(originally drafted 7/6/10)
Yesterday we finally left the beach. We ate breakfast at Copal's restaurant, I had french toast which had been encrusted in sugar. I also rediscovered my hatred of papaya. Tech Support discovered he hated it too.
It began to pour as we met up with our cab driver, a young man named Felipe. He raced us through the ran at terrifying speeds. The plastic grim reaper perched on his dashboard did not provide reassurance, even if it was from a kids show on Cartoon Network.
After about five minutes it stopped raining. We drove through thick, dense, jungle. A mess of trees and vines that hid anything further than a few feet in. Occasionally we'd pass a lone business, selling something odd like pools.
It was very interesting for someone more used to driving through farmland.
It took about an hour to get to Coba (pronounced Co-pa), where Felipe directed us toward the ticket booth and then left us on our own. We made our way inside, with very little knowledge about where it was we were going. Soon enough we stumbled upon crumbling enigmatic Mayan pyramids and ruins. Here and there were other tour groups, some in English, and scruffy looking men offering to give us tours, but we made our way on our own.
We opted not to bike down the pathways, but strolled down paths enclosed on either side by the dense jungle. I heard lots of bird song, but couldn't spot many of them.
Without a guide, map, or clue, we found the main attraction in Coba, a very, very, very, very steep temple that you can clime.
Hot and sweaty already due to the weather and walk, we rested a few minutes before tackling the slope. Once I started climbing, keeping my hands on the steps in front of me, I didn't stop. A girl climbing nearby made the mistake of pausing to look down and declared that she was done.
Up top I panted and sweat and looked out over the top of the jungle. An absolute sea of green broken only by the top of one of the other pyramids, and the ocean.
The steps looked more frightening from the top than the bottom. We took our time to recover and enjoy the view before going down. I kept a tight hold on the rope and my eyes on my feet. At the bottom we stopped to pant and sweat again. I've hiked around Kyoto in the summer -- this was worse.
There was one other temple area that we hadn't seen, but we were done. We paused only to admire lizards and strange flora as we made our way back to the parking lot and Felipe.
He took us back to Tulum, where it still drizzled. After a nice chilly shower we walked down the road, it wasn't much past noon, and had lunch and cerveza's. As usual, we also had the guacamole.
The rest of the day was spent in the usual dissipation of reading in the shade and floating in the warm water. We retired to our Cabana and I sat down to write, noticing a few minutes later something moving around at the bottom of our door. A bug. A large bug. I went over to open the door and discovered a handsome, black beetle climbing up our exterior wall.
Unfortunately, that would bring it into our Cabana. And while it was a handsome beetle we still felt odd about having another roommate. For a little while Tech Support waged war with our little friend, who seemed determined to climb up the same way. Tech Support even flung the little bugger on the roof, thinking that was where it wanted to go. But it came back down to our doorstep and started up again.
Finally, Tech Support transplanted it to base of a Cabana we felt fairly certain to be empty, and we withdrew to our own. I gazed out the window, pondering the life and struggles of a large beetle in Mexico, and Tech Support teased me when--
Something large and black flew by the window. We found an overturned beetle by the plants out front. Tech Support righted it and then ran inside when it started flying again. In the end, we feel fairly certain it would up in a tree.
We saw no further activity, and are not certain whether we were haunted by one, or two, beetles.
The storm started up again, and we gave into laziness and munching on chips rather than going into town. Tech Support realized my side of the bed was getting doused with water, and scrambled outside to put down the plastic sheeting. Rain still came through the top, open screens.
I went to sleep during a calmer period, and woke again to fat raindrops hitting my skin. The rain came down so hard it rivaled the roar of the ocean for volume. Lighting flashed, and a dozen seconds later there was loud thunder.
Somehow I went back to sleep.