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Report (Permission Visit) El Pueblito // Cancun // Mexico

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by richardpwalton, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. richardpwalton

    richardpwalton 28DL Member
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    Hi everyone.

    I've just signed up.

    I've done a bit of Urbexing over years, I am professional photographer from Wales. I have used this website in the past to find locations so thought it was about time I contributed back. I usually just shoot people in derelict buildings and don't really do reports, however recently whilst in Mexico for a wedding I did a little explore in a cool hotel in Cancun.

    Here's the story, thanks for your time, hopefully I will do a few more reports on future explores and shoots.

    I was in Mexico to photograph a wedding, I hadn't really thought much about anything other than the wedding and general sightseeing. To my amazement when I arrived at my hotel there was a derelict hotel next door. Wow, was this going to be my first explore on foreign soil?. All I could think about was getting in there and checking it out, the fact that my balcony overlooked this old hotel didn't help take my mind off it either.

    I knew I didn't have long in Mexico so needed to act quick if I was going to get in there and check it out. On the second day I grabbed my camera and made my way to the front entrance of the hotel. When I got there I could see it was fenced off and it had signs up warning that it was private property. As soon as I saw this I started to get the buzz and the mixed emotions that run through my mind just before I enter a derelict building. It's these emotions that drive me, fear is the strongest, so much stuff races through my mind. I'm in Mexico I don't speak Spanish and I don't want to get in any trouble, especially before the wedding I have to shoot. There would be nothing worse than getting arrested for what most people would consider 'being stupid' and missing the wedding.

    I walked away at first, I needed time to think, was this really worth it? Later that day I decided to go back and have another look, the main entrance to the car park was accessible so I walked in, making sure my camera was in plain sight so if somebody did see me they would have an idea of why I was in there. I wandered about the car park and looked through the fences, it looked amazing inside. I took a few photos through the gaps in the fence knowing that this was not good enough and wouldn't class as an official explore in my mind. I could also see a load of toilets grouped together on a patio but didn't have a long enough lens to capture them well enough.

    I wandered up to to the remainders of the hotels lobby entrance and peered through a hole in the fence that had been made to stop people entering. I was then confronted, a Mexican gentleman started yelling in Spanish at me. I waved my camera in the air 'no espanola' whilst using body language to ask him if I could come in. It was worth a shot. He didn't speak any English and just motioned me to leave.

    Obviously I respected him and went on my way. I went straight back to my hotel and did a little bit of research online. It turns out that the hotel was ruined in 2005 by hurricane Wilma and had been left to decay ever since. I found an article which had a good right up on it and included some photographs of it during its peak. There were a few photos of it derelict from the outside but nothing from the inside. This made me want to go in even more. The fact that I couldn't find any photos of it derelict from the inside would make it an even bigger reward.

    The next day I decided to approach it from a different angle, the beach entrance was wide open, with only a small wall about 4-5 foot high in my way, I waited until dusk and decided to go In that way. Pretty much straight away I was yelled yet again, I repeated my standard panic and wave the camera in the air, he approached me and spoke reasonably good English. I asked if I could wonder about and take some photographs, he said that if I came back in couple of days I could ask the security guard who may be able to show me around.

    Great, I was getting closer. Over the next couple of days I observed things, one thing I realised was that the beach sellers seemed to be using it as a base or a short cut through the hotel to the main road. There was one beach seller who looked liked Danny Trejo (Actor). Pretty scary looking and had previously tried to sell me some cigars and other substances whilst I was on the beach.

    A couple of days passed, it was the day before the wedding and if I was going to get in this place this was my last chance. I sat on my balcony over looking the derelict hotel, it was late in the day and the sun was starting to go down, the light was amazing. I had to go back and check it out, I didn't want my previous attempts to be a waste of time.

    I headed down to the beach, I could see the Danny Trejo lookalike and a few other beach sellers, I waited around for five minutes and they walked off in the derelict hotel. I could see the guy who had told me to come and see the security guard so headed over to speak to him, he was with a guy holding a sweeping brush, as I opened my mouth he pointed at the guy with the brush and said give him money for beer and he will take you around.

    I was a little apprehensive as he didn't look like a security guard, I had little cash on me and only one camera with one lens. I thought, worse case scenario I could just leg.

    The guy who could speak English walked off and left me with the security guard, he didn't speak a word of English. I used body language to tell him I wanted to see the stack of toilets. He walked me up into the hotel, pointing up to a second floor, as we walked in and started to climb the stairs the Danny Trejo lookalike walked out from one of the rooms. My heart sunk, I was absolutely buzzing with adrenaline. My mind was racing and fear had a hold of me. The security guard told him I was taking photos and he walked off talking Spanish.

    I tried to focus on taking photos, making sure I had the eyes in the back of my head on full alert. The security guard signalled for me to go further into the complex, I could hear dogs barking and as we got further in I could see more people. Again my mind went off on one and I thought maybe he was luring me into a trap? I tried to concentrate on those toilets, if I could get a shot of them I would be happy and would leave straight away, the only problem, they were right up the other end of the complex near the front entrance. I would have to go close to the other people in there. He signalled for me to go into the lobby, I could hear the dogs barking louder and behind a pillar I could see the Danny Trejo lookalike hiding. At this point my mind had gone into overdrive and I thought this is dodgy, get this bloody photo of those toilets and get out of here. I signalled again to him about the toilets and said I didn't want to go into the lobby area. I made my own way to the toilets and he followed me over, I shot two photographs and said 'gracias' handed him the equivalent of £20 and made my way back through the hotel to the beach. I had made it, my mission was complete.

    I was absolutely buzzing at this point, my heart was racing. It was an amazing experience. I looked at my camera and realised I had only taken a total of 36 images. I was probably in the hotel less than ten minutes but my goal was complete. I couldn't stop thinking of what could of happened. Were they really chancers who would have mugged me or would they have been nice guys if I could understand their language? I guess I'll never know.

    That's the beauty of photography, it has a power to drive you into the unknown. The emotions it brought on and the adventure it led to in Mexico just fascinates me. Thousands of tourists in Cancun and to most of them the hotel is probably nothing more than an eyesore. To me it was a visual playground I just knew I had to explore. Those memories will always stay with me. I can't thank photography enough, for it has opened my eyes, led to adventures and experiences most people would never have.

    Some history about the place:

    El Pueblito Beach Hotel was an all-inclusive resort located on the best beach in Cancun, is the perfect enclosure combining a traditional Mexican atmosphere with the vanguard and ecological development of a cosmopolitan environment. The colonial style architecture and traditional activities will make you live the experience of a Mexican atmosphere in the Caribbean.

    Lot's more information at: http://www.moderndayruins.com/2013/10/el-pueblito-beach-resort-cancun.html

    I'm new to this so I hope that wasn't to much writing, and I hope the use of external information was ok to use? Let me know if I've done anything wrong, as I mentioned in the story I didn't get to take many photos sorry



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    Thanks for your time, I hope you enjoyed the article :-)
     
    #1 richardpwalton, Nov 5, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 5, 2014
    girtrood and tazong like this.

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  2. Alison T

    Alison T 28DL Member
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    Amazing pictures and information about this resort! I've just come back from staying beside this hotel for a week. My sister and I became obsessed with it. We decided to go in and see how far we could get. We managed to walk around most of the place. If you would like to see the pictures we took I would be happy to send them to you!
     
  3. tazong

    tazong 28DL Full Member
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    A few things i would lie to say here - firstly what a fantastic write up - i loved the story you told and to be honest was told so well - the pictures were totally amazing i and i think it was defintly worth your perserverence on getting those shots.
    Massive respect for keep on trying to get in and get those shots - a fellow member once told me that fear is what makes you realise your alive - i totally enyoyed the write up and the photos.
    As i do 99.9% of my explores alone - i know the feeling your are talking about but its that buzz that gets you through it.
    A massive well done to you.
    Thanks for sharing
     
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