This week has been a whirl wind of crazy. But all is well, and we are learning so much! The week started off with the best send off party a gal could ask for. So spoiled by my family, friends, and community. Thank you all. You are such a blessing. My first flight brought me to the Cancun airport. Customs was, and probably always will be, hectic and confusing. A couple lines and stamps later, I was in Mexico! Thanks to the bloggers of the world, I followed the instructions to politely decline the many aggressive tour and shuttle salesmen and took the local bus downtown for 62 pesos (about $4.50). My booked hostel was only 8 blocks away, so, with bag on back, I attempted to locate it at sunset in…downtown Cancun. No dice. After walking in circles with pending darkness, I opted for the 40 peso taxi (which I had previously ignored) and quickly checked in and crashed for the night. My first hostel experience was pretty much as expected… 3 bunk beds in a small room, a shared bathroom, and small dining area with kitchen. Perfect for $13 / night.
My next day (still alone) I decided to spend on Isla Mujeres, a small island that separates the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea… I dipped my toes in both. (Taxi from downtown to Puerto Jaurez, 50 pesos. Ferry roundtrip, 146 pesos). I walked along a majority of the island for hours leaving the tourist part behind. Amazing beaches, cute community, very friendly people, seafood tacos (70 peso), crystal clear water. I returned to downtown via local bus (9.5 pesos) and was very proud of myself for navigating on foot back to my hostel. Shower, ramen (17.5 peso for 3), and bed (again $13 / night).
Hooray! Claudia arrives today! I went back to the bus station, big bag in tow, and waited for her bus to arrive. Big hug, big chat. Decision making time. We discussed our options and decided to leave Cancun, skipping our chance to visit Chichen Itza, and head to Playa del Carmen.
Playa del Carmen. Aaahhh. Beautiful beaches and great local vibe, once you leave the main tourist zone. We spent two lovely days in the city walking along the beach and meeting new friends. We were treated to an odd Mexican dance twirly thing as well as a street art fair with incredible paintings and photography. We really enjoyed our time in this beautiful town. As of now, we have met people from Australia, Denmark, Scotland, England, Wales, Italy, Israel, and Germany. We have already learned so, so much and ate improving our Spanish skills. Well, we’re off.