Sunday, April 5, 2009

A penny, I mean, 10 dollars for your thoughts.

Waking up to the sun rising over the waves did wonders for our mood and we made a pact not to let the price of everything bother us. With that in mind we set off for the ruins. No collectivos on the beach road meant a taxi but thankfully, all the prices were standardized. As did the admission price at the ruins – it was the same as we had paid at Palenque at Teotihuacan but that’s where the similarity ends. There were 10x the visitors to this site that was a 10th of their size. And there was no shady jungle to shelter us from the blazing sun. The ruins are notable for their position right on the sea (see above) which didn’t disappoint but the small beach attached seemed to be the big draw for most folks. But we had endless beach back at our cabana. And the ruins were tiny and crowded compared to what we had already seen. We were thankfully done in an hour and jumped into an air conditioned collectivo and headed into town.

First stop was the bank to replenish our dwindling funds. And then we stopped in at the infamous Weary Traveller Hostel – infamous for its bedbugs. It’s the cheap place to stay – only $30 US for a private room, well semi-private if you remember that you’ll be sharing it with some 6 legged friends. But it also offered tours that we figured might be better priced. We decided to head to Chichen Itza the next day and the price ($45 US) didn’t seem too bad since it included lunch and a couple of other stops including a visit to a cenote. We also took advantage of the cheap hostel beer before the hostel put up a sign saying no cash bar, guest accounts only. I guess the Weary Traveller was weary of us. It was close to dinnertime so we set off in search of a reasonably priced meal along Tulum’s main street (the creatively named Av. Tulum) but were disappointed and relieved at the same time. The prices were about the same as they were back to Papaya Playa which at least meant the slightly shady owners weren’t completely taking advantage of us. But the food not nearly as good as what Papaya offered.

We ducked into a place that appeared to have a lot of locals in it – usually a good sign. But they were all family members of the owner and the food was mediocre. Even the waiter rhetorically asked “How was the food, so-so?” when we settled up. Oh well, lesson learned. We attempted to buy drinks to take back to the cabana but it being Sunday things were locked up – especially the alcohol so we settled for ice cream before heading back to out to the beach hut.

I caught up on a few emails when the generator turned on for a few hours in the evening – yes the place had wifi but no consistent power supply making a computer hard to use. Adrian played chess with one of the itinerant Argentinian musicians who were hanging around. He and his friend played music at the various cabanas and hoped to make enough money in tips or selling homemade cds to pay their way. They were slightly crazy but they were a nice break from the dance music that the bar pumped out the rest of the evening. Oh and Adrian won the chess game.

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