Made in the Shade

We planned to go back to Playa del Carmen again, this time later in the evening for dinner. So that meant we were taking another easy day at the resort. Petru had to work again, but I found that the office area in the Member’s beach actually had better wi-fi, so we were all using that as our base of operations for the day. Remote work is pretty amazing. Yulia and Sasha went swimming a few times, I did some more writing and just lounged about – it was a good day overall. We literally did as little as possible. There were a few incidents where our beach area had some vagrant iguanas coming in and begging for fruit. All the animals here know that the tourists are suckers. We had lunch down on the beach – mostly some nachos and snacks. I checked with the bellhop and confirmed is a taxi for Playa del Carmen for later. It was so hot yesterday we thought it would make more sense to go in the evening and have dinner as a group, once Petru finished his last meeting. It’s good to do another “down” day. We tend to overschedule ourselves so this was a good forced relaxation day.

Later in the day we were waiting in the Lobby as our taxi arrived, it was an actual taxi this time instead of a tour van. Maybe that’s because of the daytime vs nighttime difference or something, but he got us to Playa a lot faster. You could say it was *slightly* more aggressive driving, he ducked down a side street, took a few turns and popped back out at the central bus and taxi terminal. He stopped in front of a Hotel and said he would meet us here. We again decided on 3 hours, and walked onto 5th Avenue. It was still awfully hot, and we kept to the shade the best we could. We went up towards the Spanish Mall, met yet another of our bartenders,  (these guys must get a lot of days off!) and headed into the shade of the mall. Yulia was starting to overheat this time, so we hit the air conditioning and hydrated up right away. Sasha did a bit of shopping and both she and Yulia found some really nice Spanish brand purses. We didn’t shop too long since we wanted to find dinner – preferable on the beach.

We walked from the mall down to the ferry terminal, then got pictures at the huge mermaid statue before walking down the beach. This was all a lot more like Cabo – except that we found that most of the beach restaurants were either closed or not looking real nice. There was one that looked ok – but it was mostly empty. I’m a pretty big believer that if a place is empty that’s a sign to keep looking. We saw another place that was promising back on 5th, but when we went up it was also empty, so nope. We settled back at the place where we ate yesterday. It was full, we knew the food, and a Mariachi band was setting up. Yulia ran to a street vendor quick to get a tank top since her shirt was a bit heavy and she just couldn’t cool off. Naturally she bargained him down to half price for a shirt, and changed at the restaurant. That helped as did the fans they had going.

The music started up and the food was great, although our waitress was not on the ball and we had a hard time getting drinks for some reason. Everything did arrive, and it was all great – but the evening didn’t cool down as we expected. We left and found a really nice chocolate shop right below the restaurant. We got some Mexican chocolates there (after a lot of samples) and hit little tourist shops all the way up the street to get gifts for folks. We found a lot of little things – and I was looking at Mezcal to decide if I should buy here or in Duty Free when we left. I settled on Duty Free – it has never failed me when I’m picking up travel booze.

We went back to the hotel at the taxi area to wait for our ride. I had taken a  picture of the cab number so I would know what to look for. He wasn’t around, but we assumed that he might be a few minutes late since there was a lot of congestion in the area. We looked up the block and you didn’t have to go too far off the tourist strip for things to get sketchy pretty quick. If I spoke Spanish I would probably be a bit more comfortable, but I didn’t want to wander too far off from our meeting spot. We picked some wall and leaned on it to wait.

It took maybe 5 minutes and Our driver arrived. As we had expected, he was stuck at a light – and was nearby the whole time. We loaded up, still hot and tired and drove back to the resort.

Our last tour was tomorrow. This would finish our vacation with a bang, we just hoped it wouldn’t be a bomb.