We spent more time at the ruins than we thought we would and didn´t get to the next town until about 2:30 where we again had a wonderful Mexican meal accompanied by live music. We then drove to a town called Coba where we thought we might stay the night and visit more ruins tomorrow, but hte town was pretty pitiful and the ruins were not as impressive as where we had been so we gave it a miss and headed straight for Tulum a day early. Tulum, the town, is a little like a very old Surfers Paradise filled with Restaurants, bars, souvenier shops and tourists. It is situated about a 2klm from the beach itself which goes on endlessly and is lined with hotels of all types mainly catering for rich americans….which we are not. So again my practical wife had booked a hotel in town which at 1st I thought was a drag but when I saw it I couldn´t believe how nice it was. We have just taken a stroll down the main street and had ANOTHER great meal at one of the 2 Italian restaurants in town. Again there seems to be lots of fast, […]
The Mayan Riviera is on the east coast of Mexico on a mercilessly flat piece of limestone known as the Yucatan peninsula. This area is home to the Mayans and are noticeably different to the Hollywood Mexicans we were expecting. The peninsula has beautiful beaches, expensive resorts and is riddled with caves filled with freshwater known as Cenotes. Up the top end is Cancun which, being over commercialised and catering for the americans, we gave a miss. Tulum marks the lower end and has been more our style. We will be leaving for Belize in the morning. The last 4 days have been absolutely fantastic lying on the beach, snorkelling in Cenotes and lagoons and eating at the many varied restaurants they have here.
This is an island off Belize that is approximately 800m long and around 20m wide at its thinnest. It has one main street and a couple of lanes. There are no vehicles to speak of except golf carts which also operate as taxis. The main street is lined with restaurants, bars & hotels but not as we know them. These are not modern solid structures but mainly ramshackle sheds with lots of character. Everything is beachfront which makes the place feel ideal. However one side of the island is all mangroves and the main side is all piers housing the many boating tours that operate here, which leaves one little area at the end for swimming. The 1st day we spent lazing around the small beach which has a bar (naturally) and in the evening we we went to a restaurant….well it was actually a BBQ grill and some plastic tables & chairs on the beach…..there are a few of these. 80% of every menu in town is lobster so that is exactly what Deb has had 3 nights running (at around $15 a pop, why not?) Today we took a sailboat tour out to the reef which they proudly […]
Imagine a national park with 10,000 hills…fairly easy, now imagine if each of those hills was actually a Mayan temple or other structure that was merely overgrown. Now you have an idea of what Tikal is like. We arrived about 3>00pm yesterday and spent a quick 1.5 hrs looking around some minor structures ’cause we knew we would be on the sunrise guided tour going to the main areas. Hard to believe that Deb …I am not a morning person…Cohen actually got up at 4>15am for a trek in the jungle, but she did. We arrived at the main temple just before dawn and scarpered up 70m of steeps steps to reach the top of the main temple. There we sat quiet for awhile listening to the animals of the dense tropical forrest go thru their morning rituals. The guide pointed out the sound of howler monkeys and toucans amongst others…later we actually got to see these too. Please note that at this height we were above the canopy but there was dense cloud above us and heavy mist rising from below. All we could really see as it gradually got lighter was the tops of similar structures…but oh what […]
This town is like a large Trinidad, Cuba..in that it is full of wonderful old Spanish colonial buildings and very touristy…but in a good way. Heaps of Cafes and restaurants but not much live music. The town is surrounded on 3 sides by mountains and on the 4th side a volcano dominates the skyline, giving the town a great atmosphere. Of course we just HAD to climb the volcano….and what an experience…too much to note here but will make great dinner stories for our return.
Our last stop and what a land. Way up in the Guatemalen highlands a volcano collapsed and created a lake of some 120 sq klms. Over the centuries small towns have emerged around the lake and we spent 5 days exploring most of them. Each town is very individual and we thoroughly enjoyed each visit. We stayed in a luxury hotel up the side of a mountain and were given the best room in the house which had a huge window overlooking the lake and its remaining 3 volcanos. Each morning would start off warm and sunny but by 2>00pm each day the clouds would roll in and the temp would get quite cool often creating spectacular thunderstorms. This will be the last post in this blog ….hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have…well almost….thanks for coming.
OK so I said I wouldn’t blog…..but it’s early and the hostel is great and has FREE internet, so…. Day 1 The boss has me racing to catch skytrain to get to the river so we can go up and down get off get on…etc. Her first scheduled stop was some palace but the place is crawling with tourists who are only out numbered by the scamartists offering to get you in privately if you pay now but meet them later. Luckily we had been forewarned. We find the official entrance but they stop me because I’m wearing shorts and say no problem just go in ‘there’ and you can borrow long pants. ‘There’ is a small building with a very long queue trailing out of it and it is 200 degrees and 400% humidity. I couldn’t get my pants off if Angelina was trying, everything is just stuck to me. So I say forget it – what’s next and Deb pouts but on this occasion I win and we grumble back to the boat. ‘Next’ was a flower market but I wasn’t the only flower melting in the now midday heat. So a “short” walk to Chinatown ended up […]
Abandoning the number headings ’cause it’s too hard to remember what day it is. Deb last wrote about our final day in Chiang Mai, next we spent 9 hours on a bus heading to the north until we hit the Mekong river which at this location forms a border with Laos. We went through the usual customs & immigration and caught a ferry (small leaky dinghy) across in the rain. On the Laos side was a small border town with a few small hostels & cafes and many backpackers. That night we found a cafe on the river and had a steamboat BBQ (delicious) and made some new friends, a frenchman named (naturally) Jean-Luc and his chinese wife of 6 months, Pauline. I was next informed by my intrepid leader that we would be spending the next 2 days on a boat going down (up?) the Mekong into central Laos to visit the old capital of Luang Prabang. The 1st day was pretty uneventful and a little uncomfortable as it rained most of the day. The boat wasn’t too bad (’cause I was expecting worse) but after 8 hours and sharing with 40 odd backpackers (mainly french) we had enough. […]
Unlike most of the other towns we have visited Phonsavan has not reached a level of friendliness to it’s tourists. The locals are alright but the tour operators are arseholes. There are some great things to do here but it is overshadowed by a darker side. There are quite a few aid agencies based here with many expat personnell and we got talking to them about some of the local issues. It seems Laos is the most bombed country in the world (per capita) and around 30% of all the stuff dropped didn’t detonate. This is collectively known as UXO and there are many signs advising tourists to keep to marked safety areas when moving around the countryside. At 1st I thought it quite humorous that the locals had taken to turning the UXO into everything from furniture, decorative art & even BBQs….I assumed the stuff had all been diffused and made safe by the various agencies. However, in my conversation wth staff they informed me that very little of the displays around town had in fact been diffused and it is only a matterof time before there is a major accident. As it is there were around 350 lives […]
Due to the surprising amount of requests the on-going CohenRosenberg Adventures continues. After a great week in Manchester catching up with all the cousins (thanks again Mark & Ruth) we found Jason at London airport & continued on to Cairo. The first day was spent settling in and browsing the main bazaar, later that evening we went to a fantastic show called ‘the whirling dervishes’ consisting of all male musicians & dancers. Day 2 found us at the Egyptian museum where no photos are allowed inside but basically it just holds all the stuff that has been found inside the various pyramids & temples that hadn’t already been looted by thieves or other countries (I’m looking at you, Napoleon!). Day 3 was always going to be the most anticipated – a camel ride to the Pyramids of Giza. Certainly one of the highlights of any trip, I am unable describe how overwhelming these structures are. They are certainly difficult to photo up close and the area containing the 3 big pyramids & the Sphinx is quite vast and right on the outskirts of the city. These puppies only date back to around 2500BC, unlike the 7000 year old Sakkara pyramid […]