January 4th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Chris on Tulum beach

“Ten maids a milking”  And my dad’s birthday as well.  Happy birthday, Dad.  Attempted to light a fire in a handy, ready-made, nearby fire pit, but failed abysmally, mainly because of a fierce wind blowing in off the sea.  Received some funny looks from Germans who arrived in a camper – it seemed we’d used (or attempted to use) their fire pit.  Not that they were too scrupulous to use our wood.  Anyway.  Enquired as to the nearest place to buy provisions, + were told it was in Tulum village, 4 kms away.  So we set out to walk, + most exhausting it proved, especially as, once again, it was a scorching day.  We were both shattered by the time we got there – we’d hitched as we’d walked, but in vain – so purchase no. 1 was a couple of very cold cokes.  The shops there were small, but we were able to buy most of what we wanted, sufficient for 2 or 3 good meals.   Then the walk back – as usual, it passed rather quicker.  And we did get a lift this time, tho’ we were most of the way back by then.  Remarkably, the guy had spent some time in Cornwall last year, + was able to quote Dr Johnson – a most unusual Mexican (if such he were.)

Some swimming then – the water is too placid for my liking, but refreshing enough.  And then we returned to the shops near the ruins: to drink coke; to discover, after all, that there was a small grocery store there; + to haggle over a hammock.  We discovered one shop, where the proprietor was very, very drunk, + after much drunken debate, got him to agree to sell us a large hammock for 500 pesos.  Some entertainment when he showed me his own hammock, + fell out of it, twice.  Then, since we only had travellers’ cheques, it took some time before he agreed to accept that.  Val trotted back to fetch ours, + then, by the time she’d returned, he’d changed his mind… or forgotten what he’d already said.  So, no hammock.

It was dark by the time we cooked, so lots of hassles, lots of insect bites.  An ambitious, + successful meal tho’, ultimately – egg, chips, + peas, then coffee.

Very much a non-day, in various ways.  We spent most of the day walking to the village in order to buy provisions, when it turned out there was a shop nearby all along.  And then we tried to buy a hammock, and failed.  Ah well, such was the life of the traveller at times – working hard to achieve nothing.  And then an uncomfortable evening…  But pleasing that we managed an enjoyable meal.

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