My trip back to Antigua went much smoother. The bus stayed in one piece, and I was back by a reasonable time in the morning. My passport and other belongs were still in their proper place, so at some point I’ll be able to leave the country, which is nice.
Semana Santa, or holy week, here in Antigua is one of the biggest in the world. So it’s insane here. People lay out sawdust rugs and have processions, which always include a giant float of the crucifixion, and occasionally some other Jesus things as well. But usually just a giant Jesus and cross, sometimes on it, sometimes carrying it. In general, they’re a real downer after doing the Mardi Gras parades last year.
They use stencils, which seems like cheating to me. And in a couple hours the people carrying a heavy, fake, dying Jesus just trample through these.
On a happier note, is this not the best McDonald’s in the world? How did I not discover this weeks ago?
So a couple days of that, and then another fairly straight-forward overnight bus ride back to Flores. Stayed at the same place, got bored, and decided to skip Belize. No one likes Belize anyways.
My original plan was to stay in Chetumal for the night, and then move on to Tulum. In the end, I decided to get all of my bus riding out of the day in one day, so I did a 7am-11pm day to go all the way to Tulum. We had to drive through Belize, which had a $15 exit fee just for driving through it, so I’m officially angry at Belize and am not going back.
So I arrived in Tulum at 11:30pm and followed a couple other travelers to the Weary Traveler hostel. It ended up being a nice place with a full kitchen and free eggs/pancake mix in the morning. I bought some ingredients and made some delicious banana pancakes with Nutella and was very proud of myself.
But anyways. There are ruins in Tulum that everyone who visits Cancun goes to in order to fulfill their cultural vacation quota, so we road bikes there and observed the ruins.
There were lots of buildings like the one below, but it wasn’t much compared to Copan or Tikal. Luckily, it was only like $4, so no big deal. Also, saw a LOT of older guys with khaki hats with the string tied under the chin, so I’m probably going to buy one of those for my 30th.
Then after that, we had some lunch and sat on the beach having a Margarita. Because that’s what you do in Mexico, besides watch Mexican Wrestling. But if you’re a Pelican, this is what you do:
They were also flying around and dive-bombing at fish. Then we hit up a happy hour special, 2 Margaritas for 100 Pesos (less than $6), which is a hot deal.
One of the big things to do on this peninsula are the cenotes. Which are just water-filled caves that you can swim in and stuff. They aren’t a lot to look at on the surface (they’re cool, but nothing amazing), but they are pretty awesome under the water. So you rent snorkels and swim around and look at things. You can kind of see a turtle in this picture from Gran Cenote.
Since I can’t carry my phone in the water, you’ll have to Google pictures if you really want to see. But there are bats back there you can swim around and see, and fish and whatnot. There were people diving this cenote as well, and I watched them swim back into the cave passageways before disappearing.
It ended up being cooler swimming around looking down into the cave passageways than I had original thought when I first saw it, so worth doing.
After successfully turning 30 with a Cuban in my hand, on the weekend I went cenote diving in Dos Ojos. I would have taken pictures with the free GoPro they gave me to use, but I didn’t feel like bringing it and don’t really know how they work. Instead, here’s two pictures at the top again.
I did two dives, one in each eye. On the second one, we surfaced in a place called “Batcave.” It was a cave full of bats with only a small opening at the top letting light in. Basically you start where these pictures show then go in the underground river through the caverns.
I’m looking forward to another week in Tulum to get some work done before heading off to explore a bit more of the peninsula.