Mel and Stu missing you
Had a horrible night in the dorm in Tulum because it was sooo hot and there was a killer fan about a foot from our bunk bed. Nonetheless the next morning we packed ourselves up and went down to the beach where we were to find the Tulum Mayan ruins, a fortress built right into the coastline. Most enjoyed was the swim in the crystal Caribbean waters. Once back in town we got on the first bus up the coast to Playa de Carmen, where a lengthy search brought us to another hostel opposite a Walmart much to Mel's delight. This stretch of Mexico is very much the Riviera for Americans, a very beautiful town with prices to match! Mel found a necklace similar to the one stolen so is happy. Hostel Playa is nice and clean with lots of communal areas so we are self-catering this bit of our trip (from Walmart!). However the door of our hostel broke and Stu was trapped outside in just a sarong and Mel was inside, so had to rescue herself by climbing out the window! Have found nice stuffed pastry things from Walmart for about 15p so are enjoying those. We went to Xcaret, which was very expensive, but Mel reckons it was worth the money twice over! Xcaret is a natural park including an aquarium Zoo, water rides butterfly sanctuary and an evening show, like a natural version of Disneyland. Stu wanted to call it Disneyland without the funny hats but then the native Mayan dancers came out... We saw lots of turtles and baby turtles, manetees, sharks, dolphins, tapirs, flamingos and the papantula flyers, who spin 13 times down from a wooden pole -very exciting! We got to ride a tranquil river raft, see a very colourful cemertary and flow down 2000ft of river through natural caves - the snorkels were a bit unnecessary though as there wasn't much aquatic life in them! After a relaxing hour by the sea the rain clouds arrived and we took ourselves off to the giant theatre for the closing 2 hour long show. We were all given candles to hold and were shown Mayan traditions like Bumball (played a bit like Volleyball but with no net and only being allowed to hit the ball with your bum having to score through a vertical hoop) and the more extreme Fireball (basically Hockey but the ball was on fire - foot fouls were a lot more costly in this game!). The Spanish then invaded and conquered the Mayans, and to celebrate this mix of cultures there was a Mexican carnival with a sea creatures theme. Then each of the Mexican states performed a traditional dance, with some very popular songs apparently with the crowd. Then out came two men with a lasoo dance which was very crowd pleasing, and then a song which brought out spontaneous hankerchief waving! Managed to con a taxi home, but got dropped off in the downpour and were both very wet on arrival at our hostel. Mel then slipped over and split the skin on her elbow, so we got to do some first aid. Today has been spent relaxing in town and by the beach. Can't believe we fly out in 3 days time!