January 15, Tulum, Quintana Roo.
The trip from Cancun to Tulum was pretty uneventful today. I checked into my hotel, unloaded the bike, then went to the store to get some laundry detergent and other things. On the way to the store it started raining really hard. When I got to the store I pulled under the large covered area by the front door to keep my bike dry. It's not something I would typically do, especially in the US, but here in Mexico I always see motorcycles parked on sidewalks and other places you normally shouldn't park. I made sure it was out of the way and not blocking anything and put it in a corner over by an ice machine, then went into the store and got some things.
When I came out there were 4 federal officers standing near my bike. I had no idea they had any concern about me and figured they were busting a shoplifter or something, but a couple of them kept looking over at me as I was getting ready to leave. I went on with my business and when I put my helmet on they came over and started telling me I wasn't supposed to park there. It ended up being a short conversation where the one doing the talking was explaining in Spanish and broken English that if you park here you get a ticket and need to pay. My selective understanding kicked in and I just kept on letting them know that it wouldn't happen again and I will always park with the cars from now on [pointing to the parking lot, acting all giddy and happy and stupid]. He brought up the ticket and payment issue several more times and I just sort of indirectly convinced him that it would be too difficult for him to explain to me that I had to pay something. It ended with them looking at each other like they were thinking "I don't know how to explain it to him". After checking my drivers license and passport they just let me go.
Not very exciting, I know. No guns or drug searches or anything; just a gringo acting nice, but half retarded, to get out of paying a ticket or fine or bribe. It worked and I didn't even give him one of my cards.
The satellite view on "Find Doug" is on the ruins of Tulum. The small town of Tulum has great cheap deals on hotels and good restaurants. Most visitors to Tulum come from Cancun for a day visit but I'd recommend staying the night and going to see some of the other things in the area - like Xel Ha, a beautiful lagoon near here with tons of fish and clear water and a place where you can swim with Dolphins, although when I was here several years ago I think it was about $100 US to swim with the dolphins, too rich for my blood.
I'm still not sure how to make the GPS coordinates thing work, or maybe it does work...