Given we’ve had a few early mornings, I agreed with Marnie that we’d start the hostel breakfast at 9:00 am. At least, that’s what I thought I agreed to. I woke at 8:00 am and wandered about. 9:00 am came and went; no Marnie. By 9:20 am she’d gotten up, but wasn’t ready until almost 10. When I started talking about possible plans for the day, she decided she’d rather rest.

Now alone, I rented a bicycle. Most of the things in Tulum are just outside of easy walking range, but that puts them well inside of cycling range. A bicycle path even extends almost the entire way to the archaeological site of Tulum.

Tulum combined the worst of Chichén Itzá and Ek’ Balam. The site is really small. The buildings are predominantly collapsed. You couldn’t climb anything. And, it was crowded. If felt like as many people as Chichén Itzá in far less space. I think my favorite site has been Chichén Itzá, although seeing Marnie climbing the main temple at Ek’ Balam was awesome.

I left to grab lunch. The area surrounding Tulum is known for cenotes. I pulled out my map of the area, double-checked/searched the GPS, and headed out of town. I cycled to the furthest of the cenotes out one highway, intending to work my way back. I’m a lot less likely to decide to turn back if I’m already at the farthest extent! The most distant two cenotes weren’t very interesting. Car Wash Cenote was popular for diving, so it must have been deep, but from the surface it looked like a pond. The other was more a resort, with an adjacent swimming pool.

Grand Cenote on the other hand was awesome. While well-commercialized, there weren’t many people there. I’d had a hot day in the sun, so a swim was perfect. Once in the water I discovered there are two cenotes connected underground, and I could swim between them. One of the caverns had bats flittering about.

From there I had only a short ride to the remaining cenote. I think someone found a cenote in their backyard, stuck up a sign, and waited for the money to roll in. Cenote Calavera is significantly smaller than any of the others I’ve seen (maybe 20′ across), but had a couple of 4′ holes you could jump into and fall into the waters below.

I returned to the hostel to find Marnie finally moving about. We walked over to return the bicycle. After some discussion, she decided she’d like to visit Grand Cenote. Since the Internet was out at the hostel, we walked over to the bus station to check the schedule for tomorrow and purchase tickets. That was my first successful 100% Spanish conversation. My Spanish isn’t great, and I tend to get tongue-tied as well.

Still running through cash, I went to an ATM only to have my card declined. Given the cash economy, that was a problem. I suspect the card’s been flagged even though I called the credit card company before we left. We went for dinner, and I realized I had one of my spare credit cards on me. After dinner, we returned to the bank to have my second card work. Fortunately I carry multiple credit cards (three this trip not counting Marnie’s, four when I tour).

Tomorrow we’ll grab a colectivo to Grand Cenote before returning to the hostel, picking up our gear, and taking the bus back to Cancún. From there we board a ferry to Isla Mujeres for the next couple of days.


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