Cozumel Part 2

I somehow just realized that I forgot to post the rest of the Cozumel stay. Here it is.

The main road on Cozumel essentially makes a loop around the lower half of the island. Starting at San Miguel in the west, it heads east till it hits the ocean, follows the coast all the way south, and then loops back north to San Miguel again along the west coast. For day three, we decided to leave San Miguel to check out the interior and eastern sides of the island. From what we were told, most of the island north of the main road is uninhabited, and inaccessible except by four wheel drive truck or boat.

The simple act of driving was an adventure all its own, since people seem to consider traffic laws more like guidelines. You can (and will) be surrounded on all sides by scooters and motorcycles, whether there's a lane there or not. You can imagine my relief to be out of San Miguel and into the jungle.

In the interior of the island, there are several Mayan ruins. We went to the complex called San Gervasio. It had been dedicated to the goddess Ix Chel. The road in the picture was the pilgrimage route people used to get across the island in the culmination of many weeks of travel to get to the temple.

Chase and Heidi at San Gervasio

We also got a subtle reminder from Cozumel that it was a jungle island, and, by the way, here's a SWARM OF MOSQUITOES! A bottle of repellent was our first purchase in the gift shop.

We then continued east to the coast. The eastern shore is dotted with little beach bars. We decided to stop first at Playa Chen Rio. Everybody on Cozumel had a story about the horrible damage caused by hurricane Wilma, which parked itself right over the island. For Playa Chen Rio, apparently, it had a strange upside in that it carved two sheltered lagoons in what was normally the windy and rough waters of the east coast of the island. We spent a few hours baking in the sun on the beach, and I was once again happy I had bought my trusty Panama hat.

Playa Chen Rio restaurant

My beer in the sand at Playa Chen Rio

We eventually stopped to eat and watch the sun set at Playa Bonita, a bit further south. It was another beautiful beach, though it was a lot more wavy because it wasn't sheltered.

Heidi at Playa Bonita

That evening we took a walk around San Miguel, and ran into the "Cultural Caravan". It was an event to show off Mexican and Cozumel culture for the Ironman contestants.

"Cultural Caravan"

We spent our last day relaxing in the neighborhood of Casita de Maya. Morning with a coffee by the pool, lunch at Diego's, and dinner at a nearby seafood place called La Perlita. Diego had arranged a "good luck" banner for Richard, one of the Ironman contestants who was staying at the hotel. Apparently nobody else had asked about hanging a banner ad at the starting line.

Posing with the banner

Thanks to advice from Dan (owner of Casita de Maya), we didn't have to repeat the ferry trip back to the mainland. He connected us with Mayair, a smaller airline that flew us directly to the Cancun airport in a fraction of the time. We'd DEFINITELY recommend this route!

Mayan Air Plane

The only snag on the way back was upon arrival back in the US. Another plane was going through customs ahead of us, so we were held back. By the time we got through customs ourselves, we only had a couple minutes to get across the airport. We ran the entire length of the place, only to find our gate empty. Thankfully, we hadn't missed our flight, it had just been delayed, which meant that our airport marathon had been completely unnecessary.

Casita de Maya has since gotten on tripadvisor's top 10 list for bargain hotels in the Caribbean and Mexico. We certainly can't wait to go back.