The flight landed on schedule and our family got through the crowd of taxi drivers eagerly waiting by the arrivals exit. A small Dodge (with some suspicious Kia logos here and there) was collected from Hertz across the street, and off we went into the Mexican night. Around nine PM we drove into the parking lot at Acamaya Reef just south of Cancun. My younger brother with wife and two kids checked in to a small cabaña, my father got our roof top tent, and Malin and I pitched our mountain tent down on the beach.
It was great to wake up the next morning and walk 30 meters (100 ft) for a morning swim, especially for the folks coming over from Norway where the temperatures are still around 0 degrees C (32 F). Stayed on the beach for the full day (trying the get the other Norwegians acclimatized..), and then drove south the next day to find the house we rented over the internet. Exiting!
The road going south from Cancun is pretty boring. Fortunately we were lucky enough to have a few situations to break up the monotony… My brother in the rental car got pulled over by two cops on motorbikes that wanted to give him a ticket for driving on red at a light. We saw what happened in the rear view mirror, and I got out and ran back to explain to the guys that dollars was out of the question. They gave up after a little while when they realized that this wasn’t going to be easy money. It is kind of funny that they don’t seem to be interested in giving you a “proper” ticket at all. Could this be too much work for them, or what is the deal? Well, anyway, if you guys ever go to Mexico, please don’t have a twenty “ready”. This just makes the problem with corrupt police worse. It is actually really easy, just tell them “NO”! If you haven’t done anything wrong, that is….
We also had a flat on the rental car on our way south, but I guess this hardly qualifies for any excitement. At least we finally got to test out our new tire repair kit. First flat we’ve had in about 90 000 kilometers! And it wasn’t even on our car…
In Mahahual, almost at the border to Belize, we were approaching our rented home for the next 10 days. There was definitely some excitement in the air as we drove south along the coast from Mahahual. The house should be exactly 8,5 kilometers out of town. It looked promising. And we hit bull’s eye! “Casa del Cielo de las Estrellas” was fantastic!!
During our stay we had some trips into town for supplies and some restaurant visits. One evening we ran straight into the town's Carnival! A great experience!
Leaving Mahahual after the 10 days in the beach house was really sad. We’d had a really nice time there. Still, the sad part was quickly forgotten as new places and experiences came and went. In Bacalar we visited an old Spanish fort from the 17th century that was built in order to protect the city against pirates. In the old days it had been possible to sail from the ocean and all the way into the lagoon and to the town, but in later years storms have closed the opening so that it now is a crystal clear fresh water lagoon!
From Bacalar we drove north to Tulum and more beaches. The camp was set at Mariachi Beach, now with my brother and his wife in the roof top tent, the kids on a mattress in the back of the Patrol (with open back doors, mosquito net, and the annex in place), and then my father and us in two tents on the beach. It is actually possible to camp seven people out of a Nissan Patrol! (Even if it is some stress finding things as everything gets shuffled around all the time).
Alex, our eight year old nephew, had read up on the Chichen Itza ruins, and after all of us picking up a nasty sunburn in Tulum we headed north. Along the way we stopped at a cenote for a swim. It was kind of different to climb down into a cave before jumping in the water. Really cool place! I’ll try to find a photo and post.
Chichen Itza has some great ruins, and is one of the nicest restored maya ruins in the area. Unfortunately it is also packed with tourists as it is so close to Cancun. Prices are ridiculous and there are people all over the place trying to sell you plastic souvenirs.
Ahead of the crowds….
The last night before our family was flying home we were back in Cancun. Here we reorganized luggage and tried to get unused gear and stuff back to Norway. I think they took almost 60 kilos of our stuff back home.
The plane wasn’t leaving until eight thirty in the evening, so we jumped on a boat going out to Isla Mujeres for a few more hours on the beach.
We had a really nice time with our family on Yucatan. It has been a while now without seeing friends or family so this was a real treat. The camp was almost uncomfortably quiet the night they left…
And now it is again time to head south! Can we do 5 countries within one week???