Wow, nice posts so far, MIKEandLISA!
First of all, thanks for inviting me down to Playa for Spring break… I’m new to the forum, but so far, I love it.
I’ll step back one day to my arrival. Got into Cancun airport around 2 pm, local time. Departed Oregon at 6 am (PST) on Delta airlines. Transferred to my CUN-bound flight in Salt Lake City, Utah. After arriving at the Cancun airport and clearing customs, I made sure my debit card worked and unloaded 3,000 pesos from the second ATM you’ll run into while departing the international arrivals section of the airport. No problems; good to go. Walked a little further down to the ADO
bus ticket counter (about 50 yards from the exterior doors). I was able to procure a ticket to Playa for about 110 pesos. The young woman working the counter at the ticket booth gave me my ticket and change. Turns out there was about 50 pesos too much change, which I mentioned in very broken Spanish to her and we eventually got the transaction completed accurately. Next, it’s out to the gauntlet
that is Cancun airport ground transportation central!
First stop was at the little outside bar for a bottle of XX. I’ve been to Playa via the Cancun airport a couple of times before, so I knew the tricks and lies that can be told to tourists to get them onto a van to their destinations… [Background: Several years ago I took the ADO bus to Playa and was a little lost my first time there. I asked some local guys hanging around outside where the bus stop was and was wrongly informed that the ADO no longer made the run from Cancun to Playa (but of course they had a van…)! I persevered and eventually got onto my bus (so I knew the drill).]
This time I strolled by the van salesmen and towards the ADO stop and was asked where I was going and so on. I had time to kill as my bus would be another half hour before departing. As I looked around at van drivers/ salesmen loading passengers into the vans, I noticed that during lulls in activity the local guys would be counting money- mostly in the form of U.S. one dollar bills. I suppose they made tips from travelers and wanted to count their earnings? With all of the greenbacks being flashed, I wanted to fit in as well.
I produced from my wallet a stack of fresh Mexican peso notes as well as some crisp U.S. $20 bills I had packed incase my credit union card wasn’t accepted at the ATMs. I patiently and carefully counted my exposed cash several times and got some curious looks from the workers as I ensured that I had in my possession the amount of money that I thought I did. One fellow noticed and even took the time to come over to inquire where I was heading and after hearing that I was going to Playa, he invited me onto a van that was departing very
soon! I informed him that I had an ADO ticket and that I was all set; thank you very much.
Well, it was a nice air-conditioned bus ride down the coast. So much has changed in the past couple of years down there! Development rolls on and I saw new block houses going up throughout the quick ~ 1 hour trip. We rolled into the Playa downtown bus station and departed the bus. The humidity and heat hit me like I wanted it too after an Oregon winter! I collected my bag from the luggage and walked down 5th Avenue towards my brother’s condo. I was able to stop at the big apple store to pick up a “walking around beer”:
After just another block North on 5th avenue I came to an intersection with several local fellows enjoying the evening at the street corner. As I approached pulling my roller luggage bag, obviously just arrived as I was wearing my usual Pacific Northwest grunge outfit of jeans and a plaid flannel shirt and was soaked in sweat, and one of the guys asked if I was interested in obtaining some wonderful Cuban cigars. I replied that I was not interested and as I walked past he whispered: “hey man, you wanna get high?” in a Spanish accent. I was exhausted after the long day travelling and had no interest in getting high with their illegal drugs
(drogas) or whatever else they were slinging! Again, I politely declined his offer and proceeded to meet up with my bro.
Arrived at the Condo and was greeted by the 24/7 security personnel and guard dog, “Chapparo” who pointed me in the right direction.
Met up with my bro and his family at the condo. A very nice place with some ocean views:
I was able to change into more appropriate clothing (shorts and short-sleeved shirt) and get acquainted with the local beer and the kids while we all caught up on the beautiful balcony. We went to my new favorite restaurant called “H.C. de Monterrey”. They had the best arrachera!
Picked up the boys some fresh cotton candy from my brother’s aforementioned street vendor and headed back to the condo. Lisa put my two nephews to bed around 8 pm and us adults enjoyed a number of drinks called “Palomas”
until about 2 am that came to our knowledge courtesy of "Montana SolMan"
on this forum who wrote about his "drinkumentary" in Playa (http://www.playa.info/playa-del-carm...kumentary.html
). Thanks Montana, I think?
Although we were up late, we surely did not need the alarm I had set to ring at 9 am as I was woken up by the boys who were up at 6 am the next day as they were very excited to get to climb the ruins at Ek' Balam!