San Cristobal, Mexico

Apologies again for the late update. I have been having the BEST time and the internet connections haven’t been so good! I shall endeavour to update you rather rapidly. Please note that my phone was recently stolen in Mexico so I have zero pictures of these places until I manage to grab some from other people.

To get to San Cristobal we decided to take collectivos to keep it cheap rather than getting the ADO bus. This meant we had to get two: one from Palenque to Ocosingo, the second to San Cristobal. This was a 4-5 hour drive in total through the mountains of Chiapas, and what a drive it was!

The views were absolutely stunning. Mountains rose all around us as we made our bumpy way up winding roads. You think pot holes are a problem in the UK – they have nothing on Mexico. Roads were crumbling and, in places, falling away down the steep drop beside us. The driver had to adopt a less than safe tactic of driving on the wrong side of the road towards blind bends to avoid sending us to an alternate doom! This only added to the experience.

The hills and mountains were littered with small villages and the occasional lonely hut. Children bounced on huge tyres by the side of the road, many of them caked in mud from the small streams that crept towards the roads. Old men walked bare foot up the mountains with sticks that would rival Gandalf’s staff, huge sacks upon their shoulders full of god knows what – probably corn, palm leaves, or merchandise for their shack shop by the side of the road. Chicken buses packed with men, women and children zoomed past us as the collectivo struggled to climb. Balloons hopelessly clinging to the side of the vehicle as it went. There were groups of people running with blazing torches, followed by chicken buses full of people dressed in the same way – most bare foot, white tops with an imagine of the Virgin Mary or some choice words to celebrate her. Upon arrival in San Cristobal we realised this was the start of the week long festival for the Virgin Mary. These large groups of people were making a pilgrimage to San Cristobal. This meant one thing, there would be parades, there would be music, in other words – a week-long fiesta!

I can’t begin to explain how beautiful San Cristobal is. It is a colonial city of around 186,000 people. Its cobbled streets are lined with buildings of every colour. Cathedrals and churches stood tall and dominating in small open squares. Music blared from, well, everywhere. Groups of people danced around the streets in traditional Chiapan dress. Colours, aahh the colours! I cannot do this place justice with the written word so, if you’re ever in Mexico, make sure you go to San Cristobal!

Our hostel – Rossco Backpackers – was a treat. They had a fire pit that brought people together every night. The dorms were clean and the beds were amazing. At first I questioned the need for a sheet, a blanket AND a duvet, but the first night there confirmed that it actually got pretty chilly and it was great to sink beneath the cozy layers each night. I say this, but I actually only spent one full nights sleep in that bed – too much partying. We met some fabulous people and took advantage of the buzzing party atmosphere at night. Most nights I did not get to sleep until 5am. But you don’t want to hear all the details – everyone knows I like a good party! One thing I will say, is that my Spanish is significantly improved with alcohol and I managed to hold a few conversations with locals in the bars. Yes! I am now fluent in Spanish…

The hostel offered some rather cheap tours so we took advantage of them. We took a tour to the Canyon del Sumidero. This was overwhelmingly beautiful. This involved about an hours drive to a town called Chiapa de Corzal, and then we hopped on a boat that would take two hours to drive up and down the canyon. We saw iguanas, crocodiles, vultures, and spider monkeys. The shitty camera strikes again and I could not get photos that were good enough to share. Unfortunately, amongst all this beauty one thing stood out to me. In certain parts of the canyon, the river battled with a trail of litter, and this strangled the banks of the river in places. One croc that we got quite close to was surrounded by plastic bottles and other rubbish. Humans are poison.

The second tour we took was to the Cascada El Chiflon and the Lagunas de Montebello. It was around a 3 hour drive which took us right to the Guatemalan border. We went to the waterfall first. Hungover and, therefore, extremely dehydrated, we started the long and steady climb to the top of the waterfall. Again, my words cannot describe this properly. Small pools of bright blue water lay at the bottom of the falls. The water crystal clear. The main waterfall roared and spat at us. There was a main view point here, but then we found that we could climb higher, a path that not everyone took, as you can imagine. So we climbed again. Sweat and alcohol dripping off us. The view from the top was worth it, a view of the valley and the small blue pools meandering through it. I’m gutted to have lost the photos of this place. The climb meant that we did not really have time to swim in any of the pools as we had to make our way to the lakes.

By the time we got to the lakes the clouds had descended and visibility was poor. They were still impressive but we will just have to google images to see their full glory! One of the lakes lay across the Mexican-Guatemalan border. On water, this was marked by a rope and some buoys. On land, it could be distinguished by tall, white, stone columns every 100 metres or so. We spent about 15 minutes in Guatemala and then headed home. Customary border photos were taken! Obviously! Alas these, too, have been lost.

Our remaining days in San Cristobal were filled with partying and wandering around the fantastic markets. One market for artisans and the other for fruit, veg and Christmas decorations! The fruit and veg market was incredibly claustrophobic. As we squeezed through the tiny aisles, walls of exotic fruits around us, our noses were filled with the most amazing smells. True to my tummy, as always, we followed the smells through dark alleys that opened up into small eateries and grill bars. Being late at night we were unable to get food as they were closing up. We didn’t return because there was always some other new discovery that satisfied our rumbly tumblies.

During our last few days in San Cristobal, I met a fabulous group of people that need an especial mention: Liv, Chris, Emily, Sera and Karen. Mostly Aussies apart from Liv who is from Bristol. We gelled instantly. These people are some of the most open, honest and friendly people I have met. I cannot put my feelings for this group into words – again! A mixture of silliness and fantastically deep conversations ensued.

We spent a few crazy nights together and then it was time for Mike and I to leave for Guatemala. But there was something stopping me. I could not leave these amazing people with whom I was having so much fun! They told me they didn’t want me to go and asked me to go with them to Palenque and Tulum. I thought I would grab the opportunity with both hands. I felt like I was betraying Mike a little but thankfully he was very understanding. He left for Guatemala and I stayed behind.

The next day we had to say goodbye to Chris who, sadly, could not come with us. So the five of us left for Palenque on the night bus the following evening. I hear you questioning this decision: Frankie, you’ve been there, done that! But we had a completely different experience. So I shall be writing a brief post about Palenque once more.

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Palenque, Mexico

Big, big dreams!
Big, big dreams!

So it’s been a while! I’m sorry about that. We were in Merida for a grand total of 12 days whilst waiting for mail! Mine decided not to arrive so we made the executive decision to stop waiting around and move on! We didn’t do much other than laze by the pool, wander round the stunning Sunday markets, and we met some lovely people and went to a few bars. We saw some fabulous live music in a bar called La Negrita – highly recommended. The trumpet player in the band was one of the best I’ve seen! The music in Mexico has been insane. It always sounds so happy! I will try and get some decent videos to upload for you.

° ° °

We took a night bus on Saturday 5th December and arrived in Palenque around 7am on Sunday – a little sleepy but, thankfully, “unrobbed” (is that a word? It should be!) – In case you’re wondering, Palenque is in a state called Chiapas so we have moved on from the Yucatán. Chiapas is a south Mexican state that borders Guatemala (so we’re getting close). – We knew we wanted to stay in a place called El Panchan, a jungle cabin village, but we hadn’t managed to book. It is just outside the town of Palenque so we got a taxi down there to see if they had any room at the inn.

Jungle Palace!
Jungle Palace!

We’d heard the best places to stay in El Panchan were either Margarita & Ed’s or Jungle Palace so, naturally, we tried there first: one double room at Margarita & Ed’s for the price of 270 pesos and no space at the latter!! Neither receptionist was particularly friendly either, though this may have had something to do with it being 7.30am! It started to rain so we, reluctantly, walked down the paths that lead to the other accommodation only to be told that it would cost us 300 pesos a night! I was completely unwilling to accept this since I had heard that Jungle Palace is around 150 pesos a night for two.

A little perturbed, we had breakfast at Don Mucho’s, an Italian-Mexican Restaurant and the favourite in El Panchan, and had a big long think.

Think, think, think, think…

Eventually, I made the observation that several people had left with backpacks and that it was time to go back to see if a room had become available.

Cana the Cabana
Cana the Cabana

One had! It was a double room. Eurghh. So I had to share a bed with Mike – he snores. BUT! This did only cost us 75 pesos each a night. Big win! We did later have a problem with a few ants in our bed but they seemed to like Mike’s side more – another win! Take a look at our lovely, albeit wet, cabaña.

We dumped our backpacks and headed straight out to the ruins of Palenque. You can catch a collectivo from the entrance to El Panchan but we decided to walk and save the pennies – it’s only 3km. We had to pay an entrance fee into the Parque Nacional as it is a protected area and home to the howler monkey! Then you have to pay an additional fee for your entry into the ruins.

Palenque, looking down at the Palace from the Temple of the Cross
Palenque, looking down at the Palace from the Temple of the Cross

Ahh, the ruins! Palenque feels bigger than that of Chichén Itzá and, again, not half as many people! Yayyyy! I don’t think it is actually bigger though, there’s just more ruins and they are spread out over the hills! Thankfully it wasn’t raining whilst we spent maybe three hours walking around the site. The recent rainfall created a fantastic atmosphere as mist rose up from the trees in the mountains behind the ruins. I’m not sure I’ve manage to capture this fully in my photos and most of them are blurry. (I’m still working on the camera problem).

This is a 7th century mayan city that has been enveloped in a jungle of mahogany, cedar and sapodilla trees. As per my previous post, this made it feel more like a ruin but it maintains it’s grandeur! The site consists of a

The Temple of Inscriptions
The Temple of Inscriptions

palace and several temples; the Temple of Inscriptions, the Temple of the Skull, the Temple of the Count, and the Temple of the Jaguar, amongst others. The most famous ruler of Palenque was K’inich Janaab Pakal, or Pacal the Great, and his tomb has been found and excavated in the Temple of Inscriptions. There were also a few female rulers – yay for women! I don’t want this to become a history lecture again so, go Google! Whilst looking at my photos though, try and imagine the grey stone structures painted blood-red with fantastic blue and yellow pattern as they would have been at the peak of Palenque’s power. This is something my imagination struggles with. I’m quite fond of grey!

It started raining again so we headed back to Don Mucho’s for a fabulous burger (shameless, I know) and then played some cards and watched some Breaking Bad! There is entertainment every night of the week at Don Mucho’s so we went again for dinner. A couple we met in Merida had recommended the pasta with shrimp, garlic and chilli. This sounded awesome and, guess what!? – It was! I should have taken a picture but, firstly, I’m not the type, and secondly, it disappeared too quickly!

Blurry waterfall in Palenque
Blurry waterfall in Palenque

I woke up on Monday to the horrifying sound of howler monkeys at about 5am. I say horrifying because their screams and howls are unlike anything you can imagine. It’s a bit freaky. But also insanely cool! They can be heard in a 3 mile radius so I have no idea how close they were. They weren’t directly above us by any means. It’s hard to imagine that a noise that terrifying can come out of something so cute and fluffy – google for images because I don’t have my own godammit! By the time we were up and ready to do something the rain started again. With not much to do in the actual town of Palenque, we decided to wait it out and go for a hike in the jungle.

I loved the jungle! Whilst stepping quietly over roots of trees, and manoeuvring our way under big leaves, and through small rivers, we tried desperately to spot monkeys, toucans, agouti, kinkajou, and squiggles (that’s squirrels to you normal folk, I guess). We did not encounter any of the aforementioned, and instead had to settle for trees the size of castle turrets, leaves the size of trees, ants the size of spiders, mosquitoes the size of butterflies, and butterflies the size of an adult’s hand.

So many trees like this in the jungle
So many trees like this in the jungle

FUN FACT: apparently, the Mayans of Palenque believed that butterflies were the souls of warriors lost in battle.

This trek was amazing, and I wish it had lasted longer. It was a set route that we were not to divert from and we only encountered one person during our little amble. Again, the rain came rather heavily and the jungle appeared to shake in fear with the heavy drops. It was fabulous. I could have walked for hours consumed within my own thoughts!

With not much else to do, we returned to our camp for more card games and Breaking Bad. Dinner again at Don Mucho’s. The entertainment for the night was less than impressive compared to Sunday’s band so we retired early ready for the off the next day!

 

 

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Merida, Mexico

Hola Chicos!

I’ve been pushed into completing another blog post ASAP – I’m chuffed that you’re all so keen!

Another failed "selfie" atop a pyramid at Xcambo
Another failed “selfie” atop a pyramid at Xcambo

We arrived in Merida on Monday 23rd November. Since then we have been taking things pretty easy because we are here for over a week whilst we wait for some post from home. I think you will all relish the fact that Mike, being super organised, forgot his laptop charger (duh!), and we are also awaiting for our travel currency cards from AA – DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. THEY’RE SHIT.

Tuesday was dedicated to a bit of “life admin”, a swim in the hostel pool (yes! a hostel with a pool! Look up Nomadas hostel if you are planning a trip here), and a walk around the city of Merida. I have fallen a little bit in love with this place and the pictures do not do it justice. Everyone is very friendly and there always seems to be something going on no matter what day of the week.

We bumped into Marco, a german guy we met in Cancún, and together we took a free walking tour of the old town in the morning which was great but a bit long winded. Our group all spoke/understood English apart from one woman who was Spanish, so the poor tour guide had to repeat everything in Spanish for this one woman. As you can imagine, the group got a little restless as it was difficult to distinguish the switch back to English. We were all dripping with sweat which only contributed to the failed concentration.

Wednesday was a bit of a fail on our part. We had been briefly advised by the staff at the hostel to take a collectivo (a mini bus) to a town called Progreso on the Gulf coast. From here, we were told we could do a tour of the small Mayan ruins of Xcambo (pronounced “ischambo”). We walked to the beach which was , dare I say it, disappointing compared to the glorious beaches we have already experienced on the Caribbean coast. Progreso is the home to the longest wharf in Mexico so we took a quick photo of that, and then we attempted to find a bus/collectivo to the ruins. Everyone we spoke to advised that there was no way of getting there other than a taxi that took 40 minutes which we weren’t willing to do. We decided to treat ourselves to a fantastic seafood lunch at Flamingos which was a littler pricier than what we have become accustomed to. Since our trip had failed we thought it was okay to break the budget!

Yummy seafood meal
Yummy seafood meal
Sipping Tequila for dessert
Sipping Tequila for dessert

On our walk to this restaurant, we were stopped by a guy called Pedro, who advised that he and his colleague ran tours to Xcambo, El Conchito, Mirador de los Flamingos and a 5 star hotel for the small price of 300 pesos. We told him we would be back tomorrow as we were starving and he was leaving for a tour in 5 minutes.

Thursday – what a day! We went back to Progreso to find Pedro! Our bus took considerably longer than the day before and we started panicking thinking we would miss the 12 o’clock departure for the tour. After trying to call him several times, Marco eventually got through to him and he told us he was delaying departure until 1pm. What luck!? When we got there we realised that this was because no one else had booked onto the tour! We set off as a small group of 5, Marco, Mike, myself, Pedro and the driver (I cannot remember his name).

Our boat to the mangroves
Our boat to the mangroves

Our first stop was a small boat trip through some mangroves to El Conchito, a place known for its very small, and I think, man-made cenotes. The boat trip was pretty cool but was very short. I could have sat on the boat for hours just to see all the wildlife. It was pretty smelly though and it was a relief to get the stench of Sulphur from our lungs! We got off the boat and walked to the largest cenote they have there. Unfortunately, due to a lot of rainfall, it was pretty murky so we didn’t really want to take a dip. At this point Pedro, and his amigo, told us they would wait on the other side of the river and gave us an hour to take photos and have a swim. We thought this was a little dodgy but let it happen anyway. We walked back to the clearer cenote and discovered some raccoons and coati. They weren’t shy at all and we got pretty close to them.

Sneakin' Coati. This one is for you, Tom Hughes
Sneakin’ Coati. This one is for you, Tom Hughes

We took a quick dip and as I decided to get out we noticed the coati slowly sneaking towards our bags that contained our lunch. I had zipped up my rucksack so wasn’t really worried but I walked over to shoo them away anyway. Now, normally anyone who messes with my food is in for it!! The cheeky coatis managed to get into my rucksack and steal some food – we just found this hilarious. So two sandwiches lighter and a little damp we made our way back to the boat expecting to find that our guides had ran off with our money…

They weren’t there.

Mike lost the little faith he had in our guide and I laughed. Helpful, I know. For some reason I wasn’t worried. Sure enough, ten minutes later, they rocked up in their little van and announced that they had only gone to get some fuel. Faith restored.

Our next stop was Mirador de los Flamingos. I don’t think we actually reached the official reserve as we just stopped a few times down a quiet road. Despite this, we saw hundreds of wild flamingos on a huge stretch of water. A piece of advice – if you want to take some quality photos of wildlife, do not get a GoPro (or a GoPro wannabe in my case). I have already started to regret not bringing my DSLR, but I don’t think that would have been plausible either due to size. Luckily, Marco has a pretty decent camera so we are stealing some photos from him.

We then stopped at Xcambo – we were the only ones there. This was a highlight because, as you well know, I don’t much like people! It is an incredibly small ruin compared to the likes of Chichén Itzá – but I preferred it. The lack of visitors and the trees that have invaded this village space permit an eery feeling.

Nature reclaiming space
Nature reclaiming space

It felt much more like a ruin and nature is rapidly fighting to take over again. The hustle and bustle of Chichén Itzá, and the crowds that flood in every day make the city still feel very much alive and not lost at all. Xcambo is the complete opposite – and it’s great! You are also allowed to climb over the ruins here and so we clambered up the tallest pyramid and the views were stunning!

Pedro then took us to some salt lakes where we paddled around and found some fascinating salt crystals. He then took us to a plush hotel which I was initially a bit dubious about. Again, weirdly, we were the only ones there and had the use of two swimming pools, a gorgeous beach front, and a volley ball net. We made use of the cheap bar and grabbed a beer whilst catching the last of the sun’s rays. We asked Pedro to play a quick game of volley ball with us and then made our way back to our bus.

On the way back to Progreso we asked Pedro to make a quick stop in the town of Chicxulub, famous for being the central point of impact of a meteorite thousands of years ago. Wiki this for exact facts because my brain does not allow me to remember them. It was pretty huge and killed lots of plants and dinosaurs!

Overall, we were more than happy with this tour. It cost us less than £15 each and it was, essentially, private. I don’t know how good their other tours are but if you want to look them up if you’re in the area search Sergio tours. Pedro was fantastic and catered to our wants and needs –  we shared a beer with him afterwards to celebrate the fact.

A pretty rubbish photo of Grutas de Loltun
A pretty rubbish photo of Grutas de Loltun

On Friday we decided to check out the Loltún caves (or Grutas de Loltun) used by Mayans as a water source and, later, a safe passage through the hills near the town Oxcutzcab. It’s a relatively short tour (1 hour) but very impressive. The caves were littered with humongous stalagtites (no stalagmites as the cave’s floor used to be filled with water) and the roof of the cave was occasionally interrupted by huge holes that would have previously been cenotes. Trees and vines now creep and peer over the side, making travel over the hills extremely dangerous for animals and humans alike. Mayans therefore started using the caves as a safer route. There is evidence of cave paintings and carvings. Our guide, Pablo pointed out some hand prints on the walls and Mayans used this technique as a mapping system to find their way through the caves – consider breadcrumbs in a fairytale. These prints were fascinating as they used a form of ink and a hollow stick or bamboo to blow ink around their hands, an art that is still used today in the form of spray cans or, – if any of you had a cool enough childhood – Blopens, yeeaahh! We travelled for about two hours each way to Oxcutzcab which was annoying but it’s worth it. I would suggest combining this with a tour of Ruta Puuc and Uxmal to make the most of your journey. However, we wanted something cheap and cheerful and so wrote off these other tours. My camera (disppointment yet again) was not able to get any particularly great photos of the caves so maybe a Google is essential here as well.

We had a relaxing day by the pool again yesterday. It’s important not to burn out or spend lots of money in one place! There is still a fair bit to see but we are here until Wednesday, so there is no rush.

There was lots going on in the main plaza of old town last night. I don’t know if this was a Saturday thing or something special – my guess is it happens every week. Roads were closed to cars and the restaurants brought all their tables and chairs onto the streets. There were musical acts near every set of tables ranging from musicians, dancers, and singers. My personal favourite was an old fellow who was able to play the saw.

Bare with me – so he had a few different sized saws, and a few sticks of different shapes and sizes. He would ask a member of his audience to use the stick to beat the saw and he would bend it so that each angle made a different sound. He had also made a bow from one of these sticks and was able to play the saw like a violin. He played tunes like ‘Twinkle Twinkle little star’, ‘Yesterday’ by the Beatles, ‘Silent Night’ and others. Very impressed! I assisted him in playing a few and this made my night!

Apologies for the extremely lengthy post – again! I have probably put a bit more detail in than you care for. I should really do this more regularly.

Until next time! x

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The start of something special

20151126_135319
Significant scribblings…

I was only going to post maybe once in every town, BUT… I have something to share with you that I am really excited about!

Last night we met a lovely couple, Mariana and Liam, who are coming to the end of their travels. They have been travelling for over a year, but have only been together since Panama, and they will end their trip in Cuba in the next three weeks.

They had some really helpful tips and they got to telling us some of their stories and showed us some stunning photos and videos.

So, at the beginning of their trip in Panama, a friend of Liam’s gave him a few pieces of paper with some information and tips he had gathered as he travelled down through Central America. These pages had been passed to him from someone travelling up Central America, and the person before them had started it as they travelled down.

These pages, now extremely delicate, have been passed on to us as we start our journey going down through Central America. Each person has added their own snippets of advice or recommendations. We will now endeavour to do the same.

I think this is something extremely special and I am amazed that something like this has fallen into our hands. This small piece of literature will grow and grow as it is passed from one backpacker to the next. We do not know much about those who have had it previously, and we will probably not know anything about the people we will eventually hand it over to at the end of our journey on this continent. Despite this, we will each carry a small part of the person it belonged to before; their contributions and experiences will remain in Central and South America for as long as there are those that will appreciate how extraordinary these little fragments of knowledge are.

Waiting patiently for our own contribution
Waiting patiently for our own contribution

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Cancun, Mexico

So I had planned to write a post about the feelings and thoughts I experienced before I took off on this journey. Alas, the last two weeks at home were far too busy and I spent most of my last days in Manchester drunk with some very special people – my apologies.

Failed attempt to be cool.
Failed attempt to be cool

This is our fourth full day in Mexico, and our last day in Cancún. Tomorrow, we move on to Merida, the capital and largest state of the Yucatán Peninsula.

We haven’t done much in the few days here because, quite frankly, there isn’t much to do – unless you’re made of money or want to get absolutely wankered in some disgustingly tacky club. However, during our short time here we have established:

  • nearly every Mexican man is called Miguel (FACT!)
  • “Shithead” is the most popular game of cards – yay!
  • Tequila is soooo much better AND CHEAPER!
  • I taste so good the mosquitoes can’t get enough already (come at me jungle!)

Anyway…

We arrived late on Wednesday, after a delayed flight, to an extremely humid and rainy Cancún. We got soaked walking to Hostel Orquideas from the ADO bus station and arrived there around 21:30. We walked back to Las Palapas square to grab some yummy tacos for less than £2 and then went back to the hostel and straight to bed.

Hostel Orquideas
Hostel Orquideas

On Thursday we simply walked around flea markets (unable to buy anything as we would have to carry it the length of the continent), grabbed a few beers in the Zona Hotelera (“Ibiza”), booked a tour to Chichén Itzá for the following day and went back to the hostel for a delicious meal and an early night.

We were picked up at 07:00 Friday morning for our tour to Chichén Itzá. We paid around 50 USD for a 12 hour tour that included a fabulous buffet in the small village of Pisté, a guided tour of the Mayan site of Chichén Itzá, a quick trip to the colonial city of Kukulkan pyramid, Chichen ItzaValladolid, and then to Suytun Cenote.

Chichén Itzá is pretty impressive. You aren’t allowed to climb the Kukulcán pyramid due to the discovery of graffiti inside the temple at the top (humans ruin everything!) There was also an accident a few years ago when an elderly lady fell down the steps and died shortly afterwards. Nonetheless, it remains a must see! The science behind the architecture of the city is incredibly advanced for it’s time. The acoustics are a wonder and, on a particular day of the year, at sunset the shadow of the pyramid creates the illusion of a snake slowly making it’s way down to the ground. Apparently they reconstruct this with artificial light but we did not get the opportunity to see this. In our free time after the guided tour, Mike and I made our way to a huge sink hole or cenote where the Mayans would make human sacrifices, usually children, to their gods. I could go on but, at the risk ofSuytun Cenote sounding like a documentary, I will leave you to research this or go yourself!

Life jackets were mandatory  in the Súytún cenote much to Mike’s relief. There was a small shaft of light that hit a small, constructed, circular platform in the centre of the water. Swallows (not bats, as many of our group tried to point out) circled our heads as we swam in the pleasantly cold water. Unfortunately the cenote, whilst beautiful, was very dark and we weren’t able to get any good photos to share with you.

We were told about a beautiful “private” beach in “Ibiza” by two guys we met at the hostel and decided to check it out ourselves with a few other guys on Saturday. You have to walk through hotel lobbies to get to most of the beaches in this area and the security guards try their best to stop you from getting through. We weren’t breaking any laws so eventually they left us alone. The beach was one of the best I’ve been on; the sea was completely clear, there were lots of fishies and there was a small lighthouse atop a rock. Best of all – hardly any people (we don’t like people!) I also saw my first of many pelicans.

Today we have been to Playa Delfines, a public beach, with a bigger group of people from our hostel. We grabbed a free lunch in a shockingly tacky bar in “Ibiza” and then came back to the hostel to sort out our backpacks and finally write this blog.

Playa Delfines with a group of local kids
Playa Delfines with a group of local kids

I am currently being serenaded by Daniel, a guy who works at the hostel. He has asked me to marry him and go to the end of the world with him. So… Adiós!

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