[:en]So, here it is, I am finally off on my world tour. Left everything behind and all that I have now is a 65ltr backpack and a day pack that fits all the material things I hold dear; a Fuji xPro 1, a GoPro Hero3+, a Fuji Instant, a couple of hard drives and my macbook. A few sets of clothes complete the backpacking outfit. Most of my blogging will be done using the term “we” as I’m traveling with of the finest people I’ve ever met, my girlfriend Danielle. This will be our travel journal, photos and small details of an adventure that at the end of our time on the road, will lack of those little quirks that made it what it is: a dream come true. We live in the most beautiful city in the US, the gem of the west coast, San Francisco is where most people’s dreams come true. And on that day, October 1st, 2014, my dreams certainly did come to fruition.
Our first stop is Cancun, a world famous spot for the all inclusive deal. A place for Americans/Canadians/Brazilians/Europeans to escape the winter (minus Brazilians, who go there because it’s cheaper than traveling within their country) by locking themselves up in an artificial, man made Mexican world. To begin with, the amount of stuff the people from Cancún try to sell you is staggering, from souvenirs to touristic tours. From sombreros to scuba diving classes. It’s all available on the street on little kiosks or some random guy holding up a booklet with photos of what you will be doing on their tour, I can now say that most of those photos or moments, will not happen.
From the airport we took a bus that dropped us off at the ADO bus depot. From there a taxi that overcharged us by 40 pesos (whatever) to our airbnb house. This was the first time we got overcharged but definitely not the last. The second one was the next day, for lunch.
Food in Cancun, we found, is really expensive. Finding a proper Mexican meal at a restaurant without a tourist menu was really hard. I was usually the one speaking, letting them wonder where Danielle was from, it came to the point where they had two menus, a “spanish speaker/cheap” menu and a gringo menu; different pricing, naturally.
The house we rented was a good starting point for our adventure, it allowed us to gather our strength after the last few whirl wind weeks in San Francisco. We spent a few days relaxing by the pool and catching up on a bit of planning. We explored some of the public beaches (Playa Delfin and Playa Las Perlas) and the Mercado 28, which contradictory to it’s name, doesn’t sell any fruits and/or veggies, just a lot of crafts made in china. The same crafts that are sold everywhere else, literally, with the addition of some Mexican silver jewelry.
We dipped our toes on what eventually would be a big deep sea of Mayan ruins at El Rey archeological site at the far end of the Hotel Zone. It was also the first time I wish I had done a little more research about bus routes and ways to get around the city. We followed the locals advice and got on a cab that coincidentally did the exact same route that a bus did, for a fraction of the taxi fare. After seeing the taxi and talking to him about it, he was nice enough to let us know that the bus would take us back to the core of the city and how much we should pay. Here’s that note to keep you from spending those extra 25 bucks.
The photos of the beaches you have seen on the internet, as beautiful as they are, don’t do justice to the colorful ocean that shimmers in front of you as you drive down the street or walk on that perfectly clean white sand. It’s deep blue and teal color will leave you speechless. It is also some of the saltiest water I’ve ever had the chance to taste.
Looking back at our experience in this city, it is easy to see why people like it so much. It is also clear that it can be experienced in multiple ways. The city has marketed itself as the all-inclusive destination and it seems to be working for them, it just doesn’t quite work when portraying the greatness of the Mexican culture and its many natural riches. For us, it just opened our appetite for what is to come.
We are now off to see more of Mexico and its beautiful Yucatan peninsula, Holbox awaits.