Beach, ruins, fish....sweet

Trip Start May 12, 2005
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Trip End May 14, 2006


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Where I stayed

Flag of Mexico  ,
Thursday, April 13, 2006

rancho tranquilo:

- one of the best places we have stayed; well run, great crew, clean/big kitchen, industrial bbq, sitting areas, etc, etc..

- not cheap however (this is the yuctan penninsula), had a nice little cabana (hut), stayed pretty cool, all that we needed.

- little fish co-op only 20 metres away, used the bbq to roast up a couple of delicious whole fish on 3 occasions.

Beach:

- 6 kms to the beach, a nice shady bike path most of the way (we had sweet bmx's with easyrider handlebars for 3 days).

- amazing water and sand, real postcard stuff.

- the fluro pink frisbee purchased in isla mujeres got a good workout on the tulum beach.

- we were in tulum over easter, stacks of mexicans on holidays, big parties on the beach, big stage, loud music set up for easter sunday afternoon and very amusing greased pole climbing competition.

Snorkelling:

- did a snorkelling trip out to the reef (apparently the 2nd biggest coral reef system in the world!!!).

- dropped in at two different spots; lucky to spot a turtle, couple of different kinds of stingray, lots of different fish, corals but sadly the resident nurse sharks were having a day off.

Ruins:

- stunning location overlooking the caribbean coastline.

- crawling with tour groups, but we found a couple of quiet spots.

- some of the only mayan ruins on the coast; historically an important trade node.

- nice little/crowded beach down the cliffs from the ruins...had a cool-off dip here.

- impressive first mayan archealogical experience.

Cenotes:

- under the surface of the yucatan run a massive system of underground chambers and caves which were only discovered in the late 80īs early 90īs.

- cenotes are limestone caves with stalactites and stalacmites formations (these can only form when the cave is dry) but they are now filled with (mostly) fresh water of amazing color and clarity (visibilty is over 300ft!!!!)

- did a guided snorkelling trip through two caves with Ian and Helina (ranco tranquilo buddies)... just breathtaking beauty...other-world-ly...bought a disposable/waterproof camera, hope some of the shots turn out!!

- took a jungle buggy to the entrances of the cenotes; saw iguanas, a boa-constrictor, and a wild cat (not a jaguar, but there are apparently a few of these left)

- two caves, one a massive chamber with big formations, the second much more claustrophobic (people smacking thier heads a lot).

- Caeser, our trusty guide, led us into a tiny little chamber and then told us about Xilbalba, the mayan god of darkness/death.

- Mayans used these caves in centuries gone by and used to say that if you say Xilbalba, or the dark, (ie your torch was extinguished) you were about to confront death....

- Caeser very kindly cut the lights after telling us this fable, completely, utterly, totally, pitch black.... on the way bake through the maze of chambers mark lingered without a torch after the last person, to get one last look at Xilbalba....

- got a ride back to rancho tranquillo with one of the pioneers of the cenote diving (and owner of Hidden Worlds, the company we went with); had some interesting stories... Tulum has changed quite a bit in 20 years by the sound of things.
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