Naked in the Yucatan – Day 10

Well we’re not naked all day every day. There’s lots to see and do on the Mayan Riviera. Today we chose to check out beaches that we hadn’t yet visited.  We saw a billboard sign that said “Paamul Caribbean Paradise” with an arrow pointing down a dirt road.  Nearing the beach there was a security guard and a gate. We told him we wanted to look around. He said no. Then I said we wanted a drink and he lifted the security gate for us to pass through.

We had arrived  in a tiny resort village sitting at the edge of a beautiful bay. The village was made up of a few houses, rv’s and trailers camouflaged with palm fronds to look like permanent residences, an open air restaurant, swimming pool, hotel and cabanas.  After lunch on the patio we headed back to Hwy 307 to explore some more.

Further down the road towards Tuluum we see a billboard advertising “Brick Oven Pizza.” The arrow pointed down another dirt road. Down we go. We drive into the parking lot for the Tankah Inn. A man comes out to greet us. He asks if we’re staying there. I answer no. He tells us that we must leave. “Where’s the pizza place,” I ask.” “Down that road,” he replies.

There’s another security guard and gate. We tell him “pizza,” and he lifts the rope for us to pass.  Driving down the road we pass many very large homes on the beach. Coming to what looks like the end of the road is Blue Sky Pizza. We get out of the car and step inside. We’re looking out over a narrow sandy beach and another beautiful bay. It’s too early for pizza. So, we just have a couple of drinks and enjoy the view. Lovely, but in our opinion not as nice as Paamul. Still, if this is where you found yourself staying for a week you wouldn’t have any complaints. Knowing what Paamul looks like, though, that’s where we would stay on our next trip down here.

We’ve seen enough for the day. Time for a naked dip in the pool at MakNuk. Passing through the  beautiful door at MakNuk we are instantly removed from the outside world and entered into a nude Mayan paradise. In our room we shed our clothes and step naked into the estuary  that leads from our room to the pool. What sweet release.

Naked in the Yucatan – Day 9

Went to the MakNuk #nudebeach today. It’s a little bit of heaven on the beach in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.  Miles of beach with nary a soul on it. Not much to say. Just wonderful to be naked on a beach without a care. The water was a little rough so we only went in up to our waists.

I was reminded of an article we published some years ago -”Sand in my shorts.” It was  about a woman’s visit to Tulum. Well there was no sand in our shorts today. No shorts.

MakNuk-Nude-Feet

After awhile in the sun we went back into the shade of the palm trees. Around 12:30 P.M. we took the van back to MakNuk. We could’ve stayed longer. The van makes a beach run every 2 hours or so. But we had our fill of sun. We were ready to return to the seclusion and tranquil beauty of our clothing optional hideaway

 

Naked in the Yucatan – Day 8 (cont)

Our next door neighbors here at MakNuk Naturist Condos have made us feel right at home. Kathy and Roger have us over for tea and coffee in the mornings and go out of their way to introduce to other guests. Kathy and Roger own a unit  and live here about 6 months each year. They’re from Minnesota and began visiting Tulum in the 70′s.

One of the benefits of being travelers is that you learn how things are done in other countries. For instance, we learned from a Canadian couple that Canada no longer uses pennies and that their currency is made out of a plastic material. It doesn’t tear and survives a trip through the washing machine.

Today we visited Xel-Ha (Shel- AAH) an eco-park about 6 miles north of Tulum. It’s a water oriented recreation facility on a body of water connected to the Caribbean. Though you have to wear a swim suit, Xel-Ha is the best operated, best thought out, most fun recreation facility we have ever visited. Here’s some highlights:

1. Upon entering the park I asked for a brochure. The attendant told us that Xel-Ha is an eco-park and doesn’t use paper. As we toured the park we never saw a single piece of paper or trash of any sort.

2. The whole idea of the park is to play in and around this estuary that flows into the Caribbean. There are no mechanized rides. It’s just old fashioned water fun.

3. All of the equipment is free. This includes snorkel gear, tubes for floating down the river, zip lines, bicycles, lockers, towels, and life vests. There are only a couple of options, like swimming with the dolphins, for which there is a charge.

4. All the food and drinks are free. Yes. Free. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served buffet style in several very nice open air restaurants.

5. Free drinks includes alcohol. Yes. Margaritas. Pina Coladas. Beer. There is even a walk up bar where you can get straight shots of 100% Anejo tequilla.

6. When you enter the park they put an ID band on you. Throughout the park there are photographers. If you want your picture taken while doing an activity or holding an big iguana, the photographer scans your ID bracelet, then takes the picture. When you’re ready to leave the park you go to a station, have your ID bracelet scanned, and voila there on the screen are all of the pictures that were taken of you. One print if $19. However, if you had dozens of pictures taken you can them all put on a thumb drive for $79.

7. If you’ve taken stuff to the beginning of the river run that you don’t want to take on the tube raft with you, take it to a station where your gear will be put in a bag and locked. You get the key. The bag is transported back to the main part of the park where you can pick it up when you’re ready for it. This service is free.

Naked in the Yucatan – Day 8

10 or so years ago it was common to find people running naked on the sand in Tulum. Now that the area has been developed with eco-resorts there are only a few places where one can be naked on the beach without fear of being hassled.

MakNuk has found such a place. Guests of this clothing optional resort can hop on the nude van and be taken to a beach where you can run naked on the sand all day.

The day is just beginning. I was up at 6 A.M and did my yoga meditation by the pool. Let me digress here for a minute and tell you a few impressions of Tulum.

There are police everywhere. I’ve never seen so many police. Coming into town there is a police checkpoint where you must come to an almost complete stop. We were apprehensive the first time we came to this checkpoint. However, we’ve learned that they’re not interested in tourists. The police are making sure that Tulum remains a safe place for the tourists.

Being that this is a tropical area and that the town is surrounded by jungle we expected lots of insects. I haven’t seen a single mosquito. One ant on our table. A couple of flies.

There are many native Mayans in this area. Before development came the town was a Mayan village. The Mayans are shorter than Mexicans from places like Mexico City. And they have the thickest black hair I have ever seen.

Naked in the Yucatan – Day 7

Last night we were #naked while watching the #superbowl. Mike and Chrissy served ribs, burgers, and drinks.  If you were a #SeaHawks fan it was a wonderful night. Hard to believe that one top team could so dominate another top team.

My husband did yoga on the grass by the pool and then swam a few laps. We left MakNuk clothing optional nude resort early to do errands in town. While we were driving about the heavens let loose with another huge downpour for about 30 minutes. The rest of the day was warm and sunny.

Back at MakNuk we had beer and pizza by our own swim up canal that leads to the pool.

Naked in the Yucatan – Day 5

No getting #naked on the #nudebeach today. The wind is strong coming in off the bay. Too strong for swimming, kayaking or snorkeling.  Off to Coba to see the Mayan ruins.

The ruins are in a gorgeous setting by a lake. We hired a guy to take us around on his tricycle. Two wheels up front with a seat for us. I know. Lazy. But it was hot and humid about a mile of walking and we wanted the energy to climb the pyramid. Climbing the pyramid was a little daunting. First of all it was steep. Second a horde of people came out of the forest to climb up to the top. We didn’t hear any English being spoken. Coming down was more scary because it was so steep and the were people climbing up and down around us.

Back in the car we stopped for lunch at the restaurant at the edge of the lake. Shortly after we sat down the heavens unleashed a downpour. Pity those people in the park climbing the pyramid. I wouldn’t want to be coming down on the slippery rocks.

Back near Tulum we stopped for a swim at the Gran Cenote. OMG. What an amazing experience. It’s hard to describe. Think about swimming in a Carlsbad Cavern. Smaller, but still with stalactites and stalagmites. Some openings to the sky allowing sunlight to filter down into the cavern giving the water a beautiful aquamarine color.

We had dinner in Tulum and walked around the lively streets.  Back at our  Villa Dolce Vita  we turned in for the night. A storm came up with pounding rain and a wind that felt like a hurricane. We wondered if the owners had forgotten to tell us that a hurricane was coming.

 

Naked in the Yucatan – Day 4

We didn’t get #naked today. Instead we did some sightseeing. Drove up to Puerto Morales. Lovely little town. Then down to Tulum for dinner. We hadn’t yet been to central Tulum. We found it a lively little town.  It’s several miles from the ocean. Still we found it fun to explore.  There are lot’s of places to eat and some nice galleries.

I want to take this time to give you some basics about traveling on the Riviera Maya.  Our two guide books, both of which are fairly recent, had some inaccuracies.  So:

Arriving in Cancun and going through immigration and customs – Easy. In fact easier than re-entering the United States.  The immigration personnel were friendly, courteous, and quick.  At the customs checkpoint you turn over a document  completed on the plane prior to arrival. You are then asked to press a button. If the light turns green you pass on through. If it turns red your luggage is inspected.  This is a random event. The odds that you’ll be inspected are slim.

ATMs and Money Changers – We found them even in little towns like Puerto Morales.

Police – Drive the speed limit. Obey the traffic laws. You’ll not have a problem.

Naked in the Yucatan – Day 3

I guess I should be more clear about where we are. We’re about 60 miles south of Cancun and 6 miles north of Tulum. We began our day at 6 A.M. doing #nakedyoga on the sand. No instructor. We have our own routine. As we stretched and breathed deeply we watched the sun slowly rise out of the east. There was a line of clouds on the horizon which were lit up like a golden explosion.  We felt comfortable being naked on the sand this early in the morning. No one else was up at that time. As I wrote earlier, it’s okay to be #nude on the beach in front of this B&B. But there are textile homes on either side. When a textile is approaching our little naked spot we’ll pull our pareos around us or take a more modest less revealing position.

After breakfast my husband an I took a long walk on the palm tree lined beach on Soliman Bay. Clothed sadly because now we’re passing homes where there are textiles residing.  Back at the B&B we #swamnaked in the pool and then basked our #naked bodies in the warm tropical sun.

We are surprised that there are very very few insects here along this bay. Maybe the gentle to sometimes breeze keeps them at bay. Apparently this isn’t the case everywhere. On our first night here we ate at a restaurant about a 1/2 mile in from the bay. It sits on the edge of a mangrove swamp. They told us we couldn’t eat outside because of the mosquitos.

After lunch we went to see the Mayan ruins in Tulum. Driving to the parking lot my husband had to dodge vendors rushing out to our car. Each was carrying a piece of paper. We had no idea what they wanted to sell us. He just kept driving. After we parked in the official parking lot a gentleman approached us and offered us a map of the ruins. How nice we thought. Then he began his sales pitch.  He could get us a ride to the ruins, about a 1/4 mile walk, entrance to the ruins, a guide in the ruins, and then a boat ride. All for $45. Entrance to the ruins is only about $5. We chose to walk and be our own guides.

Once past the entrance gate the approach to the ruins is through a beautiful canopy of trees. Then you reach the ancient wall that surrounds the ruins and enter through a passageway cut into the wall. On the other side of the wall you come out into a lovely park like setting dotted with the remnants of this once beautiful Mayan. These ruins are easy to walk around and see in an hour or two. The largest of the structures sit on a cliff overlooking the ocean. There’s even a walkway that you can take down to the beach. We didn’t take time out to walk down to this beach. Lot’s of other people did. Many were sunning themselves while others were out swimming in the turquoise ocean. It was very hot walking  around the grounds of this park. Just coming to the edge of the cliff and catching the cooling ocean breeze was a welcome relief.

Back at the #nudeB&B a dip in the #naked pool felt wonderful.

The Canadian couple staying at the B&B invited us to go to dinner with them. On the way to Akumal we stopped at a beachside bar for margaritas. In Akumal we went into the old town which is across the highway from the newer part of the town which is on the ocean. The funny part of this is that the new town has been built to look old. The old town has a rundown 50′s look to it. We went to the old town because the Canadian couple knew the owners of the Tequilla bar. The owners of the bar are also Canadian. More margaritas. For appetizers we ordered poutine. That’s french fries with melted cheese and gravy. Perfect for a diet. Very yummy if kinda gross looking. Our shrimp fajitas were good. It was a fun place.

Naked in the Yucatan – 2nd Day

So this morning we got the details on just where we could be naked here at the Villa Dolce Vita.  You can’t be naked at the breakfast table.  You can be naked in and by the pool. The beach? Well that’s a little different. Technically it’s not legal to be nude on any beach in Mexico. So the owners of the Villa Dolce Vita can’t tell you it’s okay to be naked on the beach in front of their place. On the other hand there aren’t any police around to tell you to put on your clothes. Here’s the situation as told to us by the owner.  There aren’t any big hotels or resorts on the beautiful Soliman Bay.  The only people you’ll see on the beach are people who are staying in the couple of dozen houses along the beach and at the small hotel.  However, these people, and there aren’t many, are not expecting to see naked people on the beach.  So, the best solution is to enjoy the beach nude in front of the Villa, but keep a towel handy to cover yourself is you see people approaching.   Okay. Not ideal. But we can live with that.

We enjoyed breakfast with the other couple staying here. There’s only two units here. Then we went out to the beach where there are 4 lounge chairs and two hammocks. My husband tested the water . Found that it was warm and comfortable for swimming. He donned his mask and snorkle and swam out. We’d read that swimming in this bay was like swimming in a gigantic aquarium. I was anxious for him to get back to see if it was worth my while to go out as well. When he came back after about 30 minutes of swimming he said, “No fish.” That was very disappointing.  Maybe we’re spoiled by Hawaii.

The other couple here, they’re from British Columbia, went out a little later. When they came back they told us they had found some fish and told us where to go. We followed their directions. Walk north on the beach a couple hundred yards. There you’ll find a sandy entrance to the bay. Right in front of the Villa it’s a little rocky. Following their instructions we went out into the bay. Found some big rocks underwater and there we found some fish. Nothing like Hawaii. Nice though.

Back at the Villa we got dressed and drove into town. Driving here, by the way, isn’t much different than driving in rural America. The one difference is that they have what they call topes (very big and abrupt speed bumps) in the road where they want you to slow down. At the biggest ones you have to come to a complete stop and gently roll over them.

Just before entering central Tulum we turned down the road that goes to the beach. We drove for a ways on the road and then went back the other way. To our surprise there is a bicycle path in Tulum that leads people from the town center to the beach. We saw lot’s of people on bikes.  It also appeared that this area is popular with young people. I spotted a pizza sign. We drove into the parking lot and found a lovely beachside restaurant. I had a pina colada and my husband had a caiprihina (sp). The drinks were great. The pizza excellent. The setting, looking out over the beach and the ocean, perfect.

Back in the car we drove to Tulum’s version of a Wal Mart. A very nice store, very clean, a good selection of food and asundry items. Language has not been a problem down here. Sign language works very well. For instance, we needed a bag to put the fresh rolls in. A few gestures and one of the clerks figured out what we wanted and we had the rolls in a bag.