A Travellerspoint blog

Mexico

Flying home tonight

The end of over 14 months of travelling...

So tonight I am getting on a flight back to Luxembourg. I cannot really believe it yet that my trip is finally over.
I never thought I would end up travelling this long, but luckily I made the money last and made it all the way to Mexico like I had hoped. Only that it took me longer than I had thought... I left Luxembourg 433 days ago and these have been the 433 best days of my life.

I have seen and done so many incredible things in that time! I have been to 16 countries and according to my travel map I have travelled about 54,000 km, including my flights here and back. I have met hundreds of people, made friends with local people from the countries I visited and with other travellers from all over the world. Some of the highlights of my trip were the Iguazu falls, Patagonia, Machu Picchu and the Galápagos islands. I visited 39 Unesco World Heritage Centres. I climbed volcanoes and mountains. I saw glaciers and beautiful beaches. I visited big cities and small villages. I travelled by bus, plane, train, boat, taxi and used some more unusual means of transportation (like on my trip to San Cipriano). Some of the buses were luxurious and comfortable buses where I got served food and even wine, others were crowded uncomfortable ones driving along bumpy roads. I have seen many exotic animals, such as penguins, sea lions, boobies, sharks (including hammerhead sharks!), giant tortoises, pink and grey dolphins, rays, caimans and crocodiles, capibaras, tucans, monkeys and sloths. I have done adventurous activities such as rafting, zip-lining, caving and paragliding. I have stayed in luxurious hostels and in the cheapest ones; I have lived with a Bolivian family for a month and spent many nights on buses. I have taken 3 long boat rides: a 4-night ferry ride, a 4-day cruise and a 5-day sailing trip. I have tried many exotic fruits and other local specialities. The latter included strange foods such as chicken hearts, cow's tongue and lung, larvae, termites and grasshoppers, guinea pig and lizard. I have trekked in the Andean mountains and dived in the Caribbean sea.

It was definitely the best time of my life! And I am sad it is over... But I'm also excited to go home, see all my friends and family again and do the things I missed on this trip. I know I will miss travelling a lot. I will miss meeting new people every day and seeing new places every day. It will be nice on the other hand not to live out of a backpack, have a bigger choice of clothes, sleep in a nice comfortable bed, have hot water all the time, have heating in buildings and cars etc.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you old friends and family again! And I hope I can meet up again with you new travelling friends, either in Europe or on future travels!

I am leaving now, I have to make my way to the airport soon...

Posted by sarahm_lux 14:35 Archived in Mexico Comments (2)

Cancún

The last day of my trip

overcast 24 °C
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Yesterday afternoon I travelled up to Cancún from where I am flying home tonight. Although it was my last night in Latin America and I felt like I should have a goodbye party, nobody was really in a party mood, so we stayed at the hostel which was nice too.

A few hours after going to bed I woke up with many very itchy bites and realised I had bedbugs! I could not believe it, in my last night here, I get bedbugs again! I had to move beds in the middle of the night and can now only hope that none of them have gotten into my backpack because we found out that most beds in that dorm were suddenly infested with the little biting bugs.

This morning, it was again very cloudy and it did not look like a good day for the beach. However it is the only day I am spending in Cancún and I thought I at least need to see the beach here which so many people chose as their holiday destination every year. This time I was lucky, just after I arrived the sun actually came out. It did not last very long, but at least I got an hour in the sun.
One of the huge hotels in Cancún

One of the huge hotels in Cancún

Cancún beach

Cancún beach


Cancún beach

Cancún beach

Afterwards I had my last Mexican food on the plaza. I will miss it so much! Then I came back to the hostel where I am writing this blog entry and waiting for the time when I need to leave to the airport. I cannot believe that my trip is ending today...

Posted by sarahm_lux 16:26 Archived in Mexico Tagged cancun Comments (0)

Back in Tulum

Some more beach time and finally visiting a cenote

overcast 20 °C
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I spent all of Friday travelling, from Livingston, through all of Belize, into Mexico, and up to Tulum. It was a very long day! At 7am I got the boat from Livingston to Punta Gorda in Belize. There I had to wait almost 2 hours for the next bus. The chicken bus took 6 1/2 hours to get to Belize City. From Belize City there was a nice Mexican bus going overnight to Cancun stopping in Tulum, but that was only leaving 3 hours later, so I had to wait again. Luckily I met a nice American mother and son at the bus station, so that I had someone to talk to and the wait felt shorter. After another 7 1/2 hour bus ride, including 3 stops, at the 2 border points and to pay for the bus tickets, I finally arrived in Tulum at 3 in the morning. I went looking for a hostel and finally got the last bed in one. I was able to lie down and sleep in a bed at last just before 4am!

The next day, I went to the beach and spent the whole afternoon lying in the sun, realxing and reading. It was the perfect thing to do after such an exhausting travelling day!

The night I spent in the hostel bar where I met some nice people and we had some beers together and told each other travelling stories. When the bar closed, 2 of us went to a bar across the street for another drink, but then we soon went to bed.

One reason I had come back to Tulum to spend my last few days was that I still had not been to a cenote. The cenotes are large holes in the ground filled with groundwater and usually leading to underwater caves (not sure how accurate this descripton is...). I found a couple more people that wanted to go visit one and we rented some snorkelling gear and got a taxi to the place. We went to one of the lesser known cenote, so that for most of the time we were all alone there. It was located in the forest and was very quiet and natural. Snorkelling we saw the rocks under water and many small fish swimming around us. It was a really nice activity for such a cloudy day when going to the beach was not an option.
Cenote Escondido

Cenote Escondido

When we got back to the cenote we were all hungry, so we went and got some very good Mexican food.
Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

Afterwards I had to go shopping since I wanted to get some more souvenirs and presents to take home. When it was time for dinner, I went to look for food with the English girl I went to the cenote with and we ended up with some really good street food. Wandering around a bit after eating, it was really busy in town and we even discovered a small funfare. Back in the hostel, we sat in the outside bar and had a few drinks.
Fun fair in Tulum

Fun fair in Tulum

I had planned to go to the beach this morning, but it was too cloudy and cold for that. So I stayed in the hostel writing my blog and then hanging out in a hammock for probably the last time. I then went for another great Mexican lunch with 2 hostel friends, after which I got on a bus to Cancun, my last destination.

Posted by sarahm_lux 18:54 Archived in Mexico Tagged tulum cenote Comments (0)

Campeche

Beautiful houses and more carnival

sunny 35 °C
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I went to Campeche for a couple of days from Mérida because they have a big carnival too. When I arrived there, I was pleasantly surprised by the town. The centre is inside the old city walls and is beautiful! The buildings all have different colours and everything is very clean and quiet.
Campeche

Campeche


Campeche

Campeche


Campeche

Campeche


Campeche

Campeche


Campeche

Campeche


Sunset in Campeche

Sunset in Campeche

Although I really liked the city I had a pretty bad experience on my first afternoon there. I was randomly walking around and enjoying the sights when I realised that someone was following me. At first I thought I was just imagining it, but he really was. When I walked back a street I just had come down, he appeared at the other end again as well; when I went into a shop, he was somewhere around when I came back out. He was wearing a hoodie and sunglasses and kept talking to someone on the phone. It was really creepy. I walked around trying to get rid of him for a while, till I got a chance to slip into my hostel without him seeing me. I did not dare to leave the hostel for a while afterwards. Luckily I never saw him again.

The carnival parade that night was a busy event. It was a very nice parade, with colourful floats and costumes. However, this was the slowest parade I have ever seen! In between some groups we had to wait over 20 minutes, so that in the end the relatively short parade took over 2 hours.
Carnival in Campeche

Carnival in Campeche

The next day, I wanted to see more of the town, but was feeling a bit lazy, so I decided to take the very touristy little sightseeing train driving around town. It gave me a nice tour around the city, the walled part and some other neighbourhoods. After this I went to the botanical garden, a small but nice place inside one of the ramparts of the old fortress walls.

The Malecón in Campeche

The Malecón in Campeche

After walking along the 'malecón' for a bit, I went to a light and sound show that night with a German from my hostel and a Japanese that I met on the little train, the 'tranvía'. It was a bit strange at first when we walked around the walls and got some explanations and then saw a short video which was really just a promotion video of the city, but the actual light and sound show was not bad. The history of the city, from the discovery of the place by the Maya to current times, was re-enacted on the city walls.

After the show we went to see some fountains next to the main square which lit in different colours and move in the rhythm of background music. It was a very nice display.
Fountain light and music show in Campeche

Fountain light and music show in Campeche

The next day, I went back to Mérida where I spent a lot of time waiting in the bank to pay the Mexican exit fee and then just hanging out in the city for a few more hours before getting on a night bus to Belize.

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:42 Archived in Mexico Tagged carnival campeche Comments (0)

Mérida

Carnival and Uxmal

sunny 34 °C
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I got to Mérida just on time for the carnival. The night I arrived, the first big event of the carnival, the 'Quema del Mal Humor' (the burning of the bad mood) took place. Some famous people from Mérida were on stage and talked about the carnival and invited some people onto the stage for a funny dancing competition. The king and queen of this year's carnival and other important figures were presented and a small firework display was lit. After this, a live band played. It was a pretty well-known band from Mexico, so that the people were sincing along and having a good time.
Carnival in Mérida

Carnival in Mérida

On Thursday, I saw some of more of the city and visited some museums until the afternoon, when the next carnival event was on. It was the parade of the young children. My Australian roommate and I were lucky and got invited to watch the parade from one of the private rooms' balconies. We had a great view and could sit down while watching, away from all the people down on the streets. The parade was very nice, mainly because the kids were really cute in their costumes and doing their best to show us the dance choreographies they had learnt for this occasion.
Carnival in Mérida

Carnival in Mérida


Carnival in Mérida

Carnival in Mérida


Carnival in Mérida

Carnival in Mérida


Carnival in Mérida

Carnival in Mérida

On the third day, I took a trip out of the city, to the ruins of Uxmal. They were some very interesting ruins, much better and bigger than I had expected of this lesser known site. It was not as busy as at the more popular ruins which made the visit even nicer.
Uxmal

Uxmal


Uxmal

Uxmal


Uxmal

Uxmal


Uxmal

Uxmal


Uxmal

Uxmal

At night it was time for the carnival again. This time it was the big, I think the main, parade. There were big colourful groups and floats. It is very different to the German and Luxembourgish carnival; most groups are sponsored by big companies, international such as Coca-Cola and national such as the bus company ADO, instead of being mostly organisations, associations, schools etc. like in Europe. There were some really well-done and colourful costumes, while other groups were simply wearing colourful promotional t-shirts.
Carnival in Mérida

Carnival in Mérida


Carnival in Mérida

Carnival in Mérida

This was all I saw of the carnival in Mérida because it was time to travel on the next morning.

Posted by sarahm_lux 18:26 Archived in Mexico Tagged carnival uxmal merida Comments (0)

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