The combi to Cobà stops in front of La Fournee, a French café and bakery, across from the city hall of Tulum. It leaves when it is full, so I waited for an hour.
But meanwhile, you can treat yourself at the café, which brings a touch of Europe to Tulum, so there is no need for frustration 🙂
The combi costs 50 pesos, and stops right by the entrance to the Cobà ruins.The entrance is 68.
All passengers spoke English and were tourists. Two were Mexican, a few from Spain and one from china. The group from the buss clearly wanted that we all walked together, though we were strangers to one another. I had really looked forward to a day on my own, and to connect with nature and ruins. With a bit of effort I managed to get away from the others.
The first temple on the right hand awakened my amazement for the place and its rich history. Stones on top of stones reached towards the sky in the shape of a pyramid. Wow, I thought to myself. The other passengers from the bus were, nevertheless, right behind me, which made it a bit hard for me to really connect with the place.
I moved my way through the trails, in the opposite direction of everybody else, and that was how I managed to get the place for myself. Or, I had to share it with lizards, a snake in a poisonous green color and some blue and yellow butterflies.
The birds were singing above me, and the lizards made a scotching sound as they moved through the leaves of the forest floor.
I felt as if I had finally arrived in the jungle, though the trail was manmade. The plants on each ride of the trail provided the place with a thick green frame. I enjoyed the silence. I enjoyed being able to view and photograph the ruins without having people in between me and them. I enjoyed being able to think.
High piles of rocks and earth, made me believe the place was covered with ruins that still remain secret. I liked that idea. It made me feel a bit more like an explorer of hidden land. When I was alone, I felt a strong but inexplicable connection with the place.
Nohoch Mul, which you can climb, and Juego de Pelota del grupo Cobà were crowded. Not in comparison to the ruins of Tulum, but in comparison some of the other Cobà ruins. I took a deep breath, and told myself that of course I could not have such wonders all for myself.
The, to a great extent unknown, past was part of what drew me to this part of the world in the first place. When I visited the crowded ruins of Tulum, where cameras determine how and where people move, part of the magic was lost. Seeing Muyil and Cobà made me partly regain the lost feeling. Yet, the magic of imagination will never be the same as before I arrived to the country. Imagining a trip is always very different from carrying out a trip. What I suggest is that the actual trip makes other sensual experiences arise, and that these can be guided by for example pre-travel imaginaries, stories heard while travelling, experiences that have already taken place on the trip, personal mood, who you share the experience with, time and weather. Likewise, recalling the experience of a place, can differ from the experience had while being on that place. Thus one person can have many different experiences of one experience:)
It is funny how I first expected that the Mayans would feel that their places have been robbed by the tourist industry and invaded by tourists, and how I now want it all for myself. Last night I finished reading “The Lost World of Quintana Roo” in which Peissel (1963) expresses the exact same attitude.
Thunder came closer and closer. Silent raindops turned into gently drumming on jungle leaves. The temperature dropped and I got goosebums. Ziz zag lightning cut through the sky over the laguna when I ate my lunch.
I paid 76 pesos for an ADO bus to take me back to Tulum.
The first pyramid that stole my heart
Maybe another pyramid?
You can actually have a trail for yourself! Perfect place to think about yourself, life, and whatever you need time to reflect on 🙂
Chilling in a tree
Moved by the place and its energies