KODAK PAGES 31-40
After a day or two more in Antigua I booked myself a shuttle to Panajachel. I have found Antigua to be a beautiful place to visit and wouldn’t mind seeing it again. I brought myself a pair of jeans while I was there to, aside from the top I brought earlier in the week. No cheaper place on earth to get them as Guatemala is one of the cheapest places to shop along with Bolivia.
The drive to Panajachel is interesting. We wind down into valleys and up the other side. There is a lot of cropping all the way. We go through several towns that don’t have a main street and they are dirt. How any tourist would find their way through, if they hired a car, I don’t really know. We seemed to wind and weave up and down and through and at times I wondered if we were going in a big circle. But, as always, we arrive at Panajachel, Lago Atitlan. A young English couple that had come in the same van as I were also staying at the same hostel. Finding it was easy and I did the usual, dumped my bags and went exploring. Lago Atitlan is beautiful also. I like Guatemala heaps. There are tuk tuks everywhere. Generally 3 people to a motorbike, with no helmets, and the faster they can go the better. Not for the pedestrian, of course, and you soon learn to watch it crossing the street! My wonder down to the lake became really interesting when I stopped at a stall that had some bright pink fruit. At the same time I am standing there an older English lady comes along and comments on the intense colour of them. The stall owner, a lovely lady who speaks excellent English, tells us the name (which I can’t remember) and we soon learn that they export the fruit to the Netherlands and they are used in cake decoration. She gave us a taste of them to. They look gorgeous but are totally tasteless. Yep, they are so bland that they don’t have a taste. The fact they are used in cake decoration makes sense. They would certainly make a fruit salad come alive.
Tonight I dine out again. Is so cheap and the hostel I am staying at doesn’t have cooking facilities but does provide breakfast. I’m sitting outside on the balcony at the restaurant when this boy of around 10years of age goes past with 3 goats. Obviously they have been grazing somewhere for the day and he’s heading home with them. I love the simplicity of life in South and Central America. I’m sure on day that I will end up living in a 3rd world country. I do appreciate everything that I had but love that fact that these people are not hung up on having the latest gizmo electronic thingy and the simple life is appealing to me. Yes, I know I am now on my laptop and have a website but the point of all this is to let you know that having all that crap in your life is not necessary in order to have a happy life. Besides these people get to see other people from all over the world. That’s another great thing about travelling. I get to meet them to. I feel I have the best of both worlds and love to tell others about it. Get travelling people. I mean, what is the point of making all that money and spending it on a new plasma TV or car. To me those things don’t matter anymore and I wouldn’t swap the experiences I have enjoyed for anything in the world, let alone a new TV. I have not seen TV for over 5 months now at this stage of my travels and it doesn’t worry me one little bit.
While I had been wondering about I booked a day boat trip on the lake and as I am in a hurry to finally see Tikal I book myself on a bus for 2 days time. I’m dying to get there. The evening is pleasant and there are quite a few hostellers to talk with. The couple that arrived with me are going back to Antigua and have agreed to return the hostel keys back there for me as I have forgotten to hand them in when I left early this morning. This is the first time I have forgotten to hand keys back. Thanks guys! The next morning is fine with it being hot and already a heat haze. I take a few photos before getting on the boat and heading off. As per usual it is not long before my batteries give up. Now this is really starting to piss me off as the night before I re-charged them. This has happened a few times so I figure for sure that the charger really doesn’t work and I do have the correct re-chargeable batteries. Damn thing!! Just have to get another one.
The day on the lake is great. I met Ann from Montreal and we immediately hit it off. Her husband works in Guatemala and she is here to see him and have an extended holiday. We pull in at a little village and disembark for a stroll around and we are given time to shop for soverneirs. Great little place. We spend about an hour here before heading to the next little village where we are to have lunch. The water is crystal clear. Just beautiful and so inviting. These villages have really steep streets as Lago Atitlan is an extinct volcano that blasted itself to pieces centuries ago and the crater is now, of course, the lake. You could take a horse ride up to the top of the cliff above the village to take photos if you wished. Really neat place.
After 1 ½ hours here for lunch break we head on to the next village. In this village they make the pottery that is known throughout the pottery world. Ann is on the hunt for a few pieces for her family. I head off up one of the steep streets for a view down on the village. Guatemala is stunning. After a short hike up and a sit down I go back and catch up with Ann. I buy myself a few little bits. It is annoying at times not to be able to buy some really great pieces of stuff but I am not going to risk trying to send them home but I’m still happy I have been able to see them. After this village its back home.
Ahhh, what can I say. If you head to Central America don’t miss Guatemala. The fresh food, the people, the place and another day wondering about, trying to talk Spanish and generally have a great look at everything I could pack in I got to bed early as tomorrow I have to be up at 6am to catch a shuttle into Guatemala City and connect to a bus to Flores. Flores is where you generally stay if you are going to visit Tikal, although there are hotels close to Tikal they are a tad expensive.
Next morning its up and I’m off. The shuttle van picks me up at my hostel and we actually end up going back through Antigua and pick up some more people then onto the City. Now if you are going to connect in Guatemala City tell your shuttle driver where you are going onto. As is the case in most Central and South American countries there is more than one bus station. I must travel on odd days or something as I am the only tourist on this bus to. The bus trip is ok but long. 10 hours later we roll into Flores. I haven’t booked accommodation for here and its only 5 minutes and I have a room in a hotel/hostel.
As there is plenty of daylight left I head off for a coffee and walk after booking that all important trip to Tikal for tomorrow. Flores is a busy bustling town with super friendly people but I must confess that I was to find out my bed was not friendly. Rock hard unfortunately but the only one I have come across at this stage. I am picked up again by a bus that has about 25 seats in it right outside my hotel. The service they provide for tourists in Guatemala I have not come across in any other country. Brilliant, just brilliant. It may sound like I’m raving on a bit but they sincerely love having tourists in this country. Maybe I will come back here and teach English or plumbing or building or sewing or …….Yep got to come back! Love it.
So I am finally off to Tikal. I have seen loads of pictures of Tikal and Chichen Itza and I have waited years to see it. From Flores it is an hour by bus. When you arrive there you can’t see anything of the pyramids because of the jungle but it is very far up the track before you see them. Wow. You can climb up them too. Kodak and I start off in Acropolis Central. There are 22 different areas to visit with names such as Complejo P, Templo V, Templo II, Placio do la Ventanas, Plaza Este... etc. It takes some considerable time to walk around this whole site and try to take it all in. Real fascinating to say the least. It is hard to describe and you have to imagine all the time just what it would have been like to live back in that day centuries ago.
Tikal became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Mayan world. Major monuments were built at Tikal and there is evidence that elite palaces were burned here also. Tikal has been dated back to the 4th century and was abandoned by the end of the 10th century. It is the best understood of any of the large lowland Maya cities, with the closest large modern settlements of Flores and Santa Elena, approximately 64 kilometres (40 mi) by road to the southwest. Tikal is approximately 303 kilometres (188 mi) north of Guatemala City and other Mayan sites include Uaxactun, Yaxha and Calakmul. Other sites related to this one are numerous and neighbouring Belize has several Mayan sites.
The city covers an area greater than 16 square kilometres (6.2 sq mi) and includes about 3000 structures. The area around Tikal has been declared as the Tikal National Park and the ruins lie among the tropical rainforests. For centuries this city was completely covered under jungle and one surprising thing to note is that Tikal had no water other than what was collected from rainwater and stored in ten reservoirs. The reliance on seasonal rainfall left Tikal vulnerable to prolonged drought, which is thought by some to have played a role in the Classic Maya Collapse. There are temples that tower over 70 metres (230 ft) high, large royal palaces in addition to a number of smaller pyramids, palaces, residences, administrative buildings, platforms and inscribed stone monuments. There is even a building which seemed to have been a jail, originally with wooden bars across the windows and doors. Kodak and I climb up Templo IV. We couldn’t go right to the top as there were workers doing restoration but ¾ of the way up allowed us views for miles.
We could see the top of the other taller pyramids poking up through the jungle canopy. I sat and watched and listened. You can hear the jungle creatures and birds. This is all I had imagined it to be and more. The noise of ancient children running about and playing started to drift up from down below. I had nearly dowsed off and had felt like I had drifted back in time. Amazing experience to put it mildly. I then spent about half an hour chatty to a lovely lady from Buenos Aires, Argentina. There are holiday makers from all walks of life and places. I have now been at the Tikal site for 4 ½ hours. It’s not hard to lose yourself here and the time flies by but I have to go otherwise if I miss my bus I will be stuck here for the night. Years ago people where allowed to sleep here on the pyramids until a tourist was attacked by a jaguar. I have so enjoyed see Tikal and it is yet another place that will forever be stuck in my mind.
I catch my bus back to Flores but just sit quietly with the sounds and site going through my mind. The feeling of how privileged I am to see all these place crosses me again as it has many times of my travels. Guatemala – invigorating, exhilarating, delightful, fascinating, intriguing, perfect just PERFECT!! If you wish to read more on Tikal go to Wikipedia.
Where the hell is Kodak going now? Belize. After a great night dining out and a good sleep Kodak and I are on the bus to Caye Caulker in Belize. It was yet another long bus trip and it was good to get to the border and hear English again. One thing that struck me as odd is the immigration man telling me that they didn’t get to many New Zealanders crossing this border into Belize. As kiwis love to travel I thought it a bit odd but maybe they take another route or go straight into Mexico. When I think about it I haven’t come across any more kiwis other than in Argentina.
From Belize City I catch a boat to Caye Caulker. The bus stop is opposite the boat terminal so that was real handy. Caye Caulker is beautiful with lovely white sand but wow is it ever so hot. Within 5 minutes of hitting there you are hit on by the local men. I just pushed them aside and head to my hostel to get rid of my bags, that seem extra heavy in the heat, and booking a snorkelling trip to the reef can wait. After a cool drink and a snack I hit the main street where all the tour operators are and book my day trip to the reef and start chatting with the locals. This is how I met Paul. He talked with an American accent as he used to live in the states. Paul and I still email each other to this day.
So I am off to the reef on a sail boat with about 20 other people. I love the Caribbean ocean. The water is so crystal clear. We anchor the boat and the guides start dropping bread into the water. We are in a spot they called ‘shark alley’. Next thing there are about 20 sharks fighting over the pieces of bread and then we are told to get in the water. Yeah right – do we look stupid? It turns out they are nurse sharks and don’t really have teeth and the name suits them. I held one. They lie back in your arms, belly up, and love it when people stroke them. God they fell funny like a sponge and they just love it. They have a sort of smile on their face the whole time. Another first for me, I have held a shark!
Alot of the reef was destroyed by a hurricane years ago but the area we are wasn’t hit so hard. Oh my god, the colours of the reef, the iridescent colours of the fish. They are like the man-made colours of felt tip pencils. So brilliant and shimmering from the sun’s rays. Lime green, blue, reds, orange – just every colour you could think up – purple, yellow. WOW and what made it great for me is that I am one of the small percentage of woman that is colour blind but it didn’t seem to make a difference here. (shopping for a certain colour jumper is a different story). There were schools of iridescent blue fish swimming everywhere and their bodies looked like miniature corrugated iron. They got so close that I and several others were able to run our fingers over them. What an experience. Marks out of 10 – ELEVEN!!!
After a great day on the reef I head for the shower, rest up and then head out for dinner. Not hard to find a place to eat as the main street, if you can call it that, is lined with spots to eat. The following day I catch up with Paul. He is living on the other part of the island. Why do I say other part? Well a few years back a hurricane went through and split the island. You used to be able to walk across at low tide but now the gap is considerable and you need to get a ride across. If you find yourself here and wish to get to the other side there is usually someone down at the split with a boat of some sort that will give you a ride over for a few dollars. The rest of the time everyone gets around on a bicycle or you can hire a golf buggy. I don’t really see the point of hiring a buggy as the island is so small and doesn’t take that long to walk from one end to the other. I spent the morning snorkelling again and the afternoon just relaxing.
I head out for dinner again and while I am sitting there enjoying my food I fell something on my foot. On looking down I see a bl….y crab. God did I get a fright. It was sitting right on top of my foot. How it got there before I even felt the little bugger. Needless to say I let out a scream and shook my foot like there was no tomorrow. I laughed afterwards but I absolutely hate creepy crawly things. After dinners excitement I went to the school. The kids were putting on a concert and the whole island turned out. There was a small fee to get in and they were certainly entertaining for a few hours. Great way for the island to get funds to keep going and a good way to end a carefree day.
The following morning is spent swimming and just lazing in the sun. The afternoon I headed to the other part of the island after getting a lift over the split. Paul and I head off for a look around. We go to where an area is being developed for a hotel. It has been cleared of trees but I must say it is a mess with stumps sticking up through the sand everywhere. Paul tells me it has been cleared for some time and he doesn’t know when they are actually going to start building. Boy they have some work to do in order to make the beach nice as they sure can’t leave all these broken off sharp stumps sticking up.
Anyway after a good wander around for a few hours I head back to the other side. On my way back down the street I have this big guy come up to me and ask if I want to go to a disco tonight. Ok I’m up for anything and I aint doing anything else tonight. After two more steps down the street I then get propositioned by another guy who suggests we could get stoned and sex it up all night. I think not! A few more steps and I get a pamphlet put in my hand. It is for ‘Commonwealth Day’. Oh talk about any excuse to have a piss up – (piss up= kiwi slang for let’s get drunk). This is not the first ‘lets get drunk tonight’ that I came across and on asking what all these different nights are for it turns out they are just for the hell of it. There was ‘Karaoke Night’, ‘Wet –T-shirt Night’, somebody’s birthday night where one and all are invited. There were other nights but I can’t think what they were but put your imagination to it and they have probably had that night to! At least it gives the tourists something to do.
So anyway I meet with Steve who has invited me to the disco. Its dark by now and I pay my $5 (locals don’t have to pay) and off we go. They scream along at a rate of knots in the boat with no lights. The disco is on the other part of the island (Paul’s side). Its only access is by boat and the whole bar and grounds are surrounded by a moat with crocodiles. Note to oneself – don’t get drunk, wander off and fall in the moat. Steve and I get drinks and head to the hammocks strung up under the trees. I don’t recall how long we were there but it was nice to relax and not have to think about doing anything. That’s got to be one of the best things about travelling – no commitments. Foot-loose and fancy free!!! Yes I have lots to be grateful for and I am. When you wish to head back to your hostel/hotel you just wander back to the jetty and they bring you back when you want. Good set up really. Don’t miss out on doing it if you find yourself on Caye Caulker.
After breakfast the next morning I head to the main jetty and buy tickets on to Ambergris Caye then get some laundry done. By now I have started referring to the main street as ‘running the gauntlet’. You can’t take two steps and one of the locals (mainly men) is in your face about whatever. This morning was no different. This guy comes out of nowhere and asks ‘Where have you been wifey’. He had this rather cheeky look about him so I decided to play along. The fact that several other tourists had heard him say this had something to do with it. ‘Where in god’s name have you been? You married me and 5 minutes later I saw you walking off with some blonde bimbo. What up with that? You didn’t even spend the wedding night with me’ By now of course there are a few more tourists pretending they aren’t listening and whispering amongst themselves and we are doing all we can not to burst out laughing. He then starts with a stutter ‘Well I I um well’ My reply- ‘Oh shut it! And what are you going to do about it. It better be good cos I am not happy right now’. He replies with ‘Ok meet me at 2pm and I will take you snorkelling out on the reef. Ok?’ ‘Ok I will meet you right here and don’t you dare be late’. As a parting shot and for the tourists I yell out when he was further down the street ‘That blonde best be gone by tonight or I will be kicking her pretty ass and yours’. Oh if I could only have taken a photo of some of the onlookers. The looks on their faces was priceless. I do love a good joke! The locals on this island have the most wicked sense of humour.
And if you are wondering – yes he did meet me at 2 and we also had an American lady and her son come with us. I am now a big fan of snorkelling on this reef. The reef is known as the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and is the 2nd largest in the world. The 2nd largest coral reef is located in the Yucatan waters near Mexico. If you ever get the chance to go here by all means go. It’s beautiful and exhilarating. I will be back!
Tonight I went to dinner with Paul and made the mistake of ordering pork. It wasn’t long after dinner that I had the most wicked stomach ache. I decided to crawl into bed early. The next morning I had a damned headache so took some panadol and climbed back into bed. No panic as I’m not catching the boat to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye until the afternoon thankfully. After a good sleep I get up around eleven and pack then head off for lunch.
Paul met me at the jetty around 1pm and we head to San Pedro. He has decided to come with me as he wants to catch up with friends on the island. He used to work there as a construction worker and is keen to try to get more work. Suits me as this means I have someone to show about the island. On getting there we book into Ruby’s hostel and hire a golf buggy and head south. We stop off at this inlet where some of the local boys will feed a crocodile a chicken if you pay them a few dollars. Why not aye, they are only trying to make a little money to help feed the family. Most kids on the islands do go to school but of course it is not enforced. You have to remember that Belize is 3rd world even though there $ is on par with the NZ$. This I think is because of their offshore banking. Yes, if you want to hide a little bit of money you can do it here.
We head further south and call in at a hotel complex. Paul catches up with one of his friends that works here and I get to see inside on the one units. (Huts as they call them) They are really nice. It turns out Paul had help building them and then did all the finishing off inside. He had done a great job with the tiling. I was impressed. There are 101 hotels to stay at on Ambergris Caye. Wow some of them are beautiful. They are more tourists on this island though, but that to be expected as it’s a bigger island and more populated. And more traffic. On Caye Caulker there where only about 3 vehicles. One was the trash truck and I can’t think what the other two were. Even the Police had a golf buggy or bicycle.
We met back north and catch up with more of Paul’s friends. Times are pretty tough and he is not having much luck when asking his mates if there are any jobs going. Anyway I got to have a good look around the island and take photos. There were quite a few homes for sale to. The temptation. We have dinner at one of the more reputable restaurants in San Pedro. The food was good and the service was excellent. No complaints and good prices to.
We went back to the hostel after dinner and sat out on the balcony talking for a few hours. I have to catch the boat to Corozal at 7pm. It leaves on the dot so if you miss it you have to wait for the afternoon boat. Not something I want to do as I don’t which to get into my next destination sometime in the night. It is so hot here and the hostel only has ceiling fans, no air-conditioning so I didn’t sleep to well, but I was wide awake at 5.30am. Paul wasn’t to be found so I showered and packed up the few bits I had pulled out of my backpack overnight. No sooner I had finished doing that Paul appeared with breakfast. Hot buns fresh out of the oven and a huge piping hot coffee. Yummmm! We hop on the golf buggy and head to the opposite side of the island. It’s not very wide and only takes a few minutes and we are on the jetty where my boat is waiting. Now it may sound like I haven’t done all that much with my time in Belize. We I have actually jammed in alot, made some more friends, snorkelled on 3 different days, seen 2 islands, got married and didn’t know it, gone to a disco, school concert and pretty much had to tell 50 locals my life story at their insistence.
Sadly I wave goodbye to Paul and head for Corozal on another beautiful day. There are about another 15 backpackers on the boat. So where is Kodak and my final destination for the day?
Our final destination today is to be Tulum in Mexico. We travel along at good speed and past heaps of islands that are just palm trees and nothing else. Half way into the journey we meet a boat coming from the opposite direction. This is where the drivers swap and head back to the point from which they left. It’s beautiful out here and peaceful as we don’t see a lot of other boats at all. It takes 3 hours to get to Corozal and we are met by taxi drivers at the jetty who will take us right through to the bus station in Chetumal, Mexico.
After a quick bite to eat and toilet stop we head to the border. There are 3 others with me and one of these guys is going all the way to Tulum also and staying at the same hostel. The border crossing is easy and the taxi driver is a dab hand at helping us fill in our immigration forms. I am now in the province of Quintana Roo, Mexico. All goes smoothly and we don’t even have to take our bags out to have them searched. This is a busy border with trucks lined up as far as you can see so they generally let the cars straight through after looking under them with a mirror on a pole.
I sat over the road from the bus station for a few hours and talked, ate and had coffee until our bus was due to leave. At the border I had also changed money. Something I’m glad I did as there is no money ATM at the bus station and I have no idea how far the station is from a shopping centre or the middle of the city but it seems to be in an isolated area and on leaving I was still none the wiser as to where in the city we actual were.
Mexico already feels different to Belize but maybe that’s because I’m back having to try speak Spanish again and let’s face it I have just left party island! Around 4pm sees me getting into Tulum. There’s an hours difference and by now I’m feeling rather tired but as soon as I got to the hostel, Lobo Inn, I dump my bags and head to the beach for a swim. I have about a 20 minute walk from where I am staying. Tonight I have dinner in Tulum which is about 3 kms away. The hostel owner has told us how to get a collectivo up town and back. You just stand out on the road and wait for one to come along and they cost you about 1/5th the price of a taxi. Brilliant and easy and they run between Tulum and Playa de Carmen all day. Most of the locals use them to get them to work and back as a lot of the locals work in the hotels and other tourist industries here.
There are plenty of backpackers staying at the hostel so everyone had a good catch up with where everyone had been on their travels before I hit the sack around midnight. Next morning I head to the Tulum Ruins. I have been told you can go down to the beach while at the ruins so I put my bikini on under my clothes and head for there with the intention of staying all day on the beach after having a look at the ruins. I spent 2 hours having a good wander around and reading all the plaques about the ruins. Very interesting to say the least and one heavenly spot to build them. Those turquoise waters are so inviting and warm just as they were in Belize.
Just over the road and around the corner not 200metres from where I am staying is a shopping complex and restaurants so I dined there tonight before returning to the hostel and chatting with 2 American guys and 2 Irish girls. All in all a good day.
I woke up several times during the night from having some really weird dreams so had breakfast and went back to sleep. Slept until 2pm. wasn’t expecting that but I hadn’t slept very well at all. So I got up and went shopping. Brought gifts for my kids and Mum before heading into town to get a much needed haircut and colour. By the time I had finished with all that and got back to the hostel it was dinner time again so I tried a different restaurant around the corner. I have learnt already that the Mayan people are the ones that all seem to be 5ft nothing and the men are built like brick sh.t houses and they still speak their Mayan language. Some of these men would make wicked hookers in the front row of an All Black scrum!!
Next morning at breakfast I start having a conversation with a guy from Hawaii. He is heading to Belize for fishing. Others from the hostel are from Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Spain. Great mix of people. After talking all morning and filling people in on South America and the things not to miss, as that is where they are all headed, I head once more to the beach for the afternoon. I am determined to get as brown as possible before leaving here.
On my wander back from the beach I put my head in at this hotel bar (El Crucero) to get a bottle of water and get greeted with ‘hello good-looking, going to join us?’ Well that was Duncan from Canada and why not have a beer instead, so I sit down and start yet again explaining who I am and where I’m from and where I’m going. An American couple, Mark and Sharon own the hotel and Duncan is buying them out over a period of 5 years. There’s Kiwi from NZ who works at a diving business, Jamie and Budgie from England, James from USA, the live entertainment, Pete from Australia who is leaving in a few days after having lived there for a few years and Jesus the bartender who I immediately took a shine to. There is of course a multitude of other people from different parts of the world there.
What a night! Talking, James singing – and what an array of songs – everyone else singing, drinking and laughing, and a great fun time was had by all!! Duncan has a double room to himself (2double beds in the one room) and offers to let me stay in his room at no cost. I say I will think about the offer and thanks. Finally at 2am I call it a night and stagger back across the road in my own little happy drunk world. Oh I haven’t been drunk like this in a long time.
I throw back my sheet the next morning and holy sh.t. I catch a glimpse of my legs from the knees down. They are covered in red spots. Hundreds of red spots. Something has had a munch at me but it’s not itchy. I get up for breakfast and while there I ask the hostel owner what he thinks these spots might be. Wow, he went into a panic. They are from bed mites! This is the first time I have come across bed mites on anyone let alone myself. My bed is promptly pulled outside and sprayed down. With that I have made up my mind and head for the El Crucero to take Duncan up on his offer. Let’s face it who wouldn’t.
Now I am not a person that believes in coincidences but what I find out on my first night at the El Crucero makes the spiritual side of me take notice. Paul in Belize is an Aquarius like me, Duncan is Aquarius, Sharon is Aquarius and had lost a son many years ago. His name was Travis, my sons name is Travis. Yes all Aquarians automatically are attracted to each other and get on great, but I have known this for years. That however was not the last time the spirit in me was to take notice.
The weather has turned a little on me today so I decide to spend the day in a hammock and start writing a book about my travels. This is that book. After much thought well over a year later I decide an easier way to write about it all is to do a website. So I start putting pen to paper and got a lot done. It’s hot and sweaty and come dusk everyone heads for the mosquito repellent.
Tonight is party night again. James and Jesus entertain everyone with singing. Jesus used to be in a band and plays electric acoustic guitar and sings like Axel Rose. Oh does he sound so like him. I have no idea what time I get to bed but it’s late and I was drunk yet again. I have now found ‘party hotel’!
Next day weather is still bad with a bit of drizzle so I spend the day writing again. Tonight kicks off being the same with singing, talking, drinking and generally take the mickey out of each other. At 2 am James, Jesus and I head to a night club over the road behind the hostel that I was at. James wants to catch up with Janelle who periodically signs at the bar with him. Only thing is it’s not a night club, it’s a strip club. Hmmmm. Think I will sit with my back to the girls as I have no need to see that. After James caught up with her he heads back to the hotel and Jesus and I get a taxi into town and find another watering hole. Jesus is going to take me snorkelling at Grand Cenote tomorrow.
After getting to bed at 5pm and drunk again I didn’t rise until 11am. Jesus and I hitch a ride to Grand Cenote. This is the first time I have seen a cenote. Wow ! The water is so clear that looking at a diver that’s down 30ft you swear they are only 5ft down. I have never seen water so clear. And the water in them is cool. It doesn’t take long snorkelling and I have to get out as I’m getting cold. It’s wonderful though. Another first on my trip – I have snorkelled in a cenote in Mexico. With each new activity I do I cross it off my list and it leaves me thinking what next can I do that is going to top this? I don’t know, but I can’t wait to find out. Bring it on!!! I had set out in my mind places I wanted to go and activities I wanted to do. One thing I do know is I still don’t like iguanas, lizards, frogs and especially snakes and will not be doing anything that involves them.
While sitting at breakfast this morning I notice humming birds that come to this certain tree. God they are so small. Blue in colour and only slightly bigger than the ones I saw in Nazca in Peru which were black and that I first thought were bumblebees. They are so cute and so quiet and quick. I could watch them for hours flitting from one flower to the next. Don’t we just have some marvellous little creatures out there in nature?
Today Duncan and I head into town. Earlier in the week I had purchased postcards so it was time to post them and Duncan needed to get laundry done. It’s stinking hot again and later in the day I was informed it was 44degrees Celsius. No wonder I’m going through water like it’s going out of fashion. (Apart from the fact that I have been drinking alcohol like there’s no tomorrow).
Afternoon, yep lets head to the beach again. 4 ½ glorious hours in the sun and swimming. There are vendors plying the beach with cold drinks and you can get a massage to. They have it all set up on tables under the trees. Think I will be staying here longer than I intended. If you wish you can even hire a snorkel, goggles and flippers and swim out to the reef. This is a great place to be. No need to get a boat to the reef here. I can see why this place is popular with tourists and the locals to.
On getting back to the hotel James tells us he is heading to South Africa and his girlfriend from Houston is in Cancun and heading down to Tulum tomorrow so we will be having a farewell party for him tomorrow night. Sounds good to me but I have to get through tonight first. Of course with him letting everyone know this, we have to have a warm-up night don’t we. So tonight is party night again. I have stopped thinking about what time I am getting to bed and still have no idea what day of the week it is. This is how I have pretty much taken the whole trip, only seeing what day of the week it is if I have a flight to catch. At this stage I know that I have to fly out of Mexico City in 2 ½ weeks time, or there abouts.
Now I have also known since staying at the hotel that there is a friendly, cheeky, male spirit amongst us. This morning this spirit brushed his hand across my lap while I was eating. I instinctively looked down and on not seeing anything knew what it was. I just sat there smiling to myself. It was not the first time I had felt a presence but this time he really let me know undoubtedly that he was there. 10 minutes later the girl sitting at the next table with her boyfriend pushes back a bit on her chair and says ‘Damn cat’. Her boyfriend looks under the table and says ‘No, it’s not the cat. I saw it go away a few minutes ago and no he isn’t under here’. (The hotel does have a cat). I sit there still grinning to myself and thinking you cheeky bugger. Likes the ladies aye.
After another good day in the sun and the tan coming along nicely I get back, shower, have dinner and wait for the party to get under way. I meet Angie, James’ girlfriend, there is Lars from Norway, Shawn and Amy from Canada, Duncan, Sharon, Mark, Jamie, Budgie, Judy and travellers from Italy, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. Let’s get this party started!!!
Well as the song goes – Oh what a night…..that had to be one of the best parties I have been to. But what made it so special was the photo that Angie took of me. Everyone is happily snapping photos of everyone else and Angie got out her camera to take one of me. She lined it up, took the photo then had a look to see how it had come out as we all tend to do. ‘Holy shit, oh my god, look at this’. She is nearly in a panic. ‘Oh this is really scary’. I get up to have a look. Oh this is so cool. She has captured the spirit person on film. Meanwhile she is saying to me ‘doesn’t this scare you at all’ ‘Well no, I have been waiting for years to get a photo like this. Are you kidding, this is great’. In fact there are hundreds of people out there in the world who would love to get a photograph like mine. Its posted below – what do you think?? Remember that spirit people hardly ever come out as a picture of a person, more like a bright light which this one has. There was definitely nothing there when she was taking the photo like cigarette smoke. Everyone was gobsmacked! I love this photo.
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