|Posing on the rocks!|
Not so quiet was our week in terms of noise, as our ten-day stay just so happened to coincide with a ten-day Mayan music festival to celebrate the harvest. We found out the festival takes place twice a year and in our case, took place on the exact dates of our stay in Tulum!
The Mayans sure know how to party, kicking off around 10pm and finishing up around 4.30am every night. Lucky for us we were well-equipped with earplugs and decent noise-cancelling headphones as the music was so loud!
Unimpressed at the lack of sleep on our first night, Kev took it upon himself to craft a two-page letter to the accommodation management, written in Spanish (using Google Translate) at 4am – I would pay good money to see a copy of this letter now and wonder if it made sense in his sleep-deprived, non-Spanish speaking state!
We have been ‘glamping’ this week – essentially canvas tents with thatched, cabana-style roof and a real king-sized bed inside. All brand new and very comfortable with a pool and free bike hire to get around town.
|Kev chilling out in the pool|
|Dodging the seaweed at Tulum Beach|
|Turtle Beach at Ixcacel|
Kev claims he once saw a baby crocodile in one and today, in Casa Cenote, we were talking to a scuba diver who had just seen a six-foot croc during his dive in the same cenote! He said the croc was eating a duck when he saw it, so wasn’t concerned that it might also be interested in him for lunch, but I think he must have had nerves of steel to not freak out!
We went for a swim but after hearing that story we stayed pretty close to the edge, in case the hungry crocodile comes back out! Sat on the edge, we had our own mini 'fish spa' with little fish nibbling at our toes!
|Our own mini fish spa!|
We made friends with the owner of a local Mayan restaurant during our stay. Having planned to just pop in for a quick drink on our way back from the beach, he kept bringing us tortillas, salsas and Mayan specialties that he wanted us to try, to get a real taste of the region. In the end, we didn’t have room for dinner that night, but we did make sure we gave him a particularly generous tip when only charged us for the drinks.
We went back for dinner again a couple of nights later and loved the local fresh fish, ceviche, refried beans and other specialities he prepared for us. We continue to eat well – especially when tacos for two cost as little as £1.50!
|Kev and the Mayan family|
The contrast in Tulum is the glut of high-end resorts and Western-style restaurants versus the local Mexican and Mayan establishments – there’s a real divide between the rich tourists and the locals, but it’s still a nice town and done on a budget it is possible to live cheaply – fortunately we’re still on budget!
Today we head an hour along the coast to Playa del Carmen, then hop on the ferry across to Cozumel Island – most famous for scuba diving, and will be our first dives of the trip.