Sunday, March 30, 2014

Welcome to Dreadlocks Holidays

We would have liked to stay another day in Chichén Itzá for two reasons. To get the blog up to date again, as it was the first place where we had internet since San Miguel de Allende and to avoid being at a beach campground over the weekend. We did leave for two reasons as well: they were expecting 100.000 people in Chichén Itzá because of the Mayan equinox, which happens every year on the 21st of March, and to meet friends from The Netherlands who had booked a last minute deal to Cancun.

The idea had been to meet at the Tulum ruins in the morning. Leaving Chichén Itzá, which looked more like a battleground with the many police roadblocks and policemen at every corner and shop, took some time. First we had to ride past the swimming pool and through hallway past the motel rooms, through the lobby and out to the courtyard. Another ATM that didn't accept any foreign VISA cards despite showing the symbols and a simple breakfast later we were on our way to Tulum. As there wasn't much to see along the way but asphalt, there is nothing much to write about it either.

Arriving in Tulum at the ruins at 10.30 we found our friends weren't there yet. Some miscommunication meant they arrived 4 hours later and then couldn't find us. The main part of the miscommunication was Telcel, the Mexican phone company. Our friends are from The Netherlands and had used their own phone to call us, instead of showing us that number Telcel showed it as a random Mexican number. We thought they had bought a Mexican phone and tried to call them to ask where they were. It was ringing but we got no answer. We had an enjoyable afternoon nonetheless at a local restaurant and talked about our trip, what was happening in The netherlands and Europe at the moment (as we haven't kept track of any news for more than a year it was all news to us :-) and then started looking for a campground.

There were supposed to be a couple of campgrounds along the beach of Tulum. We had already seen some seriously weird types in Tulum itself, but the coastal road was a lot worse than that. Hundreds of eco resorts, therapeutic massage palaces, spiritual holiday centres, papala style beauty treatments, groovy cabañas, vegan friendly haciendas, yoga and funky ranchos, entertainment lifestyle hotels… yuk! The creepy types walking there made Mike say 'Welcome to dreadlocks holidays'.

We felt seriously not at home here and wanted to leave. As it was too late in the day and we wanted to go to the Tulum ruins the day after, we still tried to find a campground. The first one was a sandbox, no way to get the motorcycles in it and everything painted in rainbows and other hippie rubbish. The next one was a little bit better we thought, but the owner wasn't there so we looked a bit further where we found a campground that had there own tents which were covered in all kinds of mould and fungus… and still wanted to charge us 450 pesos for pitching our own tent! We had stayed in the garden of the Holiday Inn at Chichén Itzá, complete with swimming pool, electricity and wifi for 150 pesos in total for the 3 of us the night before.

Looking further we found a biosphere campground. According to the men at the entry we had to pay them 150 pesos for camping. Something told me there was something not right here, so I decided to have a look first. The road into the biosphere seemed to have been bombed by the US Airforce with old style blanket bombing. The last thing Mike and Jeanette heard me saying was 'this is going to take a while as the road is terrible…' Arriving at the campground I saw a wild looking native that could have played in 'Pirates of the Caribbean' without any aid of make up… a bit further on was a VW hippie van. The owner was there too to collect the camping fees. Camping fee was going to be 180 pesos… for a sandbox. Asking about the baños he pointed to an old porta-loo and called it the 'restrooms'. Pointing at the sign which said 20 pesos each for camping, he claimed it was an old sign, it was now 180 for three persons. The men at the beginning of the biosphere had said 150 but according to him that was incorrect… he also said we had to pay the Biosphere 90 pesos for entry on top of the 180… I left.

We went back to Camping Chavez, which seemed the best option. When we got there it was almost dark, realised we couldn't get the bikes in either and found a group of completely stoned people… one of which turned out to be the owner. He had his own filthy tents but we were 'allowed' to pitch our tent in the parking area next to the generator… for another absurd amount.

A cabana was going to set us back 3000 pesos… but, said the first friendly person we found there, next door is a campground which is good. Another sandbox but the best one by far and 'only' 240 pesos for 3. We pitched the tents in the dark and fell asleep… The next day we found there was going to be a children's party. Juan, who runs the campground, had told us it would stop at 5 pm. As Mexicans don't live by time, we didn't believe it would… and it didn't. It went on until well after dark and most of the people didn't leave at all but setup tents instead. They were all Mexican families and no bother at all. The young Europeans and Americans were… After they had smoked enough funny-weed and flushed it with enough alcohol they decided they were good at making music and singing… they weren't, but they kept trying until 3 am!

The next morning the toilets were a mess and filled with puke, the rubbish bins overflowed with beer cans and Tequila bottles. People were sleeping off their hangovers everywhere. If you think I'm a bit harsh to the young generation here… I'm not. These people are terrible, don't care about anyone but themselves and are proud to be so. Dreadlocks Holidays my ass!