(KtH) This morning started with another huge breakfast (I hope all the hostels in Mexico are like this!) followed by a bus trip to Valladolid. I'm not sure if we have mentioned it before, but back in April we were considering going to Cuba. We were going to fly from Cancun. However, we have decided against going to Cuba and are therefore we are making our way inland instead. The plan now is to get through the Yucatan fairly quickly as it is very expensive on our current budget (too many American and European tourists have brought the prices up).
We arrived in a very wet but reasonably pleasant city. We found a hostel right next to a park. As well as dorms it has private rooms so we paid the extra 20 pesos for some privacy.
I spent the afternoon reading under a fan while Damien caught up on some cable tv. We haven't seen a tv for months.
(DM) It had been a week of relaxing and beach time so today we wanted to get out and be busy again. We both slept very well last night and were ready to explore when we boarded the 9am bus to Ek Balam, another Mayan ruin.
Ek Balam is a fascinating archaeological site that still has vegetation covering most of the site. It gives the site a very authentic feel. The ruins cover a small area but the structures present and the huge main pyramid of the site made the visit very worth while. The pyramid is very impressive with its main face covered in ceremonial carvings that are the best we have seen so far.
After returning at Valladolid for lunch we then headed to Cenote Dzitnup. The guide book said it was 7km from the town, the hostel person said it was about 5km and a half hour walk while a traveller told us it was about 8km. We had not been active lately and took up the challenge and walked.
On the way we ran into an American guy who had followed us to the hostel yesterday. We got the last room so he had to move on. I spotted him reading in the park next to the hostel as we left the building and then he was all of a sudden next to us. I think he was waiting for us as he seemed lonely. We invited him along for the walk to the cenote.
One exhusting hour later we arrived at the cenote. It was a long and hot walk but worth the effort. A cenote is an underground cave that also has a water source inside. The scenery was really cool and it was possible to swim in the water. The temperature was refreshing and the water very clear. Cenote Dzitnap is one of the best examples in Mexico.
We caught a cab back to town. There was no way we were going to do that walk again. It was then time to bid our American friend goodbye. Dinner tonight was hot dogs (yes, very sad). We had a look at the main plaza afterwards and watched the locals dance. It is the tradition to dance on Sunday nights in the main square. The ages of the participants was from kids through to their grand parents. They were not a very active lot so after less then an hour we headed back to the hostel.