March 3 Day 8
“Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head!!”
Having had not nearly enough sleep, we are up early to sunny skies and humid heat. Perfect weather for a day trip to Playa del Carmen. We just can’t seem to sit still for a day!
We decide to get an early start as my eyes seem to get worse by the end of the day. I wonder what people think of my bloodshot eyes…must think I’ve been having a few too many margaritas!
Off to the ferry dock where we purchase round trip tickets for $70MXP each. It feels nice to get ‘round trip’…means we get to come back! We just miss the 7:30 ferry, so it’s the 8am ferry for us. Vince wants to sit upstairs on the outside deck but I don’t feel like having the wind in my eyes this morning so I sit inside. There are video monitors and they show something like Mexican funny home videos. It was hilarious!
We take a taxi to the bus station for $40MXP, and then get the next bus to Playa del Carmen, leaving at 8:45. It was $32MXP each. It was really slow going out of Cancun…lots of early morning traffic. The bus was kind of stuffy and Vince starts feeling a little queasy. Great…last year he threw up on the airplane so I start looking for a bag, just in case! There’s a movie playing…the Erin Brokovich movie with Julia Roberts. I watch it, but tell Vince to look out the window and he soon feels better.
We have a brief stop in Puerto Morelos to drop a few people off, and then finally arrive in Playa del Carmen around 10. That took a lot longer than I expected. Oh well, we have all day! We have no real plans other than getting a new wristlet for Vince from ‘Joe Natural’ and a beach bag like mine that Jan asked me to get.
As we walk onto 5th Avenue, I’m surprised to see the number of tourists out and about already. I remember back in 1999 when we came to town during the day and it was deserted! No quiet streets here anymore!
We wander a bit and come upon a fellow with a fresh catch of barracuda…
That’s me sitting on the curb, already dying from the heat. It was incredibly humid today and although windy by the water, the breeze didn’t seem to make it up to 5th.
We decide on some breakfast and find ‘The Coffee Press’ on a side street. There are tables and chairs set up outside and we enjoy some homemade bread toast, jam and fresh orange juice. Really hit the spot!
The shopping bug has not really hit me yet but we haul ourselves back to 5th and begin the search for a beach bag for Jan. I finally find one that is similar to mine and the price is right too but we decide to wait until we see what else is available. We walk up 5th Avenue and stop to exchange traveller’s cheques at the AMEX cambio. They had an excellent rate for CDN when we came here last week. We’re happy to see that they still have a great rate at 8.89MXP/CDN. Pesos burning a whole in our pockets, Vince drags me off to ‘Joe Natural’ in search of new guy jewelry. He has an old wristlet repaired and then picks out a new one for himself, one for our amigo Keith in Carrollton, and he even finds a nice leather bracelet with blue beads for me. What a shopper!
It takes a while to have some of them resized---sure hope it fits you Keith!---and I am about to die. It has been getting increasingly hot and humid and I need water badly. We head for the nearest store and I guzzle a water. We decide to take a walk down to the water to see if we can get cooled down by the breeze. What better excuse to visit our favourite beach bar, the Blue Parrot. As we enter the bar area we hear the sounds of a sander and see dust flying. Just our luck…they are sanding and polishing the wooden dance floor. Guess we won’t be hanging around for a drink after all!
We do walk out to the beach though, happy to feel a breeze…just check out those waves!
The beach is looking even busier than usual…to the north…
…and to the south…
Having a look at all these people and these waves, makes me so happy that we are staying on Isla Mujeres. Vince, take me home! My eyes are starting to hurt, my feet already hurt and I’m hot and hungry too!
We make our way back to the stores near the ferry dock and buy the bag for Jan that we had seen earlier. I like it a lot, so if she doesn’t like it, I’ll just keep…(darn, she liked it!). I’m so ready to head for the bus station, but Vince says he just needs to check out a CD store he saw on Juarez when we came in with the bus. Oh joy. Off we go, with another couple of miles on my aching feet. We walk and walk…’how much further honey?’. He keeps telling me that it’s the next block…then the next block! We finally find it and…IT’s Closed!!! Guess it must be afternoon siesta time! I feel like getting mad at him for making me walk so far for nothing, but I’m just too tired to even do that!
Back near the bus station we stop in at the big store on the corner and get a Coke, some water, a cerveza for Vince and some Japones nuts to enjoy during our bus ride. A quick bano visit ($2MXP) at the bus station and with tickets in hand we board the 4:45 bus back to Cancun. I am so happy to have the air conditioning…as my son Josh would say…’the humi-didity is killing me!’ There is some crazy movie playing..can’t remember the name of it, but it was totally inappropriate for the little kids on board. I quickly fell asleep and when I wake up it’s really dark outside. Huh? It shouldn’t be that dark so early! It seems that there is one heck of a storm hitting Cancun and we are in the middle of it. Thunder, lightning, pouring rain….it’s crazy!
We pull into the bus station at 6:10 and quickly run to a taxi. The traffic is really crazy and he makes me a little nervous when he starts taking some isolated back roads. I must admit that I really thought we were being taking somewhere…and it wasn’t the ferry dock. But as he pulls back onto the main road I get my bearings again and feel silly for being so suspicious! Must be the weather…or maybe my bloodshot eyes!
We arrive at the ferry dock with a short wait for the 6:30 ferry. The attendant says that they are late and may not even go as the weather is so bad. We stand under cover and watch the display of sheet lightning and complete downpour. Thunder is crashing…I can’t believe I’m going to get on a boat. Good thing it’s so dark out so I can’t see how rough the water is!
We run to get on the ferry…no discussion about sitting up top tonight! We are soaked already! The ferry departs very slowly and I start feeling a little nervous again. The ride over is extremely rough…rolling like crazy and I definitely had white knuckles the entire time! It took a lot longer than usual as well, since I think he was zigzagging the whole way over to avoid the worst of the waves. The lightning was so spooky too. Please get me home safely!
When we thankfully land at Isla, the rain is coming down in sheets. Walking on the dock is like being on a skating rink and we are drenched in seconds. We take a look at all the people standing around under cover and quickly see the reason…the streets are flooded. Definitely not something that hubby, the health inspector, wants to see!
We decide to walk further up the street to where we know there is one of those huge topes that should be above water. It is, so we avoid one flooded street, but when we turn to go up the road to Roca Mar, there’s no avoiding the water. In we go, more than ankle deep. I try hard not to think about what I’m walking in and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Once we hit the hill we are out of the water but still being drowned by the downpour. We trudge up the stairs to our room and I start to wonder how much water there might be in there. Sure enough, when we open the door there is a puddle of water making its way into the room for about 2-3 feet. We grab a towel and start mopping up. I should say, I start mopping up…Vince was already in the shower washing his feet and flip flops!
We look really awful in this picture, but can you see how drenched we are…oh, and don’t my swollen red eyes look great!
What a day it has been! We shower and warm up and I take a look down the street to see if the water is going down. The rain has stopped and in just a short time, the water is already disappearing. By the time we are ready to go in search of dinner, the streets are almost dry and you could hardly tell there had been such a storm!
We bump into Jan and Bruce on Hidalgo and arrange to get the new beach bag to them tomorrow. Off to find dinner…we’re starving! We try a new spot that always gets great recommendations….Angelo’s. I get a Fanta and Vince gets a Bohemia and then we order 2 pizzas. The pizzas are the same price as at Pizza Rolandi, so we figure they will be the same size….Nope! They are huge!!! Okay, you can bring the doggie bag right now!
Now, that was a pizza…delicious!!! Total bill with tip was $212MXP. Service was terrific and the food was great. We’ll definitely be back here to try some of their pasta dishes.
We’ve had a long day so by 11 we are laying our weary heads on the pillows….’Honey…do you think we could just relax tomorrow…please!’
--The Coffee Press in Playa del Carmen—nice homemade bread toast, good OJ, but not as good as M & J’s OJ
--Joe Natural—love this store…we’ve been buying things there for years and the people are always nice
--Playa del Carmen in general—Way too many people!
--Angelo’s Restaurant, Isla Mujeres—Wonderful! The very best service, excellent food…location can be a bit noisy if both Fayne’s and Bamboo have bands playing. Angelo’s is in the middle so you get stereo sound…trouble is, it’s not the same song! Great place though, and we’ll definitely be back several times.