I was woken early this morning by the sun streaming through the thin fabric of our drawn curtains. Eventhough it was only 6:30am, I had to get up and go outside to look at the stunning sunrise burning low over the Carribean.
What a beautiful way to start the day.
I sat on the patio until the sun had risen and dawn had officially cracked. I checked on Julie and asked if she wanted to come with me for a walk down the beach but she was quite happy where she was, tucked up in bed. I wanted to see the Mayan ruins one last time before leaving.
It was a glorious sight, even more so at this time of the morning, with the sun casting its light and creating shadows on the sloping walls of the main pyramid. I stood there for quite sometime looking across the water, at the waves crashing against the ciffs, at El Castillo looking so magnificent, taking centre stage in the sun's spotlight. I was mesmerised.
Once some cloud cover came over the spell was broken and I returned to the villa where Julie was just coming around.
We packed our bags and then had some breakfast.
I ordered the same again this morning. Despite not being as incredible as Casa Agape's Chilaquiles you couldn't go wrong with tortilla chips in a chilli sauce, topped with a fried egg. Julie also ordered the salmon bagel again, and this time it came without the hard boiled egg!
Our taxi to the airport arrived at 11:30am. Alberto came to say good bye and wished us a safe journey and a swift return. You could see in his eyes his concern about the future, especially in a place like Tulum so heavily reliant on tourism. Our driver told us that we was his last customers. After today he had no future bookings.
The journey to Cancun International airport took about an hour and a half up the three laned Highway 307. There wasn't much to see along the way, no quaint little towns or villages, just large gated entrances tosuper resorts, or flat uninteresting countryside.
The first real town of note was Playa del Carmen. I have to admit I was expecting something a bit more high-rise, similar to the over development of Cancun but it looked from the window of our taxi as we flew over on the by-pass to be a laid back low-key place similar to Tulum.
We arrived at the airport (terminal 1) shortly after 1pm. Our flight wasn't until 6:30pm so we were a little early to say the least! Mind you, better early than late. Who knew what delays could face under the current cirumstances.
Today was Ok, day of the dog, a day of uncertainty.
As it happened, the longest delay was waiting 90 minutes for our check-in desk to open, essentially until 4 hours before departure. Once that formality was completed we breezed straight through security. Our temperatures weren't checked but two medical staff dressed head to toe in full protective clothing were closely watching us on a monitor, which I assumed was a heat-sensitive image.
We now had three and a half hours to wait in the departures lounge. We browsed the duty free shops. As tempted as I was by the tequileria stand all we bought was another small bottle of green habanero chilli sauce.
Much of our time was sat beneath this huge scale model of an aeroplane. It wasn't helping Julie's anxieties to have this aircraft hovering above her head! She tried to ignore it but it couldn't.
We were spolit for choice for lunch with so many different food outlets. I opted for some vegetable quesadillas from a place called "Guacamole Andele". It had every conceivable vegetable, including brocolli, chopped finely. Considering it was an airport it was rather tasty.
Julie ate some fried chicken from "Johnny Rockets" a classic American burger bar.
We moved to the boarding gate and watched as our plane was being prepared. We were ready to go home, if only so I could shave off my silly moustache!
But of course we couldn't wait to be nearer family, even if we were going into a voluntarily 14 day isolation despite the government actually not imposing any such regulations, which totally baffled us. We will have been at high risk of contracting the virus and the last thing we wanted to do was to pass it on to anyone, especially those we cared for.
What baffled us even more was, whilst the country was in full lockdown, there were no checks, no temperatures taken, no questions asked when we landed in Gatwick. We were free to waltz in unchallenged.
Anyway, fast forward a few months and (so far) we survived, our daughter got COVID-19 working as a nurse on a mental health ward, but she was OK, our elderly parents survived, and life gradually returned to a new kind of normal.
Within a week we had booked our return trip next year. Hopefully this pandemic will have burnt out by then. We can't wait to return to Guatemala and Mexico. We have some unfinished business.Back to the index >