Tulum

Tulum, Mexico

I had been looking forward to Tulum for months – white sands, Caribbean turquoise waters, hot sunny days – it didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

The beach itself is the stuff of postcards and stretches as far as the eye can see in both directions. I was surprised at  how few people there were. I had a stretch of beach front and empty beach chairs all to myself, and it took about 10 minutes before I saw another soul. However I went for a walk along the beach later that afternoon and could see that it got much busier on different stretches of the beach.

Tulum

Tulum

Tulum is famous for hippies and people opting out of the rat race. It wasn’t long before I came across both. The first, a man with an impressive set of dreads was doing yoga on the beach. He was incredibly bendy. Then I saw a naked couple swimming. This was not a pretty sight. I suspect they are not normally nudists as his bottom was astonishingly white.

Tulum

Tulum

I wanted to enjoy some yoga while I was here too, so I set about finding some casual classes, and was rewarded with a yoga place about 10 minutes walk away, which also offers Ashtanga, which I had recently started.  It was my first session in weeks as I had been travelling…ow!

For my first night I walked back to where I had been for yoga at a little restaurant which I had spied. It was pitch black on the road, and it was quite scary trekking up to dinner. I was grateful for my torch. The restaurant was certainly worth it though. I discovered that although Tulum may have a rustic feel, the prices are certainly not.

Walking back to the hotel in the dark my main concerns in the dark were not what you might expect. My first and greatest concern was that my torch battery would not last. Secondly I was concerned about the stray dogs roaming the streets.  I also tried not to think about the 14 types of rattlesnakes that the man sitting next to me on the bus had told me about.

I returned to my hotel, walked out onto the beach, and while I could see lights in the distance, either side of me was completely empty and the beach was mine to enjoy. Magic.

Tulum

Tulum

Initially I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for seven days, however it soon became clear to me: absolutely nothing! Bliss! So my days have formed a pattern of sorts. I wake up about 8ish, lie in bed reading until about 9, then have breakfast. Then it’s beach time. Sometimes I go for walks, sometimes I just read my book. About 1ish I start thinking about where to go for lunch and finally rouse myself. Then back to the beach for the afternoon, before heading off to yoga at 4pm.

Sometimes I break it up a bit, for example one day I had a massage with Mayan clay. The woman, Christine, had surprisingly strong hands and it wasn’t as relaxing as I thought it might be. I also spent quite some time during the massage worrying myself about how I was going to get the clay out of my hair, so perhaps a little counter-productive!

One morning I went to see the famous Tulum ruins. I could have hired a bike for 220 pesos, or gotten a cab for 80 pesos each way. Simple economics, and the fact that it was nearly 30 degrees made the decision easy.

Tulum

Tulum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The ruins themselves are not nearly as impressive as others that I’ve seen, however the location is beyond compare. Perhaps because they are so accessible, they were over run with people. I couldn’t believe the number of people who had spewed out of the quiet little hotels. They came from all over – I heard Spanish, Italian, French, German, Russian (?), Japanese, Korean (?), English accents from all over. For a good 20 minutes or so I gave up on the ruins and just watched the tourists. I was incredulous at some of their outfits. Many people hadn’t realised that their summer shorts were several sizes too small, while others were swathed from head to toe in black lycra with clothes over the top, I am guessing to protect themselves from the sun. All in all an interesting experience.

But then it was back to the beach.  I had some sun to catch up on!

Tulum

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