Day 3: Such a favorite! Thanks to all who suggested renting a golf cart. We took two for the six of us and kept switching around every time we stopped. We walked around the rocky beach on the ocean side picking up sea glass, little blue tiles and a shell or two. My son found some really pretty shells for a couple of girls back home – one of which I wish would take a long, long trip, far, far away. Oh now, let’s leave the cattiness out of this…
Going through the Colonia was really fun. The colorful homes, children playing with their new Christmas presents on the sidewalks and dogs racing and yapping at our heals. We went up to Punta Sur to look out over the island from that lighthouse – the kids enjoyed some ice cream and we enjoyed, what else? more Sol. Wondered why they felt it necessary to add those sculptures. Did they think there wasn’t anything interesting to look at?
We took advise from the board and went to the hotel next to Garrafon to snorkel. That worked really well. Bought some “fish food” that was pretty much Purina cat chow. Is it considered wrong to feed the fish there? Hope not because it was really fun. My kids loved to have the fish swarm around them. The deep blue fish were so gorgeous swimming by the large orange chunk of corral by Garrafon. The post that corral grew up around looked like an upside down Christmas tree. We circled it like sharks ourselves. Saw lots of barracuda. We wondered what the two cannons are about in the water there. If anyone knows, please post in on the chat line. The water was very clear but I felt bad for my blind-as-a-bat husband who should have purchased prescription goggles before we went. Father’s day present? I cut my foot pretty badly on some corral getting out of the water. Stupid. Glad I found bandaids. Saved my feet the rest of the week. The iguanas were hanging out on the rocks which meant we had to have another Sol and watch them :>) Off for lunch!
We puttered off to Playa Lancheros (another must do from the board, thank you very much!) and ate up vast quantities of seafood and, you got it, more Sol. I was so excited to try the Tix n’Chix. My husband ended up getting it so I opted for shrimp. He loved it but I felt it was kind of dry. Is this typical? The shrimp was wonderful and none of our group was disappointed in their meal. We took our time there – my daughter and I jumped into our suits and had a nice swim while the rest or our group talked with fellow loungers. We had fun playing with the tiniest chiuauua (I have no clue how to spell that!). Everyone who loves this place is so enjoyable to visit with – good chi, as my best buddy says. The pelicans were doing their goofy landings which made us laugh it up. The only down side was the bathrooms – got some travel Charmin in my Christmas stocking and was glad I brought it with me! We went to try to see the jellyfish in the lagoon but just saw a lot of glop. That water looked pretty gross after the AMAZING color of the ocean. We did stop at Zama’s to take a look – wouldn’t mind trying that out another time. Those pools were enticing. I guess you just do a mood check before deciding Zamas/Playa Lancheros which one you want to hang at.
We got back for sunset, showers and a game of Rumikub before heading out to Hidalgo for something yummy. Went to La Margurita for dinner – Whoa boy, the BEST margurita we’ve ever had! We got a real kick out of the waiters. There was this one guy getting people to come eat there and haul tables to fit the groups. This other dude was hanging around whistling and twirling an empty platter. Neither of them had much to do but were clearing having a good evening. Then our waiter was running like wild, came up to us twice saying, “I need time!!” to which we just kept saying “no problem – please take it” - the table hauler kept us in liquids so that was just fine. Our poor waiter come back twice more to say, “SOON!”. We kept telling him to not worry, we were loving the music floating all around and were in noooo hurry. How can so many places have music mix and have it sound fun, not in competition with each other? It just worked for the night. I had more excellent shrimp – everyone was happy. We did a little shopping. The amber necklaces are gorgeous. We bought plenty of trinkets for my little nieces and all my daughters friends. I found a couple of great bracelets made out of wood which I haven’t taken off since we got home. I really don’t like to barter but did a pretty good job. I think the people we bought from were happy with their final prices. I went to the side of more – prices were great and they work hard for them. How could we possibly fit ice cream in after all of this???? We did!! Cool Ice Cream was fabulous. Laura and I had the cinnamon and the rest loved the chocolate. The music at Faynes lured us in and the night just kept going. My daughter, who is 10, told me later, “Hey mom. I think I like night life!”
Day 4: Tulum/Xel-Ha. Off for what ended up being a looooooong day. We booked the all day tour, which I would not do again. Had a great tour guide at Tulum but wasted a lot of time transferring around and not enough time at Tulum. We first got on the wrong ferry which ended up being a lot of fun. Our bus was to pick us up at other side of the UltraMar. I don’t remember the name of what we took but it was all decked out for Christmas inside and filled with local people. We hoofed it over to the other ferry dock to get picked up by the shuttle and off to the next bus location. I have to say that in passing the Cancun hotel zone, we were glad to be passing the Cancun hotel zone. Tulum was HOT but we loved it. My daughter had studied it in school last year which was why we picked Mexico in the first place. She was fascinated by it and in between our very informative tour guide, filled in so many interesting tidbits. Our guide was incredible so I have to say between him and the place, it was a winner. Just not enough time. We would have loved to have spent another hour looking around and a good chunk of time in that water below. An iguana stood sentinal at the arch we exited from – such an ancient looking reminder of the past.
Went to Xel-Ha next. Food was plentiful but not that great. We didn’t want to take time to be served so went to the quick buffet and had hot dogs and sodas. The area was so picturesque but water incredibly murky. We saw some rays – which made my daughter nervous – and loved to see them camouflage themselves in the sand. Lots of fish but the water was so cloudy it was hard to see the colors of the fish. We broke up our group – My husband and son wanted the hammocks and more food than a hot dog, our friends stayed snorkeling and my daughter and I checked out the rest of the park. She loved Mo’s rope and swung from rope to water many times. I had an ouchie wa wa rope burn after my first swing so enjoyed watching her fly into the water after my first rather pitiful ride! It was a looong day and we limped back to Nautibeach. We had to change condos that night and the excellent staff took care moving everything. What a view from the second floor. Laura missed the cats visiting but fun to watch them run up the palm to the top of the thatched roof over the water bar.
Day 5: Hang out at the beach day! Oh, this was nice! Great waves, new friends made, lunch in town (Rolandi’s pizza-is that great pizza!) back to beach, beach, beach! Laura and new friends alternated between pool (COLD), having sodas at the swings and beach. I don’t think I have ever been anywhere that I’ve met so many wonderful people. I never had any pesos whenever I saw the woman and her daughter selling ankle bracelets on the beach. I finally connected her with some money and we bought 25 ankle bracelets. If you’re in Eden Prairie, MN you’ll be bound to see them sported by 10 year olds everywhere! Her daughter played with Laura for a bit and I asked to take a picture of them together. I asked her mother first and was met with a stunning smile and “Si”! We had such a great meal at La Margarita the other night, we went back. Great food, atmosphere, music and margaritas. Back to the Zocola after dinner to enjoy the laughter, sites and overall festive atmosphere. Once again, fell into bed surrounded by the sound of waves and the smell of those sheets.
Day 6: More beach time. Laura giving horseback rides to her new friend. Waves, sandcastles, hair braiding, Sol, Sol, Sol! We all could have had another week of lazy beach days but had to fit our pleasure into one. Had dinner at the restaurant next to Posada Del Mar. The seafood platter was good – not as great as the other food we had – and the mixed grill was very good. I would have tried somewhere else in town. A great walk in town – listened to great jazz outside of the Om bar and danced in the street. More music at Faynes. Love that place. More Zocola with all that it is at night – Christmas lights strung everywhere – so fun.
Leaving Day: Boo, Hiss!!!!! Sad people (except for happy non-traveling gene son) walking to the 8:30am ferry. Easy flight back. Home to sleet and snow and sister with her entourage ready to go out for Greek food and dancing. Sooooo tired but made it to Santorini for saganaki, oozo (culture shock!) and a great band. PROPHETS OF SOUL really rocks for all of you Minnesotans out there. Not as much as Isla but we take our joy where we can get it. Thank you to all for your information to this Island newbie and excitement over this lovely place. I know it’s hard to see more people come – I hope we can return and be an asset to this fabulous place. Adios, Amigos.