This was a short vacation break. We had no plans other than to get away from work and the rain, rain, and mo’ rain in Seattle. For four days we resided at the Fiesta Americana in Cancun, Mexico with a view of the Caribbean from our balcony.
I can’t remember a lot of the day to day details; we went on this trip to Cancun in April 2007, before my days of blogging and Facebooking. What I do remember is that most of the time I seemed to have a Styrofoam cup in my hand with a Margarita in it. With that being the case, it’s a wonder I remember as much as I do. Looking at the photos in chronological order helped a lot. It’s even a wonder the photos were half way decent considering that we were using disposable cameras we picked up at a roadside store in the middle of the jungle just outside of Cobá. It was on our road trip to Cobá that our camera batteries decided to die.
Following is what I semi-remember doing :
Tulum and Cobá:
On our 2nd day we decided to rent a car for a day trip to Cobá. It was approximately 1.5 hours to get there from our hotel, and the drive was straight forward and easy. Since this was a quick getaway, we didn’t have much of a plan, however, before leaving Seattle I did pick up a Lonely Planet guide. I carried it along, just in case. Well, the description for Cobá in the LP guide read, “ascend to the top of Nohoch Mul, one of the few pyramids in the Yucatán visitors are allowed to climb.” There was also a mention of bike riding through the jungle amongst the ruins. We were sold. So, we set out for Cobá.
We arrived early, before the tour buses so we were able to park in the parking lot a short distance from the entrance. Once inside, we rented two bicycles and started on our self-guided tour. There weren’t hordes of visitors and it easy for us get around on the bikes.
We eventually end up at Nohoch Mul. And, since the reason I was there was to climb a pyramid, I didn’t waste any time in parking my bike and starting my climb. My enthusiasm was quickly beat down. I had to stop and take a brief “break” in my climbing. I wanted to blame it on the heat, but it was really because I was out of shape. When I finally made it to the top, I let out a loud, exhausted moan to the amusement of a guy from Texas. The view from the top was totally worth the effort of the climb.
Our stop at Tulum was unplanned. We had left Cobá about an hour before and still had several hours left on the rental car. So as we approached the parking lot for Tulum we decided check it out.
Unlike Cobá you’re not free to roam and touch the ruins. Visitors are herded around the ruins on a predetermined route. These ruins are perched on top of the rocky coastline, overlooking a soft sandy beach, and the bluest cobalt-blue water I’d ever seen. Seeing El Castillo resting on top of the cliff with the beach leading to the Caribbean Sea was like, “Aaaaaaaah.” It’s a beautiful sight and site.
Hanging By The Beach Drinking and Parasailing:
What is a trip to Cancun without at least one beach day? It’s a beach vacation without the beach! And, since I can sit on a lounge chair with music, magazines, and a margarita all day long we had a beach day.
After finding a set of loungers under a thatch roof parasol that was as far away from everyone else as possible I set up camp. Once I got the attention of the attendant, I let him know that I would be sitting here for a while, and I placed an order for our drinks. It was at this point that I was able to lay back, relax, and chill out.
I don’t know at which point I decided to go parasailing. But, after watching people sailing in the air past me all day without incident, and Roland semi daring me, and another margarita to loosen me up, I went for it. We decided on the outfit that had the most personable tout hustling at the beach. After a jet ski ride to a boat that took us out further to the main boat, and a brief safety lecture, I found myself being harnessed in and hooked up to the contraption that holds the parachute. The next thing I know, the boat starts moving, the wind catches the parachute and we’re airborne, going up, higher and higher. I’m smiling right now, reminiscing as I write this. It was cool.
I have vague memories of us hanging out one evening and walking around Cancun Centro, past busy restaurants, lively bars and packed shopping arcades. This is where you go when you want to escape hotel row, and have an authentic experience with the locals. I may not remember a lot of the nuances and details of my trip to Cancun, however, I do remember thinking that I had a blast and wishing I had more time to spend there.