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On Isla, Days 1 and 2
By: Diane in IA
Isla Mujeres Trip Report
June 3 - June 10, 2005
°HOLA! Mike and I made our fifth trip to Isla this past week. We are both teachers, so we usually travel in June or early July.
I donít post very often, but I usually read the trip reports. I feel just a little obliged to return the favor. Plus writing a trip report is a good way to relive some nice memories.
Friday, June 3, 2005
Arrival day. This was the usual uneventful flight MSP-CUN via Champion Air. We landed a bit early and no other planes had come in, so we went through immigration quickly, plus many booths were open this time.
Then began the interminable wait for the checked bag. All in good time. The green light pasť and on to Best Day transport. We lucked out as no one was going through the hotel zone. Throughout the van and ferry rides we got to know a couple from Minnesota that was going to Isla to renew their wedding vows.
We exchanged money at the bank. ($1 = 10.67MP. This rose to 10.72MP for the rest of the week.) They now have an exchange booth to the left of the main doors. When the booth is open, all money exchange is done there. Other times it was closed and we exchanged money inside the bank.
We checked into Francis Arlene for our first night. We had one of the more cozy rooms at the front on the second floor. It was quiet and clean and $39. We planned on doing a walkup, but Mike wanted at least our first night reserved. We walked around and checked out some other hotels: Belmar $32, Los Arcos $47, Sea Hawk $55, MdM tower $66, Media Luna Rocas $40, and Media Luna $95. We decided to go with Los Arcos and set up a reservation for the next six nights.
After showers and a nap, we walked the malecon and ended up at Sunset Grill after sunset. We noted that sunset was around 7:30, so we decided we needed to get there by 7:00 on other nights to watch the sun paint the sky. Following the sunset we saw an incredibly pink cloud in the eastern sky. Next to it was, I swear, a florescent blue cloud. Both clouds were almost the shades of cotton candy at the county fair. It was really a very odd hue of bluish green.
A combo of guitar and sax was playing mellow music including songs by Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Jimmy Buffet, and even Mickey Gilley. Later we learned the guitarist was Javier with his friend Jim on the sax. They were good, and we discovered they could really jam later when we heard them play at Bamboo.
We ate supper at Picus. Our waiter was indifferent, perhaps even a bit wasted, but the fish was tender and good. Whole pescado frito 50p and pescado Veracruz 70p plus a HUGE plate of guacamole and chips for 25p. Tonight should be good sleeping in our king bed in our small but very clean room at the Francis Arlene.
Saturday, June 4, 2005
Awoke to a very cloudy and breezy morning. The big balcony at the front of the hotel faced west, so I walked out and watched the rising sun make the gray clouds glow in misty shades of pink and gold.
We ate breakfast at the fourth loncherŪa booth in the market, Tacos Tumbras. My huevos rancheros were good...fried eggs on tortillas with a mild red sauce and yummy cheese. Mike had Mexicano style eggs with veggies scrambled in. Both were 25p.
We moved to Los Arcos around 10 AM. Of course, we managed to leave items in the room at Francis Arlene, so that made for a couple extra trips. By 11 AM we were roasting and toasting on the beach by Sergios. So sad to see the loss of so much beach in this area. The wind was kicking up some big waves. It was weird because the waves came from the north, but the current flowed from the south. The current won out as we floated along.
Mike had a hankering for bean soup at La Lomita, so we walked there in the afternoon. Many chairs were stacked up, so we checked to see if they were open. Si, so Mike pulled apart a pair of chairs and selected a table. As Mike was ordering his favorite sopa de frijoles, his red plastic chair seemed to fold up under him. The chair legs splayed out like a donkey on ice, Mike slid under the table, and his glasses flew to the next table. The waiter had an astonished look on his face, and then we all burst into gales of laughter. Hastily the waiter brought a second chair and stacked it over Mikeís chair to create a throne. Thatís when we noticed that most of the chairs were doubled up.
We gobbled up our big bowls of delicious broth, black beans, pepper, and rice with fresh chunks of tomato, onion, cilantro, and cheese sprinkled over the top. Even though it was mucho calor, our hot soup didnít make us feel any hotter. Actually I think the heat was more comfortable without a contrasting food temperature.
After an afternoon siesta, we walked to Sunset Grill again. This time we saw the sunset. Too many clouds for a really colorful one. Javier and Jim were playing again. I wonder if they get tired of performing the same standard fare for the tourists over and over again. We listened to Jim whaling away on some jazz and blues later in the evening at Bamboo. I wonder how hard it is too hold back and play mellow.
Supper was at El Balcon de Arriba. Mike fretted about our order when they brought out the wrong dish. We had heard they have inconsistent service, but the problem was soon rectified. Both dishes were very tasty. Pescado primavera 70p and tempura fish 60p plus a free margarita.
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