Jet lag with kids has one (and only) advantage: effortless early morning wake up! Instead of pretending that the kids will eventually fall back to sleep, we pack and leave for a day trip to Coba. Ancient Mayan ruins, one hour drive from Playa del Carmen. Good news: we are the second car to park, bad news: it starts to rain. We have just enough time to panic and buy rain ponchos. Of course, it stops when we get inside. Of course, the ponchos are more expensive than the entrance ticket and a tricycle taxi combined. First fail of the day.
Coba ruins are great. A tricycle taxi drives us around and Piko loves it. The tiny Mexican driver – not so much. The girls are also having fun, grinning at the driver as he puffs and sweats – we are a full load. It’s amazing to have the ruins to ourselves, before all the tour buses arrive. We take turns to climb the temple pyramid, leaving the kids out of this steep and slippery adventure. Views are worth the sweat!
Tulum is close by, we stop to see more ruins and check out the beach. We park close to the entrance, and immediately become a source of growth of local economics. Parking for 100 pesos, offers of tours and guides, and tons of random souvenirs. We walk 700m to the ticket office, instead of taking a bus. There is a huge queue, even though the beach with an awesome view is closed. Oh well, lunch at the Paradiso beach instead! Another 30 min of walking to realize we could have parked here. This will be a long way back! Second fail of the day.
Beach, finally! Oh wait, where is our beach gear? Of course, in the car. Third fail of the day and counting. We push the stroller through sand for another 15 minutes, but cannot find the restaurant we are looking for. GPS says the you-have-to-stop-here-food-is-great restaurant is downtown and not on the beach. Fail number four.
We don’t lose our spirits, grab a table at a first beach bar, and enjoy a bit of shade. Energized, we head back, long way ahead of us. When we are about to put on our sneakers, we realize one shoe is missing! My brand new barefoot sneaker. Fifth, and biggest, fail of the day. I take Piko and we walk all the way back to the bar, but my shoe is nowhere to be seen. Giving up, I turn to wave the ocean and my lovely shoe goodbye – and there it is! My sneaker! In a boat! Some good soul had picked it up, placed it in a boat, thinking it will be easier to find.
It was a great day. We enjoyed some ancient history. Got some exercise. I almost lost a shoe. Not bad, for a day where things did not work out.