Cancun, Chilaquiles and Chichen itza

Cancun, Chilaquiles and Chichen itza
Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, Mexico Firstly, welcome to Joel’s first travel blog entry, sorry I’ve been a little slack but this one promises to be a doozey. I will pick up from where Joseph left off in Washington DC. After our day of sightseeing and a restful nights sleep we made our way to BWI airport and boarded Airtran flight 3 direct to Cancun, Mexico. As Joseph is fond of an aisle seat I often get sat next to a complete stranger and this flight was no exception. I had set a goal to watch the Lord of the Rings Two Towers during the flight which should have fit nicely into the three hour thirty five minute flight time. I am all about setting goals. However, this plan was soon thwarted when my fellow passenger, an ageing Turkish gentleman, decided he wanted to talk at me for the duration of the flight. I say ‘at me’ because he really had no interest in anything I had to say, which infuriated me further because I do love to talk about me from time to time. Nevertheless, I sat and ‘listened’ intently whilst he regaled me with tales from his life. Joseph sat with a cheeky smirk on his face for a while as I heard about his incredible swimming ability that earned him the title of Tarzan, how any word had a Turkish meaning, World War 1 and that for 2.9 cents a minute you can call Turkey (among other things). We landed in Cancun and checked into our insanely cheap, all inclusive hotel, Solymar. First impressions were as expected, the place is in need of a lick of paint but I am sure, as we are backpacking, we will look back at this place in awe compared to future accommodations. After checking in we grabbed a drink from the pool bar (a corona with tequila in it…apparently that’s how it’s done) and I got my first glimpse of the Caribbean. The water is a surreal turquoise blue, the colour you would expect if this was a fake beach in a theme park. The sand is Gold Coast white, but a little coarser (as things go on my international sand scale). The first evening was spent sampling a multitude of cocktails, I like the Cherry Margarita, and befriending the hotel guests (mostly Mexicans and Czechs). After doing the salsa with Joseph and dropping to a jazz split, we decided to call it a night. It was 7:30. Early nights turned out to be a theme so far. For our first morning in Mexico we checked out the breakfast situation. My new favourite Mexican breakfast treat is Chilaquiles. It’s basically corn chips that are soggy and have sour cream, spices and onions on them. The description sounds horrendous but I assure you they are delicious! After breakfast we strolled on down to Club Med to see Josey’s former place of employment…it looks a lot nicer than old Hotel Solymar. My favourite dinner so far was at La Destilaria. It is a Tequila distillery and restaurant which came with Joseph’s high recommendation so how could I not like it! The food was amazing and the ‘Vacation sized’ margaritas were delish. Managed to stay up till 8:30 that night….party animals! Laying on the beach all day can get tiresome, so the next day Joseph took me to Isla Mujeres. Isla Mujeres is a little island off the coast of Cancun. The best part is you can rent little golf carts and drive yourself around the island. We had some more delicious Mexican food for lunch (sensing a theme here) and for those who know me, I came up with another “Proclamations of a ******” to rival “The best steak is in Argentina”. The best Guacamole is on Isla Mujeres! Joseph’s is a close second however. That was a pretty nice day. As part of our quest to see all the seven wonders of the world (the new list), we booked a day trip to Chichen Itza. The trip was one of those tourist geared, buffet lunch, souvenir selling type deals. It was either that, or attempt to rent and drive a little Mexican car which would have been a near death experience in its own right. The bus driver hauled ass and was driving at a speed that saw him overtake an ambulance…with its sirens on. It was good though because we were the first bus to arrive at a very cool, 50 meter deep natural sink hole called Ik-Kil. It was filled with fresh water and had waterfalls and massive tree roots growing down into it. Joseph and I were the first to jump in and swim around. The water was surprisingly warm. The whole place was an unexpected little surprise. After a little buffet lunch and a dance performance by some cranky looking Mexicans spinning bottles on their heads (seriously) we finally arrived at Chichen Itza. The place was packed with people but the main temple, El Castillo, is incredible to see. We had a guided tour of some of the ruins and learnt a few interesting things. The Mayans knew the speed of sound and built temples that proved it. Joseph and I wandered around in the heat and explored the area for a few hours and managed to avoid buying anything from the thousands of market stall pushers. All in all, it was a pretty amazing day. Well today is our last full day in Cancun. The plan is to lie on the beach, read our kindle books and partake in a little more beach volleyball. Tomorrow we are heading down to Playa del Carmen for three nights. We are quite proud of ourselves because we have booked our first hostel of the trip, Hostel Che (very Latin America!)….let’s hope I like it, otherwise we will be home sooner than we think! UPDATE: Hi guys, Joel here. We’ve created another travel website designed to inspire your next destination. For another perspective on Cancun, check it out.


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