It took about an hour for all the passengers to get on board.
In the meantime I tried to sleep a little more to make the sudden headache and fatigue less prominent. Unfortunately it was getting worse as the day progressed.
Due to the heavy air con I got myself a nasty cough as well… And I obviously did not provide an extra sweater in a country where it is pretty warm and humid all the time…
About three hours later we arrived in Koba. The highest Mayan ruins of the Yucatan region. Also the only ruin you can climb on!
In fact, it is not just one ruin, but an entire village. Only 1% of all the excavations were uncovered. The other remains are still safely hidden under the rainforest and will probably remain there for many more years.
The guide welcomed us at the beginning of the domain and explained to us some basic principles of the daily life of the Mayan citizen. As Koba was an older civilization, they were not so cruel. Human sacrifices were for example not yet here. Blood Sacrifices were though. These sacrifices were done by incisions in the earlobes and other parts of the body; if you compare this to more modern Mayan civilizations, they are not at all bloody or cruel.
About twenty minutes later we were free to explore Koba itself. The most impressive temple was about two kilometers away from where I was now.
Because I still did not feel very good, I made good use of the bikes you could hire on the domain. For fifty Mexican pesos I rented a creaky, squeaky bike that brought me to the biggest temple of this domain in about ten minutes.
With forty-two meters high, this building was pretty impressive. Especially when you know that the Mayans had no modern tools and the stones were very large.
I don’t know why everyone had so much trouble to climb the temple, but I walked the building fairly easily.
Next to me I saw puffing tourists while they eagerly clung to a thick cord that would lead them to the top.
The view from the top was amazing. You actually saw nothing but jungle around you. Strange, because you know that there are literally hundreds of other buildings hidden inside the forests around you. No wonder that this site was kept secret for so long!
Because of the heat my head was now almost going to explode. So I decided it was time to return and rest in the shade a bit.
When I braught back my bike, I walked slowly toward the exit and I bought a refreshing ice cream and some drinks.
When everyone had come to the place where we agreed to meet up again, we went to a disgusting restaurant where our buffet lunch was waiting on us.
Luckily I had little appetite by the fevered state I found myself in.
As if the day only got worse, I started to get some chills a little later. Strange, if you know that outside it was nearly thirty degrees Celsius.
I therefore decided not to jump into the icy waters of the cenotes. The next stop was a cenote. A cenote is an underground cave where fresh water has collected and where tourists can now enjoy the refreshing splash between stalagmites and stalactites. Undoubtedly a fun experience, but at the moment I only hoped for a smooth rest of the day so I could crawl into bed as soon as possible.
An hour later we went to Tulum. A much smaller temple complex than the Koba temples, but equally impressive!
As some of my fellow travelers arrived late all day, we had almost forty five minutes less to enjoy this beautiful temple.
Therefore we had to hurry up a bit. Something I was not really looking forward to of course…
Fortunately, the guide was understanding and he showed us how we could best explore the grounds on our own.
The beautiful temples were built on a cliff and had a beautiful view of the turquoise water and white sandy beaches.
Since it was almost sunset, crowds of tourists were disturbing the beautiful view a bit. But of course that’s always the case with beautiful sights like this…
I could hardly stand on my feet and decided to already head back to the van at a snails pace.
When the whole group was back in the small van, everyone seemed to be very tired. The Koreans next to me were very happy that this long journey was finally coming to an end. It had indeed been a very long day for all of us…
I was also very happy. During the whole tour, I was thinking how I could suddenly have become so ill. I kept thinking I might have got something from a pesky little mosquito. Zika, dengue or chikungunya.
When everyone was comfortable and ready to head back, the non-English speaking bus driver made an unexpected stop in Playa del Carmen.
In his very limited English he announced that we would be here for half an hour.
The protest of all English-speaking passengers did not matter, because the man simply did not understand. Me and the rest of the group just stayed sitting at Starbucks for half an hour and then -finally- climbed back into the van that would take us to our accommodations once again.
After a tour of more than fifteen hours I was dropped at the door of my hostel. Incredibly sick I got out of the car, dropped all my stuff in the room and fell asleep while sweating.
Hopefully tomorrow would be better, because I had already booked two other tours for the next two days…
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.