Valladolid-Merida-San Cris

Tom and I got to Valladolid, where we spent about...three days. I stayed in the same hostel as last time - "La Candeleria," situated in the northern part of the city next to an old church. We were woken up every morning at 6am by the bells for mass. The town was very lively, there was a lot going on. Mass was held every night outside of the church in the plaza. We didn't know it at the time, but they were celebrating four hundred and some odd years since gaining their independence.

The first full day there, I returned to Ek Balam. They were the quieter ruins nearby. We took a collectivo there, and walked around. There were some paths behind the ruins that we decided to walk along. There wasn't a sign, but turns out we weren't supposed to be walking on them. After meeting a man on a bicycle who asked us "donde vas?", we were kindly escorted out. We were pretty much done there. We then decided to walk out to the main road and get a bus back to Valladolid. The walk was a little longer than anticipated, and fairly boring, but we ended up catching a bus, and paying much less.

The next day, Tom went to Chichen Itza and just lounged around the hostel. Getting some stuff done that needed to be.

From Valladolid, we headed to Merida, a city I spent some time in last year. We ended up staying in a different hostel that was pretty quiet, and had a nice courtyard. We ended up staying a few days there. It was even more lively than Valladolid, with all of the celebrations. There was live music every night in the main plaza. Merida was a nice city to walk away, and it was nice to see it this time without being scarred by a bull fight. It makes me shudder to think about it.

One day, we decided to go to Progresso and hit Dzibilchaltun on the way back. Progresso is on the coast, having heard quite a bit about it, I decided it would be worth the trip out there. It was a little disappointing, it was very windy and the beach was mediocre. It was a pleasant little town, but was overrun by the cruise ship crowd. Apparently a couple of cruise ships stop there every week and little stalls pop up along the board walk selling over priced knick-knacks. We had a nice little picnic before looking for the collective to Dzibilchaltun.

We had been told that the collectivo would drop us off 2km from the ruins, and our collectivo kindly offered to drop us off right at the ruins for an extra USD$50. Gee, thanks. We declined and decided to tackle the 2km to the ruins. It really turned out to be closer to 6. We arrived at the ruins, exhausted, but eager to see them. Being so out of the way, they were fairly quiet and void of tourists. We could climb on them, and there was a nice cenote I jumped into. I was thankful I had brought my swimsuit. It felt so good to cool off.

Eventually the site was starting to close, and we begrudgingly set off on our 6km walk back to where we could be picked up by a collectivo. The walk was not very pretty, along a main road. After about an hour of walking, a car stopped and offered a lift. Vincente un profesor en la universidad catolica. He dropped us off at the outskirts of Merida where we were easily able to find a bus back to the centre. So we returned to our hostel, very sore.

The next day, was our last in Merida. We had decided to take a night bus to San Cristobal de las casas. Tom and I walked around one of the markets, and got some fresh bread and veggies to make EPIC sandwiches for our bus ride. We bought an avacado, about the size of a baby's head. Yum Yum.

Tom went back to the hostel, and I decided to walk around some more. I sat in a little square outside of a university to do some writing. I stuck up a conversation with a mexican student and we got on the topic of food. I was saying something about how hard it was to find vegetarian food, so he said he would take me to a place to get the best vegetarian taco I have ever had. He took me to another market where a family friend had a stall. She was making tortillas by hand and gave me a lesson. Fairly basic. They have these iron things to squish the dough and make them flat. She then made me an awesome veggie taco, which I ate even though I was not hungry at all.

That night we took a night bus to San Cris. It was supposed to be a 13 hour trip leaving at 1915. Instead, it took closer to 17 hours. We stopped in Palenque for about four hours at 2am. I was a little too groggy to understand what was going on, but people were ANGRY. Later, I learn that the driver had been driving for 12 hours or something (he could not legally drive any longer), so he stopped for a four hour nap.

We arrived in San Cris Wednesday morning, and I absolutely love it. It is up in the highlands, fairly close to the border with Guatemala. It has a nice hippy vibe, with beautiful buildings and a lot of churches. A lot and a lot of churches. We have done a lot of walks. Wednesday, we pretty much explored the town. We are staying at a nice little hostel, with some friendly people.

Yesterday we took a walk outside of town, there was supposed to be a nice church and some woods, but I think we missed it. It was still a plesent walk. The afternoon was spent by exploring some more. I sat in a nice little cafe with an uber strong espresso and flan and did some more writing.

Today, we headed to huitepec, a privately owned park nearby which contains a volcano and a fairly decent uphill hike. It was pretty, and a nice walk. It's good to be outside and nice to get exercise this way. Beats running amidst crowds and traffic. We then took another combis on the way to San Juan de Chamula, a fairly traditional mexican town nearby. They had a church there (which I still need to do some research on). It was interesting. You can't take any pictures inside. There is some sort of grass or hay that litters the floor and there are hundreds, if not thousands of candles lining the walls. Heat radiates from them, and they surround pictures of what I think are saints. There were people sitting on the floor praying. There were two women, sitting with a man, and a chicken. It looks like they were blessing a woman, and then the chicken. Then the man broke the chicken's neck. It was rather shocking, and I am still puzzled as to what it was all about.

After walking around the market a little, we returned to San Cris. We had lunch, and then I decided to walk around a little on my own. I tried to find the museum of mayan medicine, but got utterly lost, so have left it for tomorrow. I then walked around the market, which was almost as good as the one in Sucre, Bolivia, but not quite. It was all open aired and absolutely chaotic. I love markets in this part of the world. The colours are amazing. There are flowers, fruits and vegetables absolutely everywhere. In this market everything in the stalls was artfully arranged, and not strewn everywhere like they are in most places.

There were cats all over the place, slinking into stalls, stealing meat. There was one that dropped some chicken onto the floor and began nibbling on it. The stall owner then picked it up, and sold it to someone else. I wish we had markets like these back home, but they would break every single health and safety code.

The plan is to leave on Sunday for Xela, but I like it here, so may stay longer. I looked into Spanish classes but they are rather expensive so will probably wait until I get to Xela.

On the move again...

Finally getting started on this blog, I don't really know why I keep putting them off, other than I have been a little lazy. I guess three hours in the airport has finally gotten me to get around to it.

I've decided to start this from Canada since most people reading this were with me in Florida. On the 7th I flew from Pensacola to Detroit, where my host Jeremy picked me up from the airport. My goodness! It was freezing. Actually, it still is as I am sitting in the Detroit airport right now. Jeremy took me to his home in Windsor, very close to the US border. I hung around there for five days or so before going to Niagara.

Niagara was about a four hour drive from Windsor. I kind of count this as my first trip to Canada, so it was nice to see a little bit of Ontario. I also got to see a very good amount of Canadian snow! We got to Niagara late afternoon, and walked down to falls. I was well equipped with Jeremy's coat, but man, it was freezing. It was beginning to get dark when we walked down to the falls. I would have loved to have seen them a couple hundred years ago, before there were any railings, or as many buildings. They must have looked even more spectacular then they are now.

On the way back to Windsor, Jeremy showed me where he grew up. It was a nice drive. On Sunday, I spent the night in Detroit so I could get my flight to Cancun early the next morning.

The flight was a little delayed, because the slides weren't functioning properly. Not like they would really help if we crashed in the ocean. Of course it was pouring when I arrived in Cancun. It cleared up once I got into the bus to go into the centre. Then it rained when I got out. Typical. I walked to Ricardo's house. He is the couch surfer that I am staying with. He lives fairly central.

Monday afternoon, I walked to Mercardo 28, an arty market nearby to Ricardo's house. It of course poured (again), and I got soaked. I didn't spend much time looking around. I then watched the original Tron with my host. Tuesday I went to the hotel zone. It was lovely. The weather that is, not the hotel zone. I laid on the beach for several hours, and got sunburned. I have these very unattractive red spots on my back. My pinky toes are also burned.

I got back to Ricardo's early afternoon. A canadian couch surfer, Tom had arrived. We had talked before hand about travelling together for a bit. We went to Mercardo 28 again, then got a bite to eat for dinner. I managed to get a vegetarian dish that did not consist of rice and beans. There were tortillas with boiled eggs inside and a mole sauce that was made with crushed almonds and pumpkin seeds. Yummy.

We then went for a bit of a walk around the city. Ricardo has described Cancun and some of the surrounding areas as a "cultural black hole," I kind of have to agree with that. I was more than ready to move on.

Today, Tom and I went to the hotel zone. We didn't spend long there before going to Puerto Morelos. It's a fishing town, about half an hour from Cancun. There wasn't a whole lot to see, but we walked around for a couple of hours and got a drink. It was nice and much less touristy than Cancun. I was super duper hot though, I think I got a little more sunburned near my hairline, and back of my knees. Sigh. I am a bit of lobster.

We came back to Ricardo's and got a bite to eat and rented "The Box." All I can say, is that I don't get that movie. Made NO sense to me.

Tom and I are planning to go to Valladolid tomorrow. I spent a few days there last year, but I think there are some things he wants to see. I am also not in the mood for a several hour bus ride. I am hoping to me in Guatemala within the next week, and in Xela in the next ten days or so.

The end for now

I keep meaning to update this. I am now back in London for the time being, looking for a job and applying to uni.

The end for now

I keep meaning to update this. I am now back in London for the time being, looking for a job and applying to uni.


After another two weeks in KL, I began feeling a little bored so decided to head North to Thailand with fellow couch surfer Max. After a 21 hour journey (most of which felt like it was spent waiting at the border) we arrived on the beautiful secluded peninsula of RaiLey in the Krabi region. It feels a lot like an island, but it isn't. There are no vehicles and you must reach it by boat. Jeeva (who hosted both Max and I) suggested that we come here and recommended a place for us to stay.

We found a great hotel and are paying a little bit more than you would expect in Thailand, but for $7 each we have a room with a private bathroom, fan, AC (which doesn't really work), pool and beautiful view of the island (I mean peninsula).

People come here to rock climb. There are cliffs surrounding the island. Today, Max and I took a little walk up one of them, although it was more of climb than anything else. There was a look out point where you can see the whole peninsula (pictures will be up on shutterfly at some point). There is also a lagoon that you can walk to. It was a little bit of a steep climb down though, and we decided not to risk breaking anything. So just admired it from the top as best we could.

Tomorrow we will head off someplace new, but not too far away since I have to be back in KL in a few days.

A little update

I have been back in KL for about a week now. I got a job at a dive shop in a massive mall just outside of the city. I helped sell dive equipment and I got 23% commission. It seemed like a pretty good deal, until I realised it wasn't. Things were slow and I often made only $1 in 12 hours. So I have decided that yesterday was my final day. My time can be much better spent doing other things. They wanted me to sell things to the foreigners, but the foreigners who came in were often dive instructors and got a discount, which meant I didn't get a commission. I was also the only one of the employees who had been diving before and could give some advice about things. It's also quite far from where I am staying. Things were so slow that I managed to get through a book a day. So I have managed to read about 5 books this week.

I stayed with Jeeva for a few days then moved into a guesthouse where I will be staying until I leave KL. I decided I needed a little bit of my own space for a few weeks. I am not really sure what I will be doing until I leave, but may find a bit of volunteering to do. I can keep myself pretty busy though.

There and back again...

Now it's definitely time for a new blog entry. It feels like a bit of a chore sometimes, especially when you don't feel like writing anything. I am now officially a divemaster! I left the Perhentians and headed to Bangkok. The journey took over thirty hours - a boat, two buses, a train and some walking. I was utterly exhausted when I got there, but had a nice surprise. Mike, my roomie from Santiago was in Bangkok as well. We only saw each other briefly before headed to Northern Thailand.

I stayed near Khao San Road the popular tourist road. I must admit that Bangkok was not for me. I would like to try it again sometime in the future. I was in a bad mood and tired from travelling. I definitely realised I needed a break from my break. Bangkok was noisy, polluted and I met some of the weirdest foreigners I have ever met! I had a few things stolen from my room including my only debit card and to top things off I fell and fractured my elbow.

I decided enough was enough and booked a flight back to KL after convincing a dive shop to give me a job selling equipment. I start on Monday. I am happy to be back, employed and around familiar faces, Ruben and Lara are here until Monday and I am staying with a Couch Surfer Jeevah, and am sharing a room with several snakes, a couple of lizards and some tarantulas.

Am happy to be here hanging around until I fly back to England...