180209-It’s About Time

While in theory we were getting up this morning fifteen minutes later than yesterday, my alarm went off an hour before Marnie’s. Our clocks were different, but my watch (which doesn’t update) matched Cancún. Weird. At the bus station the clock was an hour earlier. Apparently there’s a time zone change between Cancún and Valladolid!

We bought bus tickets to Ek’ Balam, the archaeological site just north of here. Since we knew when we had to return (given there was only one return bus), we also bought our afternoon bus tickets from Valladolid to Tulum. Marnie found luggage storage at the bus station, and we left our heavy packs behind for our excursion to Ek’ Balam.

I’d identified Ek’ Balam as a potential site before we left home, but I’d forgotten about it until we saw posters hanging in the bus station. Ek’ Balam is much less known than Chichén Itzá, and you can still clamber all over everything, including climbing to the top of the main pyramid. I turned to climb back down only to find Marnie on her way up!

Ek’ Balam includes another cenote. Marnie opted to wait while I made the mile hike. That pattern reminds me of us cycling together for our honeymoon; I’d make extended forays while she took a more leisurely approach.

I keep going through cash a lot faster than I expect, in part because there’s two of us. My brain still isn’t processing the $ symbol well for pesos. Everything also runs on a cash economy, so I can’t put most of the expenses directly on the credit card. Today even the bus station wouldn’t take credit cards.

Today was another day on a bus. I planned this trip as two days in each city, so we could take our time. But I’m used to cycling, where the travel is part of the journey. Here it’s just riding around on a bus. And waiting. Waiting at the station for the scheduled bus. Gaps of time to short to do anything else, but long enough to be tiresome. Buses are faster that cycling, but it sure doesn’t feel like it! Should I do somthing like this again, more time in each place would likely be better.

Boarding the bus to Tulum, Marnie and I got separated. Riding 2nd Class, I ended up standing in the front of the bus while Marnie at least got a seat in the back. I spent much of the ride talking with Katrinka, a German woman who is working for UNESCO in Mexico City as part of a fellowship, and taking her spare time to backpack around South America.

Mama’s Home Hostel has a great hostel feel, and the town of Tulum itself feels a bit more like I expected the towns to feel, less run down than the other cities, and a lot more eclectic. Right now all of the roads and sidewalks are torn up for renovations; in a few months it will be even more improved.

While we’re visiting the archaeological site in Tulum tomorrow, there are also a number of nearby cenotes. We can get around by “colectivo” (small vans) and taxis, or by renting bicycles. Ironically I’m leaning towards the former. Bicycles unsurprisingly don’t bother me, but I have some reservations about Marnie on a bike. She’s only ridden a bicycle a couple of times since our honeymoon in Ireland.


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