And so to Tulum. The land of the beautiful…I mean really beautiful. 10km of leggy models and wafting palms.
Coqui Coqui Coba, overlooking Coba lagoon, 30 mins inland from Tulum. Very Indiana Jones and quiet.
Coba ruins in the forest – for Angkor Wat’s Ta Prohm lovers. Altogether different to Cichen Itza.
And Chichen Itza – the most important Mayan complex of them all. Five days after the ‘End of the World’ it was looking pretty good. Exquisite alignment of building to shadow to planet. If you can ever coordinate a visit with a solstice, then do.
The MesoAmerican ball game court was of great interest: rather like racquetball, the rubber ball is to stay in play, no hands allowed. Going back to c1400BC the game resulted in a feast and fame for the winner, and sudden death for the losing side.
One of the region’s most attractive and unusual features are the ceynotes (not the Keynotes as my spellchecker is so keen to have me write!)
With over 2000 in the area these azure hollows are synced up all over the state. There are large, galleried ceynotes with tree roots tumbling through, to small, intimate apertures that you can swim in alone all day long. And then….there are the ones that lead somewhere, with well over 1000km of linked underwater passages.
I really couldn’t recommend this for anyone who winces at the thought of a trapped lift for just a few moments. It’s a dramatically different experience to open water diving. And just because you like exploring a coral reef, it won’t necessarily transfer to a cave, ‘tis a different beast.
The Temple of Doom is a stunning cave of stalagmites and contracting and dilating tunnels. I wasn’t so sure about taking the leap from solid terre into a black hole with water sitting quite so many metres below, but at this stage in time, fear wasn’t coming in. In this cave saltwater and freshwater meet, which results in a halocline, a beautifully trippy, blurry effect which is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. You have total control to drift in and out of it so you don’t miss the ‘scenery’.
A shout out to the International Cave Diving Association for their huge signs displaying the grim reaper looming over the fatality stats, strategically positioned right at the entrance to the caves, 20m underwater. But a responsible dive company will always brief you thoroughly and look out for your welfare. Amazing experience, great forms, heavenly colours. Better than Alton Towers.
Mezcal and dressage? A match made in heaven a la beer and football, champagne and polo, Pimms and boating.