After arriving back from our adventures around the archaeological sites near Xpujil we found a cheap hotel near town where we decided to stay. I was tired from driving and hungry so needless to say I wasn’t really in the mood for hunting down hotels with my pack on. After settling in we headed off in the search for dinner which was harder than it sounded. After walking down two main streets we were yet to discover a comedor or any other places to eat so what could we do but continue to walk on. We ended up on the water front but as it was dark there was no nice view over the water. There were however some street food stalls, hooray food! We inhaled a torta each and made our way back to the hotel. On the way we found more street food had appeared on the main street and upon closer inspection all the stalls seemed to be selling hot-dogs. The friendly guy who worked at the car hire company had recommended that we try the hot-dogs in Chetumal but we didn’t fully understand what was so special about a street hot-dog. Well, it turns out that Chetumal has an extra special version of a hot-dog which I’m pretty sure could induce heart attacks. It was a hot-dog sausage, wrapped in cheese, wrapped in ham, wrapped in a flour tortilla and wrapped in bacon, then deep-fried and served in a slightly sweet bun with the usual accompaniments. Tom handed over his 18 peso for one immediately but I passed on that food experience.
We only decided to spend one full day in Chetumal so we were up early to get the most of what this Caribbean port city could offer. Our destination was actually back towards Tulum to a small Pueblo Magico called Bacalar. We got there via a collective taxi so it was pretty quick, unfortunately the weather was a bit rubbish so all we could do was cross our fingers and hope it passed.
With the sky still looking gloomy we decided to check out the old fortress of San Felipe Bacalar which had been turned into a small naval museum. This ended up being a great idea as while we were checking out the place a torrential storm passed through. Luckily we had enough to occupy us in the museum and the signs were in English so we learnt a lot about the area, the pirates and the ships. When the rains stopped we were able to leave and decided to walk down to the lagoon. Balacar has a reputation of having the most beautiful blue and aqua waters but unfortunately the day we visited they were only shades of grey. The weather was improving slowly and as we arrived at a public swimming area we debated going for a swim. It just wasn’t warm enough so we watch some kids pushing each other off the dock before making our way back to the taxi area.
Due to the disappointing weather we still had lots of day left so we wandered to the museum. I’m so glad we did this because the museum was fantastic. It was a very modern museum themed around the Mayan history of Quintana Roo and much of the information was interesting to us due to the number of archaeological sites we had visited. We spent a nice hour or so in there checking out the cool scale models of the different temples and pyramids and learnt more about Xibalba, the Mayan underworld, and the method the Mayan used for counting.
After cruising through the lovely air-conditioned museum we were feeling a little peckish so decided to have an early dinner. Near the museum we had passed a good looking seafood restaurant. We both splurged and ordered tasty fish dishes but still got some food envy from the next table and their ceviche.
As it was still early we decided to walk the long way back to the hotel around the water front. Despite Toms assurances this ended up being significantly longer than he told me it would be. The first part was through a suburban street where we saw the cutest puppies (one of which was offered to us by the owner), then on towards the port. We finished up the night with a few beers in our hotel room as Chetumal didn’t really seem to have much to do after dark. The next day would be busy, exciting and a little scary as we would be crossing into Belize.
Although I’ve titled this post ‘our last stop in Mexico’ we do return at the very end of our trip. Hopefully you have enjoyed reading about our adventures in Mexico and if this is the first you have read then you can check them all out here. Once I’ve made my way through the remainder of our travels throughout Central America I’ll write another post on our return where we meet some family and play tour guide in Mexico City and Zihuatanejo for them.