Posted by: Bert and Tania | October 9, 2011

Yucutan Peninsula: Akumal, Coba, Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Palenque

OK, bit behind with the blog, sorry about that. On 1st October we headed from Tulum to Akumal (Yukutan peninsula) to try and swim with turtles. We arrived having had a tip-off there might be some and there was a red flag for danger fluttering in the beach breeze. The guys in the dive centre said they wouldn’t let anyone out without lifejacket and guide. Hey ho, we said, this is our only chance to swim with turtles so let’s go try and find some. And there they were, grazing like small flat cows on the seaweed on the seabed and every now and again swimming up to the surface to catch a breath. We love them. Click the pic below to see one of them.

After Akumal, we visited the Mayan ruins at Coba which were pretty impressive. The Mayans had a ballgame that was played in a kind of small stone valley. Each sloped side had a basketball style hoop at the top and the Mayan men had to use their knees, thighs and elbows to score. Stories vary, but it seems that either the captain of the winning or losing team was often beheaded at the end of the game. Funny old Mayans. Also near Coba was a wild alligator in a lake, refusing to eat chicken a man was offering it.

After that, on 3rd Oct, we went up to Isla Mujeres, via Cancun. Cancun shocked me – I was prepared for an over-developed hotel city but what we saw was nothing short of Las Vegas, without the charm that Vegas has because it is SO unreal. Yuk. Isla Mujeres was nicer and we stayed for a few days with Rosie and George, attempting three times to go out on a boat to swim with whale sharks, but three times being told the weather was too rough. That’ll be hurricane Harvey’s fault. Hey ho.

On 7th Oct, we headed to see some of the most impressive Mayan ruins in Mexico, at Palenque. We stayed in a hippy jungle commune thing called El Pachan, in a cabin. I awoke at about 4am to the loud roar of dinosaurs coming from the forest. Some say that the noise is howler monkeys but I’ve seen Jurassic Park. They were dinosaurs. The ruins are amazing – in the 50’s an archaeologist discovered the tomb of the Mayan leader Pakal by going into the Temple de los Inscripciones and through a network of tunnels inside it. Imagine that – real life Tomb Raider. Must have been exciting.

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