Monday, June 3, 2013

Mexico Part 1: Cancun

Day 1: We arrived at Cancun Airport and took the public bus to Downtown Cancun. The bus was easy to find, just outside the main terminal to the right. It cost $4.00 US dollars each and took 20 minutes. At the downtown bus station we crossed the little side street (not the main street) and caught the R1 bus to our hotel. The R1 costs $8.50 pesos each and comes pretty much constantly. We arrived at our hotel—the Beachscape Kin Ha and checked in. The hotel is great. We have a 1- bedroom suite with full kitchen for about $100 dollars a night. The hotel is on a nice beach and is very clean and quiet. The pool is very nice. There is a supermarket across the street. (rainy weather)

Day 2: Woke up and took the R2 bus to Walmart and bought some supplies. Lots of good fresh salsas and guac in the produce area, otherwise nothing special. Prices are not much cheaper than they are in the US…except for limes, which they give away. You can get 10 limes for about 50 cents. This made us very happy. We were a little upset to realize beer in Mexico really isn’t any cheaper than it is in the US. Took the R2 back to the hotel and made sandwiches and sat by the beach. Some sun, some clouds. Very nice water. We walked along the beach and past some of the other nearby resorts. We decided ours was ideal for what we wanted…nobody annoying us on a microphone at the pool area, no techno music, great beach, service if you want it, nobody selling stuff in your face. Went out at night to the party/bar area near the Forum Mall. Not impressed. Went home. Chilis and the Hard Rock have ocean view seats outside. Not crowded. There were some street food/local places to eat which we didn’t try but they smelled great.

Day 3: Rainy/cloudy. Took a long walk through the hotel zone. Went to some malls. Ended up at the Isla Mall and had lunch at the Taco Grill. Very touristy but good food, good prices, and a nice view. Not a lot of local, quaint places to eat, at least not that we could find. Started dumping rain. Took the bus back to the hotel.

Days 4,5: The sun came out. Sat at the beach.

Day 6: Needed some supplies. This time instead of Walmart we went to the Cheuda market. It’s just off the R1 in the center of town. Very crowded and way better than Walmart. Lots of local food inside the store and out front. Good prices. We were horrified by sunscreen prices and made the mistake of buying a generic brand that was awful, like smearing paste on your body. “Sunny Day” it was called. Don’t do it. That night we went back to the Forum mall area and ate at one of the Mexican restaurants on the eastbound side of the road. Good food, not great service. We’ve found that if you order guac and chips or nachos they also bring chips and salsa with beans and other things. But if you don’t order any appetizers, they don’t bring you chips and salsa at all. Weird. This has happened more than once.

Day 7: To Isla Mujeres. We’ll move the report to Isla Forum after this. To save money we decided to take the ferry out of Puerto Juarez instead of taking it from the Hotel Zone. It was a bit of a hassle. We took the R1 to the end of the line and then a cab to the ferry port (30 pesos). We did this because we plan on staying in IM for 7 days and it wasn’t clear if you could use the return ticket from the Hotel Zone on a different day (the one-way ticket price is not much cheaper than the round trip). You can by a normal one-way ticket out of Puerto Juarez for 65 pesos. The ferry is mostly full of locals and takes 25 minutes. It leaves every 30 minutes (but somehow we waited 45).
Great trip so far…weather has improved from the first couple of days.

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