I don’t normally do indulgent posts but this time I’ve made an exception. Who knows, maybe this will be a decider and motivator for many of you to visit here late summer or book up for this time next year. My folks would no doubt return if it wasn’t for the plane journey they no longer enjoy.
So Viv’s surprise started in my familiar fashion. I did tell her that we were gonna stay along ‘the strip’ but it would be the lowest budget accommodation available – which she’d have been perfectly fine with. In reality, our stay would be in a pretty decent hotel and for a couple of nights! There’s plenty of hotels along to choose from though many much older, but if you know how, where and what to look for, you can find a more modern and ‘boutique’ spot – if that’s your thing. Our visit here also coincided coincidentally with our 100th day on the road – cause for a celebration of achievement in itself.
For some continuity and authenticity, I made her work for this treat. We trekked 15 minutes to the bus station from the centre with our heavy bags to catch a local bus that I knew ran along down the hotel zone. Needless to say we were the only backpackers on the bus. If you’re staying on the strip, you’re unlikely to be catching a rickety old bus, unless you’re unlikely travellers of course.
We arrived before 10am (as you would) and whilst I knew the room wouldn’t be ready, I didn’t know our services would start there and then, including breakfast. I’m watching Viv from the corner of my eye and detect she is yet to understand what’s happening – until the lady-concierge refers to our “all inclusive” stay. Yes folks, it had to be done though, riiiiight?
She looks at me with those big brown eyes, bigger than ever before. I watch her for the next minute conversing with the lady-concierge aware that she’s half listening, half processing. I mean, it’s only been fifteen minutes since we departed the bus and she discovered we were not staying in a hostel. Not that they’re really affordable either! Location, location, location.
Normal daily routine includes buying water, sometimes coffee or soda, fruit and of course lunch and supper each day – no easy task in itself. But suddenly food is taken care of with an abundance of choice; same with beverages. Imagine for a moment the contrast to our new ‘have anything and everything’ adaption? Feels really strange – bit of a mind f***. (You can also imagine how hard it was when leaving. I almost had to drag Viv away as she clung on to whatever she could lol).
I upgraded our room to an ‘INSPIRA Sunrise Suite” which comes with a few other perks including access to an internal Starbucks, albeit with a limited menu. There was also a small separate section of beach for us and each morning the beach-concierge would use the seaweed deposited by the sea to form that word – which was pretty neat. I liked that. And I very much liked ordering hot snacks and drinks from our beach-side tent. It felt like a mini paradise and it brought me great pleasure seeing Vivian so awe-struck and now, she can say she’s experienced something new and unforgettable.
Speaking of new and unforgettable, that Caribbean ocean though 🤩 It really was that magical turquoise in colour, not any photo editing making it so. Goodness me, though looks are deceiving. We sampled a tiny portion of its power thanks in part to the wind that was really strong the last couple of days and so it made swimming practically impossible! Don’t worry, that certainly didn’t stop us from getting in and getting smashed to smithereens as you’ll see in a 20 second video later on.
A negative to having a sea-facing room is that the windows are always going to be filthy with sea salt moisture. Looking out in the distance is fine but for sharp images, not so good. Still, we had no intention of ever sitting in our room for a sunrise so we got up at 5.30, prepped our things and went to the beach to capture our first time lapse. First some still images.
Prepped and ready to sit it out.
By the time of our intended next post we will have had a couple of days in Mexico City hopefully chilling and catching up with some stuff before moving on out of the country. We’ll update the MAP applet on the home page in the next 48 hours IF we make it to our destination as we’re taking nothing for granted after the ‘‘Panama problem’. If location remains as “Mexico”, you’ll know there’s been another problem! lol.
Two weeks in this glorious country has gone so fast and we’re both sad to be leaving knowing that we’ve only scratched the surface. There are still many areas and ancient ruin sites to visit, Tulum for example, that is reported to have a bit of everything so this hopefully be for another time. When we consider the ‘Panama problem’ and how we were not meant to be here, we should feel lucky more than anything, not unfulfilled or unaccomplished. They often say the best places have you wanting more.
We will very much miss the Mexican people, their hospitable nature, their friendliness and of course the food. I hope that these few Mexican posts we’ve created have helped convey a side of Mexico and its people that you do not see on the TV. Whether this is the majority, who knows, we can only hope it is. One thing’s for sure: I don’t suspect for a minute we will encounter a more friendly collective of people during our remaining travels and that should tell you everything.
Two short videos below. The first is only thirteen seconds long so blink and you’ll miss it but the time lapse was our first little experiment. A condensed 13 seconds from a 1.5 hour sunrise stake-out, mind you! The second isn’t much longer but I hear they’re hiring for a new James Bond lol 😎