Monday, January 04, 2010

Isla Mujeres

There is something wonderfully uplifting when, after a long flight, you first notice specks of the land that will be your home for a little while.


The Yucatan coastline is shielded from the warm heavens by a misty cloud cover. It's dreamy and beautiful, with bands of aqua colors touching the strip of sand.

We take our packs and head for the bus. Or, the first bus. The easy one to Cancun. From there, we look for the local to the town of Puerto Juarez - the point from where the ferry leaves. Many inquiries later, we are in a rickety van, first solo, then with a local fellow, taking his tin of... something to... somewhere.
What do you have there? – this from Ed.
We’re told the name, but neither of us remembers it. It's sweet, right?
Si, dulce comida.

Can we buy one?
He carefully removes a packet with a large wafer.


It’s crispy thin and delicious – much like the wafers I would sometimes buy in the mountains of Poland. Mountains of Poland, coast of the Yucatan.

Someone on the outside is shouting into the van that we should get off. Ah – the ferry landing. Thanks for paying attention. We’re too busy munching thin wafers of crunchy sweetness.

At the ferry landing, we are taken aside by a time-share promoter. If you come to our place, right on the best beach of the island, we’ll give you a golf cart for the day (the mode of tourist movement), a free breakfast, two t-shirts and a lovely beach bag.

Ed hesitates.
No, Ed, no.
But I’m curious about time shares.
This is Ed – forever curious, but only that. I push him toward the boat.

We board the ferry. The ride is lovely – a little cool for me, but oh my, is that a relevant statement! It’s not near zero here, it’s in the seventies.

And now we are on the island -- the Isla Mujeres. We sit down at a café and time stops.



The island hasn’t changed, Ed remarks. I remember, in years past when...

I listen as I watch a guy carry heavy crates of beer into the café. Hard work.


And for me, at this moment in time, no work at all.

In a few minutes we’ll look for our room somewhere in mid-island. In a few minutes. Or longer.

I look up: Ed is in shorts already. I drink my coffee, he sips a platano licuado (basically bananas and milk). The sun comes out for just a minute. Or two.


Welcome to Apple Vacations! We hope you’re enjoying your Fun Jet Cancun adventure!

How is it that Ed and I found ourselves packed into a jet full of fun-loving, sun-seeking, underdressed in a sweetly optimistic way Wisconsinites, bound for an Apple Vacation? Air Tran canceled our early morning (or was it night?) flight to Atlanta (connecting to Cancun), which is sad... but they booked us on one of their charter tour jets that flies directly to Cancun. Which is terrific! It’s truly dumb luck to have a cancellation work in your favor – we’ll be in Cancun hours ahead of schedule.

I don’t normally post in the mornings, but as usual, when I am away from home, I flip my schedule and write before my traveling companion wakes. And when there is WiFi.

The plane has WiFi.

Actually, I am not certain where my traveling companion is at the moment – somewhere in the front of the plane I presume (I am in the back), but I’m sure he is sleeping. We left Madison when the night was in the early stages of development.

No photo for you yet. The ground below is flat and uninteresting – I’m guessing it’s the Florida panhandle. No photos of the passengers either. Fun loving types that they are, they also appear groggy and disheveled from a disrupted night.

I think I’ll take off my sweater. I want to fit in. Happy Cancun vacationing, fellow travelers! Shake off the northern airs and rub in the sunscreen! We are on our way!