somethng i am always amazed by is the instant bond between travelers. not everyone, mind you (not to be racist, but there are certainly some groups of people that are far less helpful than others, and they have earned that reputation for good reason. sometimes stereotypes are in place because they are born from truth), but most. for example (and i realize i am jumping ahead of myself here – sorry), lisa (my passenger) and i were at waterfalls the other day after spending a few hours on a bus with the same 11 other people, patienly waiting to down themselves in something other tha their own sweat. lisa and i stopped along the path before eating lunch and found a calm place to enjoy the pool created by one of the smaller cascades. apparently by this time everyone had looked to me as the official guide (being the only one speaking english and spanish, therefore translating, oh, everything) and stopped on their hike up to the top of the waterfall to join us. i was sunning myself like a lizard, but lisa was helping one of the belgian girls from slipping in the water as she waded in and felt the full body shiver. the belgian girl in turn helped the italian lady, and so on. the comraderie of traveling is one of the things that brings people together across all borders, no matter where you find yourself on this crazy planet.
back to the beginning: i arrived in cancun from tulum for a few days before meeting up with doug. staying in a cheap hostel, i became friends with sebastian, one of the local residents of the hostel, and gabriel, one of the workers. very cool guys and friendly. fiendishly working to make sure all the reservations were made and confirmed, doug and i spent hours holed up in the unbearable heat, slaving over our respective laptops. why did this responsibility fall on my shoulders, when it should be taken care of from the cusco office?? who knows, but there i was…
on september 6th i eagerly (and nervously) awaited lisa, my very first pax (passenger) to arrive. she walked out with a huge smile on her face, and i knew things would go well. we instantly hit it off and spent the rest of the day on isla mujeres enjoying the sun and drinking beer. the next day we started our (my back-tracking) trip to tulum, where we had beautiful cabins right on the beach, and….oh my! penises flying about! doug neglected to mention the fact that cabanas copal is a ¨clothing optional¨ beach, which sent lisa and i into a spiral of laughter. oh man! well, when in rome…our last late-afternoon on the beach, we stripped down and threw ourselves into the warm, salty water. while in tulum we also went snorkling (thru the batcave! holy cute diving instructor, batman!) in some cenotes, which are freshwater lakes found underground throughout the yucatan peninsula.
from tulum onwards to more beach! oh belize, how i love you…. ariving in caye caulker was like a breath of calm air (except that some of my favorite restaurants were closed for the season!), filled with the scent of bbq lobster and salt. after searching for our hotel, we hopped on the bikes (included in the price!) to take a spin of the island. after stopping for dinner, we called it a night. snorkling the next day with nurse sharks, sea turtles and baracudas! yee haw! more relaxing, eating seafood and drinking pantirippers (coconut rum and pineapple juice. yum!!!) before leaving island paradise to fly to…
guatemala! (btw, i got to fly the plane for about 10 seconds!) we visited the ruins of yaxcha on a whim, and the next day caught the sunrise tour (again) at tikal. it never gets old (ok, well, not after 2 visits…) and we saw monkeys, birds, lizards and lots of ruins, of course!
guatemala led to palenque (mexico) where we had a great guide! crossing the border, we also visited yaxchilan and bonampak, both AMAZING ruins! palenque onto san cristobal onto oaxaca, where we are now!
ok, that got less exciting as i went on, i know! sorry, but i have to go get lisa from her trip (she went to monte alban today but i needed to rest cuz was on the verge of getting sick. no fun!) before our city tour starts.
will try and be better about this…
much love and many hugs,