It's not normally our vacation thing but it is sooo easy to wake up early here. Today, again, the weather is fantastic! We pinch ourselves as we throw on only shorts and t-shirts and head to the beach for another breakfast. Low 80's during the day and 60's at night. We laugh because we let the A/C in our room run full blast nightly.
We have no official plans for today. Over fresh pancakes & coffee (yes, I run to Starbucks and bring lattes back to complete our perfect beach breakfast every morning) we come up with a short list of things to do today.
Explor- A local amusement type park with zip lines, ATV rides, and cave/cenote swimming
Rio Secreto- A recently discovered large cave system with a 4 hour wet suit & lantern tour
Ferry to Cozumel-Just 6 blocks away is the boat to Cozumel island
Do Nothing/Beach- Which almost seems a shame on our last full day here
As it does with most critical decisions in our life, we narrow the choices to 2 then turn to the argument-proof coin flip. Today it's a 10 Peso flip to be exact. The multicolored weird side is heads...Explor. The Eagle looking other weird side tails...Cozumel. Comes up tails today. Cozumel wins!
On our way to the ferry dock, we let a merchant bend our ear. $25usd for a scooter rental on Cozumel, all day. Sounded good to us. We paid and jumped on the ferry. The 40 min boat ride was relatively smooth which was a major concern of mine considering my recent bouts with sea sickness. We docked in the shadow of huge cruise ships and passed through a security bag check of 6 soldiers with Uzi's (really?). We walked to the scooter shop, grabbed some helmets and jumped on. We laugh as the shop keeper says, "Enjoy your Mexican Harley!" and we buzz away. Cue Steppenwolf.
The town of Cozumel itself is busy. A bit more commercial and spread out then the main strip of Playa, it's mostly the same kind of tourist marketplace here. Right around the docks, it's maybe 20 square blocks of bars, shops, and restaurants. Woobily, we putz southward through the busy town. As I get the hang of this crazy European looking thing, the town slips away behind us. The traffic, shops and big resort driveways get more sparse as we ride. After a while, we pull over to check the map and quickly realize Cozumel is really big! It's a huge 20 mile wide island of petrified coral in the middle of the ocean. Thankfully, there are 2 main roads circling around most of the island. 1 highway, and 1 coastal road. The road less traveled (bing) along the turquoise clear Caribbean sea is jaw dropping beautiful. In stark contrast to the mainland Mexican beaches, they're almost empty here. Miles and miles of wild, little private beach oasis's left and right. Just pull off the side of the road anywhere and throw down your towel. We rode and rode to the most Southeastern point where we stopped for some lunch at Rasta's, a place owned by Bob Marley.
Adventurous eating be damned, we could not resist the temptation of Cheeseburger's in Paradise here on the beach. We were overdue for a good ol burger & fry by this point in the week and Marley's hit the spot perfectly! What a view! We can see a lighthouse 10+ miles away down a deserted beach from here.
This scene was promptly shattered after our meal by the arrival of a full Tequila Tour bus and 20 identical rental jeeps full of hooting cruise ship passengers. Dang. In another day and age we may have been on that very bus but today it seems like a shame to have this moment shattered by whistle blowing tourists in mid party. We smirk our way past the absurdly loud Americano's (are we like that too?) and jumped back on our mini hog to continue due north.
I gotta tell you, this particular stretch of road must be one of the most beautiful drives on Earth. I'm serious. Nobody, I mean, NOBODY around for miles and miles. The coastal road here never gets further than 50 yards from the surf and I have to pull over a few times to wipe the sea spray from our sunglasses (damn, I hate when that happens!). We rode for maybe an hour shouting and pointing to the incredible scenery zipping by. Large turtle nests are dug like foxholes in the white sand. Huge chunks of bleached driftwood are scattered everywhere. A pair of large black & white Frigate birds hover like kites overhead. The sun shines a halo rainbow 360 degrees around it, we've never seen that before in our lives! We finally arrive at the gates to some more Mayan ruins only to find them closed for the day ( at 330pm!). Dang. At this point we are very close to downtown Cozumel again but we both agree....lets turn around and do that amazing coastal drive again! We do. Right into a beautiful island sunset. Many more of those ahhhhh moments were had here.
Butts sore we returned the scooter at dusk and ate another quick meal while we waited for the ferry ride back to Playa Del Carmen. Cozumel is immense, wild and beautiful. We must return here with the girls and claim our own private paradise beach for a day. Or 2, or 3...
Back to Playa Maya for a quick shower. We're windburn, tired and road weary but we just HAVE TO go out on our last night here. We drag ourselves into Funkytown once more and don't regret it for a second. Playa seemingly has just as many clubs, stores, and bars running on vampire time. Clubs that were shuttered during the day blare techno music and laser lights beam everywhere as we bop from spot to spot checking out the electric scene. A restaurant hostess grabs us and gives us free wrist band passes to a local dance club called The Blue Parrot. We are feeling rather old walking into this place but I remember reading something positive, somewhere online about this place. We camp out at their swing bar and within 10 nervous minutes a dance troupe with blazing torches gallops right past us, to the nearby beach. Ummmmmm ok then... We followed them (wouldn't you?) and watched their really interesting twirling performance on the beach.
After the show, we publicly confirm we are waaaaaaay too old to be out club dancing and head homeward again, laughing at each other all the way. Another incredible day!