Last days in Mexico
After a month in Tulum it is time for us to move on and finally go deeper into Central America. But before we can start we have to do several things: Filling up the tank, topping up our mobile phone, filling up the water, shopping, lunch ... and another half day is already over.
We've been in Mexico for almost half a year now, if you count the days before and since our return home. Somehow we haven't really warmed up with the country in all this time and to be honest we don't know exactly what the reason is. Is it the Spanish we couldn't speak at the beginning or hardly know? Is it the people we found less open than we were assured from different sides? Is it the fact that there are hardly any possibilities for wild camping in the wild here, as the country is very densely populated? Or is it the Latin American culture in general? - In between we really doubt whether we will like and enjoy travelling south of the perfect road trip country USA as much as we had imagined. Don't get me wrong - Mexico also has wonderful natural heritage, special landscapes, exotic animals and above all cultural highlights to offer and we have also met super nice and hospitable people here and wouldn't want to miss the time here. Nevertheless we always moved on quickly when we arrived at a place, which is also the case at the moment. We are ready for the next country.
But on the way to Belize there are still a few places we haven't seen in this area and want to visit. We also want to wait for my complete recovery before we leave the country. Our first destination is Punta Allen. This is a headland south of Tulum and can only be reached from here. Even though we managed to avoid the "Zona Hotelera" (the town of Tulum is located about 5km inland and is therefore separated from all the hotel complexes on the beach) last month, we can't avoid passing it to reach our destination.
"We are hit by the blow" is to put it mildly, to describe our feelings when we turn right shortly before reaching the sea and drive along the "coastal road". Unfortunately, the view of the sea is not possible nowadays. One hotel complex follows the next, the road is so far out that you can only use one lane (which causes a huge traffic chaos), the rattling of the generators (to generate enough electricity for the needs of all the bathers) thunders even more painfully in our ears than the ubiquitous firecrackers, which here in Mexico are part of our daily bread and it stinks ... sorry for the expression ... like shit. But you can't say it any other way, because it's really shit, which is trickling away from the hotels here in excess somewhere in the ground.
So much for the eco-friendly Tulum! Put your paper and bamboo tubes somewhere else. We're out!
As soon as we pass the last hotel and the border to the Sian Ka'an nature reserve, peace returns. We enjoy driving along the palm-lined road and see the sea for the first time in a long time. Already halfway to Punta Allen we find a perfect place to park, which to our surprise is still free, stop early and set up our night camp. After we have cleared the sand within a radius of about 5 meters around our car of the equivalent of 2 full 35 liter bags of garbage, we open a beer and look happily out at the surf. It is hot, but there is a slight breeze that cools our body temperatures down to a pleasant 36.8°C. In concrete terms, this means that when we are absolutely motionless, our bodies produce just about no sweat.
JACKPOT! The perfect wild camping site, we think!
It's getting dark, we get tired and go to bed. Thanks to our roof tent, which we can open up to the mosquito net, we are cooled by a slight draught even in bed and fall asleep quickly. But after about two hours we both wake up almost at the same time due to an unbearable itching. Our bodies burn and ache in every conceivable place, we are covered with red spots and I would like to dig in or even better: tear the skin from the loaf. But what happened? Before we went to sleep we checked the whole car for mosquitoes and eliminated some of these pests. If there was one left, it wouldn't be able to cause such a massacre. And since the roof was repaired, everything should now definitely be tight.
We now carry one of these battery-powered Bite-Away Sticks with us, which we received as an early Christmas present. With this device you can neutralize the itching, which we have already tested in the last few days with positive results in isolated stitches. With the current extent, however, even that does not help any more...
We take out the flashlights and search our car bit by bit to get on the trail of the culprits. There we see them on the ceiling ... hundreds of nano-sized "no-see-ums" are moving around here, deliciously eating their way through our all-you-can-eat buffet. These things are so small that you only notice them when they have already eaten a piece of skin out of you and the place starts to itch terribly. Due to their size, they could of course easily get into the car through our mosquito net. In this night it is impossible to get rid of the animals and so we have the choice between: 1. to be eaten alive or 2. to hide the body completely under the blanket and let the sweat production run at full speed. We decide for the latter and quickly pack our things up again the next morning.
After this painful experience we first stop at the Bahia Soliman, where we enjoy the sea for a few days and snorkel in the bay every now and then, then in Mahahual, a small tourist (many cruise ships stop here) place at the sea, where we actually wanted to snorkel with turtles, but had to leave it because of strong winds. Further we make a stopover in the beloved Bacalar, where we make a boat tour on the lagoon and finally we prepare in Chetumal for the border crossing to Belize and thus the fourth country on our journey.