The title of this post was going to be "If It Wasn't for Bad Luck...", but I had to give props to Jethro Tull.
I had been planning this trip for a few weeks and looking forward to it for a few months. I was going to Cancun for a wedding, but was going to spend every free moment venturing out into the great unknown, meeting the locals, bonding with them and corrupting them with my western culture. I was to land on a Thursday at 8am, rent a car, and take a visit to La Isla Mujeres for the day before checking into hotel near Cancun. The next day was to be an early trip to the ruins at Chichen Itzu before a rehearsal dinner. Following day was a trip to downtown, followed by the wedding. The final day was an all day trip down to Coba, Tulum and multiple Cenotes (Caves) along the way.
Well, we all no how the best laid plans of mice and men go.
I arrived ok on Thursday and got my rental car, no it is not the pimped out red and black Wagoneer seen below, but rather the Mexican Golf Cart in New York Taxi yellow. I did have to stop as I drove from the airport to snap the shot of a Wagoneer to compare it to my ride back home (also pictured)
The hotel was straight out of Revenge of the Nerds 2. More on that later. They had no room for me yet so I was off to La Isla Mujeres (The island of Women). I headed to the port where you can ferry your car across and briefly stopped at some ruins.
I was calling home to let everyone know I arrived while walking around the grounds. I screamed like a girl when this huge lizard scampered across my path. I then began to see them everywhere and by the end of the walk I was chasing them up trees, sitting next to them and sticking them down my pants.
After the ruins, I arrived at the car ferry. This is where my poor Spanish began to kick in. I realized that I really only knew how to ask how old people were, and what time it was, and also how to turn left. Basically this meant that no matter what conversation I was having I would find a way to center it on their age, time and how beautiful the beach was...especially to the left.
After a few Mexicans tried to convince me to take a private boat across, the real ferry showed and I boarded. I was the only tourist on the boat as all other cars were sanitation trucks or garbage...I guess that is the same thing. I show a picture looking down on the trucks on the boat because this was where my first of about 20 "good bad luck" situations of the trip (I coined that phrase near the end of the trip). As I was boarding the ferry I guess my back right wheel came off the ramp and I was about to crash down on the frame (don't worry, I crashed the frame later in that spot) when this Mexican directing me starting screaming to stop. Then they all gathered round and gave me instructions on how to turn. I should have just got out and looked because it is not encouraging to have people yelling directions in foreign language where each move is crucial to my mini cars survival. I finally parked (failed to mention that my car was a manual, missing it's 3rd gear and lacking power steering).
Once I got off the ferry. I was accident free for some time. I parked the car at Norte Beach and headed out to the Siren Song of the Sea. As if being away from water for years, I stripped down as I walked to the shore, leaving only underwear and dove in. Since it was a mostly topless beach I was not too concerned and freakin' anybody out. The water was incredible. The bluest water I had ever seen in my life...maybe not the bluest but the most aqua to be more precise.
After doing some swimming, and a lot of staring, I dried off and walked th streets in search of a beer. I grabbed the first shot below of a guy using coconuts to make glasses for drinks. I also snagged my favorite shot of the trip, the yellow and red yacht with tire bumper package upgrade. I found a father and son team making drinks and pulled up a stool and continued people watching for a bit.
After feelin' relaxed I walked to the town cemetery. a crazy concoction of tombs, graves and monuments. Some graves had 40 bottles on them, others had toys. It seemed less a somber as those in the US but more one of celebration.
Next stop was the south tip of the island. This was actually to Eastern most tip of Mexico. It was a great spot where the waves crashed around you. I was going to hang around until sunset but I figured I should make it back to the mainland by nightfall to avoid getting lost.
On the way back to the ferry I stopped at the dolphin park. I made the ferry just in time. I settled up on top and grabbed a couple sunset shots. I had not eaten since the day before so I bought these sort of Cheetos from this guy on the boat. The following picture is of him sleeping with his basket. I felt bad as I saw him earlier that day on the ferry and by looking at his bag he must have sold maybe 20 bags at most all day. At 10 pesos each, that makes 200, or 12 dollars. I was tired so I climbed into the trunk of the car and took a nap on the way back to the dock. The last shot was me looking out of the trunk into the dark. There was nothing to the right of this wall to prevent one from driving over the edge. I thanked myself later on for not doing that.
I arrived at the hotel and checked in. It seemed nice, right on the beach. It was strange but none of the appliances were plugged in. While plugging them in I noticed a marijuana pipe and some pepto in a bag. I decided to leave that present for other visitors. I climbed into the shower to prepare for a night on the town, only to discover no hot water. I felt like Lt. Dan in Forest Gump on top of the ship screaming "Is that all you got God?" I soon realized he had much more.
I put on my tuxedo shirt and wicker hat and met my friends at CoCo Bongo. Let's just say I had a couple beers and then passed out early back at the hotel.
I woke up the next day to realize I now had no electricity in my room. They offered me the opportunity to switch rooms, but I considered it a challenge. I put on my headlamp and prepared for the day ahead. I had the rehearsal dinner to prepare for. We had rented a boat and braved the high seas for adventure. About half the group was starting to feel seasick, while the other half was dancing on the deck. I was somewhere in the middle.
After the cruise we hung out in the hotel lobby, not same lobby as my hotel, but much fancier one. We played games and then called it a night kinda early with the wedding the next day.
Early that morning I headed into town to visit the Mercado 28. A great tourist trap in the middle of Cancun, but off the hotel strip. I took a picture of these ladies cooking up something in an alley. It could have been a dog carcass for all I know but they seemed to like it and having fun in the process.
I proceeded to get chased by every vendor. They kindly invited me to visit their stores, and I was compelled by their friendly nature. I started buy stuff and taking pictures of everyone I swapped pesos for crap.
I got back to my hotel (below is 2 views from my porch) and was a bit pressed for time to get ready for the wedding and make it 30 minutes down the road to the beach site. I happened to misplace my drivers license and did not have time to look for it any further and took off....big mistake. I was pulled over near the hotel and after 10-20 minutes of sweating and discussing, I was allowed to leave after helping out the officer's retirement package.
The place was amazing. The weather was perfect, the bridesmaids were beautiful and the couple could not have been happier.
Once the ceremony was over I told the groom to grab this guy on the beach for a shot. i think I will blow it up and send it as a happy anniversary card next year. Next we moved upstairs for a post-wedding meal.
That night we played Jenga in the hotel, I engaged in some "I got you babe" with another bridesmaid, and other various antics put on by the hotels entertainment staff. Then I ventured out to Senor Frogs and some more nightlife. The second picture below is actually an upside down girl spinning around on a bungee cord after doing a shot. Gotta love college spring break. After that I was sitting at this taco stand and all these video cameras sounded the area. I guess they were filming "Real World Cancun" or something. I had to take a picture of the urinal because it had a flusher like the pedal on a motorcycle. Of course this made a strange scene in the bathroom when the flash went off and people were wondering what I was taking pictures of in my pants.
The final day instead of heading south I stayed at the high end resort for the day, played in the ocean, swam in the pool, laid out, etc. It was not my ideal adventure day, but it was a good lesson in doing nothing and being ok with it...a big problem with me. I dropped the car off at the rental place and apparently the back right end of the car had been smashed. Fortunately when they checked over the car in the beginning there was a scratch on the car in the back right and I made the guy mark an X on the picture in that area. I can only assume someone hit the car while it was parked, as parking is pretty much a free-for-all....along with the driving
Until next time
All the best,
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