Soloing, Más o Menos
March 27th, 2010 by robert

Today I sent Corey towards Alaska, and yesterday we bid farewell to Nico. The transition to solo traveler has begun, and it began with me regretting that I sent the Yucatan guide book back with Corey. After checking him in, I began the drive to my destination, Ek Balam, an interesting Maya site that other travelers had recommended as a great birding spot. Oh, I forgot to mention we rented a car in Mérida to make our circuit of the Yucatan peninsula easier.

I took the cuota highway,  the toll road, and felt fairly surreal driving on a nearly deserted highway. The reason for the lack of vehicles became clear at the toll plaza: $18!! We had paid tolls on our drive, but this was five times larger than any previous toll.

When I arrived in Valladolid, I headed to Ek Balam, hoping to find a camping spot. Driving into the large, empty parking lot at the ruin site, I was surprised to find a bunch of kids running after my car. They wanted to ¨watch¨ it, to make a little money. Obviously camping was not going to happen here. I drove to the indigenous village of Ek Balam, and felt incredibly weird as I drove into the square in a shiny car. There is an Italian restaurant/hotel incongruously on one side of the square, and I went to check it out. Very fancy, empty, and exceedingly fine, it was out of my budget range. I backed out of town, not sure what to do; missing the guide book.

Returning to Valladolid, I stopped in at another hotel above my range, even though they tried to make me a special deal, for today only. Then I remembered seeing a cybercafe across the street. Entering it I walked through the loud video game room and entered a spare room with fifteen windoze machines along the wall. I paid forty cents for half an hour of time, and in five minutes I had the name and location for a highly recommended hostel in this small colonial city, Hostel Candelaria. And here I am, typing on their computer, trying to get used to a Spanish keyboard, and content for the night.

Candelaria Garden


One Response  
  • Jo writes:
    April 3rd, 20106:20 pmat

    Hello Robert,

    Vibrant fuji-esque colors. The good news from Palmer is that in southern sunny spots the earth is showing through the snow. Yippee.

    Take lots of photos and return safely – we’ve been thinking about you. I guess you ended up taking the pack-raft!

    Much love,

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