Mayan Coronas

Love Yourself
Friday 20th March 2020 |
11 Kimi |
 14 Kumk'u |

After last night's shenanigans we were a little later getting up this morning, eventually reaching the rooftop by 11am. We didn't know if they were still serving the breakfast. When we got given the the Desayunos menu I was so glad! I was really looking forward to my chilaquiles! We had a glass each of the anti-flu smoothie for our daily immunity boost. We felt like we needed a little extra this morning. And Julie continued with her French toast.

Before the food arrived I remembered that we had to "pay as we eat" and it was also cash only so I ran back down to our room and all the way back up again, all three floors, without breaking sweat. It felt great to do some cardio excercise and check if the lungs were still working.

When I got back breakfast was just being served. The smoothie didn't touch the sides of my mouth as I downed it in one massive slurp. It gave me a silly orange moustache.  Julie couldn't contain her laughter. I must have looked ridiculous!

This morning's chilaquiles was possibly even nicer than yesterdays! It was much saucier and topped with extra onion and avocado. I loved it!

We both phoned home to check on our family. Today was Kimi, which means death and was represented in the hieroglyphs by the owl, the bringer of bad news. Thankfully everybody was fine.

My father told me that they were now following government advice because they self assesed themselves into the vulnerable category because of their age and were going into self-isolation, shielding themselves, literally not leaving the house, and avoiding contact with people. These were scary times indeed.

Today we decided to head to another part of Tulum, an area 6km away so not Tulum at all really. It's affectionately known as the Zona Hotelera which is precisely what it is, resort after resort after resort, stretching from the Mayan ruins down the coast for over 10km.  

We caught a taxi down to an area called Tulum Beach. Our main objective was to find Julie a swimming costume and found a shop called Sandmade near to the entrance to a resort called Ak'iin.

Julie asked the lady behind the counter if they had any larger sizes, and to her relief, they did! She tried it on behind the curtain and it fitted just enough to buy it, despite the $1450 pesos price tag!  (Now that was an expensive packing error!)

Beach ready as we'll ever be, we walked back up to amazing wooden sculpture which we had passed earlier. It was a work of art, the top half of a person, with its hands opening up the rib cage creating an archway for you to walk through. It served as an entrance to a Ahau Tulum Beach Resort and Raw Love vegetarian restaruant.

The moment we stepped inside this apologetic security guard came over and took our temperatures with a laser thermometer. An anxious few seconds passed but we were in, confident that in theory everyone else on the beach today had also been checked.

We hired a pair of loungers and made ourselves at home for the rest of the day. We unfurled our Welsh flag towels and put on our shades and relaxed.

It was a lovely beach, and not too busy. Each resort had their loungers out but they didn't encroach too far. The seaweed had been left on the sand and it was nice to see it au naturale. Some resorts would have had all that collected and the sand combed every morning!  It felt like a beach at home on Anglesey, where there are no resorts to manicure the beach. The only difference really was at home nobody collects the plastic washed ashore either. 

Julie had brought her knitting and I had brought a book "Time Among the Maya" with me to pass the time. It was the first time we had really stopped and it felt good. We had no plans, nothing to do, nowhere to be. It was a day of just going with the flow.

Julie fancied a dip in the sea and so we took it in turns to get changed into our swinwear at the resort's rather swish restrooms.

We passed a sign, in the style of a yellow road sign, with the words "LOVE YOURSELF" on it. There was no shortage of people who loved themselves on this beach!

Joking aside however, self-worth is important. To feel good about yourself is priceless.

There was another smaller hand painted sign that said "Deposit your butts here". It wasn't a sign for the toilets but an instruction to smokers to discard their cigarettes butts responsibility!

We grazed throughout the day with a selection of dips with tortilla chips or flat bread, washed down by a few margaritas and a couple of beers. The best of the dips was again the Sikil P'ak dip of tomato and pumpkin seeds. 

It wasn't a perfect blue sky day, there was plenty of cloud, which for us pale skinned Brits was a good thing. It was still a warm day. The difference between home and here was when a cloud blocked the sun the temperature didn't plummet by 10C!

Time moved on wonderfully slowly as we spent the afternoon drifting in and out of sleep in between people watching and eating. 

One thing we noticed there wasn't much in the way of passing hawkers. It was very refreshing not having to say "No, thank you" every five minutes. We didn't get hassled once even when we wanted.

There was a young couple selling clothes. At first we thought they were just flouncing up and down the beach until we realised they were wearing different garments and were using the beach as their catwalk. Quite a clever idea to catch attention.

The guy was wearing the same style tunic in varying colours. It was a very nice top and I did think about asking him how much they were but I really couldn't be bothered to get up from my lounger.

There was also a merry bunch of mariachi minstrels dressed in full costume (minus the sombrero) walking down the beach. They didn't stop to play which I was glad otherwise I would have been compelled to buy a CD, no matter how bad they were.

At 5pm we decided to move on. Julie had found a highly rated restaurant about a ten minute walk up the beach. It was a really pleasant stroll along the water's edge to Taboo Restaurant and Beach Club.

We arrived to a bar and lounge area on the the beach where a DJ was playing some Ibiza style chill out tunes. It had a really nice vibe with a young crowd.We suddenly felt like a pair of old fuddie-duddies!

They had this tall whicker sculpture of a woman, kneeling, hands behind her head, basking in the sun. There was something quite sensual about it which was remarkable for something made out of twigs.

We had made a reservation on-line but it wouldn't have been necessary as we were the only people at the restaurant. Of course it was early, they literally had just opened but I'm sure the numbers are also down because of the pandemic.

The menu was very impressive in as much as they served Wagu beef and Dom Perignon!

We began by sharing two starters, a patatas bravas and a baked feta in "arrabiata" sauce. Both classic dishes from Spain and Greece respectively, altthough the arrabiata sauce sauce was a little off the traditional piste.

They arrived, served in copper pans, on a piece of hesian cloth, on a rustic wooden board. A lot of care and attention had gone into their presentation. Sadly they forgot to focus on the flavour. Both dishes relied on the quality of the tomato sauce which was unfortunately lacking.

"Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup comes to mind" said Julie and she hit the nail on the head. Also, they used the same sauce for both dishes which was just plain lazy. 

Don't get me wrong, we ate it all but at the prices they were charging we expected much much better.

We waited a while for our main course, which was fine. We had those chill out tunes gently pulsing out of the speakers whilst the sun was setting. Of course we couldn't see it because we were looking East, towards the sea but its wonderful warm colours were being reflected back at us. There was a glow around everything we saw.  It was quite magical.

Our main courses arrived.  Once again it was style over substance. My ravioli looked pretty as a picture on the plate but I didn't enjoy it. You could see they had taken care in the placement of small salad leaves and the precision swirl of oil but all I could taste was cream, nothing else but cream.  The pasta was fresh, I'll give them that, but it was undercooked. It was hugely disappointing.

Then adding insult to injury I found what I thought at first was another micro herb but it turned out to be a thick black hair (so it certainly wasn't one of mine!). I couldn't eat anymore after that. Perhaps the chill out tunes were having an effect on me but I didn't make a fuss about  the extra garnish. 

We paid our very expensive bill ($2900 pesos) and left. We did push the boat out on a £40 bottle of VB Scielo Rivero Gonzalez Mexican wine but even taking that into consideration it was still a very expensive meal for total mediocrity!

We caught a taxi back to the hotel and decided to turn in for the evening.

Before going to sleep we did what was now becoming a bedtime ritual and read the BBC news. Today the UK government ordered all pubs, restaurants, cafes, cinemas, gyms and leisure centres to close to discourage mass gatherings but they stop short of banning people from coming togther inlarge groups.

They also announced a furlough scheme where the government would pay 80% of the wages of those effected by the closures to keep people on the payroll and not have them made redundant.

The death toll in the UK was up to 177, with Wales recording their 3rd virus related death today.  Europe was now decleared the epicentre of new COVID-19 cases as Spain joined Italy, Iran and China with over a 1000 deaths.

We were begining to think that perhaps we would be better staying in Mexico!!

  Next day >  

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