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Sunday 1 Dec 2013
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Senor Frogs!

We caught the lunchtime bus up to Playa del Carmen.  It was a first class bus this time, so we had air-conditioning and a movie to watch.  The film was already halfway through so I listened to my audiobook instead – listening to the First Ladies’ Detective Agency (set in Botswana) while half watching Breaking Dawn (a teenage vampire movie) makes for an interesting combination.  Michelina and Fabrizio, a lovely Italian couple, ran Casa Felicidad from their apartment building.  We got a taxi up from the bus station, but the driver had to go around the block a few times trying to find the right address.  There was no sign out the front so we were unsure if we were in the right place.  Eventually he dropped us off and I waited with the bags while Christina explored on foot.  Just then, Fabrizio came out of a modern apartment building and welcomed us by name, so we followed him in to find a beautiful flat with a bright en-suite room opening onto an internal courtyard.  They lived in the apartment on the other side and served breakfast outside each morning.  We were further out of town, but well away from the noisy bars and American tourists, which suited us just fine.

Michelina gave us a couple of vouchers for a bar called Señor Frog’s and said if we bought one drink there we could use their sun loungers all day.  Perfect! 

A quick change later and we were walking down Playa del Carmen’s main road heading for the beach.  We just about beat the rain there so passed on the sun loungers in favour of the undercover tables in the bar.  We ordered fajitas and showed our vouchers for free margaritas and began to relax after the travelling.  The margaritas were small so we ordered a beer too. After we’d eaten, they came and asked if we were ready for our free tequila yet.  Well, when in Mexico…

For what was supposed to be just a quick visit for the free margarita, we ended up sitting on swings at the bar and drinking tequila until 10pm, watching American tourists wearing balloon animal hats and finding everything very funny.  It wasn’t til we got out of the taxi and nipped into the supermarket around the corner from our B’n’B that we realised just how drunk we were.  Buying water and chocolate has never been more fun!

But... Ouch. We both paid for last night’s tequila with headaches the next morning. 

Sometime after lunch we made it back to Señor Frog’s and curled up on the sun longers, which were more like day beds - big square platforms with mattresses on.  We had fish tacos and read books all afternoon, enjoying the fun 80’s music they were playing and laughing at the waiters having to get up on stage and do a line dance every time a particular song came on.  Around 5pm they ramped up the volume and started playing obnoxious dance music so we made a move. 

Monday was pretty much the same as we spent the whole day on the sunbeds at Señor Frog’s again.  On our way back across the plaza, we noticed four men in bright traditional costumes climbing up a tall telegraph pole.  At the top, they began wrapping ropes around a moving platform while a fifth man perched on the top like a monkey, playing panpipes.  We waited for ages to see what they would do next.  They finally got themselves in position and, accompanied by an increase in tempo from the panpipes, got the platform spinning before suddenly tipping themselves backwards.  Their ankles were tied to the ropes and the momentum of their fall caused the platform to spin faster, unraveling the ropes as it went, while they flew further and further out.  It was very graceful and the height belied how fast they were spinning until they got closer to the ground.  It took them less than five minutes to get down, although it had taken a lot longer to set up. 

We headed back and watched several episodes of Franklin and Bash, our latest obsession.  Happily Christina had Seasons 2 and 3 on her hard drive so I got to catch up on what I’d missed when I moved house last year.  One of the things I have learned from this year is that even when you’re having great adventures, you need some downtime too and there are times when all you want to do in the evening is curl up and watch some telly. 

Strange to think we'll be going our separate ways again tomorrow!

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Zoe's Big World Adventure Part II - #2 Mexico, Belize and Costa Rica

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I met Christina in April. We travelled a bit of Australia together and both learned to dive. Now we're off to Mexico and Belize to see what the Caribbean and the Great Mesoamerican Reef have to offer, before I head down to Costa Rica for 10 days.

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