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Dave and Jan's travels, day 236:

10th January
From Belize, we drove up the east coast of Mexico to the town of Tulum. Tulum sits at one end of one of the world's finest beaches, and is thus a long way from the opposite end and the development around Cancun. To give you some idea of the kind of place that is Cancun: a while back a group of Liverpudlian tourists (sorry Liverpool) were quizzed on their location, and seventy percent didn't know which country they were in. This is the Caribbean Majorca.

The Tulum area has seen much less development, the buildings are one or two stories and mostly behind palm trees. Sadly the development restrictions haven't extended to the prices, which by the standards we've become used to are outrageously high. We eventually found one hotel which had one rather primitive room reserved for the likes of us. This hut was actually perfectly adequate. One splendid irony was its location: their one room without electricity was stationed about three feet from the generator, but fortunately that wasn't used at night.

In any event, the beach was heartbreakingly perfect, with finegrained white sand, turquoise sea, cocktails, sunshades and a just-cool-enough breeze. So we spent a night doing remarkably little.

The next day we visited the Maya ruins at Tulum. These are nice, although by the standards of other ruins neither large nor ornate. They do win on location though, poised on a low cliff above that turquoise sea. Their proximity to Cancun also allows them to win the number of visitors competition, which really does get a little overbearing. Nevertheless we enjoyed looking around, and I must say it's nice to see that at least a few of the Mayan estate agents (realtors) understood the importance of location.

From Tulum we drove on into Mexico, overnighting at Valladolid en route to a lot more Mayan ruins.


   (click thumbnails for a larger picture)

Beach boy

Sunset, Tulum

Mayan ruins, Tulum