Sunday, 10 February 2019

Ien and Linda's excellent Riviera Maya Adventure, part 3. We get settled in and Ien has another mishap.

Warning: This travel blog is meant as a record that allows us to share and relive the experience as much as possible. It is not a literary endeavor. Innocent bystanders may be bored to tears by the amount of detail.

On our first night we tried to find the main dining hall but were stymied by the name of the place: Fiesta Hall. That, combined with the huge colourful images we could see playing on the back wall, made us think this must be where shows took place. We eventually found that the colourful slides just depicted food.
We were  hungry (next time, bring extra food on the flight) and wandered further afield. Soon we stumbled on what turned out to be the Friday special event: an outdoor market and an outdoor buffet with delicious Mexican food.  Lots of fresh vegetables, tacos made to order, pick your meat and condiments. We found a table nearby in the area that served one of the many bars, got drinks and happily settled down. On the way back to our room we even took a quick peak at the beach. It was a great start.

This photo of Sandos Playacar Beach Resort is courtesy of TripAdvisor.

The setup was between our section and the meeting point, just past the long pool. 
Ah, the Meeting Point! It is that pointy pagoda like thing with the thatched roof in the back to the left . Inside the roof looks like this:
We had to go here on our first morning to ward off offers of special memberships and claim some coupons. I got the wifi straightened out so we could let the folks at home know that yes, we had landed. Wifi in the room was iffy, but in this hub it was always decent. At any time there were people lounging around in the cozy swinging seats messing with their devices.
Others were asking questions or solving problems with the wonderful bilingual staff at the Guest Services counter.
We also had to go to another building to talk to the Sun Wings rep. This was partly to register for our return flight, and partly to look into excursions. 
The ones promoted by Sunwings and the resort turned out to be quite pricey and also included much that we were not interested in. 

Cenotes? Linda does not do caves, period. Quite frankly I am not crazy about them either. Ziplines? Shudder. ATV trips? No thanks. I hate noise toys. Chitzen Itzah was three hours by bus each way.

Another offer was for a day trip to Coba. In that place, managed by a Mayan cooperative, people can climb the pyramid and  have a meal cooked just for them by  Mayan people who supposedly still live the traditional lifestyle. Somehow that makes me cringe. The traditional life does not include being a tourist attraction. Pick one! We took some brochures and did not decide on anything yet.

I made a half hearted effort to get my lost jacket back. Sunwing man promised to send out an email to the Lost and Found section in the airport and get back to me. Yeah right. I did not get my hopes up but was pleasantly surprised to hear such a department existed.
 Chores done we headed for the BEACH! The weather was blue and warm and we fully expected two weeks of that.

The next morning we decided to go for a beach walk  before breakfast. The empty beach to the South of our resort was one of the attractions of the place. 
The beach looks freshly vacuumed  because it was. Every morning around seven we could hear the sound of the machine that cleans off the seaweed. That clean white sandy beach, like so much in these resorts, is a carefully maintained illusion. 

This image, found online, clearly shows a quirk of the beach here. It has funny ridges, sudden drops. See how low the line of seaweed is in relation to the birds? Mishap #2 is about to occur.
Linda took the picture above just before we set out in the opposite direction. Note purse slung over shoulder. I carried it because I wanted to take pictures.

The sand was soft all the way to the water.  Walking was more like a slog but we enjoyed the warm water. We were having a great slog through ankle deep water when I unexpectedly hit one of those drops in an extra soft spot, lost my footing, and tumbled with my left side into the water. My first thought was for the Precious: my  iPhone! I immediately lifted the purse out of the water. Linda helped me up and grabbed my sandals before they floated away. We  joked about this being an eldercare moment. It was not the only such moment on the trip. My foot had been twisted a bit and gave some mild grief.

We wiped the phone on Linda's skirt and it was none the worse for wear. Yeah water resistance! However, later that day I realised the  ereader had also been in the purse. Only a corner of it had gotten wet but it was toast. So much for being clever and packing a device instead of a pile of books. This was a grievous loss. As a child I had always finished my library book or books long before the week ran out. Like a person who has known hunger and always carries some food, just in case,  I still live in dread of being without reading fodder.

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