Hola! Buenos días. In case you haven’t guessed I’m just back from Mexico where I recently visited the Riviera Maya on the East Coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Despite the weeklong forecast of rain, I experienced mostly beautiful and sunny weather throughout my stay. I chose to enjoy the first two days lounging beachside as insurance against possible rainy days. You can certainly sightsee when it’s raining but you sure don’t want to sit on the beach during a storm. By day 3, it was time to venture beyond the boundaries of the huge resort and fortunately, the weather was still cooperating. I wanted to see some of the historic areas and I inquired about transport options from the resort to Tulum to see the ruins of the walled city erected by pre-Columbian Maya. The resort wait staff assured me that I could take a local bus from the hotel to “Playa del Carmen” for about $3.00 USD. I would then need to do some walking to the public bus station where I could buy very reasonably priced transportation to Tulum. That sounded like a good option. I often lean towards public transportation because usually, you can’t beat the price or the opportunity to meet the locals and get suggestions about what to see or do. When I asked the resort Concierge for more detail on the local bus system he tried to convince me of the folly of my plan by reminding me of the dangers of trying to cross several lanes of traffic to reach the bus stop. I countered with “hey, I grew up in the city where we played in 6 lanes of traffic”, he cited an example of a local having recently been struck and killed on this very road. Point, game and match went to the Concierge and I acquiesced, partly because it was a swanky place and I didn’t want to appear literally “pedestrian”. A registered cab was summoned to take me to Playa del Carmen to the tune of $20.00 and during the ride we engaged in general conversation about what my sightseeing plans were. Now, I know better, but I was being polite and was rewarded with a round of “The Price is Right” as the cab driver kept searching for what I was willing to pay him to host my entire journey for the day. He was persistent and I was annoyed. By the time we arrived at Playa del Carmen, I was resolute and he was annoyed. I tipped him anyway and he drove off. The next leg of my journey was by foot and I moved at a quick pace up 5th Avenue towards the bus terminal. My timing was perfect as a bus would be departing for the Tulum area in less than 10 minutes. The cost of the one way ticket was 66 pesos, roughly about $5.00 USD and I was pleased with myself and boarded. The bus ride would take about an hour. One by one I watched as passengers asked to be let off by the side of the road where they would continue their route either by local transport or by foot. When the hour mark passed I started watching more intently for signs of Tulum. I grew concerned when the bus departed from the main highway and started a series of turns through a labyrinth of local streets. Eventually, I realized that it had reached its terminus and not only did the bus ride come to an unexpected end but I had no idea where I was in relation to the ruins. What little Spanish I had acquired was of no value but I knew I had three choices: wait for a bus going back to Playa del Carmen, try to hire a cab or walk. I chose to walk. I started seeing signs for Tulum so at least I was headed in the right direction. But the distance was listed in kilometers! I’m embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t remember which was longer, a mile or a kilometer. Did 1km = . 6miles or was it 3 miles to a km??? Fortunately, I was less than 2 miles from Tulum. I walked at a quick pace along the main thoroughfare and probably would have gotten to my destination a bit quicker if I hadn’t stopped to peek in the local shops. Unfortunately, that delay cost me valuable time at the ruins and to make up for the lost time, I hired a private guide. It was well worth it but the entry fee and private tour guide cost more than I expected. At the end of the day I had no fiscal choice but to take the really local route back to Playa del Carmen and then to the hotel. I boarded a smaller local bus and travelled with several employees from Tulum as we made multiple stops to pick up staff from hotels along the route. We arrived in Playa del Carmen but I still needed to transfer to the bus that would take me to the hotel zone for $2.00. I was the final one to board and I took the only available seat which was under the dripping A/C unit but I was grateful for it. An episode from the 5th season of Breaking Bad was playing on the bus TV and I struck up a conversation with a friendly local who was enjoying the entertainment. It seemed she was an ardent fan of the show. She was elated when I informed her that she still had 2 more seasons coming her way. We were still chatting when the Bus driver drove past the main gate of my hotel forcing me to backtrack by foot on the very highway that the concierge had warned me against. I arrived at the Main gate, dirty, tired, wet and laughing. The Gate Attendant took one look at me and asked incredulously, “what are you doing out here”!? “I went exploring”, I replied as he called for a private ride back into the resort. I decided no further explanation was needed.