On our last morning on Isla Mujeres, we headed back to the Bally Hoo for coffee. It was a somber morning, as we enjoyed the sights and tried not to think about having to check out of our hotel. The views that surrounded us were beautiful, and we were thinking that we'd made a mistake by booking a hotel in Cancun for the next three nights!
While we love Cancun, it's much more commercialized and we hated to leave a more authentic Mexico .. and an island paradise!
We stretched out our morning coffee as long as we could, then headed back to our hotel. I took a couple of pictures of the streets that hadn't really gotten started yet for the day ... island time! What had we done?!
As we said goodbye to Isla Mujeres, we were hopeful that we'd be back for the months of December and January .. we liked it that much! Our hotel didn't provide any deals for monthly rentals, but there's always Airbnb. Unfortunately, when we got home we realized that Winter is their busiest time and all the monthly rentals on Airbnb and such were already booked. Oh well, at least we didn't know at the time or we'd have been really bummed. We'll just have to go back on Nirvana! So remember, if you wanna spend the winter on Isla Mujeres .. book early!
While we weren't happy to leave the island, we enjoyed the ferry ride to Cancun and took a short cab ride (should have taken the pubic bus, but didn't know where we were) to the Flamingo Hotel. As we passed high-rise hotels and chain restaurants, we were again thinking we'd made a mistake. We don't like touristy stuff, but we'd booked Cancun for a few nights because years ago we loved their gorgeous beaches and body-surfing in the waves. Surely, Cancun was now an over-priced tourist trap ... we were doomed!
As we walked into the freezing lobby with zen music and a not-so-friendly desk clerk, we were silent as we waited for our room to be ready. To make things better, a guy sat down next to us and proceeded to throw the "time share" sales pitch. All we had to do was meet with him the next morning for breakfast, and we'd get all kinds of free stuff .. ugh! As the guy spoke, Ken just shook his head "No!", while keeping silent. The guy finished his speech, but didn't pressure us the rest of the trip. I guess he could tell he'd be wasting his time with us!
Shortly afterwards, we were able to check into our room. I have to say, it was really nice .. very modern bathroom and sleeping area with a decent view of the lagoon across the street. The pool was pretty nice too ...
After unpacking, we walked to the beach to check it out ... the whole reason we were here! How could the view below be bad?! We immediately felt the stress of a bad mistake leave our body ... luxury ain't so bad sometimes! Also, we opted NOT to book the "all-inclusive" option at this hotel, and only paid $90 a night. We thought the price for this hotel was great, as a hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast near our home is well over a hundred bucks, and not nearly as nice .. and with brown, shallow water!
By this time, it was about 3 o'clock so we decided to take the local bus for a cheap tour around the strip. We knew we wanted to take a sail, a booze cruise, or some sort of boat ride while in Cancun so we wanted to get a feel for the area. We learned where some places were thanks to our phone, and were able to "map them out" with the bus ride. One thing hadn't changed since our visit years ago .. cheap and good bus transportation! There were bus stops everywhere, making getting around very convenient.
That night we again ate tacos n beer at a little hole-in-the-wall just outside the hotel. We were pleasantly surprised to see that the prices were just a bit higher than Isla Mujeres and the food was almost as good. Maybe Cancun won't be so bad after all!
It's funny how we acclimated so quickly to Isla Mujeres, and how strange we felt when we first arrived in the commercialized Cancun. It gave me a small taste of how "cruisers" must feel after being on their boats and then coming back to society ... overload!
We made the transition by spending the next day lounging under an umbrella on the beach and checking out "downtown" ... stay tuned!
Hasta luego ... until then. Mid-Life Cruising!