March 8th, 2016
Depart Playa Arena Villas on foot for Ferry Dock
Ferry to Cancun
Taxi or Bus to Airport
Airport Home to Ottawa.
*sigh*….we’re home…..it’s actually now March 10th…..
It was crazy windy our last night at Playa Arena in Isla Mujeres….as you know we sleep with the windows open and you could hear the palm leaves rustling all night and the waves a crashin’ 🙂 All rather romantic really – however what wasn’t so romantic was whatever was on the roof unattached and thudding 🙂 Oh well …. it was still paradise and still our last night….take what you need and leave the rest, huh? 🙂 OK! Up…organize, pack, dispose…..head off for breakfast and of course immediately starts to rain! We had breakfast down the street from the hotel and it started pouring once we got there. By the time we were done breakie it had tapered (a little) and we headed back to the hotel for final room once over, brush our teeth and then head to the ferry. As we were walking along the rain came down even harder and we huddled under an awning until it subsided a little then dashed off to the ferry terminal. Quick ferry to Cancun, taxi’s waiting….and then the crazy crazy fast fast taxi driver (one of our scarier taxi trips) blasted us toward the airport. After about 30 harrowing minutes we arrived, checked in effortlessly (no bag checks, just carry on)……went and had lunch at TGIF…..great sever named Antonio who was very helpful in assisting me with my Spanish (even bringing me slips of paper with translations for common phrases)……..munching away on a big ‘ole juicy burger, drinking this amazing gin cocktail with lemon & cucumber…..and in walks a colleague – Candy K from my office….bizarre…….she and her husband sat at next table and we chatted back & forth. Johnny & I then headed off to wander a bit before the flight which was scheduled to leave early….wandering through the duty free and I run into an old colleague Heather A – I hadn’t seen her in a few years…so it was quite funny. She had been in Tulum. OK….plane boards early early, Johnny and I are in front row…. I had booked my seats eons ago but even then couldn’t get side by side…so we were across from each other on the aisle….coincidentally, Heather A actually had the seat beside me….sooo she kindly let Johnny & I use it and she sat in the other seat….strange but true….that the person seated beside me would be someone I knew. So, here I am on a plane with 3 people I know….then, on walks another familiar face – Eve E from Kanata……oh boy…..and we took off and were told that not only was the flight leaving early, it was flying faster….original scheduled flight arrival in Ottawa 7:40 – our actual arrival time was 7:06 pm…..no checked luggage……first off plane being in row 1 – we were in fact home by 7:40……how is that for awesome!!!
OK…this is the debriefing of our 18 days. We had a wonderful time and each of our destinations – Puerto, Morelos,. Mexico; Tulum, Mexico, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize; Caye Caulker, Belize and Isla Mujeres, Mexico had something different and special to offer. One of the reasons we did this trip in this manner was to visit some places we were interested in to see if any of them might be a ‘fit’ for longer visits as we grow older.
Puerto Morelos, Mexico – Total population around 9,000 – most of whom live on the other side of the highway I think. We stayed on the ocean side. Great little spot, a few stores, some nice restaurants, a great beach (on one side, not the other)…..I could see myself spending time there because it is only 30 minutes from Cancun – easy access to groceries, malls & whatever you need. Cancun is huge. Also, lots of things to do should you have visitors.
Tulum, Mexico – Population around 18,000 – most are in the town which is not on the water. About a 10 minute cab/car ride to the beach/hotel zone. So, Tulum beach is beautiful, almost perfect. Lots of wonderful hotels of all kinds. Tulum town also has everything you want and need. For us though….we want the town and the beach to be closer together. Nearest big cities are Playa del Carmen or Chetumal where you can buy the big stuff are still a ways away. So…Tulum, a great place to visit for an awesome vacation with lots of things to do, but for us, not a ‘spend more than a week’ type of place.
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize – San Pedro town’s population around 13,000 – long thinnish town. Honestly, we enjoyed our time there and exploring different ends of the Island, however San Pedro is very busy. It has amenities, but not as many as I would like. You could probably go into Belize City for bigger/more diverse shopping needs. Not quite as easy being an Island. Swimming/beaches not good here. Diving/snorkeling via boats to the roof and the Blue Hole great. So, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize…a great place to visit, would recommend it, but for us and a longer term venture, not on the list.
Caye Caulker, Belize – Population around 1,300. Small – friendly – easily walkable. Not great beaches but a couple of nice swimming spots (one of which is The Split). Would we visit again – yes…could we imagine wintering there – no, I don’t think so…again, it’s all down to amenities, fresh fruit/vegetables, having to get to mainland Belize or Mexico to do real shopping. Would we stay for one, two, three or four weeks – yes, I think so…has a really nice vibe. Would be an awesome place to relax.
Isla Mujeres, Mexico – Population around 12,500. Very safe & walkable Island 15 minutes by ferry from Cancun. Nice Beaches. A great store that sells everything you need (kind of Walmart style) yet close to Cancun for anything you can’t get. Awesome beaches. The downtown is definitely touristy which is great when you have visitors. We liked Isla Mujeres, Mexico and could certainly imagine spending longer periods of time there. Great off season rates and good airport access to Cancun.
So….we found a couple of places we would enjoy going back to – Caye Caulker & Isla Mujeres. As always, we start to plan our next trip while still on vacation. We’re thinking next year it will be Fly to Belize City, going on the south coast of Belize – Dangriga, Hopkins Village, Placencia, then a side trip to Livingston, Guetemala and if possible Lake Atitlan area – ending in the Bay Islands of Honduras. Only time will tell……..If you are reading this – thanks for sticking with me throughout our 18 days. It’s now time for us to work off those holidays pounds and start our hiking blogging as the weather here in Ottawa grows warmer! Adios for now Amigas!! – Johnny & Melva
PS…..Johnny is going to Iceland in April with his Mom for one week and I am going to spend a weekend with my girls in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada while he’s away!