The Beach in Bavaro (just outside of Punta Cana proper) is incredibly long…..I tried to google exactly how long but can’t seem to find it….at least 10 k and probably much further. At high tide it’s just minorly soft but most of the time it’s the hard flatter type of beach perfect for walking/running. The water although beautiful isn’t that clear clear type but for the most part it’s rock and coral free close to shore and the only impediment to swimming is a bit of sea grass in the occasional place.
As you strong along you pass myriads of hotels, condo buildings, beach ‘guys’ trying to get you to take a tour or go visit a local vendor, beach ‘gals’ offering to braid your hair or give you massages. Unlike Mexico there are very few people selling tourist stuff along this beach. I think I’ve only seen one fellow who is actually selling selfie sticks….smart guy, huh? There is also a guy who sells ice cream from a cooler – go figure!
My photos today are ‘things we saw while walking along the beach’….one VERY elaborate sand creation featuring a man and a woman who were being attacked by a shark – amazing detail….done by a true artist…some of it had eroded a bit by the time we saw it. Another lovely little medieval village, a foot print (not ours). Unfortunately, the one huge issue with this beach as with many beaches around the word is that with rising sea levels there are areas with massive erosion. The area called El Cortecito is particularly hard hit with the small stores along the shore being destroyed. Some of the older hotels were built closer to the water and their beaches have all but disappeared. I talked to a young local fellow ‘Luigi’ and he pointed about 20 feet out from the current ‘edge’ to where someone was swimming and told me that not so long ago that was the edge of the beach and that in 6 months he thought that where we were sitting would be ‘taken’ by the sea.
As you walk along in some areas you see palm tree roots where once it was solid ground, big palm with their base ‘ball’ partially exposed, in one section there are a series of large covered berms that have been erected to stop the waves from crashing in and further eroding the beach. This is a serious problem. The rising sea levels are said to be caused by global warming. Global warming of course said to be caused by what we are doing to our planet. How does it stop? Consumerism at it’s worst 😦 Of course, there is another side to this. The earth has been moving and shifting forever (I’m assuming almost infinity here 🙂 …..continents always shifting, water levels rising and lowering, ice ages, meteor crashes causing catastrophic conditions ……
The beach also changes from day to day in different sections. There is sargassum – not huge amounts and most hotels keep it raked up, one day there was all this bright green stuff that I had never seen before, but only one day so far. Some days there are almost pine needle looking things being washed in. Mostly, it’s clear and most evident in the early morning or at higher tides. The sargassum I know is a product of the higher, warmer oceans, the others are just typical of a beach that has winds and surf.
Amazing what a beach walk can make one think about . . . .it’s not all about pretty sunsets is it?
most of these photos (not all) were taken on our first beach walk of 2017 on New Year’s Day before the workers had come out to rake.
February 21, 2016
Departed Hacienda Morelos via Taxi to Bus Stop at Seven Eleven (711)
Bus from Puerto Morelos to Tulum, Mexico Bus Station
Taxi to the hotel
Accommodation: Piedra Escondida, Tulum
Ola! Uploading on slow Wifi is best done early in the morning, thus I come to you from Tulum, Mexico in fact on Day 3 but writing about Day 2 commencing at 5:23 a.m.! Shortly after I woke up this morning it started to rain. Works well actually, today is a travel day! So, back to Day 2.
I did not sleep well at all on night 1 – in fact I woke up at about 3:30 a.m…..finally got dressed and sat outside to write my Day 1 blog. When I finally decided to start my day around 6 am the water in our room was off….wandered over to the front desk and they were waiting for someone to come in and fix. In the meantime, we organized our gear, went for a short walk, had breakfast and finally the water was back on to complete our morning rituals, just in time to grab a taxi to the bus stop up near the 711 at the highway. Taking ADO buses is a fairly simple thing. If you do it yourself you need to realize they assign you seat numbers when you purchase – but don’t expect to actually get the seat you ordered. So far on the two buses we have taken we have ended up at the back by the washroom. Might I suggest that location is NOT optimum…..*sniff*…….so…..my suggestion and future actin will be to move forward when seats closer to the front open up 🙂 While waiting for the bus a few buses came through, they weren’t marked so you had to go up and ask the driver where he was going. Finally the Tulum bus arrived! We arre carrying packs and stow our luggage in the overhead, not recommended to put it underneath ‘just in case’. The bus was filled with Mexican families heading off to the beautiful parks and cenotes between Cancun and Tulum. The bus stapped about 4 x between Puerto Morelos and Tulum. Once arrived at Tulum Centro we grabbed a cab and within 10 minutes were at our hotel. This time we struck gold! Piedras Escondida is beautiful, the beach nestled between two large rock formation. The decor with a clean and modern old world Mexico feel. Check in wasn’t until 3 so we had a few hours to wander down the Tulum beach, grab some lunch at an open air ocean front restaurant and really get a feel for the area. The beach was beautiful. The hotels keep the sargassum at bay. However, later in the day on a walk through less developed areas there was a lot more sargassum. Sargassum has recently become a major problem in the Caribbean, read a little about it here.
Our day was pretty typical, hit the beach, bounced around in the surf – there were some GREAT waves to jump. Reading on our patio, cocktails at 4 pm (dark rum) then a walk for about 1.5 hours. Tulum beach area is beautiful, lots of really interesting little hotels. No high rise hotels. Lots of little shops and restaurants. The street along the beach is very busy and no side walks in a lot of places. Bicycle rental is a big thing, but not for us on the busy narrow street. It was a great walk though! Once back at the hotel we changed and headed off for dinner on the out door patio. The wind was still strong but they have wind screens to protect you from the gusts. Johnny had a great chicken/rice meal and Ihad shrimp. Although tasty, my shrimp had that chlorine taste that you often find with seafood in the Caribbean. It was a bit stronger than usual. To read more about this problem click here.
After dinner we head to our room, windows open and went to sleep with the sound of the surf and a gentle breeze to keep us cool.
If coming to Tulum and staying in a smaller eco friendly resort such as Piedra Escondada you need to understand that these hotels provide their own electricity often through solar, small windmills, generators etc. They have septic rather than local sewer systems. Access to AC happens only at certain times of the night. We don’t actually use AC so not an issue for us. However, if you are one to demand your creature comforts, this style of accommodation might not be for you. However, just in case I haven’t made it perfectly clear, we had an awesome day in Tulum and would absolutely come back to both Tulum and this hotel. We really did feel like we were in paradise!
6:49 a.m….time to prepare for the next great bus, taxi, water taxi adventure! My next post will be from Ambergris Caye in Belize!!