Sunday was delightful. I woke up around 6:45 (Richard slept in a bit), had coffee, went for a swim, uploaded some images taken Saturday, and in general, had a very relaxing morning. We walked into town around 11:00 am in search of breakfast, and got forced into a conversation with a street salesman for a timeshare-type opportunity before we found a restaurant. As we continued to say no, the perks grew. We finally agreed to go for the 90 minute tour.
Our salesman took us in a paid air-conditioned taxi to the Grand Mayan in Cancun, went through 4 sales pitches, had a free buffet lunch (delicious!!!), and then received the fruits of the tour: $150 US (shopping money – YAY!!!), one hammock, one large bottle of tequila, one large bottle of Kahlua, 2 Mexican blankets, 2 t-shirts and of course, a ride back to our house. Good deal!!!
Trip to Cozumel
We went to Senor Frog's at the dock for a bite to eat while waiting for the ferry to Cozumel. What fun! The waiters there are great hams – I got wonderful photos and had such a good time. The ferry was fun, too, except we sat in the ONLY seat on there that somehow got us wet. Richard traded seats with me, so he took the most of the drenching (thanks, honey)…
We enjoyed a bit of an outdoor concert in Cozumel, walked the streets a lot, picked up some souvenirs, and went to a sports bar. What an exciting little place THIS was. Not crowded – mostly, just a few locals. We had supper there, and were amazed that the sports bar here meant betting on sports, with multiple screens of various sports events (we didn’t bet, of course).
A note about shopping: don’t expect price tags. Prices for goods are negotiable. If you see a price tag, don’t expect to negotiate. The best shopping is from street vendors, rather than in stores, as their overhead is obviously lower and the prices therefore are lower. In general, you may expect the first price you are given is double to 2/3 what the vendor is willing to accept. While I would NEVER attempt negotiation on a sale in the US, I find great pleasure in the game played by the vendors here, and the bargaining process is almost as fun as the purchase itself! An example of what can be done is above on the sales trip to the Grand Mayan – most people went for the first offer – we saw many people who left with only a bottle of tequila.
The ferry ride home was dry, as we sat inside in the air conditioning this time. All pepped up from a great day, it was hard to get to sleep. I instant messaged Nomi (in Pakistan) and asked him to tell Heather (in South Carolina) to phone me in the morning to wake us up – we had to be at the bus station at 7:45 for the bus to Chichen Itza.
Monday morning, the telephone rang at 4:30am. That allowed me a good 3 hours of sleep. Ugh. A note here on the wonders of technology – we have Vonage at home, so we brought our Vonage box and a phone. Heather also has Vonage, so she called us “virtually” for free. As I mumbled and grumbled, I begged for a snooze wake-up call, which was kindly returned. We got up and walked to the bus station on 12th and 20th.
The bus ride was VERY cold to me – I understand on the ADO buses that if the a/c is working, it is cold, if not, it is hot. There is no in-between. I knew this in advance, and should have brought a blanket. We watched a movie for the first 2 hours, and then watched the scenery for the last 2 hours. A taxi from the bus drop at Chichen Itza to our hotel, Mayaland, was $6.50 and perhaps 7 – 8 minutes.
We enjoyed a buffet lunch, complete with a band and dancers, and decided to tour the ruins on Tuesday, as it was already very hot. We walked the property a bit, took some photos of the property, iguanas and peacocks (they are everywhere), and as we saw rain coming in, came back to our bungalow for a mid-afternoon siesta. Ah….. air conditioning…. I was out like a light!
Light Show at Chichen Itza
We woke, walked a wee bit, and got ready for the light show at Chichen Itza. Tickets for this were $3 each for entrance, and $2.50 each for English translation headphones (highly recommended). We walked into the park and took a second-row seat for the show, which started at 8:00 pm. It was lovely – the audio portion gave the history of the area, and the lighting covered the main pyramid (Chichen Itza Castle), the Ball Court, the Platform of Venus, the Temple of the Warriors, and the pathway to the main Cenote. I highly recommend attending this show, and getting the headphones if you need the translation, if you are around in the evening for it.
We slept well, and woke up at numerous times this morning (we seem to be having trouble keeping up with what time it is – time seems to stand still and/or go back and reverse here. As I speak, I am sitting on the porch of our Bungalow, enjoying the sights and sounds of the wildlife. A little hummingbird has been by multiple times to drink the nectar of the bird of paradise to the left of our stairs from the porch to the walkway. The restaurant waiter has brought our coffee, and returned with a refill. THIS is paradise!
Tuesday – We Did It!!!
We *did* climb to the top of the pyramid. Well, Richard kind of walked up the stairs – it was me who did the climbing. I’m terribly afraid of heights, and I literally used my hands and feet to get to the top. Definitely worth it. And very fortunately, we were there shortly after opening (8:00 am), so there weren’t many people and the sun was not on us. On the way down, I used my hands and rear end and descended slowly. You truly don’t know how steep that climb is. There are plenty of warnings on the sign, and an ambulance is parked nearby. The entire Chichen Itza experience was awesome. We got tons of photos between the two of us, and I loaded up on a few more souvenirs.
We had buffet lunch at the Mayaland before taking a taxi for our 2:55pm bus departure. The taxi was late, but that wasn’t a problem, as the bus was later. *LOL* We got back to Playa Del Carmen at 7:00, and walked the many blocks back to the house. After unloading, we went back into town for dinner at a nice little place on 10th Avenue. Delicious fare; not much English spoken there, not much Spanish spoken between Richard and me, but we managed quite efficiently.
Wednesday – Uh Oh!
I called mom this morning, because I thought the computer had a virus (it just “shut down” as I was opening Word). In the course of conversation, she asked what time we left “tomorrow.” That was very confusing to me, as I was sure we left on Friday. Wrong. Uh oh. Well, good thing I made that call, now I know we’re on our last day and we’re going to (again) make the most of it! I’ve been for a swim in the pool already – Richard is off to try to get a few good photos of an Agute. More on that later…