parisienne aspirations since 2014


Today you’re in for a treat, I’m taking you on a two wheeled tour of Tulum. You’re very welcome. I thought you might like to take a look around to see whether Tulum is really your cup of tequila. Think of me as your unofficial travel agent, you can pay me in guacamole couriered to Paris when you arrive. IF – at the end of this post you decide that it isn’t for you, that’s totally fine. Fine as in a female fine, in other words, NOT FINE. If you give Tulum a ‘take it or leave it three star rating’ you and I are going to have to have some SERIOUS words. Big, long, heated words… offline. I have joined the gang of hard core Tulum lovers, if you’re a Tulumer you’ll understand what i’m taco-ing about. Once you’ve walked on that white sand, called “HOLA” at every person you pass and replaced your weight in bodily fluid with mojito you’ll have no half assed feelings. In fact, I am typing this post from our apartment in Paris as my tan fades by the minute. You could say I am suffering from the holiday blues, although I’d rather call them the greys because that’s what the sky in Paris is providing overhead this week. I don’t want to be a PESO’mist because one friend has already told me to “shut up you’re in Paris” but if you were sitting next to me you’d hear me muttering “you lucky b*$^&”, under my breath like a loco as I scroll through the photos of the BEST HOLI-YAY EVER.


It’s early morning and you’re woken to the sound of a rake scraping along the ground outside your bungalow as leaves and sand are cleared from the pathways. To give your imagination a kick-start here are some shots of your bungalow. Oh and you’re staying at Papaya Playa project, just in case anyone asks…


It’s probably best if you have a quick shower. Hey don’t look at me like that! I’m not saying you smell… I just thought it was the polite thing to say. The water is salt water so don’t freak out.. or drink it…

Before we set off we will need to stop in at the hotel breakfast buffet. Your travel companion needs two breakfasts otherwise he gets grumpy. So sip on a green juice while he lines his stomach…

Alright, now we can get a move on. At least you had time to throw up a gram right? Nice choice of filter by the way. Our bikes are out the front. All you need to know is that you break by back pedaling and don’t bother looking for gears. Basically pretend you’re a hipster… a hipster with huge mountain bike style tyres. Oh and leave the whole ‘no helmet’ thing out when you send your mum a selfie. It’s going to be an easy ride, along the road in one direction and a u-turn when we decide to return for lunch. Before you ask – yes, we can 100% stop off for road side photos.

Woah Nelly! Take a break speedster. Three and a half kilometres is long enough without caffeine. I can barely function let alone keep my balance. Luckily we have reached our first pit stop, Posada Margherita. We can lock our bikes to a palm tree on the side of the road. Wait till you see the beach front seating… actually you go in and look while I order coffee.

Caffeine has arrived, latte loving!

It looks like it’s tops off time amigo! Don’t be shy…

Back on the saddle wheeling away from Papaya project. The canopy over head is helping a great deal as you’re starting to get your sweat on. It’s probably worthwhile to slow down to take in the clothing boutiques made out of shipping containers and huts dotted along the side of the road. You’ve already packed to your 20kg limit but a little window shopping never hurt anyone…

Hot tip babes. A new juice stand has parked itself outside of Casa Jaguar, it’s called Tropicana and is definitely worth stopping at for a coconut water, mango, ginger and lime juice; or a banana pecan chia smoothie. The gal in charge did the branding and presses the juice fresh daily. She’s from Amsterdam and lived in Melbourne for nine months before one of her friends offered her a job in Tulum. Note: must find this friend and add on linkedin. Spend some time chatting with her she’s very cool (get it?) slightly fruity (get it again?), and her pressing skills are pretty hardcore. (hard, core, wow I’m on fire).

On the ride home why not stop off and enjoy the beach from a different vantage point.

Back to Papaya we go, this time at a more leisurely pace, there’s a strong sea breeze as you reach the part of the road exposed to the beach and sea. I’ll start a sing-a-long to rally you along, Jack Johnson seems appropriate? “I’ll make you banana pancakes, pretend like it’s the.. oh wait he’s from Hawaii, never mind”. SHEASH biking at one speed with a head wind is tough. How does Cadal Evans do it? Your travel companion is yelling words of encouragement, which you find very sweet until you realise he has tacos on his mind. Seriously, does that guy ever stop eating? Better pick up the pace. A quick decision is made to stop at Mateo’s for a mango strawberry and banana smoothie which you share, but not willingly..

Time to relax after an extremely strenuous morning… The toughest decision is which bed to lie on and then which tacos to order. Baja fish and Octopus is it, accompanied by salsa guacamole and chips.

After lunch you decide to get your history buff on and set off to discover the Mayan ruins again on two wheels, this time turning right toward the other end of the beach.

Friends are made..

The view standing on the cliff edge is incredible. It’s sweltering now and you want to free fall into the blue expanse below.

You hot foot it (literally how sweaty are your feet?!) back to your bikes in search of the nearest access to the beach. Luckily a young man is selling fresh lime, mango and coconut ice-blocks which you yank from his grasp. Yours melts faster than you can lick!

Down the end of the beach you find a bed to lie complete with a Corona umbrella… #SoMexico

The afternoon is well spent soaking up rays, swimming, drinking and perhaps sneaking in half an hour of wifi. Via instagram you are connected to you friends, the Tulum converts who have noticed your gram from earlier in the day and are now keen to bestow their own pearls of wisdom. “YOU MUST TRY HARTWOOD” is their order. This is bad. You crack under any type of societal pressure but with a quick squiz through theTrip advisor reviews you begin to feel anxious. A line out the front? A two hour wait? Your travel companion is both level headed, and very hungry. “Let’s go and try our luck”.

As it turns out Señorita Luck is on your side. Hartwood opens and you secure a table where you sit for the next two hours talking nonstop about the taste sensations occurring in your mouth. It’s really the most delicious food in existence. Your travel companion mentions that he would like to high five the chef on the way out.

Cute date.

You’ve consumed all that you possibly can and curl into a ball as your travel companion rolls you out onto the road and into a taxi. It’s a 5 euro fare back to Playa Papaya which is money well spent! The full moon and stars light the winding paths between the bungalows until you reach number 9 and face-plant through the mosquito net onto the bed. And that’s where I’ll leave you, to ponder your own Tulum getaway in peace.. oh and maybe to scratch your itchy bites (hey, you can’t help that you’re so delicious!)

After a week in Tulum I have it tattooed on my heart forever (literally. I got a tattoo of a palm tree.. Or did I?)

Muchas Gracias for joining us on our holiday and a HUGE THANK YOU to the beautiful people who threw tips galore our way, K.Nay, Marre, Steph, Jacquii in particular, lots of coconut loving to you.


  1. Rachel Fitzsimons

    Hi Celia Sorry I’m so old school with email

    Just wanted to let you know how much the girls and I loved your stories about Mexico 🙂 You have a great knack of immediately taking your reader “there” and we certainly feel like we have Tulum on the bucket list now when I had never heard of it before. You look so happy and relaxed – must have been fantastic to have a break together. Lots of love from us Rachel.

  2. Richard & Gretel Harmston

    Celia and Hugh: Thanks for taking us along on your wonderful, happy beach holiday. You could not have spent it in a better way. Hope it will boost your health and give you lots of good energy for weeks to come. And most of all keep those incredible images of white sandy beaches, swimming in the the Caribbean Sea, the vast variety of fruits, drinks, food, and impression of friendly people deep in your mind, and the greys in Paris will vanish. I shall visit your travel blogs and sights before bedtime and shall dream also of past happy holidays we took in Barbados, Jamaica, Aukland, Sydney….

    Visit the Impressionists at the Museum in Paris, and read up on their lives in Paris during the 19th century.

    Hugs to both of you, Gretel and Richard xx

  3. thecreativefoxden

    Your photos are great! And your writing style is so clever and funny. I live close to Toronto so these pictures are making me so envious right now, especially considering that this has been the coldest February on record… woe is me. Also, the food looks so fresh and delicious! I need a vacation 😦 I really want to go to that bar with the swings for seats. How awesome is that??

    • paristhethird

      The coldest February on record?? Sounds horrible! I hope you survived and that March is providing some relief! I am so excited for summer, it has been a real test watching my friends in NZ and Australia enjoy their summer while I’m piling on layer after layer in Paris! You should DEFINITELY visit Tulum if you haven’t been before it was incredible. I am thinking of doing a NYC trip this year and maybe some more of the US as I haven’t been yet! Thanks for your comments too so motivating I have been a bit slack with posts lately x


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