Friday, September 18, 2009

Cancun - Day 2

On Friday I had arranged a private tour of Chichen Itza-Mayan ruins about 2.5 hours from Cancun. We had a private van, a driver and a guide. We were up at 645 so we could have breakfast before the tour at 745.

When I was waiting for the flight at ORD, a man came running up to me. He was wearing a safari hat and camouflage pants. He could barely utter his question to me, as he was out of breath. He wanted to know if the plane had finalized boarding yet. I love to travel and I spent more time than the average person in the airport, but questions like this annoy me. The big board at the gate said boarding will begin in 2 minutes. Come on! He volunteered that he was from Syracuse and had won a sales competition at his office for a 3 night stay at the Ritz (dammit!) plus airfare for one. He left his wife and newborn son (8 months old) home while he went to Mexico. Seems odd to me. And what kind of company rewards its employees with a single ticket?

Anyway, after breakfast on Friday we are waiting in the hotel lobby for our van to be ready and Safari Hat comes over to talk to me again. I tell him we are going to Chichen Itza for the day and he invites himself along. I tell him it is a private tour and everything is pre-arranged and paid for. His response was "Oh these people are very flexible, I will go talk to them"-what balls, eh? I quickly ran out to the tour leader while JFB ran interference with Safari Hat. He did not come on our tour. It would have been miserable if he had joined us.

The drive to Chichen Itza was 2.5 hours. We stopped off at a cenote (sink hole) and drove through some Mayan villages. Honestly, the Mayan villages were not what I was expecting. I thought it would be like Jamestown, replica ancient Mayan villages. Nope. We were shown how the Mayans live today: in cinder block houses with thatched roofs. They make hammocks and dresses and other linen type products. Very colorful, but not really my style.

We get to Chichen Itza around 1045am, check in, use the WC and begin the tour. I really liked the idea of the private guide. He really picked up on what interested us and what did not. We walked around the North, South and Central Zones and saw another Cenote. The architecture was very cool. I didn't know the 4-sided main pyramid had 91 stairs on each side, which when you add it to the top platform equals 365, the number of days in a year. We got lots of fun facts like that throughout.

There weren't many people at Chichen Itza, so as you can see from my pictures, there aren't too many people ruining the shots.

After the tour we went to a lunch buffet at the Mayaland hotel. We watched a Mayan woman hand make corn tortillas for us. As everyone knows, I am not a buffet (pronounced BU-fay) guy. This buffet was great. Nice mix of chicken, need, pork and fish. Nice tortilla soup--nothing is better after walking around in the blazing sun for 3 hours than a boiling bowl of soup! We gorged at the buffet. We decided not to take the side trip to a cenote where you can swim, instead we hung out at the Mayaland for a while (just to confirm we weren't going to have any GI distress, as there are no places to stop between Mayaland Hotel and Cancun-we had no issues), we decided to dead back to the hotel.

We slept on the bus back home. Once back at the Ritz we showered and hit the empty pool. Edy was our server again. Margaritas and Pina Colladas with Dark Rum Floaters really hit the spot. While lounging in the pool we meet a couple from New York-Jeff and Rueben. They met on Facebook the week prior. Jeff was 39 and Rueben was 24. Jeff paid for their last minute flight down and all the close they would need (which wasn't much). We talked for a while, concluded that Jeff was dumb and Rueben was a fraternity boy. We also decided that the 5 of us should venture into town for dinner and go to a club.

The dinner was great. For some reason we decided to do tequila shots, but they came with a spicy bloody mary mix chaser. Food was so good. We left to find a club. There aren't a lot of gay clubs in Cancun. We found one, it was empty, but there were a lot of pros working the street outside, which is always a sign of a quality establishment--like all of those place in Toronto we visited.

We managed to get home around 230am and went right to bed.

Strange to think this was only Day 2 -the first Full Day in Cancun.

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