It was a tough year. Beginning in January 1993 until the middle of September I spent 12 weeks traveling from Portland to Denver for an intense data solutions training class. Each module was about 1 ½ weeks long ending with both written and oral exams. I am not a total geek but I did quite well. As a reward to myself I said I was going to take a long vacation.
The class was finally over and I began to think about where I was going to take that well deserved vacation. I thought maybe Hawaii until a woman I was in class with said “you’ve been going there for 10 years, go somewhere else.” She invited me to go to Spain with her. I tossed that around awhile and decided that I would rather go somewhere where I could just lay around on a beach in the sun.
So one Sunday I am looking in the newspaper travel section (no internet access back then) and saw an ad for Belize. I called the travel agent and he said that he wouldn’t recommend a woman travel alone to Belize back then. So I asked him where he would recommend. He told me anywhere on the Yucatan and named a few places, Playa del Carmen, Akumal and Puerto Morelos among them but not Isla.
I spent time at the library and bought Yucatan Travel by Chicki Mallan. I read the entire book sticking post it notes on pages that I wanted to revisit and highlighting all kinds of information. I had pretty much decided on Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos. I called the travel agent back who recommended the Yucatan. He never got back to me so I called a few other agents who of course had never heard of any of the places I asked about. Then I saw another ad for a local travel agent who specialized in the Yucatan. This man told me I would be bored in Puerto Morelos and recommended both Playa and Isla. I booked my air on Northwest for $245 which included two nights stay at the Holiday Inn in el centro Cancun. I had to get myself to Seattle and back on a cheap SW flight to connect to the Northwest flight. I still have to laugh at myself for thinking that the Northwest flight was such a bargain. Both coming and going it was awful. The redeye out of Portland had to make an emergency landing in Minneapolis to get a woman off the plane who was having some major health trauma. After that the flight had a layover in Detroit and then in Tampa.
Two weeks later I am off to Mexico BY MYSELF! People in the office were freaked out and kept warning me how dangerous this trip would be for a solo woman.
The two nights in el central Cancun were interesting but I wouldn’t do it again. I did spend the second day at the beach and pool at the Holiday Inn on the beach.
The day came to get down to Playa del Carmen. I had read all about taking the bus for cheap. I walked to the bus station (not where it is now) and checked out the schedules. Then I went back to the hotel for a couple of hours of sun before heading back to the station with my bags.
Stay tune for the next installment: Arriving in Playa del Carmen