Isla Mujeres II

20130208-140547.jpgMore touristing with some random weirdness thrown in.

20130208-140824.jpgAfter breakfast we went snorkeling again in the Avalon Reef Lagoon then got cleaned up to meet George and Diane for a picnic on the beach. We rented a golf cart so we could get around a little quicker and have a George-guided tour of the island in the afternoon.

The rental experience was Mexican commerce at its best. Trip Advisor reviewers suggested renting a cart from one of the vendors hanging around the ferry dock. I asked the cop directing traffic in front of the dock who was the best to rent from (he may or may not have understood a word I said besides golf cart). He pointed to a guy who had a sign advertising a cart for 650 pesos (about $50) for 24 hours. I told the cart guy I’d rent a large cart (they come in two sizes, regular with two people facing forward and two aft or large with four people forward and a trunk) for 650 pesos. He said regular was 700 pesos, I said what about the sign that says 650. He apparently could not see that part of the sign and just insisted on 700. I said “OK, I’ll pay 700 for the large”. After some polite squirming and insisting he agreed. We walk with him a couple of blocks to the garage and the garage guy says 700 for the regular size, 850 for the large. I protest the other guy already agreed to 700. We each say the same thing three or four times; then he takes us into the garage to show how spacious the regular size is. I see they only have one large cart left but a dozen regulars. I argue my case one more time but no luck so we go back to the hotel (maybe 100′ away) where they rent regulars for 680 pesos, the deal I had in my back pocket as plan B. Of course, the hotel carts were sold out so we walk back past the first garage and the guy is outside so I tell him I’ll pay 600 for a regular. We pretty quickly haggle that to 660 and off we go. The whole time Sue has this ‘for Pete’s sake, Den it’s only an extra ten bucks’ look on her face. She totally doesn’t get how much fun this is, way better than talking about feelings.

So, we finally got to G & D’s and headed over to the ocean beach where he and I went swimming and rock climbing the day before. We found a little shady alcove in the rocks for lunch then played around in the surf.

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After the picnic we set out south on the coast road. We passed by the place where George does his sunrise yoga so he and Diane jumped out to demonstrate their warrior pose.

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We continued south, down to Punta Sur, the most southerly point of the island and the area most exposed to the ocean waves. There’s a little park on the very end with odd-looking welded steel modern art statues and a recreated Mayan temple built in honor of the goddess Ixchel.

20130208-144837.jpgThis is the most easterly point in Mexico so it is the place where the sun rises first each day. There was a path along the top of the cliff and another running through the rocks 10′ or 15′ above the water. Most of the railing was intact.

The surf crashing in on the rocks was mesmerizing. We must have spent a half hour just meandering along the path watching the waves. This picture completely fails to convey the sense of energy in the scene.

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Weirdness #1: We got in our cart to leave and were both surprised and mad to see someone had stolen our beach towel and bag of fruit we had left on the floor of the cart. We drove away talking ourselves into the fact that they were probably poor people who needed the towel and fruit a lot more than we did and that this was a small cost to pay for being stupid enough to leave anything laying around like that.

Well we were stupid but in a much more profound way – we had stolen someone else’s golf cart! We hopped in, the key fit, so we drove away. About a mile later I noticed that the cart had a round rear view mirror and I distinctly remembered a rectangular mirror. We sophisticated products of expensive university educations hustled back to the parking lot and got the right cart. Of course our towel and fruit were still there.

Weirdness #2: We were stopped in the middle of the road waiting to turn left when a cop car blew by us on the right going maybe 50 mph. Kind of scary as these are narrow roads with lots of dopey tourists like us going 10 mph in golf carts, families of four riding 50cc scooters going 20 mph and taxis going 30 mph. Anyway we got back to the hotel and found that police car plus several others parked in front and lots of people standing around looking at nothing. I asked an American woman what the cops were doing and she whispered that a man had had a heart attack and died in his room and the body was still there. If that’s not weird enough, a little later Sue saw the cops carry the body out wrapped in a sheet and load it in the back of a pick-up truck.

We finished the day with dinner at Basto’s Grill, a little neighborhood place just a couple of blocks from the school where George teaches. It’s been great having a Spanish speaking host as George could describe the vegetarian dishes Sue and Diane wanted even though they weren’t on the menu.

20130208-152650.jpg Well then we really finished the day with more wine and deep conversation about the meaning of life, etc. back at G & D’s.

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5 thoughts on “Isla Mujeres II

  1. Isla Mujeres is my favorite place in the world…I loved reading your impressions of the island! The golf cart story is SO Isla! We have haggled and haggled over the years about carts…the vendors have to “make hay while the sun shines” so to speak. I am glad that you found the experience humorous. I am looking forward to our nightly gelato walks. Thanks for sharing your trip!

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