A 2000 Mile Round Trip starting in Cancun and going towards Mexico City
20.09.2009 - 01.10.2009 37 °C
It wasn’t a great start to my Mexico trip, I was meant to be getting into Cancun airport at 12.45 and meeting Tahnee at 4pm but when I turned up at 4.30am at Santa Domingo airport the flight was delayed for 3 hours which meant I missed connection. 14 hours of waiting at airports woop woop – it made me regret the decision of going clubbing the night before in DR – I left the club and went straight to the airport – not a good decision. Anyway I finally made it to Cancun – poor Tahnee she had been waiting 6 hours Im not complaining though, I will have to get used to this over the next year or so I bet!
We arrived at our hostel and the sensible thing would have been to sleep but no, we cracked open the duty free vodka and went for it. Now I think that im quite sensible, especially when I get in to a new country – I like to find my bearings. But nope, we left the hostel blind drunk to find a bar. I can honestly say I cannot remember a thing – apart from not being able to remember the name or location of our hostel, lol. The next day was not a good day for us – we were both suffering from upset stomachs ( a nice way of putting it) we were thinking it must have been the ice in the drinks – doh.
We went for a bit of an explore of Cancun that day – we headed towards the hotel zone which is where the beach is. It is low season at present in Mexico so everything was pretty quite in Cancun which suited me fine – didn’t really fancy an 18 -30’s style trip to Cancun. On this trip I want to get as much local transport as possible for we were bussing it everywhere which if you know me is a big achievement – I won’t even get buses in England. We headed for a walk down the beach and it was amasing – not quite on par with Nassua in the Bahamas but still pretty impressive.
One of the main reasons in coming to Cancun was we wanted a bit of party for my birthday – yep I am now 27! Doh – its going to fast. We decided to blow the budget for the day and go for a jungle tour as they call it – it was 2 hours on a jetski with 40 minutes snorkelling, it was an amasing experience, we took off through the lagoon and went out about four miles off the coast where our jetski decided to run out of Gas! It would have been scary but luckily the guy sorted us out. We tied up the jetskis to a buoy and went snorkelling. I have to say it was one of the highlights of my trip so far – we were miles offshore but only in about 15 – 20 feet of water. There was so many fish all around us – Tahnee reckoned she saw a sea turtle but I didn’t see it so I don’t really believe her ;-). The experience made me want to get to Honduras even quicker to get my diving qualification. I was getting stalked by to Barracudas which was pretty scary to be honest, especially when they go for your flippers!
It was good news on my birthday – Tahnee decided to extend her trip so she was now gonna hang around till I made it to Bolivia. I always wanted to do this trip on my own but Tahnee is pretty laid back – similar to myself so I couldn’t see any problems. After a very drunken night out for my birthday we heading to pick up our car for a 10 day road trip of Mexico covering 2000 miles. We were heading to Campeche, Puebla and Mexico City. We met some friends in the USA from Mexico so we were going to Puebla to stay with them. We headed towards Campeche but stopped in Chichen Itza to see the Mayan ruins – one of the new 7 wonders of the world – I can see why they call it that. People are no longer allowed to climb up it after someone feel a few years back which was really disappointing as I really wanted to go up – I was thinking about making a run for it but the guards with the assault rifles soon put that thought out of my head.
Before I go on, I just want to say we did no preparation for this road trip, we set out from Cancun with no maps and no accommodation booked – probably not the best idea but it made the trip a lot more interesting. We arrived in Campeche – its is a small historical town on the coast, no beach to speak of but it has a really nice centre with a cathedral. Our hostels balcony looked out right over the central square – such nice view – shame I couldn’t say the same about the hostel! The toilets and showers were disgusting – they stank and the cockroaches running around on the floor didn’t help – but hey I’m sure I will be staying in worse places in South America so I will get used to it. The next day we drove about 6 hours to Villahermosa through the coastal city of Cuidad Del Carmen. The coastal road was no where near as pretty as I expected but we saw so much of the Mexican culture and the way they live. One thing that we were not expecting on this tour is the amount of Army checkpoints. They were everywhere, we got pulled a few times but as they couldn’t understand our very broken Spanish they just waved us on our way. We were told not to travel at night in Mexico as the army checkpoints like to my tourists wallets a lot lighter.
We arrived at Villahermosa to spend the night in the hostel – we had the address but could we find it?? (there was only one in the city) nope. So after driving around for about two hours we gave up and went for a beer and some food. Its amasing that how after a few beers everything looks and feels alot better – so we stumbled upon this cheap hotel, used Spanish to book a room (they actually understood us, woo hoo). We met some Mexicans, so we decided to go and see them in Puebla, which is about 2 hours away from Mexico City. So we set off on our 7 hour journey to Puebla , again we turned up with no map and only a destination point – the Zocalo, it an historical market square. Now Puebla is a big city – I would guess the size of Manchester and I don’t know how but we found it.
We were staying at Dianas’ and we went out that night with Diana, Majari, Aldo and one of Dianas’ sisters., and what a night it was, we drove to Le Tigre a pretty cool bar where it was only $30 for a bottle of vodka! So naturally we bought two. Anyway to cut a long story short it was very messy! Majari was being very ill, and we had to get back with the car. I was in no state to drive so Dianas sister volunteered – now she had been drinking all night aswell but it still seemed like a better idea for her to drive. We got back and then found out she didn’t even have a license! Good old Mexico. I made a right idiot of myself that night, in my drunken state I needed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, slipped over in the bathroom and smashed the sink and ripped it off the wall good and proper – so embarrassing trying to explain that the next morning!
We saw all the sights the next day, we walked around the historical centre and visited the cathedral. It was a really good day and even funnier when Tahnee got accosted by two street performers in front of a hundred strong crowd. We needed a quiet one that night as the night before was starting to take its toll, so we all went bowling, where Manuel and Najari joined us which was good to see them again. We had a really good time in Puebla we really got to know the local life of Puebla and we would never have experienced that without our Mexican hosts. We had to leave the next day but went to see Aldo play football and played a bit of crazy golf. We had to visit Mexico City being as we had come that far, it is huge – took about an hour to get there and an hour to reach the centre. We found our hostel and had a pretty quiet night - the driving was beginning to catch up with us. It is amasingly cheap for beer in Mexico city, for a 1.2 litre of Corona it was costing about $2 – and thats in a bar – and it only gets cheaper from here!
The next morning we headed on a free tour of the city – I have to admit I’m not really into history but the tour was really interesting – we were taken to the plaza , the third biggest in the world . Did you know that Mexico City is the biggest city in the world with 22million people? I didn’t! Also the city is actually sinking as it was built on a lake, if you look around you can actually see the streets sinking in places and the buildings are sinking. We went to the national palace which has some amasing paintings on the walls and we learnt all about the history of the country. We met a couple of girls on the tour from Slovenia and all decided to go to Teotihuacan which was some more Mayan ruins – which is where the Pyramid of the sun and moon are located. They were impressive – not as pretty as Chichen Itza but we could climb up these. The view was great, although the climb was pretty tough. The locals were driving us crazy with the constant badgering to buy cheap crap – it wasn’t even good quality!
Now we were going to Honduras after Mexico so we started looking at how to get there. Flights were not an option as they were around $400 but I had heard about a ferry that leaves Belize on a Friday to Honduras but it only leaves once a week. The is also a big political battle going on in Honduras at the moment so it was not wise to travel through the capital – we have heard that there has been curfews and no one is allowed out after dark – but this is on the mainland – we hoped! So it made even more sense to stay along the coast. So we had 4 days to get to Placencia in Belize.
The drive back to Cancun was an experience – maybe not one I would like to do again, but definitely an experience. We drove 14 hours back to Campeche and then another six the following day. Once in Cancun it was a five hour coach trip to Chetumal – on the border of Mexico to Belize. We made it all that way and got told there was no more buses that day so we found a hostel and caught up on some sleep for our 5am wake up the next morning. Now the bus station had told us the bus leaves at 6am in the morning – so we arrived at 5.45 and yep, guess what there was a 6am bus but not from this station – if only they told us this the day before! So we got a taxi to the other station (which was actually a cafe) and then started our 4 hour chicken bus trip to Belize City.
Well thats the end of my Mexico trip – I have to say it was nothing that I had expected. Mexicans are one of the friendliest nationalities I have ever met! They were always willing to help and not once did I feel worried about my safety. There is loads of talk about Mexico being a dangerous country- don’t get me wrong, im sure certain places are but then so is England if you went to the wrong area. I would recommend a visit to anyone.
Right – next stop Honduras (with a brief visit in Belize)