Playa del Carmen and Cozumel
Getting off the bus in Playa del Carmen was a relief. Though we stepped from the cold blast of the air conditioning to the wet heat of the Riviera Maya once again, it was still nice to be off our butts and walking around. Little did we know how sore we'd be tomorrow after the bus ride to Belize. But I get ahead of myself.
From the bus terminal we walked across the street and through the plaza toward the beach. We thought, wouldn't it be nice to stay here for a while? Sandy beaches … tourists sizzling like glazed hams in the sand, their leathery hides shimmering in the afternoon sun. Well, ok, that part wasn't too tempting, but regardless we wanted to drop our bags and find our hotel. At the ferry terminal we got on the next boat departing and had a leisurely ride to Cozumel.
Let me tell you, they show some of the most bizarre advertisements on the Playa del Carmen ferries. All I can remember now is that there was a cut-out photo of a shark with huge glasses drawn on reading a book with a tinny, unthreatening version of the Jaws bass line thumping in the background. Then the screen would flash to a lobster shaking his claw as a similar, but somehow more fey, melody would play in the background. The two would, presumably, converse in some unknown language and then the commercial would be over. I still don't know what they were selling.
On the other side of the channel, our ferry docked and we crossed another street and another plaza where we found our Hotel, Meson San Miguel. I was a little apprehensive at first, afraid that al the greeks (and by this I mean college frat guys and sorority sisters fleeing the 50 degree weather in LA) would make too much noise, but it turned out we had a spacious bedroom with TV, air conditioning, two beds and a balcony overlooking the courtyard and pool with a view of the ocean for about $70US. Not too shabby. Well, OK, I have to admit these were the hardest beds I've ever had the misfortune to sleep on this side of a church pew. Other than that, though, just fine.
We dropped off our stuff and took a long walk south of the plaza on the road that follows the shore. Eventually we found a little snorkeling area owned by a hotel that allowed anyone to rent gear. We dove in and snorkeled as the sun went down. At one point, coming up to drain the Caribbean from my sinuses, we were delighted to find it raining. Water, water everywhere.... the sea was warm, the air was warm, and the rain was warm. Such a wonderful change from Minnesota. This was exactly what we'd been hoping for.
We ate dinner, returned to the hotel where we retired to watch a little TV as bedsprings poked our ribs. Eventually Jonah had to make a pile of extra pillows in order to sleep on. It'd been a long travel day that had seen us up at about 4 am to catch our flight and took us through the air, across the land and over the sea. Eventually we fell asleep.
The next day, after missing our early ferry, we stuffed ourselves on a hardy breakfast and returned to Playa del Carmen to catch the bus to Belize. We both felt like we'd eaten too much on Cozumel, but later we'd look back and think, good thing! Because we wouldn't be eating much else the rest of that day.
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