Mexico - Playa del Carmen
Trip Start Mar 28, 2008
11Trip End Apr 25, 2008
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Playa was a complete change of pace to everything we┤d experienced at this point. There were tourists everywhere, huge resorts, lounging chairs on the beach, chain restaurants, purified water and expensive prices. The beaches were huge, and endless. They sprawled as far as you could see in either direction and so did the resorts. Parallel to the beach is an equally long pedestrian street chalk full of restaurants, bars and shops. Both the beach and the pedestrian strip stretched for miles, and both were perpetually crowded.. but not terribly congested either. Apparently we┤re here during the beginning of the down season.. and we both can┤t imagine what this place would look like at spring break or peak season.
Our days here didn┤t really vary a whole lot. Spent our mornings sleeping in, afternoons at the beach in lounging chairs sipping margaritas and cervezas (thats beer for all you gringos reading this), and evenings at a lively restaurant for more food and margs. Wash, rinse and repeat. There was only one day that we strayed from the formula, where we rented a car and drove to the ancient ruins of Coba, and also to Tulum. Having already been to Tikal really ruined (no pun intended) our expectations when we arrived at Coba. It had some impressively kept structures, and one large pyramid that we climbed, but unfortunately it was a much smaller, shabby version of Tikal without any jungle or wildlife, and even the pyramid was in massive decay. We were also a bit spoiled in Tikal as we pretty much had the place to ourselves after 2pm, while Coba was congested with huge tour groups, all making the day trip from Cancun and Playa. We both wished we had seen Tikal and Coba in reverse order, as it wasn┤t fair to Coba otherwise
Tulum on the other hand was a pleasant surprise. After coming from Coba, we were expecting more of the same, but this ancient Mayan site was completely different in structure style, terrain and surrounding views. Tulum┤s buildings were much smaller and simpler, but unique in that they had roofs. Vicky was surprised to see pillars which reminded her of ancient Greek structures. The entire site is located on a semi-grassy, semi-desert plateau alongside the ocean on a small clifftop with a sprinkling of palm trees throughout. At the bottom of the cliffs are beautiful beaches with stunning turquoise waters, which were open for swimming. We came prepared and made our way into the water. It was pretty neat to swim in the warm water looking back at the pretty beach backed by a cliff wall with ancient ruins rising above them. The only unfortunate part was once again, the crowds. Equally as populated was the iguana population throughout the ruins and the beach area of Tulum.
Spent a total of five days here resting and relaxing, and starting to reflect on everything we┤d seen and done in the past month. Its been an incredible journey, but we┤re both really looking forward to making our way home, where I hear the weather is cooperating nicely with our agenda. Oh, I also know all about the Senators embarrasing playoff exit .. so I┤m not going to need a debriefing when I return from any Leaf fans reading this :) One thing Playa has a lot of is Canadians, and that also means there are tons of bars here showing all the hockey playoff games. A bit surreal to be in 35C heat watching the first round of the playoffs, but a nice seg-way to coming home. We┤ll see you all soon.