We are finally on our long awaited vacation! We arrived in Mexico on Saturday morning. We promptly boarded a bus to Playa Del Carmen, about two hours south of Cancun. We then walked all over town in search of a hotel room. Evidentally New Year's eve is quite the holiday and people from all over Mexico as well as the normal tourists came to the Yucatan for vacation. There were no rooms anywhere in Playa so we boarded a bus back to Cancun and found a nice place to stay for the night. It was a long day but we ended up having a great night. We had our fill of street food and happened upon the Mexican version of Star Search. So we had excellent, hilarious, entertainment and good food. Yum!
The next day we walked around Cancun and got ready for our 13 hour bus trip to Chiapas. The bus left at 7 pm and we arrived the next morning. Palenque is a beautiful little town surrounded by jungle. The city is the starting point for many tours in the area, but mainly to the Mayan ruins of Palenque a few miles out of town.
Yesterday we took an excursion to see the ruins and visit two natural wonders Agua Azul and Misol - Ha. The ruins were covered in mist and fog - just beautiful. (I forgot the cord to download pictures so I'll be sure to post after I return!) So impressive. The site covers a few kilometers and they have yet to excavate all of the area. I had my knitting along and mesmerized the little Mayan girls selling their handicrafts. Generally speaking they approach tourists and show off their handicrafts asking you to purchase something, you say no gracias, and five minutes later they return. The girls that approached me were totally mute and just watched me knit. They were so impressed that they forgot to try to sell me anything.
From Palenque we traveled an hour to Misol - Ha a huge waterfall. There are ropes stretched from one side of the lake to the other so one could swim in the lake at the base of the falls. There are many warnings about the depth and risk of drowning so we just watched others plunge in. Seems strange to swim holing on to a rope.
From Misol - Ha it was another hour drive through the beautiful valley and up a large hill to Agua Azul. It is a series of small waterfalls and large cascading pools that eventually turn into a river that runs through the valley. The water here is totally clear and the minerals of the area turn the pools a beautiful shade of turquoise. After a hair rasing drive back to the town at night through fog on winding Mexican roads we were happy to get back.
Today we depart Palenque for Villahermosa. We hope to have a better chance of getting seats on a bus to Tulum. Hopefully there will be seats for us and our beach vacation can begin! I have four books and plenty of cotton yarn for some beach knitting!