To live life on a tiny island is something everybody should try.
In the last couple of days we have walked for hours, gotten rained on (we got drenched), been on the hunt for crocodiles & flamingos (those fuckers are hard to find) with no luck. We’ve also done yoga, trained on the beach, eaten Nutella & cheese crepes (a new favourite) and gotten our own cooking on in the hostel kitchen. We’ve had salsa classes, some were better at it then others….I’ll be honest, Teddy was the one with the moves in this case. He hasn’t stopped dancing for 12 hours.
Being on this island you get to see and hang out on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and even though it rained one day we’ve had lots & lots of beautiful weather! Because of this we have managed to get crispy red sunburnt. We all know tanning in the water is the worst you can do, but how can you resist when a place look like this?
*Insert Pic* (Stay cool the pictures WILL come. Promise)
On the island there are no cars, instead they drive golf cars. This can be both charming and irritating at the same time. Especially when trying to wave a taxi down…luckily Teddy is getting somewhere with his Spanish (the other day he tried to ask where he could buy onion, instead he asked where he could buy a horse. The shop lady was very confused to say the least. I was enjoying myself way to much to help him out of the situation he had gotten himself into.
Internet has ben down for almost 24 hours. The frustration is real when you have a blog
We’ve had to change some plans around to be able to get off the island in time to head off to Cuba. More about that later!
Day 1 isla.
Beautiful weather, beautiful colours on all the buildings. Even the brown wooden pole on our balcony seemed vibrant against the clear blue sky. We stayed at Tribu hostel, a short walk across the island. There really doesn’t seem to be a need to rent bikes or golf carts around here. Hostel Tribu has free yoga, free salsa lessons, live music, great drink specials, and incredibly helpful and fun staff. Feel free to save money and buy food to cook yourself. Or go and spend about $100 on a meal at what might be the freshest fish tacos anywhere. If like us, you are a little bit extra cautious in mainland mexico you can finally relax and feel safe to go about your day and night as you please. An instant safe vibe sets in after about 10 minutes on the island.
Because we felt safe, we decide to hike about 40 minutes in the pitch black night towards a beach were you were able to see glowing Plankton. They were sort of glowing (pretty shit to be honest) but still fun to watch. An experience as we like to say. It was even more fun watching the boys walk into the water and panic in the dark because they stepped on a crab or a weird looking turtle thing with a tail (think stingray with a shell and legs).
And yet again the internet is to slow to post pictures. To be honest I’m surprised we were able to post this. The one spot with internet is in the hammock area and its not like we are complaining hanging here.
– When trying to save money and catch the local Collectivo (Shuttle) to another town with 4 people and 6 bags it helps to send the two prettiest people ahead and leave the hombrés to fend for themselves (only recommended in day time). Those 2 hombrés ended up really saving money and gaining comfort when the all american hero Andrew picked us up on his way to the airport and dropped us right to the bus station about 50 minutes away.
– When four of you are catching a bigger bus and there are only 3 seats left, try getting your Spanish speaking friend to go directly to the driver to ask if one of you can sit on the floor. It doesn’t seem to matter how fancy the bus is. For us this was a life saver. Got us to isla holbox in 2 hours instead of 5.5, didn’t require any bribery and only required a polite question and a couple of ‘por favors’.
– Once in Chiquila buy a 140$ ticket to Isla Holbox. People say to buy food and drinks before the ferry but so far the prices are about the same as Tulum. Food is definitely cheaper by about $50Mex a serve with beer being about $5Mex a can at the supermarket. We had a pod of dolphins swim with us to the island which brought everyone (even the captain (he didn’t stop the boat)) to the side. After the commotion stopped and the ferry wasn’t tipping Portside we made it to the island. 30 min. Easy.
Internet absolutely sucks here, so no photos for today unfortunately! We promise a photo bomb in a few days.
Yesterday we went to the “amusement park” Xel-Ha. You pay a shit load of money (well at least if you compare to the rest of the prices here). This gets you entry, free food and ALL drinks (depending on how you look at it). You can really say we ate and drank our moneys worth. I have never seen Teddy do so many Tequila shots, ever. I also lost him a few times, to later find him sitting in the bar chatting with pretty much anyone. He was loving life.
We paid $89 US to get in. The park was huge and took us a good 5 hours to get through. We had a really fun day with lots of activities & lots of time spent trying to get that perfect jump video of a cliff. The GoPro was running hot, that’s for sure.
There are 2 different parks Xel-Ha & Xcaret. They are both pretty similar, however Xcaret is a little bigger and a little pricier. The 15 minute drive from Tulum on the local bus ‘collectivo’ (This meant no car rental) and the real deciding factor of an open bar and restaurant (There are lots of bars) meant Xel-ha was the park for us.
Today we are off to Isla Holbox. If there’s working internet we will be able to both update and purchase accomodation in Cuba.
Shelly boys swim, hide, play, hunt, eat, dive walk and generally move enough keep a nice clean spotless shell. Looking healthy, stronger and more fertile these turtles really got it going on. While making for harder photo opportunities these bubba’s make swimming in the Mexican Cenote’s a real treat.
Mossy boys lounge around all day, sit on their tree trunks above the water and float through life without a problem. Moving so little that their shells grow moss, helping them blend in to the surrounding moss patches on the water. A helpful survival technique but thats all their life is, survival. Sitting their compiling moss while their brothers and sisters face life and death. Not giving a thought about their tortuga family who get plucked from the water by bearded vultures, dropped from the air till their shells crack and then eaten from the belly in. Sitting on their log contently watching life go by as members of their species are hunted, farmed, boiled, turned into soup and called delicacies.
Mossy boys relax, conserve energy, only to get to the end of their long lives to realise that they never really lived. That a lifetime of energy conservation only ended in never putting to use that which they spent a life saving. Turning their backs on Shelly boys without the consideration that in numbers they have the power to flourish. Without ever choosing to act, to cooperate, to be brave enough to fail. Stuck in their ways and their moss with no more to hope for than feeding pond flies and insects.
You could try and find beauty somewhere in the story of the mossy boys, but you’d be lying to yourself. There is no beauty here, just moss… Lots of moss.
Yesterday we rode a bike about 20 minutes away from our hostel to the Grand Cenote. Maps around here tend to make everything look about half the distance that it really is, so when in doubt, just keep going forward. The joy of being able to ride on a half finished highway with granite flying everywhere whenever a car drives by is hard to overstate, it’s a blast!
There is something special with jumping in to a deep hole in the middle of nowhere with water so clear (&Cold) that you can see everything coming your way. This includes the mossy Turtles just chilling/floating around. Yesterday we visited the Grand Cenote here in Tulum. A Cenote is a sinkhole thats full of water.
Teddy found an old building which entertained him for longer than the Cenote’s but made for half the photo shoot.
Today we’ve rented a “car” that will take us to Playa Del Carmen to go to ‘Xel-Ha’. When we figure out what it really is we will let you know straight away.