Tulum, gorgeous city on Mexico’s Coast, you were the inspiration for this spontaneous trip . . . because I was meant to breathe your air, feel the energies of the Mayans from long ago, swim in your warm Caribbean waters, dance in your rain, witness the Super Blood Moon Eclipse in your ancient city, and FEEL YOUR MAGIC/SENTIR TU MAGIA!
Arriving in Tulum by bus around 3 in the afternoon, just a 2 hour first class ADO bus ride from Cancun, I followed impeccable directions and walked to my Hostel: Mama’s Home, with an empty stomach and a desire to explore. They were kind enough to provide me with a map of the city and a recommendation for lunch, which was one block over and serving yummy MEXICAN FOOD. Loncheria El Aguacate was an excellent choice. It was close by (2 minutes walking), it was affordable and it had one of my favorite foods in the whole wide world in the Title: AGUACATE = Avocado. Hello Destiny!! I ordered Carne Asada (beef) Fajitas that came with guacamole and frijoles negros and a fresh fruit drink. . . Well needless to say, it was quite delicious. Fresh Fresh Hot off the grill, and so flavorful. What more do you want? What you cannot see from this picture are the 2 salsa picante options that were on the table which I added to my dish. JESUS! One of them had a whole lotta Chile Habanero, and the other was a red salsa that was also really damn spicy. I think I cried a little for the bites where the salsa was concentrated and I sweated like my new friend Hector, and finally chugged my Fruit drink when my tongue requested relief . . but man it was SO GOOD. I know Some of you may not understand this, this need we have to make ALL OUR FOODS SPICY, even to the point of Suffering a bit. Masochistic as it sounds, when you add just the right amount of Salsa/Spicy, the flavors of the dish are enhanced and they dance a beautiful dance on your taste buds and tongue. The funny thing with this meal was that I added very little salsa initially to my dish, but the more bites I took, the more the spiciness took its effect. You win this round Habanero, but really we both win because I still loved this meal.
Salsa Habanero: 1 Ariana: 0
**Food tip** For all you Salsa Lovers, in Mexico you never know how hot a salsa is going to be until you taste several bites of it. The first bite might be hot but tolerable, even inviting. But maybe the 3rd-5th bites are the ones that start making your tongue burn, HOT HOT HOT/PICANTE PICANTE PICANTE!! Order an Horchata if you can (a milk-based local drink very popular throughout Mexico) and just try your luck again on the next meal. . . if you dare.
I knew exactly what I wanted from the rest of my first day in Tulum. . . I’ll give you one GUESS. It’s one of my favorite things in this world. It’s big and Blue. It flows and it’s powerful.
OCEAN/MAR! I wanted to swim and take it all in, and I had researched a Hotel on the beach that offered Meditation/Yoga type classes daily and found out they had meditation at 7pm. It was a perfect plan. . . I changed into my bathing suit and walked about 15 minutes to the designated pickup for transportation to the beach. If I didn’t mention it before, I was staying in the pueblo in Tulum, much more affordable and I had chosen a hostel with good reviews. Instead of taking a taxi, I was going to try my first COLECTIVO, which is a local form of transportation in these Vans that often fit anywhere from 10-18 people or so and are quite cheap. They might charge between 20 and 40 MX pesos for a ride (depending on the distance), and they stop as often as people request but always driving in one direction/route. I saw my Colectivo pulling up and ran to not miss it, flagged it while running, and then jumped onto a Packed Van. The Colectivo said PLAYA in big letters on the front windshield. I was so excited to be on my way to the Beach, with just enough time before sunset to swim, relax, and hopefully join in on the Meditation. The drivers drive fast in México as a rule, and we covered quite a distance, without any signs that we were turning for the road that leads to the Beach. And the beach is only a 10 minute ride from town and I have now been on this Colectivo for 15 minutes. Something is wrong, did I make a mistake? Is this the wrong route? It clearly said PLAYA (BEACH) in big letters on the front of the Van. . .
And then I noticed the BIG Highway sign: Playa del Carmen in blah blah Kilometers.
What? Crap! Playa del Carmen is an hour away from Tulum and from the looks of it, we’re on a highway with no sign that we’ll stop. This must be a one-stop Colectivo where everyone gets off at PLAYA. . . del Carmen in an hour. Shit! My hopes of a nice swim in the Caribbean today slowly drifting away, I cannot believe I screwed up on my first full day in Mexico. I start thinking of what I would have to do in Playa to get back to Tulum tonight? Would I take a bus? Will there be buses at this hour? Will I have to take a taxi? That sounds expensive for an hour drive. I cannot believe this. I’m frustrated. I feel helpless. . . and I really wish someone would just ask to stop somewhere on the route to give me a chance to get back to Tulum. “AQUI!” a woman yells to the driver. I cannot believe . . . my Great Luck! Someone heard me, I literally just asked for somebody to ask for their Stop. He pulls over to the right and she exits with a small child. I ask the driver how much and pay the 20 MX pesos and hop off. Embarrassed but determined to get back on the road as fast as possible heading back to Tulum (we had driven 25 minutes away), I tell the woman I took the wrong Colectivo and ask how to get back to Tulum. She is kind and tells me to cross the road with her and wait on the other side for another Van to come along. She says it won’t be too long. I thank her. I stand where she told me to and look out hoping for a Colectivo to swoop me up quickly. It’s almost 6pm and I have a date with el Mar. The Colectivo arrives, I hop on. . . and bullet points are as follows: I ride 25 minutes back to Tulum’s pueblo. I ask if there are any more colectivos going to the beach and they tell me not at this hour. I flag down a taxi and haggle with him. We agree he’ll take me to the beach for 90 MX pesos. So much for cheap transpo tonight, as that is a one way fee and I’ll still need to get back to town later tonight via taxi. Who cares at this point though, I just need to touch water.
Yes! This is my kind of México. This is my sanctuary and my home. . . the water. I am a cancer/water sign, always up for a swim. Upon arriving at the hotel and inquiring about the Meditation, I am told it was cancelled. Not enough people so they just cancelled it. All my effort to get here, I ask if I can swim since I am here anyway. He says Yes. . . The sun was setting and the colors of the sorbet sky could not be captured truly on my iPhone or Canon, but it was a perfect evening. I jumped in and frolicked for at least an hour. Caribbean waters never disappoint, and this being my first experience en el caribe de México I had no doubt I would fall in love. The waves rocked me and the salt tingled on my skin. After I tired of swimming, I laid on the sand and let the waves cover me and retreat, and then repeat. I used the white sand to exfoliate my body, rubbing the sand all over. So soft. So very soft and fine were the grains of sand. I am not exaggerating when I tell you I was like a child, one discovering, laughing with a huge smile on my face, infected by the Energy of this Ocean. What a perfect place; there was nowhere I was meant to be but right here. The moon came out and I was fulfilled this night.
Tulum you had me at. . . ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! With 5 nights booked here I will be back Playa. So excited to see my first Mayan Ruins just a quick bus ride away from Tulum.