We managed the rest of our week in Puerto Morelos with an average of 15,000 steps per day (I’m sure half of those steps were to the grocery store) and  Todd wanted to report in that we played 8 games of crib, took a total of 9 chicken buses and 2 taxi rides during out time there.

Playing our last game of crib on the driveway

The game was interrupted by this huge centipede on the driveway – walking with real purpose.

By the eighth day we were relaxed and ready to move on to our next destination – which was only 24 minutes down the highway to “norte de Play Del Carmen’ (how’s that for spanish!). We rented a 3 bedroom/3 bath house in a gated community, and we had 4 persons coming down to join us for 12 days. This house was “da-bomb”! it was fully stocked with all amenities and utensils and the icing on the cake was a lazy river in the back yard! Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ex11wcbRg4&ab_channel=Wheelsonthebus

The check-in at the new house was early (11 am), where the land lady met us and gave us the lowdown on the house and the laydown of the land. It wasn’t long and we were unpacked and headed out to the grocery store – which was NOT within walking distance  – it was then that we realized basically everything we learned about buses and taxi’s in the previous week, is now thrown out the window! We couldn’t hail a taxi or flag down a chicken bus anywhere near the house or on the highway right by us….we had to walk a lot farther to hail a taxi and there were no collectivo buses anywhere to be found. Regardless Todd randomly found one on the corner of highway and not highway who said he would take us to Walmart for $80 pesos. We spent enough time and money and headed back outside to hail a taxi……there were none to be found. Todd said he would walk out to the highway again to flag one down and appeared about 8 minutes later waving at me from inside said taxi. We started to load him up when the Walmart “taxi nazi” showed up and I assume gave him shit for not knowing that he had to get in line with all the other Walmart patrons and wait for a taxi like everyone else. So we walked back to the end of the taxi line and let the taxi go to the first person in line….things are different here for sure! Our taxi ride back home ended up to be $300 pesos! (WTF!)  We survived the grocery store and came back for drinks, and I had a chance to make some guacamole (recipe provided by the landlords husband!) – which was fan frickin’ tastic as we waited for the rest of the crew to arrive. Our first day together was pretty chill – a few hours down at the local beach, some drinks and swimming in the lazy river….oh man, how does life get better than this!

We walked to the Playa Xcalacoco beach (which was closest to home) – after breakfast to check out the local options. It wasn’t long before Devon was injured – scraped his toe on a hidden rock in the sand (but not like an OWE I hurt my toe, it was more like a “M-EFF – I tore my toe nail off! – but good thing it wasn’t quite that bad…it was bad, but not THAT bad.) Also – Todd and I had been travelling with a small first aid kit in the backpack, but did we have it at the exact minute of said injury? NO! We have since rectified this situation (of the injured toe and of ensuring the FA kit is always with us!) We scurried home for first aid, where some went to the lazy river and the others for groceries (shocking surprise here I know). The highlight of Friday (although who doesn’t think a beach is the highlight but….) was that we hired a local mom and daughter to bring and cook us a surprise homestyle Mexican family dinner. They arrived at 5 and by 6:15 we were eating this delicious Mexican meal:

Marinated chicken, cilantro rice, salad (not pictured is homemade sweet bread, fresh corn tortilla’s and sauces)

Salome and Ingrid prepared a delicious meal – with enough left over for another meal and all the rest of the vegetables that they didn’t end up using! We can’t wait to have them prepare us another meal this Friday!

We made plans on Saturday to get up early – so we could drive to Ek Balam – the ruins that are better than Chichen Itza AND you can still walk on the steps. It was a two hour drive from the house – so an early departure was necessary to “beat the tour buses”. We opted for the Toll road ($21) and it was well worth it – also we found out the same highway thoroughfare is under construction as they are building a new Railway line in the area (connecting all the major centres) – so it was cool seeing how a “modern” rail  line is built. Two hours later, we arrived at the destination and I will let the pictures speak for themselves….

The path leading to the ruins

May not look steep…but it definitely is!

Wade and Deanne making it up the last few steps

Jillaxin and enjoying the view

At the top

We picked a relatively cool day (high of 25C) but regardless we were frickin’ hot and needed a cool down. On the way back to the parking lot, there was a Cenote sales guy who told us that there was a cenote only a mile down the road that he said is best to take the car. So we hopped into the car and drove to the Cenote.

Yes this is a VW Gol (not to be confused with a VW Golf). And it seats 5, and has a hatchback.

There she is….in the hatch!

So we pulled the car up to the same admission guy – who said to us more than once “cinco?” and we said no for 6 people. He kept looking and couldn’t find the 6th – until he did. Well, This is a good car for 6 he said! And away we went down the gravel road to the cenote. For anyone who doesn’t know a cenote is a natural underground reservoir of water such as occurs in the limestone of Yucatán, Mexico.

Overview pic of the cenote. Note the steps down to the fresh water pool.

Can this get any better?

We were all starving after a day of adventure! We headed back down the highway to the first town Temozon and pulled up to Restaurant Temozon – where we pigged out on a “grilled meat platter” for 6. Unfortunately we didn’t get a picture cause we were too hungry – but Wade reported that the Margarita’s  were the best ones so far.