Cancun. A place I’d never thought of visiting. Mexico – offered the food I love. Our street food business an homage to thai and tex-mex, so what was there not to like in changing our plans.
Finding ourselves leaving El Centro’s ADO station and heading into the residential area close by to our little AirBNB for the first couple of nights, I wondered if I would be disappointed by choosing not to stay in the Hotel Zone. One of the first things I relearnt as we travelled for a year as a family of four, was to trust my gut! And as we walked into the leafy suburb, my gut was telling me that it was ok.
Our apartment cosy and well kitted out for the two days we were staying before moving on to Isla Holbox. Also, sitting right on top of a coffee shop. Although it opened early in the morning-we were early risers too, so could get coffee, cake and anything else our heart desired-from a mexican breakfast to a delicious roti boy, just downstairs. It was lovely to be able to sit outside in the warm, listen to the spanish being spoken, watch the cafe manager load a car, taking all the freshly baked goodies to other stores to sell. It was peaceful. I felt relaxed. I experienced a sense of wonder from sitting in a country foreign to me and so far away from our english shore, enjoying myself after what our world had been going through. I thanked all the work I had been able to do which allowed me to afford a break with my husband and felt an appreciation of life, as I felt the flicker of a feeling which has been numbed by what we’ve been through.
Our second stay in Cancun was a couple of roads away, which might as well have been a million miles. Although the sunrise was exceptional-the room was not. Felt more like a prison cell as we were on the 1st floor looking out to barbed wire. Yet one thing I love about travel is the meeting of people. I met a lovely, 23 year old female, french adult who spoke about her life in France. The expectations on her and what she wanted to do. Cenote Azul being one of the place she would definitely recommend to visit.
I met an english guy who’d needed to isolate whilst his friend was quarantined with Covid. That was an unsettling experience for him. The vulnerability of being in a different country and unable to leave. It was difficult. We spoke about having children, being parents. He told me that as a Man needing to provide and not having a well paid job meant that the stress he went through, made him not a very good father living with his wife and that it was better for his children when they split up. This is an element of travel I enjoy. The meeting of people and the telling of stories.
I had been looking forward to eating the street food at Parque de las Palapes, having done a load of online research before arriving in Mexico. I ended up with the biggest bowl of guacamole and nachos a person could eat, for as little as 50 pesos but nothing else really grabbed me.
Yet it was the feel of the place.
When we arrived we looked around to see who wore masks and who were without. It was a mix as outside. There was an edgy feel which I wasn’t sure about. I was surprised but this damn virus has had an impact on all of us and it can make us all a bit jittery, yet on our return found out there has been some murders in Cancun and Quintana Roo over the last few months. At the time I recognised the need to put my face mask when in crowded public outdoor spaces. Not that this was crowded or over busy. As we walked away from the area, for the first time I felt uncomfortable, as I observed a group of men watch us walk along the darkened street. I certainly hadn’t felt this way in the residential area.
It had been raining and whilst we sat at our table, nature delivered us the most amazing lightening show. Flashes of silver bolts shot across the sky. Heavy rain showers left me thankful I wasn’t wearing flip flops and had us dashing across the wide streets in an attempt to stop the drenching we received.
It was still fun though… as we ran I giggled. Vince laughed. We were enjoying it. Out and about somewhere new, with smells we didn’t know and food to try not eaten before. Finally we were having an adventure. Adventures are so important in life. They build colour inside-a richness which can’t be developed in another way. You can feel it within. It creates a depth within the soul-a connection with yourself and our world. Its the only way I can describe it!
I liked downtown Cancun.
To only go to a country and not connect with any of its people or culture would be such a waste I think. Yet I know there is so much more here to explore and we did when visiting Isla Holbox.
A caribbean getaway.. one we were definitely not sure about!!