Saturday, August 26, 2017

RTW #6 Mexico

Unwelcoming Mexican Immigration
Arriving in Cancun, it wasn't as hospitable as I was expecting it. I just been to Brazil and Colombia, so I was thinking maybe Mexicans area really nice. But my first impression was a disaster. Immigration held me up for questioning why I am going to Mexico and being Australian and not holding another local ID for them was an anomaly. And being born in Philippines raised questions why I am travelling the world. It was really frustrating. Later I realised that the reason the immigration officer was so hard on me, is that she wanted to know how I was naturalised and perhaps she was looking after her personal interest in obtaining a foreign citizenship. Then, I rest my case..

Too Unsettling, Restless in Cancun
Perhaps after the grueling experience with immigration I was too exhausted and I didn't even mind the currency conversion the lady gave me. Luckily, my Colombian friend from the plane helped me get a best deal. The Mexican lady apparently gave me really bad rate and was taking the opportunity because I look like I really didn't care. When we exited the airport, a rush of steamy humid hot temperature took its place and I was sweating profusely. To add to the horror, my airport transfer is nowhere in sight. I went back inside and said my goodbye's to Mauricio and thank him again for being there when I need help. He still insisted on seeing me to my accommodation but I respectfully declined and told him he needed to meet his friends, as I am sure they are waiting.

I had to ring up the hotel and send someone in to pick me up. It is so near yet so far. The ride is like 6 minutes but the route is crazy at night that it is impossible to walk it of given the heat. Once I arrived, I saw nearby service station with Burger King and Subway, which would be my official food for my one-day stay in Mexico. I have to go back maybe in MXN just to have my authentic tacos, burrito, quesadilla and the like. Anyway, I only slept 3 hours and paying for full service hotel. It was such a waste. The tour driver picked me up at 4am and I had 5 minutes to rush pack my things, checkout. Without taking a bath. To think it is too humid during the day. This is not a vacation but more of survival.

Chichen Itza and the Mayan Ruins
Our driver had to go to an official Chichen Itza tours and transfer everyone to a bigger bus. By the time we got everyone, it was already 6 in the morning. We drove for 2-3 hours and the best thing here is that we were the first ones to arrive. I went running to the bathroom to do my morning routine so at least I am comfy when I start the tour. But still, humidity peaks as it went to noon. I was so exhausted in the sweltering heat. It was such a bad idea that I did not take shower the night before. I should have!!! I felt uneasy but luckiliy it didn't show on the pic. Who can smell me in photos, right? Poor Holland girl sitting next to me, I hope I don't stink.

The tour comes with an english speaking guide. I did listen to most of the stories how Chichen Itza was used to tell Mayans about the time, date, rituals they do. Their beliefs are all incorporated in the ruins we saw. It is so mesmerizing how astronomy plays such an excellent role in all aspects of Mayan lifestyle. When they do harvest... They believe in various gods, fertile harvest, sun god, war, etc. At some point I had to split out from the group. It was too sunny and humid. I have to seek shelter in the shade. The pace was so slow that I felt bit bored. So I did my own tour and was able to see a lot of places. And also to charge my phone.

If only I stayed in Cancun longer..
Overall, I think that it is best if you drive in Cancun. So you can maximise what you want to see. An hour in Chichen Itza should be enough. Then you can go to Tulum for another hour. And the rest should be spent in the beautiful beaches. So many to see. The night life is another thing! I wish I could have done that.

I talked to my tour driver and sat in front of the van. I asked him if he can take me to the beach. Later, it was like he was touring me privately together with his two kids. His name is Alberto Jose. He was really happy to show me around. He gave me 10 minutes to feel the beach sand and take photos of the famous sign where it says 'Cancun'. It is called 'Playa Delfines'. I thought I can stay longer but I worked out that it would be tough to get public transport given that it is Sunday so I decided to just kill time in the Airport. In a comfort of a lounge. And by the way I got my business class upgrade so I stayed there and took my deserved shower! Finally.

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