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Old 11-13-2017   #13 (permalink)
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 339
Day 6 - Akumal to Isla Mujeres

The dreary weather continues, I am sorry to say. Woke up to heavily overcast, gray skies and it stayed that way all day.

We packed up and were out of the condo by 10:30. The drive to Cancun Centro where we were going to return the car was uneventful but took longer than we anticipated. I mentioned earlier that driving on 307 is so much nicer now, which is true, but one thing that is maddening is the ever-changing speed limits. No joke - the speed limit changes every half mile or so....80 then 60 then 100 then 40. We try to stay at the speed limit because the last thing we need is to be pulled over and have to deal with that situation.

It was utterly maddening trying to find the Caribbean (American) car rental office in Cancun Centro. We had been given a map at the rental office where we picked up the car (near the airport) and the rep had gone over with us the route, however, following the map did not result in us finding the place. We were getting really stressed out because we were already about 20 minutes late returning the car, and now we are driving around Cancun Centro, which is not the most relaxing place to drive, trying to watch the road while looking around feverishly to find the office. Eventually we gave up and stopped at a local business (a car rental place) to ask for help. They were super nice. They didn't know where it was, but got on the phone and called the office and got clarification (in Spanish) and were able to direct us there. We were close...about 1/2 mile away.

The stress continued, however, because once we found the office, we discovered there was no obvious place to pull in so we had to park in a side street while I went into the office. There was only one rep working the counter and a couple customers ahead of me so I had to wait about 20 minutes to be waited on.

He explained where to take the car and even that was confusing. It was behind the building, through this narrow alleyway into into a bumpy dirt lot. Getting there was difficult because the little road to enter the area was blocked off and we had to drive around safety cones. It was pure insanity.

The rep looked over the car quickly and didn't ding is for anything and FINALLY we were done with the rental car process. For a tip, the rep who inspected the car drove us to Puerto Jaurez, the ferry pier.

Hubby and I agreed that for future rental car. It's too much worry and aggravation. Even if we didn't have all the hassle returning the car, we worry too much when we have a rental car..worrying about damages, worrying about it being stolen, worrying about being pulled over. From now on, we'll just use taxis, buses and collectivos.

We had a nice ferry ride to Isla and surprisingly, the same musician who played in our ferry ride last year was playing again and even the same music.

Once in Isla, we headed toward Nautibeach, where we were staying. We were both hungry so we stopped at Lola Valentina and it was awesome. I ordered the fish tacos and hubby got the tostones and we shared an order of sweet potato fries. Everything was delicious. I had a yummy pina colada and hubby had a couple beers and the stress began to dissipate. I should mention that our server was so nice and he seems to always be there, so I wonder if he is the owner...tall guy who is always happy and smiling. We were also happy to be visited by a couple gatos, which made us a little homesick.

Finally arrived at Nautibeach around 3 pm and got checked into our condo. An orange cat greeted and darted into the condo which provided instant entertainment.

We are staying in a nicely updated first floor unit facing the pool. It's very nice. Everything is clean and updated and the furniture is comfortable (even the bed!). We can tell this is an investment property and not someone's home because it's sparse as far as decor and implements. But we're happy with it and I think we like this complex more than Ixchel next door, where we stayed last year. It's an aesthetic preference. It feels more tropical, homey and Mexican here whereas Ixchel is more sleek and modern. Both are nice, though. I was happy to discover that the pool is not freezing cold here. I don't think it's heated. It's chilly, but swimmable.

Once unpacked, we headed to the pool to hang out and relax. We also dipped our feet in the ocean, which was a comfortable temperature.

The weather was too dreary to make us want to swim, so we just chilled.

Once it got dark, we headed out for dinner. We ended up at Rolandi's on Hidalgo and had a nice dinner. Hubby ordered the angel hair with pomodoro sauce and I got the fettuccini alfredo. Both were divine. I could even taste a hint of nutmeg in my alfredo sauce which shows they know what they are doing. Service was attentive and the servers were bustling.

For dessert, hubby got the tiramisu which he said was equal to the best he's had anywhere. My dessert, the "Pastel Rolandi" was disappointing. It was essentially an ice cream cake with some added fruit and nuts but the ice cream was the quality of a grocery store brand, the cake was frozen solid and covered in (apparently) Hershey's syrup. It looked pretty but taste-wise was a let down. I gave half of it to hubby and saved some room for the Marqueseta maker down the street (hope I spelled that right).

We walked all of Hidalgo and we made a stop at the grocery store at the end of the block to get some snacks and drinks to have at the condo. On the way back, we stopped at a marqueseta cart and had one made with Nutella and banana. For those who do not know what this is, it's basically a big, super thin waffle that is made in front of you with a big waffle press over a flame. Then he spreads it with whatever toppings you want, rolls it up into a tall cylinder and hands it to you with the bottom wrapped in a napkin. They are crunchy, like a sugar cone, but lighter and crispier. Yummy!

We were both super wrung out at this point, so we headed back to the condo and crashed early.

I hope this dreary weather is gone soon!

Last edited by Sassygirl18; 11-13-2017 at 09:10 AM..
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