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Arriving in Cancun I went straight to Tulum and that was just over five months ago. My Odysseun saga has taken me all round the Yucatan peninsula and further, on various road trips. In these times of adversity I think I can safely quote Sinatra and say ‘I did it my way’
In fact I sang that to myself yet again moving back to Charlies flat for my last few days of my time here. I have compounded so much information and so many anecdotes I will be busy back in London putting them together for my book. Most of it has me braving out my vertigo at the many pyramids I have visited this trip, delving deeper into Mexico’s rich Pre Colombian history, travelling great distances to museums that were frequently closed but managing to see some exquisite art work at the ones that were open. I went to volcanic area felt a few earthquakes, ate brilliant food, swam with a dog every day while living off grid more or less. I had great victories and crushing lows and met wonderful people, if rather fleetingly. I climbed mountains to see pre historic cave art and took my first 32 hour bus journey that included three legs and nearly killed me. I took photos and videos and wrote blogs when I had WiFi. I cried, laughed, jumped and danced in circles for my last grand trip my raison d’etre, travelling. I saw fish in beautiful sacred cenotes and more in the sea. Big fat turtles and coral fish galore. I was chased by dogs and nearly killed myself and Alkida the swimming dog amidst swathes of Sargasso. I forgot to do yoga but swam instead. I lived.
I lived my best life.
After my initial stay in Tulum, first couple of days at the Station Hotel and after in Charlies wonderful atelier finding my feet after a very difficult journey, I ventured out first to the magnificent Tulum ‘ruins’. It was all very emotional and the sight of this Mayan site that is on the beachside and unique in that I walked down and had my first introduction to the Mayan Riviera. This gobsmackingly beautiful coastline took my breath away, it really is a paradise.
Outings from there in the next few days were to another very important site, Coba, then Muyil. I went to a couple of cenotes and then planned a road trip. I had taken a while to calm down and had only wanted to get buses to places nearby for day trips but then I was ready.
Merida, via Valladolid (and Ek Balam) then Uxmal and Campeche and Edzna Then a swoop across to Balamku, Xpujil, Calakmal, Kohunlich onto Chetumal and home to Tulum.
I then found Punta Allen and fell in love, staying there for an extra month to write and swim with hotel dog. First heard of permit fish there
This was no meagre feat. I would later go onto Palenque, stay a while in Oaxaca (Monte Alban ) Mitla for prehistoric cave paintings, Peubla (Cholula), Tehuacan and area. My whole road trip would grind to a halt when the museums and sites were closing all around me like dominos. By the time I got to Tehuacan I decide it was enough, I would go to the salt lakes in the mountains and have a hike through the huge cactus wilderness and head on back.
I have to keep all this in mind rather than the bleak time coming home. The crazy Mexicans, beach parties, food, Biblical storms, even my accidents were life affirming, and my prepping for my paradise stay in Punta Allen was no walk in the park logistics wise. The hand written journals that are a must for a solo traveller and meandering videos that I will always do in the future as a reminder of what I was really thinking at the time.