Journey to Tulum

The adventures of getting to Mexico
Playa del Carmen, Mexico


It was barely 4 days ago that I stepped off a plane. And yet I find myself headed back towards an airport. This time for a little longer than just a weekend away.

A whole 27 days off work! Right now that feels like a long time.

This time last year (or even the year before) that was no more than just a short few weeks. But I’m going to make the most of it!! It’s almost a month! Amazing.

First stop – Gatwick. No chance of a lie in today, leaving at 7.30am, my usual going-to-work time. Today, just a different journey. The train took an hour to gatwick, a short hop on the shuttle to reach the North terminal and no queue at all to drop my bag!

We ended up departing an hour late. Sat on the plane loading cargo after cargo. A tad annoying. It’s been a while since I’ve flown a long haul flight during the day time. And it’s boring. I managed to watch 3 films, 3 tv programmes and still not fill all the time. So of course we landed nearly an hour late, at 4.10pm (supposed to be 3.15pm).

We were allocated queues in for passport checking – I ended up in the slowest, so despite being fairly quick off the plane, almost last to be stamped in – so annoying!! And then a queue to scan all baggage! After baggage scanning, it’s the customs lottery – press a button – if the light turns green you are free to go, if red – you are searched!

Luckily I was green. (Peru has this system too – only places I’ve ever seen it!) And despite being on the plane for a whole day, it’s still only 4pm!

After gaining 6 hours. I’m staying in Tulum, so a bit of a mission away from the airport.

2014 country number – 4 (Mexico)

By now I had missed the direct bus I was planning on catching to Tulum. There was noone at the bus booking desk. And outside was the usual airport chaos of people everywhere. Some nice bus men pointed me in the direction of the busses (I wasn’t sure whether to believe them as they were telling me walk a terribly long way….but I had no choice – and it turned out to be correct advice – that was nice of them!!)

So I managed to buy a bus ticket to Playa del Carmen (MX140 – £6.40) – half way to my destination. Next bus at 5.30pm.

At least I am on the move.

The ADO bus was a brand new coach and very comfy – impressed!! The whole route was a tree-lined dual carriage way, with brief glimpses of the bright blue sea. Resort after resort lining the beach!

We arrived in Playa del Carmen after an hour. It was a fairly busy town – and we were stopped by a red light at every single junction! Luckily, the bus station was small and easy to navigate! I bought a ticket (only MX38 this time – £1.75) for the next bus to Tulum – leaving in 15mins!

Or so the timetable went.

Actually, it left as soon as I got on! That was lucky.

This bus wasn’t as nice. It was much older and more what you would expect when ‘travelling’, but it was fine. This bus also took an hour. So by the time we reached Tulum, at 7.45pm, it was dark. It soon became quite clear that the driver had no idea where he was going. We drove round and round in circles looking for the bus station!! Gave me a chance to get my bearings! A quick taxi ride (MX30 – £1.40) and at 8pm (2am UK time) I had finally arrived. And time for bed!!!! What a day. Car, train, mini train shuttle, plane, bus, bus, taxi. A 19 hour journey!!


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