Mexico part II, Don’t Stop Belizin’

It turned out five days in Mexico City really isn’t enough, it’s way too big to be done thoroughly in that time. That said, given the interesting few days of dealing with a robbery, the dodgy folk at the Hostel and chasing a police report for insurance reasons, I was pretty keen to move on.

I wound up flying straight to Cancun to spend a couple days there soaking up the sun, surf and sand. The water is a brilliant blue and for a time of year that is getting pretty cold in the States and Canada, it was especially warm and inviting.

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Cancun itself wasn’t anything special, I’d liken it to the Gold Coast. It’s full of tourists and the beach is lined with hotel after hotel. All in all, not a terrible place, but not the Mexico I was hoping to discover so I considered my options.

Cuba was high on my list but for the length of time I could spend there it was working out way too expensive. Instead I hopped on a bus and headed for Tulum, a small coastal town on the Yucatan Peninsula with some Mayan ruins. The town itself is a fairly unimpressive town with pothole riddled, barely sealed roads. I’m told the place is beginning to expand and in the past couple of years development has been strong with the increase in tourist dollars to the area.

I believe there are some larger and more impressive ruins locally and slightly further inland, but I made my way to the ones by the sea. On a perfect day such as that, the scenery is incredible, and there’s loads of interesting wildlife hanging out in the area.

Admit it, you’re jealous

Iguana

Still not sure what this thing is. Apparently it’s related to raccoons, but looked a little like a monkey

Having a chat to some guy at a hostel, he highly recommended San Pedro in Belize, and seeing this as an opportunity to clock up another country I seized it. Exiting immigration in Mexico was pretty funny and quite probably dodgy, with a “you pay exit fee, go to central bank down the road and pay there… or you can pay me here and you don’t need to pay the entry fee when you come back.” Not dodgy at all.

The Mexican customs guys also take their job pretty seriously, rocking up to the dock, heavily armed with machine guns and sniffer dogs in tow. It’s pretty intimidating, and I assume that is pretty much the whole point.

A 45 minute speed boat trip later and we arrive at San Pedro, Belize. It’s the least intimidating customs facility I’ve ever encountered, quite literally a shack.

I went into it without much research an assumed I’d wind up spending a few days just swimming around, eating cheap food and drinking cheap beer. Also I was unprepared for the fact that the place has few locals and a lot of American immigrants. Turns out there wasn’t much swimming to be had (muddy beaches one side, cayman [or alligator?] infested mangroves on the other), and everything is pretty expensive in comparison with Mexico. Nice place for a couple days, but not the paradise I was hoping for.

Swimming with sharks in ‘Shark Ray Alley’, amongst the reefs off San Pedro

I found this a little humorous. Cayemart/Kmart

I met a colourful chap down at the Burger Shack, a burger joint miles from town I stumbled across while heading off for a walk. I really wish I had taken a photo of the guy, but I was admittedly legit afraid of the dude. Several slashed scars across his face and a rather inhospitable expression on his face, he appeared in the seat next to me from seemingly nowhere.

He introduces himself as “Tupac,” all his mates call him that because he loves the artist so much. He rambled on a little bit, then finally asked what drugs I do, because he can hook me up. I politely decline, so he moves on to ask “so you like b*tches? What do you like? Latino? Blonde? Asian? Whatever you want man, just go to my brother’s bar and he’ll get you anything you want.” I pull out the ‘I’ve got a girlfriend, I’m fine thanks’ and hope he moves on.

He began to ramble a little more before tapping me on the shoulder and pointing to the waitress walking down the stairs, “you see her?  That’s my sister.” There was a momentary pause, but no hesitation as he made the declaration;

“I want to f#$& her!”

Written on May 3, 2012