Friday, March 30, 2007

Last days of Mexico

Spent the last couple of days in Mexico on the beach relaxing. Also went snorkellin g in a Cenote. Truly a weird experience.

Last night in Mexico was spent in a rather nice hotel. Now in New York. It's a bit cold here!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


In Cancun for the night - a very short night! Have to get up a 3:30 tomorrow to get to the airport.

Not much sign of the spring breakers here. I´m a bit dissapointed, no girls going wild, no-one throwing up in the corridors. It´s all a bit tame.

Next stop New York!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Back in Tulum again

Spent last night on the beach testing out my new hammock.

Not a bad nights sleep, and waking up on the beach was pretty cool!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chitzin Itza and Valladolid

Came to Valladolid via the ruins of Chitzin Itza. This week was the equinox (20/21st March) so there were quite a few people communing with the cosmic powers at the ruins.

Yesterday we went swimming in a cenote close to the town which was spectacular. Sadly no photos from that as the camera (which has been making strange noises for the past week) completely refused to take any photos. I´ve managed to coax it into action again but it´s definitely time for a new one.

Today the plan is to head back to Tulum for some beach time. Only a few days before it´s time for the crazy April of flying.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


Complete change of plan. A bunch of us decided to head to Celestun to get some seafood and visit the pink flamingos.

Quite a late start to the day, we caught the 10am bus and arrived in Celeston in time to meet up for lunch with the advance party who had gone the previous day.

This was possibly the best seafood I have had all trip!

After lunch we jumped in a boat to have a look at the flamingos that live in the lagoon. The lonely planet tells us that this time of year there are thousands of them. Apparently they have the season completely the wrong way round so at the moment there are only a few hundred of them - still pretty impressive!

Sadly my camera cannot really do justice to it as I've only got a digital zoom. But I think I got some fairly nice pictures.

After the flamigos we went through some mangrove tunnels and eventually ended up at a swimming hole. Here we met a few locals who were kind enough to feed us crab ceviche and various drinks.

Came back from the trip and celebrated french Chris's birthday on the beach with a beer and cake!

Then we wathced the sun go down before heading back to Merida for some well deserved rest.

Today we're off to Chichin Itza. It's equinox today/tomorrow so there should be quite a few people there.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Merida - Chili cook off

Today we found the local ex-pat Americans of the city having a chili cook off. The food wasn´t particularly hot, but it didn´t taste too bad.

After that we went for an afternoon stroll around the town. There are pigeons here - I think this is the first time I have seen pigeons on my trip, weird.

Lots of nice architectural bits and pieces to see here.

Tomorrow I´m off to Campeche, maybe via Celeston, not sure yet, will see where the Gods of the busses decide to take me.

Uxmal - more ruins!

According to our guide the Mayans lived in Uxmal 3 times, each time they ran out of water here they would move onto another city and work their way around 5 different cities. It took them about a generation of people to do this so by the time they came back to Uxmal all the buildings were out of date. So they rebuilt them all. This gives the place the name Uxmal which might mean "built three times" in Mayan.

We started our tour at the back of the main temple and then moved around to the front to see some nice carvings.

Much of the place has been reconstructed from rubble - though I have my suspicions that this might be some ancient Mayan code.

Some fine examples of the rain god here - there weren´t any natural sources of water around so they had to rely on capturing rain water and storing it in huge cisterns.

There is a very nice square in the ruins with some good carvings so we wandered around here for a while. No one is really sure what the purpose of this place is, but it might have been used for some kind of public meetings as it has excellent accoustics.

After dinner night was starting to fall and it was time for the sound and light show. It wasn´t anywhere near as cheesy as I was hoping for, but it wasn´t bad.

Friday, March 16, 2007


It´s damned hot here!

Went on a quick tour of the town this morning starting off at the main plaza with a nice view of the Cathedral. Apparently this is the first cathedral in all of Mexico (though not the first to be built, only the first to recieve official recognition=.

Stopped off in a very nice building that is now owned by a bank. Sadly much of the building is closed off, but you can get into the garden. The building was build using stones from the Mayan town that Merida was built on and you can see some of them in the arches still.

Last stop was the main municipal palace which has a number of murials.

This one symbolises the struggle in Mexican life between good (represented by the eagle) and evil (represented by the snake). This image is also on the back of the 10 peso piece and also on the Mexican flag.

Tomorrow I´m going to visit... some more ruins! But this time I´m going for a sound and light show. I´m hoping for some serious cheesiness.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Off to Merida

Time to leave the coast and get a bit of culture.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Tulum Ruins and onto Isla Mujeres

Been a busy few days. The weather in Tulum was a little bit rainy so a few of us went off to visit some ruins at Coba.

We got rained on there as well.

However, we did get to see a fine example of a ballcourt and this one still had the stone rings that serve as the goal.

And of course we got to climb another temple!

Since Tulum was a little bit damp I've now come up the coast stopping off at Playa Del Carmen where we saw a very entertaining Mexican band.

And I'm now on an island off the coast called Isla Mujeres (Island of women).

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I´m now in Tulum, weather has takena turn for the worse today and it´s abit overcast and keeps trying to rain.

So a few of us have given up on the beach and we´re going to head to the ruins at Coba which is just a short bus ride away.

There´s also, unsurprisingly, some ruins here which we did a quick tour of this morning:

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Palenque Ruins

I almost didn´t bother stopping here (been feeling a bit ruined out and there are still lots to see), but I´m glad I did. Very impressive and a great jungle setting.

At the entrance to the ruins is the Templo De Las Incriptiones group of buildings. First off is the Templo de La Calavera, named after the sculture of a rabbit or deer skull.

Also in this complex is the Templo de las Inscripciones, you need to get permission to go inside this temple, but that involved going to the museum first which is on the other side of the ruins.

Opposite the Temple is El Palacio with a large observation tower.

Rund the corner down a jungle path is the Templo Del Rollo Relieve. I got to the ruins quite early so there weren´t many people around and this temple is definitely out of the way. Quite spooky going down dark stairways into chambers underground. Not good for the nervous system!

Following the main path we come to the Grupo De La Cruz. This consists of Templo del Sol. Which is stupidly steep.

And Tempo De La Cruz which gives the group it´s name.

Down a small path is copy of a carved panel showing a captive kneeling before one of the rulers.

To the north of this area is the ball court.

And just to the west is a temple that has yet to be escavated:

Heading on we come to Grupo Norte which has some interesting history.

Also we seem to have some kind of Mayan picnic area:

Heading east we come to Grupo C.

Back on the main path we come to BaƱo de la Reina

which is traversed by a suspension bridge

and followed by another set of waterfalls. You used to be able to swim around here, but not anymore.

Past this are some more buildings including groups I and II which are mainly residential:

And that concludes Palanque. A quick stop at the cafe for a beer and a look round the museum and then back into town.

I now need to kill a few hours until 9pm when the bus for Tulum leaves. Tomorrow I´ll be back on the beach!