First of all, a big sorry for not posting this soon. I was stuck with my graduation, post-graduation formalities, NY trip, job procedure and a couple of other things. As I write this onboard A380, en-route Dubai-Houston, after completing one more solo journey. I might write about that later on.
So, after visiting the beach, we decided to have dinner at one of the local eateries in downtown Cancun. In downtown, you can find several roadside restaurants which serve amazing food. In Cancun, downtown is not popular among tourists, all the tourists live in the hotel zone and dine nearby. While in downtown Cancun you can see all the local guys enjoying food and mingling near one big circle which seems like their Times Square. 😀
There were many shops selling street food surrounding the circle. While some of the food items were really appetizing, some of the food items were strange to me. There was one cart selling a strip kind of textured layer dipped in slimy liquid and fried wafer kind of a thing. Asking upon he told me, it was chopped pig skin and fried pig skin which looked like a wafer or in Gujarati we call it “Sarevada or Papdi”. There was one more hawker who sold fried insects with spices sprinkled. I had very hard time finding something suitable to eat. One nice food item which I had is called ‘Marquesitas’, it is a waffle kind of a thing but a bit thin. It can be filled with Nutella or Hershey’s or milkmaid.
After having Marquesitas we went ahead and saw the deserts cart. There were my favorite tres leches. I ordered one and ate it as fast as I could. That thing was heavy and filling. I was eyeing one more desert and there was this lady who was having the similar kind of chocolate cake. She came forward and offered me a piece from her plate, I was bit reluctant. But, she fed me the whole piece by then. That thing instantly reminded me of my mom. No matter how far you travel or interact with different races, some basic courtesy always stands true. People will always try to depict or create a certain perception about some races or communities, well, it doesn’t stand true every time. That’s why someone said it right that the more you travel, the more wisdom you gain. It was time to call it a day. The day which started almost 36 hours back but was one of the best days of my life. The Long pending dream was accomplished and it was just a beginning. The day after I decided to go to an island called ‘Isla Mujeres’ which translates as “Island of Women”. Sounded exciting!!
By no means, it was ‘that’ island of women as you guys thought of. It was simply named because of the many images of goddesses. I had a quick breakfast and grabbed fruits for the journey. One thing that I like to do while traveling is to use options of public transport. It really helps you to grab the essence of country and lifestyle. You will meet different types of people and will have a close look at the culture and condition of the country.
One thing which I observed was the absence of conductor in the bus. The Driver was playing both the roles. I was amazed by the efficiency and the speed by he was dealing. You have to keep change ready as you plan to board the bus since the driver will issue the ticket and deal the transaction. The port is named “GranPuerto”. I took the ticket for ‘Isla Mujeres’. ‘UltraMar’ issues the tickets for travel, I used my Hostelling International membership card to avail 10% discount. 😀
The boat has two sections, lower deck, and upper deck. While, lower deck is air-conditioned and with TV showing live footage from the CCTV. Upper deck has its own charm, with wind brushing past you. It is the feeling which is very hard to describe. While on the boat I asked a fellow passenger to click my picture and realized that she too is lone traveler as me. we clicked instantly and decided to spend the day together. As one say, you should start alone and you will find a company. We decided to have a quick lunch and go to the easternmost point of the island. Being vegetarian was a problem in Cancun region when the whole area loves and thrives on Seafood. My staple order would be Guacamole as ‘subji’ and tortilla or chips as a ‘Roti’.
After having quick lunch, we looked at bicycle hiring stands. One can hire a bicycle, for 80 pesos a day. It is a great mode of a commute as the island is only 7 km long and 650 meters wide.Finally after haggling with the vendor, we paid 110 pesos for two bicycles for a day. It was very funny for two Indians to bargain with a Mexican guy.
The Destination was a tortoise farm, where they breed and protect them. The word for tortoise in Spanish is ‘Tortuga’. But, we both didn’t know it and we were there in the streets of Isla Mujeres explaining everyone we came across in our broken Spanish what a tortoise looks like. Explaining as ‘animal’, ‘agua’, ‘Quattro’ ,’granja’ finally someone told us that we were looking for ‘Tortuga Granja’ which means Tortoise farm. The farm was a very small scale one but totally impressive.
Farm keepers take care of the tortoise right from the moment it’s born to the moment when its set free to venture into unfathomable waters. It was a well-informed session on the tortoise. After having enough of the fauna, we went to see the natural beauty of the island. Surprisingly, we stumbled upon the ‘easternmost point’ of Mexico. After some point, the lanes for cycles became narrow and we felt that the island was squeezing and becoming narrower. Finally, we stumbled upon the sign which claimed that the land on which we were standing was the easternmost point of Mexico.
The view from the point was exhilarating and breathtaking. The Endless sight of blue water made me so happy.
I just spent half an hour sitting on the edge of a sidewalk and admiring the beauty which the mother nature had. It made me forget all the worries and insecurities which I carried with me. The eastern point of the island was totally worth it. On the way back, I saw a wonderful sight. There was a girl standing in bridal gown kind of an attire and was surrounded by guys in Jacket and pants. This sight was totally new to me and the girl seemed too young to be married. Jajajaja( That’s how you write haha in Spanish). Asking more questions to my co-traveler, she briefed me that the procedure is called ‘quinceanera’. It is similar to sweet sixteen. I asked for the permission to capture that beautiful sight.
After viewing such beautiful sight, we left to see the other part of the island. There was one more wonderful sight of the lighthouse, which was vintage.
The road was beautifully constructed along the seashore, it ran all the way across from point A to point B. After we reached a certain point, all the beautiful villas started to show up. Remax was one of the real estate companies which were selling them. I was wondering about the pricing structure that was working.
After travelling all the way from the east to west, we were sunkissed and the breeze was adding the awesomeness into the fun. It was amazing to find the way and to be lost again. Sometimes we need little bit chaos to keep ourselves in order.
Finally, it was time to go to the beach and unwind ourselves. We decided to go to, Playa Norte beach, which was the top attraction of the island. As expected the beach was having white sands and crystal clean water. It was a glorious debate whether to enter the water or not. No public restrooms were in sight which made our decision really ambiguous. So, we stayed there watching the beautiful beach and kids playing. At one point, waiting became really hard and we decided to jump. Water felt cold initially until we adjusted to the temperature. It was amazing to swim as the shore was flat compared to Playa Delfines.
After swimming for almost an hour, it was time to witness the surreal sunset, I captured it at the exact moment. It amazingly describes the spirit of Cancun and Mexico. Boat with sails, blue water, kids playing and natural beauty.
All these hectic activities and swimming made us hungry again. We decided to go to some offbeat restaurant in the streets. We stumbled upon the restaurant which seemed popular amongst the locals. There is a key to finding the nice food spots abroad. Always choose a place where locals are thriving to eat. Most likely the food will be nice and fresh. As usual, I was left with a handful of options. I decided to order beans and rice. I usually hate beans but at that time, it seemed like the only option.
After having food, we went back to the dock and boarded return ferry for Cancun. It was an amazing day. The schedule for the next day was ‘Chichen Itza’. will be writing about it in the next post.