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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Mexico Part 2

    Friday, September 29, 2017
    Tulum, Mexico

    Welcome to Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.
    Welcome to Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.

    I had planned to go visit the Mayan temple ruins at Tulum today, but I got started too late. It was already 3:00 pm when someone informed me that they stop letting people enter the ruins at 4:30 pm. At that point, I thought I’d just find a place to rent a bicycle and go on a ride down by the beach. So, I schlepped way up the main road in the brutal heat and sunshine to Kelly’s.

    Another awesome mural in Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.
    Another awesome mural in Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.

    Unfortunately, all of the bikes they had left were total beaters. Each one had some kind of problem, like a damaged tire, a loose fender that rubbed against the tire, a loose seat with holes in it, etc. Plus, the owner insisted on keeping my passport. I asked him to just write down the info or take a photo of it, but he said he keeps everyone’s passport as a deposit.

    A Mayan mural in Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.
    A Mayan mural in Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.

    I didn’t want to leave my passport, so I left Kelly’s and, after walking back and forth and around in circles for a while, found my way over to Iguana Bike Shop, where a girl from Buenos Aires, Argentina let me leave my driver’s license as a deposit instead, which is less risky in a foreign country than losing your passport. That girl was so nice, she only charged me half price for the rental because it was so late in the day.

    A log on the beach in Tulum, Mexico.
    A log on the beach in Tulum, Mexico.

    First, I headed up through the north side of town, where I stopped to shoot photos of some really nice murals depicting Mayan people. Then I proceeded east about two miles on a wide, smooth concrete walkway / bikeway to the beach. There, I veered south precariously on the edge of a narrow paved road, where I almost got sideswiped by vehicles a few times. On that road, there was only one small area where I could actually see the beach.

    A Flamenco dancer performs at the Weary Treveler Hostel in Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.
    A Flamenco dancer performs at the Weary Treveler Hostel in Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.

    The rest of the journey south consisted of me passing by an endless series of fancy hotels, resorts, restaurants, cafes and shops that cater to wealthy people, set in the jungle right by the beach. After a couple of miles, I’d had enough, so I turned around and headed back to Tulum Pueblo to return the bike and go for another helping of delicious Mexican food at Don Karonte’s, served at a table right on the sidewalk overlooking the main drag.

    A Flamenco dancer performs at the Weary Treveler Hostel in Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.
    A Flamenco dancer performs at the Weary Treveler Hostel in Tulum Pueblo, Mexico.

    Around 7:00 pm, two ladies–one very thin, wiry and middle-aged, and the other younger and a little thicker–climbed up on a wooden stage at the Weary Traveler Hostel and presented an hour’s worth of Flamenco dancing to pre-recorded music. That’s right, ladies, foist a little bit of Spanish culture on the unwashed backpacker masses! The dancing was actually really good, but too bad they didn’t have live musicians.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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