Central America | Mexico | Yucatan Peninsula | Quintana Roo | Tulum – Greetings from Tulum: Drunk Dwarves and Other Things
Greetings from Tulum, where I was attacked by a drunk Mexican dwarf.
Lest people such as my Mom get too worried, he was fairly harmless – a young guy who people at my hostel had been hanging out with. He was trashed last night, and kept listing towards me with an unfocused lusty dwarf gaze, until he lunged for me and I had to shake him off.
That´s my first run-in, so to speak, with Mexican men.
I had heard amazing things about staying in the caba?as on the playa in Tulum. Filled with visions, supplied to me by a stoned 23 year old in Merida (first warning sign), I found myself installed in an expensive and dirty caba?a at the notorious Don Armando’s, just down the beach from the cliffside ruins. Add to that unusable ba?os, being afraid of my bedding, causing me to whimper into my sleepsheet, and the late night disco blaring terrible music that gives all of electronic a bad name.
I moved in the morning to the wonderfully hospitable new hostel called El Crucero, run, coincidentally, by an American ex-pat name of Japh, who is friends with mi amigos Caryn and Jesse in the Bay Area. El Crucero is the best place in Tulum (aside from expensively fancy caba?as on the southern end of the beach). In town, it is a ten minute walk to the beach via a barricaded back road through jungle that takes you next to the ruins – an incredible experience at night, with the shadows of ruins and a winking moon overhead. At just 75 pesos a bed, it is half the price of the caba?as on the beach. It is small and has a wonderful bar-restaurant where it is possible to while away many hours with hammocks, fresh-squeezed lemonade, and friendly staff, travelers, and resident dogs.
Aside from the traumatic experience of the palapas (caba?as), Tulum is possibly the most beautiful place I have ever been. It is my first time on the Caribbean coast – I am dazzled to see that the turquoise water and palm-lined white sand beaches you always hear of are truly that spectacular in real life. There is a community of travelers on the beach, and days pass easily between lounging on the beach, exploring the area´s amazing cenotes (freshwater pools in caverns), and hanging out in the shade. It is day three here, somehow.
I´ve met more incredible people, including a couple in their late 20s, originally from the Bay Area, called Ben and Lisa. They bought a sailboat and plan to travel the world for 2-10 years, if they can. They are 7 months in, all in Mexico so far. If they find a place that calls to them, they plan to settle there – wherever in the world that might be.
Today I go to a cenote just outside town, to swim, look at fish and rock, and then back to the playa for meditation just before sunset (a nightly ritual). Somehow my Spanish homework I’ve set for myself doesn´t get done, in the endless being-ness of life at the beach.