I had planned to get up early and drive to Calakmul, a natural reserve with a Maya pyramid or two. It's about six hours from Campeche and I really didn't want to drive all that way only to find it's closed because of the flu, like the rest of tha Maya ruins, museums and other tourist attractions. I spent most of the morning in my room, reading about the flu, trying to figure out what to do and looking at rebooking my flight to come home earlier and save a vacation day or two. I was able to reschedule my flight at no charge for Monday, a day earlier than intended.
Finally I decided to head back to Tulum, taking a different road and stopping by some towns along the way. My first stop was Piste. The only reason I stopped there was to see if I could get a glimpse of Chichen Itza, the most popular Maya pyramid and one of the new seven wonders of the world. I didn't even make it to the gate. There were heavily armed guards turning people away. I drove on and noticed a sign for a hotel that was located near the site. I figured maybe I could bribe the hotel owner to let me on the roof and I could get some photos from the top. I didn't have to bribe them at all, they happily let me climb up to the highest point, and I was able to get some photos. They're not postcard material, but it's as close as I'll get. They were so close -- yet so far.
My second stop was Valladolid. It's a pretty little town with a little over fifty thousand inhabitants. I had trouble finding a place to park my rental car, until I saw a restaurant with secured parking for guests. This is where I had my late lunch before walking around the town to take some photos. Like all the other towns, a giant church loomed over the town square. I've seen so many churches on this trip, but I couldn't resist taking photos of one more, it was just too pretty.
I got to Tulum at about 5:00pm and I checked into a hotel right on the beach. It's a little pricey, but it's so nice! I did something I don't do often and probably wouldn't have done if the ruins weren't closed -- I left my camera at the hotel, put on my swimming shorts and swam until the sun went down. Wow, it was so much fun. I felt so refreshed, I went for a run along the beach. This is the one positive thing about the flu, the beach is fairly empty!
I enjoyed my evening so much that I checked in for another night. I'll relax on the beach tomorrow, maybe take some sunrise and sunset photos and then on Sunday make my way to Cancun.
Chichen Itza Pyramid: