A middle aged woman with no particular distinction other than a wanderlust and love of languages travels through Italy, Mexico and Central America, often by sailboat. This is travel for the not so young, beautiful or wealthy who are still curious, energetic, and adventurous.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
EXPLORING PLAYA DEL CARMEN
After two nights without sleep, I wasn’t much use
yesterday. I was just glad I was able to
stay awake through my Spanish lessons.
Since Rosa picked me up from school, I didn’t really get to see
anything. This morning, I got up
reasonably early and went for a run down to the beach. I ran down Avenida Juarez to the beach and
then west, looking for the hotel where I will be spending next week. Avenida Juarez divides the town in half. At the base of Juarez is the Cozumel ferry
terminal. On the east side are the even
numbered streets. This is the commercial
side of town. On the west side are the
odd numbered streets and the “Zona Hotelaria” where the streets are mazelike
and have exotic sounding names. This
area consists of resorts and fancy private residences and vacation homes. It is very lush and green and was a nice
place to run, even if I never found the place I sought. I ran for several miles before returning
It was quite warm for so early in the day. There is no marine layer here in the
morning. The sun pops right out of the
ocean, shining brightly. It is very
cheerful and might possibly even be able to make me like morning. I was sweaty and ready for a shower when I
returned but, alas, not a drop of water issued from my shower. My landlady was out, so I was forced to take
a sponge bath in my tiny sink. It was
impossible to wash my hair.
Just as I was about to hop on my bicycle to ride to school,
Rosa returned and gave me a ride downtown.
The avenues run east and west and go by fives. The school is at 15th Ave. and I
am staying on 80th Ave. It
sounds like a long way, but is only a couple of miles. The jackhammering had resumed, so Maria Elisa
and I repaired to a coffee bar for our morning lesson. I drank a cappuccino while I reviewed the
present subjunctive and the uses of “por” y “para.” I felt like I was back in Italy. At noon, we moved to the park and studied there
for another couple of hours, sitting in the shade of a palm tree. Knowing we would probably be outdoors, I had
made sure to wear sunscreen.
My Ridiculous Pink Bicycle
After class, I used the internet at the school for a few
minutes until they closed. Then I walked
down to Ave. 5, which is the big tourist street. There are lots of expensive shops and
overpriced restaurants. I might have
thought that Playa del Carmen was an expensive place if I had not eaten lunch
with Maria Elisa in a restaurant near the school yesterday. I walked inland a few blocks and had a tasty “Arab”
taco (a gyro in a tortilla) for about $1.50.
I sat there reading an Oscar Wilde short story in Spanish and then
walked back to the house. I changed into
my bathing suit and shorts, hopped on my bicycle and sped off down Ave. Juarez
to the beach. By the time I got there,
it had already cooled off enough that I didn’t really want to swim. I waded in far enough to tell that the water
was a pleasant temperature and then stretched out on the sand to read. It gets dark rather suddenly this close to
the equator, so I could only stay an hour and a half or so before I needed to
Once I returned, I tried the shower once again. This time, I was able to get water, although
I never did get any hot water. At least
I managed to wash my hair, although the water was too cold to stand under. The internet is still out of order,
also. Apparently, the cable TV is out,
also. A repairman is coming
tomorrow. This must not be uncommon, since
the students staying in a different house are having the same problem.
There is another occupant of the house that I forgot to
mention. Her name is Shanti and she is
the tiniest Chihuahua that I have ever seen.
I doubt she weighs two pounds. Her
paws are about the size of my index finger.
She is very shy, but will beg to sit in my lap when her mother isn’t
around. She hardly barks at all. Even our small cat could eat her for
dinner. Fortunately, Rosa doesn’t carry
her around in her purse or dress her in silly clothes. She is allowed to preserve her tiny dignity.