Tulum - We'll Follow the Sun - CycleBlaze

January 3, 2019

Tulum

The ruins have run out

We got up early as planned, had our banana/Nutella wraps and some coffee at the hotel and booked it out to the ruins.  It was early enough when we got there that the parking lot was pretty much empty and still there were people in line by the time we arrived at the gate to pay for our way in.  Each ruin has had its own wacky way of payment - some cost a lot more than others and we were expecting Tulum to be in the same ball park as Chichen Itza and that we would be able to pay with our credit card.  Not so!  The entry fee was only 75 pesos each, but the sign said exact change only!  We had a 200 peso bill and thought we might have to just lose the extra 50 ($3.00), but a couple in front of us had lots of change, so we managed to get the correct amount.  While waiting a very long time for a not so long line, we saw this little guy walking around pretty much like a cat would - he and his partners looked like they owned the place!

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Bill ShaneyfeltCoatis are such interesting critters! Those are white nosed coatis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White-nosed_coati
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Sue PriceTo Bill ShaneyfeltThey are so cool, and were so unimpressed with all the tourists!
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Turns out the line was taking forever because whenever a tour group leader showed up, they just budged in at the front of the line and paid for the group - like 50 people!  There was only one person manning the ticket booth and his speed was pretty much mañana, which explained the wait.  By the time it was our turn my inner Grandma Maggie (she was a terror in her day, let me tell you) was ready to come out and make some noise, but luckily we were able to quickly get our tickets and then join the already large groups of people heading in.  I have to say, I don't like these kinds of crowds - it really takes away from the experience, and so I was feeling like I was going to be dissappointed by Tulum.  But then we went through a little tunnel and the people were able to spread out.  We separated ourselves from the many tour groups gathered around and headed off to view the ruins.  

Now it became wonderful and we truly did enjoy our time wandering around this lovely site, taking pics as we went.  It was our very first time seeing the Carribean Sea, so that was fun.  And the wind was blowing fiercely so that ocean water would spray up at any time.  We loved it all.  I, in particular, was so happy as we came through a little tunnel behind a young girl who was asking her mom "But how did they stick all the rocks together?" - ah, be still my teacher's heart!!!!  I piped up to first tell her what a great question that was and then went on to explain how the Mayans created their own cement type mixture.  The adults in the group were impressed and I was happy that I had paid attention to Salvatore back in Palenque because that was also one of my questions.  

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Michael ReynoldsYour first Caribbean pic! (Sorry, I'm several days behind.)
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5 months ago
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We continued our stroll through the ruins, stopping to take pictures from iconic spots and just to enjoy the atmosphere.  It is very much a relaxed feeling here and the architecture reflects it - a much more streamlined approach from the others place we have seen.  It reminded me of a California style of architecture as opposed to something from old England.  

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Eventually we made our way to the beach and we were able to put our feet in the waters of the Carribean for the first time - oh so warm!!!!!!  I got a little carried away and came away wet but happy.

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This is not a very big site, and so we were winding up the tour, seeing some plaster ornamentation that would have been like something in Palenque when I listened in on one of the many interpreters showing his group around.  He was intent on helping his listeners to understand something of the Mayan culture and I admired how deftly he handled his group, catching their attention when it wandered and then turning them loose to look around when they needed a break - a good teacher, this one!

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Eventually we found our way to the exit and so ended our last ruin tour of this trip.  We hope to come back one day in the not too distant future, to see others that we missed this time, but it really has been such a dream come true for me to finally spend so much time immersed in this beautiful culture!

Jim's toe was feeling pretty sore by this point (we had been out for 2 hours) and so we made our way to the "mall" - a bunch of tourist stalls selling all number of pretty much everything you can imagine.  However, there was one place we needed to find and thankfully it was next to the Starbucks.  I ran in to get us a couple of decaf coffees and Jim settled down to wait for the action.  By the time I had returned, they were about to begin.

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Apparently this is some sort of Mayan ritual they told us, but we just admired their stamina because as we sat and had our coffee over about 30 minutes, they climbed up that pole at least 3 times!  Of course, the ride down sure would be nice (as long as you are ok with being upside down!).

Satisfied with our final ruin tour, we rode back to our hotel to shower and have a siesta.  We tried to work on the blog, but the internet here and in Coba was just so slow I had to give in and wait for a better day.  Post snooze we rode our bikes back into town for a final dinner and wander around the town.  Although it is still not a place I would care to hang out in, Tulum has redeemed itself just a bit in my heart.  Tomorrow we are headed up the coast just a bit for a 3 day stay in Akumal.

Couldn't resist putting this in. When you have toys and some sand/rocks you just gotta play!
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Today's ride: 12 km (7 miles)
Total: 793 km (492 miles)

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