On the edge of time

The first leg of DonQui’s trip around the world takes him, very briefly, to Tulum in Mexico.

Although only here for a couple of days he is suitably impressed. It helps that (thanks to Duchess) he has secured an invitation to stay at beautiful Temple of Light on the beach at Tankah Bay.

There are plenty of good (if slightly pricey) eateries along the beach. Most offer international fare but Donqui is determined to sample some proper Mexican food, especially as his time here is limited.  He settles on Tz’onot Restaurante and peruses the menu.

He thinks long and hard about ordering the Chapulines (toasted grasshoppers) but chickens out.

Instead he goes for the tamal to start…

…and Cochinita Pibil (slow roasted suckling pig marinated in bitter orange juice) to follow.

The tastes are quite unique and utterly delicious.  Yet Donqui feels a slight twinge of regret that he did not try the grasshoppers as he is unlikely to be able to sample them back home on the Suffolk coast.

Once a haven for hippies and backpackers, Tulum is now more than a little bit gentrified —  Instagram influencers pushing aside tie-dyed kids on a gap year experience. Donqui can still detect a bit of the laid back vibe amongst the divers exploring the Cenotes (underground rivers and sink holes) and the world’s second largest coral reef just off the coast. 

Despite gentrification Tulum remains an incredibly beautiful place. The tourist development is thankfully low-rise and the jungle-surrounded coast still retains a sense of adventure.

As his name implies, DonQui Oaty has a strong affinity with the past. He may not go off tilting at windmills in the hope of holding on to a lost sense of chivalry but he does like exploring old rocks. Tulum has some very good ones.

Mayan Tulum was a walled port city and the archeological park which preserves the ruins has plenty of impressive old rocks for DonQui to explore. 

He is very glad to get to the archeological park shortly after opening at 8am. The temperature is relatively cool and Donqui had the place almost to himself. By the time he leaves at around 9:30 a long stream of coaches are disgorging hundreds of new visitors.

Uncharacteristically DonQui is at a loss for words to describe his sense of wonder as he explores the Mayan ruins.  It feels almost like he is standing on the edge of time as he looks out over the Caribbean sea from the ruins of Mayan Tulum. It was here where the asteroid hit that killed off the dinosaurs and it was here where the Mayans would have seen the first Spanish ships approaching their coast heralding the destruction of their civilisation 

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