misslizzers (misslizzers) wrote,

Mexico Part IV: You could feed him, but you don't CHave the balls

We ended our trip in the tropical paradise of Tulum.  We stayed at Cabanas Copal.  Our little hut was a 2-minute walk from the beach.  The huts have poured concrete floors with walls of upright sticks and palapa roofs.  In the center of the room is a king size bed with mosquito netting, and off the bedroom is the bathroom with a skylight.  There's no electricity, so the rooms are candlelit, and all of the furniture looks to be made from local materials.  It felt like a little romantic treehouse.


We spent many happy hours on the beach, swimming, drinking wine and reading books about the art of political protest; a loveable autistic boy who lost his father on 9/11; a kid who gets stuck on a lifeboat with zoo animals; sex and violence in turn-of-the-century America; and a boy and his father struggling to live in a post-apocalyptic nightmare world.*  We also laid out on a hanging beach bed at night and looked at the kabillion stars you could see out over the ocean.  And on our last day I got sunburned and then completely shitfaced at the little bar on the beach, where I decided that after half a bottle of wine I was more than capable of pulling my weight if we ordered the "bucked of beer."  

We were there for the better part of four days and we accomplished a lot without ever feeling rushed.  On our second day we snorkeled in the Gran Cenote, which is gorgeous.  It's a big cave filled with clear freshwater, full of limestone formations.  There are loads of fish and I saw a turtle.  My favorite thing to do was to swim into the dark and then turn around to see the sun slicing through the water.  You could also watch the scuba divers as they lit up the bottom of the cave with their flashlights.  You can see all the way to the bottom and I felt like a ghost, floating 30 feet up.  It was amazing.

The third day we went to Coba which is one of the least developed sets of ruins.  You can still climb all over most of them, which is great.  There are apparently 6,500 *unburied* ruins in addition to the ones they've excavated.  The place is huge and overgrown with jungle.  Exciting to think that it could be noticeably different in a few years.  My primary reason for going there was to climb the highest tower, since you can no longer climb El Castillo at Chichen Itza.  I had a mild panic attack at the top, mostly in fear of watching someone else fall and break every bone in his body - it's incredibly steep, and you can gain a whole lot of momentum in 125 feet of rolling.  So I stalled awhile at the top and found a bunch of bats sleeping in the room at the top - all the Amerikids we told were very impressed.  And going down wasn't nearly as bad as anticipated; I did climb the tower at Chichen Itza years ago and that was terrifying because there was no rope and the steps were renovated and smooth.  At Coba there is a rope which I didn't need because the steps were pretty eroded and good for traction.

The most kick-ass thing we saw was outside of the ruins themselves.  Along the road on the way to the bus station there were kids feeding crocodiles for tips.  I'll wait for that to sink in.

On one end of that string is a piece of raw chicken with a crocodile attached to it.  On the end you can't see is a little girl in a pink dress.  If you gave her a tip she would toss out the chicken string, let the croc gnaw on it a bit, then yank it back.  The string was maybe twice the length of the crocodile.  And I have heard they are very fast.  Apparently that doesn't phase this badass professional crocodile-feeder:

On our last day we went in the morning to see the local ruins, which are right on the beach in Tulum.  It was a gorgeous day; sun shining, waves crashing, iguanas crawling.  It was really difficult to head for home.


*Liz & Phil's questionable suggestions for beach reading: Disobedience and Democracy, by Howard Zinn; Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Saffran Foer; The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel; Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow; The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.

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