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Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 12: Vamos a la Playa

I woke up on Day 12 in Ek' Balam after a most frightful night.

I went to the bathroom and found the strangest spider, which had really long legs, but the tiniest body, right in the center. I thought it was hair at first, but alas, it moved.

Perhaps it belongs to the Pholcidae family of spiders? There ended up being a bunch of them in the bathroom that gradually emerged as I brushed my teeth.

At breakfast I saw another cute creature; this colorful, pretty bird.

Then we were out of Ek' Balam and went to our next destination: the 'beach town' of San Felipe!
Our hotel had the same name of the town and was owned by Jesus.

I went to the top of the hotel to get a good view of San Felipe. And I spotted that sweet playground (more on that later).

Our hotel room was pretty normal looking, but it was the first time I encountered this type of toilet.

After using the toilet, you had to turn that valve which filled the toilet with water. When enough water flooded the toilet, it flushed and you had to turn the valve off.

That day, we walked down the 'boardwalk'/docks.

There isn't actually a beach in the main town of San Felipe, so to get to the sand, you have to take a boat out to a little island.

I guess these birds wanted to go to the beach too!

Here's a horrible pic of me (but a great one of Pepe!)

This boat never reached the beach....

At this time, I was reading the novel Cold Mountain by Charles Frazer, which had just mentioned a blue heron. Then my teacher said, "Look! A blue heron!" And I thought that was awesome.

So we all got out the boat and headed to the beach.

Some more bad pictures of me:

The water was so nice! There were no waves, the water was warm and of course it was so clear. You could see the fish swimming around!

Unfortunately, I thought it would be just like an American beach (which I hate) so I didn't even bring my bathing suit! But I tomared some sol.

Another difference was the sand; it was actually more like clay than sand.

So I tried to make a sculpture of Richard Parker.........

But I think it looks more like the original Richard Parker (a tiger) than MY Richard Parker.

The sand/clay was also different because it was hard and colorful in spots.

Here's a picture I thought would look cool. But it turned out to be another bad pic of me :P

Well anyway, we were told we had the beach to ourselves. So when these kids came, my schoolmates demanded we leave.

Well, not quite, but I heard some complaints.

We left shortly after anyway, where some of us had lunch at Vaseline Restaurant.

My teacher said it had the best seafood ever and that it was the best restaurant on the trip. However, I don't eat seafood. But I did try baby shark (it tasted just like fish to me!) and got breaded chicken for lunch!

And it actually was the best food I had so far on the trip! Yum.

After lunch, Christina and I walked around the town in our free time.

I think this is the absolute best thing I've ever seen.


We also saw El Palacio de Polt in San Felipe.

And this gym that apparently thought telling women they could look this:

would bring in customers....

And we found this mural I liked.

And this sign... but I accidentally didn't get the whole sign in the photo!

We ended our walk at the aforementioned playground where I played on all the (very small) equipment.

Pepe's children were at the playground too. At one point, this Mexican child came in and was acting shy. Monica and Isabella (Pepe's daughters) don't speak Spanish, so Christina and I helped and acted as a translator between the Mexican and the American girls.
So we got them to play with each other by explaining to the little girl how to play each game.

Then she got sand in her eye.

She said she was OK and I went back to the hotel and saw how my tan/sunburn turned out. And it was strange!

My arm was mostly tan, except for a stripe of complete paleness, followed by sunburn. ¡Qué extraño!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 11: Duermo... Solo?

For those of you who liked Days 8, 9 and 10, good news; Day 11 was another pyramid day!

Kind of.
It was the last day we visited Mayan ruins, and our last day in the 'jungle' scene. After today, we moved on to the... wetter part of the trip.

The day started in the ruins of Ek' Balam. We were only there for like 20 mins.


You'll notice in that last picture some authentic Mayan tarp.

After walking about the ruins, we returned to the entrance to procure bicycles! BUT before we got our bikes, I overheard some gossip from the Mexicans running the joint... about us!
It went something like this:

"Do they speak Spanish?"
"They look tired already and they've only been walking around."
"They're gonna be too tired for the bike ride. Haha."
"Haha. Those lazy Canadians."

So we got on our bikes. Here's my friend Christina on her bike

and me on my bike, although you can't really tell in this picture.

We rode our bikes to our final cenote. This time, I actually swam a lot and therefore took less pictures. However, this cenote was awesome, as we got to zip-line!

Here's Monica zip-lining.

I did it too, of course. But no one took a pic. One girl tried but missed. But it's OK; it was fun and I won't forget it, even without a pic!

Then I went rappelling.

As you can see, the harness was SUPER comfortable....

See those men at the bottom in the tubes? They're in charge of unhooking the harness. But mine was in love with me! It took SO LONG to get it off.

After the cenote, we headed to the co-op in Ek' Balam.

I love pics with people looking out the window :)

I love this sign:

And there was another, interesting sign right next to my cabaña....

Sweet. An army of ants was right next to my room.

Here's my cabaña.

I actually really like the building itself. It had a king sized bed too!

There were three doors in the room, all of which led outside. Even the door to the bathroom! That's because the bathroom was a different building, located right next to the cabaña. There was a charming little walkway to reach it too.

There was no scheduled time to visit the town, so before dinner I headed out during my free time to see the town. While I was about to head out with Christina, this woman stopped us and told us to hop into her vehicle. So we did!

She brought us to the town where we played soccer with the native children!

I am so glad we got to do this, as it wasn't scheduled, but was just as awesome as all of our planned events.

Some of my players had to leave mid-game though... so my team in the end looked like this:

While Christina's looked like this:

But I had the MVP on my team (he left towards the end) so we won.

We headed back for dinner.

Which was really good!

Then some peeps played this game where you push each other.

And I found this cute bug on the kitchen floor!

After dinner we went back to our cabañas for rest.

The night in Ek'Balam was BY FAR the worst of the trip!

And my roommate fell asleep in a friend's cabaña so I spent it alone!

At one point, I woke up because I felt something in my bed that I thought was a snake or giant bug. I flipped out, throwing my sheets around and trapping myself in a tangle of sheets and netting. Finally, I realized nothing was in bed with me. I did find a pencil, so maybe I thought that was some animal?

Later in the night, I woke up to a fluttering noise above my head. I shone my flashlight on the ceiling and saw a bat flying around. This didn't frighten me as I'd seen many bats in Mexico and didn't think it could get through the mosquito netting. But then, I heard a different, louder noise. I looked to the side of my bed and this huge bird was sitting on my dresser, screaming at me. THAT was scary.

But I turned off my light and prayed to God I wouldn't die and finally fell asleep.

But hey, Ek' Balam wasn't ALL BAD.

We found Beyoncé there after all!