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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Hola Mexico

Arrived into a very warm Cancun which was much appreciated after the cool and wet weather in San Fran. Unfortunately Ben´s bag did not arrive with us. He was left with hiking boots, thick jeans and a thick jumper, perfect for 35 degree heat. We settled into Mexico with great street food and a wander about.

Church on the square in Valladolid

We met some great French girls and travelled with them to Valladolid. Spent the next few days exploring beautiful old Mexican towns and swimming/jumping into amazing underground sinkholes called cenotes. The legends of cenote monsters were fortunately unfounded and we survived.

Cenote number 1

Onwards to Merida were we met a lovely group who would be our travel buddies for the next week. Plenty of cold cervezas (beer) and exploring the local area.

Travel Buddies

Took a trip on an abandoned railway on carts pulled by horses, Down old rickety ladders into darkness to swim in more cenotes. Amazing day. In an attempt to get over my fear of falling I took the plunge quite literally, still not ready for a bungy though. Merida is such a beautiful city and were shown round by a local who took us to a traditional salsa club, having done a lesson that evening we were keen to try out some steps, Hummmmmm more difficult than it looks.

Entrance to cenote!

Worth the dodgy climb!

Chichen Itza for a day trip, very impressive but slightly ruined by the fact everything is roped off now as an American sued the Mexican tourist board as she fell off and hurt herself, doesn't take a genius to realise that climbing acient crumbling ruins is not exactly safe.

Chichen Itza

 Palenque was next, off to amazing Mayan ruins enveloped in the jungle. Excellent tour guide who let us sample live termites that tasted like peanuts, satisfyingly crunchy!! Our favourite Mayan ruins so far. Chilled out in the jungle in the middle of no where, enjoying listening to the wildlife and experiencing the spiders,  lizards and glow worms up close and personal.

Kings Temple

Mother´s Temple

Agua Azul was stunning, sulphur in the water has petrefied the rock so you can see endless waterfalls. Beautiful for swimming and chilling out.

View from the lower section of Aqua Azul

Up into the mountains of San Christobel, where we took a very fast trip through canyon. The views were amazing but we manage to leave the battery for the camera charging back at the hostel! iPhone photos don't quite do the area justice. We also took a cultural tour through some rural villages and this time we had the camera complete with battery! Unfortunately the locals are a little against photography and in some cases it's actually against the law. If you take a photo inside the church you will go straight to prison (no joke!). We were fortunate enough to take the tour on a festival day and witnessed the rather strange act of chicken sacrifice and coke belching used to dispel evil spirits. Beautiful church filled with fresh pine needles and hundreds of candles.

Chicken´s Beware!

Not so camera shy (for a fee!)

We took another trip to a Mayan medicine museum where gem learnt some new midwifery techniques involving axes, chickens and eggs. Not sure whether it'll catch on!

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