Jetlag caught up to me eventually. Waking up at 4 AM leaves very little else to do but watch UFC reruns on TV. Went out at 7 for an early morning swim. 7 AM is a funny time in Playa del Carmen. It’s when the remnants of a wild party night meet the fanatical beach goers. The beach was completely empty apart from two elderly ladies enjoying a coffee.
There’s something very spiritual about swimming in an empty ocean during sunrise. Waves crashing into you, toying you around like a playball. First rays of the morning sun warming your face. It feels like you’re all alone on this world and one with nature. My spiritual journey lasted for about five minutes before I was rudely awakened by a middle aged man running into my ocean. It had gone back to being a public beach.
Went back to my Airbnb to take a shower and get dressed. I looked for a place to eat but only found an 24/7 Mac D to be open this early. The meal on the sign actually looked quite nice. The meal on my Styrofoam plate looked like prison food. Worst of all, the coffee machine was broken. This forced me yet again into the hands of Starbucks. Playa del Carmen has a 2 kilometre long strip. I counted 4 Starbuckses on there. Seems like Americans can’t be arsed to walk more than 250 meters for their vanilla pumpkin spice fraps.
Got a Christmas tree cup. Fitted in nicely with the tropical beach I drank my coffee at.
They’ve got these black birds here that I can best describe as anorexic crows with really big feet. I like observing them. They’re cheeky bandidos always looking for mischief. I saw one flying off with a tourist’s cup and they’re always close as soon as there’s food on your plate.
Today was Tulum day. A Mayan site located at the beach. In order to get there, you can either take an official ADO bus, or you can wing it by taking a Collectivo. Small busses that drive from Playa del Carmen to Tulum city and pick up & drop off people along the way wherever their destination may be along route. Cheap adventure is always better than expensive predictability. I caught the collective that was about to leave and felt lucky. The spot next to me was the only empty one left, allowing me some space in the cramped bus. Just as the door was closing, a rather large Mexican girl came running in. Let’s just say the adventure had taken a turn for the worse. The left side of my shirt had become all sweaty and I wasn’t the one sweating. We arrived at my stop. The next challenge was already apparent. I had to rush through the “Amigo Amigo” crowd. Mexican trinket salesmen trying to clamp you by the arm in order to sell you factory made “Mayan” trinkets. After the salesmen came a horde of American zombies all wearing a red audio phone and all walking in the same slow pace behind their tour guide.
Finally got to the gate. Bought the ticket. Bought the extra ticket so I could take my camera with me. Found out no one was actually checking if you had bought tickets. Spotted a turtle and a badgermonkey like animal so it was all good. Also spotted Iguana’s, vultures and an old guy falling flat on his face when he tried to take a picture whilst walking. Got the Mexican big five.
The ruins were beautiful. The combination of ancient Mayan architecture and waves crashing into the cliffs give you a rather peaceful feeling. Managed to get a little drawing done despite wind gushes trying to steal my paper & other tourists blocking my view.
Lo and behold, the cute Latina from el petito machado came strolling by. She spent a crazy amount of time taking selfies after which her dad was allowed to take 200 more photos of her. Ever since the advent of selfies I have found myself unable to ever trust women. No human should be able to switch their smile on and off at will that fast, that often.
There were some stairs leading down the cliffs to the beach. I hadn’t brought my swimming trunks, but seeing how beautiful the scene was, I couldn’t resist the urge. Twenty minutes later, I walked out of the fresh ocean in my orange boxers. Think James Bond in Casino Royal but hotter and more orange.
After another round of “Amigo Amigo”, I made it back to a Collectivo van. Again the place next to me as empty. This time I got an eerie feeling which turned out to be justified when a rather large, sweaty Scottish man came running towards the collective as it was about to depart. Guess who took a long, warm shower when he got back home…
Went for a round two at the beach to make a few more drawings. Enjoy!