Part 1 over here…
The next day, we up up bright and early for our “Mayan Encounter” tour.
WARNING… very pic intensive after the jump!
Our journey started off with quick hike through the forest to an authentic Maya village where we told “the mysteries of their local fauna and flora” what ever that means… laymen terms, the guide told us about the groups of plant or wildlife, some were deadly some were not.
OK, enough with the fauna and flora… at least the flora. On to our adventure!
Up first on our to-do list was zip-line flying over a lagoon…
Ladies first! I was second in line and was terrified at first, but everything was to code and we were all extremely safe. Nevertheless, if it were up to me, I’d wear a life jacket… just in case.
Then we went to a remote spot and kayaked to a trail in the jungle.
Then we travelled deep into the rain forest to interact with a Mayan medicine man to “cleanse” before going into the Cenote. He blessed us for safe travels in a little ceremony.
us drinking some water…
We were on track to rappel down into the Cenote (Mexico’s underwater rivers system)… but first we had to rinse off all of the sweat, and lotion off our bodies, because the water is the drinking water for the Mayan communities, and sunscreen can pollute the water since the sun doesn’t reach the Cenotes to degrade the chemicals.
look at meeee!
The cave was huge and contained water so clear and pure (even though pic is dark) that you could see all the way to the bottom, at the points where the sun came through the top. Absolutely amazing!
Here are some pics that were included on our CD from Alltournative.
We climbed up a ladder, similar to the one in the pic above, and dried off. We then hiked to the van (15 minutes tops) and returned to the village for a delicious traditional lunch prepared by the women of the Maya community. We had fresh fruit, soup, homemade tortillas and homemade empanadas.
some of the local ladies who hooked us up!
our tour guide, Gunther? Gustav? I know it starts with a “G”
some local crafts from the Mayan’s
it’s a monkey!
After lunch we made our way down to through the rain forests of Cobá, to an archaeological site hidden deep inside the rain forest of south-eastern Yucatan Peninsula.
This is what a “ball court” where the Mayan’s would roll the ball up the embankment to get it through the hole. There was a similar set up on the other side too.
inside a small pyramid
After learning a little about the site from our guide and exploring the little pyramid, it’s time to head over to the big one. The ruins here are 85% Mayan and 15% Toltec whereas the Chichen Itza ruins are just the opposite, 85% Toltec. Most of the site hasn’t even been excavated.
There is a place to rent bikes or a Mayan taxi since it is about a mile to the main pyramid. We decided to go with the bike taxi and made it in no time to the Nohoch Muul temple, the tallest pyramid of the state, and the only Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula they still allow you to climb.
I was so afraid to climb it and almost gave up, but we both paused for a quick pic at the mid-point.
ya that’s me with a tooth-pic in my mouth
“I’m on the, top of the world lookin’, down on creation
and the only explanation I can find…”
Our view of the sub-tropical rain forest.
Our buddy, with the Toronto Blue Jays hat on. He was the fellow who gave us a ride from the parking lot to the pyramid.
Now it’s off to Tulum, to the Alltournative store to pick up our pictures, get a free hat and T-Shirt and enjoy a couple shots of tequila with the group. Regarding the pics, we were advised not to bring our camera’s to certain areas, as there was a roaming photographer there taking pics throughout the day… and they weren’t cheap. We paid $49 for a CD of pics from the day, but we also got some bonus pics and wallpapers to boot, plus all the money goes back to the Mayan community, so it kinda made up for it.
That was our trip within a trip. We then made the long trip back to our hotel. Nick took this quick pic of my hair when I took my hat off. I wasn’t going to post it but, I have nothing to lose… you have already seen me in my bikini.
look at my big @ss forehead… no it’s a fivehead!
We managed to purchase some cool souvenirs along the way too… here’s a pic of our haul (taken when we got back home).
L to R: Tequila, Kahlúa, a shell necklace, some Cancun frames, sculpture of Chichen Itza, a panther, a yarn-woven wolf, and a wooden mask. Yes that is a small flask of Southern Comfort to the left of the Kahlúa, I don’t know how that got in there).
This bad boy is made of black onyx
This trip was a 5/5, I’m glad we decided to go with this tour company because they work with the Mayan people and all the money goes back to the Mayan Community. Below is the “official video” that came with our CD. Sorry for the poor quality… the CD version I have is a lot better.
Thursday was a rest day for us, we took the bus into town and did some more sight seeing.
Can’t get enough of the Hotel Riu. It’s so regal!
Friday, we decided to rent a scooter and venture out into downtown Cancún.
I think we got kinda lost because we ended up in a beat up part of town. Nothing a quick u-turn couldn’t fix. We ended up at a McDonalds, yes I said McDonalds! Those who know me, knows I detest McD’s… it was that Supersize Me movie that did me in, but I was so parched, and needed a cool beverage. So I went in and got a cold Sprite.
Nick got some quick directions to a local flea market and we were off. We didn’t pick up anything at the market so just headed back to the main roads for a long ride on the sea side. All the pics below were taken on the scooter… so they are a wee bit shaky.
HUGE Mexican National flag
The Luxury mall in Cancún, I tried to get a shot of Louis Vuitton, but that dang truck was in the way
Apart from making a quick trip to Wal-Mart and a couple trips out to the mall, that is all we really did. OH, I almost forgot, we did visit one of the other Oasis properties… the very one featured on The Real World, Cancún.
The place was HUGE and buzzing with kids… tones of kids! We saw one couple who were staying at another Oasis resort, and just like us, came for a visit to see what all the fuss was about. Nothing really! I never really did the whole March Break deal back in highschool/college, so I wasn’t really impressed with the clientele. No, I’m not a prude, I just never really got the whole getting drunk deal. We stayed for lunch and took a tour of the grounds. The whole facility was very impressive. The guests… not so much.
Overall, I’d rate our hotel, the Oasis Viva Beach, a 4/5. The people there were great, especially our housekeeper, a sweet older lady who reminded me of my grandmother. I gave her a big hug and a nice tip at the end of our trip (aside from the daily tip left). The facilities were impressive, and the beach was intimate. The food was really good, not too bad for a la carte! There were two restaurants on location, and that was enough for us really. I know I’ve seen some people complain about the lack of food service, but really, what do you expect from an all-inclusive resort? If you wanted more, y’all should have booked your vacation with Sandles.
I wasn’t really turned off by anything, except for the Scooter operator who wanted to charge Nick an extra $50 because he said we scratched the scooter. I say the scratch was already there, but whateves… we had a blast, and I would recommend the place to anyone… That is until I got home.
It was back in mid April, when tour operator Conquest Vacations went bankrupt, leaving thousands of vacationers stranded. Our hotel was one of those who demanded more money from their guests up front, in order to stay another night… even though they had already paid Conquest, who I guess pocketed the money. That didn’t sit well with me. True they had every right to demand the money they were owed, but the way they treated their guest was deplorable. There is a certain way to do things folks, and bullying ain’t one of ’em.
Then the whole HINI Virus (Swine Flu) became rampant, and that kinda put a damper on my hopes of visiting Mexico any time soon. Sure I’d visit again, but it’ll have to be a 5 star resort. I don’t mind paying a little extra for amazing service, and piece of mind. And oh ya, don’t book through Sunquest… the planes are small, cramped and loud. I’m a WestJet girl from now on. They haven’t disappointed me yet, and they now fly to Cancún and St. Maarten… our next tropical destination :)
P.S. while I was leaving the hotel room, I noticed the couple next door got the elusive VIP Honeymoon package… a couple of chocolate covered strawberries and the house wine…. no matter, I’m not bitter (anymore). I don’t like strawberries anyways :)
P.P.S. Here is what our room looked like when we returned home. We stayed up well into the morning (we arrived home at about 3:00 am) opening presents… Good times.
that’s the faux fur capelet in the background… I’m just sayin.
Well folks, that’s it for the wedding and honeymoon recaps, it has been a long time coming eh? Thanks for hanging on, while I got my act together!
Stay tuned to see what our next venture is!
2.21.09: Wedding Rehearsal & Dinner
2.21.09: Me and my crew
2.21.09: Nick and his crew
2.21.09: Rollin’ wit da homies!
2.21.09: They don’t call me CRY-CRY for nothin!
2.21.09: The Ceremony aka BEDMAS*
2.21.09: One and done!
2.21.09: Pics, pics, pics…
2.21.09: The Entrance & 1st dance
2.21.09: Here! Here!
2.21.09: Just Dance!
2.21.09: KYAKE! revisited
2.21.09: Cancún part 1