A 24 hour day later and a small boat journey the next day, and Tim, Stu and I have arrived in our first location – The Island of Women. The trip getting here was fun and games as you’d imagine. My flight from Newark was delayed, which meant I arrived an hour late into Cancun. This unfortunately threw Tim and Stu completely, who amid speculations of panic and disaster even contemplated ringing home t make sure I’d left. It probably didn’t help that they were drinking while they waited, but this did contribute to the rather warm and relieved welcome I received from a semi-naked Stu when I did actually arrive.
We didn’t hang about in Cancun, that was never the plan, but we didn’t however manage to get to Chitzen Itza the temples located inland to the west. This, to be fair, wasn’t too much of a surprise – a hardcore day in the tropical sun wandering around a temple was probably a bit more than we could chew for Day 1. Nevertheless a quick trip to the bus station to check out some times had us back on track and back to plan as we realised we could fit it in inbetween Isla Mujeres and Tulum without an extra night or two in Cancun. Music to my ears.
So Isla Mujeres. It’s a small island located 25 mins off the coast of Mexico and from Peurto Juarez, which is itself only a 4km journey from downtown Cancun. We’re really glad we made it here as soon as we could because the atmosphere is so much more relaxed. There isn’t the hustle and bustle and dirt that we saw of Cancun.
The hostel we’re staying in is called the Poc-Na and is delightfully described by the Lonely Planet as the Club Med of hostels on the island, as last night’s 4am finish beach party would suggest (don’t worry Tim and I were tucked by 1am). Nevertheless, really its just a central location for the backpackers to gather and have a really good time. Everyone is dead friendly, playing cards and chatting – I even got roped into a game of volley ball yesterday.
I think the accomodation was a bit of a shock to the system for Tim and Stu. In Cancun we stayed in a triple room with aircon, en-suite and towels; last night we stayed in a 6 bed dorm with beds you had to make yourselves (although due to Tim’s incompetence I had to make his for him) and with only a couple of rotating ceiling fans to keep us cool. It was fall intents and purposes a sweat pit but I think an acceptable sacrifice for the boys in order to enjoy Poc-Na’s socialable qualities, and for me, well just a sign of things to come.
Today we have been traveling around the island in the rather ubiquitous golf carts that plague the islands roads. Somehow I managed to volunteer my licence as the deposit, and Stuart and I quickly realised that Tim should be relegated to non-interfering back seat passenger. They are a good laugh though, and today we were able to drive around the island and to its very southern tip where we enjoyed a nice coke and watch some sea turtles from the cliff edges.
We’ve quickly come to realise that there’s no point trying to do anything between the hours of 12 and 4. Yesterday we made the mistake of walking along the beach front in the midday heat – that just left us burnt, exhausted and very very sweaty. Today has been much more sedate with the wind running through our hair and trying to film movie clips for a forthcoming Top gear montage.
The plan is to stay here in Mujeres for one more night, catch the 7am ferry back to the mainland tomorrow and then catch our pre-booked bus to Chitzen Itza. From there we’ll tour the ruins and then catch a late afternoon bus to Tulum – the backpacker hangout of the Yucutan. Apparently.
Until then. In a bit.
PS. Geek note, writing this in IE6 which doesn’t like Fotobook so photos only on Facebook at the mo.