the intriguing thing about...

Alright I know it's been some ridiculously long period of time since I last blogged so right now I need you to get some bacon related food that you can snack on while you read this post because it's a biggin'.

So Mexico. There's a lot of chihuahuas. I know, it's like this weird stereotype that's actually legit. To the point where it seemed like every second dog was a chihuahua. And so we'd be walking around and I'd see a chihuahua and let out some crazy squeal, then Rob would look at me like some weirdo and say that the dog wasn't cute. Whatever. We saw a chihuahua walking around with a tutu on, and another had a mini sombrero. SERIOUSLY. You cannot tell me a teeny tiny dog wearing a sombrero isn't cute. It was crazy cute. To the point where you want to squeeze the dog so hard that you accidentally crush it out of love.

I got sick in Mexico too. I'm not sure what it was, and I won't go into the details because although as a blogger I do like to explain in detail most embarrassing things that go on in my life, the inner workings of my digestive system need not be explained. I guess everyone has their little Mexico gut ache. It's like a right of passage. Or at least that was what I was telling myself.
You know what is kind of creepy about Mexican TV? On one of the two English channels at about 11pm they stop playing the English movies and start playing soft porn. It was the weirdest thing ever. One minute some terrible action flick with Steven Seagal is on, and the next your watching some dude getting it on with his lady co-worker friend in the office. It's like when you see a car crash and you can't look away. That's what soft porn is. And at first I was like "what movie is this?", and then my innocence and naivety were corrupted by the Mexican porn industry and I realised what I was watching. I sort of felt violated because they didn't even give me a heads up that the new program about to start was going to be featuring people getting naked and down to business. A little warning would've been nice. But at least you didn't see any man junk or poonani, so I wasn't completely scarred for life. I mean, not saying that I get scarred for life when I see people naked, but a little warning for complete strangers is nice. I think the intriguing thing about soft porn is that you don't see anything really. Wait, did I just say "the intriguing thing about soft porn"? Dear God. Anyway, it's just like any other sex scene you'd see in a movie, except these people are actually doing it. Awkies. Oh hey Mum and Dad. Just so you know, I did change the channel after about 30 seconds. Or did I?... Yes, yes I did.

After Playa Del Carmen we headed to Tulum which is about an hour further south. Tulum is a quiet beach town where everyone stays right by the water and the actual town is basically out on a highway. It was awesome. We had this beach bungalow that was super rustic and it was all just really low key and simple. On the last day that we stayed in Tulum our cabana ran out of water. Just to give you an idea of the rusticity of it all! There was a hammock out the front... just quietly, hammocks are the freaking best. I think people need more hammocks in their lives, they're so soothing and comfortable. Or at least comfortable until someone tries to flip you out of it onto the sand... cough cough ROB. He was just pretending. I think. But seriously Rob isn't actually abusive. I know I joke about it, but it's all fun and games. And I haven't gotten hurt so it's still fun and games. See what I did there? No? Yeah, it was kind of confusing. Anyway, the first night in Tulum we headed down the beach to a restaurant that served ceviche that made me want to go into one of those bear food comas and just smother myself all up in the ceviche and sleep in it. It was amazeballs. We watched the storm roll in across the water and when we walked back to our place we could see mini lightning storms all over the beach. I'd never seen anything like it.

the beach in Tulum. Paradise. 

the beach hut. 

We visited the Tulum Mayan ruins which sit on the coast overlooking the water. There are iguanas everywhere and the amount of tourists is surprisingly low. The structures are quite small but there are a lot of them and they have held their shape really well. I'm not sure how much restoration they've had to put into them, but I think for the most part they remain as they were when they were originally built. I loved seeing the carvings and images in the stone, on one building each corner had a huge human face carved into it. It was amazing. Another thing that Tulum has to offer are the cenotes (pronounced say-no-tays). A cenote is a natural sink hole that occurs after limestone bedrock collapses from underneath. When this happens it exposes the fresh groundwater and looks like a big round pool. The pool is a part of an underwater cave system that you can swim in and explore for yourself. Basically it's cave diving. Yeah, awesome. The Yucatan Peninsula has thousands of cenotes, but the most well known is Dos Ojos which means 'two eyes' because it is two cenotes. Rob and I don't have our diver's license (a little annoying!) so we snorkelled the caves instead. We had a french guy take us through the caves, he was brilliant. The water was quite cool so we had to wear short wetsuits and because it's a cave there isn't a lot of light so we had torches to swim with. Once you get into the water and realise that you're underground, it's kind of exhilarating. The mystery and uncertainty of it all gives you this sort of on edge feeling the whole time. I mean, you're not going to get lost snorkelling, but still it's a weird experience. It was completely beautiful though, the water was so fresh, there were little fish swimming right in front of your face (I dove down to check out the caves and when I came back up to surface I felt a fish get stuck on my head haha), and the limestone formations in the water are out of control. We had bats flying overhead too. That was kind of creepy. But in a good way. Nicolas (our guide) took us into the 'bat cave' which was an isolated part of the cave that was deadly quiet. It's moments like that where you're sitting on a limestone rock in an underground cave, in fresh water with bats sleeping above you, not a sound to be heard and with one small hole at the roof of the cave allowing some light in from above ground, that you think to yourself, shit this is cool. And you know that you'll never experience anything like that ever again in your entire life where you just sat in silence and enjoyed that moment right then and there. The cenotes were definitely the highlight of Mexico for me, and I think for Rob as well. We both were just blown away at how amazing the whole experience was. Afterwards Nicolas took us out for lunch to a little local taco stand by the side of the road. Holy monkey it was good. They had three different kinds of tacos and one had a mole sauce filling (mole has chocolate in it - but it's not really sweet tasting), it was the best mole sauce I've ever had in my life. I could've eaten 50 of those tacos, but we were in torrential down pour and standing under a precarious tent eating tacos on the street didn't seem super appealing. So on top of swimming in the cenotes, I had the best mole tacos too. Seriously, such a freaking good day.

Tulum ruins. 

Iguana hanging out. 

the man's face. 

a photo of Dos Ojos I stole from google. 

We then headed to Chichen Itza after our stay in Tulum. It took us three hours on the bus (buses in Mexico are super luxurious!) but it was definitely worth it. I've seen images of Chichen Itza but it is totally different when you get there and see it for yourself. Firstly, there are a bunch of vendors selling you stuff all the way along the walkway towards El Castillo (the main pyramid). They sell these little wooden horns that make a sort of panther or jaguar noise when you blow in them. Holy jesus that pissed me off. It was like they picked the most annoying and off putting noise ever, and decided it'd be a good idea to constantly be making that noise. Like they were trying to mentally break down the tourists to buy them. Secondly, it's huge. For the most part whenever I had read or seen anything on Chichen Itza I had only really seen El Castillo but there's so much more than that. Once you get past the vendors you see a huge amount of structures surrounding El Castillo. It's really breathtaking. They were doing restoration work on El Castillo (it's also referred to as the Temple of Kukulkan), it was quite clever how they were working on it because the work was being done at the top of the pyramid and it is really steep and the steps are quite dangerous (we saw guys climbing up the steps on all fours). So they mixed the cement at the base of the pyramid, then had a labourer standing on every other step and then they would just pass the buckets up to the top. Clever Mexicans. It was quite a sight actually. On one side of El Castillo you can see the unrestored steps, it looks very different to the new version now. It kind of makes you wonder how much of it has been redone and what's the original. Surrounding El Castillo are other sections like the Great Ball Court where they would play sports, the Tzompantli or Skull Platform which was one of my favourite structures because of the skull carvings (they would also have real human skulls impaled on spears back in the day), the Platform of the Eagles and the Jaguars which also had amazing imagery, the Temple of the Warriors (a huge structure), and the Group of A Thousand Columns (rows and rows of columns that originally would've supported a roof). That's just to name a few! There's also a cenote called cenote Sagrado, which was considered to be sacred. Archaeological investigations have found thousands of objects at the bottom of the cenote like gold, carved jade, shell, wood, rubber, cloth, as well as skeletons. Pretty crazy stuff. After Chichen Itza we took an almost 4 hour bus ride to Cancun which was miserable. Oh Cancun.

El Castillo (the restored side). 

Rob being lame. 

the labourers working hard. 

the unrestored side of El Castillo. 

the eagles and the jaguars. 

a skull carving. 

the skull platform. 

the great ball court. 

a ring used in the ball court. 

spot the weird dude... 
note: he's the one wearing a bow tie, now scarred for life. 

There's something about being surrounded by wankers all the time that wears you down. I think it affected Rob more so than me, he had to lock himself in the room to avoid dealing with idiots. Fair enough. We expected there to be a lot of annoying people, but Cancun was kind of out of control. I think the best part was the food and swimming at the beach because there were waves. It was pretty funny though because Rob and I were the only people swimming in the waves. I got dunked a few times, but body surfed some goodies too. I guess people were too scared of them, must be an Australian thing willingly throwing yourself into waves for entertainment. Anyway, apart from the all you can eat and drink deal, I don't think Cancun has much going for it. It's so Americanised anyway, it's like you're not in Mexico at all. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

We were pretty stoked to land in San Diego last week. I can't believe it's almost been a whole week here already! I've been dragging Rob around everywhere meeting my family, there's a lot of us here. And many family members with the same name too (there are multiple Johns, Garys and Michaels), it must be a little overwhelming for him. He's doing well though I think. We're staying in my Grandpa's hangar at the little airport where he and my uncle keep their planes. Flying is a hobby in my family. It's pretty cool actually, if I lived here I'd definitely try and get my license. I've been working out at the airport too, doing little WODs (in 30 degree heat may I add!). I've been doing some sprints, burpees, squats, working on my double unders again. Man I lose them fast. After a couple of WODs though I start to get them back, but still nothing like a skipping rope whipping you in the leg to remind you of your lack of abilities.

Rob and I headed out on our road trip today. We're going up the west coast to Portland then heading to Utah and Colorado and then Arizona. It's going to be a long time in a car. Not gonna lie. I hope Rob doesn't kick me out half way through or something. I'm trying to think of something that makes up for my lack of map reading abilities that might be an incentive to keep me as a road trip companion but nothing really comes to mind right now. Oh actually I know, being awesome. Boom. Haha. Poor Rob.

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