The trip started in the usual way: I could neither open my car door nor roll down the window to pay at the toll booth on the highway between Cancun and Valladolid. How to exit the vehicle wasn’t a question that was top of mind as we hopped into our rental car and sped off.
After discovering how to open the door, I was wedged tightly between the booth and my car as I’d been planning to hand the money out the window. Somehow I was able to give the laughing man some bills, got change, and scraped my way back into the car and we drove off, shaken.
When we arrived at our little Air BNB house in Valladolid, we inspected the car and were able to locate the buttons that allow one to open and close windows, and exit the vehicle at will.
Margaret and I were in Valladolid for two nights last year, and this year we stayed for six. We were lost walking every day, and one day lost the car and I was sure we’d never find it again. Traipsing up and down streets in 30 degree heat and humidity is tiring.
But you know we love the heat and sun, especially in February, and the weather was great every day. To get out of the heat, we toured a chocolate museum and an ancient convent, ate at nice restaurants, and wandered through a 16,000 square foot private home turned into a museum filled with Mexican folk art.
One day we drove all the way to Rio Lagartos which is on the Gulf of Mexico, thinking we might see flamingos. Then we learned it’s another three-hour boat trip from there to the lake where one might see them, and due to the cold wind that day, we said no thanks.
By then we were already cornered by one of the tour operators, and so to placate everyone, we ate in their chilly restaurant. It had a palapa roof, so it was in the shade with a whipping wind, and to make matters even worse, their margaritas stunk. The final insult was a small white female dog being assaulted right beside us by a large brown male dog.
We took another road trip to the beach at Akumal, and had lunch at the Beached Bikini Bar which we both love so much. If you like good food and drinks with your feet plunged deeply into white sad, this is the place for you.
On the way home we were hosed at the Pemex in downtown Tulum, then read about it on Trip Advisor, but too late. If you’re ever in a rental car in Tulum, don’t stop for gas there, as they will cheat you. That’s the only time in three years of visiting Mexico that we were ever fleeced.
We visited a beautiful cenote just outside Valladolid in the small village of Chichimila and were the only people there at first, then were joined by three young people and a dog, all of whom jumped right in.
After six days in the state of Yucatan, it was time for our next stint in Quintana Roo on the island of Holbox. The island doesn’t permit vehicles so we drove to the ferry dock and parked in one of the many parking lots there. This turned out to be very easy to do, the only handicap being the amount of luggage and bags.
Margaret and I enjoy shopping so we usually arrive home with extremely heavy suitcases. But we’d read there’s not a lot of shopping on Holbox food-wise, so we also had groceries with us from the house in Valladolid.
We took the small ferry which came with live entertainment. A nice Mexican fellow sang several songs, then came around with his hat. After twenty minutes we arrived in Holbox, and hopped onto a golf cart taxi which drove us to our first Air BNB, a cute second-floor apartment very close to the little village.
The owner’s dad lives on the ground floor and feeds dry cat food to the raccoons. We saw a lot of them prowling around the edge of the swimming pool in the evening. I didn’t mind them as we live with raccoons around this house, but the people from Massachusetts renting a ground-floor suite weren’t all that thrilled with them.
It turns out if you want to cook you must buy most of your ingredients at the equivalent of a 7-11. This is what led to the tostadas. We found a package of those, and managed to find lettuce, an onion and some tomatoes, plus a can of refried beans. I was therefore able to make some type of dinner with that. Several dinners.
To get fresh fish from the fishermen, one must be at the dock at 8:00 AM, and despite always being awake at that hour, we were never in the mood to be dressed and downtown by then.
The little village is stocked to the brim with cute Mexican stuff, and Margaret finally bought a set of pillow cases after three days of haranguing around with the shop owner. She’s a fierce tiny woman with a four year old girl and twin boys of about 18 months who she nurses on the couch in her store.
Besides being adorable, the town is filled with nice restaurants so we always had a delicious lunch out, and on our last night we tried the lobster pizza for dinner, and it was good.
We moved to the point called Punta Coca for our last three nights, and stayed in a solar-powdered free-standing little house just a stone’s throw from the white-sand covered beach. Of course it has a solid, wooden roof, but on top of that they’ve added the cute palapa for appearances.
An iguana family lives up there, and so Margaret couldn’t sleep the first night, I guess imagining them busting through the wooden roof into the loft bedroom and going for the jugular. We switched rooms and I then slept like a log up there for the last two nights.
The three days on beautiful Punta Coco flew by with days of collecting shells on the beach, swimming, having lunch at Frida’s Restaurant and drinks at the beautiful beach bar.
Then I was home, and surprise! Became a gramma so now have a grandson.
Ah, the joys of being fleeced at the Pemex pump. I know that particular joy all too well. Great description of your travels, Moni. I loved the house museum in Valladolid. I get Margaret’s unease about the iguanas because they grow so big and look so dinosaur-like. But I also get you being relaxed around them because they are so harmless. It’s the rats in the rafters that keep me awake!
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