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She Had Me At Monkeys | Adventuring Women Northern California Things to do , San Francisco things to do, Writer, Travel Writer,

Mexico Kan Tours

“And then you’ll ride down a slow-moving river in an inner tube.” It’s 7:30 pm in Tulum, Mexico and I want to go on a tour, tomorrow, while my husband goes cave diving.

Cleared jungle

Civilized Jungle. Structure in the background

“What else do you have?” I say.

“Bla, bla, bla ride bicycles, zip line, hike through the jungle, blab la bla, swim in a cenote, Mayan shaman, bla, bla la bla, monkeys, bla, bla, monkey sanctuary.” I hear in response.

“That’s for me. How much does it cost?” I pull out cash and pay.

The Cobá Historical Site is the first Mayan Historical site I’ve been to, ever. I am charmed with the simplicity of the little tiendas and kiosks at the gate. I’m not so charmed that I must buy toilet paper before going into the baño. Tip: always keep tissue with you.

Inside the gates is a lightly cleared jungle with paths leading to the historical site and its structures. The bicycle rental is nestled in the trees an easy 100’ from the gate. The bicycles look old but are well maintained. Bikes are one speed. Nothing fancy needed. It’s an easy 2 km mile ride to the main square where the temple is located. We park our bikes with the knowledge that if someone takes them while we are climbing the temple, we’ll just take another one.

Just because you’ve been to one Mayan Historical site, doesn’t mean you’ve been to them all. On this trip I saw three sites and drove by one more. Two sites allow climbing up the temple, two do not. As I climb the Cobá temple I curse myself for using the elliptical trainer and not the stair climbing machine at the gym. It was a long way up, but worth the climb.

Our guide (or fearless leader) Marlon, is very interesting and doesn’t look particularly Mayan. He says there was an Italian Priest in his lineage. Many people in his grandmother’s town, also, looked like that priest.  I give him kudos as a tour guide. There is a 6-year-old, very precocious, boy who jumps on his bike and takes off in a huff over something. Alex pumps after him and doesn’t let him get away.

It’s hot and humid. Sweat pours out of my head the whole time. The bicycle ride back is as easy as the ride in, like it’s downhill both ways.

“Where are the monkeys?” You ask.   Wait for it. I’ll post with pictures, soon.

Steep Climb

the view looking up. Why didn’t I use the stair master at the gym?

Looking down, it's really that steep.

Looking down, it’s really that steep.