I'd never been to the Yucatan, so I was pretty excited to see that part of Mexico, since everyone and their dog has been there. Nate and Rosie's blog updates added to the excitement. They are one of the most photogenic couples I've ever seen. Christian, one of my best friends would be in attendance, not only as Nate's HLP (heterosexual life partner), but as best man as well. And since Christian and I tend to take non-romantical trips to tropical locations every year, it was shaping up to be a great reunion.
I flew into Cancun on Thursday afternoon and had to make my way south to tiny, peaceful Puerto Morelos, just between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. I had read that there was a bus from the airport that heads south, and the driver would stop on the highway near Puerto Morelos, at which point you take a cab a couple miles towards the shore and the town. While I was waiting in line to collect my luggage and go through customs, I struck up a conversation with an older gentleman who offered to let me share his private shuttle that he had booked to Playa del Carmen. He and his wife have a house there, he's been making the trip for 20 years, and he wanted to make sure I got there safely - bless his heart, he's Canadian, of course! After some haggling with the shuttle driver (I guess if you only book 1 person, you can only take 1 person - insurance rules or something, even though it was a HUGE van with room for 20 people), me and my luggage were on board. The driver pulled over on the side of the road after about half an hour, pointed to the 7/11 and told me there would be a cab there soon. Sure enough, there was, and I paid a couple bucks for the 2 mile ride into town.
My roommate Julia (we met via email during wedding guest coordination; girlfriend of a groomsman) was already checked into the hotel, but had left me a key. I knew that most of the family and wedding party were going to be out and about, so I promptly changed into my swimsuit and enjoyed the last rays of the day poolside.
Manzanita Lift! Tipping in other countries is always hard to figure out - so we left 10% or so and were followed out the door after they realized it was not enough. Really?
Tulum, but with a mix up of departure times, sleeping in, and lack of rental car spaces, I was maybe out of luck, it seemed, when I was ready to go. Luckily Christian volunteered to go with me, since I was really eager to see the place (mostly the really pretty water, next to the temples). We caught a cab back to the 7/11 on the highway and bought bus tickets south. I think it took nearly 2 hours to get there, and we had to endure a really awful movie dubbed into Spanish. But we made it!
Some tribe did a performance across the way with men climbing to the top of poles and hanging upside down while spinning round and round and going lower to the ground while some pan flute played in the background. Once again, a tour guide with some extra information may have been useful, but it was nonetheless entertaining. Pretty soon we grabbed a cab into the little town, found an outdoor restaurant and ate some lunch before catching the bus back to Puerto.
After an hour of church, we hopped a bus up to Cancun proper, where I wanted to spend our last night. And here's where things started to go downhill and I have since vowed not to return, cause I got Mexico'd.
We get to the airport, which I guess has been under some construction recently. Cabbie lets me off at the wrong terminal....which I didn't know until I walked in. Ugh. I had to wait and take another airport bus to the next terminal over. When I arrived the check in line was enormous! There was no way I'd make my flight. Except I barely did and they didn't charge me to check bags like I had on the way down. US Airways, for once you redeemed yourself. I even found a way to spend the last of my pesos, almost to the exact cent. Get me outta Mexico!