“Travels to a Different Time” : March 2002: Cancun Mexico; Off to Chichen Itza and Tulum Again

This is third trip to Chichen Itza, the second time for Alexandra but Andrew’s first visit. The trip by bus with a guide will cost $300 CDN. The bus picked us up at the hotel at 08:30 and we arrived there some two and half hours later in steaming jungle heat. A few tawdry souvenir stands operated by aggressive vendors. One gets the impression tourists are nothing but a source of cash. One dollar only they holler! The highlight was the Temple of Kukulkan which I climbed up with Andrew and held his hand as we descended the narrow and steep stairs. One misjudgement and you are severely injured if not killed. This visit they have a rope you can hold going both up and down. It seems so easy climbing up but down is another story. There were a few terrified gringos inching downwards. Our guide left us an hour to wonder around so we saw the Temple of the Warriors. What remains unearthed in the jungle? The conquering Spaniards were not shy to remove stones from temples to build their colonial dream. We spent some 4 hours in the ruins which is about all us pasty gringos can tolerate in the blistering heat and humidity. A short trip on the bus to a tourist buffet serving mediocre food but like the last visit the Mayan turkey dish was excellent. Us tourists were treated to a traditional Mayan dance performance. I feel my gringoism is being rubbed in my face! In Europe you can disguise yourself somewhat but here in Mexico gringos stick out like a sore thumb. But putting pride aside tourism does create employment and revenue but what money ends up in the hands of poor Mexicans is questionable. Poor Alex and Andrew had tummy troubles the following day but thank God no Montezuma!

Off to Tulum again for a 47 km $32 taxi ride. As usual an absolutely stunning view of the coast with beautiful sandy beaches and turquoise ocean. My God there is now a Subway franchise at the gates of Tulum. The type of progress best ignored.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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