Tulum – a day in paradise

The people living in Tulum say it is paradise. It’s easy to understand – miles of white sand beaches, luscious palm trees, perfect weather and no time to count. I’m lucky to have had the chance to experience a magical day in this peaceful place myself.

It started with a traditional home-cooked Mexican breakfast with my amazing Couchsurfing host Mario and his family. His mum (who is a seriously great cook and so sweet for catering for my vegetarian needs) made some chilaquiles – pieces of corn tortillas lightly fried and boiled in chilli sauce, eaten with crema – or the Mexican equivalent of sour cream. Super tasty!

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We also had the most delicious and fluffiest pancakes covered in a generous dose of condensed milk.They really satisfied my sweet tooth as I’m still getting used to the whole savoury breakfast thing which is a big change from my usual bowl of porridge or yogurt with fruit.

After breakfast, we all headed out down a long and bumpy sand road, which stretches along the coast towards Belize. Stopping and swerving frequently to avoid the iguanas casually crossing the road, we drove past a 10km strip of hotels and spas and stopped over at a small open-air cenote called Beh-ha. Cenotes are deep natural wells or swimming holes that are formed when limestone bedrock collapses and thousands of them can be found all around the Yucatán peninsula. They are also said to be full of healing minerals and a dip into one of these pools of cool water is very refreshing on a hot day. The super clear water also makes cenotes great for underwater photography. I have to say, with my fear of water and inability to dive down deeper than an inch beneath the surface, my attempts at underwater photos were an impressive failure…

Having cooled down, we spent the rest of the day on an empty beach near Boca Paila. Paddling around in the warm waves of the Caribbean sea, collecting corals washed out onto the sand, swinging in the hammocks, watching pelicans fishing in the sea and seeing a rainbow form (and later disappear) right in front of our eyes. To end the day, we put our muscles to work and our concentration to the test with a little bit of slack-lining while the tropical sunset was painting the sky in all shades of red and pink behind the palm trees.

It’s such a pleasant change to just slow down, savour the moment and forget the clock in this wonderful part of the world. It’s a place of salty skin, messy beach hair and sand in your pockets. It’s paradise.

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