Baisden Visits Mexico (July) –
‘A distance away from the World’
Thanks for coming back to read more of my travels, this blog is about my travels to Mexico where I made base in Cancun.
My first thought into booking Mexico was one of a thirst, to try visit somewhere different that I hadn’t heard much about. The Antient Ruins of Mexico and Antient sinkholes that had attracted tourist for so many years would certainly be an interesting sight for London lad such as myself.
From Gatwick Airport I set out on a 10 hour flight that seemed to pass by relatively quick due to the good selection of films on the plane. July is one of the hottest months of the year for Cancun. Daily averages fluctuate between 28°C/82°F and 29°C/84°C for the entire month. There was only one day of rain despite it being said to also be hurricane season, what an extreme change!?
After settling down in a beautiful hotel overlooking the crystal blue sea, I genuinely felt relaxed and excited about the next few days. A big question I had in my mind was ‘how was the food going to taste’, I prayed to god it would be better than the food you find at Chimichanga’s or Wahaca in Westfield.
I went on the prowl for some real authentic dishes, perhaps from a local or someone’s mother.
Something I had never tasted before and would remember forever. I found that the Menus and choices of food were very commercial In Cancun due to the high tourist population, a lot of Burritos, enchiladas and taco’s. If I was to find something unique I would have to travel out of the City to something rural.
I spoke to a few locals and travel reps hoping they would get me a good deal on a different adventure every day. The first thing on my list was to visit the Antient Mayan temple of the Chich’en Itz’a. The Cenote Sinkhole and antient Mayan Villages and City Ruins.
By the third day after doing abit of sun bathing, eating and swimming I felt it was time to head out by Bus. The Journey would take us exactly 2 hours on the main roads so plenty of water and sun protection was advised. Me being me, wore a vest and forgot to take sun screen; I was peeling by the end of the day… Anyway! We had arrived in ‘Yucatán, Mexico’ and you really started to see the difference in the way the locals lived.
There was no 5 star hotels out here, no restaurants as I had hoped, no swimming pools or fancy cars.
Literally everyone was either sat outside there small cement and wood made homes or trying to sell you something. I felt sorry for some of the locals who stared expressionlessly at me but still respected the hustle of their craft.
I bought a few trinkets such as keyrings, ceramic masks and t shirts for family back home as the costs were next to nothing.
The first stop was the Cenote Sinkhole. To visit a cenote is to travel to another world, where you can feel a sense of peace, in harmony with the nature around you. The guides emphasised the fact that the water is holy and heals all sins and wounds… I was nervous I might pee in the water and dishonour the gods to be honest. They told us that ‘there are about 8,000 cenotes distributed throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, Many are believed to be interconnected by massive cave systems that eventually lead to the sea’.
Cenotes were for the Maya sacred places of life and death, as their source of water and as the gateway to the underworld. They called them Dzonot, which means “Cave with water”.
After putting on my lifejacket I stood back as everyone jumped head first, summersaulted and dived into this emerald Green water. I’m a little sceptical and watch a lot of sci fi movies so I’m never the first to dive into Antient holy waters, have you seen the film ‘Alien vs Predator?’.
After 15 minutes I built the courage to jump in, I ended up rejumping about 3 times for the adrenaline rush. I saw hundreds of black, gold and white fish swimming around my feet, not even flinching to my kicking.
Next we made our way to the ‘The Maya Ruins’; the history behind the temples and the sacrifices and religious ceremonies held at Chichén Itzá are incredibly different from temples and religious beliefs in Asian. Remember when I mentioned the Film ‘Alien vs Predator’ earlier, this was literally the same place the film was based on and looked incredible.
I love learning new things and definitely found the time to read most Info boards even with the massing of hundreds of European tourists with Umbrellas around me.
I’m thankful that I sucked it up and tottered around the grounds learning about theories and history surrounding Chichén Itzá. As the guides explained the ritual sacrifices that took place at the various temples at Chichén Itzá.
I finally reached the Main temple were I just had to get the perfect selfie, even with my burning shoulders and nose tip. The size and steep of the Ancient temple were truly overwhelming, I now felt like the journey couldn’t go any better and nothing could ruin my experience.
Once travelling back to hotel and passing out from exhaustion, I nursed my sun burnt body and relaxed for the new few days. We travelled into the city to find the marketplaces, food stores and clubs. Compared to Thailand; Cancun felt very Birmingham-ish. It was literally one strip that ran roughly half a mile with clubs, bars and standard American diner or Chinese restaurants. I didn’t expect to see anything amazing but I’m more about the adventure more than the comfort of home.
All the locals kept advising me to go to this club called ‘Coco Bongo’. They stressed it was a wild night out, full of crazy people, good music and sexy women. So… we booked a ticket for that evening, “It cant be that bad” I said?... wrong!
The club was an eccentric, boasty, Classical, Moulin rouge type of affair which I happen to detest back home. I’m not a huge fan of the modern musicals or cheesy stage performances in Theatres, but often find myself being dragged to them by my Musical theatre obsessed family in London.
In all fairness, to the right person that night could have been extremely entertaining, from pole dancers, clowns, acrobats, animals, stage dancers and signers. I found myself trapped in the middle of my worst nightmare.
The local amenities and entertainment were enough to keep me sustained till the end of the vacation. I found myself snorkelling, Jet Skiing, Go Karting, Getting fit in the hotel gym and driving a Boat. I felt at peace once again and happy to be away from the hustle and bustle of City life.
Mexico is somewhere I must visit again and perhaps head to a different city if I am to really experience that rural, authentic vibe I searched for. Trips to antient cities and temples were amazing but I was still to taste the true flavour of South America. Next stop Cuba 2017!