Thursday, 7 March 2019

Ien and Linda's excellent Maya adventure, part 5. Just an in between day.

Warning: This travel blog is meant as a record that allows us to share with family 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.

Facebook post the next day:
Today is much better, phew! A mix of sun and cloud, coolish, windy. What we used to call "dune weather" on our Noordwijk vacations. Not warm enough for laying around on the beach, but nice enough for a walk and a picnic in the dunes.

We went outside the Playacar bubble to Walmart, cowardly by taxi, to see if I could score some warm clothing to replace the lost items. Zero. NADA. Four warm jackets but they were too small. Not even a sweat shirt,  and no sudoku book anywhere either. It was fun to get a glimpse of the real town on the way there. If I were in better shape I could walk out there, but I was not, especially after twisting my foot. 
A gentleman who posed as just another customer gave us helpful hints about where I might get what I was looking for, and then tried to get us to attend a time share meeting. He acted quite offended when we refused and gave us a big spiel about it being his daughter's birthday, and what did we have to lose by spending one afternoon of our vacation and had he not been helpful to us? The whole thing was delivered half tongue in cheek, we both knew it was BS. I finally just laughed and handed him two bucks for the good advice, after which the blessings of many saints were called upon us. 

We also had fun socializing in the lineup by the till, with ordinary people who are not paid to smile. 
If I do nothing else here but practice Spanish I am having a blast! People seem to appreciate my pathetic but sincere efforts. On the way back we stopped by the cupcake cafe for a half decent capuccino. 
I had a brief conversation in sort of Spanish with the barista about the name of the ubiquitous corvids we have around here. She wanted to call it a raven. Not but we agreed it was the same family and I said “son todos ladrones” (they are all thieves) which made her laugh and she agreed. Senior staff is fluently bilingual but almost everyone speaks some English.
Linda managed to communicate that she is a professional pastry chef.
The Cupcake cafe, Chayita Mexican food and the overpriced hotel store are all to one side of the plaza where the concerts happen.
Was this the day we got take out burritos as a snack and were too full to go for dinner? Was this the time I was so desperate for something warm to wrap myself into that I ended up buying a beautiful but overpriced blanket at the hotel store? I think so, but memory is getting fuzzy and what does it matter.
We had to go to bed early, because the next day we had to be at the pick up point for the mini bus at 7.30!
Tomorrow, TULUM. And meanwhile here is some more towel art.

Ien and Linda's excellent Riviera Maya adventure. Part 4. The weather changes and we book a trip.

Warning: This travel blog is meant as a record that allows us to share with family 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.

Before we go any further, may I gush about the food for a moment? No, Sandos is not paying me and I do not own a time share. 
The buffet is just great. Lots of fresh fruit at all meals. Vegetables galore both as salads and prepared.  Great selection of bread. Made to order omelettes and smoothies. An oriental section, a Mexican section, an Italian section and lots of just good food. It caters to all. From gluten free vegans to bacon obsessed meat eaters, from lovers of tentacled seafood (that's me!) to picky kids who insist on chicken fingers or hot dogs, it is there. We enjoyed it so much we never even tried all the a la carte places.

Anyway....In the course of the first Sunday the weather cooled down, it clouded over and the wind picked up.
We retreated from the beach to the more sheltered pool. Linda got her first Margarita.
We tried out the Italian restaurant. Nice atmosphere, great service including a shawl for people who find the airco too aggressive, food OK but not oh wow, especially the main pasta dishes. 
Later that night the  show was a must. 
It was a tribute to ACDC, whatever that is, and Linda planned to dance! I was happy to retreat to the good wifi again. 
Alas, before long it started to rain and the show was canceled before the band got electrocuted. 

Monday morning we woke to continuing rain. At least it was still warm and, as Canadians like to remind each other, we did not have to shovel it. We decided to venture out of the resort bubble, turn right this time  and  find the cluster of shops on Avenida Xaman Ha, the main road that runs past all the Playacar resorts. Linda needed gifts for her tribe. I was hoping to find a book of Sudoku puzzles to replace the lost Kobo as beach entertainment. I also felt quite insecure without any warm clothing after losing my cardigan in the airport. There is such a thing as traveling too light.

The walk from our home base by the beach to the exit took about ten minutes. Some more pictures of the inside of the  resort. The place is huge and in the beginning quite overwhelming.
It is all beautifully landscaped. I get a kick out of seeing our typical houseplants in their natural environment. 
Philodendrons get enormous. 

Bicycles are available.

When it rains in the Yucatan it pours! I guess the drainage infrastructure leaves to be desired.
We squelched our way down the avenue, frequently crossing the street to avoid the worst inundations.  Because it was all new it felt like a major expedition and we felt quite triumphant when we spied the Starbucks. The shops all seem to sell the same stuff aimed at tourists. Big on lively colour, low on utility.  Strictly junk food in the 7-11, no sudoku. No sweater or poncho or any warm cover either, but I did find a beach cover up that was a vast improvement over the oversized dress I had been using.
Apart from the shops there was a kiosk with offers for excursions. We chatted with the main agent and ended up booking a tour to Tulum and Cobal. A whole day, for less than half the price of the offerings at the resort. Yeah! We felt like we accomplished something.