Day one... Sunday Feb 27th. Alarm is set for 3:45, I wake up at 3:20. Too excited to sleep. It is starting to snow outside, I am hoping that it holds off until after we are gone. We leave about 5:00 to the airport, get lucky, they take us out of the line and push us through thinking we were on the flight that was leaving in 40 min. That is good, didn't have to stand in the very long line. Just means we have to sit longer to wait. We go stand outside so Terry can smoke a few cigarettes. Flight is supposed to take off at 7:00. 7:00, 7:15, 7:30 still have not started boarding, it is snowing pretty good by now. Finally they start boarding and it goes quickly and we back out, have to get de-iced and that takes a while, 8:30 finally take off. Land in Cancun late, of course, go down to immigration, not one person in line waiting, we flew through 2nd in line from our flight. Luggage comes off pretty quickly, both of us get the green light. This is the first time that I am trying the cheaper route, taking the bus to bus station and getting taxi from their to the ferry. I am looking to far right and thinking, hmmmmm I don't see buses way down here like everyone said. Ahhhhhh, we are at Terminal 1, the buses take off from Terminal 2. Find the Shuttle, get over to Terminal 2, there are the buses. $3 for both of us, at bus station walk across the street get taxi to ferry for $5. Wow this is great, much cheaper and the only downside was fearing for my life on the taxi ride to the ferry, we were almost side swiped by a big bus but finally made it to the ferry, walked up got 2 tickets $7 and the ferry was just about ready to leave, just made it. Didn’t even have time to grab a cerveza first. Rode the Ultramar on top, a couple waves soaked me on the ride over. We decided to just walk down the street to the Posada del Mar since it is a short walk from the ferry. I am seeing changes from my last trip. (it had been a long 5 years since I was there last). I am so excited to be back!! Got to the Posada and all checked in, staying in the newer section this time (have stayed in old section or bungalows in the past). We were on the first floor, the room was nice. Bigger than in the old section, big bathroom with a huge shower. I started to unpack, Terry (who had never been to Isla before) asked where the closest place to get a cerveza, I told him to run down to Pool Bar and see Romy and Miguel, two awesome guys. We get changed into shorts (it was 92 and yes we were dying in our jeans, at least I had on a tank top) and headed out, I was excited to show Terry all around Isla. The only Mexico he has ever seen, was Tijuana in the early 80’s so he is giddy and amazed at the beauty. We grab a couple more cerezas and go walking out across the street to beach and down around past Sergio’s (no sunset tonight, very cloudy now) and around through Chi Chi & Charlie’s, wow I couldn’t believe the change in the beach right there. They did lose a lot from Ivan. We have to cut back around and onto North Beach, it is as beautiful as I remember. Walked down around the corner and cut back to the street the House on the Rock. Terry is just amazed already. It is now cloudy and we continue over to the Caribe side and see the damages to the wall, we walk along and get pretty close to RocaMar ( I think) and it starts pouring and we of course have no cover so we start walking back and are totally soaked by this point and finally get back to Posada to clean up / dry out and get ready to go get something to eat, it is about 6:30. Terry gets done in a flash and runs down to the pool bar again and comes back with 4 margarita’s and says it’s happy hour drink up. I am trying to wash up and hmmmmm no water. Go to flush toilet (oops forgot the paper thing) and it doesn’t flush. Terry runs to front desk and they say they had to shut the water off so sewer doesn’t back up because of the heavy rain, it will be back in an hour. I opt to just dry off and put dry clothes on. The rain is stopped, we go grab another margarita and just get it under the bell for happy hour, We sit for a bit finish the first one then take our other one and start walking to Picus, I was dying to eat there again. We had to wait and my mouth was watering watching everyone else eat. We chatted and talked to a few people from North Carolina. Finally, it’s our turn and it was delicious as always. By this time we are full and tired, been a long day need to go get some sleep. Still no water Terry goes back to front desk to ask, it has been a few hours now. They said another hour, great!!! The bed is hard and the 3 pillows are pretty flat. Terry finds a blanket in the closet and puts it under his pillow and I use the other two, we are tired so crash out quickly.
Day Two… Monday Feb 28th. Wake up and have no clue as to what time it is. Neither of us brought a watch. I could tell that the sun was starting to come up so I knew it was still early. Sat on the patio for awhile just breathing in the Isla smell and drinking some of my Mt Dew (I brought 2 resealable bottles since I am not a coffee drinker and have to have my Mt Dew in the morning)It is pretty warm, must get cooler & ice. Walked out to the front desk (they have a clock on the wall) 7:30 now. Wake up Terry and he wants coffee his coffee now. We ate at Penguinos it was good, Terry said very very strong coffee. We walk around a little bit and decide this is going to be a beach day. Gather out stuff and head out to North Beach and rent a couple chairs from Alberto, I remember him from 5 years ago. Ahhh perfect, a little windy but it’s not Minnesota! Terry can’t believe the people walking on the beach selling stuff, talks to ALL of them, then they push harder. I tell him that if he doesn’t plan to buy something don’t act like you might. He is not used to this. After about 2 hrs it is totally cloudy and the winds are pretty strong, we still hang for awhile, others do too. Finally decide to call it quits, I am wrapped in my towel and actually cold and it is sprinkling a little. We bring our stuff back to the Posada and head to Jax for some super nachos and guac and a bucket of beer. Very yummy and now it’s siesta time. Kind of rained off and on. Get up, shower (no hot water! I showered with mostly cold and then Terry had a slight hint of warm [note to have Terry shower first from now on and maybe I can have the slightly warm]). No sunset, too cloudy. Walk around in and out of several shops, again Terry is responding to all the people to come into their shop. He just doesn’t have the hang of it yet, get a cooler at 7-11 it was the cheapest we could find at $75 pesos. Bought a bunch of cervezas (got them for $9 pesos each, pretty cheap) and heilo and took back to the room to chill. Decide to go eat at Pizza Rolondi’s, Terry got mad at me for some reason and ended up leaving as we were ordering, so I stayed and had a delicious dinner by MYSELF. I walked over to DigaMe to call home and see how the kids, bird, cats and dogs were doing. Great rates on calling from DigaMe!! Walked back to Posada and Terry was in the room crashed out, I decided to read until I fell asleep.
Day Three… Tuesday Mar 1st. Wake up again early, walk to front desk to check the time; tiptoe so I don’t wake the guy at the desk; only 6:30! Get cleaned up and drink 2nd half of bottle of Mt Dew. Wonder if Terry is going to wake up crabby… He gets up about 8:00 and acts as if the previous nights drama had not occurred. I decide that THIS TIME ONLY I would just let it go without discussing it, I am on vacation and I want to have fun. We go to Aluxes Coffee House (Terry likes this coffee here) and decide on a light breakfast of Bagels. Walk to the ‘Juice Man’ and get a bottle of fresh squeezed orange juice. Clear skies today, decide to try the beach again. Gather our beach stuff and head back to Alberto and rent two chairs. He is a wonderful guy and he doesn’t miss a thing. Tip him a little and he keeps a good eye on your stuff if you go walking or swimming. Beautiful day on the beach. Terry is talking to one of the guys that comes up in the little boats to take people snorkeling. He has never snorkeled before and I just want to hang out on the beach. He bargains with the guy and and pays $15 USD to be taken to two different places and the equipment. I tell him to go for it. He was gone about 2 ˝ hrs and loved it. Went over by the lighthouse and then down by Garrafon. He can’t believe all the colorful fish he saw and coral and barracudas. I just hung out on the beach. We go to Sunsets for some lunch and back to our chairs. Terry spots 4 Navy guys walking down the beach towards us and even though I had told him about it in the past, he was surprised to see them walking the beach with their big guns. As they get closer we see a girl jump up and stand between two of them and get her picture taken, two of them just keep walking. I told Terry that I had always been told to not take pictures of them, but heck, if she did it; I want to do it too!! They get closer to us and I stand up and ask if I can get a picture with them too, they smile and say Si, so I stand between them, they put their guns in front of them so they show in the picture. Cool, I like this photo!! We watch and see others doing the same as they continue down towards ChiChi & Charlies’s. The other two are standing op on the cement pieces waiting for them. Meet 3 ladies from Italy, Lucilla, Angi & I forgot the other ladies name. They are actually staying in Playa del Carmen and are shuttling and ferrying to Isla every day because they do not like it there. A lot of back and forth every day for them. Head back to room for shower’s. Go down to pool bar and drink some of Romy’s 2-4-1 Margaritas. OH NO, was there a sunset? We forgot to head down to Sergio’s in time to see it. Too relaxed and enjoying the margaritas. Not very hungry tonight, go to Jax for a burger and a bucket of beers, hang out a while and listen to Miguel’s band and then head back to bed.
Day Four… Wednesday Mar 2nd. Why can’t I sleep in?? Make my morning walk to the front desk to check the time again. Tiptoeing so I don’t wake the guy at the desk again, 6:15 !!! Fill my glass with water at the jug they have there, glug glug and the guy at the desk jumps up wide awake. I smile, he smiles, I feel bad that I woke him. Sit on patio and read a little bit til Terry gets up. Open up my last Mt Dew and drink half of it. Back to Aluxes Coffee House so Terry can get coffee and we just do Bagels again. Need to run to the Bank to cash a Travelers Check. While I am in the bank, Terry bargains with a guy at Gomar’s for a Golf Cart for the day, $35 USD, good deal. We are going to use today to go to the south end. We head out, past the Navy Base and work our way down, Wooooaaaaa speed bump! stopping at little stores here and there to grab a Cerveza. Stop and Mundaca’s Hacienda and the zoo. Poor animals in those little cages in there. The monkeys are swinging around and look happy. This little animal comes walking up (not in a cage) with a long nose and tail and I am a little eerie of it not knowing if this is some wild animal. It keeps walking towards me and by now I am standing on top of the little sitting benches telling Terry to make it get away from me. He just laughs at me and tells me to take a picture of it. I snap a few shots and move further away. It now seems harmless but who knows. Speed bump again!! Please slow down for these!!!! He is busy looking around and just flies over them. Continue up around the Sac Bajo area, stop at dolphin discovery, $10 usd to look at them and have a drink?? $19 usd to look at them have a drink and eat lunch?? (I found out more details later) I guess I don’t want to see them that bad (I have been there before-5 years ago). We stop at Tiburon, Terry wants to see the Shark. We start walking towards the dock and someone stops us and says we have to pay to go look at them. $10 pesos each, no problem that is nothing. They guy is talking to us about the sharks and asks if we want to swim with it, I look at him like he is crazy. I am NOT getting in the water with a shark!! Terry says yeah, I might do it, what kind of shark and how much? The guy says it is just a donation and it is a nurse shark. I am telling him, ‘do it, do it’ We walk to the end of the dock, the other guy jumps in and tells Terry to come on in. (at this point we have not seen a shark yet, it is down on the bottom in the corner), Terry is a little nervous all of a sudden. The guy goes down grabs around the shark and brings it up to the surface, (this thing is about 6 feet long?) Terry FINALLY jumps in and the guy just says here grab around it, Terry says it feels like sand paper, I snap a couple pics of him holding this shark and the guy tells Terry to grab back by his tail and he will pull you around, the shark swims down pulling Terry around and heads towards his corner and back to the bottom. Donation of $20 pesos is what most people do he says so Terry gives him that. Pretty cheap and now he can say he did it. We head to the Turtle Farm, $10 pesos only, we see lots of little sea turtles, looking for some bigger ones, walk out around the docks looking in the water for some, don’t see any. Chat with a couple guys (later find out names-John & Eric) they end up telling us about the dolphin discovery thing, paying $10 USD to get in and watch AND it is an open bar and you can drink as much as you want. The $19 USD also includes lunch. Guess it wasn’t a bad deal if you plan to sit there for a long time and drink. We head back out of the Sac Bajo are and go to Playa Lancheros ~ time for lunch and I am dying to try the Tix n Xix ( I have never been there in my previous 5 trips to Isla). We find a table on the beach and plant ourselves down and wait and wait and wait for someone to come and take our order, Terry goes up to the bar and grabs a couple cervezas and asks if we order our food up there, they say they will send someone over. We wait and wait and wait some more so Terry goes back to bar, grabs a couple more cervezas and asks again if he can just order there and he points to where we are sitting. They say ok, they will place the order. After another 20 min a waitress comes to our table and asks to take our order, we say a couple more cervezas and that we placed our Tix n Xix order with the bartender. She comes back and says they didn’t place an order, so we place it with her. Chatting with Sama and Shawn from California, very nice people, soaking up some sun and finally get to eat our fish, awesome fish and very inexpensive, you get the rice and tortillas, etc.. Continue on to the south… WOW, I have not been here in 5 years and I can’t believe the tourist trap down here!!! What the heck are all those colored things all over?? I am shocked!!! I don’t like this, I liked the natural way it was down here before. Well, I guess that is bound to happen to this beautiful place. Continue down around the Caribe side, damn these speed bumps are going to kill me!!! I have almost fallen off the golf cart twice, banged my head, spilled my cerveza on my leg… find a place we can full over and go walking down the rocks. The waves crashing in are just awesome. Terry finds a really nice conch and some other shells and stuff. Back to Posada, it’s 4:00 have to get the cart back, shower and decide NOT going to miss sunset at Sergios this time. Head down there and we hear “hey we know you” we turn and it is John & Eric, the guys we chatted with at the Turtle Farm. We sit with them order some cervezas and watch the beautiful sunset, snap a few pics. These guys have been traveling around the world for the past 6 months. They have been to England, Spain, Italy, Germany, all over Mexico (almost in SriLanka when the tsunami hit!!) and plan to be out for another 5 months. They live in San Francisco area, John was an independent milk man, sold his business/truck and Eric is a High School teacher, they decided to take a year off and travel. How lucky to be able to do that. They are very interesting guys, very very nice and fun to talk to and hang out with. We sit there til they are closing down the bar and all go our separate ways. We forgot about eating, again not very hungry and decide to just go grab a couple tacos (and I forgot the name of the place) and head back to the Posada.
Day Five… Thursday Mar 3rd. Wake up early, imagine that. Take my daily strut to the front desk to check the clock again, wooo hooo it’s 7:00, I slept in. I didn’t wake up the sleeping guy this time and I even got water. The water cooler didn’t glug. Drink my last half of a Mt Dew and we get ready to go off for some breakfast. Grab a bottle of orange juice from the ‘juice man cart’ and head to M&J, sat outside to eat, it was a little disappointing right when we got our food that a big backhoe started up and a guy was working pulling rock and stuff out by the wall, the diesel smell was really strong. The food was delicious. I understand they need to do their work, so we just accepted it and after a while we didn’t really notice the smell, not sure if it faded or if we were just catching a buzz off of it. Head back, gather up the beach stuff and head to North Beach and get chairs again from Albert, The winds are different, so it is NOT windy here today. It has been everyday up until now, but it has been nice when it is really sunny. Feels hotter today due to that. Lucilla shows up again (Italian woman staying in Playa del Carmen) she gets a chair right next to us. She is alone today, her two friends were going diving in a cenote somewhere over on the mainland. A little bit later our two guys (John and Eric) show up and get chairs on the other side of us. Terry and John decide to go grab out cooler and get more cervezas and heilo and bring down there. I almost feel bad doing this since the guy from Sunsets runs back and forth taking orders from people on the beach. Anyway, we hang out there all day. Another beautiful day. Go back to shower, head off to DigaMe to call home again. Terry runs kiddy corner across the street to a locals bar to grab a couple cervezas while I am calling. I come out and it is starting to rain, I run across the street and we end up hanging out there for over an hour because it is pouring. Meet Luke and Dawn from London, and some other people from IA and some from OK (I am bad with names sometimes) and we all hang out waiting out the rain. Once that stops we eat dinner at Reggae Reds, Larry the owner is from St Paul MN (we are from a suburb of Minneapolis MN) and his partner Craig (who is the chef) give us a tour of their place, they said it is fairly new. There were not many people there. We have chicken and ribs with a Mango BBQ sauce, really really good. Larry gives me a rose and we are on our way. No siesta today, getting tired so we head back to the Posada. Read for awhile and off to sleep.
Day Six… Friday Mar 4th. The usual, up early, check the clock in the office, OH NO!!!! I am out of Mt Dew, yikes. Off to breakfast at Bistro Francais, very good breakfast. Off to the beach again. Chairs from Alberto, the 3 ladies from Italy show up and sit with us, John and Eric show up and sit with us. Another beautiful day at the beach. Back for showers, off to DigaMe to make another phone call. (still have not met Chris, he is never in this place) Told John about it too, he did not know of it and had gone somewhere else for calls and he said DigaMe was much better. Off to Sergios for sunset and drinks. Then head out to find dinner. End up not eating at all and can’t figure out why… started drinking and dancing and then it was after midnight. Started drinking shots of tequila at a place across the street and to the right of Faynes, then to Fayne’s for more drinking and dancing, then later to LaPena for more drinking and dancing. The group of gay guys ended up going to a place on North Beach which supposedly after hours on weekends turns into a Gay bar, they were happy, they had been stuck dancing all night with me and each other. They said there was a Drag Show at this place on North Beach that got pretty wild. Terry and I had left to back and crash, lots of tequila & cervezas and needed to go to bed.
Day Seven… Saturday Mar 5th. Didn’t wake up too early today, was about 8:30. A little hung over this morning. Again NO MT DEW!!! Finally able to get moving, off to eat at Bistro Francais again, very good again. Need lots of food to absorb the liquid. Slowly move to the beach for our last day out there. Good day for a siesta on the beach. Grab a couple of chairs and fall asleep quickly. Nobody we know shows up today, probably a good thing. Not feeling too social yet. Lunch time feel like some super nachos and guac from Jax, head over there and decide if we drink some cervezas it may snap us out of our hangover, it works!! Head back to the beach and go for a long dip in the water, the winds were out of the east/southeast this time, it felt hotter than other days. While laying on chairs again, started feeling tingling in my skin. I thought it was sun poisoning (later to find out it was from the jelly fish larvae) decide to call it quits in the sun, figured I must have had too much sun and probably best to get out of it. (ha ha little did I know the pain and itching I was in for!). Went back, did the shower thing, went to Sergios for last sunset. Chatted with Deb & Sam, Tim and the other guy that I keep forgetting his name and others that we had casually chatted with. Parted ways headed off to find food. Bucaneros for good food. Walk through the streets, and around all areas on this last night wishing tomorrow would not come. Buy a few more things for the peoples back in MN. Off to bed, of course I did NOT sleep, by this time I am itching like I have been rolling in itch powder for a few hours. Long long night. I think I finally fell asleep about 4 (this is after walking to front desk to see the time previously and it was 3:00 am) and wake up at 6:15. Take my last stroll to the front desk in my jimmies to check the time and wake the guy up at the desk. Decide to take a shower thinking the cooler water may help the itching. NO WATER AT ALL !!! Let the front desk know, he says he will check. Still no Mt Dew and the Squirt just doesn’t have the same effect on me. Start going through things to pack up since I can’t take a shower yet. Finally at about 8:00 the water comes back. Shower and off to check when the rib guy is going to have his Sunday Ribs ready. They are thinking about 9:30. It is smelling really good!! Gotta have the ribs before leaving! Get 2 orders of ribs and take back to Posada to eat, delicious! Finish up packing, catch the 10:30 Ferry, taxi to the airport – haggle for $15 USD. This was just easier this time than the taxi to the bus station and then bus to airport then shuttle to Terminal 1. Get through lines pretty quick, lots of time to sit and wait. Through Customs in Dallas and then on to MSP. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr !! It’s done & over now til next time. And there WILL be many next times.
To all the many people we talked with, other travelers as well as Isla people… I am sorry that I have forgotten a lot of the names. I know I missed some things in the reports, I ate taco sandwhiches from the carts, and other various items but can’t recall the days or times. Sorry for this being so long, some days more so than others. I loved being back on Isla and I am promising myself that I will be there every year now even if it is by myself. Thanks to all the many boarders who have helped with my questions, to Laura for a wonderful Map. To the many waiters that I am now in love with XOXOX. See you next time Isla…