06
Apr-2013

On the way to Tulum

It’s Monday morning.

Gianluca’s bar is closed for two days and he will go back to work only on Wednesday evening. We decide to rent a car and go to Tulum, one of the archeological sites of the Mayan Riviera. Since my life has taken an unforeseen turn on the day of the Maya’s prophecy, I think this visit is the proper thing to do! We go to the travel agency next to the house and for fifty dollars a day we have the honor to drive a Hyundai something, as I do not recall the model, for the two hours it will takes us to get to Tulum.

The nameless car above is just like a can of sardines.

I’m not worried about the space inside the vehicle, as we are only carrying two beach towels, my camera and ourselves, as much as the fact that I don’t feel very safe in this tinplate car. It’s ok anyway and since I think that beggars cannot be choosers, we board our “Ferrari”, as we renamed it, laughing like crazy and start heading toward our destination. Tulum is about hundred and thirty kilometers from Cancun and the road the leads us there is easy, in good conditions and above all, not very crowded. We decide to make a pit stop in a small fishermen village right before reaching Playa del Carmen. Gianluca explains to me that Puerto Morelos used to be a bunch of small houses along the ocean. Today the village is slightly bigger and I feel that this is going to be the next tourist attraction and it will grow even further.

We stay there just the time to drink a coffee in a small bar on the shore (new addition to the village as well) and I wonder around taking few shots. We start driving again with the feeling that if the wind gets slightly stronger than this, we will end up off-road. The car is equipped with air-conditioning but once in a while we roll down the windows to smoke a cigarette.

“Do I smell a joint??” I ask my travel companion.

“I don’t think so…I can’t smell anything”

Oh well, I have a very fine nose and I can recognize marijuana instantly, so I’m positive I’m smelling a joint!

“Do you think they have some sort of vegetation like the “cisto” in Sardinia?”(Cisto is Mediterranean bush very common especially on the coastal areas)

“It could be but I’ve never heard of it before. Do you know that, now that you pointed it out, I can smell the same thing every now and then?”

Only later in the evening, when we meet my friends Severino and Irene in Playa del Carmen, we will found that there is actually a plant that has that sharp smell and that there are extended plantations of the same along the road to Tulum:

It’s called marijuana!!!!

We finally arrive in Tulum, purchase the tickets and before we can get to the site, we are diverted towards the artisan market, where you can buy nick-nacks, and more and less legitimate handcrafts. This is what I define as a tourist trap but considering the amount of useless things I have in my house, I’m not at all tempted to buy anything. We reach our destination on top of the hill. Wow!! This Mayans from Tulum weren’t stupid at all! This is the only Maya’s place that is right on the ocean and the view is breathtaking. We visit the site for a short while and later we go down to the beach where I’m finally going to jump in the water. It feels cool and regenerating and palms and history beautifully frame my first swim since I’ve reached Mexico.

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