the

Whitefish Lake, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Flying back to British Columbia on October 17th.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

While some people love the area, it's not our style

We were on the road at 9:00am yesterday morning, but it turned out that we would have felt a lot less rushed if we would have started at 8:00am. We only had 204 kms (126 miles) to drive, but we wanted to stop at another cenote for a swim, and we had to do a fuel stop, a grocery stop, and make our way through the now very busy community of Playa del Carmen.

Oh, and to top it all off, we lost an hour due to time change!

We stopped for fuel just after the village of Ebtun, a little west of Valladolid.

This is the first time since we crossed the border on January 7th that we haven't been able to buy fuel with a credit card. This particular station was a FullGas instead of a Pemex, and they said that their machine would only approve Mexican based credit cards.

While the rest of the group got fueled up, Ruth and I continued a couple more kms to the Cenote Samula. We wanted to confirm that their parking lot was big enough for all 12 rigs. It was, so we went back and got the rest of the group.

There are actually two different cenotes here, but we knew we were tight on time so those who wanted to paid the 80 pesos ($5.50 CAD, $4.40 USD) each and we chose to visit the Samula cenote.

Samula Cenote.

This would have made for a good overnight stop, but they won't allow us to park overnight. Much better than the last cenote, but only because it's not as popular so there were hardly any people.

Some of our group, relaxing in the cool water.

From there, we got on the Merida to Cancun toll road, crossed the border into Quintana Roo (time change, we are now on Eastern Time) and then took the new 305D toll highway that runs down to Playa del Carmen that was opened a couple of years ago.

Both toll roads are expensive, and boring to drive. No scenery of any kind. Total fees for Sherman were 471 pesos (32.50 CAD, $25.75 USD).

 Monkey bridge.

We were looking at stopping at the big Soriana in Playa del Carmen, but as we made the turn to head south there was a Walmart that looked like it had suitable parking. Note to self... 45 minutes is not a long enough grocery stop for most people. Need an hour.

Sherman, and a few other of our rigs parked up at Walmart.

The rest of our group.

We made our way through the busy city of Playa del Carmen.

Back in the 1990's, Playa del Carmen was just a little fishing village. The population in 1995 was 17,000. By the time Ruth and I first visited in 2003, it had grown to about 40,000 people. Tourism and development really took off between 2005 and 2015 and at one point it was the fastest growing city in the world. The population today stands at about 220,000.

When we visited in 2003, we liked the area. Of course our tastes have changed along with the growth of the city itself. So while some people love the area, it's not our style. Each to their own, of course.

We pulled in to Paamul at about 4:00pm. It took an hour or so to get all 12 rigs parked up in their sites. We are all kind of spread around, but everybody seems to have working services. Sherman has a decent site, but only because we chose to have a site that doesn't have a sewer connection.

Sherman, parked up at Paamul.

We'll tell you more about Paamul tomorrow.

Yesterday's drive, 204 kms.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Fun for the kids... at half price!


And in Canada...




23 comments:

  1. Your in our site!!! The pool is delightful .. restaurant is expensive but good with a lovely view..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It' not a bad site here, we don't mind not having sewer if it means that we don't have neighbours. It is a nice pool but a little on the murky side but the view is great from it and the restaurant.

      Delete
  2. This is the most expensive RV park in Mexico at $50 US a night. The pool & beach is nice, the RV parking not so much so. In Fall it was a sea of mud due to heavy rain. Not my style either, but choices are limited unless people are willing to dry camp for longer. Too bad that Cenote does not allow overnight parking, it looks nice, but at least you have established it's possible to make a stop there & established that an 8AM start is best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a beautiful cenote on the east side of Vallodoliad that has overnight spaces, but probably not enough hook ups for a caravan. East of the prison (great hammocks) a few miles, south side of the road. But I am guessing you all know this!

      Delete
    2. We don't think it is worth the $50US a night but as you said there really isn't any other choice in the area for camping with services.

      The cenote was nice and definitely worth the stop if enough people in the group choose to go.

      I think we know which cenote you may mean on the other side of Valladolid. We dry camped for several nights over Christmas back in 2008 at the Suytun de Mendoza Cenote. It was really nice. At the time Kevin had found a website that said it had 40 RV sites but when we got there, there weren't any so maybe they have some services now. It would definitely be a worthwhile stop if they do, we may have to try and check it out the next time we are in the area.

      We stopped at the gas station that is almost beside and across the road from the prison and the hammocks, I am pretty sure that some people bought some of the hammocks. We actually didn't know about the hammocks until one of the group members mentioned it to us at the driver's meeting the night before because he and his wife had spent lots of time in this area before, so we did actually just learn about it and were able to make everyone aware of it beforehand, but thank you for mentioning it Kent.

      Delete
  3. BTW Kevin, I am not sure if I gave you this info, but there is a laundry at the shopping center south of you on the right (5 min) Also groceries, scotiabank and oddly enough 2 Chinese restaurants

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the info Paul. We actually rode our bicycles to Puerto Adventure down the road and found an ATM. There is also an actual real laundromat in town as well.

      Delete
  4. Yep, when we were in the area, they wouldn't take cash or debit cards. I had to have a couple of my credit cards expressed overnight to me. They would take pesos though. I had converted $200 dollars to pesos and that carried me for two weeks. Meals were cheap and the events we visited were reasonable compared to prices in USA. We saw directions to Playa Del Carmen but we didn't drive out that way so I'm excited to see and tag along on your travels.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think maybe you meant to say they didn't take credit cards or debit cards. They most certainly take cash. ;-)

      Of course they take pesos, that is their currency here not the US dollar and if places do take the US dollar the exchange on it would be terrible. When we travel through any country we only use our credit card or that country's currency.

      You won't be seeing any posts on Playa del Carmen because we will not be venturing into the "city" itself. It is definitely not our style anymore and it has grown way too much for us. We are however looking forward to getting down to Chetumal in a few days time.

      Delete
  5. I liked PCD but like you, not my style. Although we did visit during a tropical storm lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not the same little town that it used to be anymore. It has really become a tourist area and has lost a lot of the little Mexican town charm it had when we visited here back in 2003. It now seems to just be an extension of Cancun's hotel strip in our opinion.

      Delete
  6. Paamul is certainly not our cup of tea either! The booth at the gate insisted on US cash, I think $40 or $45 at the time and after we told them we were not Americans and had only pesos they phoned their bank and got the current exchange rate. They did not even have a price in pesos! They then gave us a site surrounded with police tape, a crime scene where an American had murdered his wife and where an investigation was still going on after they found her body under a cement slab he had poured on his year round site! Creepy to say the least!

    The WIFI was also available by buying it for one month minimum. I just do not like that whole coast mainly because the gringos have taken it over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, they still charge in US dollars! At least you got charged the bank's current exchange rate, most of the places that we have seen that will take the US dollar post the exchange rate and it is not very favourable.

      I remember you telling us about that story, definitely creepy!

      No WIFI here that we know of and like you we don't like this whole area anymore either for the same reasons. When we are driving down the main road it almost looks like we are driving down through Myrtle Beach with attractions all the way down the road on both sides. :-(

      Delete
  7. Meant to say we were next door to the crime scene, not in it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The good thing was, the killer next door grew some beautiful tomatoes that those of us with long arms could reach through the police tape and grab!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Umm Umm, I wonder how he fertilized those tomatoes! Yuk!

      Delete
    2. Also, how do you murder your wife in an RV park (and dispose of the body) without someone hearing or seeing something? Maybe poison her and dig a hole at say three in the morning? I think the sleuth in me is coming out!

      Delete
    3. He would have gotten away with it but weeks or months after he reported her "missing" he suffered a minor heart attack, was taken to the hospital and thinking he was dying, confessed his crime to the hospital staff. soon after police showed up and jack-hammered the concrete pad and found her body. Mexico deported him back to Texas where he was wanted for sexually abusing his own child, a charge his wife had been helping him hide from in Mexico.

      The tomatoes were very good and were on the opposite side of the lot so not too much "body" in them. :)

      Delete
  9. Heck Croft, That gives me the creeps.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Today's comments are as entertaining as Kevin and Ruth's post! ☺

    Those amazing and beautiful cenotes - the geology that created them still boggles my mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Tamara!

      We agree the cenotes are definitely a highlight to this area, especially if you can find ones that are a little less known and not so busy with tourists.

      Delete
  11. A very entertaining and interesting set of posts and comments! Oh , how I’m loving following your adventure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes the comments can be as entertaining/interesting as the blog post itself! :-)

      Delete

We love hearing from you! Please take the time to leave a comment...