What?! We only have 2 weeks left in our lease?! So nuts! We’ve been really trying to make sure and visit the places that are “must-sees” in the area and this week we hopped on a bus and went to the ancient Mayan ruins of Coba.
The ADO bus direct to Coba (with a brief stop at Tulum for those that only want to go that far) was about 120 pesos/one-way/per person – which is about $7. Not bad considering it’s about a 2 hour trip from Playa del Carmen. Plus they showed the movie St. Vincent on the way down! Which we had never seen…but now we have…dubbed in Spanish. Watching Bill Murray dubbed in Spanish was odd.
Compared to the ruins of Tulum – Coba is way different. It’s much bigger in a couple regards: the amount of land that it takes up and also with the size of the pyramids – it’s pretty amazing. It’s also only 65 pesos to get in (less than $4!) Another cool thing about Coba is that you are able to actually climb up the main pyramid which you aren’t able to do at many other ruins’ sites. Of course, this is a little bittersweet – one hand it’s like “yay! I get to climb to the top of this ancient monstrous thing!” and on the other you’re thinking “oh good – I get to contribute to ruining this ancient monstrous thing.” Meh, what are you gonna do?
Coba is fairly far inland so the temperature increased dramatically. It was HOT. But the good news is that it’s situated in a fairly dense jungle so there’s a lot of shade. Super grateful for that. As I mentioned, the entire grounds are spread out fairly far, so walking is do-able but it can take a bit of time. They offer a bike rental for only 50 pesos (less than $3/person) so you can cruise the grounds on wheels! It was really amazing and sometimes pretty surreal to be on a bike just pedaling around in the jungle on these once sacred ancient grounds. It wasn’t too busy either, so at times we were all alone on certain parts of the paths – just cruisin’. There were moments I just wanted to pinch myself.
The main pyramid is at the very end of the path (probably about 45 minutes if you were walking) and it’s pretty epic. Just insanity to think that the Mayans built all of these structures like 2000 years ago! Mind blowing. It’s called Nohoch Mul and this is the one you can climb. It’s really steep so there’s a rope in the middle of it for you to grab on to if you need some help. Still – I was amazed that’s all there was – these safety standards would NOT fly in America. One slip and you’re f**ked. I was actually surprised how many people were climbing up and down – I found down to be pretty difficult. Some people had to literally sit on their butts the entire way going step by step. Once you’re at the top of this thing, the jungle canopy isn’t very high and all the trees are the same height so you can see on forever. So peaceful.
The one and only bummer about Coba is that, unless you have a rental car, you only have 2 options to getting back to Tulum or Playa del Carmen. One: take a cab that’s way too expensive. Two: wait for the only return ADO bus.
We’re cheap so we decided to wait for the ADO bus. That left us with a couple hours to kill so we found a cute little restaurant outside of the ruin gates and had some beers and some lunch.
After the two hour bus ride back home plus the almost 2.5 mile walk from the bus station to our apartment – we were beat. It was a whole day’s worth of a trip but entirely worth it.
The rest of our week has been fairly uneventful. Except for having to deal with a huge battle between us and Cheaptickets. It’s a long story but basically after booking our tickets for our Tokyo and Hong Kong trip they decided to only give Kile a ticket and not myself. After about 6 phone calls (totaling well over 2.5 hours), 3 Facebook messages, 2 Twitter messages, and 4 emails to their customer service – I finally got my ticket issued. A piece of advice – don’t EVER use Cheaptickets to book anything. Unless that sounds fun to you.
Some other fun things:
- I got a REAL travel writing job! For a real website that pays real money! I’m super excited and will share details as soon as some things are published. 🙂
- Our beach is back to its quiet and calm self – yay! Although we’re gearing up for the normal craziness that is Saturday night/Sunday here. Bring on the loud bass and ridiculous horns into the wee hours of the morning!
- It’s getting hotter and hotter here every day so we are constantly making ice cubes. Constantly. I think we go through about 6 full ice cube trays a day.
- We find so many lone shoes around here. On the beach. On the sidewalk. In the street. In the trash. Where’s the other shoe?!
- We can’t get enough whole fried fish. We put down our 3rd one this week and it was delicious as ever.
- Mom comes next Saturday! Yay family!
Until next week friends and family! We miss and love you and we’ll update you soon!