I was so excited to visit the Tulum Ruins because unlike other ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula, the Tulum Ruins are the only seaside Mayan ruins to survive the pounding waves of the Caribbean Sea.
Scientists surmise that any other large ancient Mayan cities built as ports would have been swept into the sea long ago. The only reason the Tulum ruins survived was because it was situated high atop the rocks in Tulum.
We arose from our Coco Cabana palapa to the wonderful sound of the sea and birds. We had heard that many of the restaurants at the Tulum Ruins market mall served authentic Mexican dishes so we skipped our usual breakfast of fresh fruit and jumped into our rental car, arriving at the Ruins only 8 minutes later.
It was promising to be another wonderful sunny day in Mexico as we climbed out of the car.
I could smell the delicious ‘pollo con salsa de poblano’ – ‘chicken with poblano sauce’ tacos wafting to the car and I was in heaven immediately. We spotted the source of the tantalizing smell and headed in that direction.
The abundance of local visitors to this establishment was a good hint that the food was good and popular. We ordered the most popular dish and our taco order appeared almost moments later. Jose our waiter cautioned us about the different hot sauces he served us. He explained that even some of the local Mayans cannot eat the green habanero sauce!
Janice, one of our fellow guests at Coco Cabanas was sitting at a table near us, and she was sweating and drinking full glasses of water as she explained that she applied a little too much habanero sauce to her tacos. She was furiously reaching for serviettes to wipe her running nose while she ordered even more water. We were all amused as Jose returned with more bottled water and a look on his face that said, “I warned you”.
The tacos and fresh orange juice were delicious and we were ready to head for the tram which would take us to the beach to the ruins, but we all were sidetracked by the multitude of artisan shops brimming with hand-made gifts and souvenirs.
I entered a store containing all kinds of sparkling trinkets. At home I have a ‘holiday wall’, where I hang something to remind me of my vacation for the place and year I travelled.
One of the most popular souvenirs in Tulum is the royal Mayan face carving from various colors and types of wood. After viewing the many different forms and sizes of masks, I decided on one that was stained dark brown with an orange trim. It’s about two feet long by six inches wide. I can picture a perfect spot on my wall for my new purchase.
The next item on my list is a hammock. This store contained every type and size imaginable. The store clerk assisted me as we unfolded a beautifully woven hammock containing all the bright colors one would expect from an item made in Mexico.
As the Mayan clerk refolded the hammock after I decided to buy it, she was especially proud to explain in broken English that her grandmother taught her how to make hammocks when she was a child. She continued and was pleased to state that there was a piece of Mayan culture in almost everything in this store. I was happy to see these young Mayan senoritas were so proud of their heritage.
We placed our purchases in the car, full, happy and ready to experience some more wonders of the Yucatan Peninsula.
It’s time to head for the Tulum ruins.