi in the late evening, but not, that it would be switched off.
27th May 2018
I was up as usual and had the usual routines, before I was leaving the hostel for the archaeological site of Muyil. I bought a bottle of water as usual as well. The combi for Muyil was much faster occupied, than the combi for Cobá had been. It might belong to the two lakes on the way. The ride was for 70 MXN, which I felt, was expensive. I felt charged for all the way to the destination of the bus: Felipe Carillon Puerto, the destination of the bus.
Please see also my other photos of the site by clicking here.
The admission fee to the site was for 45 MXN. The site was interesting and without a lot of commerce. I took my time and was afterwards standing at the road, when a car, with other visitors of the side, stopped and asked me, if I will go to Tulum. I was invited to follow with them, even the grown up daughter had to sit in the middle, because the left seat in the back was occupied by a laundry basket. I thanked for the ride in the centre of Tulum and left the car at a red traffic light. I walked to the Chedraui (the supermarket, which does not exist 😉) and bought tissues and something to eat.
Back at the hostel I had a meal and started then to upload my photos to Google photo. Suddenly I felt very tired, though I was already to bed at 5 or 6pm and slept all the night, but awoke from time to time, falling asleep soon again.
28th May 2018
I was still tired at 8am, though I first had breakfast and afterwards the shower. During daytime I was working with my blog, because the wi-fi was needed for other people as well and the owner could not just switch it off. Four French guys had a late breakfast, meanwhile one of them even was chatting with me. He recommended me places to see further North – for the second part of my Mexico trip. He told me, they were all possible to reach by bus as well as he told me, that they had rent a car for a week to see some special places.
For more photos of Tulum and the hostel click here.
I continued all the day to work with my blog and had my meals at the hostel. In the afternoon the Colombian and the German girls told me, they will go to Nicole to see his jewellery. They were soon back with Nico in company. We sat outside the hostel and the conversation was low. I asked Nico, why he moved to Tulum (I wrote the answer already), but the reason. He told me, that he did not like the stress. After a while, Nico left. He did not try to know me better. The Colombian, the German girl and I were going downtown. We met the Australian girl and was to a cheap Mexican place for a meal. I had fried tacos with a mixed filling and a Papaya water. All for 48 MXN and tip. The restaurant closed, when we were leaving. I think, they was already closing down before, but did serve us anyway. A couple at another table left shortly before us. We said good-bye after the meal. The Colombian girl and I were returning to the hostel and as soon as arrived to bed.
29th May 2018
After breakfast it was time to say good-bye to the hostel and Tulum. I walked with my backpacks to the ADO bus station and bought a second class ticket for Chetumal. It was a new bus of the Mayab, which I was going with, but before it was time to go on board I bought some biscuits. The waiting time for the bus was only half an hour, even I just had been walking there without checking a timetable (which is hard to do, the only timetables, if existing, are at the bus stations).
I asked the security guard several times for the bus and even it had arrived, I was not allowed to go to the bus. The bus driver came back from his errand, entered the bus and was driving away. I told the guard and he stopped the driver. It had never been called for the bus. The driver actually apologised. Nobody and nothing was on the best seat, seat no 3, though I placed me there and the bus driver did not forbid me. I was very happy about the good view.
The landscape was similar to all of the Yucatan peninsula, but partly there were many butterflies. I also have seen sheep and goats close to the houses in the villages. A problem occurred. It was not possible to receive or send any data, there was no covering for Telcel. We had a little longer stop in Felipe Carillon Puerto. The little town has a harbour and it is told, even an archaeological site.
More photos of the trip between Tulum and Chetumal you can find here. Please have understanding for the quality, there are all taking through the window of the bus.
Well in Chetumal I left at the first bus station, because I did not know there is another one. Fortunately it was the right one for my new host Rose, a young woman from the Netherlands, who fell in love with Mexico – especially Bacalar. I arrived at her home around 4pm. We had a short chat, mostly regarding the apartment and her timetable. She left soon for the gym and me alone in her apartment, but she gave me the opportunity to leave as well.
When she was back, she shared a Jimaca with me. He had already had dinner before I arrived. Later that evening I was to a Hamburger bar, buying mozzarella sticks with French fries. I got much less, than on their advertising, but I anyway got full. We were soon to bed afterwards, because Rose had to be up early the upcoming morning for her yoga lesson. I was for around an hour more on the Internet.
By the way Rosie is from the Netherlands. She travelled Mexico and fell in love with Bacalar, which is close to Chetumal. She returned and, because there are no apartments for rent in Bacalar, she rented the apartment in Chetumal. She works from home with telemarketing. She is between 30 and 40 years old and has a Mexican boyfriend in Bacalar. We spoke English, because we are both not good in Spanish yet.
30th May 2018
Rosie was up this morning at 6am already to attend her yoga lesson. I had a cold shower, because there is no warm water in the apartment. When Rosie was back she made breakfast for us. She started working at 8am and I was soon going downtown, where I bought new skincare, repellent against mosquitoes, a coffee at an Oxxo and soon also an ice cream. Both the skincare and the repellent I bought in a Pharmacy, but not in the same one, because the first pharmacy did not have the repellent I want. Actually the other one also had similar, but that was good enough.
Finally in the city center I bought a dress, though I could leave both my hiking pants to the laundry. The dress was for 200 MXN. It was a little cheaper than in the shops, because I bought it in a market hall. I became hungry and thirsty, but was very close to the Maya museum, though I only bought an “agua de Horchata” and went there. On the short way to the museum I saw a little kiosk, but it seemed, there were none in it. When I was really close a woman was standing up and asking me, what information I need. This kiosk actually was the Tourist Information, but no sign dit tell it. At the tourist information I got a map of all the Maya ruins at the Yucatan peninsula. Furthermore I got an answer for my question, how often the bus to Belize is going. It was every hour at :30. She could not tell me the costs.
The admission fee for the Maya museum, actually called: Museo de la cultura Maya (Museum of Mayan Culture) was 100 MXN. It seemed to be a high fee, because the most Maya sites I have been to, had no higher admission fee than 70 MXN, but it was worth it price. There were three levels and through all levels a Maya tree was sculptured. There were also many stalea, models of the different Mayan sites and explanations of the style, they were built in and much more.
For more photos from here please click Mayan Culture.
Done the museum I was back to that marketplace, where I had bought the dress, and had a meal. I chose two empanadas: One with cheese and one with meat. The waiter had a little problem to understand this. Though next time I order one empanada med cheese and another one with meat ;-). I had a milkshake with papaya till, but there was a lot of water in and very little papaya. The whole meal was for 50 MXN plus the tip. I walked back to Rosie’s apartment or better I tried to walk back all the way, but I came to a point, where I did not longer know, what was the right direction. Therefore I asked a pedestrian, who stopped a police, just passing, which found the address I was on my way to, but told me, I had to take a taxi. They also stopped the taxi, explained and asked the taxi driver for the price, which was 20 MXN (I was quite close to my destination). I was going with the cab, because Rosie had just messaged me, that she is waiting for me, to let me in. She had errands to do outside the apartment. Actually I was still not sure, which street to take, when the taxi driver let me out at a restaurant, close to Rosie’s address. Two women asked me, where I will go, but I told them, that all is OK. I went back to the restaurant and tried it in another direction, which was the right one.
I followed with Rosie to the laundry, when she was back from her errands. The laundry was really close, but unfortunately, they were not very good organized. Rosie was missing a big towel. I hoped, that nothing of my clothes will be missing, when I will get them back.
Home at Rosie’s we had a long conversation about travelling solo, our believes and more. She also shared a meal with me, she had bought at a Chinese restaurant.
31st May 2018
Even this day, Rosie was at 6am to the yoga lesson again. I awoke, when she was leaving, but was still tired. Meanwhile I tried to get less tired, I was uploading three videos from X’caret to YouTube. All of them were about Mariachi music and the dances from Jalisco. I had a coffee at 8am and was then getting up. The sky was darked and it seemed, that it will be raining soon, anyway I left some minutes after 9am. I went to the ADO terminal, where I had arrived.
Before I bought a ticket for Bacalar, I was at the restaurant Subway and had breakfast. I ordered a combo, that means a sandwich, a soft drink and a little bag of chips. I took the chips with me. Directly afterwards I went to the bus station and bought a second class ticket to Bacalar. It was for 40 MXN. I had half an hour waiting time and bought a bottle of water at the “Deli Mart” in the waiting area. There I had to pay 15 MXN for the water, even it is usual with 7.50 MXN to 10 MXN. We had to wait for the bus for half an hour and by asking for it as well as waiting for it, holding my ticket and my hat in my hand, at the end I forgot my hat on the bench – it might has been fallen on the floor.
It started raining, when we were sitting on the bus and continued for a little while in Bacalar. I walked to the beach in the hope, the rain will stop. It did not for a long while. To take a swim, would have not been very uncomfortable anyway, but I had not rented a parasol, though my clothes would have got wet. I already had to pay for attending the beach area, even it only were 15 MXN, I thought it should be for free. After a while, when the rain was only a drizzle, I asked for a boat tour. There were already seven persons, who had asked for it. With me attending, they could start. The area there is not big, though the boat driver was going around and telling the interested people, that we were 8 passengers now and would start soon. The boat tour was for 250 MXN and for one and a half hour, because we were choosing the little boat and not a pontoon.
During the boat tour we were shown the seven different colors of the lake. The colors were depending on the different sinkholes (cenotes) and the deep of the lake. At the pirate island we were allowed to leave the boat and take a swim. I was happy, that I had my bath clothes under my dress. The lake was swallow here and the water warm. It was nice to be in the water and I thought, it was perfect, because I was not sure, that I had taken a swim at the beach anyway.
For more colours of the lake click Bacalar, please.
Back from the lake I left directly. I tried to find the historical city of Bacalar, but it was so bad signed, though I gave up and was going to the bus station, where I took a combi this time. The combi was as well for 40 MXN.
Back at Rosie’s I changed my clothes and was then going to the laundry and picked up my clean laundry. When I took care about it in Rosie’s apartment, I found, that a slip was missing. I was an expensive laundry by that (40 MXN for the service and even more for the slip). For dinner I was down to the Hamburger bar again and bought wedges. They were for 35 MXN and enough to get full. Actually they were tasty. Soon afterwards I was asleep.
1st June 2018
A new month and new destinations, even I stayed for three more days in Chetumal. This night I had dreamed about the border control between Mexico and Belize, where I will cross soon. I had read about it and it was no pleasant reading. I awoke between 2am or 3am of the dream and it tog a while to fall asleep again, though I worked with my blog and Google photos. I awoke off and on several times, before I took my medicine around 7am and had coffee around 8am. Rosie served breakfast and I showered afterwards. Then I said good-bye to Rosie and left to go to the hostel I booked for another three days in Chetumal. Rosie is going to Bacalar at the weekend, therefore I could not stay with her for longer. She also told me, that her couchsurfers usually stay for one to two nights. They are not interested in Chetumal, but going further to Belize.
I walked all the way to the hostel and it was a quite long walk. I had some problems at the point, where I had to change to another street, because of the gps app I was using, did not show the right name of the other street. The street changes name actually, but not as soon as shown on the gps. I was at the hostel around 1am and checked in already, but I could not go to the room and take my bed. My backpacks were stored in a safe place at the hostel, which mostly was a hotel, but also had hostel beds. This hotel/hostel does not have a restaurant, but serves breakfast.
I went downtown again, bought more thread, because I used all of it to repair my hiking pants and I am afraid, they will break again, even at another part. Meanly I was looking for scraps or this nice ones in special forms or with special motives. Unfortunately I could not find some. I had a meal at a place called Mac’s. I ordered fajitas and a soft drink. All together was for 90 MXN, but the meal was so heavy, that I asked for a doggy bed and took the rest with me.
I walked back to the hostel and checked in for full now, that means I got the key card, picked up my backpacks, went to the room advised and took my bed. There were a nice space on both sides of the bed, though I had my backpacks separated from the others. I also had got the wi-fi password. Here nobody checked how much someone use the wi-fi and when, though I updated my blog during the evening until early night.
2nd June 2018
I had my routines with medicine, shower and I was then down to the restaurant for having breakfast, which was coffee (should be, but it dit not taste coffee :-(, sugared cornflakes with milk, sweet bread or scrambled eggs with one slice of light toasted bread as well as a banana). One could see and reach all these things, but there was a waiter, bringing it. We also had to leave a “ticket”, we got, when we checked in and had to ask for a new ticket after breakfast for the upcoming day, if we stayed longer than one day, as I did.
After breakfast I was walking downtown again. My destination for this day was the Maya site of Chacchoben. I had seen combis for Chacchoben, but did not find them anymore. I asked a driver for another combi, but he told me, I had to go by the Mayab bus. On the way to the bus I had bought a bottle of water, given a small amount to a begger (I have not done that for a long time) and bought a simple bag, which I could use, when I wear the dress.
At the bus station I was explained, that I have to go to Limones by the Mayab bus and then take a taxi. I was sure, she meant a combi. Though I bought a ticket to Limones for 72 MXN, where I after arrival had a lunch for 70 MXN (it was a meal with fried chicken, rice, cabbish salad and tomatoes and a bottle of orange juice). On my gps I saw, that Limones also has a Maya site. It was very close, therefore I was going and looking at it. It was only one building and for free – it was not possible to come close to it, either. Asking for the right combi to Chacchoben I was told, they only go to the junction of Lazaro Cardenas, but from there would be another combi, coming from Puerto Morelos and going to Chacchoben. I finally entered the combi for the junction. A ca 10-year-old boy tried to sell something to drink (bottled), when he did not have success, he sang a song for us. He had a nice voice and got some money.
At the junction, where I should take the other combi, I left and had to pay 20 MXN. Soon a combi in the right direction arrived, but he had only space for one, though he picked the Mexican men (he was also waiting for longer than me). Some bus drivers allow people standing up in the combi, this one did not. Not knowing, when the next combi will show up, I tried to hitchhike instead and was lucky. It was a little pick up and I was told to enter the platform back, which I managed. There was already another woman on the platform, sitting on a wheel house and she showed me, that I also should do that. It was not very comfortable, but more comfortable than directly on the platform, I guess. This was my first time I hitchhiked that way, therefore I tried to take a selfie, which unfortunately was unsuccessful.
From the road to the Maya site was less than one kilometer, even my gps told me, there were more than 3 kilometers left. I had to pay 60 MXN to be allowed to enter the site. There were already other people, looking up in the trees. I understood, that there is something almost similar interesting like the Maya site and looked up as well. Actually there were monkeys in the trees. I tried to take photos, which was not easy for the distance.
The specialty of the Chacchoben Maya site are the massive platform groups and the large temples. The site is situated in a jungle and I was thinking about, that it must have been similar, when the Mayans were living here and how they coped with the monkeys. Maybe they ate them.
For more photos of the Maya site Chacchoben, please click here. Don’t forget to take a look at the monkeys.
At the road again a bus was just passing, but I thought it was going into the wrong direction. I anyway tried to hitchhike. A car stopped an when I asked for Chetumal, I was answered “para ya”. The woman, who said that did point backwards. I understood, that I should climb the flak again (it was this time also such a little pick up). When I had done it, the driver came back and explained, that Chetumal was in the other direction. “Para ya” was used like “was already” or something similar. I climbed off again and walked to the other side of the road. Started walking and dried to hitchhike. After a while a driver picked me up and told me, he takes me to the bus station of Lazarus Cardenas, where he lives. That would not really have helped me, but there was a couple, leaving a shop, who asked me, if I will go to Chetumal and offered me a hitch. It was nice company as well.
Back at the hostel, someone had been using my bed, I thought. It was not the way I left it and I had made the bedding. Also my towel was missing. An extra towel one has to pay for, though I was down to the reception and tried to explain. One of them (it is a family run place) followed me and he understood that I need a new towel for free, which I have got. Also my key card did not work anymore. I could enter because of another guest of the room, though I asked at the reception for activation of the card. Really surprised was I, when I get a message from booking.com, that my booking was cancelled of the hostel for a no show. I was down to the reception again. It was checked and than I was told, that all is OK and I should not care about the message.
I was out for a dinner. I would have liked to eat pizza, but the only pizza restaurant looked expensive, though I was to an Oxxo and had a hot dog and an agua de Horchata. Back at the hostel again I was for a while on twitter and updated my blog afterwards.
3rd June 2018
At midnight two more travellers arrived. They had a flash light and looked for the empty beds. I was still awake, because I had got heartburn and was listening to Mariachi music on YouTube as well as I was listening to the songs in Spanish by Freddy Quinn.
Anyway I showered around 8am. There were six beds in the room and we had an own shower. There were no problems with long waiting times for showering, especially the days the room was not fully occupied. For breakfast I had coffee, eggs with the tiny dry toasted bread, cornflakes with milk, orange juice and a banana. All served as usual.
I was back to the room for a short while and had the opportunity to talk with Sebastian from Belgium. He told me, he was travelling the world for three years now, will make Belize as well and then go back home. Furthermore he told me, that he moved to Canada, the French part of (Quebec), five years ago. He told me, that a taxi to the border of Belize is for 100 MXN only, they had told him at the reception.
I was out to find the combis for Belize, because the gps told me, there are and that I did not believe, that one could get a taxi to the border for only 100 MXN. I was interested in to know, where to go the upcoming day. This day I bought the bottle of water at the Pharmacy, which sold them for 5 MXN only. My walk to find the combi for Belize was without success. I finally was looking for an HSBC ATM, hoping I also could get BZD there. They did not offer BZD, though I took out 1,000 MZN for not running out of cash. The HSBC was very close to the hostel and the city center. From there I saw a “papeleria” (stationary) and bought envelops for all the postcards with views I had saved so far. I will send them from Belize and hope, they will reach their addresses. Some postcards I also will send just as postcards.
I had a cheesecake with Oreo for lunch at a cafe. They had a promotion for this cheesecake. The coffee was in the price of 50 MXN. When ready to leave the cafe it was raining cats and dogs again, though I stayed there for a little longer while.
Back again at the hostel, my card was not working again. Down again to the reception, got the card activated, up to the room, there was not towel, down again. This day I have been told, that they wash the towels every day and I have got a clean towel again. I think it seems to be hard to organize their work, that they need to activate the key cards every day as well that the customer has to ask for a clean towel every day. I took my postcards and other things down to the tables for breakfast. There were only the owner-family. I sat down, wrote the postcards and put some in the envelops, which I first had addressed. Afterwards I made my files. There were 84 MXN missing, but when I thought about, what I hade done with my money I found out, that I had forget to write down one meal for 70 MXN as well as I had bought biscuits at a bus station for 14 MXN. I was happy, that I had not lost money.
Back at the room, a couple from New Zealnd had arrived. She was from Auckland and he from Wellington. We had a short chat about New Zealand afterwards I was going to that expensive restaurant, which serves pizzas and is called “Sergio’s Pizza”. I thought I will test, what they are saying, when I come in my hiking pants. I was happily surprised, because they treated me like any other customer. I was allowed to chose my seat wherever I want. There were no special looks either. I ordered a small pizza, being aware of, that I do not eat so much. I asked the waiter if the “pizza de la casa” (Pizza of the house) was “pikante” (spicy). He told me, it was not. Though I ordered it. I had no idea, that there could be seafood on the pizza. Well got it, there were pepperoni, diced ham or bacon, champions, sliced green and black olives, green bell pepper, onion and SHRIMPS. Fortunately the shrimps were on the top, though I could pick them all and put them aside. The pizza looked very small, when it was served, but it was enough for me to get full. This pizza was for 115 MXN, the water for 26! MXN and I gave a generous tip. Altogether it was not even for 7 EUR.
For more photos of Chetumal, click here.
Back at the hostel it was 7:15pm. The couple from New Zealand was already sleeping, though I used my head-flashlight, when writing my blog. I was so happy to get something done. Unfortunately, they awake around 10pm and was asking for the AC. It was not really warm. The concierge put the AC on 23 degree Celsius, even I had asked for 25 instead. I had to dress in long sleeves again. To reach the wished degrees, the AC is blowing a lot of cold air! I continued with the update of my blog until 3am, I could anyway not fall asleep, because the couple was snoring, especially the guy.
4th June 2018
Even the night was short, I have had breakfast at 9:30am. Afterwards I packed and checked out. At the corner of the main street (Álvaro Obregon) I stopped a taxi, asking for the price to the Belizean border. He told me to Santa Elena it was for 80 MXN, to another border 100 MXN. Though it was not only right, what Sebastian had told me, it was even cheaper. If I would have taken a taxi to the bus station for Belize buses, it would almost had been 50 MXN and for the bus I had to pay to, though I arrived at the Mexican border control by taxi.
The border control station was a little hut with one officer and he spoke even English. I told him, that I will leave Mexico, that I have had a permit to be in Mexico for six month and that I already had paid the tourist tax, when I entered Mexico meanwhile I handed my passport and the permit as well as the receipt of the tax over to him. He asked me, if I will return to Mexico and I answered him “I hope so”. His next question was, if I will return now and I just answered “no”. Though he checked my documents and I did get my exit stamp. I had no problems at all.
My start throughout “no-man’s-land” was accompanied by taxi drivers with “Rikshaws” and cars. I did not understand, why I should take a taxi, told them “no, gracias” and walked over the bridge over the Hondo river, which is the natural border between these countries.
If you are interested in my time in Belize, please follow that link. It is the first country I visit in Central America.
BACK IN MEXICO 😁
3rd July 2018
A month after I left Mexico I was again at the Mexican border, trying to get new 180 days of permit to travel the country. I had missed Mexico a lot in Belize. Sometimes I was thinking about to go home, but I always was reminding myself, that I have to see the rest of Mexico as well. I would be disappointed by myself, if I would not do it.
I was met of a Mexican female officer when I was trying to enter the country. She asked me, what I wished. First I told her in English – just not realising that I have to speak Spanish now, that I would like to visit the country for 180 days, but she answered in Spanish, that she does not understand English. Though I told her the same one more time, but this time in Spanish. When she let me continue, she talked English with me! Next stop was for two male officers and a dog. The dog sniffed at my big backpack and was not more interested in it. The officers did not ask for my other backpack. They let me pass. Soon I reached the building of the immigration office. I had to fill a form, exactly like in Tijuana. Done it, I was going to the counter. The officer there told me, that I also had to fill another part of the form as well as I had to go and pay the tourist tax. Well done that, I was back at his counter and got my stamp and my papers.
The bus driver came and told me, that all other passengers were waiting for me. I answered him, that it is not my fault, that it took that time. He showed me, where I had to put in my luggage for scanning as well how the system works, that means, how I can see if all is OK – that had been different in Tijuana. I was wondering by myself, that I was not asked about my metal water bottle. We entered the bus again after another female officer had finished the list of the bus passengers. I think we were only eight passengers on the bus now. On the way into Mexico the bus was sprayed with something from the outside. Just before, the conductor tried to close all windows. I tried to help and close mine, but could not make it in time, though I have got that “repellent” in my face. I was happy, that I had my glasses and did not get anything in my eyes.
The hostel I booked this time was close to the seaside. I asked the driver if he could stop close to it, but got an angry answer, that the bus will not stop anywhere but at the Old ADO terminal. A female passenger in her 50ies told me, that I have to take a taxi. Directly afterwards she asked me, where I had my husband. Her question sounded really rude, though I asked her the same way back, where she has her husband. She told me, that they separated and she now has a good life.
Actually the bus driver let us out at a gas station. The Old ADO terminal was further away. It was to me a little less to walk. I just had to follow the street all the way down, but at the Maya museum I had to change my direction slightly. I remembered the streets and the shops. Strax after the Maya museum I had an ice cream. I ate it at the café, because I had taken a cup as usual and needed both my hands to hold and eat it. When I entered the street of the hostel, I saw it easily and was soon positive surprised. It was clean, the staff was nice and it had a swimming pool! They had already charged my account with the amount for the night, but I had to sign the receipt. The night was for 273 MXN (around 12 EUR). I was asked to choose a bed. There were three of six bottom beds vacant. Afterwards I got the key to the related locker. It was a big one with space for all my belongings.
Well installed I walked down to the seaside. There were food stalls. Unfortunately there were not many different opportunities. I bought French fries with pavo sausage, cut in pieces. It was topped with cheese and cream. It was a big portion. I could not eat much of the sausage, which I did take with me to the hostel and put in the fridge. Anyway I even had a “Frappe”. I chose the variation “choco”, there were a lot of chocolate things in it like cookies and all was blended with scraped ice from an ice block (I did not get sick of it).
Still early evening I used the pool. It is a small one, but it is anyway a pool. A couple stood in one corner of it talking. In another corner are the stairs, though it was even less, but I enjoyed it as good as possible. There were also racks outside, where one could put the wet swimwear as well as the wet towels.
When I had done my files and was working on my blog, Archi (my former host from Tijuana) contacted me by WhatsApp and asked if I could stay at their house and take care about their dog, when they are travelling Argentina. Unfortunately I am not good with big dogs and the one they have I never became a friend with. In addition to that, I need my time for my travels. To stay for three weeks in Tijuana would mean expensive flights and lost time in a town, there I have seen all already.
4th July 2018
I had a shower around 7am and afterwards the included breakfast. It was not really a big one. Directly afterwards I checked out, but asked for leaving my luggage for a while, because I had two things to do before leaving Chetumal. There was an HSBC ATM on the other side of the street and perfect for me, because I needed cash. I also had to go to the Telcel customer service and top up my cellular phone account. These things done, I was back at the hostel, picked up my backpacks and walked to the Bus terminal “Caribe”. It is not far away from the Maya museum and even ADO buses does start from here, but the (new) ADO station is much further away. On the way I bought one 10-pack of tissues, because otherwise they had only the 100-packs facial tissues. I was in a very need for tissues because of my allergy.
The second class ticket from Chetumal to Escárcega, Campeche with the bus company SUR was for 216 MXN, but I had to wait for three hours for the bus. With my backpacks I stayed at the bus terminal. During the waiting time a lot of ambulant sellers came and tried to sell their goods, especially medicins or similar. One of them was very aggressive. After two “no, gracias” I said just “no”, but with a higher voice. Afterwards he finally understood, that he could not make a deal with me. Another man, not trying to sell anything to me, started a talk in Spanish with me about where I come from etc. He asked me, if I was married. When I told him, that I am divorced, he told me, he was as well. It seemed, he tried to find company, but I was very cool. He offered me a candy, meanwhile I still was reading, what it was, he had one himself, though I finally took it. The bus, which should leave at 12:15pm, came in good time, what is quite unusual.
For following me further, please click on Campeche and scroll down to July.