We all met in the lobby at 6:50am for taxis to the bus station. We arrived at Chichen itza around 10ish I think and already the tourist buses were stacking up. We all had to stash our backpacks in the luggage room as we were moving onto Playa del Carmen straight from the ruins on a different bus. Chichen Itza was double the price of other sites (98 pesos which is just under £5) because of its proximity to the tourist resorts of Cancun and PDC. I was a bit disapointed with the place. With the exception of El Castillo, the main pyramid, it was all fairly dull and just full of Americans tourist groups following guides aimlessly around the site. It was also very very hot, especially after the freezing cold bus! The Simones, Tres and I wandered around and took a few pics. They got bored and headed to the air con restaurant whilst I did a brisk walk for 30 more minutes around the rest of the site before joining them. Overall this place is not as good as Palenque which has the amazing jungle setting (and less fat yank tour groups).
After food we collected our bags and waited in the shade for the 2:15 bus which promptly arrived at 2:45. Then instead of arriving in PDC at 5pm it was after 6:30 before we reached our destination. It had been the worst journey yet as even though it was a first class bus it was that cold I thought I was coming down with hypothermia! We walked to the hotel, which again was decent, (except the pillows were the size of postage stamps) and got cleaned up before we all met again in the reception at 8:15pm. We walked into the town and we immediately disliked it. The gringos seem to outnumber the Mexicans by about 15 to 1. In fact the only Mexicans to be seen were the ones working in the shops and restaurants. A complete contrast to the colonial cities we had visited where the locals were everywhere. This place is tacky and really just an extension of America (or our equivalent of an Ibiza or Magaluf type resort). There is nothing remotely Mexican about the place. You can even pay in dollars in the shops!
We ate tacos in the street out of a converted combi van but even that was posh. We have found Mexico to be quite expensive anyway but I think this place will make the rest look like a bargain. After eating we walked past about 15 nightclubs in just one block and onto the beach but it was hard to notice anything other than the buildings lining the sand and the noise of the waves were drowned out by Mary j Blige pumping out of a nearby club! Still it could be worse - we could be in Cancun! Half of us headed back to the hotel for a drink in a cazebo type thing which was nice whilst the others got some beers and took them to the beach. We did notice some giant rat like things in the shadows of the hotel grounds but we suspected they were possums in the end.
Tomorrow is the last night as a group. This trip has been excellent - probably the best holiday we've had - but the group aspect has been a challenge we have never had before. We have travelled with people we have met on the road and remain close to most of them still but we have always travelled independently. Despite being as unconstrained as a tour could be and really only seeing the others when travelling or meals, it is different when 15 people travel together. Saying that we have made some really good friends.