After a short stopover in Miami we arrived in Cancún to beautiful white sands and turquoise waters, definitely a sight for sore eyes in need of some rest and recovery. As the travel started to take its toll on us we decided it was time for a little break in a setting that would allow us to enjoy the sunshine, rather than hide from it for a change. We booked a condo at a resort that gave us the benefits of their facilities but without the hefty price tag.
We took a few days out to chill out on the beach and enjoy the sea a little. Given that cat 5 Hurricane Maria wasn’t far off, the waves were definitely packing a punch and I lost count of how many times they smashed me in the face, around the back of the head, or swallowed me up entirely. That being said it was still good fun and Jason enjoyed getting the chance to have a good stretch swimming in the open waters – carrying those backpacks around equals some stiff shoulders!
On our second day, as we woke early we decided to check out the El Ray ruins before the day became too hot. Luckily for us they were only a 20 minute walk away so we set off feeling adventurous and glad for some exercise…and after about 5 minutes we were drenched in sweat and cursing having to walk haha. It was worth it though as when we arrived the ruins were near empty so we could spend some time peacefully taking in the scenery and getting some good photos.
Our next stop after another day of relaxing on the beach was a 4am trip to Chichen Itza – a Mayan ruins site. We started nice and early on a tour to try and avoid both the heat and the crowds and overall it worked out well. The bus journey lasted a couple of hours but no-one minded this as everyone was fast asleep. We saw it as good practice for South America where our primary mode of transport will be buses. Once we arrived we were faced with the amazing El Castillo, one of the seven wonders of the world.
It was amazing seeing the grand structure before us, made even more fascinating by the detailed tour we received from our archaeologist guide Frank. He was of Mayan descent and really knew his stuff, giving us great insight into the cultural history of the site. We had fun experiencing some of the acoustic wonders that were achieved by the Mayan’s clever engineering with Limestone. The site itself was huge and had plenty of temples and ruins to keep everybody busy, each with an interesting history to accompany it.
Overall the tour with ‘Amigo‘ was a great, if not exhausting, day out. We would highly recommend spending the day at Chichen Itza if you get the opportunity and definitely with a tour guide, as otherwise you would miss out on so much of the history and fun.
When we returned from the tour we heard about the terrible 7.1 magnitude earthquake that had devastated Mexico. Thankfully we were unaffected in Cancún and once again we were very fortunate with our timing as we were due to fly out to Mexico City the following day. Had the flight been a day earlier then it may have been a different story, we’re glad that someone seems to be looking out for us on this trip!
P.s. I really wish that I had had the time to learn some Spanish before this trip, as for some reason from Miami onwards everyone has assumed I am Mexican (it seems to run in the family). And so when I respond to their fluently Spanish questions with a blank face and politely say that I don’t speak Spanish, they leave looking mortally offended..oops!