Latin America 2011: Day 10: Belize to Mexico
Another butt-early morning. So much for three days "relaxing" on Caye Caulker... but then I can't really complain, can I?
The water taxi to San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) is timely and quick. Kind of cool, two of the Dutch (or was it Norwegian?) on the Blue Hole dive were also on the ferry. We get only as far as the dock on San Pedro, but it seems much larger and nicer than Caye Caulker. Twenty minutes or so and we're through immigration, ready to head to Chetumal, Mexico.
Docking at Chetumal is a reminder that reality in Belize (aka the twlight zone), or Guatemala, or even most of the world is very different in Mexico. Not one, but two dogs sniff our bags, one for money, the other for drugs. Mexican army carrying M-16A1's and SMG's patrol the dock while one of the two dogs is apparently a young new one who tries to chew on our bags.
After leaving the dock, though, everything is much more normal (mostly). Dave, our driver, runs us swiftly through town and up to Cenote Azul for a seafood lunch right on the cenote. Sam's shrimp and my fish were both fried to death, but the ceviche was quite good. A few more hours in a van today (3 or 4 total?) as we drove up to Tulum and then to Playa del Carmen.
We witnessed the massive flooding from the past nine straight days of rain as we neared Tulum, as heavy equipment dug massive drainage channels in the side of the road and another large tourist van drove down a flooded road, almost up to its hubs in water. Mexican federales were evident at the edges of cities too, running traffic surveys and security.
Arrival in Playa del Carmen marked the last few dayd of the tour. It felt like an ordinary Mexican town on the outskirts, then as we crossed 10th Ave Norte toward the beach, it feels like Lincold Road Mall or South Beach in Miami. You hear English as much as Spanish and the shops take US Dollars. Much like Miami, though, the water is warm and clear, the beach is soft white sand, and it is very pretty.
Wrapped the night up with dinner at El Bistro, the last meal with the entire group together. Delicious Peruvian ceviche and a massive (albeit merely okay) meat platter.