Feb 2, 2013: Playa Del Carmen, Chichen Itza, and Koba
...and the adventure continues...
To recount on the mexican part of this crazy adventure:
After we left the Rainbow Gathering we met with our friend Enrique (DJ Cats Toned) in Playa Del Carmen, and FINALLY hit the beach!
As someone who grew up in Vancouver, returning to the ocean is almost a religious pilgrimage. There, in the Mayan Riviera, the religious pilgrimages are aimed the Mayan temples scattered around.
The first temple we visited was the famous Chichen Itza. It was a pretty amazing place, much larger and with many more ancient buildings than I had imagined. The stone carvings that were still visible were beautiful, even though they were only a shadow of what once existed on these temple grounds.
For anyone who hasn't been to Chichen Itza, there are a TON of vendors selling their handmade crafts. In retrospect, I wish I had acquired more souvenirs from there because they were actually very cheap (compared to anywhere else in Mexico) and it helps to support these hardworking woodcarver/jewellery makers. Commercialism aside they added a colorful and crafty spirit to the beautifully crumbled stone ruins.
I brought my guitar with me and managed to get a couple video shots in before getting shooed off by security. You can see the actual confrontation in this video
I suppose I don't blame the guy, he was just doing his job. However its too bad that people everywhere don't embrace music as much as they do in Montreal. It just makes me appreciate music lovers that much more. Plus I got a couple cool videos out of it anyways so no harm no foul! The people who were clapping along were partly clapping because at a specific spot on the ground when you clap there's a cool echo that comes from the top of the temple. (Also they were enjoying the music, obviously!)
The second temple we visited was KOBA, where we were actually allowed to climb up to the top of the large temple. I didn't bring my guitar this time so I was able to snap more photos and just enjoy the scenery. Good thing too because we rented bicycles (highly recommended) and were able to zoom around the site a la Montreal styles. The view from the top was gorgeous, the canopy of the jungle looked weirdly flat and we were able to see the other temples poking out of it.
Even though I didn't bring my guitar I still managed to promote my CD in quite a random place! Thank you Fer Castanon for supporting independent music all the way from Mexico :) He mentioned that he also hosts a radio show in Mexico City, so hopefully I'll get some airplay there too!
Back in Playa Del Carmen I attempted to busk on the main road by the beach but got asked to leave by the city officials within one song. So I brought my guitar to the Starbucks patio and jammed out there instead. It was super fun even though I couldn't make any money but I was able to meet some cool musicians who stopped and jammed out for a bit. I even met a fellow Montrealer musician, Ramon from Ramon y Su Son, who performs every Sunday at L'Escalier! Needless to say there were some great jams that came from this acquaintance.
New Years Eve on the beach was quite epic with lots of jams going all night long. I brought my magical bag of percussion instruments with me (egg shakers, tambourine, claves, triangle, etc.) and had a wonderful time switching instruments with random party strangers throughout the night. Thank you David Guetta for providing a laser show that was visible from all across the beach. The sunrise was breathtaking, and set the stage for an awesome year to come :D
All in all, my time in Mexico was amazing and inspiring. We drove through almost the whole continent of North America and were able to see so many different landscapes and people and cultures. I believe that I will definitely be back in Mexico to play more music and inspire people to enjoy and love the music as I do. Well... I hope to do that everywhere I go, and one day I hope to travel through all of Central and South America doing that.
One last note: I managed to see a CENOTE (rare underground springs that sometimes connect to each other) while I was staying in Playa Del Carmen, and if only for the possibility to go diving in one one day will bring me back there! Simply gorgeous.
Up next: More temples and beaches!