Playa del Carmen Time

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Well it’s been over 24 hrs now and so far so good. Arrived on time without incident in dsc00003Cancun. The flight through Atlanta was uneventful and made my connection in plentydsc00011 of time. The magnitude of people arriving in Mexico is staggering as there must have been over 2000 people arriving and wanting to clear customs all at the same time. I sailed through in about 30 mins without even a full cavity body search. Collecting my backpack I went looking for my shuttle to Playa del Carmen. Walking out the doors was like walking into a dsc00072circus. I was bombarded with offers for everything possible. Hotels, taxi’s, hats, beer, food, night clubs….everything! Eventually found my shuttle bus, grabbed an over priceddsc00051 cold beer and we were on our way. Just a short one hr drive enjoying a Disney classic in Spanish and we arrived at the bus terminal in Playa del Carmen. I wasn’t 2 steps off the bus and the onslaught of sellers hit me again. I picked up very quickly not to make eye contact or they come after you. It’s a dsc00063constant buzz and mostly men but in their defense most were very respectful to no graci. I was going to grab a cab but this kind gentlemen told me it was just a 4 block walk to my hotel. It was longest 4 blocks I ever walked being dressed in black sweats and hauling 80 or so lbs on mydsc00052 back in 30 C and 88% humidity. Must have lost 10 lbs in that walk. Walked past my hotel a couple of times as it tucked off the street and lost in all the business store fronts. The Hotel Maya Bric, nice, clean, dsc00055comfy. I was shown to my room tuck off in the corner and the door was wide open and the room filled with skeeters. Lots but I found out later that they don’t seem to ever bite. I was bushed but my 6 tiny packs of peanuts on the 2 flights was beginning to lose their value. I should have went for the cookies! The main street is Quinta Avenida (use your Spanish). About 5 miles long one block off the beach with no cars allowed. It had everything you ever needed on vacation and everything you never wanted also. After a long walk around I found a nice people watching spot. The Tequila Barrel. The beer was tastydsc00054 and ice cold though the young Mexican server girl seemed to be puzzled that I wanted a light beer with the look on her face. The food looked awesome and I settled on the Nacho’s. They were incredible and I have to say better than anything I ever made. I was running out of steam so paid my $18 bill and headed back to the room stopping along the way to stock up my tiny fridge with water, beer, yogurt and coconut water. You know what  they say “a coconut dsc00030water a day keeps the fat away”. We’ll see! I didn’t sleep much from the bed being rock hard, to skeeters buzzing around my head, to being away from home. I was up with the sun. I headed out for a walk along the beach as it was a beautiful morning, hot and hazy. Turned out to be over 2 hrs and the hardest cardio session I ever had with all the panting and puffing going on. The sand was thick, soft and torturing and I was pushing it. Made it back to the hotel and was ready for breakfast which was included with my room. Made to order what ever you wanted. Yogurt like I have never tasted before, all the fresh fruit you ever needed. I sampled it all to go with my ham and cheese omelette with fresh avocado and tomato on the side.
So some observations on my travels so far. The Mexican men seem to wondering why I amdsc00046 alone. No woman or family with me I was asked repeatedly. Ah I must be looking for a BMW I was told once. Beautiful Mexican woman! I don’t think so. You with the moustache they kept saying but I don’t have one except that little dsc00020patch under my lip. What’s that on your tee-shirt but it was a plain white shirt. I’m definitely lost knowing little Spanish. You can literally buy anything. I was offered pot, blow, steroids, massages (right lol)…anything you want you probably can get. A bartender that had been to Toronto told me that Guatemala is the best country and cheapest around here and safe. I think it’s worth a visit. The police and military presence is everywhere. Packing heavy automatic weapons and the show of force keeps everyone thinking including the criminals. I felt very safe! It’s sensory overload so much going ondsc00024 but really enjoying my time here. Feeling a bit lonely with the language barrier and no one to share it with. Nearly got my 1st tattoo, I said nearly. Been up and down the main street and in all the shops and still so much more to see. It’s weird when the sun goes down the vendors seems to ignore you and the high pressure selling stops. It’s night and day difference. During the day they are selling booze on the street and lots are carrying beer. Not allowed at night to buy or carry booze. I grab some taco’s at this little hole in the wall. They were so good and the food prep conditions were questionable but when in Mexico live like the Mexicans!!!!! Calling it an early night as I have the long day trip to Belize tomorrow and it should be a fun day on the bus. I definitely will come back to Playa as it has lots more to offer and quite reasonable prices for a vacation if you do it the Mexican way. That’s it for Playa del Carmen, Next stop Belize!
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Tommy Traveler

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