Shops stocked with beautiful handicrafts made by local artists line the main streets of Tulum Mexico. You can spend hours wandering through tiendas (shops) searching for that unique gift item to take home. There are also plenty of synthetic, artificial, and machine-made look-alikes. If you don’t know what to look for, you may end up with a collection of imitations made from cheap materials.
Flip flops, bathing suits, souvenirs, watches — all for a buck or less. We descended on the shops like aged Canadians at a Florida all-you-can-eat buffet. We relaxed a bit on our budget and had supper at an excellent Chinese restaurant so we could idle in the air-conditioning after a day traipsing up and down the frying pan that doubled as a sidewalk. Afterwards, we strolled into the immense Supermercado Rey and bought huge jars of peanut butter and paid less than 40 cents for cans of Balboa beer (an indicator of the true cost of living, verdad?).
The bunch of mint thrust into my hands on arrival was welcome. You smell the tannery buried within the ancient medina of Fes before you see it. It is the oldest tannery in existence, dating from the 11th century, and little has changed in its operation over the years. Many travelers love to shop for locally crafted articles at their far-flung destinations, and leather products are often at the top of the list. Here you will not wonder at the provenance of your purchase.