I wanted to go see both Tolum and Coba. Tulum being the beautiful Mayan city by the sea. Coba being a less developed site, having not only the tallest remaining pyramid, but also one of the very last you can still climb.
Coba had to be disqualified because it’s almost as long a trip as Chichén Itzá. Tolum is much closer.
The decision at hand was, what would we do on Days Five and Six, with the knowledge that we had to catch the shuttle to our plan at 5:00AM on Day Seven. That meant that an exhausting Day Six could be problematic and we decided a day of rest at the hotel enjoying the “all inclusive” amenities might be best. At the same time, we felt we must go to Tolum before we left and it was too late to schedule it for Day Five.
We opted for the rest on Day Five and Tolum on Day Six.
Our first order of business this morning was to arrange the Tolum trip – hopefully one that wasn’t an all-day dog and pony show like the Chichén Itzá trip was. We were in luck, the travel agent in the resort had an “express” tour to Tolum that drove directly to Tolum, spent two hours on site – one hour as a guided tour, the other as free time to roam around. No meals, no stops, no high pressure souvenir sales and back no later than 3:00PM – perfect.
Amazingly, James ran into a friend from school at breakfast. The friend was going to be in the Kids Club all day and wanted James to join him. On reflection, perhaps we should have put the kids in the club all day, but instead we held off until after lunch. Later, dragging them out was difficult, even though the club was closing down.
Instead we waited until after lunch to send them to the club and in the interim we did what anybody would do on a beautiful sunny day at a resort with a beautiful white sand beach on the Caribbean – we sat in our room reading books. That we might be the most boring people on earth is not without some substantiating evidence.
After lunch and with kids safely in the kids club, Chuwan and I decided to head to the nearby shopping mall. With the layout of the hotel zone of Cancún, (there is only the one road) it’s almost impossible to get lost, as long as you know north and south, so bus travel is an easy and efficient means of transport. I packed up my computer and we caught the bus.
Soon, we had found the nearest (only) Starbucks and having ordered some tea I was now in possession of the magic wifi password. The reason it was important to have wifi is that I wanted to backup all the pictures I had taken on the trip so far.
I spent 45 minutes fighting with a wifi connection so ghastly slow that it couldn’t finish loading the page that you needed to logon to. Eventually, we gave up.
We were running low on pesos, so we decided to exchange more US currency at proper exchange rates rather than suffer the criminal exchange rates at the stores. It turns out you have to be carrying your US passports to exchange money, which, of course, were safely locked away in the hotel safe. It was a lesson learned, but it was too late to go back to the hotel and return to exchange the money. Similarly, we could have withdrawn money from a bank ATM using our debit cards and gotten the official exchange rate, but Chuwan refused to pay the off-bank service fee, so we went without much money.
We did stop at an OXXO market and grabbed some snacks for tomorrow’s trip to Tolum.
We grabbed the kids at afternoon closing time at the kids club and took them to the beach to play in the waves. I discovered that the water at the beach was so shallow, I would walk out, on sand, over 40 meters and still only be chest high in the water. Even Michelle could go out that far and keep her feet on the ground and head above water. We played in the water until the life guards ran everyone out at dusk.
Tonight’s fine dining experience was at the French restaurant, which does not allow children. There was a kids club for the evening, but tonight’s activity was karaoke, and Michelle refused to go just in case they played music by One Direction.
I took the kids for an early dinner and grabbed a plate of spaghetti and meat sauce for myself (I’m getting rather fond of their spaghetti and meat sauce.) just in case I wasn’t impressed with the French food on offer tonight. After dinner, the kids stayed in the room reading their kindles while Chuwan and I had our date. The food was fine and the company of my lovely wife was, as always, the highlight of my day.
Surprisingly long update for a day on which we did nothing.