Playa del Carmen, Mexico's virtual guidebook written by locals
 

Go Back   www.Playa.info > Trip Reports > Trip Reports: Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-24-2005   #16 (permalink)
aņejo
 
fireinmn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: St. Paul, MN
Posts: 5,929
keep it coming!
fireinmn is offline   Reply With Quote
register to remove these adverts
Old 02-24-2005   #17 (permalink)
US Consular Agent PdC

 
Heather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Playa del Carmen
Posts: 15,166
Quote:
Originally Posted by fnarf999
It turns out his name is not Lamore; that's the van company. He's Miguel, and as soon as he shakes his hand he disappears again, to get the actual vehicle (which oddly enough is not parked here on the walkway).

This is standard Cancun airport procedure. Security regulations prevent more than a handful of vans to be in the arrival area at any given time, so many times the drivers have to greet you and then run like hell to get their vans.
Heather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #18 (permalink)
fnarf999
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
ThrushJockey asks about pics. Well, that's another story. Remember, this is the trip where everything went wrong, right?

I have one of these really cool micro-cameras, a Minolta Dimage Xt. About the size of a credit card, but has optical zoom and decent rez and takes really good pictures. it cost a fortune, well, by my standards. I like it so much I went and spent another fortune on the special marine housing so I could take lots of great snorkeling shots instead of using those crappy disposables that I can never get to take decent shots. I was all set; I was geared up.

Then I put my shirt down on the sand and a bunch got in the pocket and I put it back on and put the camera in my pocket too and it broke.

Am I allowed to say "****" on this forum?

There went about $600 worth of fun. I am a digital dork because I really do have to throw away 90% of the pictures I take to get a few good ones. I know I said earlier I couldn't get in a huff over anything, but I came close there. Damn. So I went into a camera shop, several of them actually, and confirmed my suspicions -- if I wanted a digital camera I was not going to find any bargains here. Double damn. I ended up springing for the cheapest thing I could find, a "Venta" or "Vela" or some damn thing, for about $160 USD, that would at least take the same kind of SD chips I was loaded with and allow me to shoot some pictures.

Three days later I broke that one too.

By that time, I was in such a glow that I don't think I even swore, causing Nancy to get all suspicious and ask me a bunch of personal questions to prove that it was really me. The beard I was sporting by then had her wondering.

So I do have some pictures, but not as many as I had hoped, and I haven't gone through them yet, because I have to hook my camera up to my computer to upload them and my CAMERA. IS. BROKEN.

So why am I so happy?
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #19 (permalink)
fnarf999
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather
This is standard Cancun airport procedure. Security regulations prevent more than a handful of vans to be in the arrival area at any given time, so many times the drivers have to greet you and then run like hell to get their vans.
I figured; I was making a joke. The scene at the arrival area was so crowded and chaotic you couldn't have AIRLIFTED anything so large as a van into there.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #20 (permalink)
beachaholic
 
tesa001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: houston, texas
Posts: 268
love it..........

great writing............

keep 'em commin'

we're at la tortuga in april..........
tesa001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #21 (permalink)
US Consular Agent PdC

 
Heather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Playa del Carmen
Posts: 15,166
Quote:
Originally Posted by fnarf999
I figured; I was making a joke. The scene at the arrival area was so crowded and chaotic you couldn't have AIRLIFTED anything so large as a van into there.
But I'm glad you gave me the opportunity to post that. We like to keep our airport transfer clients aware of the at times bewildering process of arriving at Cancun airport.
Heather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #22 (permalink)
aņejo
 
Big Kahuna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In a land far far away
Posts: 1,585
fnarf999...you are fn funny!
Big Kahuna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #23 (permalink)
way into it
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 115
Bravo!!!! If you're not a writer, you should be. Very entertaining report...Your writing style reminds me of the late great Douglas Adams...Please keep it coming!
Karon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #24 (permalink)
US Consular Agent PdC

 
Heather's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Playa del Carmen
Posts: 15,166
Kinda reminds me of Dave Barry, who is also very funny! Great report!
Heather is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #25 (permalink)
fnarf999
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Day 4? I'm losing track
=================

So, after we checked out of La Tortuga the night before -- why, you ask? Well, you see, I amb dumb, and when I made the travel arrangements, and after I checked them, and checked them, and was satisfied, I forgot about them. And then Nancy says "so, what day are we checking out of La Tortuga? I want to go on the Wednesday Tulum tour". And I say, well, here, I wrote it all out: Check out of La Tortuga on Wednesday, check into Tierras del Sol on Thursday. Why don't you trust me to do this right? Do you think I'm stupid?" This is before we left, you see, and tensions are running a little high.

She looks at the paper and is silent.

"God! You act like I can't do anything right!"

Silence.

Then, carefully, "so, uh, where are we staying Wednesday night?"

La Tortuga! Can't you read? It says right here, Wednesday night -- uh oh.

Like I said: I am dum. Dumdumdum. No hotel. La Tortuga has booked the room. And we want to take this tour that day, not wander around looking for a hotel.

I swear, we've been married almost nine years, and this thing where I turn out to be wrong is getting a LITTLE OLD. It would be much more equitable if just occasionally she would be wrong too. But no; if you really want to screw things up, you need to get the master to do it. I am that master. And she thinks that just because I screw up, and she turns out to be right after all, that when I throw a little temper tantrum as a result that's poor sportsmanship. Women. I tell ya.

On the other hand, if it wasn't for her, I'd be sleeping on a bench. Yes, dear.

Good luck: Hotel Posada Freud has a room, La Tortuga will be happy to hold our bags, and we can take the tour after all.

Our tour director that morning is Mitch, from playa.info. Mitch looks suspiciously like a California surf bum, but turns out to be a French-Canadian dive bum instead, a totally different species. There are no surf bums here; no surf. But Mitch is a wealth of knowledge about the area, not just tour-guide stuff but the general ways of Playa. Deceptively laid-back, he is actually pretty sharp, and funny, and as good a guide as I could possibly have hoped for. Miguel was our driver, and we had a motley collection of playa.infoers along with -- I'm terrible with names, but they were from Indiana, Michigan, Chicago, Rhode Island, and the UK (London and Glasgow).

On the way to Tulum, Mitch provided an invaluable lesson on Mexican highway driving, with Miguel expertly demonstrating the techniques. I have to say that for a first timer, renting a car and navigating highway 307 as a virgin would be a terrible, possibly fatal mistake; it was much better to have a skilled demonstration before tackling it ourselves.

After a stop to acquire beer (for LATER, what do you think we're all alcoholics?), we got the Tulum tour with a brilliant guide named Hernan. I liked him because he knew all the stories, but didn't try to pass them off as gospel truth. There are a lot of rumors around Tulum, and the Maya culture, that are not necessarily supported by the facts. For instance, the popular story that lights behind two windows in El Castillo guided Maya canoes home through the only opening in the reef -- if you can see one light, you're off target but if you can see both, you're right there; this story is cast into doubt by two facts: the Maya canoes were light enough to pass over the reef in most cases, and also no soot from lights was ever found on the ceiling of the rooms in question. I don't know if you get that kind of analysis from every guide. Hernan "call me Ernie" was great.

After Tulum, which we timed perfectly -- a zillion buses showed up when we were almost finished -- we went to Gran Cenote, and enjoyed a snorkel. A bit crowded for my tastes; I actually saw more fat ladies' butts than I did fish. But the caves were wonderful. Nancy would not concur, as she gets creeped out in any kind of cave, above or under water, but I am a claustrophiliac and love small spaces. However, Mitch's detailed explanation of deep cave diving, delivered next to the big map of the underground river system all across Quintana Roo that is posted up at Gran Cenote, made me realize the limitations of that feeling. Those people are CRAZY -- five air tanks, more than a mile of string, through spaces so tight you have to push your tanks through ahead of you? I'd rather walk on the moon in my jammies.

Then we went down the Boca Paila road, where we would be later staying, finding it even rougher than the guidebook said -- a team of Mexican highway workers were grading it, basically grinding it up into dust, which didn't seem like a good idea, but if I've learned anything in my life on earth it's "don't argue with road machinery". The private beach we ended up at was beautiful, even pretty than Mamita's, and with NO PEOPLE. There were a couple of hippies in the woods (including a rainbow-painted van with long-expired Washington plates) but otherwise pretty much deserted. Lunch was served -- some famous Playa-style barbecued chicken. Previous comments about disappointing food do not apply here; this was a great homestyle treat, with buttery mashed potatoes and rice and beans and fruit and hey, are those beers cold? Mmm.

Then another cenote, Cenote Azul, which was even prettier, and deserted, and I was starting to actually listen to some of the real-estate talk the others were throwing about. Hang on, I think I just forgot where I work! Nancy, where do we live?

So, if you're looking for a recommendation, take Mitch's playa.info tour, it rocks. It was tons of fun, very interesting and educational, and a great introduction to some of the places we would be returning to shortly. Which means that tomorrow's tale will not be about getting lost, or about getting into a horrible car crash on 307.

Next: Boca Paila Paradise
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #26 (permalink)
fnarf999
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather
But I'm glad you gave me the opportunity to post that. We like to keep our airport transfer clients aware of the at times bewildering process of arriving at Cancun airport.
It IS bewildering, but I found that if you just go with the flow and don't get too worried about things, it'll all come together. The panic is worse than the reality. Just keep going, and DON'T WORRY! The worst thing that can possibly happen is, something will take a little longer than you were counting on. But the worst half hour in Mexico is still a pretty nice time overall....
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #27 (permalink)
Hac Ptui
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Great trip report. You have only been wrong for 9 years. Wait until you have been wrong every time for 26 years. whats that joke about if a man was all alone in the woods would he still be wrong.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #28 (permalink)
reposado
 
Starfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,056
Great report!
Do you know Bumper?
Starfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #29 (permalink)
Dutchc
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Steve,
I find myself rushing back to my PC to see if you have posted another day in your trip. This is by far the best trip report I have ever read. Very, very funny!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-2005   #30 (permalink)
ruined
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 83
Thanks for your trip report...so far. I find myself hoping your vacation was longer than seven days, as it's so entertaining to read! Keep 'em coming.
baygirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:24 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.