ADO Bus to Playa Del Carmen
In the morning we checked out of our Bed and Breakfast in Cancun and caught the bus to the ADO Bus Terminal. ADO is the biggest bus service in Mexico and it can pretty much get you anywhere. Buses leave every 15 minutes or so and they are completely safe. It is cheap enough, but we were told to take the Playa Express to Playa Del Carmen as it worked our half the price (an 8 seater van) it’s located right outside the ADO Terminal and there is signage on the the vans. It took about 2-3 hours to get to Playa Del Carmen.
5th Avenue, Shopping and Hostel Vive La Vida
We arrived in the afternoon and checked into our Hostel Vive La Vida, which was about a 3 minute walk from the bus station. 5Th avenue is where everything is, restaurants, shopping, the beach and you can book all your activities along here too (prepare to pay extra for anything you purchase on this strip), we found the prices more reasonable a few streets back.
We bought a cheap lunch, Mexican beers to try and booked our Chichen Itza tour. We also checked out CrossFit PDC, it looked like a pretty big gym, but they had rip off prices for drop in. $20USD per drop-in, almost $30AUD and when I looked on the board it was just another cardio WOD, no weights or skill work, just a 40 minute Cardio WOD.
We did some shopping along 5th avenue and I managed to buy a pair of under amour runners for $70 (they were like $150, then reduced, then the guy gave us too much change – score!)
Italian Dinner & Bed Bug Horror
If you go to Playa Del Carmen you will notice the abundance of Italian restaurants, we/I was swayed by the idea of Italian food, so we went there for dinner. It was called Eat Italy and it was really nice, only probably was that it was about 4 times the price of what we would normally pay for dinner. I had pappardelle bolognese and Ricky had a fettuccine Alfredo, we also got free bread and I had a sneaky glass of red wine.
When we got back to our hostel, we were pretty much ready to crash; we started to unpack our stuff when Ricky noticed a bug on his bed. When he picked it up (with a tissue) it exploded blood and then we realised… fucking bed bugs. I checked the corners of my bed and I also had some moving around. I went up to reception and the guy told me that they didn’t have a beg bug problem and the last complaint about bugs was a long time ago… and then we asked how long ago… he said 1 week; I shit you not. We checked 3 other beds in the room and they all had bugs, but there were 2 that weren’t occupied that seemed OK.
Chichen Itza Tour
In the morning we woke up early to get ready for the Chichen Itza tour. Our first stop was Cenote Ik-Kil. The water was dark green with lots of catfish. We were able to swim in the water which was incredible. The only problem was that nothing was free… towels… lockers… life jackets, you had to pay for it all. Try to buy a cheap snorkel set too, they didn’t have any to rent there.
The second stop was the buffet lunch, it was really good! We had pork, fish, salad, rice and desserts.
Third stop – Chichen Itza. It was amazing, possibly better than Machu Picchu. Unfortunately we only had 30 minutes to take photos after our tour. During the tour we learnt about each temple, the sides of the main pyramid, the religious death game, skull walls, clapping bird sound, equinox shadows of the snake god on the pyramid. After the tour we raced to see the sacrificial cenote, it was bright green because there has been no water flow.
Our last stop was the little town of Valladolid. It was okay, but we only had 30 minutes there, enough to walk around the square and get a coffee – would have preferred more time in Chichen Itza.
Cheap Eats, Walmart & Making a Murderer
In the morning we both skyped home at the same time and then headed to McDonalds for breakfast. I had pancakes (Yay!) and Ricky satisfied his sausage and egg McMuffin craving. After that we walked around the shops for ages and then stopped at El Fogon for lunch. It was a little bit of a walk outside of the tourist area, but it was worth the hype. Lots of locals eat at El Fogon, so it’s cheap and won’t make you sick, just be careful of the spicy sauces.
After that we went to Walmart, I bought a heap of cheap cosmetics, shavers and deodorant. We went back to the hostel for a sneaky nap and then we woke up, walked to the street markets and had burritos for dinner. Street burritos pretty much changed our world. They were 1/3 of the price of restaurant burritos and they were so much better. The meat, salad and tortillas were all really fresh. We then went and topped it off with McFlurries, microwave popcorn and the first episode of Making a Murderer.
BJJ, Burritos & Churros
In the morning we were lazy and woke up late. We wanted to train so we walked to the gyms before it got hot just to see where they were in comparison to our hotel. Again the CrossFit gym was wildly expensive and the programming looked disappointing. We got street burritos for lunch and shared a fruit salad from a stand.
In the afternoon we went for a long walk along the beach and got a coffee.
when we got back to the Hostel, we did some bookings, blog work and I finally painted my nails. That night Ricky went to BJJ at Mark Stables gym, I think the owner is American (or possibly Canadian, I don’t want to get shot making that assumption) and I waited there until the class finished. One of the teachers set me up with some of my own mats so I did 45minutes of stretching and hand stand practice, all for free.
Again, we had street burritos and then Churros from a guy on 30th Avenue, between Calle 2 – safe to say they were the best Churros we have ever had and they cost less than $2. Again we topped off our food comas with watching another episode of Making a Murderer.
Ricky’s Mexican Beer Reviews
1. Tecate (Normal) – Kind of like Emu Export, but better.
2. Indio – Like drinking water, very weak taste
3. Superior – Average, kind of metallic tasting…
4. Dos Equis XX – Strange taste, kind of like vegetables….
5. Sol – Decent, kind of similar taste to Tecate
6. Bohemia Obscura – Actually relatively decent