It’s been years (literally) since I wrote or posted anything here, but the first half of 2017 is already gone and – blame it on the solar eclipse – here I am again, after wandering and wondering for almost 2 years. So, I want this start to be a good one, and that is why I am going to go back and forth between 2015, 2016 and 2017 from this time on until the end of the year.
I turned 35 this year and I decided to go away to celebrate this milestone; so I turned to my friends and said: guys, lets go to Bacalar to celebrate my 35th birthday! That’s how rockstar bloggers Kelly (a.k.a cancuncanuck), Fer (a.k.a Mafesaro), Eli (a.k.a HolaSoyEli), Ppto (a.k.a PptoTravel) and Miguel (a.k.a La vida es viaje) jumped on board to one of the coolest road trips I’ve had in my entire life.
Taking advantage of the holiday weekend in February, Kelly took her kiddo and a bunch of stuff and drove all the way from Cancun to Bacalar first, then the rest of us got on the first ADO bus from Cancun to Bacalar we could get after we were able to get off from work so we arrived around midnight and took a taxi to our accommodations at Magic Bacalar Camping.
On the first day, Mafesaro, Eli, Ppto and myself decided to walk around town after waking up super early to watch the sunrise (Kelly stayed up all night and therefore, slept through the morning) while Miguel decided to bike around town and the Costanera Avenue along the gorgeous Bacalar Lagoon which is also known as “The 7 color lagoon”. While walking around we were hit by the struck of genius: Lets rent a car and drive to the mayan ruins of Kohunlich, Dzibanché and Kinichná!
During the rest of the day, we decided to take a tour around Bacalar Lagoon on a boat, we were taken to sites such as The Pirate’s Canal, Cenote Azul, Cenote de la Bruja (rumor has it that this cenote has a curse from a witch that used to live by its shore a few decades ago, we didn’t really care and we jumped in it anyway as seen above), we got ourselves nice clay facials and saw stromatolite formations in the lagoon almost until the sun went down.
The next day we woke up early, had breakfast (which was deliciously included in our camping site fare) and headed to Kohunlich. The name of this ancient mayan city does not come from mayan language but is an english translation made into mayan, it actually means cohoon ridge, after the characteristic palm trees found in the area. Its architecture is very similar to other mayan cities such as Peten in Guatemala and even thought it is relatively isolated by tourism standards, that makes it perfect for quiet long visits.
After climbing structures and looking for Fer and Eli, we headed to Dzibanché ruins; this ancient mayan site got its name after the wooden lintels found in the “Temple of the Lindels” and means “Carved or written on wood“. This ancient city was part of the cities that belonged to the Calakmul radar of influence back in the day. At Dzibanché we were greeted by a pack of howling monkeys that were jumping on the tree tops.
Last but not least, we rushed to catch a glimpse of the smaller site of Kinichná which is basically just across the street from Dzibanché. This site only has one major and impressive structure. We arrived there only 5 minutes before it had to close and the site guard was kind enough to let us in for 20 minutes because “nobody ever gets here” so, I think he was just happy that the site had any visitors.
The day was still young and we decided to drive south to Chetumal, Quintana Roo’s capital city to catch the sunset on the bay, take a walk in its colonial style streets and have dinner. This included both a sugar and grease bomb that were literally the best meals we had during the trip, not only because of how it tasted but for the memories attached to it. We had the famous deep fried hot dogs in bacon and gouda cheese (NOMMSSSS) and Machacados. Machacados are a mix of crushed fruit, crushed ice, condensed milk, vanilla and all sorts of toppings, from oreos to peanuts. My mouth waters as I write about them.
All in all, I claim to anyone who asked, that that single day has been the best day of 2017 so far and there is no way that it would have been the same without the people that share that same moment in time; it taught me how valuable they are and how much I want to keep traveling with friends.