On day 6 of our Mexican vacation (Monday), I began my descent into madness. Actually, it probably started on day 5 in the cenotes – when my Dad was trying to take us off-course and my flippers were giving me trouble. I may have flipped out a bit (get it?!). But day 6 really did me in.
It started in the morning, when I counted 9 mosquito bites on my left leg alone. It became a running joke — every time we got on a tram to transport us within the resort, we would undoubtedly walk away with more mosquito bites (but certainly less than if we had walked). My Dad started calling the trams “Los Mosquito Express.” This marketing message from the Bahia Principe website definitely hit home: “you’ll lose yourself in the impressive natural areas, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the Mayan jungle.”
So after picking up a few more mosquito bites, Suzi and I went to the spa within our resort:
We had signed up for the “Antistress Ritual” package — a water circuit and “Caribbean Relaxing” massage. We’d asked a few people what the water circuit was, but no one could explain it properly. We knew it involved a sauna and a jacuzzi, but that’s about it. That’s why we’re a bit afraid in this photo.
Turns out, the water circuit involved 5 minutes in a dry sauna (we probably did about 3), 5 minutes in a wet sauna (the whole time I was afraid we’d be eaten by the monster from The Fog), rinsing off in the coldest shower you could ever imagine (I rinsed off once and said I was getting out, but our masseuse told me to go in again: “Once more; I can see you!”), walking in a circle on rocks three times while similarly cold water sprayed on our feet (really), bathing in a small pool with frigid water and mini waterfalls that fell on our heads, and finishing off with about 15 minutes in a tepid jacuzzi. The massages made up for it though. I really, really needed one.
That evening, we ate dinner at Dolce Vita, the Italian restaurant near our pool. The only other people there when we sat down was a small wedding party — bride, groom, and their parents. We toasted them and they shared their wedding cake with us. Everything was wonderful until that night when all of us except Scarlett had, well… let’s just call it revenge of the Italian dinner. I wasn’t too happy myself, but I feel even worse for the wedding party that was there. What a way for the bride and groom to spend their wedding night!
After all this (plus a few more mosquito bites), I wasn’t in the best mood. So when Dad, Suzi, and Scarlett went to the Mayan ruins in Tulum the next morning, I stayed in our somewhat-cool, mosquito-less room and watched bad movies with Spanish subtitles. Here are some of their photos from the ruins (they said I didn’t miss much):
[I don’t want to bombard my home page with all of the photos from these three days, so see more after the jump…]
After they came back and took a siesta, we ventured out to the “secret beach” my Dad had found a few days prior:
The beach was about a 10-15 minute walk from our room, but still within the resort property. It looks like it had once belonged to a previous resort, now long abandoned.
After several attempts, I made a fantastic photobomb:
That night, we took a cab to Playa del Carmen for “a real steak dinner” and some shopping:
5th Avenue is their big shopping street, though don’t expect anything like New York’s 5th Ave. It’s much more local, handmade items plus some tourist shops. Lots of bars, too, and pharmacies. I especially liked this one:
Deli must mean something else in Mexican culture, as I did not see any sandwiches there…
Suzi was searching for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) figurines the whole night, when we found these. Fitting them in her suitcase would have proven a bit difficult, however, so we just took a photo in front of them.
This area — a sort of garden alleyway, home to a few art galleries — was really beautiful and fascinating. The trees were overgrown and sported lanterns handmade from gourds. Even the ground was decorated:
The whole area seemed to be full of artists and funky displays of art. Just look at these stairs:
Playa del Carmen was a great place to spend our last night in Mexico. I’m glad we got out of the resort for a bit. That buffet food was starting to get to me…
Speaking of food that makes you a little nervous, check out the ingredients in this duty-free Mexican candy we found at the airport:
And I will finish this visual trip diary just as I started it: with a photo of my Dad’s massive suitcase, which received a special “heavy” tag from US Airways. ;)