Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Sian Kaan Reserve!

This Air BnB spot on the Sian Kaan Reserve is half way between Tulum & Punta Allen. Once you leave Tulum Playa & head under that arch, you are in for a treat. The road is no longer paved or smooth, it is basically 10kmh for 2 hours, yes that means it took me 2 hours to just get 20km down the road. It was tiring, there are potholes the size of craters and when it rains, you have no idea how deep they are or if you're going to come out the other side. I was absolutely jaded when we got to our destination, the intense concentration & the rocking of the car was lulling me to sleep. I didn't really understand Sian Kaan, it is supposed to be a national reserve, but there are houses and buildings going up all along the coast. We saw for sale signs everywhere. When we asked about this, we were told it was illegal & a corrupt system. But why were the roads so bad? Do a lot of visitors really take on these roads like us? In my first twenty minutes, I barely met another car. Then jeep after jeep went flying by, no concern for my car or the roads. Tourist jeeps charging $100 a person, coming all the way from Playa Del Carmen to give people a ride through the jungle. There aim is to provide a thrilling ride, so keeping these roads in terrible shape is a must. It was sickening to learn that they ruin the roads, or whats left of them & they return nothing of their profits to the Sian Kaan Reserve. Sian Kaan was supposed to be in my eyes this incredibly relaxing part of our journey, into the middle of no where, sleeping in a tree house, but instead I felt stressed by the constant storms, the bugs were insane, like happy hour insane, the crap in the ocean made me mad & the constant feeling of army guys hanging around was not my idea of feeling safe. These guys travel up & down the coast looking for drugs which may come ashore. Their is internet available under one coconut tree & one time I went over to check if my mom had messaged me. Whilw hanging out there with 4 army guys, all using the same wifi, I realised several guns were pointing in my direction, they were just laying on their laps but it made me feel so uneasy. I don't like guns & just having them around felt weird

Michelle runs the Air BnB, she is friendly, accommodating, awesome in fact. Her staff are fantastic. Meeting new people at dinner was a huge highlight of my trip, I loved every minute of getting to know them, especially a couple from New York, who I wished we got to know a little longer, who made our first night really fun. If weather & bugs don't bother you then hit this place up, because it is gorgeous, these photos don't lie. I love swimming, I was really excited to basically have a private beach to ourselves but I literally couldn't bring myself to swim with the amount of rubbish in the water. When I expressed my concern about it to a staff member called Richard( a great story teller who had a lot of knowledge to share) he told me most of it comes from the cruise ships. He said they pass further out, sometimes you can just about see them with the naked eye, probably after leaving Cozumel and they dump more waste than you could know into those waters. The winds from summer to autumn bring that ashore, the place was littered with juice bottles, sandals, shoes, diapers, used condoms, plastic forks, knives, fruit containers, I am now sorry that I didn't photograph how extreme it was. When the winds change, Cuba takes the brunt of it. It was vile. I asked how they get away with it to which he replied, once a very long time ago they got a huge fine, when they first started out. Then the cruise ships came to the politicians and basically said; hey we will build you a peer in Cozumel and bring tourists, so many tourists which will be great for your economy if you stop fining us for the rubbish. If you guys could only see what came on shore & that the fish are eating all of this as are the birds. It was really sad.

Let's talk about the storms & the bugs. Holy moly, to be in such a beautiful spot & to be complaining seems ridiculous. I guess that I got bored in some ways. Three days with nothing to do makes adventure Ali no fun. First of all these bugs were no ordinary bugs, they were like super bugs, they could sniff you out a mile away and make there way through mosquito nets given any opportunity. Happy hour was at dusk and dawn. For two hours every evening we had to hide inside mosquito nets, once I had to pee so bad and risked it, only to get bitten on my arse, you couldn't win. Then every night we stayed, there was a storm worse than the night before. I taught the winds would knock the tree house off its stilts. Thunder, Lightning & rain for hours on end. Farah loved it, tropical storms at their best. I wanted every window closed because I literally felt like I was inside a hurricane. I wanted to drive away, except I wouldn't get far with that road. This is what I get for thinking I could survive the jungle, I can't, I like my comfort too much. I often went crab hunting at night, they always came out from under the sand. I saw a ghost crab which is the fastest crab I have ever seen, he would give Usain Bolt a run for his money.

We went snorkeling one day with another family from Ontario. Shout outs to them because they were amazing & Chris taught me how to fish. The water on this trip was choppier than expected, once in the water you were being pushed & pulled. It made Farah extremely sea sick. At this point she missed out on the shark in the water, it was only a bottom feeder but at least it was a big one. Once back to shore, Farah headed for the bed & wasn't seen again until later the next day. We had one sick girl on our hands for a bit. To be fair, it was no joke for two hours. Honestly, I just wish there was more to do. They had boats that were broken, kayaks that were broken, some board games that were great but its really a place for star gazing, storm watching & reading books all day long. Food wise, you eat whatever is given to you by their chefs Armando & Tammy who makes a mean salsa. There is no menu, you can order beers or coconuts & they keep a tab for you, but they feed you whatever is available. I was pretty disappointed in this part of our trip. In the end, I wouldn't go back Sian Kaan, the trip is way too long with bad roads. If I could get to see Punta Allen for a bit that would be kinda cool, but I would be happy out with Akumal & Tulum.

I realise I sound a little angry, but I wasn't, I was mostly stressed out cause by the bugs, a sick girlfriend, the storms & the lack of sleep. It is a great spot, if you love having naf all to do. The staff will do their utmost to make you feel at home & will help out in all ways. One piece of advice, if its rainy season, do not take a small car, get something higher off the ground or you wont make it without losing a bumper like I did.