At the end of the holiday season Bob asked me if I wanted to have some fun in the sun in Mexico. He always finds a destination that United Airlines flies to and therein contains a Hyatt Hotel. This time he came up with Playa del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula just a little bit south of Cancun. We set out on the United non-stop from San Francisco to Cancun for 5 nights and 6 days of relaxation.
Upon arrival, we discovered that we couldn’t get a suite upgrade. We could but it would be on the other side of the hotel, which was undesirable due to a daytime club occupying the premises, yes, a daytime dance club with bikini-clad young people dancing right at the beach, right next to the pool, all day long, with the boom boom boom music. Not only was there this dance club right at our hotel, there was also a BPM (beats per minute) or electronic music dance festival down the beach not all that far away. Playa del Carmen was full of young European hipsters who were there to rock it day and night. This provided Bob and me with some of the best people watching opportunities in quite some time. We got our front row seats on the Hyatt beach chairs and watched the folks walking up and down from behind the safety of our sunglasses. I never looked at a book the whole time I was down there. There were the hard bodies, guys with man buns, Europeans and South Americans with speedos, skinny women with thong bikinis. There were the very svelte, the larger bodies and everyone in between. There were adorable children playing in the sand and water with their patient parents building sand castles and digging deep holes. Tons of water sports activities occurred right in front of us also. I rented a SUP (stand up paddle) board, my favorite.
Playa is very busy and has a lot of tourists, hotels and resorts, restaurants, shops and malls. There are also ferries which go to Cozumel and lots of cruise ships coming in on a regular basis. This is a hard-core partying type of tourist town and we were trying to be a little on the down-low and just take it easy. We looked at Trip Advisor and chose a few places to eat and a few things to do but mostly hung out on the beach swimming. The water was divine. Senor Tacos ended up being the greatest and really, i can’t remember where else we ate so that must have been the best meal we had.
We also wanted to visit the Tulum ruins, which are about 45 minutes away from Playa, and Bob booked a sight-seeing tour with a company called All-Tournative. Our tour guide was thorough to say the least, his English was fantastic and he told us all about the sites we were going to visit. Our first adventure was being dropped down about 20 yards into one of these caves with a lake inside it called a Cenote. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenote These magical caves with stalactites and stalagmites dripping down into and rising up from the water are wonderful and weird! Never seen anything like it. I have no photos because we were getting wet and couldn’t carry phones around. The zip lining ended up being the best part—so much fun! We got strapped into harnesses and hurled ourselves off of tall ramparts high above the forest canopy–woohoo! Why didn’t I do THAT before? The Tulum ruins were very interesting too. Super old, from 13th Century. The other folks on our tour were primarily Canadian and a couple of women from Minnesota. A few of them had terrible fear of heights but managed to do all of the zip lining. I was impressed with their courage.
On the very rainy, windy day we decided to take the ferry to Cozumel. It’s a 45 minute ride on the high-speed ferry so we sat outside on the top deck. I was seasick the whole time and we were getting rained on and didn’t have an umbrella. Upon arrival, it rained very hard for a while so we opted to go into a massage place and got 45 minute body massages. (This is a pastime/activity/solution we learned about in China and now do it as much as possible! Oh it’s raining–let’s get a massage. Oh the movie starts in 90 minutes, let’s get a massage.) We came out and it had cleared so we walked until we found a restaurant which was recommended on Yelp. We had intended to rent scooters and ride around the whole island but the weather wasn’t agreeing. The return ferry ride was even worse and it took me the rest of the day to get over my motion sickness–something I was surprised about because I am an old sailor.
On the way home to San Francisco something interesting occurred in that our plane had to land in Houston in order to let off a disorderly passenger. This unscheduled stop took 90 minutes to have a bunch of police and NSA agents and air marshalls and other plain clothed/uniformed people get on the plane and remove him from the plane. According to the flight attendants, these incidents which re-route the plane and require the plane to refuel are very expensive and the passenger will be charged. Dude! Keep it together.