Visiting the ruins around Cancun

Before Nataly and I went to Cancun we reserved a car for our second full day through ACE Rent a Car just to be sure we didn’t have to spend time searching for a rental company with decent prices. The night before we were to pick it up we called the car company to make sure we had their location because Google Maps was giving some strange results. The next morning we took a taxi to the corner where it was supposed to be located, but it wasn’t there. We figured it must be close, however, and got out.

It was pretty early in the morning and there weren’t many people about, but one shopkeeper told us she thought the car was across the street. Sure enough, there was a big A visible on the sign on the opposite corner! Our excitement was short lived, however, because when we got across the street we saw that it was actually America Car Rentals. We asked the employee outside the store if he knew where ACE Rent a Car was and he told us he wasn’t sure, but he thought it was around the corner. We walked down the street, asking the few people we saw if they knew where it was, but with no sight of it we decided to try calling the number we’d been given in case of trouble while in Mexico. No answer.

We walked up and down streets, staying centered on the corner where it was supposed to be, calling occasionally, but never with any answer. At one point we tried calling their US based reservation hotline, but when they picked up I panicked and hung up (Nataly had been calling the other number, but she doesn’t like to speak on the phone in English.) Oh well. After an hour and a half and past the hour holding period for our reservation, we gave up and went to a different rental agency that was across the street from where we were at that moment, which turned out to cost about the same as our reserved car would have anyway. Later that night when we were back at our hotel, I would find an email that had been sent the night before reminding us about our reservation. Not super interesting, I know, but this email, unlike all the other emails I’d received regarding the reservation, was in Spanish and had a different email address. And email address relating to America Car Rentals. The one we saw right away, where the employee didn’t know anything about ACE Rent a Car. GAH!

 

Finally in possession of a car, we gassed up and headed towards our first stop: Chichen Itza. We took the toll road, which was expensive but definitely worth it. A couple hours later and after a relaxing stop for lunch we were finally at Chichen Itza. The rain that we’d encountered while driving had let up, but it was still looking a little cloudy, so I grabbed my jacket and Nataly bought a poncho from the vendors outside the entrance. We never ended up needing them, which figures.

 

The path leading up to the main pyramid, El Castillo, was lined with vendors. Now, I’m very conflicted about markets and that sort of thing. I like them in theory. The hustle, the bustle, the human element. But they also overwhelm my senses even in small doses like this, and I wasn’t looking to buy anything that day. Still, it was only a small nuisance. We walked around to see all the ruins, occasionally seeing some more vendors, and I continued to annoy Nataly by taking pictures of random foliage and every animal I saw. At one point we accidentally wandered into what appeared to be a hotel, but didn’t have any problem getting back onto the grounds of Chichen Itza. That seemed strange, but we shrugged it off because there were still ruins to see and nothing ever came of it. (Note: I think I’ve sorted the pictures correctly, but let me know if you notice I’ve accidentally put pictures of Coba here or vice versa.)

I didn’t realize there was so much to Chichen Itza (I don’t like to do TOO much research into places I’m going because I like a little surprise, and I don’t want to be disappointed when something isn’t what I expect) and when we were finished it was only an hour or two before closing time. We knew our next stop, Coba, was probably closing soon as well, so we set off after a quick rest.

The drive to Coba was a frustrating affair, slowing down what seemed like every 10 minutes to pass through a town. We eventually got there, however, and were informed that they were closing in half an hour. Not much time, but enough! We rented some bikes and I set off. The employees were yelling at me to wait, but I the braked weren’t working and they started running after me and kicking at my bike! Eventually I managed to stop and it turned out I had left the kick stand down. Oops. I don’t use the kick stand at home. I showed an employee the problem and picked another bike, checking it and remembering to put up the kick stand this time and I was off again. Then a rusty screw sticking out the side tore my pants. Geez, not my day.

It was a quick ride to the main pyramid, with a couple of stops to look at some small ruins. Now, the main reason I wanted to rent bikes was because I’d seen it recommended in reviews. Coba was supposed to be this sprawling area that would take a while to explore. We seem to have missed it in our rush, so I guess I’ll have to come back another time. Still, It was fun climbing the pyramid and seeing the jungle sprawled out below.

 

After Coba there was one more thing we wanted to do: visit a cenote. We knew they’d probably be closing soon, so we found out where the nearest one was and headed straight there. There were actually three in the area, so we chose the one that looked nicest on the sign directing us to them. When we arrived we found out they were closed, but there were still people visiting, so we could go in for ten minutes  or so. Although our visit was short, we felt like we had enough time and I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to visiting some more cenotes when I bike through Mexico on my world trip!

 

We arrived back in Cancun after dark and relaxed on a beach for a little while. I took a few decent photos, although my camera isn’t great in the dark.

Then we went back to the hotel, relaxed for a bit, and went to sleep. What a day!

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