Mexico: Coba Ruins

On one of the last days in Mexico, we went out to the Coba ruins. They are about 50 km west of Tulum. It was fantastic to visit inland ruins, especially to contrast with Tulum. We enjoyed hiking through the jungle, but we missed info about closing time and were among the last few people being “shoed” out.. The Nohoch Mul pyramid was really fantastic:

Here is Carrie (you can just barely make her out!) half way up the pyramid:

From the top of the pyramid was a fantastic view of the jungle:

As we walked through the jungle (on very good, wide trails) we would come across more ruins:

We found this cool skull carving:

And we found proof of the original Mayan ipad!!

(look at all those apps!!)

Torsten’s First Triathlon

What a great event!! Thanks to the county, the volunteers, and everyone who participated. Torsten had a fantastic first triathlon in the 18th annual Los Alamos kids triathlon. Torsten did the 1/2 Mile Bike and 1/4 Mile Run. He said he was “too hot” to swim, but also had gotten raw elbows earlier in the day, so didn’t want to swim. It was an overall extremely positive first time, and he said he definitely wants to do it next year.

Here is queuing up at the start (bike, run, swim was the order) — he ran into a friend at the start:

After the bike, on to the run:

The finish and medal:

And most importantly, the post-race celebration!!!

Torsten’s summary of the triathlon: “AWESOME!” 🙂

Mexico: Serious Beach Time!

More memories of our 40th b-day Mexico celebration time to savor.

Every morning, while I enjoyed hammock time, Carrie went out for an ocean kayak:

And the sunset stroll, five minutes down the beach, to dinner at Casa Cenote, was very fantastic:

Happy 40, Mexico!

Carrie and I are both celebrating our 40th birthdays this August. We flew with Torsten and Aven to Lubbock, and then left them there with Grams & Gramps. We went took a flight to DFW and spent the night at the airport hotel there before flying into Cancun. We drove almost 2 hours south and checked into the Tankah Inn for 4 nights. The first night we walked about five minutes down the beach for delicious fish tacos as the Casa Cenote restaurant and then just across the street to swim in the Casa Cenote. This was a “local” cenote, with a great, relaxed atmosphere. This was a great intro to the birthday celebration.

Here is Carrie swimming in the Casa Cenote before we swam ~1.5km back to the “end” of the collapsed roof of this underwater-river (where only scuba folks could go)

We started day two with the great Tankah Inn breakfast (I had the Omelet Tankah everyday, with fantastic fresh salsa and sauces — I miss it!). Then we went to the Tulum ruins. We opted to get a tour guide for this first ruins, and got the “snorkel in the ocean and check out the ruins from out there” package deal (but saved that part for a few days). The Tulum ruins are unique in the Mayan civilization because they are built right on the beach (Tulum was a later Mayan city and really focused towards trade). The ruins were great!

And we decided that if we were Mayans, Tulum would be our choice:

This iguana at the Tulum ruins must have been on the government payroll for a tourist attraction. Carrie captured fantastic still photos and a great short movie:

It was hot hiking at the ruins, so, well… what ya gonna do?

We went back to the Tankah Inn, walked up to the Blue Sky for a great pizza meal — Carrie saw a bat fly past us! We also caught a cute little snake on the Tankah Inn stairs:

For the next day, we were really getting the hang of this relaxing stuff! We went to Sian Kaan, a UNESCO bioreserve south of Tulum. This was the highlight of the trip! We went ~5km on a really rough road (in about 30 minutes) and got to the tour headquarters. We looked at the maps, got a good intro, and then headed out into the salt water lagoons with our fantastic guide. We went partially up a natural canal through the mangroves, and then hoped out to walk about 1.5 km. We then jumped in, floated down the canal on a lifejacket (powered by the strong current) and monopolized our guide — he had done his graduate work on the birds in the area, so was a total bird nut and super knowledgeable. Then we got back in the boats, out to the ocean, a bit more touring of the lagoon, and then back to HQ for a fantastic whitefish dinner as part of the tour. The lagoons are on the left side of “highway” 109 in this map, while the ocean is on the right:

View Larger Map

and here it is in our photo:

We are heading out to get on the boats:

Here we head up the canal and then get out to walk the boardwalk:

(You can see the canal and boardwalk in this map. At the left end of the boardwalk, there was even a cool Mayan ruin which was used for rest when canoeing up the canal! Carrie saw another bat inside the ruin when we explored in there briefly.)

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The birds at the reserve were really fantastic:

Continued in the next entry….