Playa del Carmen
Got to the hotel a little before 3:00 and had to wait in the lobby a bit – room wasn’t ready. Then there was some confusion about the room but it all got straightened out and I’m in room 006. I have to check out tomorrow morning then check back in with the group – and probably a roommate or two. We’ll see.
After dumping off my stuff I headed to the beach – about four blocks from the hotel. A light rain but the temperate about 75 – 80 so no real issues. I had on shorts and sandals and was quite comfy.
After getting my feet wet I went into the main town. I though Cancun was commercial. This place has ten or more blocks of walking streets all lined with souvenir stands, restaurants, ATMs, massage parlors (Two for $50… what does that mean?), and lots and lots of people.
I wandered around on the street a bit and tried to figure out the ATMs (most gave only dollars – but that’s what most of the prices were in – quite a few were “out of service” or out of money more likely. Anyway, walking only one block away you can find the local stands and stores – burger places and stands selling toilet paper and pots and pans. A huge contrast.
I needed to get tomorrow planned for the trip to Ek Balam so stopped in several of the tourist tour places and was told there was no way I could do it – only Saturday and Thursday or if I had a group of six or more… So I walked a block over and talked to a guy at the taxi stand and worked out a deal. For $120 (the price of a regular tour was $130) I will meet Ernesto at 7:30 tomorrow and he (and his wife) will drive me to Ek Balam, wait for three hours, then drive me back with a stop for lunch along the way. Should be interesting as he speaks little English and me little Spanish – but another guy at the stand translated for us.
That being settled I went back to the tourist street looking for a place for dinner. After looking at six or seven menus I settled on “The Big Lobster.” I had a “flat fish” Veracruz style – semi spicy. Quite tasty. Still not 100% sure what kind of fish it was. Also two mojitos as I didn’t want to drink the water…
Then I wandered the town a bit more. Found a most interesting “House of Chocolate” and bought a couple, ten bought a coke for some reason, and came back to the hotel. I’ve developed a small blister on my left toe which I will bandage soon. Later this evening I plan to go for a walk on the beach – the weather has cleared and there are stars…
Later, after talking to Minna on Skype I went for a walk on the beach with a cigar. The beach was rather short - too many bars next to it, so walked the street. Lots of people still out but rain and other oddness I wandered the walking street.Many young people out doing stuff but I finished the cigar and then to bed. Tomorrow - Ek Balam!