ISLA MUJERES, MEXICO: “ISLAND OF WOMEN” 2

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Playa Norte

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ImageArriving back to Porto Juarez after a lovely afternoon.

21DEC12. Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

CANCUN, MEXICO: PLAYA DELFINES, “EL MIRADOR”

Considered an escapists beach, this is one of the less populated beaches in the hotel zone. It is beautiful. Immaculate. You have to walk it. The water is pretty rough, though, so be very mindful of heavy currents and rip tides, stay close to the shore.

I got there on the R1 bus coming back from the El Rey Ruins. So easy.

21DEC12. Cancun, Mexico.

CANCUN, MEXICO: EL REY RUINS

Rather than opting for a long bus journey yesterday, I decided to take the day off and stay local. So glad I did. It was a great day. First, I found out the the R1 bus takes me to the El Rey Ruins and to Porto Juarez where I can catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres. The bus is very easy to catch. A minute walk to Tulum Ave. from my hostel. About 8 pesos for a bus ride. The bus was never crowded, either. First stop: El Rey Ruins, the only Mayan ruins site actually in Cancun…basically smack dab in the hotel district.

You may read some comments from people saying it’s not worth it, but I disagree. Having been to Chichen Itza the day before, El Rey was a welcome change. More quiet. I was able to enjoy some solitude. You can climb all over these ruins and really explore. The ambience was spectacular as there were dark clouds looming overhead making everything seem so gray, which in itself, made everything seem older.

El Rey dates back to the 1300-1500 a.d. period. It was a trading port and high officials apparently lived here.

It’s open every day from 8am-5pm and it costs $42 pesos for entry (under $4 usd.) I hear that it’s free on Sundays, but that hasn’t been confirmed. Hundreds of iguanas roam the site. You can get quite close to them as they are not that afraid of people. The caretakers of the site feed them tortillas daily. So in an iguana’s mind: a person = a tortilla = not so bad. They do very simple math.

21DEC12. Cancun, Mexico. Canon 550D,Lens EF18-135mm

CANCUN, MEXICO: THE BIG 3, DAY 1

Basically I am here because on New Year’s Day of this year, I proclaimed on my Facebook status that I would be in Mayan territory on December 21st for the end of the world. And even though I’ve been all around the globe this year, I found a way to get here to Cancun in the nick of time. Here’s how the first day went in regards to the Big 3: transport, accommodation, and food.

TRANSPORT: Cheapest way to get from the airport is to take a lovely air-conditioned ADO bus. I took it to Cancun Centro for $52 pesos (around 5 usd.) The ride was about 20 minutes with no drama. They also have buses to Playa Del Carmen, etc…Walk out of the airport and go right. Walk to the end and there will be ADO counters to purchase a ticket.

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ACCOMMODATION: Strangely enough, I booked The Mayan Hostel online while I was still in Bogota a couple of weeks ago, and they didn’t ask for a credit card number or anything. Just a reservation. And then last week when I was in Orlando, I got an email from them confirming my reservation. Still no money upfront. I liked these guys before I even got on the plane. Now, it’s a no-frills place. I’m in a private room with a private bathroom and a fan. It’s costing $2036 pesos (160 usd) for 4 nights in total (so, yes $40 a night.) I don’t usually book a room before I arrive somewhere, but because it’s the holidays and the end of the world, I thought it best to be safe. I will seek out other options over the next few days to see if I want to move on. But, it’s good for now. And I definitely wanted to be in a hostel called The MAYAN hostel on December 21st. 🙂

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Calle Margaritas 17, mayanhostelcancun@gmail.com

FOOD: Dinner was had at Gory Tacos. I know the name doesn’t sound appealing, but ‘gory’ doesn’t have the same meaning in Espanol. A huge basket of tortilla chips with 4 sauces came out as an appetizer. Then I ordered vegetarian fajitas and a bottled water. Total price: $120 pesos (around 9.40 usd)

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Chips and Salsa

19DEC12. Cancun, Mexico. Transport – Instagram X-Pro II, Accom/Food – Instagram Lo-Fi, Fajitas – X-Pro II