we revisit our somewhat wet, but undaunted heroes, in a thunderstorm, just about to get on a bicycle. for two. with an umbrella, and pedalled by a mexican guy….
The rain soon stopped and we arrived at the big pyramid of Cobá. Unlike most other sites, you can climb over this, so we did, in our non PC, un ecologically friendly way. It was pretty steep, but at the top we could see views stretching for miles. Unfortunately, the miles after the first looked the same as the first, wet green jungle, but it was pretty otherworldly.
We then left Cobá, my indiana jones cravings satisfied… for now, and I drove expertly back to Playa del Carmen, and stuffed ourselves with cheap mexican food and beer. Gisela drank enough so that the thought of me driving to Chitzen Itza the next morning seemed like a good one, so that became the plan.
Next morning, we jumped on the new motorway. Accidentally, which was bad, because you have to pay a lot, and good because no one else was dumb enough to pay, so no other cars. We sped quickly to Chitzen Itza (3 hrs), squishing millions of bugs along the way.
Chitzen Itza is the “place of the wise men of the well”. It was once called the “place of the crazy butchers who sacrificed people into their dirty green pond for some stupid religious reasons” but that didnt catch on since people who called it that were chucked into the pond*
Chitzen Itza is a massive site, filled with impressive buildings. Its also filled with hundreds of our friends. I knew they were our friends by the way that each and every one of them called us “amigo” every time we got into ear shot. And then tried to sell us stuff. One, obviously our dearest friend, even offered us something that was “almost free”.
We navigated the city, saw the pyramids and carvings, the cenote (caved in dirty green pool where they chucked people), temples and the massive ball court. Its an amazing place, but it was bloody hot, and our enthusiasm ran out, and we were forced to follow the haunting call of cold beer.
After 2 days of extreme ruin visits, we were done. So we drove back, this time not on the toll road, which had pros and cons. Mostly cons. In the shape of topes, or judder bars in every place where people were living. Imagine 3 hours of judder bars on State Highway 1. Given our slow progress, it was inevitable we would be caught in the rain, and as I hurtled along in near zero visibility using my tried and tested “follow the biggest truck u can find and hope it goes ok” technique, Gisela expressed a few misgivings. She might have had a point after we passed a massive truck stuck in a pretty deep ditch. Or maybe not.
In a burst of enthusiasm, we decided to check out Cancun on the way back, which ended up to be a massive mistake, because we werent on the tourist route anymore, and so our vision of cancun is somewhat different from the majority of visitors, but probably pretty close to that of the mexicans who live there.
So that was the end of playa del carmen, we headed to mexico city for a night. Gisela was flying home the next morning, and I was heading to Cuba. I dashed out to get some cheap tacos for dinner, hurdling cars and busses that were whizzing about with enthusiasm. There were 2 taco choices, neither of which I recognised. “whats that?” I asked, pointing the first. “This” she replied, pointing to a nondescript and somewhat worse for wear chunk of some random animal that she was beating heartily with a blunt cleaver. “Uh, ok”, I said,”what about the other one?”. “This” she replied, pointing to the same chunk of animal. “Well, I think, uh, I will have the first!”. Good food and very cheap.
so now our heroes part company, gisela returns to face the gauntlet of LA and the difficulties of US immigration, while I quest onwards, to Cuba, land of cigars, communism and Che, which will undoubtedly further annoy US immigration.
* although this may appear somewhat fact like, it is in fact completely made up.