In August last year, a group of us went to Mexico for a week, to look at improving elements of the WordPress.com Terms of Service. We had originally planned to head over to Europe somewhere, but since the majority were from the USA (and a big slant towards the West Coast), we opted for a location that was closer for them.
We stayed in Playa del Carmen, which was a bit disappointing. The area is very much set up purely for tourists, so there wasn’t a whole lot of genuine local stuff going on to explore.
Luckily, Mexico is pretty stupidly naturally beautiful, and we got the chance to drive out to a couple of places in between work days.
The sea was unbelievably blue.
I’ve always had a bit of a fascination for the Mayan/Aztec tribes, so to get the chance to visit the ruins was amazing. Another thing I didn’t imagine I’d ever actually end up being able to do. We didn’t go to the main one that appears in lots of famous pictures (Chichen Itza), as a few of the group had been previously, so we headed to visit both Tulum and Coba in one day instead.
The route to Coba was apparently lined with trees that would give excruciating pain if you got some of its bark on you, but also another tree that acted as the cure. Very odd, but I didn’t want to be the one to test out the theory.
If memory serves, this place was the venue for some sort of sport, where the winner would give up his life in a sacrifice which was a great honour, and the loser would survive in shame for the rest of their life.
Doesn’t sound like a great victory to me.
Whilst I still hope I’ll get to see Chichen Itza some day, I’m not too disappointed, as apparently you can no longer climb up the steps of the temple itself… which is something we got to do in Coba.
Now, in the picture, it doesn’t really look all that high, or even that steep.
Hell, from the bottom it didn’t even look that high in person either.
but trust me, my God was it high.
I clung onto that rope for dear life. I couldn’t believe how many people were up there either. Nuts.
Ever get that feeling where you’re worried that your body will independently of your brain decide to throw itself off of somewhere high? Yeah, I know that game. There’s no way I was letting myself jump without the old cerebral cortex kicking in first.
On another day, we headed to the beach of a private resort to do some snorkelling.
Sure, there are pictures of us working in a ridiculously hot flat as well (whose bright idea was it to go to Mexico in August?!), but they’re not quite as aesthetically pleasing.
These guys went up and down the beach every day clearing it of seaweed to please the visitors. Seems like a bit too much like Sisyphus and his boulder for my liking.
The water was good though, and the sand was so fine it went into a sort of clay when you took it out.
This is the second time I’ve snorkelled, and I was amazed at how close to the surface the turtles came in this time. The pictures I managed to get with the LCA in its underwater case were way better than the last time.
They’re amazing creatures. It’s so easy to get captivated by them
There were other pictures, but I managed to lose a reel of film at some point in transit.
If you’re looking for somewhere to relax for a week on a beach, this would have been a great place to visit. If you’re looking to soak up some of the culture, or taste authentic Mexican food, I wouldn’t rush to Playa del Carmen in a hurry.
All pictures taken with a Lomo LC-A and some sort of expired 35mm crap-o-film.