Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Papaya Playa Project, Tulum

The Papaya Playa Project was a stay we were most looking forward to on our trip. We had been drooling over the photos on their website & I was constantly following them on Instagram. Initially on our arrival, I was surprised at how big The PPP was. There must be over a hundred cabanas & casitas, throwing me off somewhat because I got the impression it was more intimate. Thankfully, being low season it did feel more intimate, there were plenty of free beds on the beach, outdoor breakfast was never packed, especially for me, being the early riser. We did arrive at the end of a full moon party, which happens once a month. This is not really my kind of thing as it attracts a much younger crowd ( perfect for the 20something crowd) & I have done the whole Thailand trip thing. I noticed in one day age range change from early twenties (who carried small kegs around) to early-thirties, now these were my kind of people. They wanted to drink, eat and relax, who doesn't after a long summer of work.

Staying at the PPP is in no way cheap. For us, it is unaffordable in the high season, especially for four nights. Our cabana was very cute, beach front view, sounds of the waves rocking you to sleep at night, electricity & a/c. The other accommodations ranged from jungle cabanas to casitas, some more luxurious than others. I did love waking up to the sunrise & starting my day with a nice cup of coffee. The workers on the beach began at 6am digging holes and collecting seaweed. It was a never ending job, with every wave new seaweed rolling on shore waiting to be raked and buried. The idea here is the keep the beach pristine, no one likes to see seaweed but it didn't bother me in the slightest. That's nature at work, what bothered me more was rubbish & cigarette butts that shouldn't be there. People, please respect the beaches, it is not your rubbish bin.

We took our hunger into the local town & had some of the finest street food Tulum has to offer. Tacos with bbqed meat, tamales, agua fresca & more tacos, beware of the spice level. I hopped from stall to stall comparing each neighbours tacos and flavours until I was full and could fit no more, I felt a little bit like Violet from Willy Wonka, please roll me down the street now. I was left wanting the flavours and spices from Tulum town. I don't want to feel like I'm at home when I'm on holidays. Feed me what the locals eat, open my eyes to a different world. Unfortunately most hotels do not do this. They give you the beach, the drinks, the weather but when it comes to the food, they make it like home so you don't feel like you are too far away. You have all the conveniences of home but you're abroad. If you want a fantastic meal but pricey then Hartwood down the road is for you, cab price $9 from The PPP. If you want cheap & tasty food head into Tulum town & eat with the locals.

I had fun, I fell asleep on a beautiful beach, the weather was great, it was quiet thanks to low season. They had an amazing spa which was run by a very friendly and welcoming woman called Gabby. Gabby is the kindest soul, you SHOULD meet if you stay here. Her holistic centre, gave me the best massage of my life. Up on the hill near the kite surfing station was an open shack with winds blowing in & sounds of the rolling waves. My massage therapist Carlos who I found out later, was the official therapist for the Mexican Olympics gynastics team. Wow, is all I can say, this guy knows what he is doing. If I could have afforded one everyday then I would have. Come for the beach & stay for the massages. Seriously though, if you are staying nearby he is worth dropping in for.

Did I mention the diving pelicans? OMG check them out in the photos below. They are amazing creatures, I spent hours watching them. I was told by a local that they eventually die from smashing into the water so many times at such heights. Rumour has it, they actually in a way kill themselves. They know when the time is near & take a giant skydive that leads to an untimely death. Why survive if you cannot fish?