Monday, December 11, 2006

Eating, sleeping, diving & rainstorms

Hola amigos y familia!
We had an uneventful flight over, which was a nice change from our last trip.  I slept right through both legs.  From the Cancun airport, we took a van to Playa del Carmen to catch the ferry over to Cozumel.  The water looked pretty choppy and the ferry was lurching heavily but we were all too tired or optimistic to realize what lie ahead.  It was rough enough at the dock but once we got going out across the water, the boat was tipping almost to vertical, it seemed and water was gushing in between cracks in the plastic & fabric covered windows. 

vlcsnap-57093

I´m not prone to motion sickness and have never been seasick before, but this ferry ride was an ultimate excercise in concentration.  Mind over the matter in my stomach is what I´m talking about here.  I ended up putting my head down on the bench in front of us and that fixed me right up, but several other passengers were not as lucky.  so then it was also an excercise in not thinking about that scene from Stand by Me with the pie eating contest and what transpired after. 



Our companion Jill turned positively green but she also made it out with her lunch in tact.  Hooray for us!
We arrived at our house around 7pm and were met by the guest services guy, Pancho, who showed us around.  It´s a two story house with two bedrooms per floor.  Each could be rented separately but we have filled the whole house, which is nice because the pool and courtyard are shared, and you know...strangers...ewww!  Each bedroom has its own bathroom and each floor has a fully equipped kitchen.  The accomodations could not be better.  We got a little settled then headed out for some dinner.  Let me just say that I LOVE Mexican food!  We got some good restaurant recommendations from a friend who comes here often and they´ve been right on every time.  The first night Dag and I both had Mole Chicken.  Every restaurant has home made chips and fabulous salsas on the table.  The starter was a thin noodle soup in what seemed like a spicy beef broth - yum!  Dag made sure that I got my ice cream quota filled for the day with dessert.
Six of us stayed up talking - alternating between chairs and one of the four hammocks hanging in a circle around the table. 

hammock

Luckily that table and the hammocks are covered by a roof because it has been raining pretty steadily since we got here.  We´re all taking it in stride because after all, it is still a very pleasant 80 degrees out there!
Yesterday we found a breakfast place for me to have my favorite - Chilaquiles Verde! 

Breakfast

Then it was just hanging out, reading, napping, more hanging out, dinner at the taco place around the corner which is the concrete patio of someone´s house.  They got ahold of an old hot dog cart (it actually still says HOT DOG on the side) and the man of the house uses the grill to cook up carnitas and chorizo and mini quesedillas while the grandma wipes the rain off the chairs or carries the baby around.  I think we´ll be going there a lot.  Our house is in a residential area away from the main tourist action, which is nice, but it´s also a multi-block walk to any restaurants and the taco place is exactly one half block from our front door.  Nice.
Today Dag and I got up at the crackalacka and went out diving. 

Surface Interval

We had a small boat this time, which was much nicer than the 15-20 person boat we took in Thailand.  Diving is kind of overwhelming anyway and then when you´re also fighting crowds to get suited and unsuited it gets a little over the top.  We were two of six total divers today and it was perfect.  The first dive was nice - we didn´t see too much in the way of wildlife but it allowed me to get my bearings.  I had enough weight this time and was all over my bouyancy control.  Visibility was incredible and the boat followed us as we drifted along with the current - much more passive and enjoyable than our last dives in Thailand.  On the second dive, we saw a giant yellow eel under a rock formation.  We didn´t see its body but judging from the size of its enormous gaping head, it had to be just freaking huge!  Next we saw a nurse shark swim by us against the current as we were swept along by it.  Then we saw TWO turtles in a row, which are my absolute favorite thing to see!  Huge parrotfish and other gorgeous fish I can´t name were everywhere.  It was just an amazing 40 minutes of my life.
We went back and collected a couple of friends who were also ready for food and went back to the place we first had dinner.  We had a lovely serenade, some fantastic food (this time they had the yucatan pollo in negro sauce that I had wanted to try the night before.  Very charred tasting (in a good way!) and now I´m headed back to read a couple sentences before I crash asleep.
We may be going to see the ruins at Toulom tomorrow and/or do some snorkeling. 
Then at least one more day of diving, maybe more.  It doesn´t rain beneath the surface of the ocean, after all.
It feels like this internet cafe is on a boat.

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