It’s safe to say I was not ready for Merida having taken the night bus from Palenque, it’s very hot at 9 am, downtown is not very pretty, added to my slow pace and generally low mood made for a good time out from socialising. Marida a has a beautiful bustling centre with live bands playing Spanish version of Christmas Carols and activities but something didn’t sit right with me, I was tired and the vibe was off.
I take the free city tour and visit the local sites on day 1 followed with my 1st salsa class, despite being a productive day my low energy called for an early night. I wake on Day 2 determined to shake things up with my first gym session in 6 weeks followed by a visit to the large Mayan ruins and UNESCO World Heritage Site Uxmal. As a site it’s great, most of the structures you can climb up but don’t take my word for it, go read all about it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uxmal. My processing and self-reflection continued on the packed bus back to Merida where I realise I don’t want to live life at such a fast pace anymore, ticking jobs off and viewing everything as a battle, it takes too much energy to fight with everyone and everything. I return exhausted to the hostel in the early evening and arrange to go out with an Australian and some locals he met in Brazil, it turns into one of the best nights out I’ve had at the impressive Jaguar Club, the walls are will of Mayan art and projected on top are impressive visuals, add in some good house music and I stay out until the very early hours but could have stayed out much longer, the only reason I don’t is to see my first Cenotes on Day 3. I wake late and decide to practice my Spanish taking local transport, this isn’t where the problem is, I choose the 2nd class bus system which is slow, old and i have to wait 2 hours for the bus, had i have chosen the colectivo’s which run every 15 minutes I would have been a nice relaxing day, but between the bus ride and being on my own and I find the whole process underwhelming. The Cenotes are beautiful but on your own, there isn’t much to do, take some pictures and move on, as I visit them later with a group of people I see the attraction as sit and really enjoy them.
Happiness is only real, when shared.Christopher McCandless
I leave Merida very late for Isla Holbox via Valladolid, a small sleepy town with little to do other than visit cenotes and relax, it’s a quick 2 night stop before Holbox. It’s a really tranquil place where I meet Hannah, traveller, slow biker and picture perfectionist who takes shows me how to enjoy the Cenotes, taking time to relax, enjoy, swim and get the obligatory Insta picture.
Isla Holbox for most people is a highlight but the beach was full of seaweed, I lose my GoPro in the sea taking a time-lapse of the sunset and we try to see the night plankton buy only last 1 hour before conceding to mosquito bites. Like everywhere else it’s not about the place but the people and I meet Daan from Holland who I become really good friends with, we are both heading to Tulum next and arrange to meet there, I bolt from Holbox and move on to Tulum fast.
Like everywhere else it’s not about the place but the people
Tulum is a place I really like and my mood really improves here, it’s very peaceful, I make more good friends, most days are spent biking to see a cenote, lunch and biking to the beach. Add to this Lum hostel is amazing, clean, friendly, warm showers and good WiFi, winning! I’m originally planning for a few days but this turns into a very good week of relaxing, a few parties and some very good gelato! Daan also hires a car and we make the short trip to the not so impressive Coba ruins for the sunset tour. The ruins are relatively small and many of the structures have crumbled, however, the main structure is well maintained, very high and overlooks the forest which looks like it goes on forever. Also, the sunset is super amazing!
I make some great friends in Tulum and 12 of us move on together to Bacalar, the lagoon of 7 blues. It’s one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen, very tranquil and contains a huge population of the oldest life on the planet, stromatolites that only still exist in a few locations. We stay in the very average and expansive Yaak hostel, it’s on the lagoon and has plenty of activities available but the customer service is way off and it feels very touristy.
I have to give a special shout out to my good friend Malty AKA The Optimistic German, possibly the funniest and genuine person I will meet. This video sums him up, keeping us all laughing, enjoy!
I move on to Guatemala next taking a 21-hour bus journey through Belize, it’s amazing what you can do with some love in your heart.