We dragged ourselves up and did 2 miles before breakfast. Hope I can maintain this activity level when we get home. I’m so proud of us!
The ship docked in Cozumel Mexico while we ate, and by the time we were finished, the shops in the little dockside shopping center were open, so we strolled out to get souveniers before it got too hot and the shops got too crowded. We covered almost everything, and were finishing up at the tequillla store when DH noticed the time. We had fifteen minutes to get back to the boat, drop all our booty, grab the stuff we needed for the day, and get back to the dock.. Of course, everyone else that had an excursion scheduled for that day was coming down the dock as we were trying to go up. I felt like a salmon, fighting my way upstream. DH stayed at the entry point to deal with the “Adult Beverages” guy.(You are not allowed access to any booze you buy on shore. You need to surrender it to the ship staff, and they take care of it until you disembark. Lotta paperwork involved) Meanwhile, I took the rest of our purchases back to the room, shoved everything I thought we might need for the day into a knapsack, grabbed the tickets, and ran. This was the first time on this trip that I used the elevators. By shoving our way through the throngs, we were just able to catch our tour before they left, and oh my gosh I’m glad we did!
It’s called “Discover Mexico Tours.” Our guide was personable, well-informed, and interesting . Our first stop was at a museum showing masterpieces of local handicrafts: weaving, papermache masks, Day of the Dead decorations, big pottery jars with applied clay flowers and leaves sculptures, painted in the happy, vivid Mexican colors. None of it by “Artists” but all by artisans who make their living producing things that people want.
Then we toured the grounds where they had scale models of the more famous Mayan and Aztec temples, with little models of people on them. They were fascinating, and big enough that if you put your camera right up next to them and took a picture, it looked like the real thing.
We took a break at he little cantina where this lady was making the best tacos I have ever had in my life. Swear to Dog, you could taste the meat in them. Most tacos taste of spice, and grease, but these tasted like pork and beef and cornmeal and tomatoes. YUM! Four tacos for six dollars and well worth every penny. They also sod Corona Familia beer in quart bottles. More than any one person ought to drink at one sitting, but a nice share for two.
Then we watched the bird dancers. Have you heard about this? It’s a native ceremony to bring the rain. Five guys dressed in brilliantly colored outfits dance around this tall, tall pole, then they climb up to the top where they have this little platform and framework set up. They wind four ropes around and around the pole, then tie the ropes to their waists. The fifth guy sits on the top of the pole playing a flute and a drum, and the four guys throw themselves backward off the framework and fall, unwinding the ropes and spinning around the pole as they descend. It’s breathtaking!
Then we went on to the Chankanab state park where we rented snorkel equipment and I slipped into paradise. There were so many fish! All brightly colored, all used to people, all going busily about their fishy business. It was like floating through the air surrounded by flocks of little birds. Two fish about 12 inches long, pinkish colored with big eyes, decided to act as my tour guides, swimming up under my arm and away in front of me, then turning and looking to see if I was following. So I followed, and they led me over to a reef where the park people had left three old cannons on the bottom, and thousands of fish were frolicking around the coral heads. There were schools of little guys like guppies, and one big “Bait ball” of fish about 18 inches long that all moved together like a flock of starlings. My two tour guides changed from pinkish to silver, to dark gray with silver spots as they dove down to the coral, then back to pinkish as they rose back to the surface. I was just floating limp and still watching all this, and drifted over a cleaning station where a big parrot fish was lying on a stone while dozens of tiny fishes swarmed around him, eating his parasites and bits of dead skin. (In Japan, you can get an exfoliating facial done by these little fish while you hold your breath and keep your face in the water.) And, I saw an eagle ray. It was about 6 feet from wingtip to wingtip, with a long whip-like tail. Dark gray with wonderful light spots on the top. I tried to get closer so I could study his designs, but I couldn’t swim fast enough. I went back to drifting, completely enchanted and mindless with fascination until at last I noticed that I was feeling chilly. When I tried to climb up the stairs to get out, my legs were like rubber. I was SO tired! Mentally jazzed, physically tapped out. DH sat me down in a beach chair in the shade, bought me a Coke, then made me have a massage. Usually I don’t go for this because the folks doing the massages don’t care about their clients and could just as well be washing a truck. There is no rapport or energy exchanged. But my masseuse this time, Marisol, was a joy and a gifted healer. She made me feel like butter. In thirty minutes, for $25, she made me feel five years younger and beautiful as a goddess!
Back to the ship. We stopped at a restaurant on the way to the dock – Pancho’s Backyard, and had some superb chips, guacamole, and salsa, and we each had a margarita. They put one heck of a lot of tequila in their margaritas. I had one, and I have never been so drunk in my life. Tequila makes me so darn afucktionate! I was hugging store clerks and grabbing their backsides. One guy sitting next to a Diamonds International shop called, “Come on in. We’ve got free gifts.” I trotted over, sat on his lap, threw my arms around his neck and said, “Free gifts for me?” Have you ever seen a Hispanic young man turn bright, bright red? Kyle was sitting back and laughing at me the whole time. I know that a drunken old woman is less amusing to the people watching than she is to herself, but oh my gosh I had a great time!!