OUR FINAL DAY ON OUR G ADVENTURE’S MAYAN ENCOUNTER
21.07.2014 37 °C
There wasn’t much to report yesterday given we spent 12 hours traveling! It really wasn’t as bad as expected but at one point we did considering trying to fly. We left Caye Caulker at 7 am by boat back to Belize City. From there it was a 2.5 hour drive in a crowded hot mini van to the Mexican Border, another 30 minutes to the closest town, Chetumal and then a 5 hour ride on a really nice public bus to Playa Del Carmen. From there just a 10 minute taxi ride that should have been 3, if all 3 taxi drivers didn’t get lost looking for our hotel. I felt great upon arrival given that I slept on each of these modes of transportation, except the taxi.
The border crossing was mostly uneventful. At every Mexican border they have a random scanning system. Each person, after clearing the immigration steps must push a button which either turns green for go or red for further inspection. I was towards the end of the line with 13 others having gone ahead, all of which received the green “carry on” light and were waiting in anticipation for the person with the red light. Of course that turned out to be me. I was encouraged however from the cheers by my crew as soon as the red light illuminated and my search was without incident, unless you count the officer questioning my pure cocoa powder and confirming with a taste.
We arrived in Playa Del Carmen at 7:30 and after a quick clean up, went out for supper. It was also decision time on how we would spend our last day. It was tough because there was an opportunity to swim with the whale sharks, the largest fish in the sea. It sounded really cool but required more time on a bus and not much chill time. We decided instead to spend the day exploring Playa del Carmen.
Although our first impressions did not impress we had a pretty good day. Playa del Carmen is by far the most touristy spot on our tour and if you keep to the main streets downtown you would think you were in any American city with stores like Forever 21 and Victoria Secrets. We did however manage to wander through some side streets and find a little gem for breakfast. We were charmed by George who assured us he could provide a terrific breakfast super cheap. He did not disappoint and the charm of this place, filled only with locals was delightful. The only negative was the instant coffee so I swapped out for tea which turned out to be flower blossom tea. After taking our order the first time we received a free local drink made of the water or milk drained from rice, sugar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. I quite liked it but Gayle wasn’t so fussy so only had a few sips before George finished it off. He then came back apologizing for forgetting our order, explaining it was a bit of a night the previous evening and his memory was hurting. We ended up with a delicious breakfast and lots of entertainment.
We spent the rest of the morning walking around 5th Avenue poking in and out the shops. The options were typical Mexican junk or overpriced American brands but we managed to find a few little purchases. I really didn’t do any shopping on this trip. Besides not needing a thing, handicrafts were surprisingly quite expensive. It was so outrageously hot today we had to escape the sun and what better solution than a $25 70 minutes massage. Gayle who is not nearly as addicted as I, rarely indulging, decided to join me for a couples massage. It was really terrific. After that, Gayle went on her way and I stayed for a pedicure. It is has been a long time since I had a pedi with so much love and attention. I can’t think of a better way to have avoided the heat although I hear the whale sharks were pretty amazing.
Lunch involved many of the necessary food groups. Chocolate and coconut frozen banana.
From then it was back to the hotel for a swim in the pool. While cooling, it was not so relaxing, with a pool full of kids playing ball and a hotel under heavy construction but pleasant and refreshing all the same.
So we are headed out shortly for our final supper with the gang and then it is off to the airport in the morning. Yet another wonderful holiday with another wonderful friend. As always, feeling blessed.