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Month: May 2024

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Wednesday 15th May. Day 15 – The journey home ๐Ÿ™

Woke to a text saying our flight was going to be delayed by two hours…

We stole more bananas from breakfast to feed the iguanas again.

About 10am we started the long journey home. At the airport we had hours to wait so we all paid for a lounge. Comfort, food & drink eased the hours away.

The flight was rough so i really didn’t enjoy it & didn’t sleep much. As expected it was raining in Manchester when we arrived. The taxi was waiting when we cleared the airport. It took us to Emma’s where we retrieved our car. A great holiday with the Graces.

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Tuesday 14th May. Day 14: wildlife & a chill on the beach…

On the way to breakfast we saw loads of iguanas so we pinched two bananas to try feeding them. 

Think they like banana ๐ŸŒ

After the feeding frenzy we headed to the beach for a chill. 

Cold Cerveza anyone ?

Evening meal was in the Japanese restaurant. It was a lovely meal with the star being the starter – a plate of Edamame beans stir-fried in soy, garlic, ginger and chilli. Edamame are young soybeans, which means the beans are soft and easy to eat. The beans are cooked inside their shell. You donโ€™t eat the shell. I use my front teeth to scrape the beans out of the pod (they pop out easily). As you scrape the beans out the sauce comes with the beans.

Tuna steak beautifully cooked.

Early to bed as its gonna be a long day tomorrow…

Mexico

Mexico

Monday 13th May.  Day 13: Mystery of the legs in a hole…

Slow start today after a bad night’s sleep.  Awake a fair bit with bad stomach & worrying about mum.

On the way to breakfast we noticed these holes and that there was a LARGE set of what looked like spider legs inside.  The legs disappeared when I poked my camera nearer.

If it’s a spider that would be a scarily big spider but enquiries revealed it was a crab hole.   (audible sigh of releaf as these were near our room)

Holes near our room ๐Ÿ˜ณ
The “legs” were camera shy

In the afternoon we took a tour to the Xcaret theme park for a wander round & the evening show.ย 

There’s so much to do at Xcaret you could spend a full day there. We went for a swim down the river before the show.

Xcaret show in the evening was brilliant.  A music & dance celebration of Mexican culture.

Mexico

Mexico

Saturday 11th May.  Day 11: Hummer Day ๐Ÿ˜

Another diving day.  As walking to the dive shop I was thinking it was going to be rough as the wind had increased.

Yep the waves had significantly increased since the previous day.  Luckily Rudy had a plan – the boat was moored at a more sheltered location at the next hotel west of us. 

Our transport to the boat was a Hummer.  Never been in one of these ๐Ÿ˜

Felt just like US Seal Team loading our diving gear ๐Ÿคฃ

It’s MASSIVELY wide and long.  Really no good for UK roads.  Thing is its quite tight inside.  Bit like an inverse Tardis !

Launching from the new location was much calmer which was was good for my old bones.

A great dive was had by all…

The locals are very friendly today…

A good days diving ๐Ÿ˜

Mexico

Mexico

Sunday 12th May.  Day 12: Last dive before the winds..

Last diving day…  Again windy so I was taken to the alternate boat mooring again – this time in a Hilux.  Just not the same as a Hummer ๐Ÿ˜•

Very rough getting out over the shallow reef, the boat slammed a lot.ย  After one particularly hard slam the elderly American screamed in pain with his back.ย  Thought it was going to be a hospital job but he recovered after about 10 mins.

The dive wasn’t great until we met this old guy…

Think we woke him up

After the dive we chilled by the pool…

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Friday 10th May. Day 10:   Diving Cozumel…

On the way to get picked up I met this fella grazing in the hotel grounds…

A mixed group of 5 divers + us were picked up by minibus & taken to the Cozumel ferry.

Our dive guide for the day was Chris, a cocky lad from near Hull.

After the crossing we were  transferred to a small boat & taken to the dive site past very large cruise ships.

We did two shallow dives, both like swimming in a warm aquarium.

In doing this swim through I missed a lage Eagle Ray swimming by ๐Ÿ˜•
Green Turtle ๐Ÿข

A good day ๐Ÿ˜

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Thursday 9th May. Day 9:   Tulum

Today we had a trip out to a Mayan temple, cenote and seawater lagoon.  We were picked up in a small minibus with a driver (big bearded mexican) & a tour guide (young mexican girl).  As on one else was in the bus we effectively had a private tour.

While on route our guide told us about Mayan history and then informed us of a “BONUS” extra excursion in our day.

Alarm bell started ringing !  Nothings for free in Mexico so this’ll be a hard sell & cost money in tips ๐Ÿ˜’

The bonus trip was to a Shaman for a “blessing/healing” ceremony.  This is what Wikipedia has to say on Shaman  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamanism

Yep I was right.  After a quick “cleansing ceremony” & obligatory tipping, we were shown into a shop selling Mayan trinkets.

From there it was on to the temple site of Tulum.  This is what Wikipedia has on Tulum…    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tulum

Tulum was VERY hot & we jumped to areas of shade as we walked round.

The on-site shop was expensive so we avoided that & the “free” Taquila tasting.  Interestingly there was also a pharmacy at this national monument site.

Come to a national park and get your steroids…

Next was the cenote. This was a cooling swim pool & swim through cave. Sadly I didn’t take a camera so no photos. 

From the cenotes we went to a saltwater lagoon for snorkeling.  This was like snorkeling in a warm aquarium.

Sardines…

Then it was back to the hotel.  A good day was had by all…

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Wednesday 8th May. Day 8:  Another diving day…

Another early start for an 8am dive.  Really quite windy today so the short boat ride to the dive site was uncomfortable !

The dive was again great.  Today’s treat was seeing a Swordfish swimming in free water.  The picture is poor but it’s definitely a swordfish.

Never seen a wordfish before…
Cuttlefish – I think ?

After diving we chilled out on the beach for the afternoon ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Tuesday 7th May. Day 7:  Diving day…

Another early start to get to the dive centre by 8am.  Again two others on our trip – from Wales though she had an American accent.

Now I have to put some context to my next comments.  This dive by all UK standards was BRILLIANT.  28ยฐC water, 20+ meter visibility & loads of fish.  

Problem is that after the previous dives it was a bit shit.   No sharks, rays or turtles despite Rudys best efforts.  30m, 55 minutes duration with a profile that meant we were close to stops for most of the dive.

After diving it was down to the beach for a chill with cocktails

Evening meal was in a Japanese restaurant.ย  We were seated round the chef who made a show of preparing our food.

Entertaining evening and lovely food…

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Monday 6th May.  Day 6:  Cozumel day…

Today we’d planned a day round Cozumel island.  In our usual style we booked an eBike tour.

It was an early start with a taxi to the ferry port in Play de Carmen

The bikes were a bit shit but at least you didn’t have to peddle them – just twist & go !

The tour itinerary was ride to a Tequila tasting, snorkeling on a reef, lunch and visit a center on the way home.

Bit of a shit tasting with hard sell at the end.  Their cheapest Tequila was ยฃ67 for a 75cl bottle.  As there was only 2 of us there was an awkward conversation about not paying that much for booze !   We moved on quick…

Moved on for snorkeling & lunch

Beautiful location for a Bar
Fish Tacos were great.
Snorkeling from the bar

After lunch on to cenote…   You can read what Wikipedia has to say about them here…    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenotehttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cenote

Interesting to see but the area had a strong smell of piss ๐Ÿคข

From there we went back to the cycle hire shop, dropped the bikes off and headed town.

We met Becca at Chili’s Taquila bar for some shots before the ferry.

Chilling with a view.   Interestingly this was the one place we  didn’t get ripped off !

On the way home we WhatsApp the taxi driver.ย ย  He tried it on with a sob story about us being late & him waiting hours for us.ย  That fell on deaf ears…

Poseidon fish restaurant for tea before an early bed ๐Ÿ˜ด

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Sunday 5th May. Day 5: Another dive day…

Lazy 10am start today for diving.  Sarah off for a Spa day with the girls.

Todays dive is a shallow one & we find there are two other divers on “our” boat.   It’s a windy day which made it a rough 10 mins to get to the dive site. 

Because of the swell, Rudy told us to get in & go straight down to the bottom of a line where we’d all meet up.

One of the divers, was having his first open water dive.  He seemed to do OK descending the line and Rudy met us pretty quickly.

Great dive – we saw shark, rays and turtles.

Going for a Brazilian tonight ๐Ÿคช

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Saturday 4th May. Day 4: Baby Shark…

Early start for diving – 8am at the dive shop.  Just the three of us again with Rudi.

Deeper dive planned today but again only 5 mins in the boat to a submerged reef.

Better vis today despite a fresh wind.  Dropped into 16m onto reef.  Brilliant dive & saw sharks.  The first was early in the dive & the last was towards the end.  

The latter encounter (at approx 20m) put us into deco.  Ended up doing 2 min @12m, 3 min @ 6m & 2 min at 3m.  Max depth was 30m, total dive time 55 minutes.

A Nurse Shark

After diving we had an afternoon swimming in the pool with cocktails. 

The evening plan was a meal in an Italian restaurant.  Power cuts blighted the evening, first because no lights & water for showers & secondly no lights in the restaurant.

Without air-conditioning the restaurant was boiling but the staff were great & so was the food.  A good day.

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Friday 3rd May. Day 3: Diving…

Woke early & met this fine fellow on the way to breakfast.

Black Iguana.

Met with Rudi the dive guide at 9:45am. A five minute boat ride took us to a sumurged reef.

55 minutes, maximum depth 14m – Great dive.  Photos to follow…

After diving it was time to chill on the beach & drink mojitos…

The mojito drinking was cut short by tennis & badminton with Alex & Jess.ย  That really knackered me out !

Evening meal was in a Mexican restaurant.ย  Really nice though we could only manage the “1 out of 4” chilli sauce โ˜ ๏ธ๐Ÿ’ฅ

After that it was bed time as I’ve an early start tomorrow for a second dive.

Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Thursday 2nd May. Day 2:  It’s hot !

We slept ok but woke a few times in the night.  About 8am we wandered to the breakfast buffet.  The choice was amazing and we both managed to be healthy by staying away from the “American” style breakfast stuff. 

We then had a wander round a bit more of the complex & met many of these.

We also found these colourful birds…

After our wander we met Em & Co on the beach.

Mojitos on a Caribbean beach…

A chilled afternoon with a little swimming

Then a different restaurant for dinner.ย  A very pleasant eveningย  ๐Ÿ™‚

On the way to the restaurant we saw a family of these.

In a climate that never gets cold why do they have such thick fur ?
Mexico 2024

Mexico 2024

Wednesday May 1st.  Day 1: Getting there…

It was a 4am start & we didn’t sleep much.  The minibuses arrived late so we could have had at least an extra 45 mins in bed !

The drive to Manchester airport took about 1.5 hours on very busy roads.ย  This showed what a horrid commute it is into Manchester !

The airport was relatively stress free.ย  The stress started when we boarded the flight.ย  Like a lot of people on the flight, the seats we thought we’d paid for had been changed.ย  We’d lost our isle seats & others were split from their young kids.ย 

Luckly we got to change seats with a family – they got to sit together & we both got isle seats ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

10 hours – a long boring flight.  Got through a lot of pods.

Luckily there was free G&T…

The chav kids who sat behind us on the coach transfer thankfully slept. This made for a stress free 1 1/2 hours transfer to the resort.

The coast road is full of resorts surrounded by barbed wire.   Ours is the Grand Palladium White Sands.  

The resort is huge so there are many golf carts to ferry you around.  This was our journey from reception to our room !
Our room…

We chilled for an hour or so before meeting the others for drinks & food.  The resort is massive !

The Poseidon beach side restaurant – one of many…

After a buffet meal we all went to bed shattered – it had been a long day !