We drove from Port Charlotte to Miami last Thursday, spent the night at a hotel next to the airport, then flew to Cancun on Friday, landing mid-afternoon. A half hour taxi ride to Porto Juarez and a twenty minute ferry ride later we were walking across town (3 blocks) to the Hotel Rocamar. All told, a very smooth day of travel.
Sue’s broken arm got us “pre-check” status with TSA and pre-boarding at the gate in Miami. Nice but not that big a deal but when we arrived in Cancun there was a guy with a wheel chair and a ‘Sue Wolfe’ sign waiting at the airplane door. Sue hopped in and he wheeled past maybe five hundred people in the Mexican Immigration queue to the handicapped Immigration station where there was only one person in front of us. 30 seconds later we were in the Customs line. No handicapped express lane here but since we didn’t have to wait for any checked baggage there weren’t many people in line yet so ten minutes max to get through Customs. Thirty minutes later the taxi rolled into the ferry dock just as they were tying up the boat. Bought our tickets ($5.00 each) and 25 minutes later we were on Isla. Easy as pie!
We stayed at the Rocamar two years ago so we knew exactly what to expect. It’s a simple place without a lot of amenities except one – a great location right on the ocean and right in the heart of the little town. We booked an ocean front room for the crazy price of $75 per day.
Here’s the view along the coast from our balcony just as the sun was setting on the other side of the island:
We are on the windward side of the island facing the NE trades which blow pretty much constantly 10-20 mph all winter. The coast is a rocky shelf so the surf crashes in 24/7. It’s quite noisy but it’s a noise we both love.
And here’s the sunrise view.
George and Diane, the Michigan friends we are visiting here, were in Mumbai attending a wedding but returned to Isla Saturday evening. We met at Picus, a beachfront restaurant, just a few hundred feet from the ferry dock. We had lots of catching up to do but they were beat after 32 hours of travel so caught a taxi home after an hour or so.
Sunday morning we had a lovely breakfast an Na Balam on North Beach.
We went for a walk and lazed around the pool for most of the afternoon then taxied (30 pesos, about $2.00) to Moger’s house for a drink on their porch
before dinner at Bahama Mama.
Monday we had another great breakfast at a B&B Diane recommended, Elements Of the Island, just four blocks from our hotel. All the outdoor seating on the street was taken so I asked if we could eat in the courtyard. Instead the guy took us upstairs to a roof top patio where we ate under the shade of an almond tree.
Good breakfast and a good deal too. $6 for a veg frittata, toast, juice and cappuccino.
Some more pool time then back to Moger’s for lunch. Afterward Sue and Diane worked on their blog, Wednesday Wisdom and your humble scribe worked on this one. George volunteers his time teaching at a school for special needs children. He got home from ‘work’ about 3:00 and we went swimming in the surf at a nearby beach.
We finished the day walking to Chedraui, the islands only department store, so I could get some water shoes and then a little further to Greenverde for dinner. The food was excellent, possibly because George is friends with the cook.
Tuesday was pretty much a repeat of Monday only this time instead of swimming George took me out for a few beers with his Mexican friends at their neighborhood bar, then a little more porch time then dinner at Brisas. BTW, today was a milestone in my Caribbean vacation – it was the first day I spent the entire day in a bathing suit and flip-flops.
Today (Wednesday) we had a nice breakfast at la Cazuela M&J which has an interesting egg dish, kind of a cross between a frittata and a soufflé. Then we walked along the downtown beach and went back to Rocamar to laze around the pool. Diane came over in the early afternoon to work with Sue on their blog. George is coming later and we all are going to camp out at Picus to wait for more Michigan friends, Jim and Rene Wilson, to arrive on the ferry.