El Caribe

The Journey across the Peninsula was pretty uneventful. If not for the cool cenote there wouldn’t have been much to write about.  The Yucatan Peninsula is full of cenotes just waiting to be swam in.  We were planning on stay at a hotel that lets people camp in the front yard, near Cichen Itza (or chicken pizza, as Jamie calls it), but once we got there it was definitely not a place for us to stay, so we back tracked a bit to a little town where we had seen a sign for a cenote.  Once we found the place we paid and set up camp right on top with a view of the cenote.  It was pretty amazing.  At dusk thousands of swallows came streaming into the cenote.  The flew in and circled round and round, and then flew into their nests. In the morning it was the same except the flew round and round and out of the cenote. After a quick swim in the refreshing crystal clear water we pointed the Burro toward Cancun and hit the gas.

Cenote 1

Fishies in the cenote

Fishies in the cenote

Sitting in our life jackets

Sitting in our life jackets

GOPR0926Our first stop on the Caribbean side of the Yucatan Peninsula was an RV park just north of Cancun.  As we pulled into the RV Park we noticed a familiar van, yup Bruiser had made his way all the way to Cancun that day as well.  After a couple tranquilos we hit the hay early.

The next day we packed up the car and made our way down the coast.  It felt so good to be able to leave at whatever time we wanted because we only had to drive a couple hours to get to the next camping spot.  However, as it turns out, we don’t do to well with so much time on our hands.  We got to the first spot and didn’t like it, the woman was asking for way too much money to camp in a parking lot and she didn’t like Reina. I know! Who doesn’t like Reina!?  So, we decided to move on to the next spot on our GPS.  This RV Park Hopping continued until we had been on the road for about 4 hours, two hours longer than originally planned.   After a long debate we eventually decided to head back to the first spot, of course.

I am so happy that we did because when we got back there we had some friends waiting for us! Yep 3 of the 4 STT vans were there! Yay! After our long day it was so nice to see a few friendly faces.

Once we got parked we decided that it would be nice to pitch the tent on the beach.  We had noticed a couple other tents out there but we double-checked to make sure that it was ok.  Apparently it was ok to camp on the beach but not in the spot that we wanted to camp, which was under an awning and away from the crowded part of the beach.   After a discussion with the woman she said that we were more than welcome to camp there if we moved the tent in the morning because people that come and “consume” will want to sit at the tables.  Now we thought that we were paying customers but I guess we aren’t as important at the people that pay $20 pesos to hangout at the beach in front of her place and use the bathrooms.

Parking lot with two of the STT Crew

Parking lot with two of the STT Crew

We nestled into a nice spot on the beach that we didn't have to move from.

We nestled into a nice spot on the beach that we didn’t have to move from.

The reason we stayed so long and dealt with the grumpy dueno, not bad. :-)

Not a bad view during our lunch break.

This was just the start of many debates we had with this woman throughout the 5 days we spent camped on the beach.  Fortunately we are easy going people and don’t let things like grumpy duenos ruin our moods.

We had an awesome time hanging out with the STT crew, running, supping and snorkeling with the occasional dinner thrown in.

Yes, Doug and Marcia know how to bust a move.

Yes, Doug and Marcia know how to bust a move.

Enjoying some late night drinks

Enjoying some late night drinks

Gettin ready to snorkel after a 40 min paddle. Best. Exercise. Ever.

Gettin ready to snorkel after a 40 min paddle. Best. Exercise. Ever.

We left Puerto Moreles and meandered down to Tulum for some cheap beach camping and ruin gazing.  Then, ventured down to a sleepy town named Mahahual after stopping at a campground on Lake Bacalar.

Nothin like a little fresh agua de coco in the morning to get you going.

Nothin like a little fresh agua de coco in the morning to get you going.

Tulum 9

The obligatory Tulum pic

The obligatory Tulum pic

The water is breathtaking

The water is breathtaking

The road to Lake Bacalar

The road to Lake Bacalar

Camp spot at Lake Bacalar.

Camp spot at Lake Bacalar.

Lake Bacalar in the early morning light.

Lake Bacalar in the early morning light.

In Mahahual we camped right on the beach for free.  It was a bit windy but after crunching the numbers recently we realized that we needed to start saving a bit.  We started a nice little workout routine while camped on the beach all by ourselves.  We would get up in the morning go for a nice run and then set up a cross-fit gym right on the beach.  Complete with workout ball, yoga mat and bands! That’s right! The Tranquilo’s are getting into shape.

Our Gym Found one

Camp Mahahual

Our pirate camping spot in Mahahual

While in Mahahual we realized that we not only needed to workout our muscles but some plans as well.  The big debate was whether or not we should try to make it back to the Pacific Coast in time for Jamie to get some surfing in before our visas ran out.  In the end we decided that it would be too stressful and too much work to drive across the country to maybe possibly get waves.  We also made the decision that with Reina and our dwindling dinero, it was best that we skip Belize all together. Maybe we’ll get there on the way back. J

With those difficult decisions behind us (I know the trials and tribulations of overlanders), we were finally able to relax and enjoy the rest of our stay on the Caribbean Coast and in Mexico. The Caribbean Coast is truly beautiful, a regular Corona commercial everyday.

Can you say Corona commercial?

Can you say Corona commercial?

From Mahahual we headed back inland, first to Palenque and then on to San Cristobal.  While in San Cristobal we got to hang out with our old friends, Juan and Stephanie, from vanenvan and some new friends as well. On our last night in Mexico Juan and Steph packed the two of us and three other people in the van and took us to a fabulous restaurant that served the best posole ever.  Thanks so much Juan and Stephanie for making our last night in Mexico so memorable!