Mayan Riveria (part 2)

Let me clarify a few things first -- Mexico has species of speed bumps. In addition the domestic species we have in the US, one large long bump with varying degrees of altitude, Mexico has the dastardly two-rows-of-7in-metal-half-spheres. Additionally, monster traditional ones much taller than our domestic breeds. The catch is that they put these not on roads where the speed limit is say 20mph and they want you to slow down for a stop sign or a cross walk. No... these are smack in the middle of a freeway going 100kmph! It would be like Danville putting a set of speed bumps on 680. Thankfully we didn't do any night driving.

On Monday we did most of our driving, first heading down to the Mayan ruins at Tulum. Ruins of an old fortress on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, with a fantastic little beach at the base. Unfortunately we didn't come prepared to take advantage of it, but definitely plan to next time. I'm not sure how the age of the Mayan ruins compare to the Roman ruins in Italy, but they definitely looked older -- but that might have been due to the fact that it was so remote. Local iguanas definitely drew a lot of attention from the tourists making the rounds. Its shocking when you compare them to our local variety of lizards. The ocean was so calm and a fantastic shade of blue. Its really a stark contrast to the beaches of the west coast of the America continent with the oceanic shelf.

After being throughly cooked, we drove inland to visit the ruins at Coba. This was a rather severe culture shock. The nice paved road basically ends where the tourists stop. The nice highway running north-south is for all the resorts. When you head inland, the poverty is really shocking. The nice road narrows and becomes run down. The housing turns into thatched roofs and dirt floors. We haven't been to Mexico city (or anywhere else in Mexico aside from Puerto Viarta), but if this is representative, I feel we (as the United States) need to do more to help Mexico (which really is the reason behind illegal immigration).

Coba was a complete contrast to Tulum. Coba is situated deep in the jungle rather than an open space next to the ocean. The architecture bares some resemblance, but the feel is completely different. The center piece is a 150ft Mayan temple that you can actually climb to the top (never in the United States... never in a million years... a lawsuit waiting to happen). But I'm glad they let you. The view is spectacular! The climb up and down is just bit intimidating, but incredibly worth it.