Ten more minutes

Ramblings from London - and elsewhere.

Isla Mujeres – and back again

Palm trees Isla Mujeres

It was my third day in Mexico. I’d arrived to the country late in the evening (day zero), alone, still hungover, and to significant airport transfer confusion and rumours of scams and nasty drivers. I was then treated to 40 minute wait for a bus. My hostel was…fine. Cancun was American in one area and fairly unexciting in another. I went out for drinks with hostel buddies, several of whom broke into a fight when they arrived home, drunk, in the middle of the night.

On day two it rained. And rained. And rained. The highlight of my day was an hour long conversation with a Canadian pilot about landing techniques and in-flight emergencies (to be fair, quite interesting). I spent a lot of time travel planning, and only left the hostel for tacos. So far, this hadn’t been the dream trip that I’d been expecting.

Day three arrived. Drizzle. An improvement. And since I was determined not to leave this part of the coast without seeing at least one tropical island, I decided to risk a quick trip over to Isla Mujeres. Then, finally, the gods appeared to be on my side.

Isla Mujeres sea

Beach Isla Mujeres

Incredibly, the afternoon cleared and the sun poked through the clouds. I didn’t get rained on! My new hostel room mates were a lot less feisty and I managed dinner out in such a cute restaurant, followed by an evening of drinking and dancing at the hostel beach bar. Things were beginning to look up for me and Mexico.

And things continued to look up. Day four was paradise. The beach (though packed), the turquoise lagoon, the hammocks and the palm trees were exactly how a beach break should look – in contrast to the enormous hotel complexes in Cancun. I took a relaxed stroll around part of the island (by foot, sadly, and not by golf buggy as is tradition), admiring the brightly coloured shops, restaurants and houses. I’d been told at the hostel the night before that some of the guests had arrived for a weekend only to end up staying for a month. It was not hard to see why – but time wasn’t on my side, and neither was the weather.

Aware that the storm was due to return to the coast, I decided it was time to cut my losses and move inland. And as the boat departed from the island, the drizzle returned. At least I’d had my 24 hours – a short spell – in tropical paradise.

Isla Mujeres buildings


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