It all started with the taxi drivers in Akumal. In our experience, it's hard to get a taxi from where we're staying. And I know, if I could figure out the right combo of numbers on my T-Mobile phone and was willing to pay $4.00 or more for the call (and could speak Spanish), I could phone a taxi. But we can't just walk out our door and pick one up on the road because we don't see empty taxis circulating the road through Half Moon Bay. That's the one thing missing here -- a taxi to take us to dinner! The prices also seem fairly steep -- 80 pesos from highway to the condo, which can't even be 2 miles. It would be nice to have the taxi option, especially since I fell off a bike on Sunday and am hobbling around with a bruised hip and swollen knee.
But I digress. Not having a taxi available, we decided to gut it out and walk from the condo to Akumal pueblo along the highway where we could catch a collectivo to Tulum. After limping a few kilometers with my bruised body, there those rascals were sitting on a bench waiting to hassle us just outside the main Akumal gate!
Where you going? Collectivos don't stop this time of day. There aren't any buses from Tulum to Coba. On and on and on. Don't you want a taxi to Coba? It's cheaper. Only $70 U.S.! Since we didn't bite on all that, the taxi driver then got in his cab and followed us down the street still trying to convince us out the window. Literally, timeshare hawkers ain't got nuttin' on these Akumal taxi drivers! LOL
There MUST be a bizarre reason why taxis here in Akumal don't make an effort to get fares within Akumal village with simple tasks like giving us a ride to dinner. Maybe they're not allowed to park anywhere beyond the main gate?
To fast forward, we waited about five minutes for the collectivo to Tulum after crossing the pedestrian bridge over the highway to the pueblo. The trip was quick and pleasant and cost us less than 50 pesos. The collectivo driver dropped us at the ADO bus terminal in Tulum, and after a short wait, we were on the ADO bus to Coba. 92 pesos total for the one way.
The ADO bus dropped us all on the road by the lake and the tourists started to wander. None of us had a clue where the ticket booth was located. It was like watching the contestants on the Amazing Race wander around in search of the next clue box. No entrance or boletos signs -- just a large parking lot. LOL
Finally someone who spoke Spanish asked for directions. 92 pesos later, we were in the gate. Craig and I laughed all the way through Coba because literally, there were no directional signs whatsoever and about two signs total telling us what we were looking at. A metaphor for life. So many paths, so few signs.
They're not stupid! We're supposed to pay 250 pesos for a guide and 170 pesos for a rental bike!
No brochure for the entrance admission, but I got a photo of the everything you ever wanted to know about Coba sign on the way out. (I missed it on the way in because there were 50 people clustered around it.)
The pyramid structure La Iglesia. (I got this info off Wikipedia.)
Who needs a brochure! We immediately recognized this structure as a ball court. The clue? The stone hoop.
Mayan warrior with his pet monkey? Suggestions welcome!
Please educate me! What's this underneath the stone hoop?
Malateros wait at various places within the site, hoping to catch a tourist in a state of collapse after their long walk or hard climb.
Another ball court. There are two within Coba.
Ladies and gentlemen! The main event! Nohoch Mul! Nohoch Mul is the tallest pyramid on the Yucatán peninsula -- 120 steps to the top. And you can still climb it! (or not)
Craig preparing for the summit! My original intention, of course, was to climb it. But -- after Sunday's fall from grace onto the pavement from the bike with the loose handlebars -- Craig and I both decided I was another train wreck waiting to happen. That, and as Craig so succinctly put it -- he didn't want to be anywhere near me if a tripped once again and rolled down Nohoch Mul!
Excuses are like hineys -- everyone's got one! LOL I took this photo of Craig on his way up from terra firma!
I'm betting this woman was a Girl Scout! There she is sitting up there with her umbrella! It was high noon (it always is when you decide to climb a pyramid) and the sun was broiling, so hats off (or on) to her.
I'm glad Craig's coordinated and can climb and wave at the same time. That simple movement probably would have propelled me off the side of the pyramid!
Craig using the Flip video up on top.
Look mom! No rope! I'm impressed because I would have been scooting down on my bruised fanny.
The other information sign within Coba. (There were numerous No Fumar and No Bikes signs on the paths, but those don't count.)
And here I am at the bottom of the pyramid.
After a bathroom break, we found ourselves stumbling around the parking lot trying to figure out a way back to Tulum. The ticket seller had told us there was only one ADO bus departing at 3 p.m., so we decided to wing the return trip with a taxi or collectivo.
We soon figured out that the taxis and vans parked within the lot were already hired. We spotted an ADO bus sitting across the road and headed that way. The driver was standing by the door, so we asked him where to buy tickets. He didn't speak English, we don't speak Spanish. Hmmmmmm. A guy at a torta/taco stand spotted us and yelled boletos? We ran over, bought tickets, and managed to board the bus right as it was departing for Tulum.
Timing is everything!
Some scenes along the highway between Tulum and Coba. (Taken through the bus window.)
The road between Tulum and Coba is lined with small villages selling handicrafts. The ADO bus makes one stop at the Grand Cenote. We were so hot (and the weather's been unseasonably cool our entire trip) after Coba -- a cenote swim would have been a great option.
To add insult to injury after the Sunday bike accident and the long day of walking and touring, you can guess what happened. We decided to walk all the way back to the condo from the Akumal Pueblo collectivo stop. Engrossed in conversation in the Akumal Bay area, I broke the number one rule of walking in Mexico. ALWAYS look down when you walk! I stepped in a pothole and once again, ended up on the asphalt. OMG! This time I landed on the knee, hip, and palms and broke skin. I think we'll definitely be taking it easy these last few days in Akumal. Perhaps all walks should be on the beach since sand is much softer than asphalt!