Hard to believe, but we are already halfway through our child-free getaway to the Mexican Riviera. We’re staying at a beach house in Akumal, which is located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. I have to admit, we’ve been pretty lazy. There has been lots of napping, eating, drinking and book reading. It’s been divine. I can’t remember the last time I slept this much. :)
The food has been a definite high point of the trip. Lots of amazing variations on tacos, burritos and salsa. One of our favorite spots was La Buena Vida, a bar and restaurant in Akumal. I’m pictured above sitting on their popular swinging bar perches. We also took advantage of an oceanside table (with sand underfoot) but were disappointed that the treehouse was under repair that day. Too bad, as I really wanted to have a beer hoisted up to us in a bucket!
We also had the good fortune of getting into the Hartwood Restaurant in Tulum, where wait times for a table are often close to 2 hours. Not only is this restaurant hip, but it’s the posterchild for sustainability. To start with, all food is cooked in a wood burning oven and grill. The few things that do require electricity are powered with solar panels. All food is locally sourced and all waste is used as compost, making the restaurant carbon neutral. This place is truly something special – next time you’re in the area, be sure and check it out.
On Tuesday we decided to hit the ruins. First up was Tulum, which is a beautiful oceanfront ruin complex. I can’t imagine how cool it would have been to visit this place in its heyday. The Mayans sure know how to pick a killer location….
This was the first ruin I’ve been to where everyone enters carrying swimming stuff. We missed the memo, but it’s apparently common practice to swim at the ruin after taking your tour.
Next up was the ancient Mayan city of Coba, which once held 40,000 people. It is estimated that there are nearly 6,000 ruins in this complex, only 3% of which have been discovered and restored thus far.
The definite highlight of the day was getting to climb my first Mayan temple!!! This was no baby temple either, it was the second largest (bigger than Chichen Itza) and reached a height of 140 feet.
What I loved about this experience was the fact that it would NEVER happen in the US. There’d be accidents and lawsuits up the wazoo. But in Mexico, no big deal. No waiver, no refined path, climb at your own risk. They generously provided a rope in case you freak out at the top and then need to slide down on your but (which I saw multiple people do).
I was uber-determined to make this climb, since I’m sure someone is going to wisen up soon and shut ‘er down for good. I made the tiny mistake of looking down when I was about halfway up and that sent a few shots of panic through me. Dang was it high (and very uneven from all the wear and tear over the years). So what did I do? I stopped looking down and just kept taking the next step in front of me. Before I knew it I found myself at the top jumping for joy over my kick-ass accomplishment! PS – My bum still hurts 2 days later… that was one heck of a stair climb!
Today Nick opted to go on a dive in an underground cavern called a cenote. I was not sad to miss out on this one. He, on the other hand, absolutely loved it. Here’s a clip from his dive if you’d like to watch it.
Sadly, there’s only 3 more days left in paradise before we head back home. In case you were wondering, Nia is having a blast in Minnesota. She is so busy playing, in fact, that she has to be bribed to come and talk with us on skype. I’m not sure if I should be hurt or pleased by this. What I do know is that I’ll be excited to see her after 12 days apart!