Hola amigos y familiares! Wrapping up week 3 in Playa del Carmen – we’re feeling pretty settled in at this point. Crazy to think that we have 5 more weeks left in our apartment. Looking back – we’re glad we chose to stay and explore an area for as long as we are – but at the same time if we could do it over we’d probably only sign a one month lease. Playa del Carmen is beautiful and the weather is amazing – there’s just SO much to explore around the Yucatan. A month probably would have been perfect.
BUT! It’s all good. By the same token – we’re excited to see what we’ll get into over the next month. Not to mention, I have my mom coming down to visit at the end of April – we’re super excited to show her and her man around the area.
This past week the weather took a turn for the better which enabled us to get out to the beach more and also explore a bit outside of Playa. On Monday we decided to hop on a colectivo to head down to Tulum for the day. The colectivos are basically public transportation vans that, depending on the colored stripe on them, run north to Cancun (reddish pink stripe) or south to Tulum (bluish green stripe.) They basically cram as many people as they can on them and you’re off! You can literally call out to the driver anywhere along the way and he’ll pull over to let you off wherever you want. Middle of the highway? Sure! We noticed that it seemed to be a popular mode of transportation for locals to get to work at the nearby resorts.
There were a few tourists that hopped on and off along the way – but it certainly doesn’t seem to be the most popular form of getting around for foreigners. It’s extremely cheap – a little over $2 (40 pesos) per person to go all the way down to Tulum (about 40-45 minutes south.) Pretty great! We’re looking forward to taking it again next week to see some cenotes.
Tulum was incredible. We have visited the ruins once before (about 4 years ago) but never made it into the main town area, so we took the colectivo to the last stop which is downtown Tulum. It’s really quaint – much smaller than Playa del Carmen with not a ton going on. Lots of shopping for tourists – Mexican trinkets, swim suit shops, etc.
After grabbing a fruit plate and a couple Modelos we decided we’d take the long walk to the beach. We unfortunately were unaware just how long that walk would be – we ended up clocking in about 3.5 miles from downtown to the beach area. Definitely burned off those beers we had. The long walk was worth it though. The beach in Tulum, although it’s just 40 miles south of Playa, is SO different. It’s what you imagine when you picture the most perfect and pristine beach ever. Crystal clear water. White sands. Perfection.
When we were here 4 years ago we discovered a little local bar on the beach that was basically a tent with some plastic chairs and tables. We walked all the way down the beach in hopes to find it again but unfortunately it seems that about a dozen or so new resorts have popped up in its place. Tulum is starting to be known as the new up and coming “it” place. That’s awesome and scary at the same time. I’d hate to see this beach ruined.
This week we also made it a point a couple of days to walk down to the beach to watch the sunrise. Being on this side of the Yucatan, it’s the perfect spot to watch the sun come up above the ocean. It’s by far our favorite time of day. It’s so peaceful and so quiet – which is a drastic change from how it’s been on the beach lately. Apparently it’s Spring Break for the locals too. They know how to party – and they seem to love to take the partying into the late hours of the evening. Thank goodness for earplugs.
Our day to day life here is fairly “normal” – generally waking up around 7-7:30 am to make coffee, eat breakfast and put in a few hours of work before we go explore and play. We’re getting used to having to sweep constantly due to sand in the apartment, hand-washing dishes (we actually haven’t had a dishwasher in years so, no biggie) and my least personal favorite: hand-washing all of our own laundry! Have you ever tried to hand-wash a bath towel? It’s freakin’ hard!
To round out our week, we went to our first local football, aka soccer, game today! We were expecting some sort of huge epic crowd at the stadium – turns out it was way less crowded than we thought. Really fun nonetheless! You can tell they truly love the sport here which made for some great spectating. Turns out – if you want to learn all the Spanish swear words – go to a soccer game. They definitely talk some major shit to the opposing players. VERY entertaining. Plus! Admission is free and Playa del Carmen won!
Thoughts of home and our little black cat certainly creep into our minds every now and again. But we’re happy – and looking forward to what the future holds! Hablamos pronto!