Saturday, January 03, 2009


After a night out in Playa which consisted of yummy and very spicy Tacos served by a man with a very large moustache (maybe I was right), Ra and I decided to hit the Beach with a 6 pack of the Mexico´s finest Dosequis ale- and catch up properly. We relived the old times of Abercrombie street and started making plans.

It was a balmy night and we were happy sitting under the stars when a group of fire twirlers and a band kicked off a little up the beach. Keen to get involved we investigated and joined the party, staying out till midnight.

On arrival back at Hostel Rios we saw that a party had kicked off- seemed that rios doubles as a nightclub after dark. On arrival in our dorm we saw some kis tucking into some tequila, sitting there flirting amongst themselves- we felt so old. Playa del Carmen just is that kind of place... it oozes PARTY, so much so that people are content to sit in a smelly dorm just to be near the action.

It is filled mostly with rich tourists, well ones that can afford to pay similar prices to that in the good old USA and it does not feel at all forgien. Most people speak English and whilst friendly enough seem keen to short change you at any opportunity.

After a deep sleep I woke early (jet lag) and went for a swim at the end of our street- the sun was just rising and it was stunning. The water a shade of aquamarine i have never seen before. The bars along the shore were just setting up and it felt like i had the Carribean sea all to myself.

We decided to head to the island Cozmul about a 1 hour ferry ride from Playa. I was not sure what to expect at Cozemul, I thought it might be even more built up than Playa, more glamorous, more of that sameness that is a beach resort town but I was in for a shock.

The wharf leads to a quiet treeless market square with the usual souvenir shops on the edges selling sombreros, macaranas and hammocks with a few cafes and bars.

We settled into some Mexican style eggs (delicious) and decided against renting a scooter in favour of taking a oat trip off shore to some of the islands famous reefs to snorkel.

We boarded the Cozemul express eco tour after paying 25USD and met Alex the Mexican guide. The other passengers were a mixed bunch- all Mexican but ranging from toddler to grand parent. I used Ra´s phrase book to try and strike up a conversation but failed miserably and probably sounded loud, abnoxious and silly.

After about 10 mins of speeding out to sea the boat began to fill with water and come to a rather sudden halt, too sudden. Alex started handing out life vests and told us to put them on...scarred is not the right word but we were certainly a little apprehensive that perhaps we were on our own Titanic. We scanned the horizon and noted in could not be more than a few hundred metres if it came to it.

After a long pause we were back in business and ready to roll, we never got an explanation for the stop but it seemed somehow normal, somehow Mexican and just the way things roll here.

We visited 3 sites, saw an exceptional array of fish including a rather scary menacing one that kept giving me the eye. It was not the biggest fish I have ever seen but it would not leave me and i was paranoid. I noticed the sun illuminate it´sparking little teeth and I wanted away pronto.

I ended up getting stung by 1 possibly 2 jelly fish on our last dive and now look like i have some skin condition all the way down my right leg.


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