macado's se asia adventure I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

6Mar/070

A night in Mexico (and almost missing my flight home)

I am back home now but I figured I would add one last update on here.  The bus trip from Tikal, Guatemala to Chetumal, Mexico got me there in one piece but was a far longer bus ride than I expected, still it was not as bad as the LONGEST BUS RIDE OF MY LIFE which took place in Cambodia.  Actually, the Cambodian bus ride wasn't really that long though the trip was more painful than any driving experience I have ever in encountered, the roads in Cambodia SUCKED to put it bluntly.  In comparison, the trip through Tikal to Chetumal which involved being stuck in a crowded minibus with a non-functional A/C was pleasant enough.  I met a fairly well-traveled mother and son couple that were very interesting to chat with about their traveling adventures. While they described their trip in Central America, I described my trip to SE Asia to them.  I also met a very weird German expat who has been living in Guatemala for 15 years and had just opened a bar.  A fun bus ride indeed.  The mother/son group whom I unfortunately not remember their names or where they were from knew of a good hostel in Playa Del Carmen so I took their advance to go there.

The roads in/around Tikal, Guatemala were a little dodgy (not paved) but once we got into Belize, things improved.  The bus trip actually went directly through Guatemal, into Belize, onto Belize City, and finally getting to Corozal (border town in Belize) and then finally to Chetumal, Mexico where I got my onboard connection on a Mexican bus to Playa Del Carmen. Leaving at 5:00AM in the morning from Tikal, I arrived in Chetumal, Mexico around 3:20PM, booked the next bus to Playa Del Carmen which took another 4 hours.  Around 6:30-7:00PM, I was FINALLY at my destination.  Roughly 13.5 hours later, it is not a trip recommended for the faint of heart nevertheless it can be done in a day and is great for someone on a budget since multiple plane tickets tend to be expensive.

The hostel I stayed at in Playa Del Carmen is called El Palomar.  Although the dorm was a little humid and stuffy, the place itself was very clean and front desk staff were very plesant.  There was also one computer in the lobby for free Internet.  Definitely a place I would stay again.  They also give you a huge locker to store all your store and there is a free breakfast.  If I remember correctly, I think I paid around 15-18USD for the night. Not too shabby.

Anyway, I spent the night roaming around at various little side bars drinking ice cold Dos Equis beer (my favorite Mexican beer).  Found a very nice little Mexican restaurant and had a completely amazing meal for about 9USD.  It's been a while since I had good Mexican food and that certainly hit the spot. Err..Yes yes, I know. Playa Del Carmen is extremely touristy and i'm sure the meal I had hardly qualified as authetic Mexican. Unfortunately, the bus trip made me extremely tired so I called it an early night and went to sleep around 11PM.  The next morning, I spent a few hours at the beach but not so much since I got severely sunburned by falling asleep near the water in Caye Caulker,  got some breakfast and then spent the next 2-3 hours walking around all the little shops buying some stereotypical souvenirs like T-shirts, coconut necklaces and other little trinkets.

I figured it would be safe to stroll around Playa Del Carmen rather than Cancun for the morning since my flight didn't leave until 3:30PM and buses leave from Playa Del Carmen to Cancun almost every 15 minutes or so and take one hour.  Unfortunately, I VASTLY VASTLY under-estimated the time and ended up not getting on a bus to Cancun until 1PM! Gettng to the airport at 2:10PM, I was faced with an enormously huge line at the Delta check-in terminal.   I figured I was screwed and there was no way I was ever getting on this plane in time.  Luckily for me, I was able to get myself pushed ahead in the queue along with the other people who were supposed to get on the same flight. Apparently the bus they were on was late due to problems and I mingled with this group to get pushed ahead. Delta thankfully let us all cut the line and at the same time severely pissed off some obnoxiously loud sunburned Texan man who admitted his flight didn't leave until 7:00PM.  If I had any energy to muster it would have been something along the lines of, "Fuck you buddy, my flight boards in 30 minutes and this line is at least 2 hours long!"  Instead, I booked it after I got my ticket and ran as fast I possibly could to security and managed to make it to the gate 15 minutes before my flight boarded.  Thank god! Crisis averted.